Pelikan’s brand new fountain pen – The Majesty M7000

I found out today that Pelikan would be releasing a new premium fountain pen called the Majesty withthe model number of M7000. The press release can be found here: Pelikan press release on the Majesty M7000 fountain pen

 

Here are some mouth watering photos of the Majesty (courtesy of Pelikan):

 

The first thing you will notice about the Pelikan Majesty fountain pen is the absolutely beautiful barrel made of fluted sterling silver Ag 925 which is coated with platinum. The nib is a two toned 18K gold handcrafted nib. From the picture it seems that the overall finishing of the pen is excellent as can be expected from Pelikan.

 

 

While the platinum coated sterling silver barrel is a show stopper by itself, the Pelikan Majesty fountain pen conceals a unique secret. The barrel casing can be removed to reveal the very familiar differential piston filling mechanism with a visually appealing and functional transparent ink reservoir.

I will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the M7000 pen to Malaysian shores. My favourite pen specialist shop, Pengallery is expecting to offer the Pelikan Majesty M7000 sometime in the second half of April. I really can’t wait to get my hands on one.

Fountain Pen Review: Nakaya Ishi-me Kan-shitsu (Stone Finish Kan-Shitsu Technique)

Nakaya is a fairly new Japanese fountain pen company, having been set up in 2001 by Toshiya Nakata, the grandson of the founder of Platinum pen company, one of Japan’s top fountain pen manufacturers. Nakaya has differentiated itself by specialising in customised fountain pens handmade by experienced craftsmen who formerly worked for the Platinum Pen company.

It used to be that the only way to get hold of a Nakaya pen was to order it from the website or to walk into their showroom in Tokyo. In recent years they have started appointing overseas distributors who would stock these pens locally. My favourite pen specialist shop Pengallery started distributing Nakaya earlier this year. It is one thing to admire these pens on Nakaya’s website but once you get to test one of these with your own hands at the friendly neighbourhood pen shop I can guarantee that you will be reaching for your wallet in no time. That pretty much sums up my first encounter with this particular Nakaya pen.

Now that I have had the pen for a few months I guess it is a good time to share my experience with a brief review of this wonderful piece of writing instrument.

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Like all Nakaya fountain pens, this pen is handcrafted and is finished with a variation of the Urushi technique whereby Urushi powder is sown onto the surface of the pen to simulate grainy stone surface. I had it fitted with one of Nakaya’s special flexible nib.

First thing that you will notice about this pen is its weight. Being made from ebonite, the pen is very light and one will be able to write with it for a long time without experiencing fatigue. The stock is based on the standard cigar model (portable size), without a clip.

The unique feature of this pen is the Ishime technique used which produces a special rough surface texture on an otherwise Urushi lacquer finish. The process is described on Nakaya’s website as follows:

“The craftsman sows Urushi powder onto the body, which makes a lot of grains on the surface due to surface tensity. After settled, he varnishes the body with lacquer several times to make the body harden. He sharpens these grains with charcoal and finished with wipe lacquer.
It is truly artistic craftsmanship to decorate stone-like appearance on a pen true to its name
(‘Ishi” means a stone in Japanese).”

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The Ishime finish is not one of Nakaya’s standard products. A special order has to be placed for this pen and lead time is normally quoted as 45 ~ 60 days. As I bought mine from Pengallery, who had pre-ordered it in anticipation of demand, I did not have to endure the long wait. Aesthetically the Ishime technique bestows an elegant and unique look to the pen and the textured surface is pleasant to the touch and enhances the grip on the pen.

I understand that one can custom order the Ishime finish with the other pen models such as the Piccolo or the Writer model. With hindsight I would have ordered this pen with a clip, ie a portable Writer model instead of a portable Cigar. Without the clip I tend to hesitate bringing this pen around for fear that it may just slip out of my pocket. Now I use it mainly as a desk pen.

While I ordered the pen for its aesthetic features, it is the flexible nib fitted on it which I find really endearing. The nib has been crafted with special cut outs on the sides which allows it to flex according to the pressure applied by the user.

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It flexes gracefully as strength is applied incrementally and the resulting line variation is very noticeable and pleasing to the eye. I find that it really lends character to one’s writing. See the sample scribbling below:

As can be seen, the ink flows nicely without any skip. The sample above was written with ink from the Platinum cartridge which came with the pen. I have yet to use the Platinum converter with this pen.

Prior to this pen I really did not have any experience with other flexible nibs but I did come across quite a few lamentations from the more experienced users about the lack of flexible nibs in modern pens. I did not realise what I had been missing until now.

In fact I was so happy with the nib that I placed an order (through Pengallery again) for a Piccolo writer model (with reddish red tamenuri finish), equipped with Nakaya’s special flexible nib (two toned instead of monotone). This time I filled up the questionnaire which is required for Nakaya’s craftsmen to fine tune the pen and nib to my personal style of writing. I intend to post a review of the Piccolo writer as soon as I can find the spare time to take the photos and write about the experience.

The pen comes packaged in a simple but elegant wooden box, decorated with Japanese characters which translates roughly as “custom made ten thousand year pen (fountain pen)”. Nakaya has also supplied a nice cloth pouch in which to wrap the pen. Nakaya’s strong link with Platinum is emphasized by the packaging of Platinum converter and ink cartridges with all their pens.

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To sum it all up: This is a great pen which I would not hesitate to recommend to any pen enthusiast.

Rambling Snail forum ceases to exist?

In my previous post I mentioned that Avery Hise, the founder of Rambling Snail had put up a for sale notice for the forum.

Not long after that the site ramblingsnail.net ceased to be found on the world wide web. I was reluctant to post about the new development since I did not want to speculate prematurely on the demise of the Rambling Snail.

However it has now been about a month since I noticed the site’s disappearance, and I guess we have to finally acknowledge the fact that the Rambling Snail forum has ceased to exist.

I guess Avery should still be keeping a backup of the database forum and with some effort one should still be able to revive the venerable Rambling Snail. We can only hope that some kind soul will step up to the challenge.

In the meantime I have moved on and signed up with the following fountain pen communities, under the userid of “danny”:

Fountain Pen Network and Fountain Pens South East Asia.

The Fountain Pen Network has been around for a few years already and it a very active community with over 2500 registered users (at last count).

On the other hand the Fountain Pens South East Asia forum is very new, being only a few months old, but targets users from a certain geographic region, namely South East Asia. It is hoped that this board will grow to be a focal point for fountain pen collectors in the region.

Fountain Pen photography with the Canon EOS 400D

Ever since I was bitten by the fountain pen bug a few months ago, I have been yearning to find a way to photograph the pens in a satisfactory manner. Fortunately Kelvin Tan, photographer extraordinaire , conducted a workshop in pen photography at Pengallery‘s showroom during a private review session. I was amongst the lucky few who attended the class, and I learnt so much from him that I was determined to put the new found knowledge into practice.

So when the Gimp, a marvellous piece of free software for image editing.

The tools work very well, as can be expected from most modern photographic equipment. Together with Kelvin’s tips I was able to produce some satisfactory photos of a few of the fountain pens in my collection. Once the pain in my wallet has subsided I will probably be adding a second slave flash unit for dual light source.

Below are a few selected shots taken with the above equipment. The complete set can be accessed at my Flickr site.

Aurora 88 Sterling Silver Fountain Pen

Pelikan 1931 Yellow Gold Limited Edition Fountain Pen

Fountain Pens – South East Asia

Kelvin Tan has just set up a brand new message board for fountain pen aficionados in the South East Asian nations. It is aptly called Fountain Pens – South East Asia.

To all fountain pen lovers in the region, especially in Malaysia and Singapore please head on over to register and make this online community your own. Together we shall generate and nourish our interest in fountain pens.