The Fountain Pen Obsession

I studied Broadcast Journalism in college, partly due to my unhealthy obsession with Superman (in my mind, I had the makings of the next Lois Lane) and partly, because my math skills were left stuck in the primary level.

If you’re a maskom kid, or have journalism as one of your college courses, one oft-repeated phrase is this: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” And while my weird collection of pens through the years never started a revolution, nor was used to write a Palanca-winning essay; all my pens have been with me through my highest highs and my lowest lows — through work achievement, health scares, failed side gigs and personal triumphs.

Call it signs of my age – but I have never been comfortable with “going digital.” I prefer using an agenda than using my smartphone to keep track of my schedule; I have been keeping a journal for close to thirty years of my life; and have become more immersed with bullet journaling as the quarantine closed in last March. While I have dabbled before in fountain pens, they are usually the cheap type which comes with cartridges and a standard nib.

That is until I saw this beautiful Harry Potter crossover fountain pen by Montegrappa and The Classic Brush Fountain Pen from Ferris Wheel Press. I have never seen something so beautiful and intricate:

Harry Potter: House Colours, Hogwarts, Fountain Pen
Montegrappa Harry Potter: House Colors Fountain Pen, retailing at 370 euros (also available for pre-order on Scribe at PHP24K)
The Brush Fountain Pen | Ferris Wheel Press
The Classic Brush Fountain Pen from Ferris Wheel Press (Canada), retails for 118USD

So, right in the middle of the ECQ, I became a serious collector of fountain pens. I started with the basics, pens I can use to practice on, and even bring to work for everyday use.

My first-ever purchase was the Pilot Kakuno with the fine nib. For those who are still starting on their collection, they said that the Kakuno is a great fountain pen for beginners, especially since it’s nib features a smiley face. They say that as long as you can see the smiley face, then you are using your pen correctly. I bought this for only PHP700 via Shopee.

My second and third pens were bought from the Fountain Pen marketplace in Facebook, which has become the bane of my existence and the regular litmus test of my vow of frugality. I try to stay away from the Facebook group during paydays because I always end up with a purchase. This is where I got my Noodler’s Ink Ahab Flex with the fine nib and a Noodler’s Ink Charlie.

Noodler’s Ink is a US-based fountain pen and ink brand where one can get really nice and affordable pens and fountain pen inks. The inks here are cheap and writes really nice, though you have to be careful when you use them since they are a pain to remove once you got them in your hands. My clumsy self got shakey once while inking the Ahab with the Noodler’s Ink Bay State Blue – suffice to say, I looked like I voted way too early for 2022 elections.

Because I tend to get pissed off with people who borrow my pens (and don’t return them), I decided to buy cheaper fountain pens that I can bring to work and use, without breaking relationships in the process:

You can’t get any basic with these two. They are from the brand Jinhao, usually retails from PHP200++ to PHP300++ — and maybe even cheaper during a sale at Shopee and Lazada. Both pens above are Jinhao 260, with a fine nib. The only difference is that the silver one uses cartridge ink, while the black one uses a converter (a set of grooves or fins just beneath the nib, this part of the feed collects ink flowing from the reservoir). For pens that are very cheap, its body has enough heft and the nibs work just fine for every day writing.

This is currently the star of my collection – a TWSBI Eco Pink fountain pen that was given to me by the hubby on my recent birthday. I have yet to ink this, mainly because I am still looking for a nice ink that I can load it with.

I guess the next question would be is if I am using all of these pens at the same time. Well, not yet — but I am already excited thinking of a rotation schedule for these babies (yuuuuup, I’m a nerd). I am also looking forward to buying something really pricey for the collection, aside from the obvious favorites from Lamy, Sailor, Cross, and Pilot. I told myself that, from now on, I will celebrate milestones with fountain pens — and I am already excited for the next purchase.

For now, I am excited to share my journey with my new fountain pens and my inks. Hopefully, I won’t be covered in them when I share my next post.

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