Stationery Bloggers Review of 2014
From Montblanc to Sailor Inks and Kaweco to Pelikan, as the year draws to a close Pen Heaven talks with some of the most prolific pen bloggers to see what got them scribbling over the last 12 months.
Jennifer of BestFountainPen.com on The Montblanc Boheme Fountain Pen:
My favourite fountain pen this year is the Montblanc Boheme. Sure, my second runner up recently, the Aurora 88, is more of a “writer’s” fountain pen, but it’s hard to one-up the Boheme. It’s just the coolest, most fun gadget pen you’ll ever use.
It’s beautiful, compact, the mechanism is smooth-as-silk and it writes like a dream. I didn’t think I’d like the twist-to-use nib, and I was sure Montblanc was overrated, but it really makes writing feel like a privilege and not a mundane chore.
It’s like you’re unsheathing a beautiful tool. Is it perfect? Definitely not, it could use a converter so you could easily use any ink you wanted, but I solved that by syringe filling reused cartridges so I can put my Diamine Sargasso Sea (a deep, dark blue) in that baby.
Pair the Boheme with fine paper like Clairefontaine or Rhodia and you’ve elevated your writing to an experience, not just an activity.
Mike from Inkdependence.com tells us why he has a special blot for Sailor Inks this year:
My favourite this year would have to be the new Sailor Inks. They discontinued several excellent inks, but they brought in a raft of excellent inks to replace them. The price is a bit higher, but the quality and variety are both stellar. Oku-Yama and Yama-dori are popular in the community, but don't forget about interesting sleepers like Doyou and Miruai!
This year saw Nifty at NoteBookStories.com roll out the red carpet for The PENroll:
If I had to pick one new product as a favourite in 2014, it would have to be the PENroll. There are other holders out there that are designed to attach a pen to a notebook, but this one really appealed to me in its design, materials, and practicality. A sturdily-sewn canvas wraps around your notebook, with multiple pockets for pens or pencils and an eraser. It fastens on to the sides of the notebook with small metal clips.
This is the perfect accessory for urban sketchers who might be using multiple pens or brushes. You can stand, sketch, and easily swap pens in the midst of drawing without having to access a separate pen case. It's a great way to keep all your drawing tools together with your notebook. The PENroll is available in bright colours that look great with many of the popular notebook brands, in both large and small sizes.
Maybe the Kaweco Skyline Sport is your favourite pen of the year, or maybe it’s just Maybelline’s from OnFountainPens.com:
I have been using the transparent Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen for a little while now, until I spotted this Kaweco Skyline Sport. Launched this year, this is an addition to the Kaweco Sport family, but with silver-coloured nib and trims instead of gold. The Skyline Sport comes in black, mint, and grey, but really, who can resist getting the mint-coloured one? I was lucky enough to receive this to review on my blog, and even took a video of it.
There are a few reasons why I chose the Kaweco Skyline Sport as my favourite pen of 2014. I have a personal bias towards favouring small fountain pens, and even more so for long-short pens (pens with a long cap and a short body). That’s just how this pen is, isn’t it! It is lightweight both in terms of physical weight and the weight of the price tag, nice to write with, well-made, and has nice facets around its octagonal body. And it’s mint in colour. Have you ever seen a pen in the colour of mint? This has been my first time meeting one! So you can see that, in various aspects, this pen has satisfied my ‘needs’ as a fountain pen user, doesn’t get in the way of me being left-handed, and therefore I choose this as my favourite pen of 2014.
Joshua of ThePelikansPerch.com went all nostalgic for the 1930s homage M101N Red Tortoiseshell Pelikan Pen:
When I look back on 2014 and the many new releases that have come out of Hanover, there is one Pelikan pen that stands out amongst all the others, the M101N Tortoiseshell Red which was released in September.
Designed as an homage to the 101’s of the 1930’s and updated with today’s technology, the pen evokes nostalgia for the beautiful craftsmanship of the past combined with an excellent writing experience. The 14C-585 gold nib is butter smooth and puts down a lovely wet line.
This is the third release in the series and it is, to me at least, the most striking of the trio. The amber ink window, gold furniture, red cap and piston knob, and tortoise bind all work together visually to create a stunning, eye-catching pen. The Tortoiseshell Red has a comfortable feel in the hand, is well balanced, and sits nicely in a shirt pocket. Not only is it my favourite Pelikan of 2014, it is one of my favourites of all time.
Exciting stationery products are sure to come in 2015 and our bloggers are already excited about the prospect. ‘I am thinking eagerly of what pens I can look forward to in 2015. More pocket pens for me to play with please,’ asks Maybelline, with one additional request, ‘don’t forget to be lefty-friendly!’
What new products are you looking forward to seeing in the coming year?