top 5

Top 4 Favourite Pens 2017

This year is slightly different. I didn’t buy much pens. Actually to date as I write this (19th November), I’ve only purchased 6 fountain pens this year. It’s a little hard to have a top 5 when I only got 6 pens in the running. Considering one of them is a Lamy Safari, I didn’t think it’s fair to put the rest in the top 5. So, to make things slightly fairer, I am going with a top 4 instead this year.

Like the top 5 inks of 2017 list, the criteria to make it onto the list is simple. Firstly, I must have made the purchase of the pen during the year. And, I’ve used it and loved it.

Number 4: Montblanc Heritage 1912

This is one pen that I’ve used the longest out of the bunch. I got this very late last year but I consider this a 2017 because I didn’t use it long enough to evaluate it for last year. The 1912 is my first Montblanc fountain pen and I really enjoy the retracting nib feature. The weight is really solid and the nib writes really well. Though the barrel scratching cap is somewhat of a let down, it is still a classic fountain pen.

Number 3: Nakaya Negoro style "Nuno kise Hon Kataji" Arai-shu version

This is the 3rd year in a roll that I have a Nakaya fountain pen on the list. This one is the cracked finish which I had been lusting after ever since I’ve discovered the brand. What drew me to the pen is definitely the cracks. It’s like stonewashed jeans, this is breaking the finish of the pen while it is brand new. It is a striking pen for sure. I went with the M nib for this pen. The nib writes as well as can be expected from Nakaya. Review coming soon.

Number 2: TWSBI Eco - Right foot oblique medium grind

What sorcery is this? A TWSBI ahead of a Montblanc and Nakaya fountain pen? The secret here is the nib grind. I had Sunny of Straits Pen to mod the nib. I went with a right foot oblique medium grind at the suggestion of a friend and boy did it open my eyes. Line variations, crisper lines and all that for a lefty!

Number 1: Aurora Optima Red Demonstrator

This is my first Aurora fountain pen and I went immediately for the Optima Red Demonstrator. I love my demonstrator pens and I have a soft spot for those with a tiny bit of colour. The Aurora Optima Red Demonstrator ticked all the boxes and then some. Aurora offers factory nib grinding without any additional cost so I went with the right foot oblique fine. Wow, the nib, just wow. It has a very tiny sweet spot but when you hit it just right, it is like flying. No tooth, just pure smoothness with crisp line and line variation.

Top 5 Favourite Inks 2017

It’s that time of the year again. My top 5 favourite ink purchases this year. Same criteria as last year, this has to be an ink new to the my collection. It doesn’t have to be released this year. Onto the list!

Number 5: KWZ Brown Pink

KWZ inks are new to me this year. I’ve tried Menthol Green and enjoyed it so I decided to explore their catalogue. I picked up two inks and Brown Pink was one of them. Brown Pink is a wonderful strange mix of well… brown and pink. It is a rather lovely hue of purple that shades nicely. Review coming soon.

Number 4: KWZ Cherry

Cherry is the other KWZ I’ve picked up. I must say I’m great at picking new inks! 2 out of 2 are winners. Cherry is a bright red ink that really reminds me of Christmas. Normally, red isn’t my go to ink in general for anything but Cherry is the exception to the rule. It has supplanted Montblanc Velvet Red as my go to red ink of choice. Review coming soon.

Number 3: Lamy Petrol

Lamy Petrol is Lamy’s 2017 ink that matches the Lamy Safari Petrol. It’s a dark teal colour. In general, I really enjoy teals. Lamy Petrol is one of those inks that works best with a broader and / or wetter nibs. It’s dark enough for corporate use yet retains enough colour for the inner fountain pen nerd.

Number 2: Robert Oster Signature Cherry Blossom

Robert Oster Signature Inks is the other ink maker that burst into the scene this year for me. I’ve reviewed a lot of Robert Oster Signature inks. Among them, Cherry Blossom is one of the stand out colours. It’s a dusty pink that straddles the line between bright and muted. I really like how it isn’t in your face bright but yet is still obviously pink and not some kind of red or purple.

Number 1: Robert Oster Signature Sublime

Finally the winner of 2017 top 5 inks is Robert Oster Siganture Sublime. I have to credit GlennHK for introducing me to this ink. It’s a really nice shading yellow-green inks. This has been a year of yellow-greens for me. I’ve tried Robert Oster Siganture Jade, Monteverde Olivine, Sailor Jentle Waka-Uguisu. Sublime takes the cake. It’s bright, it shades in all nib sizes. What more can I ask for?