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.
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.