Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Fountain Pen Review: Edison Collier, TWSBI 580AL, Sailor Pro Gear

In my previous fountain pen review, I included a bit about pen size comparison. I thought that a fountain pen comparison will be useful especially now that more brands are being introduced in the country. I wanted to do a new pen comparison with some details, and chose three of my orange fountain pens for fun. 

The pens in this article are (top to bottom): Edison Pen Co. Collier Antique Marble, Sailor Professional Gear Color (Orange) with Rhodium Trim, and TWSBI Diamond 580 AL orange. It is my first time to have an Edison and a Sailor fountain pen, and I am just glad that I got them. 

Material. The barrels and caps of  these three pens are made from resin. Although all three pens have screw-type caps, their trims are different: gold for the Collier, rhodium for the Sailor Pro Gear, and silver for the TWSBI 580.

The Collier has the same resin for both its barrel and section, or grip. The contoured grip prevents my fingers from slipping as I write. The Sailor Pro Gear has a black plastic section which I find comfortable and easy to grip. The TWSBI's aluminum section is a bit slippery, though. I noticed that I do not have a firm grip on the section when I am writing, because of the material.

Top to bottom: Sailor Pro Gear, Edison Pen Co. Collier, and TWSBI 580AL

Filling mechanism.

The Collier, which belongs to Edison's Production Line pens has a cartridge/converter (C/C) filling mechanism. Long and short international cartridges will fit in the Collier, but a standard international converter is included when I got my pen. It can also be used as an an eyedropper pen because there are no metal parts inside the barrel.

The Sailor Pro Gear also has a C/C filling mechanism, but only takes proprietary Sailor cartridges. Like the Collier, this pen came with a Sailor converter on purchase. Both the Collier and Sailor converters have ink capacities of ~0.7-1.0 ml.

The TWSBI 580AL, however, comes with a piston ink-filling mechanism, with a 1.9 ml ink capacity, which is twice the ink of a converter-full for either the Collier or the Sailor.

Nibs. The nibs on these pens are still factory nibs. I haven't done any modifications or adjustments on them yet.

My Edison Collier has a two-toned steel #6 broad (B) nib, but other two-toned nibs available for this pen are: extra fine, fine, medium, and 1.1 and 1.5 italic. 18k gold nibs in extra fine, fine, medium, and broad are also available.

A 21k gold nib in hard-medium (H-M), which is surprisingly soft, is what's on my Sailor Pro Gear. Other nibs for the Pro Gear are: 21k gold in fine, medium, and broad.

The TWSBI 580AL in this set has a chrome #5 Jowo B nib. It can also be fitted with an extra fine, fine, and medium nibs.

Size. The Edison Collier is definitely the largest fountain pen among the three. This long and fat cigar type pen measures 5.9 inches when capped! Writing with the Collier is still comfortable, though. The section's diameter is only .38 inch, almost the same as the TWSBI 580AL's .39 inch.

The TWSBI is 5.6 inches long, and weighs 32 grams, a tad heavier than the Edison which only weighs 30 grams.

The Sailor Pro Gear, a smallish pen by my standards, measures 5.07 inches long when capped, and weighs 21.6 grams. 

Posting. I do not usually post my pens, but I am including this here as a useful detail for those who do post their fountain pens. Among the three pens, only the Sailor Pro Gear posts properly. If anyone gets a Collier or a TWSBI 580, do not try to post the pens' caps, because they will fall off.  

Writing performance. I am very lucky to have these three fountain pens since they all write so well out of the box. The Collier and the TWSBI both have broad factory nibs, which are round and very wet. I plan to have the Collier's nib modified into a stub later. 

As I mentioned earlier, the Sailor Pro Gear pen is new to me. It is my first Sailor and I am amazed at how nice it feels to write with a supposedly hard (but turned out to be soft) nib. I am glad I bought this pen and got to experience writing with a Sailor nib. 

Now that this review is done, do not be surprised if I will not identify my favorite fountain pen among the three, because all of them are excellent writers. I have presented all the details available to me, and included my own experiences using each of them. I do hope, though, that every fountain pen user can experience writing with a Collier, TWSBI, and Sailor fountain pens.

These pens are sold by a number of official resellers worldwide, but in the Philippines, Edison, TWSBI, and Sailor pens are all available at Scribe Writing Essentials, a specialty store selling fountain pens, inks, paper products, and calligraphy supplies. 

Scribe has stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 5, SM Aura, and SM Megamall. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fountain Pen Review: Edison Collier Antique Marble

Edison pens are now in the Philippines! Woohoo! 

A few years ago, when I was still new to this hobby, I liked white fountain pens. I recall a time when I grew so fascinated with a white fountain pen that I saw on the internet. Google later revealed that the pen is a Mina from Edison Pen Co. I didn't take the pen, for a number of reasons, but an Edison fountain pen has always been on my list. When I found out that our beloved pen store Scribe Writing Essentials will be the official reseller of Edison pens in the country, I was more than excited to get one.

When Scribe posted the photos of Edison pens that will be available in their stores (read Edison's announcement here), the Collier in Antique Marble finish caught my eye. Its rounded form is very pleasing to look at, and the color is just irresistible. From the photos, the Collier looked like it's a big pen, and I thought it would be heavy, but the amber resin is simply unforgettable. I can't get it off my mind, and I counted the days before I could get one.

The Collier has been with me for more than a week now, and I am very happy I got it. Here's why.

The Edison Box. Having collected a few fountain pens myself, I have seen a number of pen boxes from different pen brands. I'm happy to see that Edison pens are carefully presented in the same elegant box covered in patterned maroon faux leather. While this well-made and elegant box contains a fountain pen, it could easily be mistaken for a jewelry box.

I like the Edison box because it is not oversized, yet the Collier, a long and fat pen, fit perfectly inside. While the box has no markings outside, opening it shows the Edison Pen Co. logo printed on the inside of the cover. Inside the box is the Collier, a wonderful work of artistry in a medley of warm and happy colors, lying on a bed of padded soft fabric held in place by a satin ribbon.

The Edison Collier. The Edison Collier is an award winning pen. It's Goldspot's Pen of the Year in 2011. The Antique Marble is from Edison's Production Line of fountain pens (available only through resellers). It is made from translucent amber-colored acrylic resin, buffed and polished to a high gloss. At approximately 5.9 inches long (capped), the Collier is my longest (and probably fattest) fountain pen. 

The Collier's resin is strikingly beautiful with rich swirls of black, brown, and in some parts, silver and pearlescent orange in amber. It's amazing! It's like seeing thin strips of satin suspended in lovely amber. Also notable is that the Collier's parts — barrel, section, and cap — are made from the same translucent resin. It's as if the pen came from a huge blob of real amber!

For such a long pen, the Collier is surprisingly light at 30 grams. Uncapped, the body is only ~5.2 inches long (barrel, section, converter), and lighter at 20 grams, which makes writing comfortable. The pen fits so well in my hand, and the contoured grip keeps my fingers in place as I write.

Like all the pens in Edison's Production Line, the Collier has a cartridge/converter (C/C) filling mechanism. Short and long international cartridges will fit in the Collier, but a standard international converter is included in the box. It can as well be used as an an eyedropper pen because there are no metal parts inside the barrel.  

The Collier's screw on cap is ~2.8 inches long, and weighs 10 grams. It was not designed to be posted on to the pen's barrel, but I don't usually post my pens, so I don't mind at all. The simple, unobtrusive gold-plated clip of the Collier is the perfect complement to its translucent amber. It feels just right: not too long, but not too short, and flexible enough to easily clip on to a shirt pocket, or to a notebook pen loop.

Here is another photo of the Collier's cap. The glossy rounded top of the cap is just lovely, free from any markings, and the translucent amber just seems to glow and change color according to the intensity of light.

The Collier is a big pen. Its cigar-shaped barrel has a diameter of 0.6 of an inch, almost equivalent to the barrel diameter of a Pelikan M1000! And again, that pattern in amber is just awesome. The other side of the barrel has swirls, while there are black and brown stripes on this side.

The slightly pointed (but still rounded) end of the Collier's barrel is equally beautiful, complementing the rounded top of the cap. 

Brian Gray, President and creator of pens at Edison Pen Co., has designed the branding of his pens carefully. The Collier's branding is so discreet that it took me a while to find it. The laser engraved words "Edison Pen Co. Collier" are so small and hard to see. I had to look very closely at the barrel with a pen light so I can see it. 

The Edison Nib. The Collier has an oversized #6 nib, and I chose a steel, two-toned B (broad, bold, big) nib for my pen, which would probably get a grind soon. It wrote smoothly out of the box, and I am very happy I selected a broad nib. Edison nibs are sourced from Germany, and Brian is known to personally check the nibs on his pens before they are sent.

In an homage to Thomas A. Edison, whom Edison Pen Co. shares birthplace with (Milan, Ohio, USA), Brian designed a logo that shows a light bulb and a fountain pen nib. Clever and ingenious. 

I'm a blue fountain pen ink addict, and I so badly wanted to fill my Collier with Eclat de Saphir, my favorite blue ink. But this pen is begging for a same-color ink, so I filled it Pelikan Edelstein Amber. 

Amber for amber. The Edelstein ink is a perfect match for my Collier's broad nib! 

I thought that a fountain pen size comparison would be useful, especially now that new pen brands are being introduced frequently in the country. I would like to show that the Collier is a large pen. Its length and girth is very prominent and imposing. The other pens are: Bexley Intrepid, TWSBI AL 580, Lamy Safari, Platinum 3776, and Pelikan M400. If you're planning to get an oversized pen any time soon, keep the Collier in mind. You definitely won't regret it. 

The Collier is also available in three other colors: Persimmon Swirl, Silver Marble, and Blue Steel. #6 nibs for the Collier are available in single tone or two tone steel, and in 18k solid gold. Steel nibs are available in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm italic, and 1.5 italic. The 18k solid gold nibs are available in EF, F, M, and B.

Edison pens are sold by a number of official resellers worldwide. In the Philippines, they are available at Scribe Writing Essentials, a specialty store selling fountain pens, inks, paper products, and calligraphy supplies. Scribe has stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 5, SM Aura, and SM Megamall. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Where I Went

A number of people who read this blog have been asking me where I've gone. I can't blame them. I've been absent from this blog for more than a year, after all. Though I have the usual futile excuses, I believe my absence is still beyond excuse. 

In my absence, I found Instagram, a simple social medium which allowed me to post my photos and thoughts. I like Instagram because it allows me to create a social post very fast. I can also edit photos, or apply filters before posting them. Sharing IG posts across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr is also very easy. Instagram is like Twitter with followers, or Facebook status updates with photos. My Instagram affair began in June, after I finished a week of hosting Pelikan's #beingPelikan project. Now that I am going back to blogging, I feel it's only fitting that I share with you all some of the well-received photos in my Instagram account.

June 30, 2014. Lamy Al Star Ocean Blue and J. Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean.
This was my first attempt at italic calligraphy in a looooong time. But my followers liked it! 90 likes.
July 2, 2014. Lamy Al Star Silver Green and Rohrer and Klingner Alt Goldgrun.
I've always been a Neruda fan, and I so love his Sonnet XVII. Who doesn't? 69 likes.
July 7, 2014. Lamy Al Star Silver Green and Rohrer and Klingner Alt Goldgrun.
I received a lot of positive comments from my previous posts, and around this date, friends were looking forward to my 'doodle' posts. 
I tried uncial calligraphy and broke away from the usual italic. This is from a book given to me by my boss a few Christmases ago. 66 likes.
July 8, 2014. Lamy Safari Blue (Diamine Turquoise), Lamy Safari Green (Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown), and Lamy Al Star Ruby Red (J. Herbin Poussiere de Lune). A mix of Gabriel Garcia Marquez quotations, and a mix of different ink colors. Lovely turquoise ink! But the quote in Poussiere de Lune is even lovelier. Deliberately used Instagram's Valencia filter on this one. 105 likes.  
July 10, 2014. Lamy Safari Creme Orange and Diamine Orange.
'Araw Gabi' (Day and Night) is a Filipino love song by Nonoy Zuniga. I heard this song over the radio and it stayed with me for a while so I doodled a part of it. What's surprising is that a lot of my non-Filipino IG followers liked this one! 76 likes. 
July 13, 2014. I used two Lamy Safari pens in this mix, but forgot the other one.
Inks are Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Brown and Diamine Crimson. I did a Marquez mix, why not a Haruki Murakami mix, right? Quotes from two of my favorite Murakami books. 78 likes. 
July 15, 2014. Lamy Safari and Diamine Orange, Sheaffer No Nonsense and Diamine Meadow.
This is the 'Glenda' doodle. On the night Glenda (Rammasun) was building up in Laguna, I was working on this doodle. We lost electricity later that night, and my calligraphy doodles came to a halt for 18 days as we languished in darkness. 88 likes.
July 30, 2014. Lamy Safari and Diamine Orange.
A friend called me 'emo' (emotional) after seeing this on Facebook. On July 30, we still didn't have power at home, which also meant no internet, no cable TV, no air conditioning, no refrigerator, no cold drinks, no lights at night!!! Who wouldn't be emotional with that?!? 101 likes. 
August 1, 2014. Pelikan M205 Duo and Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao.
Because the nights were quiter and darker, the sky became a discotheque of blinking lights. I remembered this Calvin and Hobbes quote, shared by a friend a few years back. Very, very apt. 80 likes.  
August 4, 2014. Pelikan M400 Grun and Noodler's Blue.
It was Monday and electricity was restored only a day ago. It felt like Christmas morning! Then I got introduced to the music by Brandi Carlile. Got this song on repeat for like, the whole week? 79 likes.
August 23, 2014. Platinum 3776 and J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir.
I was shooting some photos for this pen's review, and came across this wise reminder from the wise man himself. He's right, right? 88 likes.  
September 5, 2014. Pelikan M200 Cognac and Pelikan Edelstein Amber. I got a new Pelikan fountain pen and I can't get enough of it! Been using it a lot, even to wish everyone a Happy Weekend. 96 likes. 
September 9, 2014. Fountain pen inks mixed: J. Herbin Gris Nuage, Diamine Midnight, Diamine Majestic Blue, J. Herbin Bleu Ocean. I call this one my 'life event' piece. It was my first time to mix colors, and I received some excellent comments. It also became my application/screening piece for an art event in November. Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a favorite Russian author, and I will not forget this one from Crime and Punishment. 98 likes.
September 14, 2014. 'Green pens on a cloudy, gloomy, rainy, sick Sunday morning.'
Another thing I love about Instagram is it allows you to write about a topic and use a photo about an entirely different subject. Works all the time. 107 likes.
July 25, 2014. 'Updated Lamy box-fie, July 2014.'
My Lamy fountain pen collection. Two pens were added to the box and I had to do a box-fie. Thank God for 3G, this photo was uploaded to IG. Bestseller at 123 likes.
September 12, 2014. It was a Friday, and I just received some exciting news the night before.
Bliss was an understatement for all the happiness, excitement, and giddiness I felt that morning, but it seemed like the perfect word to sum it all.

So there. I went away for a while, and now I'm back. Watch this blog for new reviews and more products soon! And if you want to see my Instagram posts that did not reach this page, you can check my account at:
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