Monday, April 4, 2022

Fountain Pen Review: The Good Blue R615 Fountain Pen Matte Black

I first saw the fountain pens made by The Good Blue on Instagram. I got curious about the CNC-machined fountain pens made from aluminum and stainless steel. I thought that these pens must be durable, sturdy, and perfect for daily use. Then I saw that these pens have flex nibs, something I dread using fountain pens. Oh, wait! They have a non-flex, wet medium nib! I reached out to The Good Blue and was surprised to learn that the UK-based pen company has a local distributor in the Philippines! The Good Blue is sold exclusively by my friend Kailash Ramchandani's PenGrafik. Two weeks later, I received a Matte Black R615 fountain pen with a non-flex Happy Medium nib and a spare Fine Flex.

The Good Blue is a London-based start-up that uses 3D printing and CNC machining to prototype and manufacture fountain pens. Born out of the pandemic, when most of us were forced to slow down and stay indoors, the manufacturer rediscovered his love for fountain pens, ink, calligraphy, and writing. He soon found that fountain pens with flexible nibs are expensive and began creating flex pens for himself. After careful design and several prototypes, he is now ready with a fountain pen with amazing flex that is well-made and affordable, the R615 Fountain Pen.

The Good Blue Fountain Pen is well-packaged in a tin box.
The fountain pen and spare nib inside the tin box.

The Good Blue R615 Fountain Pen 2022 series is available in Matte Black and Silver that can be fitted with any of the five different nibs that are interchangeable. Flex nibs are available in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, titanium, and gold.

The Matte Black fountain pen's body is made from high-grade 6082 aluminum that is anodized matte black for protection and durability. The grip section is machined from untreated 304L stainless steel that is precision textured with surface roughness for an ergonomic grip. 

The Silver fountain pen's body is also made from high-grade 6082 aluminum that is clear anodized for protection and durability. The grip section is machined from untreated CZ121 brass, precision textured with surface roughness for an ergonomic grip. The grip is expected to develop a patina over time. 

The Good Blue R615 Fountain Pen Matte Black 2022 Series
The Matte Black's anodized body and stainless steel grip look elegant and neat.

The R615 fountain pen has the following measurements and specifications:
  • Length, capped: 5.90 in | 13.8 cm
  • Length, uncapped: 5.40 in | 12.5 cm
  • Pen weight with full converter: 46 g | 1.6 oz
  • Weight, barrel and section: 35 g | 1 oz
  • Material: Anodized 6082 aluminum and untreated 304L stainless steel
  • Cap: Screw-on, not postable
  • Clip material: No clip 
  • Nib: No. 6 two-toned Medium nib; also available in four different flex nibs
  • Filling mechanism: Converter, included in the package

The R615 Fountain Pen can be filled with ink using a standard international cartridge or a converter if filling from bottled ink. A Schmidt converter is included in the pen package.

The R615 fountain pen can be inked using international standard cartridges or through a converter. A Schmidt K5 converter is included in the pen package upon purchase.
This fountain pen has a unique roll-stopper! A flat-plane stops the pen from rolling off, and the barrel and cap screw back aligned every single time. However, this alignment is sometimes off with the section, which triggers the finicky me. It doesn't affect writing, though.
I requested a non-flex nib, and this is what they call Happy Medium, a wet, monoline medium with no flex. This medium nib is perfect for everyday writing.
The Good Blue and Kailash offered a spare FineFlex nib for me to try. The FineFlex nib with a specially designed polymer feed is meant for "wetter writing and juicy swells."

Missing a clip? The Good Blue R615 fountain pens do not have clips, but one side is a flat-plane that serves as a stopper so the pens don't easily roll-off. 

Capped, the R615 Fountain Pen is longer than a Lamy Safari, Gravitas Entry, YStudio Portable, and Kaweco DIA2. Uncapped, it is slightly shorter than the Gravitas Entry, but longer than the other four pens.

Fountain pens in black, from the top: Lamy Safari All Black, Gravitas Pens Entry, R615, YStudio Brassing Portable, and Kaweco DIA2.

To test how the Happy Medium nib writes, I filled the R615 Fountain Pen with Robert Oster Signature Australis Rose, a charming pink ink. The Happy Medium wrote smoothly and wet, as promised. It wrote very well and I had no trouble writing with it at all. The R615 Fountain Pen is an enjoyable pen that can be used for long periods of writing without any discomfort. It is not heavy for my hand, despite being made out of aluminum and stainless steel. It is durable, sturdy, and tough, just perfect as an everyday fountain pen. 

Happy Medium is a happy nib! It's wet and smooth, perfect for daily use!
The FineFlex nib is just perfect for people like me who are not into flex nibs. The FineFlex nib has the right amount of flex just enough not to freak me out! For future FineFlex nib users: fill the pen with wet ink to facilitate faster flow into the nib-feed unit.

I am happy with the R615 Fountain Pen in Matte Black, and I'm wanting the Silver pen, too! I definitely recommend this pen to anyone who wants to explore and know this brand. It's a beautiful pen and is designed well for long-term use. I read that new pens are coming to The Good Blue in April. Get one for your collection!

Rants of The Archer thanks The Good Blue and Kailash Ramchandani/PenGrafik for providing the R612 Fountain Pen Matte Black for review purposes. R615 fountain pens are available for purchase on The Good Blue website. In the Philippines, it is available from PenGrafik.

To learn more about these beautiful and well-crafted pens, follow The Good Blue on Instagram (

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