Monday, December 5, 2022

Fountain Pen Review: Limited Edition Esterbrook Camden Oktoberfest

Did you know that there is an annual festival where people drink a lot of beer? Yes, it's Oktoberfest! Traditional beer is a key feature of Oktoberfest, held yearly in Germany and many cities worldwide. Served in big glass steins, Oktoberfest beer comes in different flavors and colors — from pale to amber to dark brown — served with sausages, pretzels, and pickles. Imagine the flavors and the colors of Oktoberfest! As a beer enthusiast, Oktoberfest is one of my life's grail events, an entry to tick off my bucket list soon.

Did you know that there is an Esterbrook pen inspired by beer and Oktoberfest? Yes, there is! Our friends at Esterbrook Pens have released a new limited edition pen that is reminiscent of the two-week celebration in their Camden pen model. Camden Oktoberfest is a pen that celebrates "all things bratwurst, beer, and Bavaria" and comes in a stacked acrylic design of orange, red, and grey/white. This Esterbrook fountain pen is new to me; it's my first Camden, and my first Esterbrook pen review in almost a year. And while most of us are more familiar with the Estie, the Camden is an Esterbrook pen model that is now becoming popular with several new releases, including the three pens in the Northern Lights series — Icelandic Green, Manitoba Blue, and Alaska Purple. 

The Camden Oktoberfest was sent to me in this 1-pen Esterbrook British Tan Pen Nook. 

The Camden pen model is named after Camden, New Jersey, the city where entrepreneur Richard Esterbrook started the Esterbrook Pen Company in 1858. The Camden pen collection speaks of a time in the 1930s when Camden, NJ, was at its most prosperous and home to some of the most important innovations of its day, including RCA Victor, where, in 1933, an experimental TV station broadcast would be the first signs of technology that would ultimately eclipse the radio. "As RCA was producing millions of records, Esterbrook was producing millions of pens."

The Camden Oktoberfest fits snugly into the Esterbrook Pen Nook.

The Camden Oktoberfest is a limited edition pen available as a fountain pen or rollerball with gold or palladium/silver trims. Each pen's barrel color is unique, and no two Oktoberfest pens have the same stack of colors. My Camden Oktoberfest is a bright and happy combination of red, grey, orange, and white. It has gold trims and a wonderful nib surprise — the new Esterbrook Flex nib!

The Camden has the following measurements:
  • Length, capped: 5.6in
  • Length, uncapped: 5.1in
  • Length, cap posted: 6.6in
  • Full pen weight: 26g
  • Material: Resin
  • Trim: Gold or Palladium/Silver
  • Clip: Gold- or silver-plated metal
  • Cap: Threaded, screw-cap
  • Nib: #6 steel Jowo available in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium Broad, Stub, or Esterbrook specialty nibs Scribe, Needlepoint, Journaler, or Flex
  • Filling mechanism: Esterbook converter or cartridge (both are included with purchase)

Esterbrook Camden Oktoberfest, a lovely pen that will always remind me of a sweet, loving, and beautiful mama cat and her kittens.

This Camden fountain pen arrived at a challenging time for me. The week before it was delivered, my second cat, Penny, whom I rescued as a stray barely two months ago, had just crossed the Rainbow Bridge with her five kittens after a week's battle with the bacteria Klebsiella oxytoca. Penny was ginger; her fur was similar to the Camden's bright orange and white colors. I was surprised not only by the pen that Esterbrook sent for review but also by the timing and the color similarity between the Camden and Penny. It was the perfect orange pen at such a perfect time to remember a beautiful orange cat. Despite its name Oktoberfest, I now call this pen Penny to remember my cat and her five ginger kittens.

The Camden has a cushion closure cap that prevents the nib from drying out.

One of the Camden's features that I like is the cushion closure cap that keeps the pen's section sealed and prevents the nib from drying out when capped. You have to push the pen into the cap slightly, and it closes with a twist. When you uncap the pen, the cushion seal almost pushes the pen out of the cap. The Camden's sleek clip slides easily into a shirt pocket or pen holder. 

The Camden Oktoberfest fills through standard international cartridges or converters; both are included in the box.

Like the materials of Esterbrook's other fountain pens, the Camden Oktoberfest comes in beautiful acrylic with bright and vivid colors. The stacked colors of orange, red, and white in the Oktoberfest’s acrylic are a perfect reminder of beer, sausages, and the happy celebrations of Oktoberfest. The same color combination reminds me of Penny's white and orange (ginger) fur. Whenever I use the Oktoberfest fountain pen to write, it is as if I am touching Penny’s soft fur.

The Oktoberfest barrel is almost translucent with a colorful combination of gray, red, orange, and white. 
The Camden's finial is a flat metal engraved with the Esterbrook Eternity logo.
The Esterbrook logo is engraved on the cap. 

One of the best features of this pen is the nib. Esterbrook sent the Camden fountain pen with an Estie Flex nib! The Estie Flex is a stainless steel flex nib created by JoWo, and it has the same quality and attention to detail that goes into Esterbrook's traditional line-up of nibs. The Estie Flex was designed to provide some pliability at the nib's point. This nib is available as EF Flex and Fine Flex, but only in silver trim. It is now part of Esterrbook's permanent collection of nibs. 

The Estie Fine Flex nib, the latest nib in Esterbrook's line-up of nibs.

The Camden Oktoberfest is a full-length fountain pen, sharing almost the same length as an Estie Oversize while capped. It's longer than a TWSBI ECO, Lamy Safari, or Esterbrook JR. Uncapped, it's almost the same length as the Estie OS, TWSBI ECO, and Lamy Safari.

From top: Esterbrook Estie Rocky Top Oversize, Esterbrook JR Paradise Orange Sunset, Esterbrook Camden Oktoberfest, TWSBI ECO Sunset Orange, and Lamy Safari Creme Orange.
Uncapped, the Camden is almost the same length as the Estie OS, TWSBI ECO, and Lamy Safari.

To test how this beautiful fountain pen writes, I filled it with one of my favorite orange inks, Esterbrook Tangerine. The pen wrote smoothly out of the box. The Estie Flex nib wrote smoothly, there were no hard starts or writing skips, no inky blobs, and I had no trouble writing. I'm not a big fan of flex nibs, but the Estie Flex is perfect! I'm so happy I can use this pen for regular writing, italic calligraphy, and ink art, too! The Camden Oktoberfest is such an enjoyable pen. It's beautiful, elegant, and unique and can be used for long writing periods without discomfort. I also love that this flex nib is very easy to manage. I can write without being overly careful to "flex" the nib. And flexing it is also very easy to do.

Why not write something about beer? I wanted to, but this song is a reminder of Penny. When she and her kittens were sick, I kept hearing this song everywhere — at the vet clinic, from our neighbors, in the car — and I didn't know who sang it! Last November 16, while I was at the hospital with my father, this song played again, and I was so moved because it was the first month since Penny left us. I searched for it and learned it's a song by a famous local band, Ben&Ben. Though remembering Penny is still sad, I smiled listening to Leaves because I felt that Penny was telling me, "All will be alright in time, Mama."

"All will be alright in time."

I am thrilled with my first Camden fountain pen review, and I feel giddy whenever I hold and use it because I remember Penny. I also love it because of the happy colors in its cap and barrel. It's like I'm holding a beautiful stick that spits out happiness in orange-colored ink! I recommend this pen to anyone who wants to explore and know this excellent brand and this limited edition series. It's a beautiful pen and truly well-built for long-term use. Get one for your collection! 

The Oktoberfest is a wonderful pen to use. Get one now!

Rants of The Archer thanks the Esterbrook Pen Company and Kenro Industries for providing the Camden Oktoberfest fountain pen, Estie Flex nib, and the British Tan Pen Nook for review purposes. Camden fountain pens, Estie Flex nib, and Pen Nook are available at Aside from the regular Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and Stub (1.1) nibs, Esterbrook now offers specialty nibs, including Journaler, Scribe, Needlepoint, and Flex (Extra Fine Flex or Fine Flex).

In the Philippines, Esterbrook pens and accessories are available at

To learn more about the Esterbrook Pen Company, where to buy their pens, and for other details on purchasing their pens, visit their website at or follow them on social media:

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