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A Pen Lover's Last-Minute Christmas List!

12/16/15

So, this isn't my shopping list. Some of these are things that I already have. Some of them are things that I do want. Some of them are things that I don't want, but that I know other people are really psyched about.

If you've got a fountain pen lover in your family, or you'd like to make someone into a fountain pen lover, then check out these things. If you've got other ideas, then please let me know in the comments and I'll try to add them.


Pens 

Pilot Pens:

The very popular Metropolitan has just been released in several new colors and patterns this season. At $15, this is a very good pen to start out with. It's also a fine pen to lure your friends and family into the hobby.


TWSBI Pens:

The new Eco is a great starter pen that I really enjoy using. At less than $30, it's a good pen at a great price. It also comes in lots of nib sizes, so there's something for everyone. These need to be filled from a bottle, so it would be a great combo gift.

Photo from AndersonPens.com

The 580AL in Blue is apparently a limited color, as it has been discontinued. It's a really nice looking color, and I haven't heard anyone with an idea why it was canceled. My guess is that the couldn't get the blue parts any longer.

Photo from AndersonPens.com

Aurora Ipsilons

I just reviewed this pen line a little while ago, and it's really good for the price. At just about $100, the Ipsilon line gets you a classy Italian pen whose parts are all made in the same factory in Italy.



Sailor Pens:

Looking for something more up-market? You can't go wrong with a Sailor. They've got some of the best nibs around. The nibs run about a size smaller than you might expect, as is the case with most Japanese nibs. There are lots of different types of Sailor pens, and prices start around $150 and go up to around a $1000.

I reviewed the 1911 Standard here. It's a pretty sweet pen, and the Pro Gear I have is excellent as well. These come in a Sky Blue form, as well, and that's really cool.

Photo from AndersonPens.com
Looking to make an impression (and have a pile of money sitting around)? Get someone a King of Pen. It's difficult to get an idea of the scale of this pen, on its own.  It's about the size of a Montblanc 149, so it's one of the biggest pens around.King.

Photo from AndersonPens.com

Faber-Castell

I really like this brand. They've got a couple of pens that are especially good in the low-middle price range, and their nibs are always excellent. The Loom comes in several colors, and sports a solid metal body for $40. The Ambition is a great pen for a lady. It's a little thin for me, I think, but it comes in several finishes and it ranges from $70-170.

The Ambition. Pic from AndersonPens.com
The Loom. Pic from AndersonPens.com
Franklin-Christoph!

My favorite pen makers. They don't have anything in the low-price range, but all of their resin pens are made just down the road (and then down some other roads...) from me in NC. These are high quality pens that their makers stand behind. We've got a few of them in our collection, and they're our favorites. Audrey has as many (or more) of these than I do. Check out their styles. Seriously. Great pens. They don't pay me to say that.

The 03 Iterum. Pic from Franklin-Christoph.com
The Model 20 Marietta. Pic from Franklin-Christoph.com
The Model 02 Intrinsic. Pic from Franlin-Christoph.com


Ballpoints:

So...fountain pens aren't for everyone. Some people just want a ballpoint/rollerball because they are dead inside concerned with practicality.

To that end, check out the Retro 51 line. There are all sorts of styles, and it's a great quality pen for a really reasonable price. Help your family upgrade from a Bic.

Twinkle! Pic from AndersonPens.com


Paper

Pen lovers know that paper is as important as the pen and the ink. It's the other, other leg of the stool.

Rhodia is what I use all the time. I buy it when I see it in stores so that they'll know people want it. I use it for my reviews. Everything.

Maruman paper is one of those best kept secrets. It's not available in most places, but check it out. It's really good paper.

There this stuff called "WhiteLines" paper, and it seems rad. I've never tried it out, but I do like the look and the idea a lot.

Want something hand-made in the USA? Check out Write Notepads & Co. I blogged about them a few years back after meeting them at the DC show, and they make great notebooks. It's a family business that's something like 3 or 4 generations of bookbinders.  Buy from their site or from Anderson Pens. Everything you buy there will trigger a donation of notebooks to schools in need. Each notebook comes with a code that will tell you where your specific donation went. Cool, right? Yep.

Finally, if you're looking for the cream of the crop, you should look to Tomoe River. It's the new hotness for fountain pen lovers. I haven't had a chance to use it, really, but it's supposed to be thin and awesome. It shows off an ink like nothing else. That's what I hear, anyway.



Accessories and Stocking Stuffers

Want to get someone in to the hobby without making a big deal of it? Want to give a user something that they're going to like? This is my favorite category for that.

Write Notes Ledgers
Little Write Notebooks? I haven't tried this size, but it looks like a good one.


Syringes with blunt needles
 So, I sent my mom one of these for a birthday (I think), and she was dubious until I told her what it was for. They're good for filling up pens without any mess at all. You can refill a cartridge if you want to. The possibilities are ENDLESS. (Okay, there's an end, but it's still a good gift.)

Bulb syringes
This may seem silly, but it's the business for cleaning out your pens. So much better than just running it under the faucet or using a converter. 

Pen Flush
Want that pen extra clean? Use pen flush. Sure, you can make it yourself, but this JB's is perfectly mixed, safe, and awesome.

Thank You Cards
It's a bit of a tradition in my family for some people to give other people thank you cards. And stamps. It's a polite reminder that your family really likes to hear that you like the stuff they got you. You can find some pen-related ones from the Proper Pads collection. I use them, though not as much as I should.

Platinum Preppy
Know a kid? Someone who is dubious about fountain pens, but might like them? Someone who uses Varsity pens, and needs an inexpensive upgrade? The nibs on these are much better than other pens in the price range, and the ink is a winner. Takes a proprietary cartridge, but that's not a big deal.



Annnnd I'm done. That's what I can think of right now. If you've got other ideas, post them in the comments!

*** Edits!***

I forgot to add cases to this list. The Monteverde 36-pen case is pretty sweet if you need to store a bunch of pens. Nock Co.'s Brasstown and Lookout are good options for transporting a few pens. Franklin-Christoph has an array of more up-scale pen  storage and carrying accessories. The Penvelopes are especially cool, and very sturdy. They used to have a really impressive display case sort of thing, too, but I don't see it on the site any longer. 
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