A quick note on Kaweco Perkeo

My one gripe about Kaweco is that almost all models come with stock stainless steel nibs.* Do not get me wrong, I am a proud owner of Lilliput and Ice Sport, but I just wish that some of the “higher” models are differentiated with a nib in different material. Last week, Goulet Pens has a buy one get one 50% off offer on Kaweco Perkeo, which I could not resist. Against my better judgement, I got two in Cotton Candy, a soft pink and warm taupe gray combination. Besides Cotton Candy, other color choices are: Chambray (white and teal), Bad Taste (black and hot pink; is it not a wonderful name? :)), and Indian Summer (mustard yellow and black).

I notice some subtle differences between Perkeo and Ice Sport. Even though both pens are made of plastic, Perkeo’s material is matte. Instead of a screw-on cap, Perkeo has a snap-on one. The faceted cap facilitates removal of the cap, as one can get a better grip on it than a round and smooth one. On Perkeo, the brand name is not stamped on like the one for Ice Sport, but probably done by injection molding. The raised lettering can withstand further wear and tear. As you can see in the picture below, the the imprinted brand is rubbed off on Ice Sport because of time. Another noticeable difference is the barrel. Perkeo, on one hand, has a faceted body similar to the cap, but with more facets. Ice Sport, on the other hand, has a cylindrical body. Personally I prefer the faceted one because it does not roll off the table as easily as the cylindrical one (can you tell I am accident prone?)

The grip section of Perkeo is very similar to Lamy Safari and Al-Star, where the two concaved sections on the side is where one can rest the thumb and index finger. This set-up can seem unnatural to some, depending on how one holds the pen, but it feels pretty comfortable. It is evident that Perkeo is full-size pen; hence the longer grip section, but it also means that this pen can be comfortable for those with larger hands as well. While using it, I also feel that it could be a suitable first pen for youngsters who start dabbling in fountain pen, as the pen body seems to be sturdy to withand any roughing.

Another difference that I have observe is the tip of the nib. It seems that Ice Sport has more tipping material than Perkeo, as seen in the picture below:

So far, the less is doing more. Perkeo writes smoother than Ice Sport and needless to say, I am please with my acquisition.

Some may not think much of the aesthetic of Perkeo, but I have found this chubby pen endearing. Girth wise, it is wider than Ice Sport but it is not so cumbersome to small hands. It may be too “plasticky” for some, but I can see that this pen will be one of my daily go-to.

You can purchase Perkeo at the following fine stores:

I am not affiliated with any of the stores listed above. Only recommending them as a satisfied customer!

Have you made any new discovery recently?

 

*Kaweco does have replacement nibs in 14K gold, but I believe all stock nibs are in steel.

 

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Beginner Fountain Pen: Part II

(This is the second part of my recommendations to fountain pen beginners You may find part 1 here.)
4.  Lamy Al-Star
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Price:  $34.95-$45 (Al-Star); $22-35 (Safari)

This is the first pen I purchased after a long fountain pen hiatus.  The appearance is simple, modern, and sleek.  The nib, thankfully, does the appearance justice.  The medium nib writes the very first time and ever since, and it works very well with people who have never used fountain pen before.  The grip is shaped ergonomically, so it adds comfort to hold and provides a bit of guidance to those who have not used fountain pens.  There is an ink window on the barrel, so one can see how much ink is left in the cartridge and converter.  Here comes the bonus.  Once you are used to the pen and ready to venture into other nib sizes, you may purchase other nibs by themselves and the swapping can be done with a piece of Scotch tape. To see how interchangeable nibs work, check out my thoughts here.  The only downside of Al-Star is that it only takes Lamy cartridges, but the way to remedy this shortcoming is a converter.  The versatility and the ease to use are ideal for both beginner and veteran alike.  If you do not like the aluminum body, there is a plastic alternative, Safari, that come in rainbow range of colors.

lamy 1

5.  Kaweco IceSport

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Price:  $22-24.97 If Pilot Petit1 looks a bit too fragile to you, but you are searching for a reliable yet compact fountain pen, Kaweco IceSport can be a viable candidate.  Kaweco’s body feels sturdier

If Pilot Petit1 looks a bit too fragile to you, but you are searching for a reliable yet compact fountain pen, Kaweco IceSport can be a viable candidate.  Kaweco’s body feels sturdier when compare to Petit1 or Preppy, so it is ideal to convert it to an eye drop.  If you are similar to me, who is paranoid for possible ink spill, Kaweco takes international short cartridge.  Do not judge this 4-inch pen (cap on; 5 1/8 inch cap posted) by its size, it writes just as substantial as a full-size pen.  The screw-on cap acts as an extension of the pen; thus, even for people with larger hands, this pen will be comfortable to hold.  Very similar to Lamy Al-Star and Safari, Kaweco does have other nib size units available for swapping.  Instead of removing the nib, the nib unit consists of the nib and the grip.  The ink economy on this pen is also impressive.  An international short cartridge with a fine nib combination lasts for weeks for me.

If Pilot Petit1 looks a bit too fragile to you, but you are searching for a reliable yet compact fountain pen, Kaweco IceSport can be a viable candidate.  Kaweco’s body feels sturdier when compare to Petit1 or Preppy, so it is ideal to convert it to an eye drop.  If you are similar to me, who is paranoid for possible ink spill, Kaweco takes international short cartridge.  Do not judge this 4-inch pen (cap on; 5 1/8 inch cap posted) by its size, it writes just as substantial as a full-size pen.  The screw-on cap acts as an extension of the pen; thus, even for people with larger hands, this pen will be comfortable to hold.  Very similar to Lamy Al-Star and Safari, Kaweco does have other nib size units available for swapping.  Instead of removing the nib, the nib unit consists of the nib and the grip.  The ink economy on this pen is also impressive.  An international short cartridge with a fine nib combination lasts for weeks for me.

Kaweco

6.  Sailor Clear Candy

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Price:  $16.50

Japanese nibs are known to write finer than European ones.  Sailor actually writes finer than average Japanese pens.  For those who want to venture into extreme precision, Sailor would be a great pick.  Price wise, Sailor pens are a tad more expensive than other Japanese pens, but to me, it is worth that little extra once you see the precision that a Sailor pen can deliver.  Its body is made of sturdy plastic, more substantial than other fountain pens that have similar bodies.  Clear Candy is a model that Sailor issued to celebrate its centennial.  For its reasonable price, it is obtainable by everyone.  It also comes in a whole range of pleasing colors.  It writes smoothly for a fine nib.  The reason why I said that is because fine nib, especially for those who have heavier touch, can feel like writing on sand paper.  While writing with a finer nib, remember to keep the touch light.  Personally, I would be hesitant to recommend this pen to an absolute beginner, simply because how fine the nib writes and it might feel a bit dry and scratchy.  The barrel of a Clear Candy is average size, suitable for both big and small hands.  It writes right out of the box and I have not experienced any difficulty with it at all.  One downside of this pen is that due to its fine nib, it occasionally picks up paper fiber as it writes.  It can be avoided by using smooth paper, such as Clairefontaine and Rhodia.  Clear Candy takes both Sailor cartridges (sorry, it is proprietary) and converter, but for an economical pen like Clear Candy, the converter costs about half of the price of the pen.  Keeping empty Sailor cartridges and fill them with a syringe could be an alternative.

sailor

Of course, great beginner fountain pens are not limited to the six I mention in my posts.  Pen searching, very similar to soul searching, can take time and patience.  It would be unjust to discredit any pen that does not write as one expects at the very beginning.  It does take time for you and the pen to get used to each other.  At times, ink and pen pairing can determine how a pen writes, so when a pen experiences inconsistent, try a more lubricated ink.  Bottomline, have fun and explore!

Which other fountain pens would you recommend for beginners?

Mozart and stationery

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It just dawned on me I have quite a bit of items with music motif.  The packet of tissue and pencil were given to me by Marianne when she visited Mozarteum in Salzburg.  Mozart plays an interesting part in my life.  It was Mozart’s Sonatina in C that twisted all my ten fingers into a knot.  Interesting enough, my first research paper was on Mozart back in high school.  Even the JetPens exclusive Kaweco Music pen that I bought recently for the Baker reminds me of the Mozart motif printed on the pencil.

Is there a recurring pattern in your stationery collection?

 

Fountain Pen Review: Stipula Passaporto Blue Sky

I came across both the brand and the pen at the DC Supershow last year.  Since it was my first time attending a fountain pen show, I was a bit overwhelmed by the surrounding and the ambiance. While walking aimlessly, a leaf logo caught my eyes that I could not identify.  Approaching the table, I saw this little bubbly fountain pen, probably the first time I ever described a fountain pen as bubbly.  
The particularly model, if I recall correctly, was a special edition produced for the Supershow (please correct me if I am wrong on this detail).  Though made with resin, it gives a subtle shimmery effect seen in underwater photography on school of fish.  This effect is more prominent against the light as you turn the barrel.  
Passaporto measure 8.5 cm when capped and 11.7 cm when posted, which is roughly 1.5-2 cm shorter than Kaweco IceSport, a mini pen in its own right. Though it does not have a clip, it does not roll as easily as Kaweco Liliput because of the slightly protruded leaf insignia on the broad band silver trim on the cap.  The length, combining with lightweight, makes Passaporto extremely portable (a product aptly named).  To post the pen, the cap needs to be screwed on with the thread at the end of the pen.  
Passaporto, capped and posted

The chubby body of Passaporto in a way reduces writing fatigue because it feels substantial in hand, but does not weight the hand down.  For those of you who prefer thinner barrel, it might take a little while to get used to.  Given it miniature size, the adjustment time should not be too long.

See the stripping?  I associate it with the ocean.
There is thread at the end for capping.
Extra shimmery under the light
Another great feature of Passaporto is that it can be easily disassembled, which makes it easy to clean.  It takes an international short cartridge, but if you notice the large capacity of the barrel, Passaporto is meant to be converted into an eyedropper. The conversion definitely augment the ink capacity, and can be aesthetically appealing in demonstrator models.  The reason why I decide not to convert it is that I am afraid with my luck, I will have a leaking or cracking accident while the pen sits in the pocket or purse.  I could be just paranoid, but it was the same reason that I did not convert the Kaweco IceSport.

See, using fountain pen is not as troublesome as people assume.

For a compact pen, Passaporto has a elongated and big nib.  The tines are not as spread out in a wider angle as Kaweco.  On the nib, no size is indicated, but from observing lines made by other fountain pen, I am tempted to say it is an European fine.  
Passaporto works right out of the box.  I did not recall doing anything prior to frantically filling the ink with excitement.  Besides some skidding when carriage is initially installed, the pen writes very smoothly.  There is no line variation, given that the stainless steel nib does not flex in anyway, which is expected.  
elongated and elegant. like Italian wine?
The details on the nib reflects Stipula’s workmanship.
Passaporto writing sample
In my opinion, Passaporto is ideal for either both beginner fountain pen users and more seasoned users. It is not a fussy pen and requires little preparation work.  Not much to ask for when it writes right out of the box!  It can be a good experiment for those who is up for an eyedropper conversion, with o-ring and silicon grease.  Function aside, the pen is appealing to the eyes, even the demonstrator model.  
Just love the leaf insignia.. I wonder why it was not paired with an acorn..
Other delightful reviews:

For those who are interested in getting one:
Thanks to the Baker who generous lend me the pen for review!

Fountain Pen Review: Kaweco Liliput EF

 

Awhile back I won this little jewel from a generous contest hosted by Ivan (@Ivan_Ro_).  The pen has been on my wanted list for sometime now but I was hesitant in getting one because of its size, as seen below:

 

I feel stealthy, just like 007.
It looks like a little silver bullet!  Though I do write small and have relatively small hands, I was afraid that I would have a hard time becoming accustomed to a smaller barrel and less substantial as other regular-sized pens.  Needless to say, my assumption and fear are proven erroneous.  It might be petit in size, but it writes just as well as a full-size fountain pen.
Appearance
 
From a design point of view, Liliput conveys minimalist spirit and simple elegance.  It does not have any bell or whistle attached to it. When capped, Liliput measures 9.7cm (approximately 3.8 inches), so can easily fit in anyone’s pocket and purse.  The downside of its daintiness is the potential for misplacement; it has leapt out of pencil cases unexpectedly  several times from a pen case due to lacking of a pen clip.
It will roll infinitely… just like the Big O.
007 writing utensil posted.
The branding of Liliput is pretty discrete as well.  Kaweco is both laser engraved onto the side of the cap, as well as the top of the cap.
Similar to Kaweco Ice Sport, Liliput has a screw on cap and twisting is also required when you post it, as you see the thread at the end of the pen.
Threads at the end of the pen.
Nib
Liliput’s nib looks similar to IceSport’s, only a tad smaller in size.
Kaweco IceSport v. Liliput nib.
The stainless steel nib is durable and adapts to individual writer’s habits easily.

 

The front:  same engraving as regular Kaweco IceSport

 

The side

 

The back is different.  If you look closely, there is a Kaweco insignia in the middle.

The particular one I have has an EF nib.  The line produced is comparable to the one made with Japanese fine.  You can see comparison of the two below:

Liliput and Maki-e has about the same thickness of lines.
Kaweco’s fine nib is definitely comparable to a Japanese medium.
Comparison done on Fabriano EcoQua

For those who seek precision and finesse in writing, EF would be suitable; however, it is important to bear in mind that often time, fine nib requires some adjustment period, since slight initial scratchiness may be experienced.

Another feature that I absolutely adore about Liliput is that you can easily pull the nib and the feed out for a thorough cleaning each time, which is a dream come true for pen addicts with cleaning OCD.  It is also easy to put them back together post cleaning.

Writing


The break-in period for Liliput is shorter than the one for Maki-e.  After using it constantly for a day, it becomes quite smooth, but not to the extent that the user cannot control the flow.  It writes once it is in contact with the surface of the paper, thus render the overall writing experience effortless.  Here is a short writing sample:

Yes, a silly haiku-like passage on Black and Red paper.
Liliput takes international short cartridge and to my knowledge, there is no converter that fits it which also affects ink capacity.  That could be one of the few drawbacks of this adorable pen.The alternative is to save empty cartridges and use a syringe to refill them to enable maximum flexibility in ink choices. If you are unsure how, check out this tutorial.  When installing the cartridge, be sure to twist it to secure, or you will be like me who spill a cartridge on the first day.
Thumbelina and its vintage box.

Other fabulous review on the same pen:

Where can I get it?