Thursday, May 30, 2013

Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk

**Update** We no longer carry the Monteverde Nighthawk

The Vision

I had the privilege to help design the new Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk, which is the first matte Carbon Fiber pen Monteverde has produced. When I was first told about the fact that Monteverde was in the process of developing a matte finish for the carbon fiber that they use on the Invincia Deluxe line of pens, I jumped all over the opportunity to develop a pen around it and be the first to introduce a Monteverde pen with this finish. I envisioned a super-stealthy pen, with all matte black accents to complement the carbon fiber. I knew that it could be done, but it would take a bit of petitioning to make it happen because it required Monteverde to do some tweaking to components of their pens that they hadn't done before. I was fighting a bit of an uphill battle at first, but I had a champion on my side at Monteverde who saw my vision and advocated for a lot of the changes I envisioned.

Designing Each Component

The first thing that was a must was to have this pen come with a black nib. No biggie, Monteverde does that with several of their pens and they have black nibs at the ready. That was an easy choice. Monteverde is the only company I know that regularly offers nibs with a black finish. That's something rather unique to their line, and works very much in favor for this pen.

Black Monteverde nib on the Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk

Seeing the sleekness of the matte carbon fiber, there was just no way this pen could have sufficed with glossy trim. The current Invincias all have glossy trim, like the Invincia Deluxe Black Chrome, and it looks good because the body of the pen is also glossy. But I knew that to get a stealthy look, we'd have to get a matte trim on the Invincia Deluxe pen, something that Monteverde hadn't done before. I knew it could be done, in theory, because the Invincia Stylus in Matte Black had matte black trim. Granted, all of the components of that pen, though similar to the Invincia Deluxe, are slightly different and can't simply be put onto the Inivicia Deluxe as they are. Monteverde would have to do a custom matte black finish on the trim specifically for this pen. Thankfully, they were able to make it happen and the pen started to come together.

Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Black Chrome, with glossy everything

Invincia Stylus Matte Black, which has a similar look to what we wanted, but with a brushed aluminum body instead of carbon fiber.

The next challenge was to then consider the logos on the pen. On all of the other Invincia Deluxes, the Monteverde name and pen model name are engraved/etched onto the center band, which shows kind of a dull silver color through on the Black Chrome center band. The prototype was shaping up to be a completely black pen. The thought of having the name engraved in silver and standing out, as subtle as it is, would have seriously detracted from the stealthiness for me. I saw that the Invincia Stylus in Black Matte had a different logo on the center band, a black raised screen printing instead of engraving. That's what I had envisioned for the pen, so I requested that the screen printing be adapted to the Invincia Deluxe center band (which is a different design than the Invincia Stylus). I wasn't sure if that would be able to happen, since it was once again a first for Monteverde, but they came through.

Screen printed Monteverde name on center band

Normally, there is the Monteverde "M" mountain logo on the top of the Invicia pens, but in white. That just wouldn't do. I asked about changing this to screen printing it on the top just like the center band logo, but this had never been done on any Monteverde pen, since the Invincia Stylus has a stylus on the cap finial instead of a logo. The cost would have been pretty high to develop this custom for the Nighthawk, and when Monteverde said they would be okay with leaving the logo off altogether, I was just as happy to do that. I really wanted to keep the pen the same price as the other Invincia Deluxes. Paying for all the tooling/sampling for the screen printed mountain logo on the cap finial would have driven up the cost and delayed availability of the pen significantly, so it just wasn't worth fighting for. I think it worked out for the best, because leaving that off the cap just adds to the stealthiness of the whole design.

No Monteverde logo on the cap, to keep the look sleek

The other thing we opted to omit was the "Invincia Deluxe" label on the back of the center band. The other Invincia Deluxes all have this, but once we had the blessing to leave the logo off the cap, we thought we should just make the branding as minimal as possible. Factored into this again was cost and time, and it just wasn't worth sacrificing either to get that put on there. Just having a subtle black screen printed Monteverde USA on the center band does the job, and doesn't at all distract from the look I was going for this this pen.

At this point, the pen was shaping up to be almost exactly what I'd envisioned, and I couldn't have been happier. Well, okay, I could have been….I did inquire about doing the nib itself in matte black, but the quantities needed to make that happen were astronomical. I knew that one was a long shot, because I know what kinds of quantities you need to deal with when working with nibs. Still though, a shiny black nib gets the job done, and this is still arguably one of the stealthiest pens on the market.

Naming the Pen

Now it came time to name the pen. It's actually much harder than you might think to come up with a name for a pen like this, and we considered many of them. We had a lot of freedom to come up with what we wanted, but it had to still match with the general vibe that Monteverde has, and they had to like the name since it is literally sanctioned by them to be used in promotion with their own brand name. Rachel and I bounced around some ideas, and we asked folks on our team around the Goulet shop for input, too. Lots of names with "stealth" were considered, but there are already a couple of Monteverdes with stealth in the name, and that would be confusing. We wanted to have something that would really stand out, and we debated for days. Then, like a lightning bolt, the name Nighthawk struck me and I immediately yelled it out loud! I knew that name sounded familiar to me, so I immediately searched on the web for the name Nighthawk, and sure enough, Lockheed developed the F-117 Nighthawk (also known as the Stealth Bomber) when I was a kid, and it was the first production stealth plane ever made. It worked out perfectly as a name for this pen, because Monteverde already has several other plane names in their Invincia lineup, like Spitfire Red and Thunderbird Blue. Nighthawk just seemed to fit right in to the brand, and it definitely conveys stealthiness and the righteous attitude I think this pen carries.

Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, Stealth Fighter 

The Packaging

Everything came together, with one small detail missing, and that was the pen case. Monteverde normally uses a green and white pen case for their pens, which is actually pretty nice as most pen cases go. But the color didn't quite mesh like I thought it should. I asked about doing a custom case, something like the box that Pilot had been using for their matte black Vanishing Point (up until a recent change). Much like the nibs, a custom case wasn't very feasible because of the cost and minimum quantities needed, and I had sort of come to accept that it just might not be possible. But lo and behold, Monteverde had some extra red and black cases left over from a previous limited edition pen they did for a different model a couple of years ago. And it just so happened that the black exterior of the box has a cross-hatch pattern to it that matches the braided carbon fiber on the pen, how sweet is that? They had about 150 of them, so we snagged them up and we'll be using them for the first 150 pens we sell. Beyond that, the pens will come in the green and white boxes you see with other Monteverde pens. I don't know when that change will happen, it will all depend how quickly the first 150 sell. But we'll change over all our pictures and description on our site when that does happen.

Special box for the first 150 Nighthawks

Pattern on the box matches the braided carbon fiber of the pen body

Monteverde's green/white box used for other pens, which the Nighthawk will switch to after the first 150.

So there is the journey (or migration, if you'll forgive the pun) that the Nighthawk has taken to exist as it does today. I am particularly thankful to everyone at Monteverde for giving me the opportunity to design this pen, and for being so cooperative despite some of the challenges we faced.

The Monteverde Invincia Deluxe Nighthawk is selling exclusively at GouletPens.com for $108, and it comes with a threaded Monteverde (standard international) converter, ink cartridge, and pen case. The Nighthawk is available in fine, medium, broad, or 1.1mm stub nib, in either black or steel color (but why would you want steel?).

I had an absolute blast designing this pen, it was really serendipitous that it all came together as it did. I'd love to hear what you think! Please leave me a comment below.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Goulet Two-Tone Nibs

The Goulet #6 nibs have been a hit in the all-steel color, so we decided to bring them out in the two-tone color as well. These German-made Jowo nibs are stainless steel, plated in yellow gold to give it a look that'll match silver-or gold-trimmed pens. You can expect their performance to be identical to the polished steel ones that I show in the original video announcing the nibs, here.

I'm crazy happy with how the GP ink splatter logo turned out, it especially pops on these two-tone nibs. The engraving on the ink splatter shows the steel underneath, while the GP still shines gold:

GP splatter logo keepin' it tight on the nib

The reason we're offering these nibs is because the Noodler's Ahab and Konrad pens are available in a flex nib, and we thought that offering a conventional nib would increase the usefulness and enjoyment of the pens. The nibs are friction-fit and very easy to change out of the pen.

Goulet #6 Nib in a Noodler's Ahab

Goulet #6 Nib with a Noodler's Konrad, with the feed removed from the pen
Left to right: Noodler's Ahab/Konrad #6 steel flex nib, Goulet #6 Two-Tone nib, Goulet #6 Polished Steel nib

It's been a little while since we first announced the Goulet nibs back in early April, and we quickly sold out of several nib sizes because we underestimated how big of a hit these nibs would be. We've made it our goal to keep that from happening again, so we increased our quantity four-fold this time! It's our goal to never be out of stock of them again. We'll see how that goes.

The Goulet nibs are available in extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm and 1.5mm stub, in both polished steel and two-tone. They're $15 each, or $80 for a set of all 6 sizes.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mailbox Monday #47

My email inbox gets a plethora of interesting pen related questions, and I spend a good deal of time crafting thoughtful responses to each person who writes to me. A lot of times, the questions I get are good ones that I feel are worth sharing with you! I'll be posting highlights of some of my more interesting email questions every Mailbox Monday. These are some emails of mine from the past week or so:

Hi Brian, I am looking to get another EF pen. I was thinking the a TWSBI 580 or perhaps the 700, but wanted to get your thoughts. I prefer my pens to be fine. For example the Lamy EF I have is not nearly fine enough. Are the TWSBI 580 or 700 a good choice? I don't want to spend too much if I don't have to. Any other recommendations?
The TWSBI 580 EF is a bit thinner than the Lamy EF, see my writing sample here:

It's not a jaw-dropping difference though, they're both German nibs. Lamy makes their own and TWSBI's is made by Jowo. The finest nibs I know are Japanese EF's, so those made by Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor. The Pilot VP EF and Platinum 3776 EF are incredibly fine, but then they are gold nibs and a bit more than the TWSBI ($140+). But the Pilot Prera fine is actually incredibly fine as well, and about the price of the TWSBI. I would just go mess around in the Nib Nook for a while and see the writing samples I've done, you can compare them to the Lamy and TWSBI EF's.  

Of all the different papers I've tried thus far, my favorite are the 90gsm Rhodia and the Apica Premium. Do you know if they (or any other brand with similar paper) produce loose leaf versions (preferably with holes) of their products? I would want it in A4, B5, or something in that range.
Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any loose sheets in either Rhodia or Apica at all. The Rhodia Premium tablets are top staplebound but the sheets are microperforated, so you can tear them cleanly out of the pads. No holes though. Apica Premium is great paper, but only bound, and not even perforated. The best option I know is to go with a premium laserjet copy paper, such as HP 32lb. Premium laser paper. 

With Father's Day / Birthday just around the corner I would like to put in a gift request to my family for a new pen, preferably one that costs around $50 or so (including the cost of a converter). I had originally put the TWSBI 580 on my gouletpens wish list (assuming it is back in stock soon), but have some concerns that it 1) might be too bulky diameter-wise (ala AL-Star) for both holding and fitting into shirt pocket nicely, 2) have too wide a grip, and 3) cleaning it might be more trouble than it's worth (I watched your video about taking it apart and putting it back together).  Please let me know if these concerns are warranted.

Can you recommend any other pens that would fit the bill?  I would want it to have a Fine nib.  I don't need flex in the nib as I don't necessarily need color/width variation in my writing.  I had thought about the Sheaffer 100 (in brushed chrome), but I have seen some mixed reviews on it based on the grip becoming slippery after a short time of use and that the clip is so stiff that it's hard to secure to shirt pocket, so not sure if that is still an option or not.

If you think the Al-Star is too thick, the TWSBI 580 definitely will be. It's as big as the Al-Star, and the grip is round, so it will seem even thicker in the grip than the Al-Star. It is a great pen though! Cleaning the 580 isn't too bad. I show how to take it apart, but that's not something you do every time you clean it. For regular cleaning, you just fill/flush with water like you would any other pen. 
The Sheaffer 100 is a nice pen, thin and heavy, but it does have a slick metal grip, which isn't the best for writing for long periods, I've found. It's fine for relatively quick notes though, a couple of minutes at a time. You probably wouldn't want to hold it during an hour-long meeting though, it'll get slippery. 

One of my favorite pens is actually the Pilot Metropolitan, it's pretty thin, metal, good weight, writes well, and is only $18.95 (with a converter)! I think that pen could be everything you're looking for. It does only come with a medium nib, but it's a Japanese medium, so it'll write like a European fine (or maybe even finer). You can see how it compares to a Lamy nib in my Nib Nook.

You could also try the Platinum Plaisir, but it's going to be pretty light as well.

I just bought a bottle of Noodler's Bluerase from you and when I tried the marker tip that came with it, I saw that it was much finer than the one Nathan was using in his pen in the video he made on the ink. Do you know if I can get hold of a wider marker tip that will work in the provided pen?
Noodler's used to include a chisel-tip highlighter with the Bluerase, instead of the marker tip that comes with it now. I'm not sure why the change happened, but the good news is it's easy to change it out. Both pens are made by Platinum, the one you have now is the Platinum Preppy Marker. But it's basically the same thing as the Platinum Preppy Highlighter, the only appreciable difference is the tip. You can actually get replacement highlighter tips that will fit in your pen, to get that thicker tip. It's easy, you just pull the marker tip out, and put the chisel tip in! 

I watched your reviews on the Webbie notebooks vs the quo vadis habana. I like the slightly larger size of the habana but do you think the 5.5mm ruled Habana is too small for everyday use? I would use the journal for taking notes and meetings. I'm using a red n black notebook now which I assume is around 8mm ruled.
I personally find 5.5mm just a bit too small, unless I'm using a fine or extra-fine nib. I personally enjoy mediums and stubs, so I seldom enjoy writing on paper with such narrow margins. I personally prefer the Webbie for that reason, but you could always try drawing out a few lines on a blank piece of paper at 5.5mm just to give it a shot for yourself. The Habana is a great journal, but it's really more for those who write small. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my emails! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments. I'll be compiling this coming week's emails into next week's Mailbox Monday post!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Edison Beaumont Bordeaux Flake

The Edison Beaumont is a pen that came out in August of 2012 in three colors (see my video introducing them here). Edison has recently added a new color, called Bordeaux Flake, to the lineup. It's a nice crimson red flecked material embedded in a pool of black to compliment the black accents of the grip and finial.

The Beaumont has been a very popular pen, and for good reason. It's small enough for those with smaller hands (like my darling wife), but large enough for brutes like me to hold comfortably. Normally a pen this size requires a small nib, but somehow Edison managed to jam a large #6 size stainless steel Jowo nib into it and still keep the pen a reasonable size. What's also cool is that Edison nibs are available separately from the pen, so you can get a whole collection and switch and swap extra-fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1mm, or 1.5mm nibs to your heart's content.

So if you had your heart set on a Beaumont but couldn't decide what color you liked most, now your choice just got even harder. The Bordeaux Flake isn't an impulse buy at $149, but for those who know the Edison name, it's a pretty good deal.

Edison Beaumont top to bottom: Bordeaux Flake, Onyx Flake, Bedrock Flake, and Sapphire Flake.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lamy Al-Star Black, Limited Edition

If there was one color that I could have chosen for a Lamy Al-Star, it would have been this matte Black. It's awesome, with all black details. They did it right! While it's not yet available in the US (we're told late-May/early-June), it has been released in other parts of the world. I was originally told that it would be available later in 2013, but the date was pushed up for one reason or another, thank goodness! I'm so excited for these pens to come in, seriously. I did get my hands (temporarily) on a pre-production sample and I was able to squeeze out a video for you here. So here's what I cover:
  • Overview of the pen (1:58)
  • Comparing to the other Al-Star colors (2:38)
  • Comparison to the Charcoal Safari (3:17)
  • Changing a Lamy nib (4:20)
  • Choosing a converter (5:25)
  • What Limited Edition means for this pen (6:30)
  • Inking it up and writing with it (7:25)
Lamy Al-Star Matte Black, Limited Edition

Lamy Al-Star Black, Limited Edition, all black accents

The way that Lamy has been doing either Limited Edition pens these days is that instead of doing them for a set period of time (a year or so), they are instead a set production run. Sometimes it's one run, sometimes two, but we never really know how or when the pens will be gone. I'm not 100% sure why they are doing it this way, but what I can say is that the LE pens are not available as long as they used to be. So while I don't believe that these will be bust-open-the-doors-and-elbow-people-in-the-face-to-get-one limited, I would say you'll probably want to budget for this pen in the first month or two after it arrives (in the US that is, I can't speak for availability overseas).

If you're interested in being notified as soon as we have this pen in stock at Gouletpens.com, go here and sign up for the email notification list. This pen, though limited edition, will sell for the same price as the regular Al-Stars at $47 list ($37.60 at GPC).

So what do you think? I know I'm a total tease by showing you this weeks before I even have any to sell…I just want to know your thoughts! You can comment below, on YouTube, @Gouletpens on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Apica Premium CD Notebooks

Apica has always made decent paper, so when I heard they were coming out with a premium line, I just had to get my hopes up. Often, when I get my hopes up, it's easy to be disappointed....but not here. Seriously, this paper is awesome. It's not perfect, and I go over all that in the video, but it is seriously some paper worthy of the name "premium". Here's what I talk about:
  • Paper quality and dry time (0:50)
  • More writing samples and doodles (2:25)
  • Paper color/comparison to other brands (4:12)
  • Writing on the paper (5:39), Notebook sizes (7:55)
  • Cover colors and rulings (9:15)
  • Binding and cover quality (11:36)

There are 4 different sizes, with 3 different rulings. The rulings determine the cover color: lined = blue, blank = black, and graph = red. You can see the nitty-gritty details of all the different specific notebooks at GouletPens.com. Though Apica doesn't advertise the paper weight, it is my best guess that it's around 90g. It's consistent throughout the whole line, the paper does not change from one notebook to another. It's super-smooth, very ink resistant, and it's really tough to get any ink to bleed or feather, it really holds up.

All the notebook sizes come with 96 sheets, which is as thick as most bound journals. This is a pretty new line, so if you have any experience with it I'd love to hear your thoughts. It's not cheap stuff, it is a premium in every sense of the word (prices range from $12.60-$27.00 per notebook). But they are nicer, sturdier, and thicker than the regular Apica line, so the premium is justified in my eyes. Will it be for you? I can't say that for sure, but if you like the feel of Clairefontaine and Rhodia Premium, then you will probably like this paper a lot!

Apica Premium, available in 4 different sizes: A6, A5, B5, and A4. Colors correspond to their ruling: blue = lined, black = blank, and red = graph. 
Apica Premium A6, the smallest of the bunch at 105mm x 148mm (4.13" x 5.82"). 96 sheets, in lined, blank, or graph.

Apica Premium A5 is 148mm x 210mm (5.82" x 8.27"), with 96 sheets in lined, blank, or graph.
Apica Premium B5, similar to the A5 but slightly larger at 182mm x 257mm (7.17" x 10.12"). 96 sheets, in lined, blank, or graph.
Apica Premium A4, biggest of the group at 210mm x 297mm (8.25" x 11.75"). 96 sheets, in lined, blank, or graph.

Apica Premium notebooks have stitched and glued bindings, better than the staplebound Apica CD in their normal line.

The lined notebooks have three different size rulings. A6 is 6.5mm, A5 and B5 is 7mm, and A4 is 8mm. 

Apica Premium is thicker than most notebooks at 96 sheets, but still lies completely flat when open because of its excellent stitched and glued binding.
Write On,
Brian Goulet

May Ink Drop Reveal

The theme for May's Ink Drop (our monthly ink sample subscription club) was called "Because We Felt Like It". We selected several of our current favorite colors that we just wanted you to experience. The colors we chose were:
 We hope you enjoy them! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mailbox Monday #46

Alright, so it's been a little while since the last Mailbox Monday...a lot of life has been happening to me lately! I will keep it going though, don't worry ;) My email inbox gets a plethora of interesting pen related questions, and I spend a good deal of time crafting thoughtful responses to each person who writes to me. A lot of times, the questions I get are good ones that I feel are worth sharing with you! I'll be posting highlights of some of my more interesting email questions every Mailbox Monday. These are some emails of mine from the past week or so:

I found your site by chance as I was looking for my first fountain pen. I've been reading lots of reviews of the Lamy Safari and the TWSBI 580 Diamond. Which one would you recommend as an intro pen. I just plan on using this on an every day basis, whether it's meeting notes or general writing / signatures etc.
I can honestly recommend both pens. I have and use both, love them, and recommend both all the time. The Safari is cheaper....both in price and in the way it feels in the hand. it's a much lighter pen, and something that you'd probably feel more comfortable tossing in a pants pocket or backpack without worrying about it. The TWSBI is a much nicer looking and feeling pen. It holds a lot more ink, is bigger, weighs more, and looks more impressive to most.

Really, it just boils down to personal preference. If you want to go with the Lamy I bet you'd enjoy it, the Safari has a cult following second to none, especially among the intro pen users. But TWSBI is a phenomenal deal...for pens comparable to its filling type, quality, and design, it's less than half what you'd pay from other companies. I think you'd enjoy either, but I would encourage you to consider the 580 if you think you're going to be using fountain pens for a while.

I was looking to get either a TWSBI vac 700 or a mini but was wondering which is best? Currently all my fountain pens are cartridge and I have one converter still in the package for one of my lamy pens.
I have video reviews of both pens, if you want to learn more and watch as I handle both. Here's the Mini and here's the Vac-700 video. I actually like both pens, for different reasons. A lot of it depends on how big and heavy you like your pens. The Mini is a better pen for the masses...it's smaller (but still a very good size pen) than the Vac, holds a fair amount of ink (about twice what you Lamy does), and writes well. The Vac is cool, fun to fill, and is big and heavy and feels like good quality because of those. I personally would probably recommend the Mini to you, unless you've really read up and know what you're getting into with the Vac. It's kind of a special pen that's a little more quirky than the Mini, especially because you have to unscrew the back cap as you write, like I show here

I can't quite tell from the video if you have completely replaced your "unpopular" Noodler's Army Green with the original recipe. If I bought a sample or a bottle today would I be getting the restored (olive-like) Noodler's Army Green or the middle period blueish version?
All of the Army Green we have now is the original formulation, the olive color. That's the reason I waited as long as I did to do the video, to make sure the 'new' (emerald) stuff was all gone, and that the 'good' original stuff was back and here to stay.

I get how the Wish List on GouletPens.com works, but is it possible to see or edit the other list of all the items for which I've requested to be notified when available? I can't remember what I've already requested and don't want to add more requests for the same item.
Ah, unfortunately not. There isn't a master list of email notifications on your individual account. But, if you sign up for the same email notification twice, that's okay. Our website automatically de-duplicates the emails for each product, so if you sign up for the same notification 12 times, it'll only send you one email (assuming you sign up with the same email address each time, that is!).

In various images of Diamine inks, some have black caps and some have green. What determines the cap color?
They used to all be the green/black marbled caps, but Diamine started changing them over about a year ago. Since some colors sell faster than others, we were starting to see black caps on some, green/black on others.....kind of confusing to anyone buying them! It got to the point where there where the majority of inks were coming with the new black caps, and that's when we decided to change our images over to the black caps to try to show what best represented what you'd get if you bought from us. About 95% of the inks we have are black-capped. Other retailers are likely using older images or stock photos, which is why you still see the green caps on some sites. Diamine never even made any official announcement about the change, so there will likely be old images up for a long time to confuse everyone!

Sometimes I think I'm being a bit overly cautious about iron gall inks like the Platinum pigmented colors that say they are really and truly for fountain pens. Have you done a video on the subject or know some online source I can go to for more information? So far, all I'm finding are a few very biased and calcified opinions.
Hmmm....okay. Iron gall is actually different than pigmented, the Platinum inks are not iron gall. Pigmented inks have small particles in them that make them great for writing on paper that doesn't absorb ink easily, this ink dries on the surface of the paper. I explain a bit about the Platinum inks here. Iron Gall ink is a whole different beast, and the best source to learn about them is here. Traditionally, pure iron gall inks are made for dip pens and are highly corrosive, but there are modern formulations today that are much safer/more diluted than in the past. There are only a handful of iron gall fountain pen inks, Diamine Registrar's Blue-Black, Rohrer and Klingner Salix and Scabiosa, and Mont-Blanc Midnight Blue (I believe).

Are there any of the older style Caran D'Ache inks in the square bottles left? I'm rather perplexed and annoyed with the new line. The color chart has about as much nuance as a Mack truck. The bottle seems like a nod to Salvador Dali. And, at that price I want it to regrow my hair. I haven't yet convinced myself to go for the Iroshizuku, though I'm pretty sure I will. I'll probably get a couple of samples in the next order.
All our old Caran d'Ache inks are gone, and we won't be getting any more. Other retailers may still have some, and if they do, jump on it. I honestly don't know what to expect with these new inks, but from the price, it's going to be hard not to have really high expectations! Time will tell….

Thanks for taking the time to read my emails! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments. I'll be compiling this coming week's emails into next week's Mailbox Monday post!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Installing A Lamy Cartridge

It may seem like an elementary topic, but you'd be surprised how often I get asked how to properly install an ink cartridge. The concept is the same for just about any cartridge/converter fountain pen, and I am using a Lamy Vista to demonstrate the practice. Learn how to properly install it (0:20), when to change it (5:14), and how often to clean it depending on your usage (6:13). You may also want to check out my Fountain Pen 101 video on ink cartridge here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

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