Shopping for new and exciting gifts every holiday season can be exhausting. If you are looking for a little help in jazzing up your gift giving this year, you’ve come to the right place. In this gift guide, we will offer you 8 unconventional ideas to replace some of the most commonly given gifts to give your loved ones a small taste of the excitement that is the fountain pen hobby.
Instead of a pair of socks or a tie, try a Pilot Metropolitan!
The fun patterns and colors of the Pilot Metropolitan capture your loved one’s personality in the same spunky light as a new tie or a pair of socks. However, we bet they’ll be doubly intrigued by this writing utensil that they can pair with any outfit and take everywhere they go. While ties and socks sometimes need careful planning to coordinate a matching outfit, the Metropolitan is great for any and all occasions, no planning required. Plus, you can do a little penabling on the side as you teach them about the nearly infinite ink options! You can find the Pilot Metropolitan in a rainbow of colors for $18.50.
Ditch the perfume and get a Stick of Scented Sealing Wax and a Brass Seal!
If you want to find a signature scent for a special someone, try swapping that bottle of perfume or cologne for a naturally scented sealing wax and brass seal. You will give them a gift that is not only all their own style but also allows them to make their individual mark anytime they pen correspondences. Atelier Gargoyle sealing wax features a blend of essential oils for a pleasant scent. The Herbin Brass seals come in a variety of shapes and letters so you can find the perfect representation of your recipient’s tastes. You can find Atelier Gargoyle Flexible Sealing Waxes for $7 a stick and the Herbin Brass Seals for between $14- $25.
If something sparkly is what you desire, try a shimmer ink and a glass dip pen!
Although jewelry is a generous and wonderful gift, it can be hard to pin down the perfect style for your gift. Try a shimmer ink and glass dip pen instead. The generous flow of a dip pen lays down a maximum sparkle factor when used with a shimmering ink. Goulet Pens offer some fantastic shimmer ink options in a rainbow of colors and variety of price ranges so you will always have the ideal ink for your gift giving. Our selection of glass dip pens range in price from $27- $30.
Instead of a photo, record your memories in your own words with a Some Lines a Day 5 Year Memory Notebook.
They say a picture speaks a 1,000 words but why not record your memories in your own words? The Leuchtturm1917 Some Lines A Day 5-Year Memory Journal provides dated pages with 5 sections to record 5 years worth of memories. This book is perfect for documenting the joys of a new baby or puppy, recording treasured memories of a budding romance or marriage, or penning years worth of inspiring moments. You can find this treasured memory bank in three colors for $26.95.
Capture the fun of a stuffed animal in a writing tool they’ll be excited to use, The Jinhao Shark Pen.
Getting kids excited about writing doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Skip the stuffed animals that tend to accumulate over time and offer the young person in your life a shark pen. You’ll be delighted to see them tearing through the pages, writing, and devouring the chance to put their pen to use. The Jinhao Shark pens come in a rainbow of colors and are only $3.95.
Your favorite tool- savvy tinkerer would LOVE a Cleaning and Tuning Set!
For anyone with a craftsman mind and skilled hands, give them the gift of fountain pens and the tools to dive in nib first. If your loved one is a Do-It-Yourselfer, the cleaning and tuning set gives them all they need for fountain pens from start to finish. They can keep their pens working and fix any issues that arise with the help of these tools and the wealth of Brian’s video knowledge on our YouTube! You can snag a Cleaning and Tuning set for $52.65.
Wallets are a dime a dozen, get Dad an All-In-One Life Organizer in the Traveler’s Notebook!
Wallets have been a go-to gift for our father figures and male counterparts for years, try something even better this year. The Traveler’s Notebook- Passport provides a space to store your money, as well as a collection of notebooks to stash away thoughts, lists, and reminders. Dad will never be without his measurements for home improvement projects, nor his cards and cash to fund them. You can find the Traveler’s Notebook in Black, Brown, Blue, or Camel for $40.16.
For a gift that takes up less space on the coffee table, swap a book for the Retro 51 Rollerball!
There’s a Retro 51 for everyone! These pens feature fun and interesting wraps or textured bodies that will appeal to a variety of hobbies. Rather than gifting a book that will take up space on a shelf or table, try giving a portable pen they can take with them on their daily adventures. Check out the selection of Retro 51 rollerballs at Goulet Pens!
We hope you enjoyed the selection of gifts we offered here. What is your favorite fountain pen or accessory to gift for the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Retro 51 has long been popular for its rollerball pens, and a surprising number of fountain pen people are really into them. So why haven’t we carried their fountain pens too since that’s what we’re known for? Well, Retro 51 has been working all of 2018 to make changes to their fountain pen design and really improve upon it. They plan to do a full release of their fountain pens in 2019, but we had the fortune to do a small batch, limited-edition, Goulet-exclusive this holiday season.
Say hello to the Montana! This design has been done in a rollerball (in 2014) but never as a fountain pen, so we’re really excited to have that available now for a limited time. The Montana brings some of the best holiday sweater components together, like the moose, snow, and of course the color blue. It even has a Sasquatch on the topper, which is sort of an Easter egg Retro has worked into a number of their pen designs before.
While rollerballs are their bread and butter, this Retro 51 fountain pen is going to be a pen for the enthusiast, who wants to use their pens regularly but also wants to carry a lot of their own personality in their hands.
As far as design changes, the grip is the most notable. Originally, it was too tapered and slick. Retro listened to that feedback and changed the grip to have a more concave shape. Because of this, your fingers rest on it better and it feels very comfortable in hand. There’s a slight step at the threads, but it’s minimal and would only be bothersome if you held it far back.
The weight on is 20g unposted, but 34g posted which is really similar to a Visconti Van Gogh (20g unposted/32g posted). Like the measurements allude to, it does become pretty back-weighted when posted. Overall, it feels very strong in hand with a good heft to it.
The pen features a stainless steel German-made JoWo nib which are smooth-writing! The Montana nibs will not be engraved with the Retro 51 logo, but we expect to see that on future models in 2019. It is available in Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, and a 1.1mm Stub nib.
The cap is threaded and takes about 1.5 rotations to uncap. It posts securely but add some length to it, making it long for some. The tension clip is functional, distinctive to Retro 51 along with the knurled top and topper. This topper is usually unique to each pen model.
The Montana fountain pen is available at GouletPens.com for $75. Each future model will differ in pricing depending on the theming and complexity of the design. We think this could be a great pen if you’re looking for a reliable writer with a lot of personality. Retro 51 has worked hard to make changes to the design to attract all fountain pen enthusiasts to the brand. For more details, and up-to-date specs on Retro 51 fountain pens, be sure to check it out on GouletPens.com
How do you feel about the Montana? Do you like the design? Let us know in the comments below!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Goulet Q&A Episode 232: Art of Cursive Penmanship, Making Inks Shade More, and Uncommon Pen Features
In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about the Art of Cursive Penmanship, making inks shade, and which pen features he’d like to see on more pens!
- Cox Farms- fall festival
- Fountain Pen Day
- Ryder Carroll made NYT best seller
- New products
- Coming soon:
1) Melissa H.- Facebook (12:06)
I would love a TWSBI 580 with a gold nib, but alas, they don’t exist. I looked at the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 but what everyone is saying is that it’s not as weighty feeling as the TWSBI. Any suggestions on something that would be close to a TWSBI 580 with a gold nib?
- honestly the Pilot Custom Heritage 92 (20g) will be one of your best options
- Pilot Custom 74 (22g) and Platinum 3776 (20g) would be up there too
- TWSBI 580 28g
- Custom 74 would be my vote, if you were bound and determined to get a gold nib clear demo
- there are likely other models worth considering, I’m not sure of Sailor’s options but I feel like they’d have some
- unfortunately I don’t know of any gold #5 size nibs you could swap onto a 580
- the writing experience may improve with a gold nib, subtly, but it’s purely personal taste
2) stuartjackson612- Instagram (18:43)
What novel or interesting feature of a pen do you wish would catch on more?
- Quick-release pen caps, like the Visconti hook-safe lock
- They patented it, so technically that couldn’t expand to more brands
- But some sort of innovative quick-releasing cap mechanism would be really cool, I appreciate that a lot
- Hooded nibs, they’re just not all that common these days but I really like them
- ink windows…some pens have them, and they’re harder to make, but they’re so handy
3) shiretook- YouTube (24:33)
Would you guys do a quick thumb through of the new Art of Cursive Penmanship that you have in stock now? I’d like to know how fountain pen friendly it is, how it compares to other books of its kind,… Thank you!
- paper is surprisingly FP friendly
- 253 total pages
- Starts with overview, writing samples, and model numbers and letters to give basic form
- What is American Cursive?
- Purpose of the book: Michael Sull believes “there should be a competent guide and course of study available for people, regardless of age, who want to learn the traditional skill of cursive handwriting.”
- Heritage of American penmanship
- How to write American Cursive, hand position, lefties, writing speed, posture, hand movement, slant, height and arrangement of letters…
- Letters and preliminary exercises
- Scales of writing
- Lesson plans
- Practice selections from quotes, literature, poetry
- Artistic penmanship
- I’m utterly blown away by how much is packed into this, especially for the price
- And now it is more widely available than ever before, it’s just really exciting to see
- Michael Sull is an absolute gem in the writing world, and he’s so incredibly humble, too
- If you are anything from curious to serious about improving your handwriting, this book is a must
4) elmer_escoto- Instagram (36:29)
Can I make an ink shade? I have several inks that do not shade at all, I’d like to experiment trying to get them to shade. Is that even possible? Thanks
- Absolutely! Most inks will shade if you water them down (ideally with distilled water)
- It will affect the dye saturation and may lighten up the color, but this is something you can experiment with in a sample vial, adding a few drops of water at a time to dilute it
- some will work better than others, but this is basically the process!
5) Trish S.- Facebook (44:17)
I see many people completely taking apart pens to clean them every time they change inks, or some just out of the box. I soak my nibs and converters between inkings, let them dry, but is that enough? Am I “taking care of” my pens? If I clean a pen and store it for 6-12 months, does it need to be disassembled and cleaned again before using it? I feel like I’m not doing fountain pens right.
- you absolutely don’t need to take your pens apart completely when you clean them, and it’s not what manufacturers recommend
- it’s a personal preference thing, some people just want to be really thorough but that’s most often overkill
- you do want to clean between changing ink colors, and at least once a month or so if reinking with the same color
- you don’t need to let them dry in between inking, I talked about that last week
- if you store it clean, you probably don’t need to clean it again unless you have reason to believe you should (like maybe you didn’t clean it before, or you ink it up and it has flow issues)
- It sounds like you might be too hard on yourself
- I honestly run into people that have used fountain pens for 10 years and never knew they were supposed to clean them, so don’t judge yourself so hard
- Do what’s practical, what makes sense to you, and just enjoy the journey!
6) Mike S.- Facebook (50:03)
Since the Nemosine Singularity was on closeout for Fountain Pen Day, is GPC going to eventually not carry this pen anymore?
- so this has been a little confusing, I understand that
- Nemosine has dropped their price, they’re looking to clear out their pens and they’re considering some redesigns in the future
- I don’t know the long-term plan, they haven’t announced anything officially but we’re expecting to see shortages during the transition, that could last a while
- the timing was such that it lined up with FPD, but it wasn’t just us trying to blow them out
- it so happened we ended up selling our entire stock on FPD, which we didn’t expect
- we’re looking to get restocked, of the things we can get, but it might start to get spotty
- We like the brand and want to continue with it, but it’s going to be a little out of our hands in terms of what we will see from them in the foreseeable future, we honestly just don’t know
7) Rob B- Facebook (53:17)
Have you (or do you) considered offering engraving? Either “simple” text or more elaborate–classic scroll designs on brass Sport pens, for example?
- we used to engrave our wooden pens back in the day
- we haven’t done any engraving since we started selling pens in our modern form
- we get asked about it from time-to-time, but not nearly as much as you’d probably think
- I took this question because I want to gauge interest, so that’s going to lead me into my QOTW
- scroll designs is a pretty elaborate thing, I can’t see us doing this in the near future as it’s really an artistic alteration, which isn’t so much what we do and would actually get us to an interesting place with the warranty of our products
- simple text seems more scalable and possible, but it would be an investment of time and equipment for us and would have to be worth it, and it’s not clear thus far
QOTW: If we offered engraving, would you buy it? How much would you pay? What pens would you want engraved? Why? (56:54)
Writing Prompt: Write a haiku about pens. (58:11)
This week’s Thursday Things is dedicated to all the little doodads and thingamabobs that float around in our desk drawers and make our fountain pen hobby even more exciting. From nibs, to wax seals, to ink samples, and more, Thursday Things: Writing Accessories is chock-a-block full of great products that every fountain pen lover should try. How do you organize your non-pen parts of your collection, like nibs, ink samples, and wax seals and sticks? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!
Featured products from left to right:
- Edison Nib Unit– $20- $150
- Ink Samples– $1.25- $2.70
- Conklin Omniflex Nib Units– $24
- Standard International Converter– $5
- Herbin Supple Sealing Wax- Silver (1 Stick)– $5
- Herbin Brass Seal- Lily– $14
- Goulet Steel Nibs– $14- $15
- Herbin Sealing Wax- Red (1 Stick)– $5
- Traveler’s Company Brass Fountain Pen– $56
- Herbin Brass Letter Script Seal & Handle– $25
- LAMY Cartridges– $4.50
How do you organize your accessories for your pen hobby?
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Do you ever go to buy a new pen and feel stuck trying to figure out what nib size to get? Or maybe you’re new to using fountain pens and aren’t sure where to begin? We’ve all been there. While it’s good to experiment with a range of nib sizes (gotta catch em’ all!), there’s nothing quite like finding a perfect nib size that will work reliably with your handwriting style. We’ve created a simple quiz to help you find that perfect nib size so that you’re excited to write every time you reach for your pen.
What is your nib size result? Let us know in the comments!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Have you ever checked out the ‘Meet Our Team‘ page on the Goulet Pens website? If you have, you’ll see that we have a unique and fun team here at GPC. Our team values the chance to share our spunky spirits and fun antics with you frequently. You can see plenty of that in our social media posts, a variety of blogs and videos, and our daily interactions with you when you contact our office. Here’s a chance to put your knowledge to the test and see how well you know the Goulet team. Take our latest quiz and you may find more fun facts you have in common with the great group of people that make us the Goulet Pen Co. team.