Goulet Q&A Episode 169: Pens As Wedding Gifts, Which Pens Fit Goulet Nibs, and One Pen I’d Never Recommend To Anyone!

Goulet Q&A is now available as an audio podcast! Click here  for the RSS feed to use in your podcast app of choice, or click here for a direct download.

In this episode, I talk about pens for wedding gifts, which pens fit Goulet nibs, and the pen I’d never recommend to anyone.

This week:
  • had mother’s day, took a weekend trip
  • not many new products, it’s been a little quiet
New/Upcoming Products – (:55)
Pens/Writing – (9:22)

ᄀᄒ- YouTube – (9:25)
I want to give pens as a wedding present. The couple appreciates good stationery but have never tried fountain pens. Are there any “couple” pens, or pens thematically matched in a set of two? If not, what two pens complement each other very nicely (aesthetically)?
the_film_darkroom- Instagram – (12:59)
Hi Brian, you talked a brief second about omas 360 being a triangular pen, besides the standard round/cigar shape and the omas, what other shapes are out there? Thanks for the great work.

Deepak S.- Email – (19:47)

How does Brian feel about the switch Visconti is making from the Lava Homo Sapiens to the “resin” design? Do you feel it takes away from the “grail” status of the pen?
  • from your question it sounds like you think lava is going away, it is NOT
  • Visconti’s coming out with the Homo Sapiens Elegance
    • resin instead of lava
    • C/C instead of power filler
    • cheaper!

Cathleen C.- Facebook – (22:39)

What pens can use the Goulet nibs?

Ink – (29:33)

cevt23- Instagram – (29:35) 
Why most brands include only blue cartridges with the pen? Why not black for instance? Big fan of yours! Thanks!
  • there are actually a number of brands that have black cartridges, at least as many as have blue
  • I think you see blue in a lot of starter/affordable pens, because that’s the school ink color
  • I honestly don’t know that most companies think about it all that hard, they just include whatever color they think will be most universally acceptable

Business – (32:02)

Ryan M.- Facebook – (32:04)

Will you ever be getting Sailor inks and pens in stock?
  • not in the foreseeable future
  • we used to carry their inks and some pens years ago, they discontinued supplying us due to low volume
  • I had some hard feelings about how it went down and the community was confused by the decision
  • it was still their right to make that decision, and we haven’t been in contact since
  • I did reconcile with someone at Sailor 9 months ago and apologized for any hard feelings, and let them know I’d be open to carrying Sailor in the future
  • I have no lingering hard feelings at this point, I am waiting to see if they’re open to it again
  • perhaps someday in the future, but I am not anticipating it soon
isodomon- Instagram – (34:16)
Why don’t many popular pen companies offer a lifetime warranty on their pens? I work in a fairly rough field and equipment breaks. In my search for an everyday writer, I found one (within a reasonable price range)… And the company recently discontinued the line. 🙁
  • a few companies do, but usually only on higher-end pens
  • this is, unfortunately, something that’s not super common these days
  • a lot of companies offer warranty support for several years, but lifetime has been a rarity since I’ve been in the pen business
  • I don’t think there’s enough volume worldwide sold of most pen models to keep decades of stock around for repairs
  • lots of companies are smaller and would have a tough time servicing old pens
  • I don’t think customers require/demand it like they used to
Personal – (37:41)

skybisoninsta- Instagram – (37:44)

What would you consider the worst fountain pen and worst ink (that functions in fountain pens) that you own? Also what pen would you NEVER under any circumstances recommend to ANYONE

QOTW: What pen shape do you tend to find most appealing? – (43:52)

Thanks so much for joining us this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.

Write On,
Brian Goulet

2017-10-11T14:03:26+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Goulet Q&A|25 Comments
  • David L.

    QOTW: I really don’t know. After over a year into fountain pens, I’m still in beginner pens. Nothing against them, it’s just that I haven’t yet decided to move up a step. If I had to choose one, cigar shaped would be it. I love the Lapis Blue All American. I’ll probably get it soon, if I still haven’t decided which Edison to purchase. I have a Zenzoi that was given to me at Christmas that would probably go into the “tube” category. I’ll include a photo of it with my comment. With a lot of Mylar, it became a decent writer. I love that Herringbone! I’ll need to look deeper into that!

    • Kathy

      David, there’s nothing wrong with “beginner pens.” The writing experience they provide can be comparable to the experience provided by pens much more expensive. One of the worst feelings is to spend a lot of money (for me, over $300 or so) for a grail pen and discover I like my Metropolitan better!!! I’ve done this 🙁

      • David L.

        Kathy, that’s my problem. I have a Metropolitan and love it so much that I just can’t bring myself to move up.

        • Tom Johnson

          David, there is nothing that says you have to move up!!! The Metropolitan pen is a wonderful pen and I was amazed at how great it is when I bought one; it is one of my EDC pens – my red ink fine pen. I have much more expensive pens, but I still love my Metropolitan. And Pilot has amazing colors available.

          You like fine nibs, you could “move down” and try out some $4 and $5 Platinum Preppy pens – EF, F, and M. The EF Preppie is the finest nib I’ve ever used. The $12 Platinum Carbon Desk pen is a favorite of mine, great writers. Only in EF and F, but wonderful pens, low maintenance, and the ugly cheap cap keeps it wet indefinitely. You may want to move up later and get the $20 desk stand for it. I have my EF in a desk stand and my M lying on the desk top, capped.

          • David L.

            I know, Tom. I have a Preppy in my cart along with a TWSBI Eco just waiting for me to make the final move. I think that I will step up and get a Duragraph afterwards. If I like the Eco, maybe a Mini. I’m definitely going to purchase an Edison sometime. My love for them is too great to pass them up. I’ll have plenty of time to pick the right one before I buy it. I thought that I had it nailed down to the Nouveau Premiere Cappuccino (I love that acrylic!), but with the new Pearlette models, I now have a tougher decision to make!

        • Kathy

          David, the Metropolitan is a great pen. So many color choices. Get a stub nib from the Plummix (Brian’s “squid” pen) if you want a different experience. The less expensive Platinum pens (Preppy, Plasir, Cool and Balance) are also great pens. The Balance is one of my favorites.

  • David L.
    • David L.

      Sorry they’re horrible.

      • Tom Johnson

        David, they are fine photos, I can see them very well.

      • Kathy

        Much better than my pictures, David! Nice pens!!!!

        • David L.

          Thank you, Kathy! I would not recommend the Zenzoi to anyone. It took a lot of Mylar to get it writing decent and it still does not do much on the side strokes.

          • Kathy

            I’ve never written with a Zenzoi, David. It’s so frustrating to work hard on a pen but it still doesn’t write “just right.” I bought a $4 Hero to practice with, but it’s still not “just right.”

          • David L.

            Kathy, I’ve heard that they have the same nib. We’re in the same boat here! 🙂

          • David L.

            Kathy, I just got the Zenzoi to write on the side strokes. I had a brass sheet between the nib tines for three or four days and that seems to have fixed it. What’s wrong with your Hero?

  • Tom Johnson

    QOTW: I find the traditional shapes the most appealing. I’m including the cigar, torpedo, flat top, most any traditional styles. Not a favorite of heavily sculpted pens nor of themes. Pens shaped like baseball bats or tennis rackets don’t have any appeal to me. Fountain pens are fine writing instruments and I want mine to look like a fine writing instrument. Great Q&A. I once tried Noodler’s Dragon Catfish Orange ink to use as a high visibility ink. It was hard to read, even darkened up with some red. An ink for writing needs to be easy to read, even if it is a bright color for impact.

  • jane pilecki

    QOTW: I love cigar shaped pens. I also love whatever the Edison Premiere is; I love the pointy ends!! Another shape is whatever the Pelikan Souveran series is. Then Flat-tops.

  • Kathy

    Another great Q&A, Brian. QOTW: Like Tom, I prefer traditional shapes. Some of the more sculpted pens, such as some of the Viscontis, are interesting, but not something I’d buy. You showed the new Aurora Duo Cart, which is my favorite style pen overall. Traditional shape and a hooded nib. I want one!!! Again. like Tom, I’m not a fan of themed pens generally. Only exceptions are the MB JFK pens. Even the “cheap” one was more than I’d spend for a fountain pen, but I think all three models are beautiful pens. If I win the lottery, those are the pens I’d buy! Within the realm of traditionally shaped fountain pens, I do enjoy color. Turquoise pens (and inks) can make me lose control of my debit card 🙂 Red pens are a close second. Edison makes gorgeous pens, and even though I don’t care for the pointed ends, I have several Nouveau Premieres just because I fell in love with the colors. Unicorn Barf and Seaglass are my favorite NPs.

    I thought the ink discussion was very interesting. I’ve assumed that some of the lighter shades of yellow (and others) were for highlighting or art. I’ve never considered writing with them simply because I can’t read them! I enjoy using “fountain pen ink” for highlighting, and use my Pelikan and Platinum Preppy highlighters most of the time. They perform as well if not better than traditional highlighters, and aren’t disposable.

    • David L.

      Kathy, I agree with you and Tom on themed pens. That Duo Cart is great! I’m a sucker for red pens, so if I get one, I know which it will be! Turquoise inks are very entertaining in my humble opinion.

  • Kate B

    re cevt23’s question about blue ink… I worked in a hospital. The medical record was all electronic the last decade that I worked. However, if we ever did have to actually write a chart note on paper, the requirement was to use blue ink… so the original could be discerned from a photocopy.

    • Tom Johnson

      I’ve had to sign legal papers (patent applications) and I had to use blue ink so the original would always be identifiable. That was before color copiers and printers were everywhere. Don’t know what they do today. However, back in the 60’s when the earliest copy machines were making their appearance, some would not copy blue ink. My father worked for the IRS and they had to use black ink so it would copy!

      • Kathy

        It’s still my practice to sign legal documents in blue, though I get a little creative on the shades of blue 🙂 Nowadays, generally speaking, photocopies are valid for legal purposes, so there’s less emphasis on the ink color.

  • CatherineK

    The discussion on pen shapes is quite interesting. I am new to fountain pens, only a couple of months and 2 of my 3 pens are actually the same pen – just different colors. I love my two TWBSI 580 pens (clear and pink). I love the shape and especially the faceted barrel. I suppose this fits into the “flat top” category as there isn’t much difference between the posted cap and barrel regarding width.

    While I recognize my tastes may change, your presentation showed me that I don’t seem to care for many of the traditional shapes. That will likely change, as such things do. I also like the Visconte Rembrant but, really, overall it has the same shape outside of it not being a demonstrator, no faceted barrel, and the ends are a bit more rounded.

    Thanks for all you do on the website and your very educational videos!

  • Uniotter

    Like most pen shapes except the Edison Nouveau Premieres — don’t care for the pointy ends, though the material is beautiful. I’m not a fan of heavily ornamented pens either….some of those Italian models are a bit over the top for me. That said, love some of the decorative and original designs Visconti makes, like the Divina series.

  • Sharon

    To look at my pen collection, I seem to gravitate toward traditional shapes, primarily flat-topped and what Brian called “torpedo” shapes. I love my Edison Nouveau Premiere and Lamy 2000. But most of my favorite pens are flat-topped (and I would include the Pelikan Souverän shape in that category, even though the ends are more rounded than, say, a Duofold). I recently got a custom Edison pen that is simply gorgeous – it’s a Glenmont, which looks kind of like a Beaumont’s bigger sibling. I got it in a lovely pearlized teal acrylic with a black acrylic grip section and cap-top (the part above the clip). I am completely in love with the pen’s look and feel – the material is lovely, but the pen’s shape is pretty much perfect, IMO. (I debated between the Glenmont and the Huron, but in the end I preferred the more tapered lines of the Glenmont’s body. It’s not quite a “baseball bat,” but it’s more streamlined and less of a “simple cylinder” shape than the Huron, if that makes sense.)

    If I were to buy a Sailor pen, I would go for the Professional Gear (not the Pro Gear II – I like the older sword shaped clip). But actually…I think my reason for liking that pen slightly more than the 1911 is that little anchor on the cap finial. I just love it. (Unfortunately, I am reluctant to buy a Sailor pen of any kind because I keep hearing terrible things about their converters! So if I were to buy one, I’d have to save up for a Realo I guess.)

    I’m going on and on here…but I think the only cigar-shaped pens I have are Pilot Metropolitans.

    I also have to say that while I’m not a huge fan of the shape and appearance of the Lamy Safari, they are some of my very favorite “walking around” pens. I actually quite like the triangular grip section, I love how they write, and I love how easy it is to swap out nibs. The overall aesthetic is starting to grow on me because I like writing with them so much.

  • VickNish

    Amen on the Stipula Splash!… the ONLY pen I’ve ever returned because it was just horrible. The promise of flex was disappointing, the craftsmanship felt crappy and there was excessive oil/moisture hung up behind the piston, which could not be disassembled for cleaning!!! The manufacturer (which is located where I live) wanted me to send them the pen at my expense for repair on a BRAND NEW PEN! Luckily, I purchased from a local B&M store (sorry, not from you guys) who took it back for store credit because he has a great business relationship with the manufacturer. Thank you for confirming my opinion with your final Q&A answer! It wasn’t just me.

    QOTW… I go more for how a pen writes than how it looks. But if I were to base my purchase on looks alone, I’d go for simplicity… my favorite being the Edison Mina Extended which has rounded flat ends and a slight taper into the middle of the body. No clips or bands to keep the lines completely clean.