In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about breaking in flex nibs, TWSBI Special Editions, and Goulet Jargon!

This week:


1) leatherpaperpens- Instagram (10:01)
Can you describe where the twsbi nibs fall? Like are they closer to Japanese nibs (like the pilot) or German nibs (such as lamy)?

  • definitely German, because they are German (Jowo)
  • years ago they used Bock, also German
  • it’s a little confusing because it’s an Asian company, so you might think the nibs come from Asia
  • most fountain pen nibs come from Japan, China/India, or Germany
  • some exceptions (Stipula, Aurora)
  • Japanese nibs are typically finer in EF and F sizes, the big 3 Japanese companies all make their own nibs
  • Lamy makes their own, Bock and Jowo make most of the nibs for other companies that aren’t making their own
  • TWSBI’s nibs will write more closely to European brands, though it may vary a bit with specific models (the nibs might be different sizes and have different flow rate, etc)
  • Nib Nook

2) Diane W- Facebook (13:17)
Does it take time and useage for a flex pen to really show off its flex characteristics?

  • yes and no
  • it depends on the pen
  • steel nib flex pens like Noodler’s, they won’t really break in but so much
  • gold nibs will break in a little more, yes, maybe a little
  • it’s honestly a little hard to say, because vintage “wet noodle” flex pens have been used a lot over the years, but they were also made differently back then
  • I can see there being some argument for a nib “breaking in”
  • what I personally feel happens more is as flex pens get used, the person using it learns it more and “breaks themselves” into the pen more than the other way around

3) Bernard L- Facebook (19:03)
What are some of the problems of a modern fountain pen after a long period of usage? How does one know that a fountain pen require servicing?

  • super general question but I wanted to answer it
  • Fountain Pen 101 Pen Cleaning and Maintenance
  • clean it once a month, after every time you clean it, and before you won’t be using it for a while
  • converters will fail, but they’re replaceable
  • more complicated filling mechanisms will be a little different
  • pistons might need regreasing, that’s easier with some pens that others
  • beyond that, it’s really just making sure you don’t drop/crush/scratch etc it
  • at that point, it’s really just servicing it if something breaks or fails
  • there might be nib adjustments needed/desired over time, but that could be on any pen that sees a lot of use

4) 강현준 (Kang)- Facebook (23:52)
Why are black coated(black oxide/PVD/Ruthenium) nibs more scratchy when rhodium/platinum coated nibs aren’t? I love the style of the matte black vanishing point but am hesitant to buy it because Stephen Brown said in his review that black coated vp nibs are scratchier than others.

  • unfortunately I’m not familiar with Stephen’s video where he mentions this
  • I suspect this is somewhat of an anomaly
  • I haven’t gotten universal feedback about black nibs being scratching, on VP’s or other pen models like Monteverde, Lamy, Goulet, etc
  • sometimes black nibs can have issues with writing dry, depends on which coating process is done and what it’s done in the process of the nib’s life
  • Pilot has so few nib issues and we really stand behind them, I wouldn’t hesitate to consider one of their black nibs based on my experience with them

5) _lebronjimmy- Instagram (28:56)
How often are TWSBI special editions released? The gold Mini seemed to be a huge hit, selling out on your website the day it was in stock. However I’ve noticed that the turquoise and white Classics have stuck around for awhile. I’m a huge fan of your videos and your company by the way, keep up the amazing work!

  • it really depends, on the model, color, TWSBI’s production capacity, etc
  • TWSBI sells in Asia, the US isn’t their only market, so that surely has some impact
  • the Classics just aren’t as popular a model of pen as the Mini, not even close
  • I don’t know if there were the same numbers of pens created between those two
  • We were able to get follow up stock on the Classics, so we did sell out quickly, but then restocked
  • we might be able to get our hands on a few more gold minis, not 100% sure on that

6) dkplaysjt- Instagram (34:30)
I hope he is able to include mine from last week. I would appreciate his thoughts on the Pilot Metal Falcon, soft medium, as a “Lifetime” pen and how it rates as a buttery smooth writer for long note taking sessions with a con-70 adapter. I like the fact that it has a metal body. I purchased a Platinum Century 3776, but the resin body worried me a bit as a daily carry and yet also as a lifetimer. Thanks for being an awesome company; your values and customer care policy’s are simply the best that I have EVER encountered! Simply outstanding.

  • Both of these make great “lifetime” pens, no question
  • you don’t have to be overly concerned with resin pens lasting, go to a pen show and so much of the vintage stuff is resin (and often a more crude version of it) and those lasted
  • the Metal Falcon uses the same nib as the resin Falcon, so there’s no question that’s a solid performer
  • the Metal Falcon’s far less popular, mainly bc of the price jump up from resin
  • it’s totally worth it if you like the larger heavier body and con-70 converter
  • that soft medium too is fantastic


7) Vinniekowalski- Blog (39:47)
I’ve noticed that at times you use some lingo that verges on office-speak (e.g., celebrating my team, reinforcing our values, etc.). Terms that everyone can agree on are a necessary evil, and there are usually good intentionsbehind these sorts of buzzwords. Still, I can imagine a new person coming on feeling like they’re stepping into a cult if there’s a lot of euphemistically holy buzzwords being used. Do you think there’s a way to get the same communal buy-in to a company culture without the use of buzzwords? Or is this just an automatic part of the paradigm-shifting, disruptive relentless focus on our customer and our people (see what I did there)?”

  • this is funny, because I am probably saying stuff that sounds buzzwordy without even realizing it!
  • as with any tight-knit culture, lingo is bound to be a part of it
  • lingo and buzzwords themselves aren’t inherently bad, but it’s really all about intent
  • you likely have lingo and buzzwords that you’ve developed around your family, because it’s grown out of shared experiences and personal connection
  • you might also have experience with using lingo to try to fit into a place where you don’t quite fit in, and that’s when it can feel fake
  • lingo and buzzwords, in my mind, aren’t good bad or otherwise in and of itself
  • it’s really about what purpose it serves, the intent behind it, and what it means to the people in your company
  • personally, we spend a boatload of time on culture and values, so it takes some time for new folks to adjust
  • more so than business jargon is product jargon, that’s what throws everyone when they first come here!
  • we can all relate to that!
  • Some of our jargon here: #CrushIt, lots of # phrases actually, our values, mission, thematic goal of the time, team member, standup meeting, ad-hoc, tactical, strategic, 1-on-1, punt it, flesh it out, service time, low hanging fruit, QBQ, slack, shout out

QOTW: What’s one thing that Goulet Pens/Brian could to do add more value to your fountain pen experience? (59:06)

Write On,
Brian Goulet