In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about Noodler’s pens, Premiumization, and his favorite pens of 2017!

This week:


1) hermit_piper- Instagram (36:43)
In your video introducing the Visconti Homo Sapiens, you briefly mention the six threads and the hook mechanism. I’ve got two questions on that: how exactly does the spring-loaded mechanism in the cap work? And: the threads on the barrel seem to look a bit “feathery” on some of these pens, almost as if they wear out. Is this possible? I wouldn’t think so as I guess both the threads and the hooks in the cap are made of lava – or does the hook and thread thing work with plastic? I enjoy those Q&As a lot, thanks for that awesome effort, Brian!

  • it’s hard to see the mechanism work in a normal pen, but Visconti’s done a couple of demo pens  that show it a little better
  • there’s a spring loaded mechanism in the cap that moved up and down
  • the threads in the pen grip push it up as you push the pen in and rotate it
  • once it’s over as far as it’ll go, the spring pushes it back and it locks into place
  • from what I understand, it’d VERY difficult to get the threads to look clean on the pens
  • some turn out a little better than others
  • the nature of the volcanic material shows that machining more
  • other pens with the hook safe lock look consistently cleaner

2) taking_care_of_momma- Instagram (39:54)
I really want to add a pen with a flex nib to my collection. What are the biggest differences between the Noodler’s pen models?

  • Nib Creaper – smaller pen, smaller #2 nib, smaller ink capacity (1ml), cheapest ($16.10)
  • Ahab – much larger, #6 nib, piston and eyedropper for huge ink capacity (2-6ml), fits 308 cartridge, my favorite ($23)
  • Konrad – more comfortable size for most people, #6 nib, classic design, piston with decent ink capacity (1.5ml), less universal nib swapping (regular, acrylic, ebonite)  ($22-40)
  • Neponset –  largest and most expensive pen, less universal nib swapping #6, music flex, unique nib but VERY broad and wet, not for everyone, fits 308 cartridge (acrylic and ebonite) ($75)

3) Luca D- Facebook (47:47)
I also collect whisky, and we have seen a lot of “premiumization”, i.e. brands charging high prices for average whisky with brilliant packaging, exotic names and weird stories behind the product. Do you feel something similar is happening in the fountain pen world, with new manufacturers selling flashy pen bodies with the universal Bock/Jowo steel nib and prices often above 100$?

  • for sure, this happens sometimes in all niche industries
  • I know this was a huge movement in fountain pens in the 90’s/2000’s with lots of LE’s
  • I don’t see this blatantly happening so much in the pen industry, or if it had, it’s curtailing right now
  • a lot of brands are going the opposite way, looking to develop more entry-level pens to encourage new users to their brands
  • with Bock/Jowo, SO many brands are using them, it’s not that they’re universal, but OEM
  • the nib is a huge factor in the pen obvi, but there’s so much more that goes into it
  • a lot of smaller, independent manufacturers use more generic and obvious Bock/Jowo nibs, and they don’t have economies of scale so they charge in the $100+ price and often use the story of how they started to promote their brands
  • I don’t think it’s intentional “premiumization”, I think we’re actually more coming off some of that having already happened

4) Jason A- Facebook (53:21)
As the year comes to and end, what were your favorite 3 pens released in 2017 that were/are offered by Goulet Pens?

5) Scott S- Facebook (56:39)
Theoretically: What is the point in a fountain pen with no line variance? Without the gorgeous control of lettering it is just another color changeable ballpoint pen. This is not how I feel as I would have a fountain pen just because I love the mechanics, but a valid someone could make. What are your thought Brian?

  • oh c’mon!! Give fountain pens a little more credit than that! ;)
  • I agree in the sense that fountain pens are certainly more capable of having dynamic writing with stubs or flex pens, that’s true
  • but even with no line variance at all, they’re performance vehicles of writing
  • smoother flow, ink color choices, design, ink capacity, nib size and smoothness, bounce and spring in the nib feel, shading, water proofness/archival inks, etc
  • some people want fountain pens that literally look no different on paper than rollerballs! That’s probably the exception though
  • Personally, I think if you’ve got it, flaunt it
  • Fountain pens, for me, are a way to personalize my own writing experience and I want that reflected in the written words on the page

QOTW: What would you like me to ask Lamy in Germany, feedback to give them, or pics/video you’d like to see of their factory? (58:48)

Write On,
Brian Goulet