In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about Fountain Pen Day, break in periods for pens, and his every day carry items (beyond just pens). Enjoy!

This week:



1) Mackenzie H- Facebook (19:15)

The Diplomat Esteem and LAMY Studio seem like similar pens. I love the Studio and I’m wondering if you could compare and contrast them side by side.

  • They actually are fairly similar in style, price, size, general style, both C/C pens, snap caps, metal, both made in Germany, both great fit and finish
  • Lamy Studio
    • propeller clip
    • proprietary converter
    • slick metal tapered grip
    • not for everyone
    • LAMY proprietary nibs slightly more swappable among LAMY
  • Diplomat Esteem
    • SI converter
    • #5 JoWo nib
  • both pens write well, not all that different from each other
  • Largely it’ll come down to whichever of these are more to your liking! Both good pens

2) pasteboard_love- Instagram (26:49)

Do most pens have a break in period out of the box? or should they write perfectly immediately?

  • perfect as a word isn’t one I like to use around pens, because they’re so subjective!
  • but I get what you mean, should it perform well out of the box vs need to be “broken in”
  • mostly, it should perform out of the box, with some slight exceptions
  • sometimes it benefits to clean your pen before using it, not always essential but usually recommended
  • everything should fit well, look good, etc
  • ink may take a little bit to get flowing in some pens (especially ebonite feeds), but it should work well fairly quickly
  • nibs are something that’s more tuned that broken in, though there can sometimes be some getting used to, adjusting your grip/speed/etc with a certain pen (flex comes to mind)
  • largely I feel pens should work pretty well right away, but the “break in” period comes in more on the part of us as the users!


3) Andrea P- Facebook (31:47)

Why does ink get inside the clear (or not clear) grip section above the nib? It’s annoying!

  • ink is mostly water and it takes the path of least resistance
  • capillary action is your friend, and is what gets the ink down through your pen
  • the grip inside every pen is often filled with ink, you just don’t see it unless it’s clear
  • I agree it may be annoying visually, but it serves a really important function of helping to regulate the flow of in through your pen
  • not every pen has ink in the grip, some have internal housings that keep the ink insulated from the grip itself, but unless there’s an o-ring there, ink may still get in the grip when you fill it
  • as many pens as I use it’s something I’ve come to just accept and appreciate, like nib creep, it’s just part of what makes a fountain pen a fountain pen!
  • it may still annoy you, but at least now you know why it’s so


4) Stephanie P- Facebook (38:53)

Any big plans for Fountain Pen Day?

  • yes! lots of deals, for sure, though I won’t get into too many specifics here
  • definitely sign up for our email newsletter, or just come check out our site next Friday
  • we’ll have a lot of one-day only deals, things we wouldn’t normally
  • it’s a day to embrace, promote, and share about fountain pens, an unofficial holiday within our community
  • Started on FPN in 2012, with Cary Yeager really leading the charge
  • Cary has since changed his career to work full time in pens at Kenro (US distributor for Esterbrook, Aurora, Montegrappa, Loclen), and still manages the FPD efforts
  • retailers like us often run deals, help share and promote
  • for you, you can obviously feed your own passion with pen stuff
  • it’s really great to spread the love online, posting, sharing/tagging

5) Alan S- Facebook (44:46)

Besides the obvious busy times of the years (holidays), what is the busiest stationery-buying season we wouldn’t expect?

  • for us, not much beyond what you might expect
  • back to school, somewhat but it’s actually not all that big for us, I hear it’s bigger for others
  • new product releases, mainly and that’s about it!


6) rtylerjames- Instagram (48:01)

Brian’s EDC. Like EVERYTHING he CARRIES daily.

  • do I count everything in my backpack? I basically carry all that everywhere I go
  • this will be a long question if I cover all that!
  • I’ll focus mainly on what’s on my person
  • lots of normal stuff like keys,  chapstick, phone (iphone 11pro)
  • always a pen, often my Homo Sapiens in a single Aston leather slip
  • Apple watch, wedding ring, wallet, sunglasses, Benchmade 530 knife, Airpods
  • I really wouldn’t consider myself an EDC guy, not like some others I know who are really thoughtful about everything on their person
  • I’m pretty thoughtful about a couple things, other stuff I don’t really care, it’s just stuff
  • The stuff that’s pretty crucial to me: phone, pen, airpods, knife, beyond that I just use whatever works and I’m okay cycling it out
  • for me, I spend SO much of my time and energy on pens, kids, etc, I just don’t spend much time if any on getting deep into other things like flashlights, knives, minimalist wallets, or other accessories
  • I get targeted ads like crazy online for EDC stuff because I fit the demo, but it’s just not something I devote a lot of my time to, but I probably would if I had more free time!

QOTW: What are the everyday carry things you that you have with you at all times? (01:01:01)

Write On,
Brian Goulet