Goulet Q&A Episode 267: Nib Warranties, The Pen That Got Away, and Cool Inks In Demonstrator Pens

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about nib warranties, the pen that got away, and coolest inks in a demonstrator pen. Enjoy!

This week:


1) @Gsingh2k19- Twitter (19:21)

Has the TWSBI eco cracking situation been resolved?

  • yes, basically…let me explain
  • it wasn’t a widespread issue to begin with, especially with the Eco, but I know it came up on our Goulet Nation Facebook Group recently
  • It was honestly more of an issue with the 530 and 540, and maybe earrrrrly days 580 (6 years ago?) but it was quickly resolved
  • the cracking was due to a process they use in manufacturing to provide scratch-resistance and they were still refining it, but that was a while back
  • this wasn’t even an issue with the Eco, because it’s a different resin that’s used on the body
  • I think around the time the Eco came out, there were so many people wanting to get assurance that their pen wouldn’t crack that it was getting talked about WAY more than it was actually happening
  • we’ve sold many, many Ecos at this point, and never seen a pervasive issue with them cracking, so it’s really not a concern today though like anything, it could happen
  • there are certain reputations that products will gain (especially in their early days) that sometimes stick and get perpetuated long after they’re largely resolved, I’ve seen this happen time and again with ink and pens
  • to TWSBI’s credit, they do a great job warrantying their pens, and they stand behind them especially if there’s a manufacturing defect that causes a crack
  • you can have confidence buying an Eco that you’re going to get a long-lasting pen

2) Kristine D.- Facebook (23:06)

When it comes to warranties on fountain pens, consumers are warned not to swap nibs or you risk voiding the warranty. But when it comes to thoroughly cleaning the pen, sometimes a consumer has to remove the nib. Does thorough cleaning risk voiding the warranty?

  • yes and no, it depends on the manufacturer and the situation
  • warranties are there to ensure that a product is not defective, and will perform well with normal use
  • I think some companies will be more understanding than others what “normal use” would be, in regards to deep cleaning a pen
  • I have a unique perspective as a retailer to see both sides of it, from customers (clearly) and manufacturers
  • taken to either extreme, it’s not healthy
  • as a pen user you can’t expect a pen company to cover all warranty situations, because you may be using it in a way that isn’t “normal use” (as much as you don’t want to hear that), so some grace and understanding needs to be taken on your part about what you can expect a manufacturer to cover
  • manufacturers need to understand the market, and what customers are using their pens for, and design them and warranty them accordingly, not accusing any customer that has an issue as mistreating the pen
  • removing nibs, generally speaking, is a very gray area, and I think most manufacturers err on the side of that being a warranty void if there’s a problem
  • it’ll depend on the company and exactly what the warranty issue is
  • (extreme example) if you remove the nib, drop it down your garbage disposal and accidentally turn it on, that’s on you
  • (less extreme example) if you remove the nib and the housing cracks when you replace it because you put it in the wrong way, that’s on you
  • (justifiable example) if you remove the nib every time you clean it and one day one of the tines snaps while you’re writing with it, well that’d more likely be covered under warranty because there wasn’t anything about removing the nib while cleaning that would have affected that particular issue
  • the thing to probably take away is that anytime you’re taking apart or modifying a pen any more than what the pen is advertised to do, assume that it’s likely beyond “normal use” at that point, and mentally prepare yourself for a warranty void, though some manufacturers will be reasonable and work with you
  • Some manufacturers will question the ink choice if you’re feeling the need to take apart the pen, and some go as far as to say you should only use their ink in their pens…much like automakers say you should only use their genuine parts on their cars
  • many manufacturers are smaller or aren’t deeply knowledgeable of every ink out there in the pen world, especially today where some boutique brands are popping up producing dozens of new colors at a time, every manufacturer can’t test the 1500-2000 inks that are likely out there right now
  • you can use your pens however you want, and you should, but just understand you may have to pay if there are any issues in these gray areas, so save your more questionable ink choices for cheaper pens or ones you feel very confident cleaning out

3) Cody M.- Facebook (34:10)

Is there a no longer manufactured pen, that you do not own but wish you did? What makes it special?

  • the easiest answer would be all my original wood pens I made! Purely sentimental, as mostly now all I have are my duds since I sold basically anything people would buy when we were getting off the ground
  • apart from that, the first one that comes to mind is the Omas 360
  • The Arco celluloid is iconic, so that’d be a great choice, though I would like the Magnum size and I don’t know if they did that in arco
  • I’d compromise on the magnum for the arco, there was also a nice teal demo
  • it’s special because it’s triangular, which is just cool, from a design and engineering standpoint
  • the celluloid material is special and hard to come by now
  • it’s also special because Omas is no more, so these pens will only be increasingly rare
  • I was hoping to get one of these when we were an Omas dealer, but we came in right at the end and only had two models of their pens, they basically had stopped making the 360 otherwise I’d have grabbed the first one we got in!
  • they’re $1000+ now, which is just out of budget for me for a pen like this, I mean really, I have plenty and have to cut myself off somewhere!


4) Aleksandra K.- Facebook (40:27)

I’ve got an ink which is too light for my taste (J.Herbin Diabolo Menthe) i love the colour. How can I make this ink more saturated. Is it ok to add different ink with similar colour from A different brand like Kaweco Paradise Blue?

  • lightening up an ink is easier, basically add water or a dilution liquid (like in De Atramentis’ case)
  • darkening is another beast, because you need to make the dyes more concentrated, in essentially a similar ratio to what’s already in there
  • the easiest/cheapest method is to let some of the water evaporate out of the ink, which is not an exact science and may not flow so well as it gets to the point where it changes the color in a meaningful way
  • mixing with a darker ink will get you there faster and more reliably, if you have it available
  • you’ll need to mix it with something similar, you can’t just mix it with something like black
  • if you’re mixing across brands especially, always test it with a small volume first, and wait several hours to be sure there’s not an adverse reaction

5) @HaydnHund- Twitter (44:34)

What kinds of ink do you think look best inside a demonstrator like the Vac700R? Shimmer and non-shimmer.

  • it’s actually kind of interesting, because you really can’t distinguish dark inks from each other so they all just sort of look black
  • lighter ink colors actually tend to look the most impressive in a pen, because you can see them sloshing around with a little more depth to them
  • obviously shimmer inks are going to look cool! any of them
  • Diamine Golden Sands, Pink Glitz, Jacques Herbin Emerald of Chivor, RO Shake and Shimmy Blue Moon, Envy, just to name a few
  • high sheening inks, nothing particularly special about them in a demonstrator, because their sheen really only shows when the ink is dry
  • normal inks, I like Noodler’s Apache Sunset, Diamine Marine, Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki Shikibu, just to name a couple, but largely the lighter in saturation the better it’ll look in a demo
  • some inks are a little more coating than others, and while I’d love to say which, it honestly seems to depend on the pen material, too
  • Noodler’s Baystate Blue is an example of an ink that REALLY coats the inside of a pen, it’ll turn the whole thing blue rather evenly and it’s very bright so it looks cool (but is kind of a pain to clean)


6) Bradthebear1- Instagram (52:55)

How much money does it cost for a large scale pen maker like Pilot or LAMY to design a new pen?

  • great question, it really depends a lot on the company and the specific pen
  • I’m not privy to any information about the costs of developing basically any pen, let alone one for a large-scale pen maker
  • I can’t even begin to get into specific numbers so I’ll avoid that altogether
  • It’s my understanding that larger companies like these essentially have R&D departments they fund on developing pens years before they come to market, in LAMY’s case it could be 3-8 years for a given pen model
  • Pilot has such a wide range, it depends if they’re designing something like the Metropolitan or Explorer (mass produced) or a Namiki Maki-e
  • It’s surely far less to develop a new color to an existing model than to develop a whole new model, which is why you see more SE’s and LE’s come out than whole new models
  • designing a new pen from scratch, you have market research, artists, engineers, programmers, prototyping, possibly outside collaborators (like LAMY is known to do), custom tooling and equipment, packaging, branding, marketing, trademarking and copyright/lawyer stuff, advertising and promotion, barcoding, UPC registration, possibly additional production staff or factory space, distribution logistics, it’s just SO much to add a new pen for worldwide distribution
  • no doubt it’s an incredibly significant investment of time, money, and resources

QOTW: What’s your “pen that got away”, one you wish you’d bought when you had the chance but now isn’t available? (01:01:30)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

September 13th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

LAMY’s 2019 Special Editions

We’re excited to introduce four new special edition pens from LAMY!

First up – the Aquamarine and LX All Black Special Edition LAMY Studios! These stunning pens are limited in nature but abounding in style. You won’t want to miss your chance to add one to your fountian pen collection.

LAMY Studio Aquamarine

LAMY Studio LX Black

The LAMY Studio is a prime example of streamlined fountain pen design, with a clean silhouette and simply stated accents. The Aquamarine Studio features a matte aquamarine lacquer finish and is accented with a chrome grip, finials, and propeller-shaped clip. The LX All Black Studio features an entirely stealthed out look, with a black body, accents, and nib. Unlike the polished chrome grip on the Aquamarine, the LX All Black features a matte black lacquered grip that matches the body. The clip and finials are finished in a sleek black metal finish. The black nib completes the look for a striking pen for any writing occasion.

Both of these pens take the standard LAMY replacement nibs for easy, quick changes to the writing experience. They also come with a blue LAMY ink cartridge and a Z27 converter for use with bottled ink so you can get started writing right away.

Next up is the LAMY Scala Dark Violet. This special edition pen is only available in limited quantities and has a matte violet lacquer finish and a high gloss chrome-plated metal clip and grip.

LAMY Scala Dark Violet

And finally, this year’s special edition LAMY LX is the rich chocolatey Marron!

LAMY LX Marron

You can find all of these at GouletPens.com for a limited time! And here’s a sneak peek at the LAMY 2000 Blue Bauhaus that is coming in October. We will have extremely limited quantities of this pen, so please enter our purchase lottery for a chance to purchase this limited edition. Details can be found on the product page.

Will you be getting one of these special editions?

Write On,
The Goulet Pen Company Team

September 12th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

New Fountain Pens from Aurora

Aurora recently released several special edition fountain pens that you don’t want to miss. Introducing the Aurora Oceani – Oceano Pacifico, the Aurora Oceani – Oceano Indiano . The Aurora Oceani collection was designed to pay homage to the importance of water for our planet. The collection will be divided into 4 series, each one dedicated to a different ocean and only 480 pieces will be available of each color.

The cap and barrel are made from a marbled  Auroloide, with a metal grip section and features a rhodium-plated 18kt gold nib and sterling silver trim. This entire pen is made in Torino, Italy.

Aurora Oceani – Oceano Pacifico

Aurora Oceani  – Oceano Indiano

Aurora also released the Black Mamba which is the latest design to join the rest of the Aurora 88 lineup. Determination, speed of execution, and effectiveness are all aspects of the Black Mamba that inspired this pen. Intrigued by the color of the Black Mamba’s jaws and the texture of the Black Mamba’s skin, the inspiration was found for the guilloche pattern of the cap, barrel and bottom. This color is a limited edition pen that is numbered out of 800.

Aurora 88 – Black Mamba

All of these pens are now available at GouletPens.com. Tell us what you think about these new pens from Aurora by leaving a comment below!

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company

September 11th, 2019|Pen News|0 Comments

Jacques Herbin Anniversary Ink History

A visual look back at all of the annual Jacques Herbin 1670/1798 anniversary inks that have been available in the United States. Each bottle of fountain pen ink features added shimmer, a first for the Herbin brand (and possibly the world of fountain pen ink!), and comes packaged in a luxury 50ml glass bottle.


2019: 1798 Kyanite du Népal. A turquoise ink with added silver shimmer.

Jacques Herbin 1798 Kyanite du Nepal

Jacques Herbin 1798 Kyanite du Nepal


2018: 1798 Cornaline d’Egypte. An orange ink with added silver shimmer.

Jacques Herbin 1798 Cornaline d'Egypte

Jacques Herbin 1798 Cornaline d'Egypte


2017: 1798 Amethyst de l’Oural. A purple ink with added silver shimmer.

This was the first of the new 1798 series. 1798 commemorates a significant year in Jacques Herbin’s history. At this time, the French Revolution was ending, and the Herbin company, founded in 1670, was growing. In 1798 the company relocated to expand their production capabilities and the influence of their inks and sealing wax.

Jacques Herbin 1798 Amethyst de l'Oural

Jacques Herbin 1798 Amethyste de l'Oural


2016: 1670 Caroube de Chypre. A chocolate brown ink with added gold shimmer. You may even see green sheen if you put enough ink down on the right paper.

Jacques Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre

Jacques Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre


2015: 1670 Emerald of Chivor. A teal green ink with added gold shimmer. Still the most popular in the series! With enough ink on the right paper, you may even see a wild red sheen.

Jacques Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor

Jacques Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor


2014: 1670 Stormy Grey. A dark grey with added gold shimmer.

Jacques Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey

Jacques Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey


2012: 1670 Bleu Ocean. A medium/dark blue with added gold shimmer. This ink was originally formulated without shimmer, then re-formulated later to add shimmer.

Jacques Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean

Jacques Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean


2010: 1670 Rouge Hematite. A red ink with added gold shimmer. This was the first color in the anniversary series, celebrating Herbin’s 340th anniversary!

Jacques Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite

Jacques Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite


A few notes – when these inks first came out, the wax seal matched the shimmer color (i.e. gold), and the neck of the bottle was more narrow. In 2018-2019, the bottles, labels, and wax seals were revised as part of the Herbin / Jacques Herbin rebranding. Now all of the bottles have French language labels, a wax seal to match the ink color, and the bottle opening is wider.

Have you tried any of these inks?

Write on,
The Goulet Pen Company

September 9th, 2019|Ink Reviews, Special & Limited Edition History|0 Comments

Goulet Q&A Episode 266: Huge Nibs, Brian’s 5 Favorite Diamine Inks, and Sterilizing Pens

In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about huge nibs, his favorite Diamine inks, and sterilizing your pens. Enjoy!

This week:


1) peptis_gizmo- Instagram (07:13)

How long does a pen have if uncapped and you’re trying to find it?

  • find it, huh? If you’ve lost it, it’s too long!
  • fountain pens have water-based ink that needs to stay wet to work well
  • the longer it sits, the more it dries out, it depends on the pen and on the ink and the environment it’s in
  • really, you’re talking a matter of minutes, not hours or days
  • if it sits for a little too long and is just sort of dry, you can flood the feed or wet the nib and be back to normal
  • if it’s been longer, you can refill it and be good to go (with the same ink)
  • too long, it completely dries up and needs to be cleaned, with water (at least), maybe with a little dish soap, or a pen flush if it’s really dried up

2) @ZedZedTop- Twitter (11:34)

I hear a lot of people saying not to eye-dropper pens with metal components that would be in contact with the ink. So how come vacuum fillers are ok, like the TWSBI vac700? Thanks!

  • it really has to do with the type of metal
  • vacuum fillers are using stainless steel or titanium rods that are not going to corrode
  • it’s the same with nibs, they’re made of non-corrosive metals and are okay with exposure to ink
  • many pens with metal components on their threads or finials are using some sort of plated corrosive metal, like brass, chrome, or aluminum, that will not hold up well long-term to complete saturation in ink (due to either pH or salts in the ink)
  • manufacturers could make pen components out of non-corrosive parts, but they would be more expensive as stainless steel and titanium are more expensive to manufacture than other metals like brass

3) asherlewis- Instagram (18:54)

Aside from the Montblanc 149, what other pens have nibs larger than a size 6?

  • this won’t be an exhaustive list, but here’s what I can think of….
  • Namiki Emperor (biggest I can think of)
  • Pilot Custom Urushi
  • Sailor King of Pens
  • Pelikan m1000
  • Montegrappa #8 like we had on our Shiny Lines
  • Delta Dolce Vita oversize (discontinued) also #8
  • Danitrio
  • Waterman 10, Parker 12?
  • nibs larger than #6 are rare, and only on very large pens as they need to accommodate these massive nibs!

4) @ExiledTexan86- Twitter (24:35)

Is there a safe way to clean or sterilize pens without risking the material or color (for example the Conklin Nights)? I’m unsure what cleaners are harmful to pens. Thanks!

  • it’s best to stay conservative with cleaning supplies on pens
  • water and dish soap are a pretty safe pen on any pen material and you shouldn’t need more than that in most cases
  • pen flush has ammonia base which is safe for most pens, but you should limit soaking in aluminum, but will be okay for a short cleaning session
  • you pretty much don’t need anything apart from this unless there are extreme circumstances, like Noodler’s Baystate inks (clean with bleach) or mold growing in a pen (rare), where bleach would be needed
  • no sterilization should be needed, most inks have biocides and you’re not ingesting or using them for anything medical, so general cleaning will be enough to get the pen working properly


5) etavirp_40fejn- Instagram (35:29)

What Diamine inks does brian suggest/like and why?

  • this is tough! There are so many good ones, and I haven’t used every single one, so this will be a pretty subjective and personal list of mine
  • Diamine Marine, love love love it- great color, amazing shading, and it’s just been love at first sight for me for so long
  • Diamine Red DragonOxblood is more popular, but I just love this red…honorable mention to Syrah, great wine color alternative to Red Dragon
  • Diamine Majestic Blue & Blue Velvet– I’ve loved Majestic Blue for so long, but Blue Velvet is so good too and a little more vibrant, it’s really a toss up with these because both are deep blues with a heavy red sheen, which I’ve always loved
  • Diamine Golden Sands– lots of great shimmers, I don’t use them often just in practicality, but I have an odd draw towards this one
  • Diamine Pumpkin– just a great true orange, it crusts up a little on the nib like many oranges of this shade
  • Honorable mention to Diamine Ancient Copper!

6) Tyler V- Facebook (45:20)

I’m an artist who is becoming obsessed with ink chromatography and I find it interesting, but understandable that most fountain pen users and even experts seem to not know much about this aspect of fountain pen ink. That being said, is chromatography something that you pay any attention to in inks and if so can you recommend the ones that you find most interesting?

  • you’re not alone in this, and I’ve always been intrigued by chromotography
  • I think it looks cool, but can’t really determine a practical, meaningful conclusion from it
  • you can sort of see what dye colors are used to make up a given color, which is kind of artsy and interesting, but doesn’t necessarily mean much in practicality when using an ink in a pen
  • maybe it’s helpful for doing ink washing and artwork, so you can see what effects it has, but you can do that by just doing ink washing…
  • I haven’t personally heard of anyone drawing conclusions about permanence, water resistance, flow, etc from chromotography, so it remains right now in kind of the experimental fringes of the pen world


7) johnny_hu1- Instagram (53:56)

Who gets to decide on the content of your social channels and YouTube?

  • I’ll explain some of the logistics and give you all sort of a twist ending 😉
  • in the days of old it was me, with Rachel weighing heavily or contributing her own content
  • 0ver time we built up a team, starting with social media, photo, then video, and we’ve expanded each of these roles in scope and number as we’ve grown
  • the short answer is it’s a team effort, and we’re all working together to develop the most relevant content possible for you all
  • we have a pretty sizable team now with John as Director of Marketing, Margaret and Media Manager, Andi on Video, Sarah Lead Photo, Whitney Photo, Lydia, Colin, and Jen on social channels, email, and making content
  • the exact type of content depends on what it is we’re producing and where
  • YouTube is most involved with Andi, me, and Colin, but Drew and Rachel are on regularly, others may collaborate, have ideas, even develop their own video stuff
  • with so many products, so many channels, and some specialized technical work it can be an interesting challenge to try to balance it all with so many people and ideas, which is largely where good communication comes into play
  • this is all just trying to put a process around what is ultimately the end goal…to produce the content that YOU want…and with your attention, likes, comments, shares, views, and other means of engaging with the content we create it informs us as to what you want and need to see, so really, YOU ultimately decide! We are here for you, not just to express ourselves or our ideas, we’re not doing this in a bubble, it’s to help you learn more about these products

QOTW: What are your top 5 favorite inks right now?  (01:07:48)

Write On,
Brian Goulet

September 6th, 2019|Goulet Q&A|0 Comments

Noodler’s Fox: A Goulet Inksploration

Hello, everyone! My name is Micah, I am a Receiving Specialist here at Goulet. You may have also seen me on a few episodes of Write Now, where I’ve shared my excitement for Noodler’s inks and my self- proclaimed “fan boy” status for Nathan Tardif’s inky creations. This month, I’m excited to share Noodler’s Fox with you and tell you more about what makes this ink a must-try in my book. It is a no nonsense matte red that writes well!

A Goulet Inksploration featuring Noodler's Fox fountain pen ink.

Drawing Inspiration and Technique

A Goulet Inksploration featuring Noodler's Fox fountain pen ink.

The inspiration for this piece is pretty clear, I drew a fox because the ink is named Fox. I started out with a pencil to get my shapes and outlines right. When I was happy with it, I erased the pencil lines so they wouldn’t be visible. Then I used a TWSBI ECO and drew over my erased pencil lines. I grabbed a brush pen and filled in the fox and added texture to the background. I kept it pretty simple but I think it shows off the ink well!

Ink Review

An ink review of Noodler's Fox fountain pen ink.

  • Flow- Wet
    • It has a dry feel when writing, but it is not scratchy, and has no trouble writing.
    • It flows well out of the nib
  • Dry Time- <5 Seconds
    • Very quick!
    • The ink does not smudge at all, even after 5 seconds
  • Water Resistance- High
    • The lines smudge a bit in the drip test swab but don’t move at all in the individual drop spots.
    • The writing would still be legible on the page after water exposure.
  • Shading- Low

    • The color is pretty consistent, no shading apparent.
  • How did the ink behave on other papers?
    • This ink did bleedthrough a bit on all of the papers used in the swabs.
    • Some feathering and ghosting with wetter nibs.
  • Special Features Worth Noting?
    • It is what Nathan calls “eternal”
    • he says this about it “’Eternal’ refers to any Noodler’s Ink that resists the effects of time – moisture, humidity, UV light, acids, water exposure, and many common detergents such as dish soaps and household ammonia, as well as alcohols and acetone”

A Goulet Inksploration featuring Noodler's Fox fountain pen ink.

Comparable Inks

A Goulet Inksploration featuring Noodler's Fox fountain pen ink.

Diamine Poppy Red – 30ml Bottled Ink

De Atramentis Document Ink Red – 35ml Bottled Ink

Robert Oster Red Gold – 50ml Bottled Ink


A Goulet Inksploration featuring Noodler's Fox fountain pen ink.

Write On,


September 4th, 2019|Ink Reviews, Inksploration|0 Comments