Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Twsbi Diamond 530 Demonstrator Fountain Pen

At the recent New York City Fountain Pen Show I purchased a TWSBI Diamond 530 Demonstrator fountain pen. A demonstrator is a transparent pen where you can see the internal mechanism. Demonstrators are highly sought after and most pen manufacturers have one in their offerings. I'm not a big fan of demonstrators but, I could not leave the pen show without at least one purchase. At a cost of $40.00 this pen is a wonderful investment. In size it is akin to the 800 series of the Pelikan line.

The ink line was a tad to thin for my taste so I flexed the tines of the nib and increased the ink flow and now the pen writes like a charm. I do wish that the internal chamber held a little more ink but that is a minor criticisim.

The price of a pen can increase or decrease according to the materials of which it is made or the method of filling. Some pens use only ink cartridges, not my favorites. Others use cartridge converters which gives you the option of filling from a bottle, which is my preference. Still others are piston fill which means only bottled ink can be used. The TWSBI is a piston fill and at t$40 it is, indeed, a bargain.

The pen comes with a tool to disassemble the piston and with a small vial of silicone grease to coat the piston to prevent leakage which was, initially, a problem. The fact that the pen can be completely disassembled should be a joy to pen collectors who like to dabble in pen tweaking.

All in all the TWSBI demonstrator is a great investment and will deliver many hours of writing pleasure.

Scribo Ergo Sum

Clifford "Jake" Jacobs
Have Pen, Will Write


About a year ago I traded a Montblanc 149 Diplomat for an OMAS Arte Italiana Paragon (pictured above). Some may think that it was crazy for me to do so; I think not. Although the 149 is an iconic pen, the signature pen of the Montblanc line, I wasn't using mine that often. In addition I have a Montblanc 146 Le Grande, which is slightly smaller than the Diplomat, that I use regularly. The Paragon and the Diplomat are of comparable value and I felt good about doing the trade.

About the Paragon: this pen rocks! It is a faceted pen which is a hallmark of the OMAS line. The Paragon is as much a signature pen as is the Diplomat. The Paragon is a hefty pen and some may find it a bit heavy - which suits me fine. It is a piston fill with an 18k gold nib. It's a no nonsense pen that lays down a fat wet  line of ink. My pen is currently filled with Diamine's Presidential Blue ink - beautiful, simply beautiful!

Some owners have complained that they do not like the metal gripping section which is cold to the touch; this is not a problem for me - in fact I like how the gripping section contrasts with the rest of the pen.

OMAS Arte Italiana The Paragon

Montblanc 149 Diplomat

Montblanc is to pens what Louis Vuitton has become to purses and luggage - it's become a household name and even more, it has become a status symbol. The Montblanc line is still well respected and their writer series is great with homages to Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Proust and Hemingway to name but a few. I believe that the older the Montblanc pen the better the quality. I find that their newer output suffers from poor quality control and the pens are more fragile than they were twenty to thirty years ago. Visit John Mottishaw's site http://www.nibs.com/PreOwnedMontBlanc.htm for great deals on vintage Montblancs.

The Arte Italiana also comes in a smaller size known as the Milford. Both pens are available with gold or silver accents and different colors of celluloid. http://www.nibs.com/PreOwnedOmasContemporaryPens.html
The Paragon retails for $695 but is available from nibs.com for $536. The Montblanc 149 retails for $760 but there are a few available from nibs.com for under $500.

Scribo Ergo Sum

Clifford "Jake" Jacobs
Have Pen, Will Write

Monday, October 25, 2010


There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide, that he must take himself for better or for worse as is his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.

Every man is personally responsible for what he is and what he does. When we say that a man is responsible for himself we do not only mean that that he is responsible for his own individuality but that he is responsible for all men.

The power which resides in him is new in nature and none but he knows what it is he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. But God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and filled with joy when he has put his heart into his work and has done his best, but what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson & Jean Paul Sartre 


And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire.

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green & pleasant Land.

William Blake

This is my favorite poem by William Blake to which Sir Charles Hubert Parry added music and retitled "Jerusalem".