I’m an inquisitive type of person. I am always doing research on something that crosses my path and intrigues me. It could the latest gadget, watercolor brushes, or fountain pen paper.
I’m always in learning and information gathering mode. Many times I’m making comparisons with what I already know from experience to help fine tune or narrow down a decision. This is especially helpful when I can’t touch and feel the item in person.
Since the beginning of this year, a few independent boutique pen manufacturers kept reappearing and showing off their beautiful commissioned and available fountain pens. A few beautiful and available pens were sold quickly. Like within the first few hours of posting to the public. Many times within an hour. There were also posts showing commissioned pens that were absolutely stunning!
A few pen friends know I enjoy the beach and anything related to tropical or Caribbean themes. So naturally when I was looking for a custom pen I was looking for colors that reminded me of the beach and the water and all things in and around the water.
It took awhile and I finally found something a few months ago at Tailored Pen Company. I reserved my spot in the pen maker’s queue. In the meantime, I was pulling out my Col-o-ring ink swatch cards to match the colors I saw in the blank samples posted on IG.
The pen blanks I saw had so many different patterns and swirls of colors. I knew mine was going to be beautiful. As I was waiting, Tailored Pen Company or TPC, kept posting on their feed, pictures of beautifully commissioned pens. One picture recently showed a pen blank with the material I had chosen. It was a macro-shot of beautiful swirls of color at the top of the pen blank. I started to wonder if that blank would turn into my beautiful pen.
I finally received a notice that my pen had shipped. That caught me off guard as I was expecting the pen at the end of May or beginning of June. It was arriving three weeks early. Wonderful news!
How does it look?
The lovely swirls of colors are beautifully done. There are so many colors that make up Coral Reef. There’s teal green, gold, pink, white, bits of turquoise, magenta, and olive green. Of course, this all depends on the lighting and angle of the pen.
TPC creates their own pen blanks. The resins are poured and cured in their own workshop. Each pen is crafted by hand with the exception of the nib and converter.
I selected the Churchill model which has a smooth transition from cap to barrel. There are several other pen models to choose from including faceted pens that are additional costs. My Churchill model has a slight raised tapered point at the end of the barrel and at the end of the cap. I can see the slightly tapered point, but when I rub my finger over the end it’s very smooth to the touch.
The section is curved and the length is what I call average.
How does it feel?
I selected the default “smooth” finish. My pen feels quite smooth and I love the slick feel. They do have something called “satin” finish which would look great with certain recommended resin colors. I would contact TPC to see their suggested resin colors with the satin finish.
This Churchill model does not post. The actual pen with nib, section, and barrel is well balanced in my hand.
I mentioned the curved section. It’s not too short and not too long. My fingers fit nicely and I noticed my grip is more relaxed while writing with this pen.
It’s a lightweight pen and comfortable in hand. Typically, I find the lightweight pens are great to use for long writing sessions. I enjoy feeling the smoothness of this resin pen as I write.
How does it write for a Fine nib pen?
This JoWo #6 Fine nib writes beautifully. I looped the nib and did not find any issues at all. It’s writes smooth with a touch of feedback. A true Western Fine nib and not too wet.
Here it comes! Brace yourself! That nib unit! I can swap it out and put in one of my lovely Franklin-Christoph nib units. Yes, I’m smiling ear-to-ear.
How does it compare with the other independent manufacturer pens I have?
I currently have experience with Franklin-Christoph, Birmingham Pens, and Bone Crusher Studios. I put Tailored Pen Company right up there with Franklin-Christoph.
I think F-C has better prices for the variety of pen models and sizes they carry. I would definitely recommend them to a fountain pen newbie who is interested in trying out an independent pen manufacturer and looking for a low cost pen (pocket pens).
Based on my experience, I think TPC has the best overall fountain pen selection. They have a huge variety of in-house manufactured resins and a variety of pen models to choose from. My custom order shopping experience was wonderful. I was able to select the resin and the pen model/style. There are two styles to select from which include round or faceted. The round style is included in the cost of the pen and includes the following models: Churchill, Cigar, Cylindre, and Westminster. The faceted style (Ascher and Trillion) adds additional cost to the pen.
When I selected the round style I also had the option to include a clip or not. There is an addition cost to add a clip. I selected not to for my first pen.
I selected nib size I wanted which was a Fine nib and also with the polished steel nib finish (versus gold plated).
Worth the price?
I believe it’s worth the price if I can select the pen material from the a vast selection of available offerings. Also to have the ability to select the pen style (cigar, tapered, transition style from cap to barrel, etc) and have the option to add a clip added or not. This overall experience was well worth it.
I’ve read that TPC can be flexible when customizing a pen. All one has to do is ask them.
Tailored Pen Company’s current queue is around 8-10 weeks for the normal round pens. For their faceted pens the wait is around 20 weeks.
Tailored Pen Company also carries a limited number of available or in-stock pens on their website. Their in-stock pens will ship within 2-3 days. The available pens do sell out fast.
Pen: Tailored Pen Company – Churchill model in Coral Reef with Fine nib
Ink: Rohrer and Klingner Alt Goldgrun