My Opus 88 Mini vs Omar Fountain Pens

I saw a fellow fountain pen user ask a question about the diameter sizes between my Opus 88 Mini and my Opus 88 Omar. I thought I would show a few pictures and try my best to show the differences!

When you read the specs about the diameter in mm, it might appear to be a slight difference between two fountain pens. When you put each pen in hand, I can say that there will be a noticeable difference between these two pens.

It’s better for me show in pictures and then try to describe what you might see and feel. So here we go.

Here are the two pens side by side with their caps off.

Let’s take a look at each pen individually. Here is my pen and it appears to be a short and chunky fountain pen. It really is!

In this close up picture, the section has a slight taper towards the nib and feed.

Here is my Opus 88 Omar.

The section is also tapered towards the nib and feed and there is a slight lip at the edge.

Here is a side view of both pens. The section on my Mini is quite a bit shorter than my Omar. At the top section of my Mini there is a thick metal band.

My Mini takes a #5 JoWo nib while my Omar takes a #6 JoWo nib.

Personally, the section of my Omar feels comfortable in my hand and I prefer #6 nibs for extended writing. Every time I start writing with my Mini it takes me awhile to get used to the shorter section and the thick metal band.

I basically use my Mini for taking quick notes and mostly for sketching. I prefer to use my Omar for longer writing sessions.

I hope my picture helps some of you who are undecided whether to get an Opus 88 Mini. Would I purchase another Mini? Probably not. One is enough for me.

Pens: Opus 88 Mini Love in Bloom with Franklin-Christoph Stub nib & filled with Diamine Subzero (Red Inkvent). Opus 88 Omar with Stylosuite EF Xwing Harpoon flex nib & filled with Colorverse Hayabusa (glistening).

Spring is Definitely in the Air with Opus 88

I was able to snag an Opus 88 fountain pen called Love in Bloom. I originally pre-ordered it with a Medium nib and received an email from the retailer that they had a Fine and a Broad nib available and could send it immediately. I shifted gears and went with a Fine nib.

Opus 88 Omar, Opus 88 Mini, & Lamy 2000

After a few days of delays which included waiting for my pen to be shipped, then delivered to wrong address, and finally received, I was able to fill my new pen with Summer Purple.

My Opus 88 is definitely a mini pen and measures about 4-5/8 inches or 117.3mm in length and weighs around 24grams. It’s a tiny bit shorter than my TWSBI Vac Mini, Pilot Stargazer, and Pilot Prera.

TWSBI Vac Mini, Pilot Stargazer, Opus 88 Mini, Sailor Pro Gear Haruzora, & Pilot Prera

After I checked the nib with a loupe, I had a gut feeling that this pen would have a dry writing experience. I originally filled my pen with Van Dieman’s Ink Parrot Fish (shimmering) and it immediately clogged my pen. That was a bad idea. I emptied the ink into a vial to reuse in another pen. I flushed my new pen with some water and went to Plan B and Summer Purple.

Summer Purple had been on my inky wishlist and I finally had a bottle sent to me a few weeks ago. Yes, it sat on my studio desk and patiently waited for a swatch to be made and the right pen to be filled.

Summer Purple is a gorgeous ink color. It’s a pinky-purple color with a lovely golden sheen. This color reminds me of the bright colored eggplant you would find in Asia and not the dark purple ones here in the US.

This pen and ink combination makes me very happy.

I have a good feeling that this ink will make its way into one of my TWSBI GOs and I’m looking forward to sketching with this gorgeous ink color.

The Opus 88 Mini does not post. Yes, I tried to post my pen and the cap flew off immediately. Some pen-folks may not enjoy writing with this short pen. In my hand, I can feel that it is a short and stubby pen. The tapered section is shorter than my Omar and holds a #5 JoWo nib. Personally, I would have preferred a #6 nib on this small sized pen.

It’s a cute mini pen. It’s a pocket pen. It’s a travel pen. It’s small enough to fit in most pen cases. It’s an eyedropper pen that holds a large amount of ink. It’s a pen that looks absolutely lovely on my desk. I’m sure there will be more mini pen designs in the near future.

Pen: Opus 88 Mini Pocket Pen in Love in Bloom (Endless Pens Exclusive 2022) with Fine nib

Ink: Kaweco Summer Purple

Paper: Rhodia

An Automatic Pen, a Pilot Parallel Pen, and My Opus 88 Pen Hack

I’ve changed up how I do my fountain pen ink swatching by using a way cool tool called the automatic pen. I’ve mostly used it to swatch ink colors in my ink journal which I have posted a few pictures from my previous blog posts.

My automatic pen used to create my ink swatches in my Stalogy 365 ink journal

I saw someone use an automatic pen to create their swatches on their Col-o-ring cards and also in their fountain pen ink journal. I thought that was the neatest thing to use and had to try one out. The automatic pen puts down enough ink to see any sheening properties the ink might have (depending on paper). It has improved my swatching process as well as saved me from using q-tips to smear the ink on paper.

I like how the automatic pen holds the ink in it’s “nib” area (sandwiched between two metal plates) and how easily the nib can be cleaned. I dip the nib in some water, swish the water around, and dry off the nib. I know many folks use this type of pen for calligraphy and have to re-dip the nib when the ink runs out. That is a similar process for pointed pen calligraphy.

Side of the nib

The automatic pen reminds me of my Pilot Parallel pens. The only difference between the two, my Pilot pen can use a cartridge, converter, or be used as an eyedropper pen.

I use my Pilot Parallel for decorative writing (cards, small signage, etc) and for sketching. The nib on this pen uses a lot of ink. I could easily go through an ink cartridge within a few short hours of writing and sketching.

Close up of my Pilot Parallel pen with 1.5mm nib

Then I came across a “hack” for my Parallel pen. I could put my Pilot Parallel nib into my Opus 88 Omar fountain pen. What?! I immediately saw how beneficial this hack could be with using a larger ink capacity pen with a decorative writing nib. This combination would allow me to write and sketch longer than a few hours or even a day or two.

Pilot nib unit with a tiny o-ring

The Pilot nib and feed can be removed easily by pulling out the nib from the grip/section. On the Opus 88 Demonstrator, just unscrew the nib unit (nib/feed/collar) from the grip/section. There’s a tiny o-ring that also needs to be removed and saved with the Opus nib unit. Take the Pilot nib and feed unit and push it into the Opus grip/section until you can feel it click into place. That’s it!

My Opus hack!

I put my Opus nib unit along with it’s o-ring and store it in a zip lock bag for safe keeping

Here’s a writing sample from my hack:

Oooops! Correction “to”= “too”

Why do this hack?

  • Personally, my hand prefers a girthy pen and my fingers relax more while I write
  • The Pilot Parallel nibs lay down a lot of ink
  • Opus 88 pens have a huge ink capacity that allow for longer writing sessions

The Pilot Parallel nib and feed fits into the Opus 88 Omar demonstrator and the Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator pen as long as they use the JoWo #6 nib unit.

Pens: Automatic Pen, Pilot Parallel 1.5 mm, and Opus 88 Omar Tainan

Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Ku Jaku

Paper: Ayush Paper pad (fountain pen friendly)

My Boots

The only clothing-related purchase I made in the last year since you know what started was my first pair of duck boots. I saw this boot at my local discount shop and tried them on. I could not believe how comfortable they were. I bought them hoping they would keep my feet dry. Little did I know that I would end up wearing them through several snow systems and rain showers we were having. Yes! They’ve kept my feet nice and dry.

My special water boots!

My duck boots are actually called Sperry Saltwater boots. There’s a feature of this boot that I immediately fell in love with when I first saw them. The strings do not tie at the top of the boot. If you look closely at my sketch you can see the ends of the string are knotted and just sit loosely on each side of the boot. There is a zipper on the inside of the boot to help my foot get in and out. I just wear a thick pair of warm socks with my duck boot and that’s it!

Hubby and I had the chance to get away this past weekend and my duck boots came along with me. I wore them to a winery we were visiting and sure enough Hubby wanted to walk the winery grounds. I was happy that I came prepared and my feet were dry.

Naturally, I had to do a quick sketch of my duck boots!

My Rose Gold pen used to sketch my boots

The pen in my picture is made by Bonecrusher 7 Studios using a Rose Gold resin. I had filled this pen with Cocoa Shimmer. That’s the color you see on the top part of the boot with all the shimmers. For the shoe strings, I used Heart of Gold. For the bottom of the boot I used a combination of Saguaro Green and Melon Tea. I used Thunderstorm for the shadow of the boot along with a bit of Melon Tea to bring a bit of the boot color into the shadow.

I still have a few more sketches to share with you. Yes, I’ve been busy! My “creativity” is going full throttle. More sketching means more practice time for me and I can feel and see the improvements along the way. If I’m using my eraser, it means I’m removing extra lines and not a mistake. To me, that’s progress!

Pens: Bonecrusher 7 Studios in Rose Gold with Opus 88 Medium nib. (I swapped my nibs around and this Opus 88 was available in my nib unit box). TWSBI GOs with Stub 1.1.

Inks: Diamine Cocoa Shimmer. Robert Oster Heart of Gold, Melon Tea, Saguaro Green, and Thunderstorm.

Journal: Stillman & Birn Beta

Penlux

Penlux is a Taiwanese company founded in 1999 with a focus on manufacturing private label products. I assume this means they started out as an OEM company producing products for other companies. Penlux came into their own in 2015 by producing their own brand of fountain pens.

Last year I was researching “Koi-like” pens and stumbled upon the Penlux brand and thought they made interesting pens with the typical cigar shaped design. I read the positive reviews and comments, but never gave the company or pen a second thought.

A few weeks ago I started to see references and discussions around a “snowflake-like” pen. Of course going through several snow storms at the time, this pen peaked my interest.

When I saw a message that the Penlux Snowflake pen was released, I headed over to my online vendor of choice to make sure the Fine nib was available. It was. I was doing some last minute research on the pen and within 30 minutes the Fine nib was sold out. My gut feeling told me to get the Medium nib. I selected the pen and nib size and clicked on the “add to cart” button.

I patiently waited for my pen. I thought my package was lost as I was not able to get any real time status after it shipped. Only a message that it’s making its way through the system. A little over a week later, my pen arrived.

My Penlux in Snowflake resting on top of my Lochby Field Journal

This is a beautiful cigar shaped pen. It’s what I call an oversized pen. I love the frosty looking resin with swirls of white that does remind me of snow. While I was admiring my new pen and trying it out in my hand, something was amiss. I could not put my finger on it. The pen felt comfortable in my hand. The grip felt rather large and girthy. I grabbed my Opus 88 Omar Demonstrator to make a comparison.

Here’s my Penlux next to my Opus 88 Omar

My Opus 88 is just a tad bit longer than my Penlux. It’s also slightly bigger. It’s hard to tell from my picture. I like the frosted look of the Penlux over the clear Opus 88 demonstrator look.

Both pens uncapped

You can see from the above picture how different the two pens are.

I will talk about the unique qualities of this pen. If you look at my picture, my Penlux appears to be larger than my Opus 88. That is not the case. When you put the specs of the pens, side by side, my Opus 88 is actually larger. My Penlux has two key features/specs where it’s larger than my Opus 88:

  • Grip: Penlux is 12.0mm and Opus 88 is 10.8mm
  • Body weight: Penlux is 22g and Opus 88 is 18g

The grip on this Penlux is unusual. A few of you might have seen my comment where I sat on the fence with this pen. There was something different about Snowflake. It wasn’t until I started to write with my pen that it came to me. The grip is straight. There is no tapering. Once I saw and felt this, I jumped off the fence and was happy with my pen.

The nib unit on my Penlux appears to be glued/epoxied to the section. So no nib unit swapping for me.

It appears the pen can not be taken apart. There’s an included diagram that shows an “X” for trying to remove the piston. Don’t even think about it. It’s not a TWSBI.

I hesitated to call these “issues” as everyone has different likes and dislikes in regards to the look, feel, and function of fountain pens. I have accepted the unique qualities of this pen. It took a few hours of writing and holding my pen to get there.

My medium nib is buttery smooth. Under my loupe, the nib is perfect. No adjustments were needed. I could tell it would be a smooth writing experience when I dragged my nib over my paper without the pen being inked. Once I filled my pen with ink, I noticed my pen was writing wet.

The internal piston mechanism in this pen is made from aluminum alloy. This is the smoothest piston knob I have ever experienced. The piston glides effortlessly up and down inside the barrel.

My Penlux is a well made pen. I stuck my finger inside the cap and I could feel the smooth finish. The walls of the pen appear to be thick. The material they used is high grade PMMA.

So, I did a little research on PMMA or Polymethyl Methacrylate. It’s a synthetic resin produced from the polymerization of methyl methacrylate. It’s a transparent and rigid plastic. It’s often used as a substitute for glass products such as shatterproof windows. It’s known as acrylic glass or trademarked as Plexiglas or Lucite.

The nib is laser engraved with the Penlux logo. It looks like a JoWo #6 nib.

My writing sample and my attempt at drawing snowflakes

You can see from my picture how the pen seems to disappear against the white paper.

I love my Penlux Snowflake pen! It’s definitely well made. An oversized and solid pen. Uncapped, it is well balanced in my hand. I can say it’s a bit more comfortable to write with versus my Opus 88. The Penlux grip may not be for everyone. If you have joint issues in your writing hand like I do, this pen might be worth looking at. If you dislike girthy pens, I would suggest you pass on this.

A note to “S”: I’m not enabling you at all! Thank you for the ink suggestions: Summer Storm and Manyo Haha. My ink wishlist is growing again.

Pen: Penlux Masterpiece Grande in Snowflake with Medium nib

Ink: Robert Oster Silent Nite

Paper: Rhodia

Shimmering Ink Month and My EDWs

Two weeks ago, I had cleaned all of my Everyday Writer (EDW) fountain pens. It didn’t take long before I started to fill them again with different inks. This time it was mostly with shimmering inks.

The first (left) and last two pens (right) are filled with normal inks. The rest have shimmering inks.

Notice in the picture, I have eight EDW pens inked at one time. This is a personal restriction I have placed upon myself. Not to go overboard and have 30 EDW pens inked at one time. I used to do that when I first started out in this crazy rabbit hole. The thought of cleaning 30 pens was overwhelming. It took me awhile to clean 30 pens and at the same time I kept filling my pens with ink. The 30 pens would drop down to 20 and then back up to 30 again.

Last year I set a goal for myself to create good habits. One of them was to only have 10 EDW pens inked at one time. This of course did not include my pens that I use for my artwork. Change is good, right? So far, it looks like it’s working!

Documenting my EDW for future reference. Check out the shimmers!

For those of you following my RO Rose Gold Antiqua shimmering ink adventures, I have paired that ink with my TWSBI Diamond 580 RGII pen. For the second time, this ink has clogged my pen on Day #2. If you remember, my first pen that I paired with this ink clogged as well on Day #2. That was with the Platinum Procyon with a medium nib.

I’m now beyond Day #2 and my TWSBI and Rose Gold Antiqua ink are playing nicely together.

My TWSBI filled with Rose Gold Antiqua

Love my shimmers!

If you’ve noticed, I am no longer calling my currently inked pens EDCs or Everyday Carry. They are now my Everyday Writer or EDW pens.

Looks like I need to create a writing sample with all my currently inked pens I use strictly for my artwork. I better get to it!

Paper used: Rhodia #16 Paper Pad Blank. GLP Creations Journal with Tomoe River Paper Lined.

Happy NHD!

For my fellow fountain pen enthusiasts, geeks, and nerds who are working on their writing skills I want to wish you:

My Opus 88 Omar Tainan Blue with F-C HPS Extra Fine Flex nib and Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris ink

Okay, so I still have a ways to go with my special handwriting font. I wrote this on my studio desk where I have limited space. I wasn’t able to move my whole arm while I was writing. That explains the jerky writing that you see in the picture.

I need to get back into my daily handwriting practice sessions that I used to do with my calligraphy dip nibs and oblique nib holder. Except for this year, I want to be able to use my fountain pens. I need a lot of practice time and more desk space.

Several things are in the works like the much needed Spring-cleaning which I started this week. I plan on removing half the “stuff” that sits on my desk. It’s the accessories, rolls of washi tapes, pens, bottles of inks, jars, swatch cards, and vials of sample inks that I haven’t touched since the holidays.

Once I get my desk in order, I can start my practice writing sessions again.

I hope you can spend some time with your lovely pens and inks!

Fountain Pen Modern Flex Nibs – My Thoughts

Note: I wanted to let you know that I have been updating this post. I will continue over the next few days as I uncover additional information, add a few more pictures, and additional writing experiences from the nibs I have. Enjoy!

For the last year and a half, I’ve been doing some research and looking at affordable modern flex nibs for fountain pens. A few of my pen-friends have inquired or looked for information and reviews about flex nib pens, but I’ve mostly held off from forming an opinion or making any recommendations. Until now.

When a pen manufacturer labels their nibs with the word “flex” it conjures up images of doing fancy line variations while writing. Many folks feel the need to flex their nibs right out of the box not knowing what the nib can actually do and not do. There are limitations to how far a nib can flex and that depends on the nib material used and how the nib is cut/designed.

My Calligraphy Pointed Dip Nibs Experience

Let me step back a bit. Before I ventured into the fountain pen rabbit hole, I was using pointed dip pens for my other rabbit hole calligraphy adventure. I learned and practiced with using Zebra “G” dip nibs to create the line variations: heavy pressure on the down strokes and light pressure on the upstrokes. My heavy pressure would cause the tines of the nib to split allowing more ink to appear on the paper. On the upstrokes, the tines would spring back and normal ink would appear on the paper.

My “G” pointed dip nibs used for Calligraphy writing. They are thin and sharp nibs.

This was a great learning experience for me as I got to know how a dip nib feels and how much pressure to apply. The pointed dip nibs are disposable because they will eventually corrode which is why I was looking for a better fountain pen nib solution. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled post.

Back to the Fountain Pen Modern Flex Nibs

My first experience with fountain pen flex nibs was when I uncovered a fairly young boutique fountain pen company called Fountain Pen Revolution (FPR) based in Texas. That was back in July of 2019. I purchased a Himalaya pen in a pretty Peacock color with a #5.5 Ultra Flex nib. Shortly after that I picked up a Himalaya in Saffron Orange with a #6 Ultra Flex nib. Both had hard starts when the nib hit the paper. I flushed and clean the nibs. Still had some issues. I contacted FPR who referred me to a video and I learned about heat setting the nib and feed.

I was able to get both pens writing for a bit. Then I started having hard starts all over again. I sent pictures to FPR who then suggested I needed to push the nib further into the section. Another heat set with the nib and feed. I was still having issues with the Himalayas. That was getting old.

During this time a friend of mine, “M”, had gifted to me her two Noodler’s Ahab. She had the pens inked with of course Noodler’s Apache Sunset and Black Swan in Australian Roses. Both pens wrote beautifully, but I never tried to flex the nibs or even thought I should. I was thankful for “M’s” thoughtful gift and enjoyed the pen and ink combination.

I’ve read mixed reviews about the Ahab fountain pens. Similar issues with the FPR pens. Plus the Noodler’s pen line had an interesting odor that was hard to get used to or get rid of. My Ahab’s still have this distinguishable odor almost two years later.

My next pen adventure led me to a few Conklins including the beautiful Duraflex Elements in Water and Fire. The Duraflex (omniflex) nib on the Fire wrote brilliantly, but the nib that came with Water was a dud. It did not write at all.

My old Conklin Omniflex nib units that did not write for me.

Conklin JoWo #6 Omniflex Nib

In the Fall of 2020, Conklin came out with their JoWo Omniflex nibs. I loved the look of this new nib. Plus with the JoWo branded nib I knew this would be a nice writing experience. I ordered the Goulet exclusive Endura Abalone with Chrome trim and the new Omniflex nib. This turned out to a be an awesome combination!

Conklin’s new JoWo Omniflex nib. Notice the cutouts on the shoulders of the nib.

You can see from the two previous pictures how much different the Omniflex nibs look.

This new nib is a stiff steel nib and I knew right away it might flex just a tiny bit. It does. About less than double its normal line width. I did not buy this nib for the “flex” that folks normally think of. I wanted this nib for the writing experience. The feel of the nib bouncing across the paper while I write. The springy-feeling when the nib goes up and down on the page.

I knew of this “bouncing” and “springy” experience when my friend “M” let me use her Pineider gemstone pen for a few minutes. This was a beautiful writing experience and especially with a gold nib. Pleasurable writing was the first thing that came to mind as I handed the beautiful gem back to her. Thanks “M” for sharing your lovely and beautiful pen that made a lasting impression and set the bar for what kind of nib I wanted.

Franklin-Christoph 14k Extra Fine Flex Nib

At the end of 2020, I treated myself to a fancy gold nib from Franklin-Christoph. I had this nib on my radar for a few months and when I saw they had a few in stock, I ordered one. I wanted to pair this grail nib with my Esterbrook Estie OS Sparkle. My grail pen was needing a grail nib. Hahaha!

Franklin-Christoph 14k Extra Fine Flex nib on my Estie Sparkle

I had issues with hard starts with this beautiful gold nib and my Estie Sparkle. The hard starts would happen on the first down stroke when I started to write a sentence and sometimes a few words later. It was a consistent problem with this gold flex nib. I cleaned and flushed the nib. Filled my pen with a wet ink (Sailor’s Sailor) and still had issues with the hard starts. It felt like something was starving the nib. I was not going to give up on this nib.

A lightbulb went off in my head. Maybe it’s not an ink issue at all, but something about the pen that I was using and preventing the flow of ink. I pulled out my Opus 88 Omar and swapped the Opus nib unit for the F-C 14k Flex gold nib unit. I filled my Omar with Sailor’s Sailor. Guess what? This combination wrote brilliantly.

My Opus 88 Omar and F-C 14k Extra Fine Flex nib

I believe the problem I was having with my Estie was the converter filled with ink that could not keep up with the nib and basically starved the nib. Not enough ink flowed out. With my eyedropper (Omar) pen, the ink gushes out perfectly and keeps up with the nib as I write.

Same nib. Same ink. Different pen. Writing beautifully.

Franklin-Christoph #6 HPS Extra Fine Flex Nib

After the holidays, I had been watching and waiting for another Franklin-Christoph nib to appear in their inventory. I managed to snag their steel nib called: #6 HPS Extra Fine Flex nib. This nib reminded me of the FPR EF Ultraflex nib in appearance. I had a gut feeling that this F-C nib would be the affordable modern nib that actually works. Plus I read their nibs go through a multi-step testing process before it goes out the door.

Franklin-Christoph #6 HPS Extra Fine Flex nib. A familiar looking flex nib.

Of course I needed to include a writing sample with this steel flex nib. I filled my Opus 88 Omar Tainan Blue with Rohrer and Klingner Verdigris blue black ink.

My flex writing sample with the Franklin-Christoph HPS Extra Fine Flex nib
Can see some line variations in my writing and the lovely shading from my ink
Close up of my writing sample

As you can see, the steel flex nib kept up with my handwriting. The ink flowed flawlessly through the nib and feed. No hard starts at all. I was able to flex this nib comfortably and without any hesitation. With that being said, this nib does not flex like the Zebra G dip nib or other calligraphy dip nibs. There is a difference in the thickness of the nibs with the Zebra G being thinner and lighter and disposable.

While I’m discussing the Zebra G nib, I did some research on some calligraphy dip nibs inserted into fountain pens. Desiderata Pen Company is known for this. They call their pens “vintage style flex” with modern design. It looks like a great idea, but you’ll end up replacing the Zebra G nibs frequently because they do corrode and wear down from use and I’m not sure how difficult it is to change out the nibs. Also, they are limited to the pen material/style. Right now, you will not see all the lovely resin designs and colors that are available for regular fountain pens. FYI. I haven’t seen any sparkly stuff. Hahaha! I’m starting to see more videos on their pens and it’s an interesting concept and I’m sure this idea will continue to evolve.

Final Thoughts

Based on my personal experience so far, it looks like an eyedropper pen works beautifully with both Franklin-Christoph flex nibs. If you want to do calligraphy writing with a fountain pen, you need a pen that has a wet nib and feed and it doesn’t hurt to use a wet ink as well. It’s also why I believe an eyedropper pen will work brilliantly as the ink will flow straight to the feed.

Update: I do want to add that I have purchased a second HPS #6 EF Flex nib that I upgraded on my F-C #31 Candystone pen. I used a converter with this pen and steel flex nib combination. Beautiful writing combination and no issues.

I have to add a note about Franklin-Christoph’s nibs. When purchased separately on their website, the nib comes with its feed and screw-in nib unit or collar/housing. This screw-in nib unit is a generic JoWo nib unit. That means it will fit other fountain pen manufacturers pen models (e.g. Esterbrook, Retro 51, Opus 88 Omar (#6) and Picnics (#5), etc). Just need to make sure you are matching the correct nib unit size with your pen. I also recommend double-checking with the pen manufacturer to make sure your pen uses JoWo nib unit.

Franklin-Christoph included a slip of paper with my order. Audrey had tested my nib. Nice touch!

So, am I out of luck by not having my grail pen with my grail nib? No. I’m curious by nature and will continue to figure out how to make this pen and nib combination work.

I’m extremely happy to have fantastic modern flex nibs in my collection. They each serve a different purpose. If you are interested in flex writing with the line variations, I do recommend the Franklin-Christoph #6 HPS Extra Fine Flex nib. I was pleasantly surprised how well it wrote and without any issues. No need for heat setting the nib and feed at all. That’s a huge plus for me.

For true Calligraphy writing with all the glorious flexing to get some of the finest thin lines and brilliant wide lines and let me include beautiful flourishes, I will still go with my pointed dip nibs (e.g. Zebra G, Tachikawa G, and others) with an oblique dip nib holder. Yes, there is a bit more you have to do for maintenance and setup and of course dipping frequently and writing slowly. For me, there is something wonderful about spending the time to create beautiful writings.

Here’s another writing sample. Bottom left shows how the nib writes with my normal writing and no pressure on the nib.
A close up of my writing.

My Favorite Fountain Pen Carrying Case

I wanted to write about my favorite pen carrying case. I have tried several different brands and styles and they perform different functions for me. I actually classify my fountain pen cases into two different functions: pen storage and pen carrying.

Today, I will share my favorite pen carrying case. Quattro. Made by Lochby.

The front of my Lochby Quattro cases. Pilot Metropolitan in Turquoise Dots and Champagne Gold.

From Lochby’s site here’s their description: “The Quattro fits your favorite four pens for when you’re on the go. Lightly padded, fully zippered, and wrapped in our dry waxed canvas.”

I first purchased the black waxed canvas case as they were sold out of their popular brown version. Once I received the case in hand, I was immediately impressed with their product. The quality and workmanship and especially functionality. You already know. I’m all about product function. As a sewist, I always look at workmanship and how a product is sewn together. I was surprised at how thin this case was when zipped close. It’s not at all a chunky case.

On the outside, there are pockets galore. You can see from my first picture that I have my Pilot Metros in the narrow front pocket. In the flat pocket I have my Robert Oster Blotter Card which is similar in size to a business card.

On the backside of the case, there’s velcro pocket. Here I have inserted my tiny Rhodia booklet (3″x4.7″).

The back of my Lochby pen cases

There’s a nylon YKK zipper that zips around the case to hold my pens safely inside. You can see the double stitching and bar tacking. A rugged and sturdy case.

In the next two pictures, I show the interior of each case.

The black case has a beige interior. Notice I have the two pens stored upside down on the right clipped into the slot. That way the pens don’t fall out when I open the case.
The brown case has an orange interior

Why is this pen case a favorite of mine? I mentioned in a previous post that I prefer larger pens. This Lochby case can accommodate them.

The two pens on the right are a bit girthy and requires a wider slot for the pens to slip in. Lochby took care of this in their Quattro case. (Cross Peerless 125 in Titanium Gray, Esterbrook Estie OS Sparkle in Montana Sapphire, Montegrappa Elmo in Blue Cross Gentian, and TWSBI Diamond 580ALR in Prussian Blue)
My Opus 88 Omar (2nd from the left) is the largest pen I own. For awhile this pen sat on my desk because it would not fit in my other pen carrying cases. Now it has a home. (Pineider Avatar UR in Angel Skin, Opus 88 Omar in Clear, Platinum 3776 Century in Chartres Blue, and Visconti Breeze in Plum)

There are two negatives I have come across for the black case. My black version is prone to showing lint as you can see in the above pictures. Also, I wanted to let you know not to store any light colored pens on the external pockets. The black dye from the canvas can transfer onto the pen. It has not happened to me, but my blotter card is showing black around the edges.

I love my black Lochby Quattro so much that I added the brown case to my collection. Now I don’t have to worry about where to store my girthy pens.