I'm just now unpacking and cleaning pens from the 2016 D.C. Pen Show (yes, nearly a month later), so I figured it's finally time to show off this year's pen show swag and share my initial impressions of what I picked up. Look for extended reviews of most of these products in the coming months. I don't know about you all, but this August has been absolutely crazy and I'm looking forward to the long Labor Day weekend to sit down and play with this stuff.
- Visconti Homo Sapiens Dark Ages. My "big purchase" of the show, which I picked up from Bryant Greer at Chatterly Luxuries. I'm still getting the hang of Visconti's Power Filler, but the EF nib on this pen is excellent (especially after it was tuned by Mike Masuyama).
- Diplomat Aero. Probably the "steal" of the show. Diplomat is a pen brand that flies under the radar, but the quality control on their nibs is outstanding. I've not written with a smoother stainless steel nib.
- Franklin-Christoph Model 45. The Model 45 has become my pocket fountain pen of choice. I eyedroppered this pen with Akkerman #28 and have been using it regularly to take notes at work. I chose a stainless steel Masuyama needlepoint nib. Both of the Franklin-Christoph pens I purchased this year are show-only prototypes in acrylics that may or may not make their way into the regular product line.
- Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20. Another Franklin-Christoph Pocket Pen that's seen a lot of use since the show. The nib on this pen is a 14k Masuyama needlepoint. I also eyedroppered it with a sample of Franklin-Christoph's Urushi Red Ink, a new color released just before the show.
- Akkerman Hofkwartier Groen (#28). From Vanness Pens. A color that I've been wanting to add to my collection for a very long time, and I now have it inked in two different pens. I love this bright green ink for note-taking and annotation, and I've been using it more than anything else I bought at the show.
- Montblanc Ultra Black. From Anderson Pens. A very interesting black ink that contains undertones of blue and green, though I found the ink itself to be very wet. I have this ink in two pens right now, and I'm still trying to figure out whether it will become a staple.
- Sailor Kobe No. 6 (Bordeaux). A true burgundy Sailor ink, which I've currently got loaded into my Sailor 1911 Black Luster. I really like what I've seen so far.
- Sailor Kobe No. 9 (Suma Purple). A nice dark-purple ink. I've not had a chance to use it much yet, but it's a Sailor ink so I'm sure I'm going to like it. Initial impressions is that it's a touch better behaved than Bung Box Ink of Witch, and isn't as dark.
Miscellaneous Nibs and Notebooks
- Inky Fingers "Currently Inked" Notebook. I love to make lists, especially lists about pens and ink. I went with the pocket-sized notebook.
- Franklin-Christoph #6 14k nib, Masuyama Cursive Italic. I've been wanting to upgrade my Scriptorium Pens Balladeer to a 14k gold nib for a while now. As a bonus, I can also swap this nib into my Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20.
- Vintage Pelikan 14k Oblique Medium Nib. Many people don't know that vintage Pelikan M400 nibs are interchangeable with modern Pelikan Pens. I've never had an oblique medium nib, so I'm looking forward to testing this one out.
As usual, I also ended up with a giant bag full of ink samples that I won't even try to list or categorize here, but you may be seeing some more ink reviews. I also had some nibs tuned and ground (you can read about one of those here). I can't wait for next year!
DISCLAIMER: I purchased all of the products featured in this review with my own funds, for my own collection. This post contains affiliate links.