It’s been almost six months since I posted anything about pens. My collection has continued to grow over that time, so I thought I’d review a few of my recent additions. I developed a semi-scientific rating system over the last year (see table below). I rate each pen in 7 categories (nib, filling mechanism, capacity, comfort, style, cleaning, drying/startup). Some of the categories are empirical, while others are quite subjective. The highest possible score is 35. For reference, the Visconti Homo Sapiens Dark Age scored a 29 and the Monteverde Monza scored a 13. I have some pens that would score lower than the Monza, but it is not worth my time to catalog every TWSBI I have wasted money on. Speaking of money, I added a price-per-quality metric to keep everything in perspective. For reference, all the weights are unposted; I’m not a monster.

Aurora Ipsilon

This is my third Aurora fountain pen. It’s not the best of the three, but it’s the most economical. I went with the medium nib and I inked it with Noodler’s Dark Matter (my new favorite ink). After reading the descriptions, I expected more feedback on the nib. Perhaps I should have gone with the fine point to get the full experience. (side note: Italian nibs are a full step thicker than Japanese nibs; I wish there was an industry standard). The Ipsilon is small but comfortable to write with; it reminds me of the Pilot Heritage 92.

Platinum #3776

I have a few Platinum Preppies laying around. I use them in various colors for editing. This is my first upper-tier Platinum. Things started on the wrong foot. The packaging was bad, and the pen was rattling around (neither the cap nor the feed was firmly threaded). I was also irritated it did not come with a converter; I had to order one and wait a couple more days to give it a try. I eventually inked it with Mont Blanc Mystery Black. The gold nib inks a nice line, but I don’t get all the rave reviews I have read. It’s a decent pen, but it’s not a great pen.

Pineider La Grande Bellezza Stone Black

This is my first Pineider. The packaging was elegant though probably unnecessary. The pen is extravagant in design and lives up to the name. I was impressed with the magnetic locking system for the cap. I inked it with Monteverde Smoke Noir. The heft is nice, and the gold nib inks a smooth line with very little feedback. It’s almost too smooth. I tend to prefer a slight scratch to remind me I’m writing with a fountain pen. The taper of the nib is severe and makes it appear long, though it’s comparable to other pens. The narrowness of the nib makes the feed visible, not an issue, but I caught myself looking at it as I wrote, so it may prove to be a distraction for me. Time will tell. I liked the Smoke Noir ink. It was darker than I expected, a pleasant shade of gray.

 

Pen Nib Filling System Capacity (ml) Weight (grams) Price (MSRP) Rating PQ
Aurora Ipsilon Steel Converter 1 14 $150 20 $7.50
Platinum #3776 14kt Gold Converter 0.82 10 $240 18 $13.33
Pineider La Grande Bellezza 14kt Gold Converter 1.03 23 $498 21 $23.71