Fountain Pen Review: Kaweco Perkeos

Fountain Pen Review: Kaweco Perkeos

Finally! The Kaweco Perko fountain pens are available. These entry level plastic-bodied fountain pens look to be direct competitors to other student pens with a molded grip section, poppy colors and a faceted barrel. The price point is €14,95/$17.65 (€12,36/$14.59 Outside EU)  There are four color options available: the “Bad Taste” which is the hot pink and black, the “Cotton Candy” which is a soft pink with cool grey cap, “Indian Summer” which is mustard seed yellow-green with a black cap and the “Old Chambray” which is a white body with a blue-grey cap.

The Perkeos are a matte finish plastic with faceted bodies and the classic hex barrel cap. The caps are snap caps with a tight fit. The caps can be posted. Because these are lightweight plastic pens, they do not feel substantial but they also don’t feel intimidating. They walk that fine line — playful without feeling too juvenile.

The pens with black details have black nibs and the lighter colors have steel nibs. I got two pens with fine nibs and two with medium nibs; one chrome, one black of each nib size.

 

While the nibs aren’t exactly the same as the nibs on the Sport models in terms of design, they seem to write pretty consistently to them. Actually, I find the medium nib on the Perkeos to be better than the Sport mediums which I’ve always had issues with.

I really like the black nibs! They look slick!

The finials on the end coordinate with the nibs and are the classic Kaweco logos.

The other awesome upside to the Perkeo is that they take full-sized converters and extra long cartridges! Any standard European cartridge or converter is fair game. I used a Waterman cartridge, a Pelikan Edelstein cartridge, and two random converters I had laying around. The Perkeos ship with one Kaweco blue cartridge so you will need to order additional cartridges or converters if you don’t have your own personal cartridge roulette wheel like I do.

Because the Perkeos are so reasonably priced, I couldn’t resist having all four so that I could play Perkeo mix-up. I swapped caps and bodies to make new color combinations. I wanted an all-black with the citrus-y green grip and the hot pink and green above all other things (so Bad Taste and Indian Summer are MUST-HAVES for the swap). I also like the look of the white body with the grey cap. I’ve swapped things around about four times already! But a mod black-and-white would be cool too.

In writing tests, I noticed just a slight difference on the Tomoe River paper between the medium and the fine nibs. The Papier Plume ink was a bit wetter and spread a bit more than the other three inks I used so that was the only place I really noticed the nib difference. With a drier ink, the medium nibs in the Perkeos were quite pleasant. I’m not normally a medium nib fan, but these I like a lot. I’ve used these pens for about a week on other paper surfaces and enjoyed them. They are pretty stiff nibs but smooth.

On the downside, the colors may not be for everyone. Right now, the only nib options are fine or medium and like I said earlier, they do not come with a converter. There is no packaging. The pens came wrapped in a cellophane sleeve each. I suspect these were designed to be sold on store countertops like lollipops.

But for about $15 each, Perkeos are some of the least expensive full-sized fountain pens available from a major European manufacturer. Yes, the Pilot Metropolitan is still a (Japanese) metal alternative at $14.50 but if I was looking to buy a pen for my niece, I’m more inclined to get her a Perkeo which is a bit lighter for her younger hand but still cute. I’m certainly not embarrassed to use them.


DISCLAIMER: Some items used in this review were sent to me free of charge by Fontoplumo. Please see the About page for more details.

News: DC Pen Show Early Edition

If you will be coming to the DC Pen Show this weekend, here’s some things to look for. Even if you’re not, some of the events will be broadcast or available online as well. So, if you’d like to feel a part of the excitement, here’s how:

Susan Wirth Memorial

On Saturday evening there will be a memorial service held in honor of Susan Wirth who passed away suddenly in May. The service will be held at 7pm. There will be efforts made to livestream parts of the event. Details to follow. Check on Instagram, Twitter or the Pen Addict podcast episode 268 (yet to be broadcast, but this is where the link will be when available) which will be recorded on Friday night. Myke is hoping to get it uploaded as quickly as possible and may be able to get some information broadcast about the whos and wheres of any recording. I am sure people will be taking photos, videos and sharing their own experiences as well.

In general, most images of this year’s Pen Show can be found on Instagram via the hashtag #dcpenshow2017. You can find images of Susan Wirth under the hashtag #susanwirth . If you have any images you’d like to share, please upload them to Instagram and add the hashtag to share along with your stories.

Pen Show Specials

In honor of their second anniversary, Federalist Pens has a special edition Robert Oster Signature ink called Frankly Blue. Its a rich dark blue-green with shading and its exclusive to Federalist Pens, of course. If you are interested in this new exclusive ink you can pre-order on their web site and pick up your order at the show. Be sure to mention in your order if you want to pick up your ink at the show. Or send an email to Frank.

Also available at the Federalist Pens table will be the new Soda Pop Blue and Black Violet inks but those will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis so come by the table to get these two new colors as there are a limited number of bottles available. The best way to see these colors and what Robert Oster is working on next, check out their Facebook page.

Vanness Pen Shop  is bringing the Rollbahn notebook collection from Delfonics to the show. The notebook covers are available in both brilliant neons and more subtle colors in top- and side-binding in a wide array of sizes with lines and grid formats. The paper is a warm ivory color and  pretty fountain pen friendly. In the back of the notebooks are plastic storage sleeves (multiple sleeves!) for loose ephemera sandwiched between two sheets of cardstock. Black elastic keeps everything tidy. Of course, Vanness is also bringing towers of ink from all the brands from across the globe and the new Kaweco Perkeos (shown above), new goodies from Caran d’Ache and so much more. Vanness will also offer 8 colors of Bungbox for $35 per bottle. Come get them while you can!

Anderson Pens will be bringing their fabulous wares including the new Retro 51 Tiki Kona, the new TWSBI Eco Turquoise, the Leuchtturm1911 notebooks, Graf von Faber Castell Guilloche pens, the new Akkerman Dutch Masters ink colors, and the Kyoto TAG inks. The Andersons will also have the new Robert Oster Black Violet ink.

The Kanilea Pen Company will debut their new Haleakala Fountain Pen design at the DC Show. The Haleakala fountain pen, has a rose gold medallion and is available with an 18K rose gold or rose gold steel nib. It looks amazing and I can’t wait to see it in person.

A handful of Funkytowns getting ready to head to D.C. #dcpenshow2017 #nockshots

A post shared by Nock Co. (@nockco) on

NockCo is bringing an array of their products including so unusual mix-ups like these “Funkytowns”. Just in time too because someone at my house ran off with my Brasstown.

Special Guests

Master Penman Jake Weidmann will be at the Montegrappa table Saturday & Sunday. If you’re not familiar with his work, this is a great opportunity to see him in action.

and, of course,

There will be Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books available at the pen show! I will be at the Vanness Pens table with a goodly amount. I know that Tom of Ink Journal plans to be at the show with a stash of Col-o-ring Ink Testing Books as well.

If you have any questions, drop me a line via Twitter, Instagram or my handy, dandy Ask The Desk email form. Please come by and say hi at the show! I can’t wait to see every one, their purchase and their Col-o-rings!

Fashionable Friday: Secret Societies

Secret Societies have always existed. Groups were formed with a similar goal or passion. Sometimes their interests ran counter to the rest of society so they met in secret but sometimes they were created to eat, drink and have fun.

There is a fascination with the symbols, hierarchy and culture that emerged from these groups and has been maintained for centuries in some of these societies like the Freemasons, Shriners and such.

Whether real or fictional, secret societies continue to fascinate. Have you ever joined a club, secret society or organization that had special insignia? Are you a member of the infamous Black Pen Society or a recent member of the Karas Pen Club? Or maybe you follow W.C. Fields belief that “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member”?

  • Freedom of Peach Nail Polish (via OPI)
  • Seal Wax Washi Tape MT Ex Japanese Wide $6.50/roll (via CuteTape)
  • Edison Beaumont Fountain Pen – Black Onyx Flake $149 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Pelikan M101 Bright Red fountain pen, special edition €485 (via Fontoplumo)
  • CDT Mechanical Pencil $18 (via Fresh Stock Japan)
  • Pen UNO $45 (via ENSSO)
  • J. Herbin Stormy Grey Ink – 1670 Anniversary – 50 ml Bottle $25 (via JetPens)
  • Plain Kraft Notebooks £8/3-pack (via Backpocket Notebooks)
  • Yale Skull And Bones Secret Society Ring $92 (via NewNeo2012 on Etsy)
  • Shriner’s Fez $49 (on Shop Diem on Etsy)
  • Vintage 14K White Gold Diamond Masonic Tie Tack $260 (via Fine Jools)
  • Akkerman Dutch Masters 03 Gele Oker van Frans “French Yellow Ochre” $38 (via Vanness Pen Shop)
  • Karas Pen Club Coin $20.17 (via Karas Pen Co.)
  • Visconti V Bottle(40ml) Fountain Pen Ink in Black $17.50 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Robert Oster Signature Ink(50ml) Fountain Pen Ink in Ng Special 16 $16 (via Pen Chalet)
  • Rhodia Heritage Collection Tartan 80-Sheet Notebook $16 (via Vanness Pen Shop)
  • Paperblanks Grande Journal in Exotic Marquetry Mother of Pearl, Lined $24.95 (via Anderson Pens)
  • Journal Set of 2 $10 (via Sapori)

Thanks to my sponsors for providing some of the images I use for Fashionable Friday. Please consider making your next purchase from one of the shops that support this blog and let them know you heard about them here. Thanks for your support and for supporting the shops that help keep it running.

News: What Happens Next

Okay, you forced my hand this week! Too much happened in the last 48 hours that made me HAVE to post a news post this week!

NEWS of the WEIRD or NEWS of the WEEK — you decide!

The Pen Addict received a Cease & Desist from the Scribble Pen. Pretty sure its about as legally binding as those letters I get from Princes in Africa and those phone calls I’ve been getting from the IRS about wire transferring my life savings.

Thanks for blazing a trail:

Typographic legend, designer and lettering artist Margo Chase passed away on Sunday in a plane accident. She was best known for designing the Buffy logo, the Madonna Immaculate Collection logo and her typefaces. I had the privilege of meeting her once when I was working in Chicago and she has always been someone I have looked up to as a role model.

On an Up Note:

Sponsors:

Please welcome CuteTape back to our sponsors! If you need washi tape, there’s no better source. CuteTape also sells baker’s twine, party favors, decorative paper bags, stationery and other items great for journaling and crafting.

Vanness Pen Shop is also a returning sponsor of The Well-Appointed Desk. Their online shop stocks a dizzying array of ink brands from all over the world from KWZ from Poland to Kyoto TAG inks from Japan.

And finally, the shop is restocked with Col-o-rings! Place your orders quick because I’m hitting the road for D.C. on Wednesday morning so order shipping will slow to crawl until I get back on Tuesday, August 8.

Pencil Review: Yellow Pencil Showdown

Pencil Review: Yellow Pencil Showdown

I was totally inspired by my nephew’s back-to-school list this week. It included amongst handy wipes, kleenex and paper towels (who knew kids needed to provide those?) a box of #2 Ticonderoga yellow pencils. Well, you and I both know there are other pencils out there that are far superior to the Ticonderoga but is there a yellow #2 that could get past the watchful eye of a third grade teacher and provide a superior writing experience for my nephew? Let’s put a few to the test!

Yellow Pencils

I went through my stash and found these candidates:

Yellow Pencil writing sample 1

After my first scour through the house, I grabbed every yellow pencil I could find. “Are you yellow? Come with me!” There were a couple pencils that got ruled out immediately for being NOS and unavailable anymore. I didn’t know we had some of these just laying around. Pencil hoarders!

Even though the PaperMate Mongol was a “Made in the USA” NOS it was a bit, dark and scratchy and was ruled out twice. The Baron Fig Archer got ruled out twice as well for being in a set of other colors so not truly a yellow pencil and for being scratchier than the rest.

Yellow Pencil writing sample smudge test

I did a smudge test using a cotton swab with all of them. I borrowed the cotton swab idea from pen testing (light bulb moment!) so that I could use a fresh swab for each one and not have graphite-y fingers. The Eagle, Musgrave, Calendar, Koh-i-noor and Badger were the best performers here.

Overall the Koh-i-noor was the hardest of the pencils. The vintage Eagle HB was the second hardest and secretly my favorite but was not the winner simply because it would be unfair to give top billing to a pencil that is hard to get. But it was a silky writer and I collected all the NOS Eagle HBs in the house into a squirrel hole. MINE! If you prefer a harder, lighter color the Koh-i-noor might suit your tastes. Also if you tend to use smoother paper, the harder lead is nice.

I tested all these pencils on Moleskine paper which is a fairly smooth stock. And they were all freshly sharpened with a KUM two-step long point sharpener to a fresh point. The factory points are just not good enough and sometimes are a bit scratchy.

Yellow Pencil Finalists

After initial test, I narrowed down to seven finalists. These are the pencils that I think are good alternatives to the big box store Dixon Ticonderogas currently available.

Yellow Pencil writing sample 3

So based on price and availability, these were my best choice recommendations for other yellow pencils:

  1. General’s Badger #2 ($0.75 each)
  2. Musgrave Harvest 320 #2 (0.35)
  3. Caran d’Ache 351-2 Yellow School Pencil ($2 each)
  4. Mitsubishi  9852 HB ($1.30 each)
  5. General’s Carbo-Weld Supreme 550 #2 ($1.10 each)
  6. Dixon Ticonderoga 1388-2  USA HB Soft (NOS)
  7. General’s Pacific 365 #2 ($0.80)

The General’s Badger is an American made pencil that writes well and passed with both myself and my faithful husband who got roped into testing pencils with me. We played with them on drawing paper and writing paper over several nights and both agreed that the Badger was our favorite. Bob writes with a heavier hand than I do but we settled on the Badger as the best all-around pencil. It is a little more expensive that the Musgrave Harvest but provided a smoother writing experience. We liked the finish on the pencil too.

The Musgrave Harvest took second place for being the most reasonably priced option with good point retention, American-made and an all-around good alternative to the Ticonderoga. It’s darker golden color and gold foil gives it a classic nostalgic look too.

Third place is the Caran d’Ache Yellow School pencil which is pencil poshness. It has a silky writing experience albeit a little harder and lighter than some of the others, a great eraser and the paint exterior is top notch. Of course, it also comes with a premium price tag. If you want the feel of a back-to-school pencil at fancy boarding school prices, this is the one for you.

The Mitsubishi 9852 “Master Writing” HB is a little bit softer, darker writing experience but it gives this pencil an amazingly smooth, silky writing experience. The pencil is a yellow-orange color with a bronze ferrule which gives it a unique look. It’s on the pricier end but well worth it.

General’s CarboWeld Supreme 550 #2  is another solid option from this American classic. Its a bit more expensive than the Badger. It’s slightly smoother and maybe a bit darker than the Badger.

And the last option was a tie between the General’s Pacific and the Dixon Ticonderoga NOS. The Pacific is a little less expensive than the CarboWeld Supreme 550 #2 but still provided a great writing experience. Of course, if you can find a dozen NOS Ticonderogas in the wild, it’s worth grabbing them while you still can. They really are gems. I didn’t believe the “they don’t make ’em like they used to” adage until I picked up these NOS pencils and used them again.

Go forth and get your back-to-school on!

Links: News, Sharks & Penthouse Views

For the sake of efficiency this week, leading up to the D.C. Pen Show, I’m combining a few news articles with the links rather than separating them out into their own post this week.

News:

  • Goulet Pens is moving! Shipping will be affected during the week of August 8-12 so be sure to read their blog post for details. Expedited shipping won’t be available and there may be some delays as they get moved so be patient.
  • There are six new Akkerman Dutch Masters ink colors making a grand total of twelve colors of 120ml bottles available. They are currently stocked at both Anderson Pens and Vanness Pens.
  • Shark Week has even invaded the US Post Office.
  • This weekend is the Chicago International Urban Sketch Symposium so there is lots of posts on Instagram and various blogs from folks like Liz Steel, Citizen Sketcher and our very own Tina at Fueled by Clouds and Coffee. To see what some of these urban sketchers pack for a weekend of street sketching, check out Citizen Sketcher’s What’s in My Bag post and Tina’s Ready for Chicago post. Then follow them both on Instagram for more of their adventures.

Pens:

Inks:

Pencils:

Paper & Notebooks:

Other Interesting Things:

and finally,