When Good Made Better stormed onto the scene last year with their Penwell classic designs, they certainly blew the minds of most of the pen community with their design sensibilities and professionalism. Their latest creation, launched today on Kickstarter is likely to be no different. Unlike the original Penwell Classic design, this model, called the Penwell Traveler, is created to be more compact for portability and for the more modest budget. Aesthetically, it may also appeal to more modern sensibilities. It takes its design cues from a more angular and understated look than the original Penwell Classic which has a more vintage look.
I ran the new Penwell Traveler through an assortment of pens in my arsenal. I started with my Pelikan M405 “Ghost” which was a match color-wise. It fit snugly in the black foam inside the aluminum casing. The mounting hinge allows the Penwell Traveler to be angled however best suits the user. Once the protective plastic is removed from the base to expose the sticky adhesive on the bottom (kind of like post-it note adhesive) the stand will “stick” to a spot on your table or desk making it easier to twist or untwist (or pull) your pen from the cap.
Once removed, your cap has a place to be so you aren’t left holding it in your hand or posting it, if that’s not something you usually do. My Platinum 3776 “Kung Fu Panda” demonstrates, above, life without cap. The combination of translucent plastic and white metal is a pretty nice look.
The photo here is my latest Birmingham Pen Co. Model-A Crystalline Liquid Hot Magma Fountain Pen at full attention should you prefer your pen in flagpole position. The cap on the Model-A is pretty wide so its a particularly snug fit and, though its a short pen overall, its a pretty nice looking pen in the holder.
In a more relaxed, cannon fire position is my Peyton Street Ranga Slim Bamboo. This looks a little odd in a pen holder, don’t you think?
My Sailor Pink Love is a wee bit short in the holder. I’m not sure it doesn’t look a bit like a pin in a pin cushion. Maybe I’ve been looking at these photos too long?
I had only one pen failure with the Penwell Traveler — my vintage Lady Sheaffer Skripserts. They were all too narrow to fit into the design properly. I was a bit bummed because my Petit Point in white is a perfect match.
The view from straight on makes it a bit more apparent that the foam insert is too loose for the narrow diameter of the Skripserts. There is a size guide and a method for removing and reorienting the foam on the Kickstarter that might make it possible to support the Skripserts so I might give it another chance I’m not holding out hope. They are very narrow.
Most modern fountain pens of average size should fit but pens on the extreme ends — either very slender or very wide may pose a challenge with this design.
The Penwell Traveler is available in three finishes, the white Cerakote shown here for the early bird pricing of $43 each as well as a dark grey Cerakote which is also $43 (early bird pricing). There is a raw aluminum finish for $37 (early bird pricing). Then, of course, some special pricing for combined ordering. The Kickstarter launched today so you have 30 days to decide if this model is right for you. And, of course. the Penwell Classic model is still available if you are looking for something for your desk.