Fountain Pen Review: Hinze Pen Co. L12 Erste

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

Hinze Pen Company is known for creating unique but LARGE resin pens. But never one to stay in their own metaphorical lane, Hinze has created a smaller pen body in an effort to got straight for my wallet.

The initial offering of the L12 Erste models ($159.99) that Hinze has been bringing pen shows are solid resin colors compared to their more elaborately poured resin pens. The solid material colors help to keep the overall cost of the pen lower than the more elaborate resin patterns in some of their other designs.

While the barrel colors might not be all swirly, there is still depth and interest in the materials. The two models I picked up were the Pink and the Sea Foam which are delicious, candy colors. The Pink Erste has glitter embedded in the resin and the Sea Foam appears to have a slight hint of shimmer but mostly a solid resin that reminds me of jadeite dishes.

There are six colors to choose from in the Erste (L12) line: Turquoise, Lavender, Yellow, Plum and the Pink and Sea Foam.

The Pink Erste (L12):

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

In this close-up image you can see the embedded glitter which looks like an iridescent pink glitter so its a little bit sparkly but blends in with the color of the resin so its not in your face sparkly. Its restrained sparkle. If that’s actually a thing.

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

The Hinze Pen Co. pens ship with No. 6 JOWO nibs that are available in an array of anodized electroplated colors ($20 upcharge). When I say array, I mean a full freakin’ rainbow (12 colors plus stainless and gold)! So, even though the Erste is supposed to be their entry level pen, you are given the opportunity to make your pen special and unique by choosing your nib color. Or not.

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

For the Pink Erste, I chose a Teal EF nib. Amusingly enough, Jesi purchased the exact same combo when she selected her Erste pen.

The Sea Foam Erste (L12)

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

The above image shows a close-up of the material and it’s distinctly mermaid-y vibes. Is there a shimmer or is it a creme de minte color? You decide.

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

What anodized nib choice would look best with this pen? That’s a tough call but I chose purple and I think its just the right amount of pop.

Hinze L12 Erste Fountain Pen

Compared to Other Pens:

From left to right: Pilot Custom 912, Lamy AL-Star, Platinum 3776 Kumpoo, The Erste Seafoam and Pink, Pelikan M205 Star Ruby and a Sailor ProGear Slim (specific colorway unknown).

When describing the Erste (L12), Hinze specifically cites that their goal was to create a “gateway to custom pens” but “keep the size in the general range of a Pelican M205 or Platinum 3776”. So, of course, it only seemed fair to compare the size of the Erste to these pens. The Erste is definitely closer in size overall to the Platinum 3776, Lamy AL-Star and Pilot Custom 912.

When posted, the Erste is as long as a Lamy AL-Star which I find a bit long. Unposted, the Erste, like the Lamys, are much easier to manage.

Capped, the Erste measures approx. 5.25″. Uncapped, it’s 5″ and posted, it’s 6.75″ long. The Erste, thanks to it’s resin material is not a very heavy pen, weighing in at just 17gms capped/posted and filled with a converter and 12gms uncapped.

Pen Weights

The Writing Samples

Hinze Erste Writing Samples


Hinze Erste Writing Samples

The EF nib on the No. 6 JOWO is a pretty fine line in a stiff nib. If you like writing with rollerball or gel pens in 0.5mm or smaller, then writing with an EF JOWO nib will be right in the sweet spot for you. Obviously, Hinze offers the full array of JOWO nib tip sizes so if you are more inclined for a broad or stub nib, they have those in these awesome anodized finishes as well.

Final Thoughts:

The Hinze Erste (L12) is a smaller pen more suited for folks looking for a “regular-sized” pen. Hinze, being from Texas does like to do things BIG but I think the addition of the Erste (L12) is just the pen to help make the Hinze brand more accessible to a wider audience. Clearly, Hinze is set to take over the small maker pen world.

Stay tuned. There will be a giveaway for your very own Hinze Erste (L12) Fountain Pen later this week.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the items included in this review were provided free of charge by Hinze Pens for the purpose of review, others were paid for by the generous contributions from Patrons. Please see the About page for more details.

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6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. $159.99 ugh. Gauche – gaudy – kitsch. No clip – not even an optional accommodation clip. Please don’t anodize the nib. Hard Pass…

  2. I know it sounds boring but I like the turquoise pen with the stainless steel nib. That little bit of sparkle in the pen and the fact that it is regular sized is appealing to me. 🙂

  3. They’re all pretty, but the turquoise is my absolute favourite colour (spelling ‘color’ the Texan way!). It brings forth emotional memories of my childhood.

  4. I think I would like the purple barrel with a teal nib. Both colors are favorites of my wife and they would remind me of her zeal for life and how much I love her. It would also make me chuckle every time I used the pen, knowing she will never write with it. The one time I handed her a fountain pen to sign a birthday card, she immediately flipped the pen over and tried to write with the nib upside down. That silly, silly woman of my dreams!

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