Tag: You Can Only Keep One (the pen edition) #youcanonlykeepone

The concept and tag, You Can Only Keep One (#youcanonlykeepone), was sent to me by Rachel from Rachel’s Reflections. The idea is to go through your collection of pens and choose just one example from each brand.

My list is going to be a completely theoretical game because their are many pens brands that I must have more than one. I mean, in the case of the Nagasawa Sailor Spring Green, I actually own TWO of the exact same pen. My list will not be quite as expansive as Rachel’s as I will only include the brands where I have more than one pen. There are some brands that it might surprise you to know I only have one pen in my collection: TWSBI, Benu, and a several indie makers. They were not excluded from this list for any reason other than I think its not really fair to say, you can only keep one pen when I only have one.

To keep in the spirit of tags, if you are reading this and have a blog, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube channel, I tag you! Please put a link in the comments with your list of pens so we can see your favorite pens!

The Littles:

From left to right:

Opus 88 Fantasia: I have several version of this pen but the blue/green version has become my favorite of the bunch. For a smaller pen, it holds a ton of ink.

Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66: While to many this particular resin is not all that special, this is the last pen that Jim Rouse tuned for me before he passed so it has sentimental value as well as being a beautiful example of this iconic design. Nib freakin’ rocks too.

Esterbrook Pocket Purse Pen: I have many classic Esterbrooks and I considered choosing the original green marbled dollar pen which was my original Esterbrook as my “only one” but when I think of an Esterbrook and close my eyes, this is the one I see. Pink with white finials, so classic.

Kaweco Sport in White Iridescent: While I know a lot of people love this material, my pen is as much about the nib as the exterior finish. Matthew Chen ground an extra special nib for me making the nib considerably more expensive than the pen itself but that makes it all the better!

SCHONDSN “Ferrera Roche” with Franklin-Christoph custom nib: This pen is all the things! It was a rare, limited finish and I put an excellent nib that Audrey at Franklin-Christoph ground for me. AND… from the rumors I heard, only about 6 of these hand beveled designs exist and I know where 4 of them are– Jesi has one, Jacklyn has one, me and our good friend of the blog Joe Crace has one so it’s also a friend pen.

Close-up of the Schon Ferrera Roche and the Kaweco White Iridescent. These two are almost always inked up and ready to go!

The Big Ones:

From left to right:

Pelikan M600 “The Ghost”: I always think that the white striped M600, affectionately know as “the ghost” or  is the quintessential M600. Maybe its because its my only M600 but when I think of an M600, this is what I see in my head.

Y Studio Resin Fountain Pen: I love the snap cap, light material and hexagonal shape. Then I plussed it up with a Franklin-Christoph Fine SIG nib and its one of my favorite everyday carry pens.

Lamy AL-Star, Urushi by Jonathan Brooks: This was definitely a no brainer for me. When someone makes you an Urushi Lamy, it is your one true Lamy FOREVER. This pen also features one of Matthew Chen’s custom nib grinds because it needed a nib as special as the pen.

Lady Sheaffer Skripsert XVI Moiré with stub nib: Picking one of the MANY Skripserts I own was probably the hardest decision in this whole tag but once again, the nib was a big deciding factor. I chose the jewel-encrusted gold moiré with the stub nib. This peekaboo of the orange grip section is also one of my favorite design elements in the Skripsert line.

Pilot Custom 912 FA nib with Spencerian Nib Grind: Once again, its all about the nib here. Gena Salorino of Custom Nib Studio took the stock soft nib and turned it into a super flexy Spencerian for me. So while this is not the most exciting pen from the outside, it’s the insides that count!

Sailor Pro Gear Slim Starburst Galaxy: This pen made my 21 Pen Questions last year in the “pry from my cold dead hands” category so I’m happy to see that I am consistent. Black and glittery with an EF nib? Yes, please and thank you!

and oops! I forgot to include the last pen:

Diplomat Esteem MadC: This simple design was made something really special with the addition of the illustrative 4-color wrap design created by artist MadC. With a bonus snap cap for ease of use, its a pen a reach for a lot more often than I expected I would.

From left to right: Skripsert stub nib, Y Studio Resin with a Franklin-Christoph custom nib, Sailor Pro Gear Slim Stardust Galaxy with EF nib and the Pilot Custom 912 FA Nib with Spencerian grind.

The Oddballs:

My last category is my “oddballs” — these are not necessarily pens other would even consider or include and the last one isn’t even a fountain pen!

From left to right:

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen: This is one of my last old school EF Platinum Carbon Desk Pens which means it is slowly working its way into the “pry from my cold dead hands” territory. Over the years I have purchased and given away dozens of this cheap but mighty pen but now that Platinum has changed the nib and construction, they are just not the same. So, it you have one of these old school PCDPs, chopped down or not, hold on to it. I’ll probably pay a lot of money for them someday.

Red Dragon Pen Co. Pilot Parallel: Techincally, this breaks the #youcanonlykeepone since the nib, grip and cap are original Pilot materials, however, since the pen was created by an indie maker Brian Chu and I have several of these, I feel like its an acceptable rulebreaker. This particular Parallel features (again!) a custom nib modification by Tom Oddo. It’s a Naifu modification making the flat Parallel nib becomes more pointed in shape. This whole combo is my favorite pen to throw tons of ink onto the page.

Retro 51 Tornado Twinkle: With the dozens of retro 51 Tornado pens in my collection, I couldn’t skip this in the #youcanonlykeepone tag. While I did manage to lose my original Twinkle, Laura kindly gifted her Twinkle to me which only makes it more special to me.

Final note:

( I somehow managed to forget to to include my conclusion. Reader FF caught the mistake. Thanks!)

Picking one of each pen brand was not easy and I did break a couple rules along the way but I do thin this was an interesting experiment when thinking about whether I actually need a dozen Kaweco Sports or a half dozen Metropolitans if my favorite pen from the brand is the one I always reach for and the others sit empty.

Now it’s your turn!



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7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Don’t have time to do a full post of my own, but …
    Leonardo: Arco Bronze MZG.
    Sailor: 2021 KOP
    Opus 88: Demo Sapphire
    Parker: 1947 Vacumatic jr in azure
    Schon Design: P6 in Redshift
    Franklin Christoph: 46 in Brooks southwest w a stub or sig nib
    Omas: Paragon F
    Carolina Pen Co: Charleston mini in abalone with Bacas architect nib
    Lamy: 2000
    Pelikan: M1000 Green Ray
    Kaweco: yellow sport w painted dragonfly design
    Sheaffer: Crest? In striated carmine
    Platinum: KumPoo
    Montegrappa: Miya 450
    SCRIBO: Piuma
    Aurora: Optima in Turin
    Benu: Hummingbird painted talisman?
    Visconti: Divina in Desert Springs
    Edison: premiere 2018 fall purple stained glass

    Pilot: impossible to choose!!! I have multiples of all! Can I choose just one of each model? 🙂

    1. I added it to the post. Thanks for catching my oversight. Its a Diplomat Esteem that featured custom artwork by an artist known as MadC.

    1. Yes! There was supposed to be a conclusion that I forgot to include. Thanks for catching the oversight. I’ve been such a scatterbrain this week!

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