Regal 82 William Fountain Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Regal 82 William fountain pen caught my eye when it landed on JetPens for two reasons: it has a brass body and a metal grip section. I typically love pens with a heavy body and metal grips, so I dove on it immediately. Not knowing anything about the brand, I made a mental note to look into them later on. After some brief research, it appears that Regal is a large wholesaler of their own line of pens with a presence in several large US cities, as well as India. I don't know for sure, but word on the street is that the pens are made in Taiwan. Not bad, right? So, how does this new player stack up against the other competitors? It puts up a good fight, but I think a lot of it will come down to personal aesthetic preference.

Aesthetics

The pen comes in 5 different colors: black, white, French rose, lavender pink, and hot pink. Is it just me, or is that a lot of pink? White and black are standard, and pink is also a popular color, but I can't help but think that some other choices would be advantageous here. Purple? Green? Blue? You get my point, right?

The pen has a great heft to it. It's a fairly slim body, so the weight can be a bit unexpected when you first pick it up. Being slim, it still feels very good in hand. I really enjoy writing with it and haven't experienced any cramps or fatigue while using it. This is always a good sign of proper balance and sizing for pens that I use.

There's a marble-like band above the grip section of the barrel, and I'm not a huge fan of it for two reasons: it looks fake and it seems misplaced on the pen. Other than that, I really like the white color of the model I chose. It's pearly and has a nice glimmer to it. The chrome furniture is also a great touch.

The decorative thing at the top of the pen cap is...confusing. I'm not sure what it is or what it represents, but it just doesn't speak to me in any way. I want to replace it with something flat and subtle.

The clip is strong, but not annoyingly so. The cap, on the other hand, has been a major problem for me. This cap is snug when it's on the pen. It takes two hands (firmly gripped) to remove the cap from the pen. I'm worried that I might damage the nib at some point from trying too hard to remove the cap. I'm hoping this will get easier with some wear, but I also think it's unacceptable for a new pen. The cap can post on the pen, but it's awkward. It makes the pen extremely long and put it off balance. I've been using it without the cap posted, and that seems to work best.

The grip is metal and feels very nice. It's smooth and is mostly the same shape, which is a big win in my book. The nib is small and two-toned, which isn't a problem, but the fact that it says "18K GP" bothers me. I think this is meant to be decorative, and it might very well have some small amount of gold-plating, but it gives the wrong impression.

Overall, the pen feels good in the hand, and that's the most important part of the aesthetics, right?

Writing

The 82 William only accepts international short catridges, or that's what it claims. I'm sure that you could use a converter if it was slim enough. The cavity in the pen body is deep enough to hold a converter. The Monteverde converter comes to mind.

I loaded the pen with J. Herbin Éclat de Saphir instead of the black cartridge that came with the pen. This ink does really well in the medium nib on the pen, and I've been completely happy with the way it writes.

The line is consistent and tad on the wet side, which is what I prefer in a medium or bold nib. So far, it's been very good about not drying out in between uses — there haven't been any problems with starting or skipping, and it can even write after a few minutes of being uncapped and unused.

Overall, it writes really well and feels great in the hand. For that reason, it's a really good pen, and at the $30 price point, it's a fairly good value. Like I said earlier, I think the major factor to consider here is aesthetics. Do you like the way this pen looks? If so, then I'm pretty confident that you'll enjoy using it as it's a great writer. If you don't like the look of the pen, I'd recommend passing it.

After using this pen from Regal, I'd be interested in trying others from the company.

Posted on November 26, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews, Regal.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 130 - Stop Spending My Money - Holiday Gift Guide 2014

I spent money on the air during the show.

That's all you need to know about this episode, where Myke and I were joined by the amazing Ana Reinert to discuss our holiday gift suggestions. This is our sorta-third edition of the gift guide, and doing this episode is as fun as ever. Be sure to pull up the show notes and play along!

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

Drafts: where text starts on iPhone and iPad. Now easier and more powerful than ever.

Pen Chalet: use the code PENADDICT to save 10% on your order or click the ‘podcast’ link at the top of the website and enter the password 'penaddict' for even more savings, as well as your 10% off.

Dash: Create beautiful dashboards with a few clicks. Sign up now to get one free private dashboard.

Posted on November 25, 2014 and filed under Podcast.

Get Ready For Black Friday With Pen Chalet

The biggest shopping days of the year are upon us and Pen Chalet has all of your pen and ink needs covered.

From Friday, November 28th through Monday, December 1st, Pen Chalet will be discounting all items in their shop. That's right - ALL of them! The coupon will be live this Friday and will be valid on already discounted items as well.

You can get a sneak peek of some of the big discounts on Pen Chalet's Black Friday Sale page, including great products from my favorite brands such as Pelikan, Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor. And keep checking back for more deep discounts as the sale progresses.

Start checking those gifts off your shopping list, and maybe pick something up for yourself while you are at it. And don't forget there is free shipping on all orders over $50 - an easy mark to hit with all of these great deals!

My thanks to Pen Chalet for sponsoring The Pen Addict this week.

Posted on November 24, 2014 and filed under Featured Sponsor.

Baron Fig Apprentice Notebook Review

The Baron Fig Apprentice and I got off on the wrong foot. I had a remote writing session planned, taking the kids with me to Starbucks on a Saturday and hoping to knock a few reviews out. I grabbed a handful of pens, some paper, and grabbed one of the new Apprentice notebooks Baron Fig was kind enough to send me fresh from the 3-pack.

We settled in at Starbucks, me with a tall coffee and the kids with awesomely overpriced cake pops and Sanpelligrino. But hey, it's an outing, and I'm glad to get out of the house for an hour or two and write and draw with the kids.

I was anxious to spend some time with the Apprentice, so I cracked it open and started testing a few different pens and inks on the back pages, as you do. I immediately noticed that the pages and covers wouldn't stay flat. Then I took this picture:

Crooked Fingers.jpg

Not a happy maker. See how the stitching is crooked and almost wraps around the binding? That causes the inside pages to lay awkwardly and makes for an strange writing experience. If the stitching was straight - no issue at all.

Customer service in an always online world is a funny thing. It's hard to get right, both from a customer expectation standpoint and a business standpoint. Everything Baron Fig did to correct this was fantastic. Let me give a few tips on how both consumers and businesses can work together to come to a happy resolution:

  1. As a customer, don't be an asshole. Mistakes happen, problems arise. I was not happy with my notebook, and while I wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, I wasn't a jerk either.
  2. If you are going to call out a company on social media, have the stones to include their handle so they may see the problem you are having. If you are going to blast someone and not link to them somehow you are giving the company less of a chance to make things right.
  3. As a company, own the problem. Most customers are understanding and appreciate the honesty and two-way conversation.
  4. Have a solution, and deliver. Any company worth their salt should be able to explain how they will handle the issue clearly and directly.

To their credit, Baron Fig did an amazing job following up with my issue. I tagged them in my Instagram pic and they responded before I had even left Starbucks. And they didn't just respond, they owned the issue, made me smile, and emailed me right away stating a replacement was on the way.

That is how you do business.

I wanted to go through this entire scenario because sometimes first impressions cloud our judgement. We are all guilty of this, myself included. But first impressions can be changed, and that all depends on how you and the companies you deal with handle problems.

That huge digression aside, how is the Baron Fig Apprentice as a notebook? It's good. Not exceptional, not awful. But good, and that is ok. This is a notebook made to be used and abused and it is perfect for that. The cover feels sturdy enough to take a beating, and the paper handled most inks I threw at it, with the exception of a few of the inkiest fountain pen and marker inks.

The main difference between the Apprentice and many other similar notebooks are the dimensions. A standard memo book runs 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" while the Apprentice runs 3 1/2" x 5". They call this Smart Dimensions to make the page more breathable, but to me it feels stubby and less breathable. It is more pocketable this way though, but those who like to use specialty covers with their notebooks may have a little extra wiggle in the fit.

At $9 for a 3-pack, I think the Apprentice will do very well for Baron Fig. The Confidant has a large and loyal following and the Apprentice is a great compliment to their product line.

My thanks to Baron Fig for sending me BOTH of the 3-packs of Apprentice notebooks for review. Be sure to check out the excellent interview with the gentlemen behind Baron Fig at Tools & Toys.

Posted on November 24, 2014 and filed under Baron Fig, Notebook Reviews.