Filtering by Author: Brad Dowdy

Platinum Double R3 Action Sarabo MWB-1000F 2 Color 0.5 mm Ballpoint Multi Pen + 0.5 mm Pencil - Chartres Blue Review

Longest. Pen. Name. Ever.

I’ve seen some long, winding, nonsensical pen names before but this Platinum may take the cake. Good thing it is a decent pen or I’m not sure my brain could have handled it.

The Platinum Double R3 fills a spot in Platinum’s lineup for those wanting a complimentary pen to go along with their popular #3776 Century Fountain Pen. The barrel colors are a perfect match - Black, Bourgogne, and Chartres Blue - although the multi pen has silver furniture, while the fountain pens use gold.

The Double R3 features a lightweight, translucent, plastic barrel that is very sharp looking - especially the Chartres Blue. It is very light though, but feels sturdy enough to handle any normal carry situation.

Where this pen seperates itself from its competitors is the use of Platinum’s low-viscosity Sarabo ink in the 0.5 mm ballpoint refills. They are very fine, clean, and impressively smooth. I have never used a Sarabo refill before but it is so nice I would love to see it used in other single cartridge pens.

I don’t use pencils in multi pens very often so I don’t have much to say about it besides it works. What is cool is that it has possibly the largest eraser I have seen in a multi pen before. That’s a nice bonus for my fully leaded friends.

The only hangup I have with the Double R3 is a common multi pen design problem. To switch refills you twist the top part of the barrel from station to station, but if you take it past the far right station you start to unscrew the barrel. This is the nature of the beast until you get into more expensive barrels that feature constant 360 degree rotation.

At $16.50 it isn’t exactly cheap, but it is a fair price for a complementary pen. It’s great looking, feels nice, and the ballpoint refills are excellent. Well done Platinum.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Multi Pen, Pen Reviews, Platinum.

Ink Links

-- Palomino Blackwings Review (The Finer Point)

-- Bexley Columbus Pen Show 2013 LE (mycoffeepot.org)

-- Montblanc Albert Einstein (inklode)

-- When (Decent) Fountain Pens Were Sold at Staples (The Gentleman Stationer)

-- How do you use your notebooks? (All Things Stationery)

-- Sheaffer 300 Roller Ball Pen (My Supply Room)

-- The Pen Hunter (Uni-Ball Signo RT)

-- The Esterbrook Bandwagon (Pen Pursuit)

-- Nakahara-shiki (中原式) (Crónicas Estilográficas)

-- Review: Franklin-Christoph Model 40P Fountain Pen - Masuyama Broad Stub (Gourmet Pens)

-- Moore Safety with Wahl #2 nib (The Passionate Penman)

-- Staedtler pigment liner and Moleskine notebook (Matt Gemmell)

-- Nock Co Brasstown & Hightower Review (Nib Creep)

-- Review: Zebra Sharbo-X Multi-Pen in Mint (The Well-Appointed Desk)

-- Sparky's Pens, July 2014 (MacSparky)

-- The Desks Of Gear Patrol (Gear Patrol)

-- Pilot Metropolitan — A Brief Review (The Cramped)

-- Yard-O-Led Ink Review (The Desk of Adam)

-- Ink Notes: Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite Cartridge (Fountain Pen Quest)

-- Caran d'Ache Chromatics Idyllic Blue (Write to Me Often)

-- Eco-Essential Pen and Pencil Set by now&then (The Clicky Post)

-- Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen review (Peninkcillin)

-- Refreshing! The Kaweco Skyline Sport (Mint) (From the Pen Cup)

-- Parker Vector Navy Body Fountain Pen (No Pen Intended)

-- Sailor Jentle Grenade ink review (Pens! Paper! Pencils!)

-- Pen Shopping in Paris and Copenhagen (THE UNROYAL WARRANT)

-- The Pilot G-2 (The Pen Hunter)

-- Pen Review: Nakaya Neo Standard (The Pen Habit)

Posted on July 26, 2014 and filed under Links.

The Demise Of The Pen Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

I am as digitally entrenched as anyone I know. I work in IT, read all the tech news, buy the latest gadgets and apps, and am the neighborhood tech support guy. I love the digital world, but pen and paper are, and will always be, a huge part of my life.

My Twitter feed blew up tonight with links to a New York Times article by Nick Bilton titled "Fare Thee Well, My Pen." Mr. Bilton, it seems, is in love with his finger:

Unlike pens, fingers don’t run out of ink, they’re free and you always have one with you. I use mine to take notes on my phone, highlight books on my Kindle and draw pictures on my iPad. I don’t have to worry about losing this work because, unlike a piece of paper, my digital notes live in perpetuity online.

I, too, use my fingers quite frequently. They are pecking away at a keyboard typing up this post as a matter of fact. And yes, I would be sad if all of my digital notes up and vanished one day. But this digital form of expression is nothing compared to putting pen to paper.

Writing is more personal. It's more passionate. There is more meaning behind it. Writing a daily journal entry is cathartic. Sending a handwritten letter shows how much you care. I find it sad that Mr. Bilton's girlfriend will never find a handwritten love letter on her pillow. Maybe he can send her an email.

From a business perspective, he writes:

Not surprisingly, some pen makers have seen declines in the United States, including Bic, the maker of those iconic plastic disposable pens, which said sales of pens fell slightly last year.

Any reader of this blog needs only one guess as to why Bic's sales are down. Let me enlighten Nick: They make a bad product. There is a reason Microsoft is laying off thousands of people this week. Consumers vote with their wallets, and like Microsoft, Bic has lost touch with what consumers want.

My evidence is purely anecdotal, but from where I sit, the pen and paper industry is as strong as ever, especially for those willing to innovate. Yes, the traditional brick and mortar store has seen a huge decline, but that is not a problem limited to the pen industry. Online retailers are thriving more than ever, pen communities like this and others continue to grow, and new pen and paper addicts are being created daily.

Drew Magary, closet pen junkie, breaks down the entire Bilton article hilariously in a piece called "Asshole Cannot Find Pen; Writes Entire NYT Trend Piece About It", which is worth a few giggles.

I feel sad for Nick Bilton that he will not get to experience the joys of pen and paper for the rest of his life. Maybe I should send him a care package - with a hand written letter.

Posted on July 24, 2014 .

Pilot Vanishing Point Gun Metal Black Matte Fountain Pen Review

I didn't need another Pilot Vanishing Point. I already had two: the famed Black Matte, which became one of the "pens who shall not be named" on the podcast, and a retro Black Faceted model, which is a mainstay of my collection. So why did I NEED this new Gun Metal Black Matte Vanishing Point? I rarely need any new pen, but this one I had to have.

It took a while for me to get on the Gun Metal bandwagon. I wasn't sure of the color scheme at first, but after seeing multiple pictures of it and checking it out in person I went for it. The barrel is slightly different than the full black matte version, with the grey area being smooth as opposed to a satiny matte feel, which is reserved for the tip, clip, middle band, and knock. It's quite a stunning look, especially in person.

It also sports one of the recently introduced black nib units, which I am in love with. I went for the EF nib, which is ridiculously small, even for me. I never recommend this size to anyone but I love it. Paired with a well lubricated ink like Sailor Nano Black, this nib writes wonderfully smooth and consistent. But boy is it fine. You really need to manage your writing angle with this one to make sure you are hitting the sweet spot.

Many people have asked what fountain pen best compares to the Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.3 mm/0.4 mm gel ink pens. Pilot's EF nibs, as found in the Penmanship (which can be swapped into the Metropolitan or Prera) and the Vanishing Point, are the closest I have found. Looking at the writing sample in my Field Notes it is closest to the 0.28 mm Uni-ball Signo DX and 0.3 mm Hi-Tec-C, so that seems like a good range. Ink and paper will cause this to vary of course.

But back to this whole idea of needing this pen. Although yes, I got this pen for free as part of my JetPens sponsorship, I still couldn't justify it without selling one of my current Vanishing Points. I didn't see myself actively using two similar pens, so my trusty black matte VP, one of my first big fountain pen purchases, has found a new home. More than any other fountain pen I own, the Vanishing Point is made to be used, anywhere and everywhere. That is this pens job, so having one sitting around collecting dust would be doing it a disservice.

My friend Mel found the words I was struggling to find about my Field Notes Butcher Orange, and it applies here too: "By using it, it is now truly yours and you've fulfilled its purpose." Words to live by.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on July 21, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, Pilot, Vanishing Point, Fountain Pens.