Kaweco Sunrise and Sunset Special Edition now at Fontoplumo (Sponsor)

Well isn’t this a sunny surprise!

Fontoplumo has been on a roll with special editions, and this time around, it is the Kaweco Special Edition Sunrise and Sunset.

Kaweco Sport fountain pens are some of the most fun and functional pens on the market, and these two models add another bright color to an already vivid lineup. The Sunrise model features a warm yellow barrel with silver trim and silver steel nib, while the Sunset model uses the same barrel and changes out the trim and nib colors to gold. The end result is one of the most fun Kaweco Sport barrels I’ve seen to date.

The Kaweco Sunrise and Sunset are Fontoplumo exclusives and are a single production run. When the sun finally sets and these are gone, they are gone for good. At just € 25,00 (€ 20,66 outside the EU), and with your choice of Fine, Medium, or Broad nibs, they are sure to be popular.

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

Posted on May 14, 2018 and filed under Featured Sponsor.

Cross TrackR Ballpoint Review

Cross TrackR Ballpoint Review

There is no sense in burying the lede with this one: The Cross TrackR Ballpoint exceeded my expectations. Not only is it a better writing pen than I expected, the technology involved actually works.

The idea behind this pen is straightforward: It’s a nice pen that you can’t lose. Cross is the first writing brand to add TrackR technology to the pen itself, allowing the pen to be tracked if you leave it behind or are separated from it.

Like with any analog/digital crossover product, I was skeptical. This is simpler technology than handwriting conversion products like the Moleskine Smart Writing Set, but any time new technology is added to classic writing tools, the odds of usefulness decrease greatly. Not with the Cross TrackR.

Top to bottom: Cross TrackR, Studio Neat Mark One, Retro 51 The System

Top to bottom: Cross TrackR, Studio Neat Mark One, Retro 51 The System

The first thing I was concerned about was the pen itself. It’s large - a requirement to fit the batteries and TrackR components - but quite usable. The metal barrel is lighter than anticipated, and is well balanced even with the additional hardware in the upper section of the pen.

Cross TrackR Ballpoint

When I took apart the pen I was surprised that the refill was only D1 sized. That’s about as small as refills go, but it makes sense for this pen because the area for the refill is limited to the lower half of the pen. The included Cross medium black ballpoint refill is nice, and D1 sizing gives you other refill options, but I do think a pen this size would be better served with a larger capacity refill. It just may not be technically possible.

Connecting the TrackR technology does require you download an app to your iOS or Android phone. Setup is as simple as pairing a new Bluetooth device, and once connected, you can adjust the alerting settings as needed. In my tests, once I walked approximately 25 feet away from the pen it began to alert me. “Hey, don’t leave me behind!” The pen plays an audible ring until you pick it up and press the TrackR button, letting the app know it is now in hand.

If there is any concern that your pen will be going off all the time in your house or office, fear not. The TrackR app has a section for Wi-Fi Safe Zones, which once added, keep the alerts off when connected to approved networks.

Cross TrackR Ballpoint Bluetooth

If you are thinking about purchasing this pen for yourself or as a gift, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, the price. At $95 it isn’t cheap, but with the built in technology and overall quality of the pen, I think it is fair. The accompanying app is free to download and use. Two, it’s fidgety. There are batteries to keep up with (a backup set is provided), a low-capacity refill (extras are also provided), and an app to set up. That’s way more than your normal pick it up and go pen.

That said, the Cross TrackR is a nice pen. It is a quality writing instrument - which has to be first on the list of requirements - and has the added benefit of TrackR technology for those who enjoy that aspect. All in all, I’m impressed, and I’m glad I have this pen in my arsenal.

(Goldspot provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Cross TrackR Ballpoint Writing
Posted on May 14, 2018 and filed under Cross, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Misfill, Madchester Edition

Each week in Refill, the Pen Addict Members newsletter, I publish Ink Links as part of the additional content you receive for being a member. And each week, after 10 to 15 links, plus my added commentary on each, I'm left with many great items I want to share. Enter Misfill. Here are this weeks links:

Madchester Hacienda

-- Ink Review: L’Artisan Pastellier Encre Classique Carmine (The Well-Appointed Desk)

-- New Wave Clay by Tom Morris looks at the world's most imaginative ceramicists leading the craft revival (Creative Boom)

-- lamy safari all black (2018) (KMPN)

-- Review: Jinhao 992 Fountain Pen (Comfortable Shoes Studio)

-- Of Skank Kids, Germs and Circle Jerks: The influential punk art & comics of Shawn Kerri (Dangerous Minds)

-- Ink Review #294: Robert Oster Purple Rock (Mountain of Ink)

-- Notebook Review: Milligram Studio Notebooks (The Gentleman Stationer)

-- Retro 51 Accumulation (Fountain Pen Quest)

-- Plannercon Europe Is Returning (Travellers Notebook Times)

-- Parker Duofold: Un modelo poliédrico. (El Pajarete Orquidiado)

-- Nib Customization: A Guide to Common Nib Grinds (The Pelikan's Perch)

-- Exclusive first look at ‘Sparkle Hard,’ a short film documenting Stephen Malkmus’ goofy life (Dangerous Minds)

-- Log+Jotter Subscription Review (Irv's Stationery)

-- Clubbed: New book by Manchester's Rick Banks celebrates a visual history of UK club culture (Creative Boom)

-- Silvine Exercise Notebook Review (Pens! Paper! Pencils!)

-- A Showcase of NYC's Diverse Small Presses and Artists' Publishing Projects (Hyperallergic)

-- Wagashi. (Present&Correct)

-- An Example of the Industrial Design Process in the Consumer Product Space (Core77)

-- Johnny Cash's 'At Folsom Prison': An Oral History (Rolling Stone)

-- Montblanc Swan Illusion Plume (Macchiato Man)

-- Beyond Object's Align Pen: Fix the Form to Deploy the Tip (Core77)

-- A Documentary on Basquiat's Teen Years Tracks a Star's Early Ascent (Hyperallergic)

-- How to Make a Crossword Puzzle (The New York Times)

Want to catch the rest, plus extra articles, reviews, commentary, discounts, and more? Try out a Pen Addict Membership for only $5 per month!

Posted on May 13, 2018 and filed under Misfill.