3.26.2009

The Cutting Edge : New Waterford Kilbarry Line

Now on sale at Goldspot is the Waterford Kilbarry Edge.

These pens are so new, we haven't received our initial order just yet, but we wanted to whet any appetites for this sleek series of writing instruments. Shaped and styled like their brothers, the Kilbarry Guilloche and Kilbarry Lined, the Edge offers the balance and feel of its predecessors with a lighter weight and a new look. The alternating grid pattern is etched into a pend body that is sculpted from solid aluminum. 

Of course, you can expect to see the classic Waterford "star pattern" cut into the top of each pen. The fountain pen uses a bi-color, gold-plated, stainless steel nib in medium point. You can also expect that the series is also available as a ballpoint pen and rollerball pen. The urban look of the etched grid is complemented with two modern, urban colors of semi-gloss black and gunmetal.

Each Kilbarry Edge is shipped in a deluxe, mahogany finish gift box. We are currently taking pre-orders and offering 20% off on all Kilbarry models, including free shipping for the fountain pen and rollerball of this series.

3.20.2009

Taccia Nightlife Review

This is our first foray into doing reviews for our pens, so be kind and feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

Last autumn, the California-based pen company Taccia released the Nightlife collection, which is inspired by the bright lights of some of the world's most exciting cities. The aptly-named finishes are : NYC Blue, Vegas Sage, Paris Lilca and Golden Gate Copper. The first striking feature of this pen is the glittering barrel. One of the astounding specs of the pen is that it is layered with sixty coats of sparkling lacquer, a process that takes twenty days to complete. The painstaking effort is certainly rewarded with a gorgeous finish.

The size and heft are fairly significant, as is the sa
me with most Taccia full-sized writing instruments. 

The presentation is very sleek. The pen arrives in a navy blue
leatherette box with Taccia stamped in gold on the top. The insides, instead of the usual white plush interior most manufacturers use, is a black, ruffled, satin-like fabric. The use of black in the box and the design of the pen amplify the color of the lacquered guilloche barrel.


The Nightlife fountain pen is sold with a stainless steel, iridium-tipped nib in medium point (standard) but is also available in fine or broad sizes (special request, no extra charge) in stainless steel or 18ct solid gold (additional $140 cost). For the purposes of this review, I chose to test the standard stainless steel nib. 

I loaded the pen with some Levenger Blue Bahama ink via the converter that is included with  the Nightlife pen. I know some people will disagree with me, but my natural inclination is to post the cap while writing. The cap screws on to the back of the pen and one of my aesthetic points that I look for is if the cap screws on so that the clip runs parallel with the nib point. It certainly does in this case (refer to picture on right). However, when the cap is screwed on, this pen is a behemoth to hold in my averaged-sized mitts. This pen is by far much more comfortable to write with the cap unposted. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I let it slide.

As far as the nib and the writing experience, the medium width offers a wet and generous amount of ink flow on your standard notebook paper or copier paper. I don't have any of the nicer papers to use here (*wink *wink) but our company is going to be looking into distributing some notebooks and paper in the future. The nib is a tiny bit scratchy, but offers good stroke coverage and doesn't have any issues starting or skipping.

We will be grading based upon four criteria : Writing Quality, Aesthetic Quality, Utility and Price.

And here it goes:
  • Writing Quality : Medium Stainless Steel nib flows nicely, but is a bit scratchy. Pen is bit too large and back heavy with the cap posted. (grade B - )
  • Aesthetic Quality : The lacquered guilloche barrel is definitely a dazzling sight. The black and silver combination with the lustrous lacquer is elegant, sleek and unisex. (grade A )
  • Utility : Cap posts perfectly with the screw threads. Clips on to shirt pockets very nicely. Weight and girth may be an issue for portability and fitting into said shirt pocket.  (grade B+ )
  • Price : A bit pricey for a stainless steel nib, but you know you will be paying for all the time it took to apply the sixty coats of lacquer. In my honest opinion, if you love the look of it, it is worth it. (grade B )
Final Grade : B+
Overall, the Taccia Nightlife is a beauty to stare at, but not quite the daily writer that I could imagine scribbling dozens of pages of notes with. My hand was already tired after writing the review. Maybe I need to get a squeeze ball or something. 

3.17.2009

New Tuesday - Libelle Santa Croce

Hello fellow Goldspotters,

We just wanted to announce that we have just added the new Libelle Santa Croce line of pens to the Goldspot Website. Libelle is a great value brand that continually releases fan-favorite pens. Santa Croce is a city in Italy that is known for producing world-class leather products. The pen series, available in white or black leather, encapsulates the feeling of luxurious leather. The fountain pens ($71.95) are fitted with a Schmidt German, iridium-tipped stainless steel nib in medium point. A companion rollerball ($63.95) and twist-action ballpoint ($59.95) are also available in each style. Enthusiasts of the seasonal Winter Storm, Sea Breeze, or Autumn Leaves will be more-than-pleased with the high-quality Libelle craftsmanship for a great value. 
Pick up any two Santa Croce models from our website and you will receive free shipping and a free $10 Goldspot Gift Card. Hurry, as this offer will not be around for very long and can expire abruptly without notice.

3.16.2009

Caran d'Ache in NY Times Style Section

Little blurbs sure have a huge impact if they happen in the right places. 
Much like the Oprah-fuled Lightwedge craze that we experienced a few times in the last year, this week our store experienced a big spike in Caran d'Ache orders for the metal collection pens. Much unlike the Lightwedge, which was only a strong seller whenever the Oprah episode was re-run, the CDA Metal collection is always a solid seller. Starting the 8th, we started getting orders for 6 or 7 pens at a time in all different colors. 

I had a very pleasant customer call us on Tuesday and I just had to ask her where she saw these pens after she placed her large order of CDA Metal pens. She said there was an article in the New York Times that featured the Metal Collection. My interest was certainly piqued, but alas, after doing a site search on the Times' website, I could only find Caran d'Ache articles from back in the 19th century. I dug a little deeper. If there was anyone who would know if an ad or article was written about their product, it would be our distributor. Karen over at Creative Art Materials was extremely helpful in pointing me in the correct direction.


In a NY Times Style article titled "Southern Comforts," the fluorescent colored Caran d'Ache pens are featured as the "likes" of Sid Mashburn. I'm no fashionista, but it looks like he runs a gentlemen's specialty clothing store in Atlanta. He says the pens are "so covetable your friends will probably steal them." Indeed. Besides being vibrant and colorful, these pens feature the Caran d'Ache Goliath ballpoint cartridge. These cartridges are said to have an extremely long life and flow more easily than most ballpoints. The convenient size and click-top mechanism makes this pen an easy pick for a daily tag-a-long jotter.

Have you seen any pens in the news or in other media? I love "pen-spotting" and I will certainly make it a point to write posts whenever I find pens crossing over into mainstream media. Please feel free to share any finds through our twitter profile @goldspotpens.

3.12.2009

Fun, Animated Pelikan Griffix Cartoon Commercial

Cindy happened to find this video out on the internet and I thought it was a great approach to promoting the Pelikan Griffix line. Pelikan is also going to have a feature article on Griffix in Stylus Magazine that will be released sometime in April.

3.04.2009

New Pelikan Griffix : 4 Step System Review

Hello fellow Goldspot readers,

Sorry for the long layoff. Not posting on our blog for almost a month is like an eternity on the internet. I assure you we've been hard at work expanding our webstore with scores of new products that have just been released. We are currently taking some time in letting our loyal customers know about the new lines that we have just established on Goldspot.com.

First-off, we have the Pelikan Griffix Writing System.
Before Die-Hard Pelikan Souveran fans decide to hit the "back" button on their browsers, it will interest you to know that the investment Pelikan is making in the future generations of writers will inevitably pay huge dividends for the future of
 the brand. 
Think about the first time you were introduced to a fountain pen: many of you can remember that fountain pens were all you used to write with in grammar school. Now they have been eschewed for the droll disposable ballpoint pen. Taking a page out of the Big Tobacco playbook, Pelikan is mirroring the "get'em while they're young" attitude to create future fountain pen enthusiasts.
That being said, the Griffix is suitable for early pre-school development. The first stage offers a wax pen, which is essentially a crayon with a unique, child-friendly grip. The design was developed in according to the newest graphomotoric findings in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering. 
The pen is made kid-friendly by offering four bright colors and "funbuttons" that are placed in the back end of the pen. The funbuttons come in "sports," "space," "animals," and "flowers" themes and are interchangeable. Let's not forget to also mention the smiley face that stares at your child gleefully as he or she scribbles all over your dining room wall.
The second step is the pencil. Since the child is learning coordination and handedness, the grips are now distinguished as a "lefty" or "righty" version.
The third step readies the child for fountain pens by using the ink writer. The ink pen allows for more fluid writing movements as the child refines their motor skills.
The final step, of course, is the fountain pen. Here is where the child will learn good writing form and apply the perfect pliers grip to hold the pen. The Griffix fountain pen uses the standard Pelikan cartridges with "animals" or "sport & space" themes to match your funbuttons.
But is that really the final step? Imagine years later when the Griffix-graduate child has enough disposable income to buy him or herself a luxury writing instrument. They hearken back to their childhood and say, "you know, Pelikan was the first fountain pen I ever had. I'm going to buy a Souveran 800 Demonstrator." Well, it may not go exactly like that, but you get the point.