Weekend Pen Spotlight

This is the first issue in what we hope will be a weekly, Saturday morning digest of the most interesting pen-related articles, videos, blogs, pics and whatnot from around the web.

Fine Writing News
  • The Philadelphia Pen Show that took place last weekend received a notable write-up from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Fans who attended the pen show got their first peak at the "magma"-nificent Homo Sapiens collection from Visconti. Pre-orders have been flowing in for this pen as it builds steam with plenty of buzz from the pen community. According to their US distributor, we are about six weeks away from shipping the first orders.
  • A brand new import from Italy, OMAS debuts the Lamborghini limited edition fountain pen and rollerball. Made from aeronautic aluminum in stealth, matte black, the pen is limited to 1,963 pieces worldwide.
  • AT Cross will be introducing a brand new refill mechanism called "Switch It" that you may insert into any Cross ballpoint (that takes a standard Cross ballpoint refill) to convert it into a .7mm mechanical pencil. The refill is expected in Spring and will cost about $4.
Blog Reviews
  • Twitter user @Gongonzabar spotted a Lamy AL-Star (or Vista) Ball pen in the show "House."

Pot Luck
  • Normally I don't think too much of posts that are submitted to freelance article websites, but this guide on Choosing the Best Pens to Engrave by Sharon Russell is very well written and insightful. A good idea to read through if you are deciding on buying an engraved pen.
  • For the pen enthusiast who is also talented with using Photoshop, PSD Tuts offers an article on how to create a realistic-looking fountain pen on the computer. The shape and proportions of the pen kind of looks funny, but you could make your own design once you get the basics down.
Send me your pens! If you have a pen article, blog post, pen-spotting pic or anything you would like to share and have featured in our weekly Pen Spotlight, feel free to contact us through Twitter @goldspotpens or through our Facebook Fan Page. Get our attention on Twitter by sending us a direct message or put @goldspotpens in your post.


Review : Private Reserve Arabian Rose Fountain Pen Ink

As a tribute to Valentine's Day, we here at Goldspot Pens are reviewing a few romantic inks to use with your fountain pens as you write your love letters. Private Reserve offers a plethora of lovely hues to express your personality.

Arabian Rose was a bit of an unexpected shade of purple. I thought it was going to be a rich red, but got more of a reddish purple. The color is very rich and provides a slight bit of shading. Fast drying without any feathering and very minimal show through on the back of the page. The first thing that comes to mind is that this ink would be great for invitation writing.

The writing sample was written with a Monteverde Invincia fountain pen. The standard features of the Private Reserve ink bottle can be found in all standard, 50mL size PR inks. The wide-mouth is very convenient to fill with. It is pH neutral, which is safe for using with most fountain pens. Of course, it definitely is a plus that this ink is made in the good ol US of A.

Speaking of the Union, anyone planning on watching the State of the Union address tonight? Without getting into a huge political discussion, what are you hoping to hear?


Pelikan Inks Deal with Porsche Design writing instruments

It has been confirmed from several sources that Porsche Design had signed a co-operation agreement at the beginning of the year that designates Pelikan as their new license partner, replacing Faber-Castell. According to an article on The Moodie Report, Pelikan has the ability to produce writing instruments under the Porsche Design brand from Jan 1st, 2010 onward.

We had the pleasure of meeting with the Pelikan VP of Sales earlier this month and he had mentioned that, although the agreement had been made, new Porsche designs made by Pelikan were still months, if not a year, away. For now, they will be distributing current styles manufactured by Faber-Castell.

This move should be a great improvement for the Porsche brand. Pelikan is well-known for their world-class craftsmanship in producing top-tier writing instruments. It will be interesting to see a Porsche-branded, piston-filling fountain pen with the same high-quality nibs that Pelikan crafts for their pens.


Philadelphia Pen Show This Weekend

Hello Pen Lovers,

Just wanted to remind everyone in the North East that the Philadelphia Pen Show is this weekend. Actually, it started today and will carry on until Sunday, January 24th. The show starts from 11am to 4pm on Friday, 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Exhibitors include both manufacturers and retailers from all around the Atlantic coast.

As a buyer or collector of pens, this will be a great opportunity for you to come down and find fantastic deals on closeout merchandise. Retailers will be looking to off-load their excess inventory at prices that will be worth the trip. For those who love to see the latest and greatest products, several distributors who represent brands like Aurora, OMAS, Visconti and Laban, will be on-hand to show-off their newest collections.

So, if you have don't have any set plans for the weekend and live within driving distance of Philadelphia, head on to the Sheraton Philadelphia Center City Hotel and spend a few hours oogling the plethora of pens and inks that make your heart sing.


Review : Monteverde Invincia Black Pearl Fountain Pen

Upon special request from fellow pen tweeters @Garbonza & @ecram, here is our review of the Monteverde Invincia fountain pen in the new Black Pearl finish.
The Monteverde Invincia collection has been around for a while and continues to be one of the best-selling Monteverde pens that we offer. In late 2009, the Black Pearl finish was released, adding subtle sophistication to the grand, contoured design. It is also the first time the Invincia has a screw-off cap for the fountain pen and rollerball pen models.

The first impression is striking. The Invincia has a large profile (length 5 3/8" capped, 6 1/4" cap posted, ~1/2" diameter) with the "heft" and size found in pens that usually cost over $200. Even the steel nib is big, adorned with an unique Monteverde imprint on the metal.

I'll admit I haven't given Monteverde fountain pens their due and have "written off" (pun intended) any potential in their nibs. I was pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of the nib and the fact that the "medium" standard nib wrote more on the finer side, which I usually prefer. The nib wasn't 100% smooth, but far better than a baseline iridium point, steel nib.

There is a grip gripe I have about the front, chrome section of the pen. As I continued to write, the chrome felt more and more slippery. Forget it if you've got a case of sweaty hands, or just ate a handful of french fries.

So, what is with the Black Pearl finish? Sparkly? No! Imagine a glossy black finish on a car. If you look at it closely, you can see the sheen in the surface. Looks sharp and is much nicer than a plain, flat black.

  • Writing Quality : Large steel nib performs well as a fine-ish medium point. (grade B)
  • Aesthetic Quality : Large, grand in size and contour. The deep and complex lacquer pairs well with the chrome trim, clip and nib. Design is reminiscent of higher-end Italian-made pens (grade A)
  • Utility : Chrome front section gets a bit slippery while writing for longer stints. Can be filled by cartridge or converter. (grade B-)
  • Price : For $80 retail (on sale for $63.95 at Goldspot.com), the Invincia Black Pearl is a great value buy for the luxurious feel of a high-quality writing instrument. (grade A)

Final Grade : B+
The Black Pearl is a sophisticated, yet understated finish that is a great addition to the successful line of Invincia pens. If it weren't for the narrow, slippery front grip section, this pen would have been a top pick.


Goldspot 2010 Catalog Online

Happy New Year Pen Lovers,

If you've purchased from us during the Holidays, or have in the past, you have probably received our latest 2010 Annual catalog with the handsome Parker Premier on the front cover. For those who haven't, we have an online version of the catalog that is now up on our website.

To get an idea of how crazy our December was, we are already sold-out of half the clearance items that are on pages 46 & 47. Don't worry, we've put more clearance pens up on our site from Parker and Waterman to compensate.

For those who are shopping refills, our catalog provides a helpful refill finder guide for 90% of the pens that are in production today.

Besides featuring the newest releases from the biggest brands like Parker, Waterman, Cross and Pelikan, our catalog also features a gift-giving guide. Pouches, pen sets, organizers, desk accessories and limited editions are conveniently grouped together for easy browsing.

If you live in the US and would still prefer a printed copy of the catalog be mailed to you, please request a catalog on our contact us page and send us a message with your mailing address.