On a recent forum post on FPGeeks, someone asked their top three pen brands. I very confidently submitted Parker, Edison and Bexley as my top three go-to brands without hesitation. I’ve had wonderful experience with current models of all these brands and many of you already know my all-time favourite pen is the Parker Duofold Centennial. It’s just… perfect! I love everything about how this pen looks feels and writes.
And Bexleys. I adore them—really classic looking designs modernized with modern machining and materials. Real beauties. While in Manila I met a super-nice gentleman called Butch who has the most remarkable collection of Duofolds I’ve yet to see—and probably better than I’ll ever see. Anyway, he had a special Duofold made by Bexley—with a Duofold Centennial nib and parts. Really stunning. Since then I’ve periodically been searching eBay for “Bexley Duofold” to see if I could get myself something similar.
Welllllll…. it so happened that I found something that piqued my interest. It was listed as a “Bexley Collaboration fountain pen” and in the description it was mentioned that it was made with Parker Duofold pats. Nothing in the pictures really looked like it was made by Parker but the shape of the pen was a definite homage to the Duofold. It had a steel nib but the shape of the section made me wonder if it would be compatible with Parker Duofold Centennial nib units.
I have three of those. You see I bought a set of three Duofold Centennial MKII (scroll) nib units from Greg Minuskin last year. I got them all for less than the retail price of one nib unit. They are B, 80 (needlepoint) and 88 (oblique medium) and they’re all amazing—perfect writers. I’d bought them to swap out in one of my Duofolds as all of them have medium nibs. I decided to try one (the broad) in the Bexley and…
IT WORKED! The Duofold nib and converter fit perfectly into the pen barrel and cap and really classes up the pen. I like that I’ve got a Parker and Bexley frankenpen—it makes me really happy. The Bexley came to me as new old stock with no box but the materials and craftsmanship are the usual top notch quality. The acrylic is well turned and the seams are all very smooth. Fit and finish is great.
And that nib—so smooth. Duofold nibs have a 21 stage manufacturing process (according to ParkerPens.net) and are finished by hand. This broad nib has a tendency to “sing” or squeal on the page. If making slashing lines on the page the vibrations can send a spray of ink out but otherwise this nib is a great performer. If anyone has any idea on how to stop the airbrush effect, please let me know in the comments.
And that’s it. If you search for Duofold Collaboration on ebay right now you might find a few ballpoint frankenpens that have been there a while. They’re pretty attractive. I’m hoping I can get one more Bexley Collaboration fountain pen for my oblique medium. The needlepoint is going into a fun project that you will see here at a later date.
Thanks for reading everyone!