Today I have a fantastic pen for you to look at. It’s got lots of neat bits to talk about so let’s get on with it. Roll the video!
Third time’s a charm right? It was a bit of effort to pack it up three times but totally worth it. This is a pen I had made for me by Shawn Newton and I was quite involved in the design process so that was fun. I wanted the pen built around a Parker Duofold Centennial MKII #80 needlepoint nib so went with the Orville shape for a classic flat top design that was Duofoldish. We agreed on a base price and I sent my nib and converter along with a drawing of my idea for the pen to Arkansas. This was at the end of August last year.
I paid up to get my spot in his queue which ended up being the end of November on the weekend of my wedding. Lots of emails went back and forth and Shawn sent me a picture of a new old stock Parker Duofold Senior ball clip that he found on eBay and it was perfect. To go with it I wanted gold rings for the cap and barrel but Shawn only worked with silver so he said he’d figure out a way to get them plated. I also decided I wanted some sort of special engraving on the cap top and we worked that out by email too. I wanted something similar to the Java logo–a line drawing of a steaming coffee cup. Shawn’s sketch was perfect and that’s what we went with.
A month or so before the wedding as my lathe time drew near I still hadn’t picked my material other than black acrylic for cap top and blind cap. I had recently seen on social media some beautiful Edisons made of Tibaldi Celluloid for some friends and I asked Shawn if he knew where to get rods of this stuff. He mentioned on his site that he didn’t have any but would turn it if the customer provided it. Well, as it happened he had some in stock and sent me photos of a pen done with it beautiful stuff! I was on board right away. That was it. All decisions made and I just had to wait.
Shawn sent me pictures of the pen as he made it. Here’s a link to his gallery for this pen. He also posted pics on Instagram. Be sure to follow him there. He assembled the pen with silver rings then sent it off to his new plating guy to finish the rings in gold to match the section trim and clip. The results are stunning. This pen is so beautiful I just don’t have enough adjectives to describe how much I love it.
Overall craftsmanship is impeccable. All surfaces are perfectly smooth and carefully polished to bring out the celluloid’s nacre. Seams are perfectly flush and threads are expertly cut. I really can’t find a flaw.
The pen is a large size exactly on par with a Duofold Centennial or Pelikan M800 but in Shawn’s lineup it’s a small so keep that in mind when you order your pen. I’m already dreaming of a jumbo with a #8 nib. You could use it for personal defense. 😀 The small Orville suits my nib perfectly. He set the rings flush with the cap and barrel and went with black acrylic for the cap lip as well as the finial and blind cap. This decision surprised me but I’ve grown to like it. The Parker clip works so well too. So classy.
The pen feels amazing in my hands. I can’t stop sniffing the celluloid and just turning the pen over and over in my hands. It’s really a piece of art. The laser engraved coffee cup is the icing on the cake.
Shawn did nothing to this nib. It’s exactly as I received it from Greg Minuskin and I have to give Parker some credit here–this point is magnificent. It’s very fine–a true western needlepoint or XXF but the nib flow is so crazy juicy it really writes like a straight up fine. I’m not complaining. It’s like butter on a hot skillet. Crazy smooth.
And that’s it. Super positive experience and I hope to work with Shawn again. What do you think of my bespoke Frankenpen?