This is the end my friends. All of my loose Parker Duofold nibs have bespoke pens made for them. These two from Jonathon Brooks of the Carolina Pen Company are the last and I’m very happy with the way they turned out. In case you’re interested the other custom pens are a Newton Orville in Tibaldi celluloid turand a Cavers Simplicity of Heart.
This review will be heavier on pictures than text because you really need to see these pens from every angle possible. The materials are so beautiful and that’s how I first heard of Jonathon. Several pen makers were turning his blanks so I started following him on Instagram and it turned out Jonathon turned his own pens as well under the brand Carolina Pen Company. Also my friend Michelle had a few pens made by Jon and I really liked the looks of them so I reached out.
Jonathon and I started hashing initial details out over email and he agreed to make pens for the two nibs I had left–a silver trim MKIII Parker Duofold International fine and a gold trim MKII Parker Duofold Centennial oblique medium. I told him I wanted a flat top Duofold style pen using his pretty materials with black blind cap and finial. The next step was picking materials.
This was tough because Jonathon has so many beautiful custom pours to choose from. After browsing his site I noticed a pen made in Mocha Swirl and knew right away that had to be one. I decided to use it with the gold trim Centennial nib. I was stumped with the second choice and asked Jonathon for some suggestions. He sent a few photos of pens made from a selection of five or so materials and I settled on the Mardi Gras for the silver trim pen.
While Jonathon was making the pens he sent me pictures of some clips he had as it had turned out the clips we’d picked didn’t fit both pen sizes. I realized I didn’t care much for any of the clips he had so I started exploring other options. I mentioned I wanted a roll stop instead and said it would be great if they were coffee beans. Jonathon found some vintage 9k gold studs in eBay and won them for me and he later got one of them played silver. I think they look great and function Well.
After everything was made it had to be sent for plating and then it was ready to be sent to me. 🙂 Jonathon was nice enough to make a two pen rest for me and beautiful pen sleeves that seem handmade. Really nice touches. Jonathon is a class act and a pleasure to deal with.
Both pens ended up having a very similar weight and feel to Parker Duofolds and the balance us really good in the hand. Neither pen posts particularly well but I don’t post my pens and never made that a requirement. The Mardi Gras pen posts a little deeper.
Fit and finish is really good and there are interesting details like how the threads are really tight to start but loosen as you go. All the metal bands are nicely flush with the Alumilite. The pens have a nice lustre too. Very pleasing.
The performance of the nibs is in line with other Parkers. The fine nib is a little toothy but it got much better after the video. Might just need to be broken in.
That’s about it I guess. Very happy with these pens and am willing to recommend the Carolina Pen Company to anyone looking for breathtakingly beautiful bespoke pens.