This is my first review of a Franklin-Christoph pen and I have to thank Liz at Wonder Pens for lending me this (her) pen for review purposes. This model and material pairing are exclusively available at wonderpens.ca though at the time of writing this they are currently sold out and awaiting a fresh shipment. The initial lot sold out in less than a week and you can read the announcement blog post here. (Liz has some fabulous photos)
As you can tell by my overuse of the word “wonderful” in my review video, I like this pen a lot. The material Jon and Liz chose is really nice and I personally prefer darker transparent pens. Stray bits of ink drive me crazy and totally clear pens cause me serious anxiety when it comes to cleaning. Grey smoke acrylic works way better for me.
The inside bits of the barrel and cap have been sandblasted or otherwise treated in a way to give a rough gravelly texture on the inside. It almost looks like micro droplets of water and condensation. Looks really good eye dropper filled and I like how it softens the amount of detail visible inside the pen. It’s very pleasing to the eye and the glossy outside finish is equally pleasing to the touch. All the machining and finishing in this pen is top notch.
I like the shape of the pen too. It’s a nice classic style and the clipped variant will live happily in your shirt pocket. It’s a great large size pen but not huge. I think it would play well with Duofold Centennials and M800s. The shape of the section reminds me of the Duofold section which is my favourite and most comfortable.
Also comfortable is the fact that this pen has a snap cap. This is convenient for one handed operation or quick notes and the absence of threads on the barrel makes the pen nice and smooth for people who tend to grip the pen further from the nib. Also the pen posts well and deeply. I find the actual “click” of capping or uncapping the pen to be a little soft or mushy but it is secure and I imagine this is how Franklin-Christoph makes good on their claim that the cap closure has been engineered to prevent cracks and vacuum induced ink spurts.
(Update: oops, I was wrong. This is not a snap cap but rather a slip cap–like on a Parker 51 or a Hero 616. It’s not meant to click so forget everything I said about it being mushy. Also the shape of the section allows for two points of pressure contact when capping and this distrution of pressure is how the design avoids cracking issues. Thanks to Cullen from Franklin-Christoph for the explanation and sorry for my mistake everyone)
And that section lip sort of overhangs the base of the nib and I found bottle filling with the included converter leaves ink drops under this little ridge. It can be wicked out with a paper towel corner and if you’re like me you must. Better would be to eye dropper fill and avoid this situation alltogether.
If you’ve been meaning to try a Franklin-Christoph and are unsure which model to try, I can definitely recommend the model 20. I can also generally recommend Wonder Pens as a retailer. I have nothing but good things to say about Jon and Liz and all the great folks working for them.