Thursday, July 22, 2010

Franklin-Christoph M-14 Fountain Pen

I first saw Franklin-Christoph on Twitter (@PiperFC), when someone retweeted one of their posts. I went over to their website to take a look at their pens and added them to my follow list. And what great pens! One in particular caught my eye, Model 14 (M-14) which has an amazing capping and posting system using a rare earth magnet. Well, it didn't seem amazing just reading about it, but now that I've got the special edition Performance Yellow Fountain Pen with a fine nib inked and in my hands it does definitely seem fantastic.

First, this is one of the heaviest pens I've every used. But it's not the entire pen that's weighty, just the cap. Because of the magnet, the cap weighs about 0.8 ounces, while the rest of the pen (barrel, nib, capillary, and a filled ink converter) weighs 0.9 ounces.

And the reason for the heavy cap is simple: the magnet that holds the cap in place either over the nib or posted on the back. When closing the cap over either end there is a very loud, satisfying click and you can feel the magnet making contact with the steel section and nib/feed or with the identical steel post at the end. This is the first fountain pen that I can say I'm really not worried that I'll lose the cap when it is posted, as it actually takes some strength to break the magnetic lock and pull the sections apart.

So how well does it write? Beautifully, which didn't surprise me. As I'm more inclined to Japanese fine points, which are much thinner in width than European or American fine nibs, I wasn't sure how I would like this fine line. It's more along the lines of a Pelikan 205 fine, which is something of a fine-medium point and gives a very nice line. In other words, I like the M-14 fine nib quite a lot.

Finally, I have to say I'm very impressed by the level of detail on this pen. The threading on the sections is perfect. The clip has a diamond pattern that's almost invisible until it surprises you when you start really looking at the pen. The Performance Yellow color looks like something you'd see on the race track (f it had a number inside a circle on the side I'd be asking for its pole position) And the magnet is very strong--very. I didn't realize how many paper clips I carried in my purse (handy for re-setting an iPod or PDA) until I took out my M-14 and found half a dozen stuck to the cap.

Is this a pen I'd recommend? Absolutely! Take a look at their website and, if you Tweet, add them to your follow list. Lots of great pens to choose from, and the shipping is very fast so you'll have your new pen in a few days. In addition to the great pen, Franklin-Christoph offers a lifetime warranty for added peace of mind (and the faux alligator gift box is another thoughtful detail as well).