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  • A Fleeting Ripple

fountain pen day: pens i’d run into a burning building for

Happy fountain pen day! What a wonderful day to have. Since I started using fountain pens as a hobby instead of just another fancy writing instrument, today became an important day for me. It is to celebrate the friends we made along the way; humans and pens both.

A few weeks ago, there was somewhat of a large fire close to the place I live. Thankfully, everything turned out okay in the end, but it still took the fire department hours to get it under control, even with the help of rain. It is terrifying to get an emergency broadcast on your phone -something that I only got test messages of before- and it just says to stay inside, keep your windows and doors closed tight. A quick search showed that a furniture warehouse caught fire and because of the wind, fumes spread rapidly. It was impossible for the fire to jump towards my neighbourhood -thank the Dutch canals for that!- but nevertheless, it sparked a conversation about which pens I’d run to save if there was such an emergency.

As a little ode to the love of fountain pens, and in spirit of fountain pen day, hereby I present you: the pens (and inks) I’d run into a burning building to grab.

1- Harley Davidson Fountain Pen

This was the first fountain pen I ever had, gifted by my mother a decade ago. This is the pen that started everything. Tiny me loved it so much that I kept it in its cardboard box and took the pen everywhere. Day trips, long holidays, it came everywhere just to be tossed and jostled in my backpack. The writing experience is not my favourite, but the emotional attachment makes me ink it up every now and then.

2- Leonardo Momento Zero Prisma

This is simply a stunning pen, and easily one of the most comfortable pen shapes to use. In part, I love that it is a fancy limited edition with shiny rainbow trims, but also that I would never be able to get this pen again if anything happened to it. That does not keep me from taking it everywhere with me, and it would make me run into a burning house.

3- Urushi

Another pen I’m completely enamoured with. If I left it there, it would be such a waste of craftsmanship. I love the feel of urushi and how stunning this pen looks. The little dragon just brings me an incredible amount of joy too… Now that I have it, I cannot imagine not having this pen. Think about it, reaching into the pen case, to its soft little slot, only to find it empty. I’d cry.

4- Pilot Custom 823

This pen does not need an introduction. It is always inked and ready to go, because if I want to use this pen, nothing can hold its place. It was also a sentimental gift from my family that I wouldn’t be able to leave behind.

5- Pilot Custom Heritage 92

I think Pilot pens are my weak point. This was a gift from my boyfriend for my birthday, to celebrate getting old. I love everything about this pen too, from its extremely fine nib to the crystal clear body . Apparently when sentimental gifts are amazing pens, I cannot resist.

Honorable mentions

My actual list consists of mostly sentimental pens and ones that are genuinely valuable. If I was only choosing from a perspective of writing experience, I’d have to add in the Lamy 2000 and my Sailors. I feel like that would be too much though, I doubt you have enough time to run around collecting pens like the house isn’t on fire.

Now, let me introduce the inks. This is a harder list to make, because none of my inks are particularly limited edition or hard to get. They also don’t have any sentimental value attached to them, so I don’t really see the value of running into a fire for them. Oh well, maybe you have enough time…

1- Montblanc Homage to Hadrian Rosso Antico

Pretty much the only reason I’d get this ink is because Hadrian is my favourite Roman emperor and Pantheon in Rome is a magnificent building. Hard to beat that inspiration. The colour is nice, but it’s not like nothing else looks like it. I’m completely sold on the marketing. Welcome to this capitalist hellscape.

2- Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

This ink’s colour might be my favourite. It’s close to Diamine Green Black, but in a fancier bottle. We had established that I’ll buy marketing, so why not also save this one too?

3- Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo

The eternal companion to my Pilot Custom 823. I might as well some good ink too. Let that life threatening run not go to waste. Or I can get smoked less, and, you know, buy a new bottle like normal humans do.

4- Sailor Jentle Tokiwa-Matsu

The only reason I’d run back for this ink is that Sailor started putting these in bland 20ml bottles whereas they used to be in cute little squat bottles of 50ml. I refuse to buy another bottle of this when it finishes.

5- Taccia Sabimidori

This is the only ink I’d save purely because of the ink’s colour. Sure, the box is pretty, but have you ever watched this ink dry? It’s magnificent. I had to stop using this ink during school time because I’d just stare at my writing instead of actually working.

So… Yes. I hope I didn’t unlock a new fear in people. Keep your pens nearby on this wonderful day and use them as much as you can. Someday you’ll have to say goodbye, when that day comes I wouldn’t want anyone to have any regrets. Proudly say that it was great until it lasted. Let me know if there are any pens you’d save? Or would you rather not risk? Is it worth risking?

Maybe I’m just weird.

Thank you for reading and I'm hoping that you're having a wonderful day! For the past two years, there has always been a rainbow in the mornings on fountain pen day. It's a little odd to see, as rainbows are not super common, but I'm happy that I get to see them out of my window in the morning. Oh, and I think the song is particularly fitting today...

Yes, I did have some fun with graphics today.


Nov 19, 2022

I love Tokiwa-matsu ink too. it is always in my Classic Pens LB5 Midorigi green pen (a limited edition version of the Sailor King of Pens by Andreas Lambrou).

Oddly, I like the new bottles; I’m a sucker for a chunky thick glass bottle, I guess. I like to older bottles for their stability though and have kept an empty one.

You could always pour the ink from one of the new bottles into the old, though. I do something similar to split bottles of favorite inks so I can have a bottle at home and at work. if I don‘t have an empty to use yet, I use one of the ubiquitous vintage Sheaffer Skrip bottles yo…


Nov 09, 2022

Great topic! I have a few pens I'd brave smoke and flames for, too. My Pelikan M205 Aquamarine; she has an M405 stub ground by John Mottishaw. Also my Pelikan M205 Star Ruby; ditto on the stub. (Did I mention I love stubs?) Can't forget my custom-made Edison Pearlette in Winter Streets Fade; she has an awesome stub ground by Mike Masuyama.

And I can't forget my first "quality" fountain pen, bought way back around 2000: my Pelikan M200 Green Stripe. She also has an awesome stub. She used to have an EF nib, but since then I've grown to love stubs and broad nibs, so I got her the new M400 stub nib more recently. It was also gr…

A Fleeting Ripple
A Fleeting Ripple
Nov 16, 2022
Replying to

Great to hear about your stubs! Pelikan's are amazing pens, and I've been hoping to take a deeper dive into the M400's nibs,



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