flying: opus 88 minty
Some guitar chords echo from the speakers at the far side of the room. A raspy woman’s voice starts singing an old song. Thick, red carpets slow the footsteps, dancing around in circles in the large hotel room. The whole hotel feels like it was left untouched since the 50’s; down to the ancient mahogany furniture, heavy drapes on the windows and red-gold satin bed cover. Dim lights give a yellow tint to everything, the quiet night seeping into the room in between song breaks. I don’t know whether to be creeped out by the empty hotel or to enjoy the funky vibe and the silence.
I am pretty comfortable flying with fountain pens. Studying abroad means that I will have to take flights somewhat frequently and I cannot leave my favourite pens behind. This time, I’m off to Italy for the weekend while my housemates are stuck in to have a Christmas in the Netherlands. Well, at least it seems like they’ll have some snow.
Anyway, sometimes accidents happen during flights and pens leak. I never had one that leaked everywhere, only into the cap and cleaned up quite easily with some tissues. One of the reasons why I had my eye on Opus 88 pens was the ease of traveling. I have the Pilot Custom 823 that has the shut off valve that cuts out the ink supply when it’s not in use, so the Opus 88’s eyedropper system felt like it would be useful. It has a similar shut-off system, minus the vacuum filling.
Screw out the end, the ink has a lovely wet flow.
Screw it back in, no ink will flow into the section anymore.
It’s super fun to play with and see in action. The huge ink capacity is also a bonus because I’m the type of person that always thinks that they’re running out of ink.
I have never run out of ink during the day.
I always know where my ink level is.
So… It seems like the actual question is why did I wait so long to get an Opus 88? They fill a similar niche in my collection with TWSBI’s with a higher price. Sturdy, mid-range pens that I love carrying around. I was looking at the fully demonstrator Opus 88’s as well. I didn’t see any reason to get a similar pen when I had my ECO’s and AL 580.
Well, at least until the cracks started to appear.
Literally. My ECO started cracking in the section, I think it happened when I was a little too harsh while trying to push the nib back to its place. It doesn’t leak and it doesn’t affect the performance of the pen at all, so it’s still constantly filled.
Secondly, the size and the colours of the pens were not too attractive to me. Super large pens are not my thing, Pelikan M200 to Sailor Pro Gear size is the most comfortable for me. On the contrary, large pens are unwieldy most of the time. Unfortunately, I straight out did not like the colours at all. Only the clear demonstrator ones.
You see, I was curious and itching to get my hands on one.
Then they released the two Minty pens: blue and orange.
It was love at first sight.
Or maybe not.
I was still on the fence, not trusting the size, even though the pen was calling my name.
Then, I saw this reel on Instagram.
I went and bought the pen the next day. The Gentleman Stationer is one of my biggest pen-ablers.
The moment I got the pen in my hand, it clicked. I understood why so many people are in love with Opus 88 pens. I was so excited that I even got a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Kiri-same and I filled the pen in the office.
It’s just such a comfortable pen. Everything about this pen feels long and thick and huge but it is not unwieldy at all. Even the regular number 6 nib feels longer than usual. It was a huge shock to see how comfortable it was. The ample section fits right in my fingers, the body curves into my hand, the nib, the lightweight resin keeps the hand from tiring my hand.
Of course, the crackled resin sold me on this pen, even though the dimensions are great. It reminds me of semi-translucent, pearlescent Italian resins. It fits right into the scenery here… The ink level is visible when you hold it to the light, and the large ink window gives a good glimpse if you need it. Don’t worry though, you generally have a good amount of ink left.
Overall, I enjoy using this pen a lot, so much so that I’ve started to eye other Opus 88 pens more intently as well. It replaced some of my TWSBI use, whether it’s writing with the notepad on my lap on seminars or scribbling away in lecture halls. The resin looks mesmerising with its beautiful shine and its sturdy feel in the hand. The filling mechanism definitely won me over, I expected it to be so messy to fill. It is really not.
Thank you for reading! I'm putting up so lovely photographs from Lago d'Orta as a treat!