two cheers for black on black on black
As the day wears on, so does the light. It’s almost completely faded now, leaving only the blue afterglow. The rain seems to have quieted down, but the streets are still empty, people burrowing in their warm houses. The streetlights have not switched on yet, outside world is wet, dark and empty. The music has shifted a little, the notes seem a little more pronounced, but still muffled through the speakers. Get your warmest mugs of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and gather around. It is the time for the second part of our story.
My second black pen was a matte black Vanishing Point with a fine nib. I had gotten it second hand from the lovely pen community online. At this point I was proud to say I was finding my footing in the realm of fountain pens, discovering what I like and what I did not. My experience somehow didn’t feel quite complete without the mighty Vanishing Point. I had my hesitations due to it being a heavier metal and a full stealth black-on-black pen.
The weight and shape of the pen was my first -and trickiest- problem. I had read complaints about the clip placement and the barrel diameter, and I preferred smaller, lighter pens. The second dilemma was that the black-ness of the pen. I was getting it for a good deal, and I didn’t know whether this kind of an opportunity would ever pop up again. I had never loved the look of super expensive black executive pens, and thankfully I had never felt the need to whip out one. The stealth pens with black trims and black bodies were a different type of beast. I have nothing against black, I mostly wear only black, but I like my pens colourful and swirly and a little captivating.
Unfortunately, that knock mechanism was the end for me. I am fascinated by good, interesting and a little polarising design. The click mechanism is almost as far as that goes in the fountain pen world. So, I went to watch some videos on the mechanism, how it clicks and how it sounds and how it works. It had the most satisfying and loud clang. I was smitten.
The looks of the pen had failed me pretty badly, but the mechanism and the smooth gold nib was making up for it. Right? Right?? I still wasn’t sure. This was my first Pilot pen too, I had only a vague idea about the nibs. My Sailor and Platinum experiences were not ideal in my eyes, and I was a little hesitant to jump into the Japanese market once again. At this point I was keeping the seller on hold for close to a week to do a bit of research, and they had very kindly obliged. Therefore I did the one thing I should’ve done the first time and went to a pen shop. I asked for a Vanishing Point with a fine nib to try out. They gave me the White Carbonesque, dipped in good old Lamy Blue. I took a hold of the pen, weighed it a little, and then started scribbling on the paper. A very light touch, mind you, I was too afraid that this heavy metal pen would somehow be hurt by me. It wrote a wet, smooth fine. One of the smoothest nibs I’ve ever tried out. I gave the pen back to the owner of the store and gave a quick thank you and stumbled out. I was in love. I texted the seller right in front of the door, asking how I could pay them.
The pen arrived in a regular Pilot box, a little too rattly for my liking, but a sturdy and safe box nonetheless. I opened the lid of the box. There it was. My little (nope, it is a big pen) disappointment. It was large, matte, and very black. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but it was somehow not this, even after looking at lots of photos and even more reviews. Then it dawned upon me. I did not have a Pilot cartridge or converter. The seller had definitely not shipped it with one. It was late, and everywhere was closed. I had to wait until the morning to go out and buy some new cartridges. After another quick run to the nearest pen store and getting my hand on a black (sigh) pack of Namiki cartridges, I was ready. I got the pen, my trusty Traveler’s Notebook and sprawled on the couch. I depressed the button…
…and it rang empty.
Somehow I had forgotten to put the cartridge inside the barrel. Cursing to my stupidity, I got up; got the cartridges, the notebook and the pen once more. After a careful pop of the cartridge, I was good to go for real this time. I depressed the button at the end once more, and was rewarded with a tiny little nib and the most satisfying pen click ever. I clicked and un-clicked the pen for about 10 minutes, just listening to the sound and the satisfying catch where the button stays lodged when the nib is out. Then, I finally got around to writing. The line was smooth, wet and a great width. I was in love with how it wrote. It was still a little heavy in my hand, but the balance was good enough that I didn’t have to stop writing every two minutes.
It was the first day of school, therefore the lectures. It was time for the real test for the pen. It shone -not literally, it is a black matte pen after all. I took notes on that first day until the first cartridge ran out and I filled it up with another ink the next day. That ink was Diamine Twilight, and it was the best match I could have ever imagined. First days of school are generally hard, but a new pen makes it a little better. Life did get a little extra hard for a while after that day, but the Vanishing Point was always right next to me.
I don’t mind the stealthy look anymore, and use it often. It’s always inked up and ready to go at a click. I am not the biggest fan of the finish, thus it doesn’t get as babied as some of my other pens and gets carried around a lot more often.
I will try to post in a regular schedule on Tuesdays and Saturdays. This is the second of three posts I am planning on my black pens. Thank you for reading!