Every new pen I buy seems to get better.
This week sees the National Stationery Day in the U.K. (24 April, hey it’s today!), and oh how envious I am! I’m not from the U.K. so it is a pity that I can’t join in the fun! But I guess I can still do it my own way by having a new review, this time of two pens! If you’re reading this from the U.K. please show this day some support. Check out this website.
This review is not going to be very in-depth, considering that I’m writing about TWO pens which were only recently acquired – four days ago. Why the hurry, you may ask? That’s because after getting these two pens, I was so impressed by them that I had to post about them already! Without having to be “accustomed” to them, I already knew they were the perfect ones for me. I’ve been searching around for a sleek-looking and well-behaved white fountain pen, and almost wanted to get the white Pilot Prera, but in the end this pen caught my attention and I just had to help myself.
Now for the story of how I came across this. I was told by one of my readers that there are fountain pens available at kikki.k at ION Orchard. That’s not the main point. Fountain pens are everywhere. The main point is that the feed of the fountain pen is WHITE in colour. This got me really interested, and I had to take a look at it myself. I had actually expected to see a high-end fountain pen costing about $500 with perhaps studs of Swarovski crystals dotting the barrel amidst gold trimmings, as my wild imagination goes, but what I saw was something more pleasing and delightful (mainly to my pocket): a sleek, solid-white kikki.k Kontor fountain pen which costs less than 20 SGD. Alright, it’s only 5 cents short of $20 but it’s STILL below $20! I knew I had to get it.
To my second delight, it was the last piece in the store, which made me feel both glad and evil. Glad to think that I managed to get that nice little last piece, and evil to know that no one else after me will ever get such a nice pen. I had totally forgot about the activity called “restocking”. Oh well. Anyway, my main joy was for the fact that I got a pen that I really liked!
The other pen I got was a pretty little thing, too. While getting ready to pay for the Kontor, I set my eyes upon a white-and-silver pen at the counter that looked very much like a fountain pen from the outside. I grabbed it and started wowing at the floral design so much that the cashier threw me a strange look and immediately tried to neutralize it (his look, I mean). He was probably wondering why I was going crazy over some cheap pens that people hardly even look at (shoppers probably visit the shops mainly for its paper products, I guess). As for me, I just felt like I had to buy the Silver Flower gel pen, which costs only 5.90 SGD. A nice pen to go with another nice pen. I later on realised how compatible these pens look together! Just like husband and wife. Some pen matchmaking to do now!
Unwittingly I ended up making a picture looking like one of those inspirational posters you find around schools and offices. Does the picture above inspire you to get married? Probably not. Oh well, but I’ve tried anyway.
Here’s a writing sample:
Both feel like fine points to me, with the gel pen feeling more like an extra fine. Already I can’t tell much the difference between a rollerball pen, a ballpoint pen and a gel pen, and the fineness of this pen tip made it even harder to identify. I had thought it was a rollerball pen until I verified on the kikki.k website that it was really a GEL pen.
I disassembled the pens to peer at what’s inside, yes, pervertic me. Apologies for the pen porn but hey, I know you stationery addicts out there like disassembling your pens too!
The Kontor cap is a screw-on cap, which requires only about 1 revolution to come off. Now this is an important aspect if you are an impatient writer but loves screw-on caps like me. So far those fountain pens that I own with screw caps require more than 1 revolution to get the cap off, so pleasant Mr. Kontor tops the chart at this. I did not take apart the cartridge as I had plugged it in too hurriedly in my excitement to try it out at the restaurant after buying it. As for the nib and feed, I am still relatively inexperienced in handling these parts so I didn’t take it out! I should try one day, just to see properly how a transparent feed looks like.
It was also very easy to disassemble Ms Silver Flower. Just pull off the cap and unscrew the parts. When screwing back together, it tightens with two clicks to assure you that it’s properly put back together. One thing that very slightly annoys me is the presence of the spring. I do not know what function it serves as I thought springs normally are for retractable pens. The presence of this spring makes writing ever-so-slightly bouncy especially if you jab hard at the paper while writing. Needs some getting used to. But the fact that this pen is very smooth with uninterrupted ink flow wins the deal already, so I’m not too bothered.
One more thing I discovered about both pens is that the branding and wordings are all the right side up! That is to say, being a lefty, when I poise the pen ready to write I am able to see the words printed on the pen body correctly and not upside down. Could these pens be made specially for left-handed writers? The reason I mentioned this in particular is because a friend said before that there are some stationery companies who print their labels and brands the other way around to help lefties like me feel more like I am using the correct pen on the correct hand. I hadn’t noticed this much (most efforts at branding probably fail in the presence of Perpetually Oblivious Individuals like me), but now I do and I like this detail.
If you don’t understand what I mean, grab any common pen with words and logos printed on the pen barrel, and hold it like in the picture but with your right hand. You should be able to read the words. Now change the pen to the left hand. The words appear upside down. Quod erat demonstrandum.
The smoothness of the points which I cannot reiterate enough seems to also confirm the fact that these pens are specially crafted for lefties. I may be wrong, though. Don’t take my word for it.
Last but not least, I want to show off the nice transparent feed below the nib of the Kontor fountain pen. I still did not remove the cartridge nor flushed out the pen, but I simply held the nib part under running water until the feed runs clear, and took a picture before ink flowed back there again. You can see the difference in the below picture:
And thus concludes my review of the two kikki.k pens.
It’s National Stationery Day today in the U.K. and I often see this question:
What is your favourite stationery / favourite pen?
Or a variant of some sort.
Answering this question is like answering “What is life to you?” most of the time. Loosely speaking, my favourite stationery would force a “category” answer out of me, and that category of stationery I like most would be pens. Asking me what my favourite pen is is even worse. How could you ask this and make me consider pen-favoritism? All my other pens will be jealous. If you give me a time frame, it would be much easier. So I can tell you now is that AT THIS MOMENT my favourite pens are these two kikki.k ones and I’m using them all day at the office. See, I even had to mention two and couldn’t even decide which is better.
So, what is your favourite stationery TODAY? 🙂