Thanks to Maybelline for inviting me to write a guest post here on On Fountain Pens! I am honored to ramble about pens and inks!
I thought this would be an interesting topic, since I did indeed buy an expensive pen this year. That pen is the Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight fountain pen. I saw it on the website of La Couronne du Comte and couldn’t ignore it. I remember the years where a PaperMate ballpoint with grip was exciting, because it wasn’t a Bic Cristal. I also remember when I bought my first Lamy AL-Star and I thought I would never spend more than $100 on a pen. Then it was $250. Then it was $500. Then I was certain I would never cross the $1000 mark, because that would be crazy, let alone anything over that.
And it is. I won’t argue with that. It is definitely crazy, but I justify it to myself in this way: I’m madly in love with the thing. I had a good few pens in my case that I had acquired over several years in the more affordable and far more reasonable price range of $100 – $300. Still expensive, but not to the point where I felt nauseated after making the purchase. I enjoyed those pens, but I barely used them. I had them because I felt like I should have them – because they were sensible, reasonable pens that would serve me well. They did serve me well. The problem with falling in love with a pen like the Yukari Nightline is it’s a bit (or it’s very) irrational. I sold all the pens I didn’t use much; the pens I wasn’t madly in love with. I collected my pennies and bought the Yukari, with a plain old medium nib.
It arrived a little while later, and from the second I opened the box, I knew I had made the right choice – for me! The pen is the perfect weight for me. It’s so comfortable, it warms in my grip, it’s beautiful and it glows. The Raden design is lovely, romantic, gorgeous. The nib is flawless. It doesn’t skip or hard start, it’s smooth but not glassy, and the wetness is perfect. It’s the perfect daily user.
I am aware the pen is very expensive, and I know it’s crazy. I don’t have buyer’s remorse because I don’t regret it. I know a lot of work went into making this pen. I know how much work it is to write something as silly as an ink review, so I can only imagine how much time has been put into learning the techniques and the craft behind Raden pens. The premium is high, but there’s not a thing I don’t love about it. I think it’s like a luxury car – sure, a Honda Civic will get you where you need to go, but isn’t a BMW so much more fun? (Nothing wrong with a Civic. I have one. I wouldn’t complain about a BMW, though.)
I have this pen inked constantly. Since it has arrived, it hasn’t gone empty a single day. As soon as I run out of ink, I clean it, and it gets inked again. All the pens I sold to fund this pen never saw such love or use. I enjoyed them. I appreciated them for what they were – functional writing instruments, attractive, well-designed – but I wasn’t in love with them. I’m much happier having one pen that I can’t let go of than all the other pens I left sitting in a pen case because they didn’t tick all the right boxes.
This probably makes me a pen snob, but oh well. I write a pen blog, so I’m already weird. This pen ticks all the right boxes, and it makes my heart beat faster. Follow your heart, they say.