There is just something about Franklin Christoph pens that spark the impulsive fomo feelings in me. Granted, I still thought about the purchase at least 24h before jumping on it. Winner of the 2022 Pen World International Reader’s Choice EDC, it was very hard to resist. I also have had a fond experience with my Model 03 Iterum, which I happened to be using in my Monthly Inked rotation at the time, so the stars were already in alignment. Anyway, this was a semi-impulse purchase – the cost is steep and it’s not even a black pen to fit my 2022 resolution, but these pens are designed and made to last and the Model 02 in this look was actually the pen I wanted to get originally before the 03. So here we are, I’ve been using it for a month and thought I’d share some additional thoughts I have about the famed F-C brand.
Does this pen look super awesome? You bet!
This pen is designed to look like ‘antique glass’. Honestly, whenever I saw it in photos, I thought it looked just like glass and couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. In hand, it most definitely is not glass, but clearly and certainly looks and feels like plastic. It is a very well-made plastic, however, and finished in a way that feels sturdy and built to last. When I get over the initial ‘disappointment’ of it not actually being made of glass (which I already knew in my head), it’s a beautiful-looking pen. It is definitely also one of my more unique demonstrator pens, and if you didn’t know already, I am an avid demonstrator fan.
The Intrinsic comes in a cute 1-2 pen zipper cloth case, which is one of my favourite features of purchasing an F-C pen. These cases are high quality and very convenient to use. I love tossing a few pens in it and then throwing said case into my bag or purse of the day. It’s perfect. The new one is also slightly upgraded, with a soft lining on the inside for protection. Very thoughtful.
The pen is larger than I anticipated. This is me admitting my ignorance when purchasing pens – no I don’t always look at the dimensions when selecting a pen for my collection, I prioritize the look and previous history with the brand. Knowing it was an F-C pen meant I knew I was going to get a quality pen, so I primarily considered the glass look. All that said, it’s still a comfortable pen and is well-balanced for my use.
The entire pen, twist cap, grip and barrel are made of the same material, the ‘Antique glass’-looking resin. The cap has a strong clip and in classic F-C fashion, the tines for the twist cap is at the top of the grip neck. I know this doesn’t work for everyone since the lines may interfere with gripping the pen, but I have gotten quite used to it and probably have more trouble getting used to the proportion of the nib to grip. More on the feels shortly!
I’ve mentioned it twice already and I’ll say it again. This is a sturdy resin pen. It is one of those pens that I won’t think twice about wanting to pick up just to scratch three lines on paper with. Using this pen feels very much like the Iterum Model 03. The size, weight and overall feel with the cap tines up at the grip point is very similar.
There is one significant difference between the two F-C pens I have and it’s the nib. I opted to try a Nagahara ground nib at the $25 premium just to try out. The nib is neat! I can’t even dare claim to be a nib connoisseur. I am simple and enjoy a good solid and smooth EF or F nib. In fact, of all my pens, I probably have two (including this one) specially ground nibs and have almost always opted for the regular round one. Nothing against my ocean swirl nib, but I just have less use to write or draw with an architect nib.
Speaking of writing and drawing. I have found I have a similar sentiment with the stub nib. It’s a great nib and excellent for writing with. However, I don’t find it particularly easy or enjoyable to draw with. Maybe a quick sketch or two, but nothing more than that. Hence this review’s doodle spread is in fact more of a written spread.
The text I selected is from the preface to The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Probably my favourite author and favourite epic fantasy series. The only issue with this excerpt was that the pen started struggling mid way and I think it is because the combination of a dry-ish ink with this nib just doesn’t work well on watercolour paper. I tried writing the same thing on Midori MD paper and it was perfectly fine.
I mentioned before that there is quite a distance between my grip and the actual tip of the nib. It is a result of the relatively large #6 sized nib plus the extended grip section due to the twist section. So in terms of drawing detail, it’s harder to feel in control of precise lines when my fingers are further from the tip. However, when I hold pens a little further away, I get a little more freedom for sketching strokes (sometimes even as far back as the barrel!). The dilemma here then, is that the stub nib for me is not really geared towards sketching, yet the pen shape dictates that it is more suited for sketching. Perhaps the solution is to give another nib a try in the pen, it is compatible with any of my other Jowo nibs afterall!
I think I mentioned this in my previous review of an F-C pen, the Model 03 Iterum, but F-C pens are not the cheapest of the crop, sitting usually just below the 200USD mark. I don’t know that I could workhorse this pen into heavy use or love it as much as I loved using the Talisman right off the bat. But I still like the pen and am glad I got one for my collection. Once again, the caveat when it comes to specifying value of a pen ranges based on a number of factors. When it comes to value, custom pens like this are really at the discretion of the user. I like the pen for it’s brand, build quality, and the unique look. However if push comes to shove, I think now that I’ve reached the plateau of my fountain pen collecting obsession, I might be able to live without this particular one.
- Excellent build quality
- unique look
- option to upgrade nib grind
- smooth flow but on the dry side
- on the expensive range
- cap twist tines are at the nib side, which can affect usage
- pen doesn’t work too well on thick watercolour paper
I actually had a different ink on my first try at the pen – Vinta Inks ‘Kislap’. But it kept clogging and I got too frustrated to use it for the review. So I swapped to Troublemaker Inks ‘Petrichor’. I have had a recent interest and enjoyment of Troublemaker Inks. They shade beautifully, run well, and there are some unique inks in their collection that I really like. They look really nice when painted on watercolour paper, which is unfortunate since this nib and ink combo didn’t work as well on this paper.
Thanks for tuning in again! I’m curious what other pen friends’ experiences with F-C pens have been. Let me know in the comments! I don’t think I’ve read anything negative about them and they are definitely a fan favourite in the pen world. Happy weekend!