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Fountain Pens (Because they're not watches or socks)


In an attempt to keep my friend @Boydesian 's head from imploding, I am moving my fountain pen musings and photos here. Are you a pen nut too? Great! Then brush off your writing jacket, pour yourself some coffee from the pot, fire up writers twitter (seriously, it’s hilarious), and settle onto one of those yoga balls, at your desk to give you some back strength. Wearing socks with your sandals, as I am sometimes known to do, is entirely optional.

The first 25 or so posts were moved from Watcha Wearin'? (Stuff about Watches...AND Fountain Pens. Because they're both awesome!), and are a continuation of the pen talk going on in that thread!

Watcha Wearin'? (Stuff about Watches...plus the Occasional Diversion.)



Hi all,

I have been enjoying SUSD for a while now, but this is my first post in the forums, and its about fountain pens! The forums are always full of helpful people, and I was hoping for some advice on a fountain pen I backed on Kickstarter (I think I may have an addiction to that site).
I have never owned a fountain pen before, but backed the Ixion by Namisu as I liked the aluminium body and minimalist look. I added a Fine Bock steel nib, and it shipped with a Schmidt KS converter.
The advice I am looking for is which inks will work best with this combo of nib and converter? Or can I use any ink? I don’t know what differences, if any, there are between inks, and if certain inks do not go with certain nibs.

The pen and converter for those interested:

Thanks all!

Watcha Wearin'? (Stuff about Watches...plus the Occasional Diversion.)

Oooh, nice!

It’s impossible to give accurate advice for the pen without having used that nib before, and without seeing how you write, and not knowing the paper you are going to use the pen on, but there are some differences in inks to be aware of:

Viscosity - Some inks are thicker than others and some pens allow more of a flow than others - if an ink is flowing too fast for you in your pen, get a thicker ink, if it’s writing too dry, get a thinner ink

Lubrication - Some inks give a smoother feeling - this is entirely personal and down to you!

Clogging - some inks just clog more than others - maybe the pigment is stickier, maybe the particles in the ink are bigger, maybe the pen design encourages certain pigments to clog - whatever it is, clogging will happen, but with some pen/ink combinations it is worse.

Strength of pigmentation - It might be that you like to write dry - where your pen doesn’t leave too much ink in a stroke. However, that shouldn’t preclude you from wanting a rich, vivid colouration to your strokes. More and stronger pigments is the answer - why doesn’t every ink manufacturer pack as many pigments into their ink as possible? Price and clogging mostly!

Messiness - some inks just like to leak over your nib, into your cap etc. more than others. If this is a problem, and you don’t want to carry blotting paper (a paper towel :slight_smile: ) then a different ink can help.

Essentially, it’s down to experimentation. I would recommend diamine inks to start with, they come in every colour you could want, are cheap for the quality of ink (I personally wouldn’t use anything lower in quality, but I’m a complete snob with inks!!!) and enjoy! Once you’ve got a sense of the ink and how you would prefer it to write, then you can have a baseline for your research into other inks.

Fountain pen forums tend to be quite relaxed and friendly places, and there are a few of us here who will happily help out with any questions you might have, I’m sure!


I am sorry, I can’t recommend ink for that, I am used to working with artist’s pens, which work a bit differently.

What I can tell you is this: it’s not a ball-boint or a biro, it’s not a pencil or a marker.

Let the ink flow out of the tip as you write. It’s a very different experience. You may experience some skittering across the paper, you just need to let the tip glide.

Also, get some good paper. Try a few different kinds. Seriously, the paper may be much more important than the ink. This may be a terrible analogy, but why have nice shoes when the road is garbage? In that situation, the ink is like having nice socks (don’t get me wrong, nice socks are awesome).



(( Narrator: And so started the great war between the Paperites and the Inkheads ))

((Ewwww… I wanted to change my title to Haphazardly Assigned Inkhead, but please rid me of that ))


(Got you covered, I think I got it fixed. The forum has a mind of it’s own sometimes, but it’s super-effective at keeping trolls, spammers, and griefers out.)

But I do have to speak at you about the importance of paper over ink. Paper is much more important than the pen. The quality of paper is way more important than the ink, good paper is fantastic. You don’t smell a book because of it’s ink, it’s the paper and the binding (not to mention the words).

(OK, I’m going to backpedal a little bit, ink’s really important.
Seriously, the least important part is the pen. Appreciate it for its craftsmanship, do, people worked hard on this thing, but a pen has no more effect on the written word than a watch has an effect on time.)


Seriously though, it massively depends on what you want to use your pen for - mine is everyday, for everything (except carbon paper - I have a biro specially for writing carbon paper slips!) and I don’t get to ask the bank if they can reprint the form on ultrafine vellum, so I need inks that can cope with whatever paper is thrown at them!


Agreed! The pen is mostly about creature comforts - does it feel nice, look nice, leak in aeroplane holds. The nib is important in the shape of line it will give you, but worrying about flex is overrated.


I carry 3 writing implements in my pocket every day, a Pilot 2.0, a chisel tip Sharpie, and a pencil (a #2BH). I sometimes carry a UniBall (I love how it lays down the ink, you can get some good black on the right paper).

I also generally try to keep a few dozen Sharpies and colored pencils in my backpack (for emergencies).
(I know this sounds stupid, but I actually do this).

Yeah, that’s how I roll.

(EDIT: I occasionally use them, but I have to be honest, not nearly as often as I want, I’m horrible at being a subversive. I’m OK at improvisational art.)


Well, I was going to join in with the terrible pen rap… but fine! Have a picture of my bag kit and go about your day!

(Pen colour is ink colour, because as discussed, I am a terrible person - Except for the silver one, that’s a nice bright green. To be discussed, when that orange eyedropper conversion runs out - yep, still on the first fill!)


Now this is very meta


You jerk!

I happily carry a UniBall pen, and all the other pens in my pockets and my backpack.

You don’t want me to un-delete anything you’ve deleted or edited, right?!?! :rofl:

(“Censored for public decency issues” actually is what had me sliding off of the chair, seriously, I was trying to watch a TV show and that was very disruptive to my evening. Not just for me, but for all of my pets and my family, and my gastroenterologist.)

(Will, let’s let them off the hook for now until the next sock party, we’re being very silly here and it’s not fair to people who have a serious interest in watches and pens, we should back off).


(OK the last few comments are really going to be confusing to people who didn’t see the post. @SleepyWill posted a cleverly edited version of my last few posts (which I tried to edit in less than five minutes and failed, BARELY, he captured my misspellings and made it funnier and he added a bit of spice. Very quickly, too, I was impressed, but he also withdrew it very quickly because this is supposed to be about watches and sometimes pens.)


@SleepyWill @MinuteWalt

Thanks for your very informative feedback. I had assumed that the nib was the most important part, but it’s good to know how important the ink and paper are (I won’t take sides so will say they are equally important!).

I will mostly be using the it as an everyday pen at work, unfortunately the paper is not the highest grade, but will pick up some diamine ink and start experimenting.

That is a very nice kit SleepyWill!


:frowning: :cry:


But this means that you get to buy a new one right? (Trying for a positive spin…)


With a £1000 vet bill just paid, and £300 dog hydrotherapy sessions to fund and another £400 of dog massage sessions… probably not until the insurance comes through, however - firstly, this is particularly poignant, this was the first pen I bought, not because I needed a fountain pen, but because I wanted a fountain pen. Secondly, I now, despite originally only owning TWSBI’s, I now have none, they have all broken in exactly the same way.

However - back when I did my eye dropper conversion and I introduced this pen:

( Still getting through that first fill, from January!!! )

I used this picture to compare it to a regular sized pen.

That box contained a new pen, that I had bought on a complete whim - pre-ordered in fact - a brand new Lamy model!

This is the Lamy Aion, in “Olivesilver” - they also do black.

It’s a really good pen! I’ve been using it since as my green ink pen, (Some redemption for my past terribleness) but now I can’t remember why I took my sailor out of rotation… It’s not looking particularly healthy

Hopefully it was simply the one that needed the change, so I went with it, or it had just had a leak and I decided to not bother cleaning it out properly - or something along those lines. I think I would remember if this one had a problem.

So now here we are: the sailor goes back to being my green, the Aion is my new blue, and everything else remains the same - kaweco eyedropper filled orange, vanishing point purple and the other lamy is my “dark pink” leaving my current favourite pen, the faber castell basic as my grey

I am uncomfortable with how sensible this looks. I need more bright, interesting preferably clashing colours. I don’t know why.


Poor vac 700.


Maybe it’s possible to Duct-tape it?