Seriously? A Calligraphy Pocket Fountain Pen? Great Way to Hack Myself!

While shuffling through all our drwaers and organizing stuff, I found 3 pretty nice fountain pens and a few dip pens. So I researched the new found long forgotten pens.

  1. A Waterman Graduate made in the 80s or early 90s, silver with a slightly scratchy nib.
  2. A Parker IM in gun metal with a comparitively broad and "wet" nib. Plenty of cartridge boxes, one cartridge missing out of a box becuase it was the one used. Practically no scratches, condition "as new". 
  3. A Pelikan 400 NN Extra Fine made from 1958 to 1965: that was a bit of a suprise. 

A deepdive into fountain pen research and family history

Initially I found some Pelikan models  online that looked a little like the one I found, but there were differences. I enquired in my family, but no luck. The only person remembering this pen was... me. I believe I may have used it at the end of my school years, maybe a little later. I remember buying quite a few things like that on flea markets. Though if I did actually buy it, I was completely unaware of the value of a 400 NN. Now offers start at about 120 EUR or more. Remember, those were the years just before the Internet started to change the world. Researching product and price would have meant finding someone who knows or who knows where to look and who to ask. In my family nobody was into fountain pens aside from my sister and myself. 

Maybe ithe 400 NN belonged to my grandfather, But no one remembers him using a fountain pen especially one that really was quite valuable even then. My grandma also did not seem to be into fountain pens as far as we can remember. Or we were blind and ignorant about the pen habits of my grandparents. Weird. 

My sister definitely said, the Pelikan was not hers. However she is the owner of the Parker IM and Waterman Graduate. Those are the brands she still likes. She just had completely forgotten about them. After her visit, she happily repatriated those products to her collection. She offered them to me, but the Waterman Graduate clearly worked in her hand, not mine. The Parker is beautiful, just did not do it for me. As a pen to carry, the IM is too long and too heavy. I prefer to write with the Pelikan.

The Flow Experience Discovery

I then tried the dip pens and the many nibs I found. They were all old and scratchey, but a few ones immediately worked for me. The 1mm and 2mm nibs worked just great. Although I was not very fast, it was a great experience. Words became sentences. I had no trouble reading my writings. Yes, I know. Using those calligraphy nibs was meditative writing, a flow experience. 

Friends told me, that yes, calligraphy is a technique often used to get into a flow for ADHD people, a kind of therapeutical skill. I had no idea. 

Not for the lack of trying, but I could not replicate that experience with the Pelikan 400NN Great pen, just not providing me with a similar flow experience. Anyway, the Peilkan is far too valuable to use it as carry around pen for me. 

However I was sold on the idea of using a calligraphy fountain pen for my bullet journal relaunch.

My fountain pen critera 

  • Needs to fit in a pocket
  • Lightweight
  • Calligraphy nib or very broad nib
  • Good value but not a luxury item.

Upon researching the Pelikan and a nice ink, I stumbled upon a lot of fountain pen reviews. A short weird looking one caught my eye. The history of Kaweco is fascinating. I didn't know what a re-founder is. Check out the interviews (one and two) of Mr. Gutberlet, CEO and re-founder of Kaweco, on Youtube.

Kaweco Frosted Sport Natural Coconut calligraphy nib 1.1

The name is much longer than the rather short fountain pen. Like so many people, I immediately fell in love with this stubby fountain pen. The modern yet vintage design, the clever design with a long cap that is used to extend the length. Prices for the plastic ones are great value at about 20€ or $. If you prefer a fancy Kaweco Sport, go for the aluminium, steel or bronze versions. Standard nibs are great, if you want more, get the premium ones - or the calligraphy nibs like I did. 

The Kaweco Sport is ultra short by a little more than 10cm. Posting the cap extends the overall length to more than 13cm. It weighs just 14g including converter and ink.

Currently the calligraphy Sport fountain pens areavailable in mostly two colours, I love the Natural Coconut. Modern, a bit of mystery, yet nice and also pretty visible in case you search for it. The non-calligraphy Kaweco Sport with the usual extra fine, fine, medium, broad nibs can be had in all kinds of beautiful colours. Check out the pen on the website of Kaweco.

So, now this Kaweco "Frosted Sport in Natural Conconut with a calligraphy nib size 1.1" has become primary pen that I put in my pocket all the time.  My EDC pen number one, next to the Victorinox Signature and a old stubby pencil with a cap for sketching and drawing. More on those later...

As ink I use the Serenity Blue by Waterman with a converter. So far, I prefer the results with a converter rather than the standard cartridges. The ink flow is wetter and nicer. I will try a few other colours and ink manufacturers. On trips I might use the converter till it is empty and then insert a cartridge.