Let me introduce you to three fountain pens that are cherished souvenirs from two beloved penfriends.
From advertising executive Leigh Reyes comes a Pilot E with a Script nib. It dates to the ’70s, and has a timeless design that is simple and appealing, channeling that minimalist Japanese aesthetic sensibility.
Its stiffish nib is perfect for my heavy hand raised on ballpoint pens; it’s sturdy enough so I can press hard and practice calligraphic swirls and flourishes without fearing that the nib will bend or break.
From novelist and University of the Philippines professor Dr. Butch Dalisay come a lovely Aurora Idea and an unusual Hero fountain pen from China.
Aurora is an Italian brand and the Idea model is a workhorse designed for practical, everyday use. Its medium nib lays a thick wet line, just the thing for signing checks, marriage contracts, and state treaties.
Hero is China’s most well-known brand of fountain pen, and every collector must have at least one. This particular model, a 309, is unusual with its tiny nib that creates lovely eyelash-thin lines, ideal for my Moleskine. The barrel material might be some sort of plastic laminate over brass; it has a heft that gives a feeling of solidity and permanence while still being comfortable enough to write with for long stretches.
Nibs of the Pilot E, Hero 309, and Aurora Idea
The pens gaze pensively at the Pasig River
Sir Butch gave me nine other pens that I haven’t featured here yet; you’ll meet them some other time.