Lamy AL Star Fountain Pen

This is the Lamy AL-Star fountain pen. It comes in a black cardboard box. It has channels or groves cut into it. Then on the side we have the Lamy logo printed on outside the box. Included with the pen is the warranty policy for the pen information about Lamy. This is the ocean blue version Lamy AL-Star. This is a lightweight pen even though it’s a metal pen with an aluminum cap and barrel. It has the Lamy clip. It is a chrome clip, a nice big clip to make it easy to get it in and out of your pockets. The top of the cap we have a screw head, a plastic coin or medallion at the top and a little coin medallion at the bottom. The barrel of the pen has a little bit of a flat side on the sides, flat on the side and on the edges we also have the Lamy logo embossed.

It is kind of subtle there at the end of the barrel. There is also a little viewing window so you can see the ink and a little black ring around the center between the cap and barrel. It is a compression fit cap sothe cap simply snaps off and can be posted. You can use the pen with or without the cap posted. The grip section on this pen is clear translucent. It has a smoky color to it so you can see the inside and see the ink. It also has a silver chrome colored nib with the Lamy logo on it. When the pen first comes you have a small cardboard band. You need to remove that when you first use the pen. So you unscrew the grip section for the barrel and pull that little band off.

you can remove it. Then you can screw the barrel the pen on and then that will push the ink into the pen and it is ready for use. It is a great-looking pen, a unique pen. Lamy make some great inexpensive fountain pens. They are a German brand. Get your Lamy AL Star fountain pen at PenChalet.com! .

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Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

This is the Lamy 2000 fountain pen. It comes in a black cardboard box we have the Lamy logo here in silver on top. The lid is a compression fit around that logo. It is kind of a unique design. The logo has raised off the top of the box. The the warranty policies are included with the pen as well as informational instructions about Lamy and about the use of the Lamy 2000 fountain pen. This is the Lamy 2000 fountain pen. It has a dull satin finish to it. Here we have a black cap and barrel with a dull silver colored clip. On the top of the cap there is a little bit of a shiny glossy cap and at the bottom other barrel we just have a small chrome circle there in the middle the bottom.

The cap is a compression fit. You can post the cap if you would like to. This pen is made from Makrolon which is a polycarbonate material. There is also an all metal version of the Lamy 2000 pen. It is pretty light way for being a metal pen. So you can use it with or without a cap posted. Now there are a few windows or open areas where you can see the inside the pen to see the ink. Those go around the pen and there is three openings where you can see the ink or the interior. It then has a chrome colored grip section on the barrel. It is once again that dull stain finish. and it as a nice shiny chrome nib.

Now this is a piston style fountain pen. It is a highly precision pen, so much that you can hardly see the seam between the end of the barrel and the littel knob you twist to fill the pen. So you unscrew that end of the pen in a counter-clockwise direction to draw ink into the pen as you dip the pen into your bottled ink. Then simply screw that back in down once you’ve done. Like I said it’s really hard to see that seam it is a such a tight precision seam. Lamy is a German brand. They make some high-precision, great writing instruments. Get your Lamy 2000 fountain pen at PenChalet.com! .

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Pilot Vanishing Point Ballpoint Pen

This is the Pilot Vanishing Point ballpoint pen It comes in a black cardboard box with clear transparent top so you see the pen inside. On the top of the box we have Pilot logo printed in in silver with a hinge top to the box. This is the black version of the Pilot Vanishing Point ballpoint pen with chrome accents. We have chrome end here.

This is the end of the pen and where you would compress to extend the refill on the opposite end. It has a chrome band at the center of the pen with Pilot Japan printed on the pen. Then on the writing end of the instrument with is little different with this pen than with other pens is where the clip is located. It is a chrome clip and it has a chrome tip to the writing end. To exchange the refill for this pen, we simply unscrew the pen and inside is the ballpoint refill.

This is a Pilot BRFN30. It is a medium tip. This is a sharp-looking pen. Pilot is a great company Get your pilot Vanishing Point ballpoint pen at PenChalet.com! .

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Platinum 3776 Century Fountain Pen

This is the Platinum 3776 Century fountain pen. It comes in either blue or white faux leather box. Since is that the Shoji version of the pen it’s a white faux leather box. It has a hinged top to it and included with the pen have informational instructions about the 3776 fountain pen. On the underside of the lid we have 3776 Shoji with some Japanese characters. This is a cartridge converter style pen. Included with the pen is a blue and a black ink cartridge. A converter for the pen is actually inside the pen. You can see that through the barrel since this is a demonstrator style pen. You can see the inside the pen. This Shoji fountain pen is a limited edition pen. It has a slight blue tint to the pen and chrome accents. On the top of the cap it has a small chrome band that runs around the cap. That holds that chrome clip on. You can actually see inside the cap and see that “slip and seal” mechanism that is a trademark mechanism that Platinum has developed.

It is great because it keeps your pen fresh and ready to write. It keeps it from drying out. Then on the cap we have 3776 engraved with Platinum made in Japan. Then at the bottom of the barrel we have a small chrome band that runs around the pen. You can see on the inside, you can see that converter. The cap on the pen unscrews.

This is a larger pen so you can write with or without it posted. It’s not too heavy. It’s a resin pen so it’s not too heavy to hold. It has a small chrome band that runs around the grip section here and at the very tip of the cap. Now this is gold nib. It’s a 14-karat gold nib. Engraved on the nib 3776 and the Platinum logo. To exchange the ink on this pen you simply unscrew that grip section for the barrel.

Since it already has an ink converter attached you would dip that nib into your ink and screw the the end of this converter to draw the into that chamber. If you’d like to use a cartridge style ink you simply unscrew that converter and you can put the cartridges on. Actually it just pulls of it doesn’t screw. Platinum is a great company. They are a Japanese brand that makes fantastic writing instruments. Get your Platinum 3776 Century fountain pen at PenChalet.com .

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NASA’s Million Dollar Space Pen vs The Soviet Pencils

The story of NASA’s million-dollar space pen and the Soviet pencil has become one of the more enduring tales from the space race and still floats around the internet today and goes a bit like this. During the 1960’s as NASA was sending the first men into space and they realize that pens don’t work in zero gravity, so they spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars to develop one that did meanwhile in the Soviet Union the cosmonauts simply used pencils. The moral of the story to many is that NASA was a wasteful government organization that would be giving your hard-earned tax dollars to some greedy contractors charging sky-high prices for seemingly trivial objects whereas the enemy, the Soviets were common sense and practical.

But the story is a myth, however like all good myths it’s based on facts, facts which over time like Chinese whispers end up as grossly exaggerated stories which are then taken at face value and purport to be the real facts. the true story of the space pen is a bit more down-to-earth start from the sandwich from the Gemini 3 mission on march 23rd 1965. The crew of the flight was Gus Grissom and John Young.

After the mission it came to light the John Young had smuggled a sandwich on board in his space suit pocket. Although it had been allowed by the director of flight operations it was frowned upon by the flight surgeon because when they took bites out of two day old sandwich in orbit the crumbs floated around in the cabins microgravity and these could get into the electronics room cause a problem.

At the time the astronaut had an exclusive deal with life magazine and some thought they had planned little stunts like this so as to reveal them in upcoming articles. In the earlier mercury missions it had been commonplace for non flight items to have found their way on board missions when it was discovered that the two mechanical pencils that the crew were using coughed $128 84 cents each $986 in today’s money and that NASA had bought 34 of them for a total price of $43the equivalent of $33,700 in today’s money the press had a field day and there was a public outcry. It turned out that the actual pencils only cost $each but they had custom-made housings so that the crew could hold and write with them whilst wearing their thick space suit gloves and that’s where most of the R&D and manufacturing costs of these housings has gone.

The issue here was that people might not know what a flight computer or a rocket engine costs but when they see a pencil for a $128 they might well end up thinking what else are unscrupulous contractors have been overcharging for. After an investigation as to what was being carried on to mission it also turned out that they had on board for Japanese Pentel pencils which cost $each, something that NASA definitely didn’t want to be known about when they had flown alongside the $128 dollar American versions. During the mid-1960s, Paul Fisher inventor and owner of the Fisher Pen company patented what he called the “Space Pen”. Fisher knew about the issues with the NASA pencils and had the idea of making a pen that would work in space. The space pen had a cartridge pressurized with nitrogen and used a special gel ink that became liquid when the ballpoint rotated against the gel. It could write any angle on almost any surface in a vacuum even underwater and it worked in temperatures from minus 46C to plus 71C. However he didn’t have any official backing nor was he contracted by NASA, it was just his idea to make the perfect pen and he funded it privately with his own company’s money to the tune of reportedly $1 million dollars, how true that figure was might be up to question but it’s where the $1 million dollar price tag comes from.

Fisher knew what space was the hot topic at the time so with a bit of creative writing copy he advertised he as “Space Pen by Fisher and it writes in space” this was something which NASA objected to when he tried to get a copy of the history of the Pens development reviewed by NASA, something was he managed to get into the congressional record of March 1966. He also submitted a version of the pen known as the AG-7 or Antigravity 7 for consideration to be used in upcoming Apollo missions. After the Gemini pencils debacle of a few years earlier and the need to make sure that everything in the small cabin and high oxygen content recirculated air system was safe, NASA had clamped down on what could be taken on to missions. So wood shavings and graphite from normal pencils, inks from pens and other things that could be floating around in microgravity were now considered to be a hazard to both the open switches in the electrics and also the crew as well as a fire hazard in the oxygen-rich atmosphere after the Apollo 1 fire disaster.

NASA eventually opted to use the sealed AG-7 Fisher pens in the Apollo mission alongside felt-tip pens and they ordered 400 of them. As for the Soviets they moved away from pencils because the tips will break off and float around in the cabin. So for a while they used grease or wax pencils on plastic slates but these was not as durable as ink and they still had to dispose of a pencils paper wrapping safely, so in 1969 the Soviets also bought 100 Fischer Space Pens and 1,000 ink cartridges and the Space Pen went on to be a staple of not only the space missions but also many other industries too. So was the American Space pen better than the Soviet pencil, yes it was. Did it cost NASA a million dollars no it did not.

Both NASA and the Soviets got a bulk buy discounted price of $6 dollars each. So as always thanks for watching and please subscribe, rate and share. .

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Is It Worth It? Montblanc Meisterst├╝ck 149 146 144 Fountain Pens, Ballpoint & Mont Blanc Rollerballs

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In our second installment of is it worth it? Today, we’ll discuss Montblanc pens, fountain pens, and rollerballs. If you haven’t already seen the first installment of is it worth it? About Burberry trench coats, you can check it out here. Now today, is all about Montblanc pens and we not only discuss the difference about a pen type such as fountain pen, rollerball, & ballpoint pen but also limited editions Star Walker and the Meisterstuck Edition. After all, Montblanc today is a status symbol; it is a recognizable luxury brand and so we ask, is it worth your money or not? When I was a teenager, I started collecting fountain pens, particularly Montblanc fountain pens.

At one point in time, I had over a hundred of them in my collection. Although they are mostly vintage, I learned a lot about the brand, the history, the materials, the nibs, and everything that goes into making a fountain pen. Over time, I lost interest in collecting and I sold most of them off, however, I kept a few of them simply because I really liked them and there were timeless pieces that were really worth it to me. So what’s so special of these pens and why did I decide to keep those? First of all, it is a timeless and classic design. It has a torpedo shape and it was first introduced to the market in 1951. I also like it a lot because it’s the biggest pen in the Montblanc fountain pen range, and it’s very thick with about 13 millimeters at the grip. I find it’s a great fountain pen to take notes and especially for signatures because you can untwist it with just one rotation and quickly sign it, and if you have a nib with a certain width, you get a really characteristic look that is very hard to fake or copy.

In combination with a green ink that I use with my fountain pens, it becomes very difficult to imitate my signature. Because the fountain is so big, it often doesn’t fit in regular cases. So if you look for one, make sure it fits and test it before you buy. I really like the 149 for its large gold nib. Montblanc has excellent nibs that have the right amount of springiness without being too boring, very comfortable to write, and because they’re made out of gold, they will easily adapt to your hand and to your writing and they will remain like that for years to come. Why do I have three fountain pens of exactly the same model, you might wonder? It’s because of the nib width. I have a vintage model from the 50s which an EF nib which stands for extra fine and it has a very different look than a broad nib which is what I usually use to write and take notes on an everyday basis; and that is even slimmer than a very wide O3B nib which means it’s three times as broad as a regular one, and it’s just a very wide look and I use it only for signatures.

The name 149 wasn’t just made up but back in the day, Montblanc had a system where one denoted the masterpiece which was the highest category of fountain pen you could get for them, they also had a second grade, and a third tier, however, they’ve discontinued those today. The four piston filler mechanism which meant you didn’t use cartridges but a lever that you would twist at the back. It’s the same today, you don’t use cartridges, you simply hold the nib into an inkwell and then turn the back knob. 9 is a nib size and a scale from one being the smallest and nine being the largest.

A larger nib has more flexibility, a nicer springiness, and in general, when it comes to fountain pens, larger nibs are Better. Something all Montblanc pens had since almost the beginning is the hexagonal white shape on top of a black background. It’s supposed to resemble the snow on top of the Montblanc mountain in France which is the highest mountain, and they chose it because supposedly they wanted to represent the high quality and Montblanc pen was supposed to be the best in class. As you might notice, all Montblanc nibs have 4810 on it which is actually the height in meters of the Montblanc mountain. Now if you like the design of the my Meisterstuck 149 but you have smaller hands, I suggest to look into the 146 which means it has a smaller nib but also a smaller body; or if you have very small hands or if you’re a woman with likewise pretty small hands, maybe a 144 is right for you. Originally, you could find the 149 only in a yellow gold plating on a clip and on the bands. Today, you can also find it in platinum or rose-gold.

The nib design has changed over time, sometimes it’s 14-karat gold, sometimes 18 karat, sometimes it has yellow gold, white gold, and yellow gold sometimes, it’s just yellow gold at the tip and then all platinum, or white gold. In any case, it always has an iridium tip which is a very hard material that keeps your nib from wearing without sacrificing on the comfort of writing with it. Even though the name Montblanc sounds like French, the company is in fact German which was founded in Hamburg. Is the Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Meisterstuck fountain pen worth its money? When I bought the Meisterstuck 149 10 to 15 years ago, I paid about a quarter of what I would have to pay today. So to me, that’s a great investment even though if you consider inflation. Also, the Montblanc 149 is a very recognizable writing instrument, it’s used by several heads of states around the club to sign certain things, it is made of a resin these days which is very scratch resistant and nice to the touch.

So if you have large hands and you like a classic design that stands the test of time that will have a value that increases over time even though you use the pen, then it’s definitely worth it. When I started collecting fountain pens, the retail price for 149 was about $400, today, it’s 935. If you don’t want to shell that much money but still want to go with that kind of a pen, you can go to the used market, there are lots of 149 available but there are also lots of fakes out there so rather than just going to ebay and buying any random pen, I suggest you go with a trusted seller for used fountain pens that nobody is selling that has a reputation to uphold because then you get a better pen.

It also pays to look at the details such as the clip and look at the original, see how it’s made. The originals are finished very well, they are plated very heavily, so it won’t just come up and rub off, and they always have a laser imprinted serial number which cheaper versions oftentimes don’t. Now when you buy a fountain pen it’s important to remember that it needs to be written in and when you write in your fountain pen, it becomes better over time. Now if you hand it over to someone else to write it with, it will change the characteristic and will take quite a bit of time to rewrite it into your hand again, therefore, a fountain pen should only be written by you and if you buy a used pen, bear in mind that it has to be written in and it will take some time. So at the end of the day, is the 149 worth it? I think, yes, absolutely! If you have the money and if you can afford it.

If you want a likewise big quality writing instrument without the cache of it, may be a Pelikan m-1000 is right for you. In my opinion, the design isn’t as elegant, it usually comes in a dark green barrel, I think you can also get it with a black one, the nib is good, it’s working well, but it definitely lacks the status symbol of the Montblanc 149. If you like a more modern aesthetic on a bigger fountain pen, I suggest you look into the Omas 360. It was recognized by the MoMA in New York, it has an outstanding unique design and such as the design classic, but I still think not as classic and timeless as the 149. Alright, now that you know the 149 is worth it, what about other Montblanc pens? No matter what Montblanc item you have, it will always be a recognizable status symbol. If that is too flashy for you, it’s maybe not the right brand for you. Also, other Montblanc models have come and gone over time, but the one concept that has always been in their lineup is the 149.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of ballpoint pens because I associate it with a very cheap pen that doesn’t roll very easily, some very comfortable to write, and it sometimes leaks, and leaves ugly stains inside of your suit pocket. So if you want a mix, I suggest to always go with a rollerball because it uses ink and it has a ball just like a ballpoint pen but it’s rolls much more smoothly and it’s more comfortable to write. Personally, I always go with a fountain pen even if I travel by plane because I think the look of my handwriting is just much superior and it has a very different character than if I go with a ballpoint pen where it’s always the same thickness.

My personal preferences aside, if you look at the value development of ballpoint pens and rollerballs, the fountain pen is always higher and appreciates more, therefore, I think the rollerball and ball points are not as worth it unless you really hate a fountain pen or you travel by plane a lot. For collecting purposes, the regular Meisterstuck series is not limited by any means and therefore, you only have a certain degree of appreciation over time, however, if you go with limited editions from Montblanc, you can look at those as an investment just like maybe art, musical instruments, or stocks. Today, Montblanc has lots of different limited editions; some are very high-priced, others are very low priced, but if you look at some of the very early editions such as the 1992 Ernest Hemingway pen, which was part of the writers edition and it was based on the 149 but it looked more like its predecessor the 139, it had a coral orange barrel with dark brown elements and today, if you want an unused version, you have to pay anywhere between three-three and a half to four thousand dollars.

At the time when it was launched, it cost just 10% of that and during that same time span, maybe the regular fountain pen only doubled, tripled, or quadrupled in price so investing in those limited editions is definitely worth it over time if you know what you’re doing. Also if you look at pens as an investment, you must never write them and just leave them in the original box with original papers and just keep them in the safe. Now personally, I don’t like it very much. I like to use the quality items I own. Also, Montblanc also produces very small limited editions, sometimes made with solid gold and those are very expensive when you buy them but amongst collectors, usually the prices go up quite a bit. So what about other pens like let’s say the star Walker series? it’s a more modern pen, it’s a more streamlined design, it oftentimes speaks to younger people with a more clean aesthetic or people who like mid-century modern stuff.

Personally, I’m not too fond of the design and I think it will go out of style in 10 or 20 years. we had other Montblanc series and they ran out of favor. now for collectors that can be a nice thing because they’re not around anymore and that’s the price goes up, on the other hand, it can also mean there’s just not a demand for it and so people don’t like it anymore. At the end of the day, when it comes to a pen, you always want to have a really wonderful nib that highlights your character of your handwriting because that what makes it unique and special.

With the one more star Walker series I think you’re even more likely to get a fake product a used market so pay very close attention to where you buy, otherwise, you pay several hundred dollars for something that is worth nothing. For today’s video I chose to wear a classic stroller suit ensemble with a twist. I chose a black jacket because the Montblanc 149 is also black. I combined it with a black and white houndstooth pair of slacks and typically this is a combination that is very formal and the equivalent for day wear for a tuxedo. now because I thought that would be too formal I decided to combine it with a light blue shirt rather than with a white shirt and I went with a wool challis tie in orange turquoise and olive gray I picked up the tones of orange and green and blue in my silk pocket square which is contrasting and texture to the tie and both of them are from Fort Belvedere you can find them in our shop here. I picked up the green elements in a pocket square and the tie and chose a dark olive green pair of Derby shoes it’s a very unusual color mints were yet it’s still dark and it goes with a color scheme of my outfit my socks are charcoal gray which is the mix of white and black of my pants and therefore it goes quite well together it has little clocks on it in red white and black and so it picks up the color in my pants for my cufflinks I wanted to go with some gold cufflinks that match the gold parts of the fountain pen so I opted for a classic Monkey Fist knot cuff link from Fort Belvedere again you can find in our shop here my ring is a yellow gold citrine ring that works again following my cuff links with my pocket square my tie and fountain pen my jacket is single breasted with two buttons and a peak lapel without any flaps and without any side bands because again it’s part of a relatively formal stroller suit however with my colorful accessories I really toned it down and I made it a very business appropriate outfit that is not too stiff

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