2009/03/11

The ones that got away

The True Writer from Levenger has proven to be dangerously addictive. The build quality is solid, the QC is good, many of available colors are attractive, and most importantly, they often can be found at a great bargain through Levenger's ebay outlet. While I would be hesitate to buy one at the full list price, the sale price really makes them a deal that I can't refuse. The sale price can easily go around $20, sometimes even lower. The record for me is a demonstrator for $10.95; considering that it comes with a converter and a bottle of ink, the pen is basically free.

To put this into perspective, I compare them to one of my recent acquisitions: a Namiki Falcon. While the Falcon is a wonderful pen that I absolutely love, for the price I can have 5+ colorful TWs, each loaded with a different ink. As much as I love the sensation of writing with the Falcon's soft and springy nib, TW wins hands down in the value department. Another big plus is that I feel comfortable about leaving a bunch of TWs in office so I always have access to some fountain pens at work. This is something that I'll never do with any of higher priced pens.

So even after owning more than 10 TWs, I still crave for more. Specifically, I am itching to get a Sea Glass (the color that got me interested in True Writer in the first place) and a Carnaval (gave mine to my father-in-law and have been missing it terribly). Therefore, I almost jumped when I got an email from Levenger's ebay outlet about another sale, with a Sea Glass, a Carnaval, and a Golden Tortoise (intended for CP) listed at <$20 each. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of waiting for kids to go to bed before ordering. By the time I sat down in front of the computer again, all three of them were gone (darn it, don't you people have a life?).

Well, to look at things in a more positive way, I did take the chance to get my hands on a couple more pens, including a TW Amethyst (the matching ink is a lovely medium purple), a TW Blue Illuminator (I no longer interested in metal pens and have gotten this one for my father-in-law; that said, the brushed metal finish looks/feels really good), a TW Obsidian (the stub nib is nothing to get excited about but it works reasonable well), and a Decathlon.

Now the Decathlon is really an interesting pen. While it is not really that different from a TW, the faceted body certainly looks much nicer and the clip design is much more elegant. Notably the facets of the cap/body lined up perfectly when the pen is capped. Given all the advancements made in the pen industry over the past few decades this really shouldn't be a big deal, but one would be surprised about how many higher priced pens are having problems with this simple issue (hey Bexley are you listening?). Although the $138 list price is more like a joke for this pen, I am more than happy to fork out $19.95 for a refurbished one.

As I ponder which inks to use in these newly arrived pens, I can't help but to wonder: when will I get a TW Sea Glass and a TW Carnaval?
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