Imperfectly Perfect: The Musgrave Test Scoring 100 Pencil

My top three
[Three favorites]

I’ve already written about my top two pencils— the Stabilo 8008 Graphite and the Palomino Blackwing Pearl— but lately a third pencil has been sneaking into my line-up more and more often. The Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencil pops up quite often in Twitter discussions, as well as in the Erasable Podcast where it was recently the “Pencil Of the Week” (meaning that it was used by Johnny, Tim, and Andy for the course of one week, not that it was necessarily their favorite pencil).

Because of the Twitter chatter and a blog post here and there, I ordered myself a pack from Pencils.com and have been using them for awhile now, both at home and at work. The Musgrave Test Scoring 100 is currently resting solidly in one of the top spots in my pencil arsenal. Going by appearance only, it’s a bit of an unlikely candidate.

Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencils

While my Palomino and Stabilo favorites are thickly and evenly lacquered, the silver paint on the Musgrave TS 100 appears to be thin and a little bit uneven. I think Tim Wasem noted that you can almost see the brush strokes, and I have to agree. The branding features a font that would look right at home on a mimeographed (yes, I’m old) test paper. The letters wiggle a bit and are not as polished or perfect as the rock-solid branding on the Palomino or the Stabilo. But you know what? I don’t care.

Musgrave TS 100 Branding

The pencil body is full-hex, meaning that the edges aren’t rounded off and feel more pronounced— maybe even severe— compared to a semi-hex or rounded pencil. Personally, I enjoy the edges because they give the Musgrave TS 100 an old-school feel— like you’re REALLY using a pencil. Maybe they’re meant to keep you awake while you’re taking a test or to make it easy to distinguish the TS 100 from the herd of other pencils in your pencil cup or to keep it from rolling off of a desk. In any case, I find the feel of the distinct facets to be…well…distinctive, not annoying. Granted, I tend to use pencils in fairly short bursts so I’m not looking for long-lasting comfort.

Musgrave TS 100

Made in the USA, and featuring what is described as an “electro-graphite” core (which is supposedly picked up better by test scanning machines), this pencil is a true bargain at $3.25 per dozen— just $0.27 per pencil. Though I’m no longer taking “fill in the bubble” tests anymore— thank god— I still appreciate the look and feel of the graphite. Though not as silky or creamy as the graphite in my top two pencils— the Stabilo 8008 and Palomino Blackwing Pearl (my true love)— the darkness and smoothness of the TS 100’s graphite is a bit of a surprise. In fact, I feel like the smoothness improves as the pencil wears down, though it’s entirely possible that I’m imagining that. Point retention is decent. I’m not running to the sharpener very 5 seconds (as I can be prone to do). Again we learn the lesson, don’t judge a book by its cover— or a pencil by its paint job or price.

Writing samples

Musgrave TS 100 eraser

The eraser does a decent job, too. Though a black eraser would look pretty cool, this one is unabashedly pink— again adding to that old school look. Erasing is quite clean and the eraser “debris” is more strand-like than crumbly. The eraser wears pretty easily, but still I run out of pencil before eraser. The ferrules are secure and look sharp against the pencil’s cool silver finish.

Erasers

This isn’t a perfect pencil. The finish is basic but adequate. One of the cores in my pencils showed a slight flaw— a bit of a “cavity”— though it sharpened just fine. The branding is decidedly low-tech looking. The full hex body may annoy those who write for hours.

Musgrave TS 100

Despite those flaws, and maybe even because of them, the Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencil has captured my pencil-loving heart. It’s not trying to be something it isn’t. It’s like a pair of broken-in jeans and a favorite t-shirt— ready for work. And the price? Well, what’s not to love?!

Writing sample
[I like looking at writing upside down. A quirk.]

If I was paying a premium price, the minor flaws I’ve described might annoy me, but given the excellent performance of the graphite, I can’t help but reach for this pencil, sometimes over my top two favorites. There’s just something about that hex.

Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencils

The Musgrave Test Scoring 100 pencil sits solidly in the #3 spot on my “favorite pencils” list. Considering the competition, that’s high praise. Very high praise.

Top 3 pencils

This is a pencil that is, to me, imperfectly perfect.

Confessions Of a Hoarder: Levenger’s Circa Vivacious Refill

Levenger Vivacious Circa refill

I had a great aunt who lived in a historic looking brownstone in the heart of Albany, NY. She was eccentric and confused— both a hermit and a hoarder. There was a narrow goat path through the middle of her living space. Well, through the middle of EVERY space. Drop an earring and it was gone forever. (My mother found this out the hard way.) The table where she sat to eat her spare meals was covered with a huge pile of papers, photographs, and letters, some dating back to the 1930’s. After she died, we carefully sorted though her papers and belongings. The process took weeks and countless trips to the dumpster.

These are not images and experiences that you can easily shake. And part of your brain wonders, “Could this happen to me?!”

While our home is generally tidy, some “collections” (pens, pencils, notebooks) continue to grow. They are collections. They are not hoarding. Or are they?!

Levenger's Vivacious Circa refill

Case in point— Levenger’s Circa Vivacious Refill, in the cross-dot pattern. I absolutely LOVE THIS PAPER, and find myself ordering, and squirreling away, a few packs every time Levenger puts them on sale or offers free shipping.

I think I’m up to eight packs, neatly stored in a desk drawer. No goat path. Yet.

Circa junior notebook

A few months ago, I was having a horrible time keeping up with life— work life, home life, life life. Even though I consider myself organized, and am a pretty close follower of Dave Allen’s Getting Things Done, everything felt like it was a mess. I needed a fresh start.

I took an old Circa Junior notebook (constructed from the Circa Sampling Kit), labeled some dividers, loaded the notebook with Circa grid paper, and immediately felt better. With Circa paper, moving pages within the book is a snap. Just pull the sheet from the Circa discs and reposition it in its new location. It’s a great system.

Circa Junior Notebook

This book is my main “capture” tool— everything goes into this book. From meeting notes, to weekly priority lists, to Action, Waiting, and Someday/Maybe lists. The system works like a dream. (From this book, I parse things out into master lists in Evernote for weekly review and updating.) I thank the Circa system for giving me back my sanity.

Cross-Dot Vivacious paper

So things were going along fine. I was happy using the Circa grid paper I had stashed away. THEN I saw the Vivacious Cross-Dot refill. GONER!

Vivacious Circa refill

I think I first saw the Vivacious paper in a Levenger catalog, and then had a tricky time finding it online. (The easiest way is to search for “Vivacious.”) I ordered a couple of packs. Then a couple more. Then more. And a few MORE, egged on by the fact that the paper is found in Levenger’s “outlet,” which makes me think that it’s on its way to being discontinued. Shudder.

Night sky vs. Vivacious refill
[Field Notes Night Sky reticle vs. Levenger Vivacious cross-dot]

I fell hard for the lime-green cross-dot pattern that’s a dead-ringer for the reticle grid found in the Field Notes Night Sky edition. That edition is a favorite, particularly due to that grid, so seeing the same thing on this fantastic Levenger Circa paper was a total no-brainer.

The Vivacious Circa refill paper is 100-gsm, very substantial, and gorgeously smooth. The cross-dot pattern is found on both sides of the page, and there are spaces at the top of each page for subject and date. The fresh looking grass-green cross-dots are the icing on the paper cake.

Writing samples

This is superb paper— able to handle ballpoint, pencil, rollerball, and fountain pen equally well. That’s what I like— I don’t have to do a mental check about my pen/paper pairing, because everything works. Everything looks great. Everything FEELS great when you’re writing on this stuff.

Good with all writing utensils

I’ve since picked up a couple of Circa Vivacious Notebooks. I’ll put one to use as a journal because having the ability to easily move and re-arrange pages is so appealing.

So, though I sometimes feel like I’m channeling my inner Aunt Matilda, I think I’m completely justified in hoarding this Vivacious paper.

Levenger Vivacious Circa refill

I’m not worrying until there’s a goat path.

Cool: The Pilot Ageless Present Ballpoint

Sincere thanks to Ron at Pen Chalet for sending along this Pilot Ageless Present Ballpoint pen for review. There are no affiliate links in this post, and I was not otherwise compensated. This review reflects my experiences and observations with the pen.

When my sister and I were kids, we used to hop onto our Stingray bikes, pedal to the top of our street, then coast all the way down to the bottom, NO HANDED, while snapping our fingers and chanting, “Cool, man, cool. Cool, man, cool.” (Bike helmets weren’t even a consideration. So THAT was safe!) This WAS the 60’s after all. We said “COOL!” all the time.

Thing is, I STILL say it. And it’s the first word that popped into my head when I opened the Pilot Ageless Present Ballpoint packaging. Cool, man, cool.

Pilot Ageless Present ballpoint pen

The Pilot Ageless Present Ballpoint is housed in a sturdy plastic tube that’s great for protecting the pen, and also for showing it off. With the top cover removed, the pen stands at attention, looking sharp and ready for work. I’ve been using the pen at my job and I like keeping it at the ready in its pen stand. This is “keeper” packaging, for sure.

Pilot Ageless Present Ballpoint

This plastic-body pen is available in eight colors. I have the white version which is a classy looking pearl white rather than plain vanilla white. As I mentioned in my review of the Palomino Pearl pencil, I love a pearl finish, and I think it looks great on this pen. The grip section is a translucent smoky grey— clear enough for you to catch a glimpse of the inner workings of the pen.

Pilot Agess Present ballpoint pen

What sets this pen apart from other ballpoints— what makes it extra cool— is the two-step deploy and retract mechanism. Twist the grip section once to deploy the pen’s “nosecone,” then once more to extend the writing tip. The pen measures 4.75″ when fully retracted and 5.37″ when fully deployed.

Stage 1 deployment
Stage 1 deployment

Stage 2 deployment
Stage 2 deployment

Fully retracted, the pen is great for pocket carry as the “business end” of the pen is protected inside the pen’s grip. (It reminds me of a turtle poking its head out of its shell, then withdrawing it for safety.) The action is very smooth and, yes, very cool.

The clip end
A mirror finish on the clip end of the pen

The included refill (Pilot BRFN-10M, Blue, 1.0mm) is as smooth as that deployment mechanism. I tend to prefer black ballpoint ink (an artifact of all my years recording documentation into lab notebooks— black ink required), but this is a rich and smooth blue that could win me over. The lines are solid and the refill is not “draggy” at all. It’s a good looking and good feeling writing experience— one that rivals the Jetstream blue 1.0mm refill.

The package insert included with the pen indicates that the following refills are also compatible with the Pilot Ageless Present model:

  • Dr. Grip Center Of Gravity Medium refills (#77271 and #77272)
  • G2 Fine short refills (#77291 and #77292)

Ready for work!
Ready for work!

At $42.40, this isn’t a no-brainer purchase. But for your money you get unique and useful packaging, a sturdy, great-looking pen with a quality refill, outfitted with a fun and innovative deployment mechanism. This isn’t the same old, same old. Though the pen is plastic, it has a solid weighty feel. The pearl white color is classy and the ink is dark and smooth.

Pilot Ageless Present ballpoint pen

And that mechanism. It IS cool, man, cool.

—————

To see the Pilot Ageless Present Ballpoint pen in action, check out THIS VIDEO, presented by Pen Chalet.

Giveaway Winner: Write Notepads & Co.

The winner of the Write Notepad Co. notebook and pencils is LIZ N. Fred picked Liz’s name from my pink John Deere baseball cap. (I can’t think of a cap that’s less “me,” but it was free!) Liz, I’ll email you for your address then get the goodies sent off!

I loved hearing how you all are making a difference. Liz’s comment said: I really enjoy helping kids stay active so they can have a lifetime of healthy bodies. I volunteered at my daughter’s school for their annual walk-a-thon fundraiser by helping count laps and cheering the kids on. I don’t feel like this is a big deal (compared to some of the comments posted so far!), but I’m passionate about preventing childhood obesity and making PE/play time/exercise fun again!

Your comments prove once again that pen people are good people!

Contest winner

 

Heart & Soul: A Visit to Write Notepads & Co.

Write Notepads & Co.

One of our last stops at the DC Pen Show was at the table of Chris and Mark Rothe, founders of Write Notepads & Co. I was familiar with their notebooks having purchased a selection after meeting them at last year’s pen show, where they were JUST ABOUT ready to launch their made-in-Baltimore products into the world. We chatted a little last year, and I remembered them being super-friendly and fun to talk to.

Same goes for this year. But they had an added attraction…NICO!

Nico at the Pen Show

Now I love notebooks so I’d be drawn to their table anyway, but a table of notebooks with an adorable dog? I’m a goner.

Nico napped and let me pet her (best dog ever!) while Fred yakked about baseball with Chris and Mark. Fred mentioned that we were heading into Baltimore on Monday to see a game, and that lead to a very cool invitation from the guys to stop at the business for a look around.

So we did. What a blast!

The Rothe family business is a binding company and when we got there Monday morning, the binding machines and employees were in full swing, pallets of work were being moved around the floor, and Mark was solving some binding related problems. Monday, Monday. Nico trotted around making sure that everything was going smoothly.

Tucked into a few back rooms of the binding business is where the Write Notepads are born. Chris generously took time out of his busy morning to show us around.

P1040646

I can’t pretend to understand how they do what they do, but it was great to see where and how the notebooks are made. Chris taught himself how to use the presses which appears to be on the tricky side. Big understatement there. To me, they look baffling. You could stick me in that room for 100 years and I’d never be able to turn out one single notebook cover. To Chris, no big deal.

Print Is not Dead.
It sure isn’t.

Their workspace is on the small side, but is full of life and all kinds of notebook goodness. You can feel their passion for quality goods, their belief in outreach, and their love of laughter. It’s a happy place.

Notebook covers
Notebook covers. Very sturdy. Finely letterpressed.

"Willie" the Heidelberg
“Willie” the Heidelberg

The walls are painted entirely with chalkboard paint so why not plan a barbecue on the door? “Oink, yo.” HAH!

Chalkboard paint walls

So the visit was awesome— truly a highlight of our vacation. You can’t meet nicer guys or a friendlier dog. And their products? Love them.

And their mission. As stated on the Write Notepad & Co. website, “So with each note pad purchased, another will go to a Baltimore City student.” Yup, every time you buy a notebook, a student in Baltimore receives their own student notebook. Chris spoke about going into a school with notebooks and pencils, figuring that kids in this digital age would be blasé about receiving the analog tools. But they were THRILLED, and he was thrilled because they were. And I’m thrilled because I think this is the best thing ever.

As I said, I have a collection of some of their products, and will always be a customer because of the quality AND because of their outreach model. Here’s a quick look at some of the Write Notepad & Co. goods:

There are notebooks in two sizes— the large measures 5.5″ x 8.5″ while the small measures 3.5″ x 5.5″. All feature thick, letterpressed covers, and 120 pages of premium paper. The pages are available blank or lined. There’s even a left-handed version with the spiral on the other side. They’ve thought of just about everything!

Large Notebooks
Large notebooks: Regular and DC edition

Two sizes
Large and small notebooks

Plain and lined pages
Plain and lined pages

Thick covers
Thick covers

Rugged spiral binding
Rugged spiral binding

Durable closure band
Durable closure band

There’s even a notebook with a chalkboard cover, reminiscent of their pressroom, so that YOU can write “PRINT ISN’T DEAD” on your own notebook with the provided chalk pencil!

Chalkboard notebook

The paper is very good, maybe not the best for ALL nibs sizes and inks, but for gel, ballpoint, liquid ink, and most fine to medium fountain pens, the writing experience is a good one. I use one at work for meeting notes and bounce around from a Kaweco medium nib to a Retro 51 rollerball with good results.

Ink tests

But maybe one of the coolest, most important features is right inside the front cover. It’s there that you’ll find a unique code. When you enter that code on the Write Notepads & Co. website, you can see exactly where the notebook you helped to donate is making a student happy.

Unique code

As I said, the notebooks are great, but the Rothe brothers dedication to the schools in Baltimore is even greater. How cool that we can help them with their outreach by buying their quality-crafted products.

Did I mention that they sell pencils, too?

Write Notepad & Co. pencils
100% American Cedar, #2, Made in the USA

Erasers
Should you make a mistake

Ready for sharpening
Ready for sharpening

Our unplanned field trip to the Write Notepad & Co. home base was a very cool experience. I’m so thankful that they took time out of a busy Monday morning to show us around, and to share their love of quality paper products and mission. I walked away very grateful and very impressed, with a deep understanding that behind all of the Write Notepad & Co. products are two brothers who truly care.

Write Notepad & Co. products

And one exceptional dog. (Hi, Nico!!) BEST. DOG. EVER. (Nico is Mark’s dog, and she was a rescue. They make an absolutely perfect pair.)

Nico!!

What a fun day.

——————–

Leave a comment on this post telling me about something you’ve done lately to make a difference. It can be a tiny thing or a big thing. When you do so, I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a small Write Notepads & Co. notebook as well as a 5-pack of their pencils. Enter by Sunday October 12th 11:59 PM EST. I’ll pull the winning name out of a hat (yes, a real hat) on Monday October 13th.

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post. The post reflects my personal experiences and opinions, and involves no compensation.

——————–

EDITED TO ADD: Check out this cool video showing how the notebooks are made!

The Ink Debacle: A Cautionary Tale

Prior to the DC Pen Show, I took the Vanness Pen Shop up on an offer to order a couple of bottles of Akkerman ink, for pick-up at the show. By pre-selecting, and pre-paying, I wouldn’t have to worry about them running out of the colors I was interested in.  This was especially appealing because I was only able to attend the show on Sunday and I figured they’d be picked clean by then. So I ordered Akkerman #18 (Garuda Rood) and #24 (Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen).

On Sunday morning, the Vanness Pen Shop booth was my first stop, and since the ink was already paid for, it felt like I was getting it for free! The colors I reserved WERE sold out, so my approach was a sound one. I couldn’t wait to take a look at those cool Akkerman bottles.

Akkerman Ink packaging

If you’re not familiar with them, Akkerman ink bottles (60 mL, from the Netherlands),  feature a wide bottom with the long neck. This neck contains a marble that seals off the opening after the neck is filled with ink. So, to fill your pen, you tip the bottle, the marble slides out of the way and the neck fills with ink. Tipping the bottle back to an upright position causes the marble to drop into place to seal off the neck. Dip your pen into the “trapped” ink to fill it, then partially tip the bottle so that the marble dislodges and the ink flows back into the bottle. It’s a unique and very well thought out system. I’ve wanted Akkerman ink FOREVER. Well, at least since 2012, which feels like forever.

And I FINALLY had some.

We shopped all morning, took a break for lunch, then shopped and browsed a little more. I wound up with a bunch of bags…the goodie bags handed out upon entry to the show, as well as the bags I accumulated during the show. I was very careful to keep track of my stuff— double and triple checking myself after each stop at a table. I’d freak if I left something behind. But there’s confusion and excitement, sort of a recipe for disaster.

At the end of the day, we flopped in our hotel room and I took inventory. All present and accounted for. Exhale.

We stayed around a couple more days, headed into Baltimore on Monday to explore the city and visit with Chris and Mark of Write Notepads & Co. (more on that in another post). That evening, we took in a Yankees/Orioles game at Camden Yards. Each time we ventured out of the hotel, I stashed my pens– the ones I’d purchased as well as the ones I’d brought from home— in the in-room safe, just in case. I left all of the other stuff— some Write Notepad Co. notebooks, Montblanc Oyster Grey ink, some free Delta ink samples, and the Akkerman ink in the handle bags in the room.

Finally, it was Tuesday morning— time for the 7+ hour trip home— and we had to skedaddle. We had to make it home by 6 pm in order to pick up our four dogs from the vet/boarding so speed was of the essence. We packed up after breakfast, I double-checked the closet and the safe, scanned the room, and hauled everything to the car in one trip. The trip home was miserably rainy, but I love road trips, so it was a fun day. We picked up the boys at 5:30. Perfect.

After unpacking and laundry (ugh!), I rooted through my stuff, pulled out the Wahl-Eversharp Technik fountain pen and inked it up. Wow- what a wonderful nib! I screwed around with that for the evening, then JUST before bed, I thought, “Hey, let’s take a look at that Akkerman ink!”

You probably see where this is going.

I went through the first handle bag looking for the little brown bag holding my Akkerman boxes. Hmmm. Well, it’s gotta be in this other bag. Nope. Or in THIS bag. Nope.

Cue instant nausea.

NO AKKERMAN INK ANYWHERE.

Despair. Disbelief. Confusion. Anger. Blame. I passed through all of the possible stages of missing-ink grief in a matter of minutes. I sprouted an instant headache.

I called the hotel, gave them my name and room number and information about the ink (feeling a little bit like a weirdo). I mean, people leave pillows and laptops and stuffed animals, but INK? They took my information but in my mind, I’d already written it off. It’s gone, I kept saying, to myself AND out loud.

This is not the type of thing to discover right before bed.

The next day I had a call from Virginia. Florida,  a manager at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel, called to follow-up and asked for a more complete description of the ink and the bag I had it in. I googled some Akkerman images and sent them to her. I explained that it HAD TO BE in room 1617 in a small brown paper bag with my name on it. She said she’d contact Housekeeping to see if they’d found my ink.

Later on, another call from Virginia. My heart jumped! But no, this call was from Elizabeth, the Housekeeping manager, saying that she’d do her best to track it down. People might already be in the room, though, she said, but she’d see what she could do.

Then in the afternoon, the call I was sure wouldn’t come came. They’d FOUND MY INK in the room. Florida confirmed my credit card # and said she’d have it shipped out asap. My headache, and nausea, receded.

What a great feeling. What great customer service! I raced to my desk and wrote both Florida and Elizabeth thank-you notes. I tweeted thank yous! I gave them all 5’s on the Sheraton survey that arrived via email. I was, you could say, very happy. And relieved. AND puzzled.

Where the heck was the ink in the room??? How had we missed it when we scanned the room on our way out??? Well, we’ll never know the answer, but who cares? The ink arrived in excellent condition, and I cherish it even more than I would have had it made the trip home with us.

Lamy AL-Star Blue-Green

I’ve been using the Akkerman #24, a gorgeous blue-green (Blauw-Groen) in my Lamy AL-Star Blue-Green (fine nib) and they complement each other perfectly. This particular Lamy writes exceptionally well, very smooth. That ink in this pen is a great match.

Lamy AL-Star Blue-Green on Akkerman #24

My Akkerman ink took the long way home, but it’s here now, and I love it. I’ll be forever grateful to Florida and Elizabeth at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel for taking a genuine interest in my stupid little debacle and for providing stellar customer service. Even if they hadn’t been able to track down my ink, I would’ve been grateful for their efforts and phone calls.

So we have a happy ending and some lessons learned the hard way:

  • Make a list of your purchases (or really, all of your critical items) and take inventory before you leave the hotel.
  • Consolidate everything into as few bags as possible.
  • Never leave the hotel room in just one trip. Always go back for a second or third look.
  • Don’t let your spouse or partner rush you!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Akkerman packaging

Akkerman #18 and #24

Akkerman #18 and #24 with Lamy Al0Star Blue-Green

Such cool bottles filled with excellent ink. Smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Nature: Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green Ink

Many thanks to the fine folks at Pen Boutique for providing this bottle of Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green ink for review. There are no affiliate links in this post and I was not, nor will I be, monetarily compensated. This review reflects my experience with, and observations of, the ink.

Montblanc Daniel Defoe ink

We tend to think of the grass as merely green. Same goes for the trees. During my walk yesterday I noticed just how many different shades of green there are in the fields and lawns and trees along my route. Pale fresh greens, darker mature greens, and just about every shade in between. Yellow greens in the grasses. Bluish greens in the pines. Too many greens to name or count. To call the trees and weeds and lawns and fields merely green would be selling nature short.

Green ink comparison

The same goes for Montblanc’s Daniel Defoe Palm Green ink. To call it simply green would be a mistake as this is an ink full of shading and surprises. To be honest, I’ve been fiddling with this review for a bit, and I finally figured out why. Reviewing ink is a tricky thing as accurately portraying an ink’s color is affected by so many variables— outdoor light and indoor lighting, nib size, particular pen characteristics with regard to flow, paper choice, camera settings and performance, computer display parameters, etc. I worried about “getting it right.” I think it’s been particularly tricky with this ink because it keeps looking different to me, which, of course, is something to celebrate, not fret about.

Writing samples

I wrote my first draft with my Visconti Opera Elements (medium nib), and really loved the way the natural looking green shades from a grassy light green to a deeper earthy olive shade. The ink is easy on the eyes— soothing but not boring. This is an organic green— very natural, very fresh.

Visconti Opera Elements on Tomoe River paper
On Tomoe River Paper using a Visconti Opera Elements with a medium nib

Wanting to test out the ink in a different pen with a different nib, I loaded up a Lamy AL-Star with a 1.1 mm stub and wrote another draft on a Rhodia dotPad.

writing sample with Lamy AL-Star 1.1 mm stub nib
On Rhodia dotPad using a Lamy AL-Star with 1.1 mm stub nib

Though it’s a perfectly nice looking green in a fine nibbed pen, the plucked-from-nature shading truly reveals itself in pens with broader nibs.

Dry time test
Dry time testing on Rhodia dotPad

The ink seems to have a little bit of a longer dry time than other inks I’ve used recently, so I ran a quick test, and my results seemed to bear out that impression. Again, dry time can be affected by so many things— paper, ink flow, humidity, etc.— so don’t take my results as gospel.

Ink swatch and writing sample

Montblanc’s Daniel Defoe Palm Green is aptly named as it calls to mind a tropical island with lush verdant foliage. The shading in this ink is equally lush and celebrates the range of greens seen on mountain trails, in seagrasses, on tropical palms, and in meadows. It’s complex and full of surprises— just like nature.

Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green Ink

 

Pen Boutique is selling the Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green ink for $19. Not a bad price for a mini-tropical vacation!

For another take on the same ink, check out Ana’s review HERE.