new lamy aion due soon

News: The New Lamy Aion Is Coming

new lamy aion pen

The New Lamy Aion - Due Autumn 2017

The new Lamy Aion is due out later this year and looks quite exciting. A brand new pen, designed by Jasper Morrison, and with a completely new nib which intself is an exciting development since almost all other pens use the standard Lamy Z50 nib. Available in fountain pen – with extra fine, fine, medium and broad nibs, as well as ballpoint and rollerball versions. All are availabe in a silver or black metal finish.

More news when we have it!

Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen and ink

Lamy Safari Petrol – 2017 Special Edition

Hi folks,

It’s here, it’s here!!! Lamy Safari Petrol is here!

Fountain pens come with black Fine or Medium nib (feel free to add any Z50/Z52 nibs of course). They have matt finish, just like Dark Lilac pens.

There are Roller-balls and Ball-point pens too. Ink comes in T10 cartridges and T52 bottles. Don’t forget to add a Z28 converter if you are getting a bottled version.

Petrol colour is gorgeous murky, dark teal-green B) similar to Sailor Miruai. It shows a slight sheen on Tomoe River paper. It’s mature, subtle, perfect everyday ink <3

BTW if you wonder about shipping cost – we use Royal Mail Airmail service for orders outside UK and you can check the cost in the shopping basket before you place the order.


Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen and ink
Lamy Safari Petrol fountain pen and ink
squeezing J Herbin cleaning solution through rollerball feed

Review: Herbin Fountain Pen Cleaning Solution Guide

J Herbin cleaning solution

J Herbin released cleaning cartridges this year, so we have decided to put them to test.

Why use cleaning solution you may ask?

There are some pens which are more stubborn than others. Same goes for ink…. If cleaning with water does not work then I usually reach for J Herbin cleaning solution. The liquid is made from Limonene which is derived from citrus fruit rind. The colour may vary – it can go from clear, yellow to pink. This is perfectly normal and does not affect the quality of the product. Natural ingredients have a pleasant orange zesty smell too 🙂 Apart from cleaning properties it also lubricates the feed and restores the ink flow.

Bottled version of the cleaning solution has a permanent place in my pen hospital repository.

J Herbin rollerball and fountain pens

J Herbin Cleaning solution cartridges are standard international short cartridges and look just like ink cartridges.

Having a cleaning solution in the cartridge sounds like an interesting idea. Cartridge is a handy little container – convenient, no mess, portable. You can always have one in your pen case (even in the pen if the barrel is long enough to have 2). It’s less messy because you don’t need to use middle-man to transfer the liquid. It will fit many pens. Some of the brands which take this version of cartridges are Faber-Castell, J Herbin, Kaweco, Montblanc, Monteverde, Pelikan, Rotring, Schneider, Waterman, etc… Solution in the cartridge will ‘travel’ exactly the same way as the ink and it it will also lubricate the right channels.

How to use J Herbin cleaning solution.

Bottled version is perfect for soaking. Simply put a little bit of solution in a vial or a cup (hint: tilt the cup – that way you will need less solution) and then dip in your nib. You can also try to draw some solution into the pen if using a converter or go all the way and disassemble the pen. Soak the front part/feed/nib for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water and dry.

Use cleaning cartridges the same way as ink cartridges. Rinse the pen under cold water to flush most of the ink out. Push the cartridge into the pen as normal and squeeze the cartridge to push the liquid through. Empty the entire cartridge at once and let it sit in the pen for a little bit – we have tried this method for J Herbin Fountain pen and it worked wonders. Unplug the empty cartridge, rinse the pen.

Use the same procedure for J Herbin rollerball pens, but do let them soak longer. Shake the excess liquid out and let dry before you ink them up. We find this works the best for us. Let us know your experience….

Click here to read our 6 top tips about how to look after your fountain pens 🙂

Lamy Vista fountain pen snow dome

Pimp your fountain pen

Make your own Lamy Vista Snow Dome

I have been meaning to have a go at making my own eye-dropper pen for a while now, ever since I worked out why we were selling so many Lamy Vista rollerball barrels from the spare parts shop. For those unfamiliar with the concept, this is where instead of a cartridge or converter, the ink is put directly in to the barrel of the pen. I had this idea of trying to make a snow globe pen where you could shake the pen and glitter would drift around in the barrel. So, in celebration of National Fountain Pen Day, I have finally done it.

Lamy Vista Snow Dome

Now whilst the pen looks very pretty I would have to be honest and say it hasn’t quite worked out as I wanted. For starters the presence of a cartridge in the barrel (it has to have one as otherwise the ink would mix with the glitter mixture) means that space is rather tight and the glitter doesn’t drift around quite as I had imagined. Actually it stays very still which is a little disappointing. Secondly, it leaks! We are still working on this and I am confident we will work out why but for the minute it is a bit leaky and if I lie it down on my desk, it leaves a tiny grey smear after a while which is pretty annoying. Home-made eye-dropper pens are always a leak risk and generally are best carried around in a small plastic bag just in case but this one clearly needs a little more work. Still, I am pleased with the way it looks and I am sure I can get it right sometime very soon.

How I made it

Firstly we sealed the bottom of the rollerball barrel with an acrylic glue as there are small holes in the end. We then added a mixture of glycerine and glitter to the barrel, approx. half full to leave room for the converter. We then put some silicon grease around the thread and added an O ring ( a small rubber band) so as to prevent any leaking (unsuccessfully) and connected it all up to the fountain pen front part with the converter in place. Obviously refilling the converter will be a messy job but that’s the price you pay for departing from the tried and tested.

If you want to have a go yourself then you can order the Lamy Vista barrels from the website here and you can buy your Lamy Vista fountain pen here. Any pictures we receive of your efforts we will post on Instagram. Please note however, we take no responsibility for any leaking – you have been warned!


My Weapon of Choice

What you will find on my desk today…

weapon of choice

A recent Instagram post I did made me think it was worth sharing a bit further and wider. Like most people, I’m sure, I have a selection of pens that are in favour at any one time. For some people it may be a collection of chewed Bic biros, for others it may be a treasured collection of Mont Blanc fountain pens. I guess I sit somewhere in the middle. Bureau-loyalty also sees me leave the Mont Blanc pens I do own at home, of course! I do admit to having one or two Bic Biros on my desk somewhere (not chewed – someone else in the office is guilty of that crime), but they are relegated to the status of ’emergency pen’ and when I used one yesterday it left an inky splodge on my weekly deskpad. Tch. So on my desk today you will find….(left to right):

Lamy Safari pink fountain pen with an extra-fine nib and purple Monteverde ink

lamy safari

This Safari is the most recent addition to my armoury. I already had one with black ink (see below) and I wasn’t prepared to wash out my pen to swap ink so I added a pink Safari pen and I’m experimenting with Monteverde purple ink for a contrast. It’s a nice ink, maybe a bit more pink than I had hoped for but it has a strong depth of colour to it. The Safari pen is as you would hope – a really nice pen to write with.

Papelote pencil

papelote pencil

I needed a pencil to sketch out some of the lettering I have been fond of lately, and whilst one pencil is pretty much like another when it comes to this kind of work, I do like these pencils with their Czech writing (it translates as ‘one pencil can write 50,000 words).

Ohto Dude rollerball

ohto dude

I recently wrote a piece about my re-discovery of the Ohto Dude pen, and so the feeling continues. It really is a lovely pen, that lays down a nice fine line of ink and suits me just right. In fact I would put my Dude pen as my No.1 on this list.

Herbin rollerball with Herbin bleu pervenche ink

herbin pen

A stalwart of the Bureau range now, the Herbin pen has so many inks you can choose from. In fact, once you pop in a universal converter you can have any ink. I like this one, which is a strong turquoise colour. I loved this pen from the first day it came in, but many others don’t so it’s something of a ‘marmite’ pen.

Lamy Safari yellow fountain pen with an extra-fine nib and black Lamy ink

lamy safari

I acquired this pen a while back (I think it was out of a photo shoot one day but can’t be sure), and I wasn’t sold on it. I then went back to it and decided to experiment with nibs. In case you hadn’t noticed by now, I quite like a fine point for writing and so I tested out some finer nibs – I went for an extra-fine nib, and even then I would have gone a bit further, but it was fine enough and I now love my Safari pen. I use it all the time, and if I leave it for a few days it still writes. It’s a pleasure to use  – so make sure you find the right nib for your writing and maybe it will make the difference.

Ohto Horizon orange ballpoint

ohto horizon

A former favourite, and although I still like this pen I have started to realise why ‘ink’ pens are so much better. There is something in the way that ink flows from a rollerball or a fountain pen that is so much more satisfying than the ink that a ballpoint lays down. Having said that, I do like the unusually fine point that the Ohto Horizon has so it still has a place in my affection today.


Staff Picks Revisited – Ohto Dude Pen

Dominic’s Choice

Ohto dude

I wrote my Staff Pick on the Dude last November, but my love for the unusual lines and general chunky-quirkiness of the pen were displaced by a new source of my affection – the Ohto Horizon. Sad to say but the Dude was consigned to occasional glances and it no longer took centre stage for me. In fact it was thanks to my wife that it has come back to my attention. She also has a Dude pen, and after repeatedly asking for a refill I did remember to get her one, and she once again waxed lyrical about how nice it was. At that point I realised why I had stopped using my Dude pen – I too needed a new refill. One new black 0.5mm refill later and the pen writes beautifully again.

The point of my Staff Pick Revisited? It may seem like an obvious point to make – that a pen writes better when an old refill is replaced with a new one! – but in this case it wasn’t obvious that the refill had run out. In fact, it hadn’t run out but it must have been running very low and the lovely fine ink lines that I now get were just a scratchy irritation. I still love my Horizon pen, but the Dude gets first picking in my bag every day now.

If you happen to own a Dude pen and have become similarly disappointed with its performance, why not treat yourself to a C-305 0.5mm refill, in black or blue?


Staff Picks – The Ohto Horizon

Dominic’s Choice

ohto horizon

Where I previously declared my love for the Ohto Dude rollerball pen (and don’t get me wrong, I still do like this pen), it’s position has been usurped by the Ohto Horizon. The Dude still has that quirky design that might be a bit marmite  – love it or loathe it – whilst the Horizon is interesting without being stand out. However it is when it comes to writing that I am won over. I have never been a rollerball person, and I also love a fine writing point, so the fact that the Horizon ticks both boxes gives it an unfair advantage. It comes in a more conservative colour choice of black or silver, or if you want to be adventurous there is an orange or blue option – mine’s the orange. There is no photo of it though as it is missing in action somewhere, probably in a coat pocket.

In summary, if you like a ballpoint pen, if you like a fine writing point and you like a pen that looks a little different, then the Horizon is worth a look. And it’s only just over £10.


Staff Picks – The Ohto Dude Pen

Dominic’s Choice

ohto dude

Sometimes a new item of stationery appears in the building and you just do a double take and quietly think to yourself ‘I want one of those…’. We took on the Ohto range of pens earlier in the year and the stand out pen for me was The Dude. Unless you are looking at a Yoropen or a Pen Again then pens all conform to the same basic design, making it all the more challenging to create something unique. The Dude succeeds for me because it eschews sleek, slimline aerodynamics in favour of slightly ungainly angles, contrasted by a nice curved grip section. It is this that makes it a more individual pen, one that might have its critics as much as it has fans.

The pen itself also writes in a style that appeals to me, with a very fine rollerball tip that Ohto seem to like to specialise in. My only regret? Not waiting a bit longer, because the new blue Dude really is a good looking pen.

Ohto dude


New arrivals – Herbin pen

We love this pen – it is a really simple idea and one that really should be more widely available. The pen itself is a simple, clear-barrelled rollerball pen, and the secret is that it takes ink cartridges. Any universal ink cartridge will fit, and the real beauty is that Herbin themselves make small universal cartridges in a range of colours and these come in small metal tins. Put the pen and a selection of ink tins together and you have an a wonderful little set – get a pen and two tins for under £10 (at the time of writing!).

Herbin pen

Herbin inks



New arrivals – a feast of Lamy

New Lamy stock just in

We’ve just received some new Lamy pens in this week – a mix of brand new items from Lamy and a few pens that we’ve not offered before for some reason. They look so tempting in their counter displays that I thought I would share them. The problem we have without a shop is that everything just sits on a shelf looking sad, and in a shop it would look lovely and shout ‘buy me’.

Lamy Tipo pens
Lamy Tipo pens

The Tipo pens now come in new limited edition white and mint colours, and we’ve also added the original metallic silver, blue and red Tipo pens to the range.  At just £4.50 for the plastic white and mint pens, and £6.75 for the aluminium version, the Tipo really is such a bargain. We love it, and everyone should have a Tipo.

Lamy Noto
Lamy Noto pens

The Noto pen was designed by Naoto Fukasawa and from the launch it was seen as being far more expensive than it actually is. At just £4.25 for a ballpoint pen with such an elegant design, again it demands to be owned. It’s not clear from the photo (sorry), but it comes in a lovely new ruby pink as well as a smart graphite blue.