Why I went from zero Franklin-Christoph pens to three in a single day.

It was the Model 66 that first caught my eye: a sleek clipless desk pen with a shorter-than-usual cap and an extended profile. There were good reviews, and I was interested enough to file the pen away for future consideration.

I examined all the models on the Franklin-Christoph website and starred the 66, the pocket 40, and the 19. They all went under “one day, maybe.”

That one day finally came: my first day at the Atlanta Pen Show.


Nothing else quite has the convincing power of a profusion of tester pens. 

While the Model 66 in black was a classic, it was a stunner in Solid Ice. The irregularity of the inside surface makes me think of a transparent moon, with ink leaving  mysterious tracks.

This Model 66 wears a “MasuyaJim” needlepoint in steel. Mike Masuyama does Franklin-Christoph’s special nib grinds, and Jim Rouse, resident F-C nibmeister, gives the nibs a final tuning before releasing them to their owners. The combination of a needlepoint plus choosing to use the 66 as an eyedropper means I need to be infatuated with any ink I put in it, because it won’t run out any time soon.

The model 02 came in Smoke and Ice, and could be had clipless, so it also traveled home with me.

The 02 is shorter than the 66. It has the same forward threads (right below the nib). The barrel has a noticeable taper, so that the cap can post deeply. I appreciate the design thinking. (It’s not enough to make me want to change my non-posting habits, though!)

This pen has a shadow music nib in a borderline crazy 1.9mm.

Jim increased the flow for me at the pen show. When I got back, I wanted even more flow, so I adjusted the times a teensy bit and deepened the feed channel. (If you must – practice on cheap feeds. As someone I know said, you can’t undeepen a feed. Note that increasing flow will make your strokes a little wider.) You can see my gradual progression in the image below.

I didn’t see it on the website, but the Model 20 Marietta supplanted my initial like for the Model 19 and Pocket 40. The simplicity of the design brought early eyedroppers to mind. I chose a needlepoint again. It was a no. 6 nib, pushed down a little more than usual to avoid the inner parts of the cap. The slip cap is pleasant to put on and remove.

While this is the plainest of the three, it is the one I reach for most often. It is fuss-free, and the needlepoint glides over paper, which is outstanding for any needlepoint. I liked it so much I bought two. The other one is now with he who writes And All Other Tasks. 🙂

Franklin-Christoph inks were a surprise – I didn’t expect their dark shades to have so much character. Midnight Emerald and Noir et Bleu are new favorites.

Pleased to meet you, Franklin-Christoph. Excellent product, responsive customer service, and overall a standout experience in the world of fine writing.

I’ll do a follow-up post with size comparisons and short videos of how the pens write, especially the music nib. How has your Franklin-Christoph experience been?