Retirement comes to pens as well as people it seems… The pen in view today is no longer in production and mine has long-awaited a deserved review. It was, as a matter of fact, one of my first forays back into the world of fountain pens. As I recollect it was also the first pen that I ventured to buy directly over the internet, Franklin Christoph (F/C) being an American fountain pen manufacturer based in Raleigh, North Carolina who mainly sell from their website.
Description: This model 14 ‘Magnes’ is a striking and substantial pen by any measure and wielding it is not for the faint hearted! It is one of my few metal pens and boasts a very attractive lacquered finish. I have the pen in moonshadow purple, a deep shade that contrasts well with the rhodium plated accents. It also came in black, yellow, blue and cinnamon, some of which were limited edition colours. The rhodium plated accents are well made and are to me reminiscent of Art Deco period. The cap has a large spring-loaded clip which has the characteristic F/C ‘four diamonds’ etched on it. The F/C name is etched on the cap band and the company logo on the base of the pen.
One of the features of this pen is the way the body of the pen and the cap meet. To cap or post this pen requires no effort as it utilises a rare earth magnet to secure the cap in place.The cap snaps in place and there is no need to screw or push it in place. The pen has a hidden inner sleeve in the barrel in which the cap band snugly fits.The pen is a cartridge/converter type. The converter is good quality and fits securely into the pen.
The section is extremely short, being only 1cm long. This means that gripping the pen is a somewhat quirky experience but not uncomfortable. I tend to grip the pen where the section and barrel meet which is fine for me.
Dimensions: The pen is 143mm (5.614″) long when capped, 161mm (6.32″)long when posted. The barrel has a diameter of 13mm (0 .51″). It weighs in at a hefty 47g (1.65 oz) the cap alone weighing 23g (0.81 oz).
On Test: I purchased this pen with a 1.1mm stub nib and from the start I was surprised how smooth this nib was. The nib allows a great deal of expression when writing, though I would not venture to say that it was flexible, it isnt, but uts characteristic line definition as a stub allows some great fun to be had in use. The pen and nib combination give a pleasurable writing experience that keeps me coming back to it and keeps it firmly in my regular pen rotation.
Over time I have noticed that I tend to use this pen unposted particularly when writing for any length of time. When posted the pen is somewhat back heavy for me though not uncomfortably so and using it unposted isn’t a problem as it’s the way I use most of my fountain pens.
Summary: An attractive pen that provides a lot of writing pleasure. This was the first F/C that I purchased but not the last. It’s sadly now only available on the second-hand market but still can be found by the eagle-eyed.