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  • Writer's pictureThe Moot Times UCalgary Law

Glenn’s Pens: Glenn’s 2023 Picks

Contributed by: Glenn McAleer

The incumbents of the fountain pen industry are constantly churning out new pens to stimulate their addicted constituents. Pen fanatics are drawn by new pens, new manufactures, new technology, and new editions of their favourite existing pens. This columnist is not immune to these marketing tricks. To kick off the new year, let’s take a look at what pens caught my eye in 2023.

The Twsbi Eco Indigo Blue Copper 

My devout readers will know I am partial to Twsbi Pens. Twsbi provides incredible value for the price point, and the pens have a huge ink capacity that can be monitored (and, in the case of pretty inks, appreciated) because the pens are “demonstrators” with a large clear body. The filling mechanism is internal, so there is no need to purchase cartridge-converters (which I find are too small in most cases, requiring constant re-filling).

The Eco is Twsbi’s entry-level pen. It is the most affordable of Twsbi’s lineup, and a testament to the quality of pen that can be provided at a relatively low cost point. As an anecdotal endorsement of the Eco’s quality, please note that I write with my Twsbi Eco more than any other pen I have ever owned; I refill the pen’s large barrel almost weekly. It is an incredible pen at the price point, and the Eco is available in a variety of colours: black, white, purple, green, orange, and many more. The Eco is also available in a variety of special editions—my first Eco is the “Smoke Rose Gold” special edition.

This year, Twsbi released a new edition of the Eco: Indigo Blue Copper. This edition has created the most buzz for the Eco since the pen was lauded for its incredible price point at release. 

LAMY Al-star Petrol 

This year, LAMY came out with two new editions for their Al-star line: Petrol and Lilac. Both pens look incredible, but the Petrol Al-star has seen higher sales. The new Al-stars came out in February. The Petrol Al-star comes in after the success of the lower-priced LAMY Safari in Petrol, which also boasted high sales. 

Pilot Custom 743 Verdigris

The Pilot Custom 743 has been around for a long time, but 2023 marked a big first for the pen line. The Custom 743 Verdigris launched as a special edition this year; it is the first Custom 743 released exclusively in the United States. The name Pilot is entrenched in the collective psyche of pen lovers internationally. Pilot is a Japanese brand known for its excellent quality control for their entry level pens. Fans of this column will remember me writing highly of their entry level pens, the Metropoliton and the Kakuno. Pilot’s Custom 743 has a much higher price point than the Metropoliton and Kakuno. It is more of a luxury pen, featuring a 14k gold nib and boasting a $336.00 USD price tag. It is possible that fans of the pen outside of the U.S. will get a chance to purchase the pen in the future, but for the time being, those outside of the U.S. will have to ship the pen or purchase it from re-sellers.

Teranishi Guitar Aurora Glass Dip Pens

The final pen on the list today is a glass-tipped dip-pen. The colour of ink on a bottle is typically quite different from how the ink will look on any given paper. Ink swabs or pallets online can help buyers decide on a colour, but these digital images taken from a variety of cameras, under different lighting, and viewed on different screens can vastly change how a colour is perceived in-person. Dip pens are a wonderful way to test different inks and stationery without the fuss of inking and cleaning a fountain pen. This year, Teranishi released a line of Guitar Aurora Glass Pens. While I have never been one to bother with dip pens in the past, certain features of these pens have convinced me to take the plunge. The Guitar Aurora line features a cap. Many dip-pen enthusiasts have a real concern over damaging the fine glass tip of the pen by dropping or improperly storing the pen. The cap on the Guitar Aurora will help keep the pen safe while not in use. In addition to the removable cap, the entire tip of the pen is also removable, which makes for easier cleaning. The Guitar Aurora line comes in 4 beautiful colours: Ice Mint, Peacock Blue, Ice Blue, and Sunset Pink. At only $45.00 USD a pen, the Aurora Guitar makes for an affordable and eye-catching dip-pen. 

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