coffee with marlen

The photos are snapshots from a recent writing session at one of my favourite cafés. Being at a café, having coffee (strong with milk) books, notebooks and a dozen couple of pens within my reach – seated at a table by the window – is my idea of the perfect place to work.

I study at the library from time to time, but few things beats reading, writing, pondering, looking at people, taking a sip of the coffee at a café. I  think better at cafés. It is something unpretentious, occasional and provisional about it that I like. A big, relaxed, public living room (I’m not speaking about having a coffee at a mall in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday…) where one can come and go as it pleases – no strings attached. An easiness of some sort. This particular afternoon was mostly spent reading (study – thus highligthing with my Lamy Vista) and writing notes – mainly with my Marlen Vienna.

This little pen has become one of my loyal and faithful servants in very short time. It is made for posting – with threads on the barrel, which makes the posting secure and solid. The design feature that got me this time was – as so often – the cap – which you find more photos of here.  Hallmarked sterling silver with wavy guilloche engravings and a quasi antique” clip – that isn’t just an ornament – it works well as a clip. The shape is chubby and far from the graceful M90 or the smart, big, modern classic Aurora Talentum – but has a lot of charm and elegance in its own right. A chubby antique pillar with a peculiarly shaped barrel and gripping section. I really like it. It is personal and original.

It is my first button filler and it works just fine and smooth. But, I can’t help but miss the easiness in flushing a piston filler or a c/c and an ink window. But – despite these details – I am very satisifed with the elegant and smooth button filling system that is elegantly hidden under a blind cap.

I thought the two tone nib (you can find a close up here) locked rather dull in the photos that the dealer’s website, but it is classy and stylish. But the best thing with the nib is that it is smooth and luscious with a hint of spring that provides some line variation – very nice, indeed. It also succeeds in combining smoothness and character. Not in an Aurora way – rather in a way of its own. It is smooth, but provides control and character without the slightest toothiness.  It runs on the wide side of a (western) F and is thus less suited for margin notes. The hint of springiness makes it for a perfect letter writer – both for the writer and the reciever. It brings out the shade in the ink and the personality in the hand writing.

It is very well balanced – provided that you post it. Since it only measures  10.5 cm uncapped and unposted it doesn’t make for a comfortable writing unposted. The gripping section has a rather odd shape with a little step and the width then increases the closer to the nib you get. If you tend to hold your pens very close or far from the nib it may provide a problem, but I find it comfortable to write with – even for longer writing sessions.

O, this wasn’t intended as a review, but it seems like it has become a little mini review. I’ll post a full bodied review later on at the FPN. :-)

Click on image to view it in a larger size.


Weight (capped and loaded) ~25 g

Lenght capped: 12.5 cm

Length uncapped: 10.5 cm (!)

Length posted 14.5 cm

About dandelion

perpetually moving
This entry was posted in aurora, fountain pens, inks, lamy, marlen, noodler's, pens, photo, Pilot M90, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to coffee with marlen

  1. Writing in a bijou coffee house in an Art Nouveau style, with just a few quiet patrons, subtle lighting and large sidewalk windows would stir a creator’s soul quite well :).

    I imagine that posting is even more important when taking a pen outside, to avoid rolling off a coffee table in a moment of cognitive distraction.

  2. Vince says:

    I agree about working in the coffee shop. I thought it’d be too distracting, but I do it with my son once a week. I write in my notebook with one of my fountain pens while he draws or reads and we share a pastry and some coffee. I’m thinking of picking up a Marlen Basilea very soon. I recently fell in love with an Aurora Optima and soon after I found a Stipula Suprema. I tried a few Pelikans but I was not impressed so I’m going to try the Marlen. Looks like all my pens will be piston-fill Italians. Cheers.

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