Italix fountain pen | Mr Pen

Do you remember those adverts where people exclaimed 'I can't believe it's not butter' as they tucked into delicious buttery goodness that wasn't? This is exactly how I felt when I discovered that this pen retails for under fifteen quid.

The Deacon's Doodle from Mr Pens feels like a pen that costs at least twice the price, honestly.

But before we look at the pen itself, a li'l bit about Mr Pens.  This is a UK-based and family owned company that was set up in 1989, originally as a marketing consultancy to the office products industry.  Since then their business has grown to include many non-pen products, but their largest site is for the pens.  Mr Pens pride themselves on customer service and their website says that they post the same working day that an item is ordered.

Sounds great, doesn't it? But that's not all they are chirpy about - they actually have a range of fountain pens that are made exclusively for Mr Pens!

This is their ITALIX range and it's an Italix pen that I am waxing lyrical about today.

I give you ... the Deacon's Doodle and box

Let's start with the box. The pen arrives in a serviceable little black cardboard box with the Mr Pen branding in gold on the top.  Inside we find the Deacon's Doodle, complete with standard converter.

I am pleased that the converter is included because too often you find yourself buying a pen and then having to pay another couple of quid for a convertor. 

The cigar-shaped pen is stainless steel and feels a lot more expensive than £15.00 in the hand.  Not HEAVY, but pleasantly THERE.

Black end cap and 'ITALIX' engraved on clip
I really am no David Bailey....
The pop-on cap is ever so slightly flared to accommodate the shape of the pen when posting and has a clip with ITALIX engraved on it.  Also, I must add that you can get additional engraving in a choice of styles for between £3.60 and £6.00.  The end piece for the cap is black and the overall look of the pen is classic.

The barrel and cap are in a brushed finish with the section in smooth, shiny stainless steel which then echos forward into the nib. This nib is Italic and my writing sample doesn't do it justice as it's the first italic nib that I've tried to write with and as a left-hander, it can take a bit of getting used to flourishing with a fountain pen!  I did get a nice flourish with it so your signature can certainly be amped up with this pen and the nib is quite wet, which was fun.

When ordering Mr Pens has a range of options that you can select from and one of them is a left-handed nib, so thumbs up from me for having the foresight to include that particular option.

How does it write? Wet, smooth, reliable with no hard starts and no unpleasantness at all as far as I can see.  And it's £15.00!

Who would love this pen? If you are looking for an exclusive yet  inexpensive pen that can be personalised with engraving and a choice of nibs, then this consider the Deacon's Doodle.  Someone going off to uni or college that you want to make a special present for that doesn't cost the earth? This is the pen you're after.

Scrikss Pens | Noble 35 Titanium

OK, so it sounds like the sort of noise a dolphin might make, but actually it's from the Catalan word 'Scribir' which means 'to write'.  Why is a Turkish company named after a Catalan word? Well, that's because the company originated in Spain and in the 1950s, the brand name was sold onwards to a Swiss company and then on again to its current home in Turkey.

Enough of the history lesson, let's take a look at the pen!

I'll be honest and say that I am attracted to fancy things - Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston and Cillian Murphy to name but three.  So, when I clicked open the Scrikss presentation box and saw this slender gun-metal pen, I was a bit ... flat.

However, I've been using it in earnest for all sorts of things - taking Minutes, jotting down notes, carting it around in my handbag - and do you know what, it's a delight to use.

So, let me start with that presentation box - The pen is delivered inside a cardboard sleeve, but the box itself is branded on the outside top and inside lining with the company name and your pen nestles into a faux suede bed.  No complaints from me about the box.  It looks very nice.

In the box you get the pen, the converter, three cartridges and a 99 year warranty. That's right NINETY NINE YEARS! That doesn't cover any damage covered by you, the owner, inflict on the beast,  but 99 years is pretty damned good - these guys have CONFIDENCE in their products.

On to the pen itself.  This is the Scrikss Noble 35 fountain pen in 'titanium' and you can see its full spec here on the English version of the Scrikss site.  They have loads of pen styles available, all very classic looking (and other things that are not fountain pens too!) and this one retails for about £35.00 in the UK note: you'll need to buy it outside of the UK - can't find it in online shops here!)

The lid is removed with a satisfying pop and can be posted - but doesn't pop when posting and actually feels like it could come off if you weren't careful.

Scrikss | Noble 35 in Titanium 

The nib on this pen is branded Scrikss and is steel with an iridium tip in Medium.  I simply couldn't get the camera to focus on the nib properly, I'm sorry, this is the best that I could do. You can see it better on the Scrikss website!


Better shot of the nib?

Another arty shot.  Lets you see the converter

So, the $6million question - how does it write?

Really nicely as a matter of fact! The nib has a little bit of flex in it, so not rock hard, which I like.  No matter what situation I whisked it out in - supermarket list writing, scribbling in the pub, scribbling in the office, it wrote like a dream at the first time, every time.  That's pretty good in my book!

Here's a little writing sample - look at the shimmer in that ink (kindly supplied by Gillian Dick)!!!!  It's Organics Studio 'Walden Pond' if you fancy it!

In summary then, what do I think? For £35.00 you get a deceptively nice pen in a quality presentation box - It's smooth and sleek, comfortable to hold, a nice and reliable writer, includes the converter and some ink to get you started AND a 99 year warranty.  For £35.00!!!!

Would make a great present for someone - maybe a 21st birthday or 'going off to uni' type of present.  Or maybe just keep it for yourself ....