Shop Re-fit Schedule

October 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

At we always recommend trying before buying your fountain pens.  What looks good on paper doesn’t always measure up in the flesh and we are one of the few websites that offer both discounted prices and a real bricks & mortar shop.  

In this connection we are in the process of planning a major shop refit.  It will, hopefully, make a visit to Cranleigh even more worthwhile with new displays and more stock pens to choose from.  However, because of the work, we will be closed for retail business on effectively, Thursday afternoon, 28 October, with limited re-opening on Monday, 1st November and full displays being available from Tuesday 3 onwards.  On-line sales will be slightly affected with overnight orders being fulfilled on Friday 29 morning only and Friday daytime and weekend orders being fulfilled on Monday.

Just to help things along, the re-fit has crunched into Mr and Mrs PenFountain’s 25th Wedding Anniversary weekend – hence the slightly extended closing.  Hope you can bear with us but please come and see us after 3 November!

Snakes for fountain pens?

October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

When is a snake not a snake?  When it’s a fountain pen, of course!   At PenFountain we’re always sensitive to our environment and what better way to demonstrate our commitment to reducing global warming than using a fountain pen!  However, the new Cross Torero has just landed with its embossed leather barrel decoration glowingly  identified as ‘real leather’.  The ‘Braided Black’ we had no qualms about.  Braids are plentiful with braid farms springing up all over the place.  However, alarm bells rang with the description of  ‘Desert Diamondback’ and ‘real leather’.  Jumping onto Google we found that Western or Desert Diamondback rattle snakes, while not under threat, are still not as plentiful as braids and while they are sort of naturally pen shaped, they really don’t deserve immortality wrapped round a fountain pen – however good the pen may be.

Cross Torero Desert Diamondback fountain pen

Cross Torero Desert Diamondback fountain pen

The pattern is similar to the snake but to our relief, the diamonds appear to be larger on the real thing.  The fine emobossed print of farmed, split cowhide looks pretty effective and conservationists can buy with a clear conscience. The pen itself offers an enjoyable writing experience with its high quality chromed steel nib which, in keeping with other Cross medium nibs,  is a fairly fine 0.5mm line width.  The pen features a brass barrel core, chrome plated and over-laid with printed leather decoration.  The overall pen weighs-in at 42 grams with the split being 24 grams for the pen and a heavy 18 grams for the cap which tends to influence the overall balance of the pen when posted.  The colour coded leather button is an attractive design feature which separates the Torero from other pens in the Cross range.  As always, our recommendation is to try before you buy at in Cranleigh, Surrey

Guilt over gilt

October 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

We have recently take the Cara d’Ache  Ecridor Maya gilt pen range into stock.  In keeping with the rest of the range they are beautifully produced and offer and alternative to the usual gold stik pens offered by other manufacturers.  However, we’re not quite sure why the manufacturer chooses to use the term gilt for gold plated but, when you have to commit your understanding to writing, you feel duty bound to ensure your thoughts are accurate.  Does gilt mean gold plated or is it some other process where a gold look-alike material is used? 

Caran d'Ache Maya Gilt - gold plated!

Clearly, having nailed their (gold) colours to the mast, Caran d’Ache don’t readily reveal that gilt does actually mean gold plated.  However, having delved deep into the Caran d’Ache product detail we can assure our readers that gilt, in their parlance at least, is what we know as gold-plated.  The Maya range is available in fountain pen, ballpoint, rollerball and pencil formats from

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