Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The weirdo - Stipula Saturno

It's hard to imagine a world without a ballpoint pen. It's a world where there are pencils - traditional and mechanical ones - and fountain pens. If you want your writing to last there's not much of a choice.

Consequently there was a lot more to choose from in terms of fountain pens a mere 100 years back, especially there were many more inexpensive models since everybody needed a fountain pen. There were flexible nibs and a wide range of filling systems - eyedropper, piston fillers and especially a range of filling systems with a rubber sac inside the pen's barrel and some means to compress the sac and suck ink into the pen upon releasing the pressure. Today these filling systems have almost disappeared except for some nostalgic editions - like the Stipula Saturno.

Stipula Saturno Crescent Filler

The Crescent filler is one of those long gone filling systems. Before I got the pen I wondered how it would be operated. Would you pull the crescent out, or twist it some way? In reality it's really simple. The ring that goes around the barrel has a gap in it. To fill it, you move the gap underneath the crescent, then press down on it and it will compress the sac. After filling you can turn the ring back into a position where it blocks any movement of the crescent so the pen cannot empty itself accidentally in your purse.

Besides being easy to handle it's also very decorative. Since the pen itself is not a fatty it will still fit in most pen pouches despite the filler crescent on the barrel.

Stipula Saturno Crescent Filler

The Saturno is about the length of a Pelikan M1000, but somewhat slimmer and lighter. It's ebonite, which is no less than fitting for a nostalgia pen. I'm not really a huge fan of ebonite (except when covered with Urushi), but I readily admit it can look gorgeous and the smell, which I'm not a fan of, luckily has already evaporated. It has its disadvantages though, the main one being that colour and luster fade over time, as can already be seen on this one right behind the cap threads.

The Saturnos have been sold out for a while. They came in brown, blue-green and black-yellow and probably some other shades I don't know about. Black-yellow is relatively easy to come by but I had to look for a while to find one in a colour I like better - I got this one from a fellow FPN member in the US. The blue-green is gorgeous. I have a thing for colours which are in-between, this one can't decide between the deep Sea and a dark forest.

Stipula Saturno Crescent Filler
Stipula Saturno Crescent Filler
The nib is a very pretty 0.9 stub, worked on by Greg Minuskin - which is funny, despite I wouldn't send a pen to the US for nibmeister services this is my second Minuskin nib already. I'm not sorry, I like the nice, lush ink flow his nibs usually have - as does this one.

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