Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way – no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let’s find out how they have withstood the ravages of time.
The fountain pen that enters the pit stop today is the Traveler’s Company Brass Fountain Pen. The company is best known for its iconic leather notebook covers, but they also produce stationery such as this little brass fountain pen. A perfect EDC pen, that fits right into your pocket and that is meant to take a beating. I bought this pen in September 2018, and it has been in regular use as an Every Day Carry pen since that time. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Pen Look & Feel
The pen is made from brass and has a solid feel to it. In closed form, it resembles a 10 cm long brass bullet. At the end of the cap, a small ring is present which allows you to attach a rope so you can wear the pen around your neck like a necklace. The sturdy clip’s most practical use is to function as a roll-stop to prevent the pen from rolling on flat surfaces. On the side of the cap, the words “traveler’s company made in japan” are present.
You use the pen by removing the click-on cap, and friction-fit it on the back of the diminutive pen body to get a very functional full-size fountain pen. This works like a charm, and is much quicker than using the thread-on caps you find on the equally diminutive Kaweco Liliput. My pen has an F-nib, that writes like a European F (which fits with the online info that it is a fairly standard N°5 Bock nib).
Above are some pictures that compare the Traveler’s Company pen with two of my other favourite EDC pens: a Kaweco Liliput Copper and a brass TiScribe (that I got from a KickStarter project). The pen most resembles the Kaweco Liliput, but is a lot bigger when posted. Also easier to post due to the push-on cap.
The pictures above illustrate the size of the pen in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. The TRC pen is quite small when capped, and easily fits in your pocket. For writing, you typically post it – and then you get a full-size fountain pen that’s very comfortable to write with. The steel F-nib on my pen is a firm writer – you get feedback from the paper, but it’s not at all scratchy. I like the way it writes.
- Build Quality : the pen is well built, and meant to take a beating. My pen travels in my pocket together with my keys, and has acquired quite some scratches and patina. I appreciate this in an EDC pen, because it reflects a live well-lived and gives extra character to the pen. Mechanical construction is excellent – the cap is friction-fit when capping/posting, and even after lots of intensive use, the fit is still perfect and the cap attaches with a satisfying click. As an EDC pen, this one ages well.
- Weight & Dimensions : a diminutive pen when closed (about 10 cm), but due to the metal construction it still has some weight to it. When posted, the pen is almost 15 cm long – a comfortable size for longer writing sessions.
- Filling System : this is a cartridge convertor pen, that uses small standard international ink cartridges. To use bottled ink, I simply syringe-fill used cartridges.
- Nib & Performance : the generic steel nib on this pen is well-proportioned for the size of this pen. The F-nib on my unit writes great: it’s firm but not scratchy, and produces a European fine line. This generic nib was great right out-of-the-box – no tuning required.
- Price : at the time, this pen could be bought for 69 EUR, which is quite acceptable. In my opinion: good value for money
This Traveler’s Company Brass Fountain Pen works great as an Every Day Carry pen. Thanks to the metal construction, it can take a beating. It also ages gracefully, acquiring scratches and patina that give it extra character. I personally like the no-nonsense utilitarian look and feel of EDC pens, and this one certainly fits my tastes. Would I buy it again ? Yes – this pen is totally worth it.
[Originally published on the Fountain Pen Network, on 12 September 2020]