Conklin All-American

I'll admit it, I bought this pen on a whim. About a week ago I purchased my first Iroshizuku ink, the Fuyu-Gaki (Winter Persimmon). I figured it would be warming and cheery in these Autumn days and I was correct. I loaded up my TWSBI Eco with it, partly for the 1.1mm stub to give the ink a chance to shine, but also because it's a demonstrator. Yes, the ink did look lovely, sloshing around in the barrel and it contrasted nicely with the black of the Eco. However, it's not my favourite pen/nib, plus it didn't match, so I started looking around.

Unfortunately (for my bank balance), I rather like having inks tone with my pens. Here are a few of my chosen combinations.

• Black Parker 45 - Parker black ink• Caribbean Green Parker 61 - Diamine Misty blue• Pelikan M205 amethyst - Diamine Bilberry• Edison Collier antique marble - J Herbin Lie de Thé• Pilot Décimo in pale purple - Diamine Twilight• Pilot Capless carbonesque blue - Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue• Kaweco Ice Sport orange - Diamine Chocolate Brown. However, this pen lives with my Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter, which is brown outside and orange inside. Well, anyway, I think the two go well together.

I knew I could find an orange pen - the Pilot Capless Trend, one of the Deltas, but ££ ouch and £££ ouch. I hadn't really noticed the Conklin All-American before. I was aware of the Durograph, which hadn't made me stop and look twice, to be honest. Then, in my searches for "orange fountain pen" this one appeared. It looked nice, the price was pretty reasonable (around £75 in the UK), furthermore it looked to be a good size. It appeared to be similar in size to my beloved Edison Collier and that proved to be correct. The Conklin is slightly fatter and the Edison sightly longer. Otherwise, very similar.

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The Conklin was duly ordered at the weekend from Cult Pens and it arrived today.

The box is very smart, with a nice soft cushion for the pen, in a slightly suede-type fabric. The pen comes with a converter, plus a couple of short standard cartridges to get you started. I believe the converter screws in, but I haven't taken it out to check. Also, the pen can take full-size cartridges, but again I haven't checked. Unlike some pens, this has metal parts, so no eye-droppering (not that I do that).

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I ordered a medium nib, as I didn't want anything too fine, the better to show off the ink. At this price point I expected a decent nib and I got one that is more than decent. The nib is quite distinctive, with its crescent-shaped breather hole.

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It's glassy smooth, which I know some people won't like, but it is really nice. Ink flow seems fine right out of the box. So far, I am very pleased with this purchase and I would recommend the pen to anyone who wants a larger pen, but doesn't perhaps want to spend too much. It represents pretty good value for money. The All-American is also available in Old Glory, Tortoiseshell and Yellowstone colourways, should bright orange not really be your thing.

The pen has gone straight in my Lihit Labs Smart Fit pen wallet, along with my Parker 45, my purple TWSBI AL, light purple Pilot Decimo, my Edison Collier and my Pelikan M205. Basically, the pens I like to keep close at hand. My main everyday pens, a Pilot Capless Carbonesque Blue and a TWSBI 580 live with my travellers-style notebook.