Franklin Christoph is a pen company, based in the US that is great at coming up with unique pen materials. When I first saw the ice finish make the rounds on the pen blogs, I was intrigued at the concept. The idea was a transparent acrylic that was just unfinished on the inside, which if you eyedroppered with ink, would allow the ink to slosh around and cling onto the bit of unfinished acrylic. The effect is quite mesmerising. Instagrams and Pen blogs are great at making us spend money and the more photos I saw of the Franklin Christoph “ice” finish pens, the more I wanted to buy one.
When I finally made the purchase, the only models that came with the ice finish available at the time was the pocket 40 (I think this has now been discontinued) and this Model 02. I’m not that into pocket sized pens, so I decided to buy the full sized 02 version.
Franklin Christoph offers free shipping worldwide by Fedex for purchases over a certain amount, so the pen arrived quickly into Australia, which is always nice, since most things take at least a month to get here. I don’t usually talk much about packaging because its not important to me, but the Franklin Christoph pens come in a nice leather zippered pouch. I’ve taken to using these to store my pens when they are in various bags and they are a useful, low footprint storage item, which I always appreciate.
The pen in hand feels a little bit like a bommy knocker, which is how I describe any pen that feels like it has a massive pen lid when compared to the rest of its body. For the 02 its especially apparent as the end of the pen body has been tapered to an extent so that the lid of the 02 can post deeply and securely onto the pen body. I don’t overly enjoy the aesthetics as a result, but I appreciate the practicality, having flung my pen lights across rooms multiple times when lids don’t post securely (Edison Pearlette comes to mind).
The grip section is extremely girthy and unlike some of my Faber Castells which I know to be quite wide, is really noticeable to me while I’m writing. I think the key difference is that the Faber Castells taper down or have a bigger pinch in so its more comfortable when you are holding it, while the Franklin Christoph’s pinch is much more subtle. Its probably just a hint too wide for my taste if I’m honest.
The finish of the acrylic portion of the pen is great – all of the threads work well, are smooth with no sharp edges. They’re probably a bit too smooth as I keep unthreading the grip section from the pen body whenever I open the lid, which is annoying. I don’t eyedropper my pens because I have ink commitment issues, so its not a real issue for me. The ice finish is an ink stain magnet. I typically clean out my pen caps whenever I see ink in it through the acrylic (usually same day) but its still stain really badly. I’ve also cleaned it by gentle scrubbing and pen flush but it won’t come out. If you have any suggestions on what I can use to get the stains out, let me know.
The only downside really is the pen clip. This is the only Franklin Christoph I own with a clip and you can see that the clip is rusting. It started rusting quite soon after I owned it (maybe a year or so) and while its not significantly worse, its definitely noticeable in the clear acrylic. Its really disappointing, as I tend to take care of my pens.
Overall, I really like the Franklin Christoph pens. This model isn’t my favourite, but that’s also because I love the 66 and pocket 66’s by a long margin. If you have smaller hands and have the option of attending a pen show (maybe some time in the distant future) or you have a friend that owns a 02, it would be worth trying it before you buy it as its deceptively wide. The 02 also comes in unclipped versions now, which would be my preference given the slight rusting issue.
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