Franklin Christoph has been around for many many years, since 1901 in fact, manufacturing ceramics and many other products until evolving to produce fountain pens in the early 2000’s.
I’ve been a fan of Franklin Christoph pens since I purchased my first, the Intrinsic 02 in Smoke and Ice many years ago. At the time, they produced the 66 and 65 stabilis models in a basic black and these were initially used a nib tester pens for customers who had the fortune of seeing the pens in person.
When I first saw the Stabilis 66, I thought it was impractical. It looked way too long, it had no clip and I didn’t fancy the single facet on the side (to prevent the pen from rolling off the table) – I didn’t like the asymmetry of it. When the Pocket 66 was released, I jumped on the ice model and it remains one of my favourite pens. My tastes had evolved by then, so I wasn’t as fussed about the clip and the asymmetrical issue was fixed (the Pocket 66 doesn’t have the flat edge), but the downside was that it didn’t fit a converter. This pen was designed to be used with short international cartridges or be eyedroppered. I am too much of a chicken to eyedropper any pen (and I prefer to change out inks regularly), so I ended up refilling cartridges.
It wasn’t until I saw the stabilis 66 in Antique Glass in one of Leigh Reyes’ Instagram posts that I really fell in love with that pen (If you haven’t noticed by now, her Instagram posts are like my pen kryptonite – don’t follow her if you want to save money). I put myself on the waitlist immediately and after about 8-10 months, I finally received one!
Initially, the length of the pen was a dealbreaker for me, but in hand, I love the length. It makes me feel like I’m writing with a wand and because the pen is made of acrylic (?), its very lightweight, so its not back heavy at all. Despite my relatively small hands, its still extremely comfortable. Also, the pen is able to fit into not only my Franklin Christoph Penvelope 6, but also the Visconti 3 pen case that I own, so it’s a lot more portable than I initially thought.
The nib is a plain old medium – if you have experienced any Jowo steel nib, I expect the experience will be nearly the same. Good and reliable, it feels very similar to my favourite steel nibs of all time – the Graf von Faber Castell Tamitio, with that tiny hint of feedback that makes me feel like its easier to control over smooth paper.
I also enjoy the convenience of the converter filling system over having to refill cartridges, like I have to do for the smaller pocket version. Between the two, it’s a pretty even in my mind, I like the converter in the stabilis 66, I prefer the symmetry of the Pocket 66. I don’t think you can go wrong with either.
When writing this post, I was really sad to see that neither the Pocket 66 or the Stabilis 66 appears to be a standard offering in the Franklin Christoph line up. I think they are still available at their pen show tables and as special stock room offerings, but there is no readily available version of these anymore. Its extremely sad, as collectively, they are my favourite Franklin Christoph pens.
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