A year or so ago I asked Richard Binder if he’d trade me coffee for a nib. He’s been a good customer of mine for a long time. He was happy to trade coffee for a nib, so I asked him to make me a 14kt Spencerian-modded nib– extra-fine with full flex.
It took a loooot of coffee to make that nib a reality, but we got the job done.
Richard asked me what pen I’d want the nib put in and I thought about it for a while.
Back in 2012 or 2013 I’d picked up a 2nd-gen TWSBI Micarta and had a nib in it that was frosted and butterline-stubbed by Pendleton Brown. It hadn’t seen use in a while, and I had other pens that would take the nib that was in it.
The Micarta is a really special pen. The material feels so different in the hand than plastic or metal. It feels like fabric. It is fabric.
And you really can’t get them anymore.
Micarta it is. I sent it to Richard. I don’t know how he feels about these pens, but I thought if that special nib was in this special pen it would get quite a lot of use.
And it does! I rarely let it into anyone else’s hands, but those who get to try it universally love the nib. I do have to be careful to use a nice slippery ink in it or it’ll railroad on me.
It’s a little silly to expect any pen to perform the feats of flex this one can do with any old ink.
It’s become a special occasion nib for me. The pen takes a minute to uncap with all those threads on it, and it responds to careful, slow, deliberate writing for obvious reasons.
Another exciting thing about a micarta pen is how it changes over time with use.
The material has changed color over the years, from ink staining that sticks around, to smoothing of the surface from handling. Mine has taken on a dark reddish-brown hue
The Micarta rewards those who spend time holding it. There’s a very significant Asian kind of simplicity to it. This is a pen I’ll keep forever and cherish the whole time.
- The exotic material
- It changes over time
- The precious, personalized nib
- It’s clipless
- The shape of the pen when capped
- The shape of the section
- Shape of pen when posted
I don’t care for:
- It can be picky about inks.
Bang for the buck: N/A
Special out of the box: extreme