This Penlux was a surprise (to me) purchase at the 2018 DC Pen Show.
It was Sunday and we were leaving later that day to head back to Ohio after a very long vacation that started with a drive to Manhattan (we got there at rush hour) and included a week in South Jersey hanging with my parents and siblings and their kids. It was awesome for sure, and I was TIRED and ready to be home.
Buuuut, Pen Show. I had a great time at the show, I saw all my superfriends that I always look forward to seeing, including Dan, Myk, Mario, and many others. There were a couple rare treats for me too, including seeing Chris Rothe of Write Notepads, and Brad Dowdy, even though I only got to chat with each of them briefly.
I met some new-to-me people too, which was awesome. Chris introduced me to Ian Schon, who I’d been following on Instagram for a while already. Ian crackles with energy, you can tell immediately he has about a hundred ideas a minute, and he’s the rare bird who executes some of the things he dreams up.
A major highlight (after sipping some delightful-as-always Scotch from the delightful-as-Scotch Mario Campa) was meeting Ralph Reyes of Regalia Writing Labs, and writing with the whole gamut of his nibs, from the Sequel to the Crossflex to the mind-bending Ragnarok.
Anydamnway, back to Sunday. I’d sold all my coffee and was just making the rounds to see what was at the show. Toward the end of my wandering I came across the Penlux table– it’s a brand I didn’t know at the time. There, gleaming on the table, was a Big Black Pen. It looked like it was somewhere in the King of Pen to Emperor size range, and so shiny it looked wet.
I was doubly excited to learn it‘s an ebonite pen, because, well, I like ebonite. I figured it would be a pretty spendy, as the comparable King of Pen clocks in in the $800-900 range. I was expecting a figure between $500 and $700 just due to the size and luxuriousness of the thing. When the Penlux guy told me it was $120 at the show, the only possible response was “One please, in chrome.”
The nib that came on it was an attractive enough if kind of bland steel nib that I’d call a fine. It was serviceable and worked without issue (I read somewhere that it’s a Schmidt, so there ya go.)
Fast Forward to Ohio, 2018. It was Thursday night, the beginning of the show. There may have been a little bit of drinking and shenanigans happening in the hotel hallway when who should come waltzing or prancing or strolling down the hallway but Mr. Regalia himself, the one and only Ralph Reyes. I’ve told the story elsewhere, but to sum up, he agreed to sell me one of the 3 Crossflex nibs he’d brought with him to Ohio. I was happy as a clam holding a flag, and immediately started thinking about what pen I’d put it in.
After a botched attempt (my fault) at putting the Crossflex into my 1st-get Franklin-Christoph 20 (which, come to think of it, has a perfect nib in it and doesn’t need to change) I decided the Penlux was going to be the right fit.
The rest is recent history– The nib fits the look and style of the Penlux perfectly and it’s just a blast to use. A pen this gutsy needs serious nibbage to make it sing, and the Crossflex is just the thing. As I get farther into my Fountain Pen obsession, I’m starting to focus on special nibs and matching them with suitably special pens. Within my budget, this match is right up my alley.
- It’s huge
- It’s Black.
- It’s Ebonite
- It’s shiny
- The nib is extra-special
I don’t care for:
- The inevitable loss of either pen or life.
Bang for the buck: Pleasantly Surprising
Special out of the box: Whoof.
Looks: Like a thousand bucks.
Writes: Like Cirque du Soleil on a notebook.