Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Latest Pen - Stypen Up

In 2004, BIC bought Stypen and is now shutting down production in its factory in Joigny, France. From Office Products International:

"Bic to close Stypen factory
15 April 2008 - Joigny, France

Bic has announced that it is to stop production at its Stypen factory in Joigny, France, at the end of July...."

Reading this in May motivated me to finally buy a Stypen Up. Other stylophiles had recommended the Stypen line of fountain pens several years ago, but I didn't get one because I prefer fine nibs. However, finally clued-in that Stypen's medium nibs are closer to fine than they are to broad, I decided to buy one since no one knew at that time if Bic is moving production or liquidating Stypen's fountain pen assets.

Even though I've since learned that production is being moved to Montévrain, I'm glad I bought it because it's a great pen that's no longer exported to the U. S.

The diameter measures close to .5 inch at the widest point. Capped, the pen measures 4-3/8 inches. Nib extended, with cap posted, it measures 5-1/8 inches. Without the cap, it measures 4-5/8 inches, still a comfortable length for writing without posting the cap. As you can tell, the retractable nib makes it shorter and easier to fit in a smaller purse or pocket. The pen is attractive, lightweight and comfortable to hold. The cap posts securely without making the pen top-heavy. The Up uses short international standard cartridges only and produces an average flow, not too dry and not too wet. The line is close to a European fine, slightly broader than that of a Platinum Preppy. As may be expected for a pen priced at $25 with a steel nib, the nib is stiff, but it's also smooth.

The only thing I don't like about it is that the twist-retractable nib is inconvenient and slower for intermittent writing, that is, when I write a little and pause for a long time like when reading and making notes or when shopping and crossing items off my list. For longer, continuous writing sessions, however, it's great.

I wish I had bought one sooner.

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