Ian Schon of Schon DSGN has been making highly regarded pocket ballpoint/rollerball pens for years. Now he is bringing his design expertise to the world of pocket fountain pens, with his new design officially launching this coming Tuesday morning, August 20th, 2019. Check out the link below to see Ian’s official blog post on the matter, or continue beyond the link to see our first impressions of the pen, having got a hold of a couple of preview models at the recent DC Pen Super Show.
This year we only made it down to the DC show for a single day on Sunday, but it was long enough to pick up a pair of Schon DSGN’s new fountain pens. Ian Schon himself was behind the table, and happy to share with us that he designed these pens specifically to take a larger #6 nib. This is a well appreciated feat, as most pocket pens use a smaller #5 nib which can leave writers with larger hands feeling cramped up as there is less space between where they grip the pen and where the pen connects with the paper. Ian also said he prioritized fitting just an international standard short cartridge in the pen, as there are a wealth of color options and brands available in that form factor (Ian had a selection of different Diamine cartridge colors that he was offering a choice of to each pen purchaser.) The other decision we each had to make was which size tipping we wanted on our included Bock 250 stainless steel nib.
Because I can never leave well enough alone with pens, I made plans to swap my steel nib out with a friend for a titanium Bock nib of the same size, laser etched by Karas Kustoms in their new style. I swapped in a cartridge of Monteverde Brown Sugar, and I ordered a custom sleeve from Rickshaw Bagworks to keep the finish of the pen pristine in my pocket (at this time Rickshaw does not have this size listed on their website, but if you order a size XS solo pen sleeve and put “SCHON FP” in your order notes they will customize it for you.)
The writing experience with the pen is wonderful. The cap unscrews from over the nib, and then screws on to the back to post, leaving you with a full size pen writing experience. Comparing the posted pen to the massive Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Schon pen is barely a little big shorter. It is noticeably narrower, or course, but that is not unexpected in a pocket pen, and I don’t find it so narrow as to be uncomfortable to write with.
When capped, the pen is just plain tiny. Ian has done some amazing work here to give you a full sized pen experience that you can toss into your pocket in a tiny package. The aluminum material is a very satisfying weight, not too heavy but not so light that you don’t notice it’s there. My father picked up the red pen pictured above with the brass section, and he says that even with the brass section the pen feels well balanced to him, and is very comfortable to write with. The finish on these pens is gorgeous as well, whether you’re looking at one of the multi-colored models, or even just the pens that come in a single shade. And depending on the aesthetic you’re going for, the contrasting brass section can make for a great option (although the black and red splatter on my pen was just screaming for an all black section.) If you’re a fan of pocket pens, I definitely recommend that you keep your eyes on the Schon DSGN webpage next week. And if you are planning to attend the San Fransico Pen show later this month, while Ian won’t be at the show himself, Mark Dwight of Rickshaw Bagworks has asked me to share that he will have some samples of the new Schon DSGN Fountain Pen available to see on the Rickshaw table.
UPDATE: Schon DSGN has provided us with the below gallery featuring some great comparison shots with other popular pens, and a preview of a couple of upcoming colorways in brass and black. I’m really impressed by how this pen closes up even smaller than the Kaweco Sport, but ends up posted to a similar length and writing more comfortably with the larger #6 nib and longer grip section.