Pocket Size Review 44: Opus 88 Fantasia, Colorverse Mars Curiosity

Once upon a time, when I used to leave my house every morning and go spend my day in an office building, I really enjoyed carry a pocket pen. One of my favorites, which was actually a fairly new acquisition of mine at the Philly show this past January (back when there were pen shows) was the Opus 88 Fantasia.

Pocket pens often suffer from limited ink capacity, which is why this model was on my shopping list at the show. Being an eyedropper, it holds much more ink than a similarly sized pen. The signature Opus 88 shut off valve is a great touch in a pocket pen as well, as it keeps the pen from burping ink in to the cap while being jostled in a pocket all day (and also makes for an ideal travel companion if you have to fly anywhere.)

As soon as I bought this pen I ran over the the Franklin-Christoph table to buy a new nib for it. The standard #5 Jowo nibs that come in these pens are great, but having the opportunity to swap in a Fine S.I.G. nib was something I couldn’t pass up, especially when I could pick it up and have it adjusted to my hand right on site. It’s hard to beat the customer experience of shopping with Franklin-Christoph at a pen show, even if all you’re buying is a loose nib.

The Colorverse Mars Curiosity ink that I have in this pen was one of the first Colorverse inks I bought, back at the Baltimore show in 2018. At the time I was enamored by the shape of the Colorverse bottles, but I was trying to avoid buying any inks that were too close in color to inks I already owned (I know, I know), so I chose this orange-leaning red because I thought it had an interesting look. Between the fine nib and this Field Notes paper you cant see the shading or sheen very well here, but what you can see is that it’s red without looking like it is marking up corrections. I think it pairs nicely with the orange-brown color of the pen.

7 thoughts on “Pocket Size Review 44: Opus 88 Fantasia, Colorverse Mars Curiosity

  1. Andrew Prozeller June 19, 2020 — 7:27 pm

    Is this part one or is it the entire article?


    1. Hi Andrew, this is the 44th entry in our Pocket Size Reviews series. These pieces are less comprehensive reviews of a pen, and more slice-of-life thoughts about how we use the pens and what they make us think about. Check out this link for a more in depth description of the series:



  2. How’s the section, Evan? It does look a bit short and has kept me from adding this to my ever growing collection of Opus 88 pens. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The section is indeed short, but thankfully the step between the section and the barrel is very smooth. Depending on the angle I’m writing at, that is actually where I hold it, rather than crowding my fingers down by the nib.

      If I’m going for a longer writing session I’m more likely to go to my pen case and take out a larger pen anyway. My use case for a pocket pen like this is more in terms of jotting a quick note down, where it’s easier to forgive a slightly awkward grip situation (although I really haven’t found this one uncomfortable at all.)


      1. That’s good to hear. How many turns does it take to uncap the pen? Opus 88 seems to be a bit obsessed with secure caps. 😉 My Koloro Demo takes 4 turns to uncap and my Omar 3. Not too bad when you don’t need to be quick, but for a pocket pen it would be helpful for this to be a bit faster.


      2. I found just over 3 turns for the Fantasia. I don’t mind a secure cap, though, especially when it’s clipped in a shirt pocket.

        Liked by 1 person

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