Saturday, December 29, 2018


2018 has almost come to an end (time goes fast!). To round up the year I made a shortlist of the products I used and loved most in the past 12 months. I get to try out a bunch of new products each year, a lot of which are great, but only a select few really stand out and resonate with me. The products I listed below are of course heavily influenced by my personal preferences, so I'd love to hear from you which products you liked most in 2018!


My favorites of 2018: Tactile Turn
Not at all new to the market, but certainly one of my favourite discoveries of this year. Tactile Turn creates metal pens, which has been an ongoing obsession of mine in the past few years, but I never got around to trying this particular brand. That changed when I recently bought a titanium Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen (now replaced by the new and improved Gist 2.0!) from my friend Mike at The Clicky Post. It was pretty much love on first sight, or rather first touch! Because all Tactile Turn products are characterized by their unique textured surface finish, giving their pens a pleasant 'tactile' (what's in a name!) and grippy feel in the hand. All pens are 100% made in the USA, and prices are actually quite reasonable considering the excellent quality you get. 
(Spoiler alert: expect a bunch of Tactile Turn product reviews in 2019!)

WHERE TO BUY: Tactile Turn, available in Europe through Writing Turning Flipping (German website)


My favorites of 2018: Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero fountain pen
The Italian fountain pen scene has been going through changes in the past years. Old brands went, and new brands came in their place... Ciro and Salvatore Matrone from Delta (RIP) -one of my all time favourite pen brands- started a new adventure in late 2017, and Leonardo Officina Italiana was born. Their first design, the 'Momento Zero' collection, immediately made an impact in the community. With a style that's heavily influenced by Delta, a wide variety of beautiful materials, excellent build quality and a well-tuned bock nib to round things up, they manage to provide a fantastic package (at a very reasonale price too!). I look forward to what they'll come up with in 2019!

WHERE TO BUY: Casa Della Stilografica


My favorites of 2018: Good Made Better Penwell
I also got acquainted with Good Made Better this year, and took a look at both the original Penwell and their latest Penwell Traveller. The Penwell is a desk accessory that lets you turn any capped pen into a desk pen. It's a simple concept, and a seemingly simple product. This little accessory has received a permanent spot on my desk, making multitasking and jotting down quick notes a lot easier.
(Read my full review of the Penwell and Penwell Traveller)

WHERE TO BUY: Good Made Better


My favorites of 2018: Scribo Write Here fountain pen
Three years after Omas' sad demise, a group of ex-Omas employees launched their own brand: Scribo - Scrittura Bolognese. They experimented around with a few very high-end models back in 2017, which didn't cause much of a stir. I was more interested in their first retailer-exclusive with Write Here in the UK: the limited edition 'Write Here' and 'Write Here 2' caught my attention because they utilize the same excellent nibs that Omas was so famous for. I got a 14k 'extra flessibile' nib, which is an absolute dream to write with! Just recently, Scribo also launched their first production model (not limited or store-exclusive): the 'Feel'. Definitely another brand to keep an eye on in 2019!
(Read my full review)

WHERE TO BUY: Scribo Write Here Exclusive: Write Here. Other Scribo pens: Appelboom, Casa Della Stilografica, La Couronne Du Comte


My favorites of 2018: Milligram Studio Linen notebook
There are a lot of excellent paper and notebook options on the market, but the Milligram Studio Linen Notebook has been my favorite in the past year. The linen cover is pleasant to the touch and sturdy, and it sets this notebook apart from the rest. The B5 size completely won me over, despite my usual preference of slightly smaller A5-sized notebooks, and the Fabriano paper is some of the most consistent and reliable paper I've ever used. It handled everything I threw at it with ease, little to no bleeding/feathering and shading and sheen show up nicely. In the past year that I've had the Milligram Studio Linen notebook on my desk, I consistently reached for it when writing review drafts. I actually finished this one a couple weeks ago, which doesn't happen very often because I usually have two or three notebook in use at the same time!
(Read my full review)

WHERE TO BUY: Milligram


My favorites of 2018: Armando Simoni Club Bologna Extra Arco fountain pen
Another brand to tread in the footsteps of Omas is Armando Simoni Club (ASC). I always regretted not buying an Omas pen in the fantastic arco brown celluloid, so I ordered the ASC Bologna Extra almost immediately when it was released in 2017 (and received it early 2018). It's a gorgeous pen in perhaps one of the most gorgeous celluloid materials of all time. On top of that, it's an absolute joy to write with: very smooth, wet and with a nice bouncy 'magic flex' nib (similar to the Superflex nibs found on the Wahl-Eversharp Decoband). ASC now owns pretty much all remaining Omas celluloid stock, which unfortunately reflects in their prices. Nevertheless I'm really glad that I now own a piece of this iconic material (and still for a lot less than what second-hand Omas arco pens are going for these days!).
(Review to come...)

WHERE TO BUY: Sakura Fountain pen Gallery

With the year coming to a close, it's also the perfect time to thank my loyal sponsors for their continued support in 2018. Go give them a follow on social media, browse their webshops, and don't forget to use the discount codes that some of them provide for readers of The Pencilcase Blog!
Appelboom pens
Casa Della Stilografica
La Couronne Du Comte
Scrittura Elegante
Disclaimer: I received some of these products for review. However that doesn't change the fact that I reached for these products the most during the past year, this list is based solely on which products I used and enjoyed most throughout the year. There are no affilate links in this post.

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