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The Summer is usually the time of year when there's a lull in the world of pens. Most manufacturers are gearing up for back-to-school & 4th quarter releases. So, now that we have a moment to catch our breath, we're taking the chance to highlight the best new pens & inks of 2017 while talking about what has yet to come later this year.
Just to be clear, this list is inclusive of new color versions of classic models as part of this list, although it is not technically considered to be a new "model" of pen per say.
It may not surprise anyone that the new 2017 color of the Lamy Safari leads this list. Follow up to 2016's Dark Lilac, Petrol is a dark teal with a matte finish and black trim. You can either buy them to collect (watch the value go up 2x to 3x in the next year or so...) or you can use them as your new everyday writing pen.
This classic-looking Aurora 88 has a vintage appeal enhanced by the introduction of a new, 14kt gold flexible nib. Taking a cue from the discontinued OMAS extra flessibile nib, the Italian pen maker has crafted their own version of the soft, flexible nib and installed it on this limited edition. Each month, a new color has come out (Blue, Red, & Yellow Aurora Pens so far) which are individually numbered and extremely limited in quantity. Watch the Writer's Showcase video where we compare this nib versus other flex nibs to see how it performs.
Sailor (Japan) crafts one beautifully simple fountain pen. The 1911 has a classic, tapered, Montblanc-esque profile that is built for optimal writing. Fountain pen enthusiasts know that there is no beating the expertly-crafted nibs available in a wide range that goes from extra-fine through broad, music & zoom types. Fresca Blue is a North American exclusive color that has been one of our most popular styles in both the Standard and Large versions.
Although the AL-Star is a bit more expensive than the Safari due to its aluminum body and cap, the Pacific Blue Lamy Al-Star has been a huge hit with Lamy collectors and general pen enthusiasts. The bright turquoise anodized finish is striking and appropriately positioned within the latest fashionable color trends.
Although this list is heavily prejudiced to the fountain pen mode, one cannot talk about the hottest pens without mentioning Retro 51's Tornado Popper. Every few months, Retro releases a new design of their Tornado based around a theme. Most of the time, their designs are spot-on and sell out within a matter of days. Such was the case with "Shark Alley." There was a figurative feeding frenzy for this pen that led to it being sold out shortly after its release. Now, they are being sold for over 2x the original retail on eBay.
Fountain pen ink has become as equally exotic and desirable as the pens they are fed into. Manufacturers have capitalized with limited edition inks that create a scarcity in the marketplace.
Riding on the runaway success of last year's Dark Lilac, Petrol was destined for the same fate. Germany couldn't meet the worldwide demand and many retailers (including us) were shorted our stock request dramatically. Once we did receive inventory, the stock sold out within hours.
Qualify this ink as "new to you." Ink fans were over-the-moon excited for when the original set of 6 Sailor Jentle ink colors, which were released some years ago, were going to be reintroduced. These inks have beautiful, unique hues that are matched with shading and sheen.
Similarly to their German counterpart Lamy, Pelikan introduces a new "ink of the year" to its line of premium Edelstein inks each year. The 2017 ink, as voted on by Pelikan fans worldwide, is a chocolatey brown called "Smoky Quartz." It pairs exceptionally well with the new special edition Pelikan M800 Renaissance Brown.
For years, Aurora had only two ink colors to choose from - blue or black. Despite lacking variety of colors, Aurora inks have always been highly desirable among pen enthusiasts because you can safely put them in any pen, they flowed well and put a lovely color on the page without any issue. So, when the pen maker came out with a blue-black, it wasn't as Earth-shattering as you would think, but this blue-black has become a fan favorite.
The Platinum Classic Inks are fun to play with, but one should take some caution when using iron gall inks. Make sure to practice proper pen hygiene and completely rinse out your pen after using an iron gall ink and don't leave it in the pen for longer than 3-4 weeks. The fun part is that they dry several shades darker than when the ink is fresh on the page. Who said watching ink dry was boring?
Pelikan M205 Smoky Quartz - expect this pen around August 2017. For the last 2 years, Pelikan has paired their Edelstein ink of the year with a matching M205 demonstrator fountain pen. 2016 was Aquamarine and 2015 was Amethyst.
Caran d'Ache plans on shaking up the entry-level fountain pen market with their hexagonal sided 849 metal. They will be available soon in a set of colors that were chosen for their popularity in the ballpoint mode that has been around forever. Check out a preview of this pen here on the Goldspot YouTube channel.
Visconti Homo Sapiens Chiantishire Limited Edition - following the success of previous limited editions Crystal Swirls, Florentine Hills, and London Fog, Visconti aims to break your bank with a new Homo Sapiens in a wine red, inspired by Chianti made in the hills of Tuscany.
Pilot Vanishing Point 2017 Limited Edition - Be sure to start saving now to score the newest limited edition from Pilot. We anticipate these will be coming late 3rd quarter. If you were a fan of the Twilight limited edition from a couple years ago, you'll definitely be excited for this one - that's all we can say!