The above customer video, featuring John's Spencerian customization on a Pilot Falcon Resin, has gone viral and received over five million views! The Spencerian modification adds flex to an already semi-soft nib and grinds the nib tip to needlepoint. But the Falcon Resin is not the only pen suitable for the Spencerian customization...
Pilot Custom 912
Another offering from Pilot, the Custom 912 can be made available with the notched FA nib, seen at left. The FA provides the most flexibility of any contemporary solid gold nib, and serves as an even better starting point for the Spencerian modification than the original Falcon Resin Soft Fine. The Custom 912 can also use the high capacity CON-70 converter, which nearly doubles the ink capacity of this pen compared to the original Pilot Falcon. If you are serious about having a fountain pen modified for Spencerian calligraphy, the Custom 912 is the clear best choice. Retail $320, our price $256. With Spencerian customization: $366.
Pilot Metal Falcon
The Pilot Metal Falcon uses the same nib as the original Falcon Resin and is available in four colors - Black, Brown, Burgundy, and Sapphire. A weightier pen than the Resin, the Metal Falcon, like the Custom 912, also has the added advantage of utilizing Pilot's high-capacity CON-70 converters. The Metal Falcon's rhodium-plated solid gold nibs have exactly the same writing qualities as the original yellow gold Falcon nibs, and they are equally suited to the Spencerian modification. Retail $300, our price $240. With Spencerian customization: $350.
Pilot Falcon Resin
The Falcon Resin with Spencerian modification is the pen that appears in the video, and besides the original Black with gold trim, versions in Black with rhodium trim and Red with rhodium trim have also been introduced. Pilot-Namiki has changed branding so that the pen is now known as the Pilot rather than Namiki Falcon Resin, but there have been no changes in the writing qualities of the pen or nib itself. With or without Spencerian customization, these dependable and highly affordable writing instruments can serve as an excellent introduction to the world of quality fountain pens. Retail $180, our price $144. With Spencerian customization: $254.
Pilot Justus 95
Another intriguing candidate for Spencerian modification is the Justus 95 pen, also produced by Pilot. A solid gold adjustable tension bar allows the user to vary nib flexibility - when used in conjunction with the Spencerian customization, this allows the nib to be returned to a more controllable, firmer point when extreme flexibility is not desired. Retail $390, our price $312. With Spencerian customization: $422.
Omas Vintage Limited Editions
Most Omas Vintage Limited Edition fountain pens can be equipped with a 14k Extra Flessible nib in Extra Fine or Fine which can then be given the Spencerian modification. Omas is renowned for the luxurious quality of their celluloid body pens. Prices vary, with the Spencerian modification adding an additional $110 to our sale price of the pen.
Like the Omas Vintage Limited Edition fountain pens seen above, most Omas Milord series fountain pens can also be fitted with a 14k Extra Flessible nib in Extra Fine or Fine which can then be given the Spencerian modification. Many Milord pens have a retail price of $575, with our price $460. With Spencerian customization: $570.
Any Nakaya brand pen, such as the Naka-ai Writer Ama-iro seen above, can be fitted with a Fine Soft nib which can then be given the Spencerian modification. Although the Nakaya nib is marginally less well-suited to the Spencerian modification than the Pilot and Omas nibs indicated above, Nakaya's hand-crafted Urushi pens offer a writing experience like no other. Prices start at $350 for Nakaya's Briarwood pens, and $450, $550, and $650 for many of Nakaya's ebonite Urushi pens. The Spencerian modification adds an additional $110 to the cost of any pen.
Platinum 3776 Century Pens
The larger parent company to Nakaya, Platinum is known for the excellent value of its fountain pen offerings. The 3776 Century series is Platinum's most popular line, with prices on many pens starting at well under $200. Platinum's 14k solid gold nibs are of the same high quality as those produced by Nakaya, and when available, Platinum's Fine Soft or Medium Soft nibs in either the yellow gold or rhodium-plated versions are well-suited for Spencerian customization. As always, the Spencerian modification adds an additional $110 to the cost of any pen.
Eboya Large Pens
Any Large size Eboya fountain pen, such as the Kyouka Large Tanshin Red and Ricchiku Large Kaze Blue-Green seen here, can be fitted with a 14k solid gold Fine nib which can be given the Spencerian modification. While this nib as not as innately well-suited for the Spencerian modification as the Pilot and Omas nibs referenced above, Eboya's hand-crafted ebonite pens offer distinctive designs and a superb writing experience. The Kyouka Large is $499, and the Ricchiku Large $519, with the Spencerian customization adding an additional $110 to the cost of either pen. Please note that the nibs for Eboya Medium and Small size pens are not as suitable for the Spencerian modification and are subject to the caveats immediately below.
Other Pens with 14k Nibs
While many other pens we carry, including some offerings from Aurora, Bexley, Pelikan, Platinum, and Sailor, are sold with 14k nibs which can then be ground to needlepoint and given some added flex, we do not consider these pen and nib combinations the best possible candidates for the Spencerian customization. Size and rigidity of the original nib and the deepness of inscriptions in the nib face are among the factors affecting the suitability of any given nib for the Spencerian customization.
While John will regrind to needlepoint and add flex to the extent possible on such a nib when requested, please note that we consider this an approximation rather than the true Spencerian customization. Please note as well that the Spencerian cannot be performed at all on any pen with an 18k, 21k, or steel nib. The price for regrinding to needlepoint and adding flex on any pen or nib unit other than the specific Pilot, Omas, Nakaya, and Eboya models indicated above is $130.00.
Using the Spencerian Customization
Please note that the Spencerian modification is a highly specialized customization used for writing Spencerian copperplate script--significant skill and practice is required, and this will not be a customization that is suitable for most everyday usage.
For those skilled in the use of flexible nibs, a nib modified to the Spencerian customization can produce remarkable line width variation. At the lightest touch, the nib can produce a 0.1mm line. The thickest 1.0mm line can be produced using about 8 ounces of hand pressure at an angle approximately 30 degrees off the paper. At a low angle, the feed will hit the paper, or "bottom out," preventing the writer from damaging the nib by applying too much pressure. At a higher angle, it is possible to bend the nib too far and damage it in the process.
For those wishing to learn copperplate calligraphy, we recommend the book below...
Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy
This step by step manual by noted calligrapher Eleanor Winters provides a clear and engaging introduction to mastering the art of this calligraphic technique. Along with a fascinating history of copperplate, the book provides a stroke-by-stroke demonstration of each letter, mark, and number, along with sections on color, retouching, and suggested papers. Generous practice pages and ample instructions add to the book's appeal - this volume is a perfect compliment to your Spencerian-modified Nakaya or Pilot-Namiki pen. Our price $15.95
Above is a sample from customer Kirk Edelman demonstrating the use of a pen with John's Spencerian modification.