Bert and I are back and settled in from the Philly Pen Show 2022, and wow there’s a lot to talk about. First of all, I wasn’t there on Friday until around midnight. Bert got to start off the show and set up on Friday. That gave a great opportunity to chat with customers and fellow table holders. In fact, it was an interesting atmosphere all weekend long.
Secondly, we had the unique chance to spend more time with each person that came to our table. It was wonderful to not feel rushed with helping everyone find what they were looking for. From what I heard, Bert rounded off Friday evening with Team Pilot Pen as they invited him to dinner. In addition to Bert and Team Pilot was Jimmy Dolive, Lisa Vanness, and Kirk Speer. Bert and I both were looking forward to seeing what activity the rest of the weekend would bring.
Once I finally arrived at the Philly Pen Show 2022 hotel on Friday night and got settled in, I was too excited to sleep. Saturday morning came rather fast. After securing coffee and doing my morning journaling (using the Esterbrook JR Pocket Pen that I brought), I was ready for the big day of the show. Arriving in the pen show ballroom, I like how Bertram’s Inkwell was set up right at the entrance. We made quick work of bringing out even more pens than on Friday.
Importantly, the majority of what we brought and displayed is different from all other pen shows we’ve attended. Most notably, there was no refill wall. I know, hard to imagine, right? But we wanted the focus to be on this huge collection of previously owned pens that Bert has. We’re talking hundreds of limited editions, and pens that are long gone. It’s amazing to see the range of brands across the board.
Yet, we did bring some modern pens as well. Starting with Diplomat, we featured the Aero and the Excellence A+ in a gift set. I like how the set comes complete with a pen case and bottle of ink to get you started writing right away. Next up is the Maiora Mythos pen collection. These are always fun to write with, and I love the colors on the resin. Continuing with the Pineider Avatar collection, these pens caught many eyes at the show. The virtually unbreakable pen has lots of colorful swirls on the cap and barrel, which adds to the aesthetic.
Can you believe after all that we still brought more? The Tibaldi Bononia is delightful to hold. It’s especially satisfying in the version with an 18k gold nib. Those have a piston fill mechanism, which adds a decent amount of heft. It was my first time holding that particular version, and I enjoyed dry-writing with it at the table. The nib glided across the paper so smooth.
Since we didn’t bring the refill wall, we couldn’t come to a pen show and not bring some inks at least. Therefore, we featured Private Reserve’s 2 Minutes To Midnight Limited Edition ink, Monteverde Pen Flush, Monteverde Jungle Ink Sets, Organics Studios ink, and the new Sheaffer bottles of ink. Last but not least is one of the best sellers of the show. Narwhal’s Nautilus fountain pen is available in blue or green ebonite. It’s also got a smooth steel nib with a piston filling mechanism. I like the viewing window near the grip section. Rest assured, I’ll do a full review of this one soon.
After the show ended Saturday, Bert and I got to catch up a little over dinner. It was this local pizza place called Giovani’s Bar & Grill. We had a few drinks, and Bert got a Philly Cheesesteak while I got a few appetizers. The walk back to the hotel was nice and chilly. We both seemed to enjoy walking, rather than taking an Uber for the short walk back. It’s much better to take in the city that way.
Once we got back to the hotel, I wasn’t done hanging out for the night. I gathered my pens and paper, and headed to the hotel bar/restaurant area. It was delightful getting to spend time with a few various “pen groups” there. Gathered at a long table was the Franklin-Christoph crew, along with Trinita, Charmaine, Essandra, as well as Lisa Vanness. In another area was Cary of Kenro Industries/Fountain Pen Day, and Klarissa (Snowy Studio), sitting with the crew from Galen Leather. Next, I ended up chatting with John Gillett of Luxury Brands. There were many other pen people around as well, as it seemed that not many wanted to brave the 19-ish degree temperature outside.
Finally, Sunday was exciting at the show with a frightful start. All of a sudden, blaring alarms went off informing us of a potential hazard. Luckily, it was a false alarm as some of the pipes were frozen. No big deal. We were glad that we didn’t have to go outside and leave everything on the tables unattended. But nonetheless, the show resumed without issue.
How many pens did I end up with by the end of the show? Oh, probably about 10-12-ish pens are now added to my collection. I definitely got one of the Narwhal Nautilus fountain pens (in green, of course). That double broad nib is awesome. I also got three Montegrappa’s. A matching set of Montegrappa Ducale black pens (fountain pen and ballpoint). Also, I got a thin green Montegrappa ballpoint. Cary was also generous to give me a deck of Esterbrook playing cards. I’ve also got a few Montegrappa’s lined up for tomorrow’s blog to share. I got about ten Laban fountain pens that I can’t wait to review. Not to mention a mix of goodies from Luxury Brands that I look forward to reviewing. Look for Colorverse ink, Benu, Gioia, and Nebula paper.
As the day progressed, we all kind of said our goodbyes until the next show. Yet apprehension of the upcoming snow storm was in the air. As Bert and I made our way back to our cars, we wished each other good luck for the long drive home. I passed the time with rocking out to music and smoking a few cigars. After the first cigar, snow starting coming down. It got progressively worse, and took almost four hours to get back instead of the 2.5 that it was supposed to. Luckily, we both made it back safe. I’m looking forward to the (sold out) Baltimore Pen Show coming up in March next! See you there!