Franklin-Christoph Model 40P Review

There was once a boy, who had a big dream. His dream was a to get a Model 40P from Franklin-Christoph, so he set out to pursue this goal. Knowing his wallet was crying out in hopelessness, he traversed the internet for a solution. That solution came in the form of a group buying site known as Massdrop. A sense of jubilation rose through him as he started a poll for Franklin-Christoph pens. However, he needed 200 votes, and his only counted as one. The road to 200 seemed like a long and arduous journey. He spread the word, hoping to get more votes, and steadily as the days went by, the number of votes rose. Within 2 weeks it had passed 200! The boy smiled, at the winning choice, his dream pen, the Model 40P. Patiently, the boy waited to see whether Franklin-Christoph would be able to accept the demand for the pens. Alas, it was not meant to be, as instead of all 3 top choices, Franklin-Christoph chose to provide the Model 27 Collegia.

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Jim, the kind gentleman who adjusted my Model 40P

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Clips are now just a $10 add-on. I didn’t want one, but for those of you who do…

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These are the testing pens with all the nibs Franklin-Christoph offers

Heartbroken, the boy was faced with a choice. Forget about the pen, and get something within his price range, or work hard and earn it. He ultimately chose the latter, and after half a year of saving, he finally had enough to go to the L. A. Pen show. He ended up buying the pen of his dreams, and now he’s going to review it.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

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The Ice look maintains under any lighting, outside or inside

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I love that script! Simple and elegant branding.

Beautiful. Stunning. Simplistic. These are the words I think of whenever I see the Model 40P. The P in the name denoting that it’s a pocket-sized pen. While I haven’t yet used it as one, I am sure that it would work out fine. I first saw this pen on Fountain Pen Network, and was instantly smitten with its understated beauty. No fancy gimmicks, just a simple, acrylic pen with a dark grey finial. It accepts short international cartridges, but can also be used as an eyedropper, which this pen begs to be used as.

NIB PERFORMANCE:

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This makes an amazing eyedropper. Pictures don’t do it justice.

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Close up of that juicy, smooth nib

For the nib selection, it was a no-brainer. I had already known I wanted a Masuyama cursive italic. It was just a matter of medium or broad. After extensive time with the tester pens, I knew the medium was perfect for my style of writing. I tend to write smaller than average when taking notes. I think it may have something to do with my rather powerful glasses. What I can read perfectly, other tend to struggle. When I first tested the nib, it was scratchy. I asked Jim if he could make it smoother, and he went to work. Three tests later, it was gliding across the page. It is the perfect blend of smoothness, combined with the sharp lines and variation of a cursive italic. This nib is very forgiving, allowing beginners like me to easily adapt to writing with it.

DESIGN:

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The “ice” texture is one of the greatest aesthetic assets of this pen. No matter what color ink you decide to use, it will look great sloshing around in the barrel if you’re using it as an eyedropper. As you can see above, this is one of the qualities that automatically drew me to this pen.

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The finial seamlessly blends into the main section. Franklin-Christoph now offer this part in many different colors. Some of them look really nice, and it became a difficult choice for me. I went with the Smoke color because it was the original color scheme that had bewitched me.

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The most annoying part of this is cleaning it. It is the biggest task I have undertaken, and it is very difficult to properly get all the ink out. That’s why I suggest to not use an ink that tends to be difficult, like the J. Herbin 1670 series, Noodler’s bulletproof inks, or any pigmented inks. If you do decide to use these inks, make sure to use it up as quickly as possible, and put it in an ultrasonic cleaner (I used an electric toothbrush with some success).

OVERALL:

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I would recommend this pen to everyone and their uncle. It is versatile, beautiful, and durable. It is the perfect balance between form and function. The HP steel nibs are a great value and perform nearly as good as the 18K gold nibs. Getting a nib ground by Mike Masuyama for an extremely small premium makes this pens one of the best purchases I have made.

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6 thoughts on “Franklin-Christoph Model 40P Review

  1. Pingback: Sunday Notes and Links | Fountain Pen Quest

  2. Hey Anchit, this pen looks great – shame I’ve blown my budget for the time being… Can you tell me, how does this compare for size to a Kaweco Sport? The concept seems pretty similar – I’m assuming it has to be posted for comfortable writing?

    • Hey Gordon, it is indeed a beauty. It really is a shame about your budget. Sadly, I do not have a Kaweco Sport to compare it to. However, if you research the specifications (dimensions) of each pen, you should find that they’re about the same in size. Can’t be too different when you use them. I will be getting a Kaweco in the near future, so I’ll definitely do a review and get back to you.

      • Hi Anchit, thanks for the reply – I was referring as much to the usage of the pen (as in, do you have to post it to use comfortably?) as to the overall appearance or aesthetic. I’ve got a few Kaweco Sports (mostly plastic, one aluminium), and I really like them – they’re a bit too classy to be written off as a ‘beater pen’, but nowhere in the league of one of these… I’d love to buy a Franklin-Christoph pen somewhere down the track – though I’m not sure whether it’d be a pocket pen or a full-size. Everything they make looks so appealing!

  3. Hi Gordon,
    Short answer: Yes. This pen HAS to be posted for comfortable usage. Unless it’s being used by a child, in which case, it’s length is perfect. Visually I see many similarities between the Kaweco Sport series and the Model 40. However, next to this beauty any Kaweco you pit it against will undoubtedly look like the “beater pen”. I have carried this in my pocket many times along with keys and my phone, and each time it comes out without a scratch. Despite the delicate looks, this is still solid acrylic, which can take quite a beating too. If you are into pocket pens, then this is the F&C model for you, if not they make an elongated version similar to this called the Model 2, which is also available in the smoke and ice finish. πŸ™‚

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