Faber-Castell ‘Progress’ 55G fountain pen. 14 carat gold medium nib.

Faber-Castell ‘Progress’ 55G fountain pen. Gold nib. First of the recently bought pens. Came with an extra added selection of fude circular ended dip nibs for use with India/China inks. Also a glass antique small ink pot for the dip nibs. So a decent pen, the dip nibs and ink well all in the ‘bundle buy’.

Focus on the FC Progress 55G.

Received and written with……eventually. The piston filler at end of barrel was reluctant to twist open. Gentle upon gentle pressure back and forth on twisting to unscrew and suddenly the ‘seal of age’ gave up it’s long hibernated deep sleep and revisited the world. Albeit with a vast amount of inherent left overs from the past it would seem. Having no idea what lay inside it was prudent to put the whole pen in the micro water bath. My name for the Ultrasound/Ultrasonic Cleaner. Anti clockwise twist emptied nothing from the nib. No air noise produced. 

Putting the pen into the water it sunk nib end down and floated barrel end up indicating an empty ink chamber. Twisting down clockwise I took water in from the micro bath allowing the ‘whole’ pen to sink to the bottom. So….it was taking in fluid. Switching on the bath, ink was seen to escape the nib slowly. I left it about 2 minutes and emptied out the inherent water previously taken in. A vast blue/green came out. Grabbing a glass full of water I proceeded to wash out the pen manually. A good 3 dozen repetitive routine fill/empty/fill/empty/et al. produced less and less depth of ink colour. Also could hear the distinct sound of air escaping on expelling turns. So decided it was time to ink up. Chose Parker Quink Black. The results are here. Wrote quickly. Wrote naively. Wrote badly. Didn’t care! I was pleased it actually produced something. Fountain pen users know that that is a very fine feeling. 

Please tap on individual photos to enlarge.

To explain re: knowledge of this pen’s internals. Internet search provided a link to an enthusiast site called ‘Fountain Pen Geeks’ with the little added script written ‘We’re Cool!’. I’d agree 110% that fountain pen owners are ‘cool’. Actually, not ‘cool’ but ‘Icy Cool’. I’m no Geek though. Not knowledgeable enough. Take the ‘eek’ out of geek and I can profess to being a G for Gray. So I do have the beginnings of becoming a geek. A great link is to be found below on the same pen and how the owner took it apart. I had to reset my password because I hadn’t accessed this site for a few years or more. Why did I want to get into the site? Because unless you were logged in, you couldn’t see his photographs of the innards of the ‘Progress’ pen. And the photographs helped me enormously regarding the quirky nature of this pen.

What I find interesting about these enthusiast write ups are the experiences. What I was finding after writing and mucking about with the pen were the same quirky, troublesome and strange occurrences. Hard start up, priming the nib after the pen has been left for a while by twisting the piston gently, (even an hour left on it’s own and it’s dry again, and capped or uncapped it still stays dry), a plethora of left over ink in a huge inner chamber meaning mixed ink colours will be problematic, dryness to the actual writing experience. I found the gold nib an absolute treasure though. It simply glides. Okay, uniformity is an issue in how it presents onto the paper. The uniform depth of ink in the strokes to letter lines. I hope this changes as the ink settles in and becomes more consistent. The feel of ink on paper as it writes? I wrote in amongst all the words written ‘feels powdery’. Very much the nature of slow application needed when writing. However it does write fast. But as it glides well on paper, control is like car wheels on ice. The letters become flamboyantly bad in shape. All of the examples below were written at speed.

Please tap on individual photos to enlarge.

It is a pen I won’t go the full ‘polish up’, take apart and clean the whole caboodle, etc. I am a little too wary after seeing the photographs on the link and how many parts are involved. I did gently try unscrewing the section but it wouldn’t budge. Looking at the photographs and the plastic screw attachment there was no way I was going to force it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. To be quite honest, I love my pens with their scruffy nature anyway. Love age related patina because it shows they have been used and loved. This collects a lot of ink debris around both sides of the nib. But I find nibs that are like tortoises in their shells that pop their nib nose out to sniff out what’s out there little debris catchers. The design with the ‘V’ shape in the section end is particularly fond of hoarding. Won’t let go of stuff (ink) not used! 

So. This pen is officially given the name ‘The Hoarder’. And it’s good to go.  

Link below. It is a fine insight to the pen. You can read the information. However. If you are a member you can log in and see the insides of this pen in all it’s glory.