Roy Conklin founded the Conklin Pen Company in 1898 in Toledo, Ohio. The company produced innovative writing tools with iconic filling systems such as the crescent filler. The company gained notoriety with the help of Mark Twain and his vocal support of their pens. In 2009, the Conklin name and brand were purchased by YAFA, which has been in business since 1978. The founder, Yair (Jerry) Greenberg, has been bringing out modern pens with vintage looks. The review today is of the Conklin Duragraph Amber fountain pen.
8/10 Packaging: The pen comes in a deep blue faux leather box with yellow stitching around the border with gold embossing in the middle that has the Conklin logo, “Est 1898” and “The legendary name for fine writing instruments”. The box has a blue outer sleeve with a window cut in it to see the Conklin logo on the box, and has a sticker on the end and the bottom that gives the model name, color, writing mode, and nib size. Inside the box are the same embossed logo and motto that are on the lid, as well as a card with information about the pen and refill instructions, two ink cartridges, and a converter.
9/10 First Thoughts: The slightly translucent amber body has black swirls, which are accented by the black finials and steel accents. The color looks like warm raw honey and is just as tasty to use.
8/10 Design: The pen has an overall design that is reminiscent of the flattops of the 1930’s and 1940’s. The cap finial has “Conklin Est 1898” engraved on it. The clip is very tight and requires both hands to slip it onto a pocket, but it holds very securely in place. The cap band is steel and has “Conklin” engraved on one side with crescent moons and “Duragraph” engraved on the other side. The threads on the grip section are smooth and unnoticeable when gripping the pen. The smooth black grip section has a slight flair where it meets the nib. The grip section has metal threads to join to the body so it cannot be converted into an eyedropper. You can post the pen, but it does become back-weighted.
8/10 Nib Performance: The steel nib has a gold Conklin logo engraved, as well as “Toledo USA” and a small “F” showing it is a fine nib. The nib wrote beautifully out of the box with no tinkering needed and gave a pleasant feedback as it wrote. I allowed the pen to sit for nearly two weeks and it wrote with no hesitation or skipping.
9/10 Filling System: The pen included a threaded standard international converter, as well as two cartridges.
8/10 Value: The pen has a retail price of $65, which I feel is spot on for this model. The pen is light, which is perfect for longer writing sessions, but not so light that it feels cheap. The coloring of the body makes the pen stand out, grabs your attention, and does not let go until you write with it.
50/60 Overall: I was very impressed with this model. I have been a fan of Conklin for a number of years but this is the first time I was able to use the Conklin Duragraph Amber fountain pen for a prolonged period of time. The pen is a true delight to use for short or long writing sessions, and I think it would be a wonderful pen for any level of fountain pen user.
Name: Conklin Duragraph Amber fountain pen
Design: Colored translucent resin
Length: 5.5 inches (140mm)
Posted: 6.9 inches (175mm)
Diameter: .5 inches (13mm)
Weight: 26 grams
Filling System: C/C
Pros: Threaded converter and cap, writes out of the box, vintage design
Cons: Metal threads prevent eyedropper conversion, cap does not post deeply
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Eric Aycock (Pengeek13)
Handwritten review by Jessy Aycock