Let me introduce you to my lovely Dawn Grey Esterbrook SJ series fountain pen! I won it on eBay over the weekend. (It came with the 1554 nib and I bought the 9668 nib over the weekend also.) It arrived in my PO box on Wednesday. I ordered my inks on Monday and they arrived yesterday, so I couldn’t tell you about it any sooner. It’s no fun to show a pen that hasn’t been inked up!
I only had two bottles of ink here when I won the auction — one of which I love — a Noodler’s Walnut (but who wants every pen they own to have walnut ink in it, even if they do love the ink?) and the other is a Noodler’s Blue Ghost which is invisible during the day and glows under a black light. A fun ink to play with, but not one I want to write with on a regular basis. So, I ordered some basic black and blue and a few samples of inks and waited ever so impatiently, even though Goulet Pen Company has very speedy service.
When my ink arrived, I canceled my trip to Dallas, so I could stay home and write with my new pens. I still haven’t gone to Dallas, but I’ve loved writing with my pens! I’ll show you the other one tomorrow, but today, we’ll talk about the Esterbrook! I am truly enamoured with this pen series! This fountain pen is the first good pen I’ve had that fits my hand. It feels good to hold and write with and it has a good nib. I found a lot of information about Esterbrook pens and nibs on this site. He has information about other vintage fountain pens and nibs also, so you may want to check it out if you’re at all interested in them.
There are several different pens in the Esterbrook series. I don’t know much about them, but I do know that the J is bigger in diameter than the LJ and the SJ. The J and the LJ are the same length and longer than the SJ and the LJ and the SJ are the same diameter. There is also an Esterbrook “Dollar” pen and a “Purse” pen.
What I really love about these pens is that they have interchangeable nibs that fit all of their pens and they can be changed by the owner of the pen instead of having to be taken to a professional. Today was the first time I put the 1554 nib in my Esterbrook. The 1554 is a “Duracrome” nib, meaning it’s one of the standard original nibs they made. All of the 1000 and 2000 series nibs are Duracrome nibs. The nibs in the 9000 Master series were tipped with osmiridium (also known as just iridium). They are more durable and basically better nibs than the standard nibs. After trying both, I can tell you that there is nothing wrong with the standard nib, but it does feel a bit scratchy when writing and I do mean just a bit. The 9668 that I have feels like I’m writing through warm butter. It’s wonderful! There is no scratchy feeling, no drag at all. When I wrote with the 1554 I could hear slight scratchy sounds. When I write with the 9668 all I hear is movement. The 1554 is definitely better than my cheap Platinum Peppy fountain pen , but it is not as good as the 9668 and I’m sure it won’t be as good as any nib in the 9000 series. I can’t wait to get more of the nibs in the 9000 series. After all, each new nib will be a little like having a new pen! You may not be able to tell it by this review, but I love this pen. Click on the photo to enlarge it.