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Model 27 Collegia

Maker: Franklin-Christoph.

This pen was the low end of Franklin-Christoph’s line-up as far as fountain pens go.  The name is not meant to indicate that it’s a school pen, though, but rather as a hint that the colours it appears in reflect some US colleges.  Happily, there is not more than this hinting in that direction in the pens themselves, as a pen that shouted “Boola Boola!” or similar would be a little hard to bear.

The lines of this model incline a little more towards traditional than the average of the company’s works, but not so much so as to take it out of the family.  For someone like me, who spends a lot of time hanging around vintage pens, it keeps trying to look like something, but just what that is never quite appears; I think for people less steeped in old pens, it will merely be vigorously retro, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Unlike a vintage pen, whose dismantling can be a very fraught affair, there is a screw-in point/feed unit in the Model 27, which is easy to swap out and can also be dismantled into its three components without great drama if a serious cleaning is needed.  The unit is not common with other Franklin-Christoph pens, so one who seeks a spare from the company (something they are happy to encourage) must be specific as to model.

Generally speaking, as the entry-level model for the maker, the overall effect is quite pleasing.  There’s nothing about the finish that suggests cheaping-out.  With a couple of small caveats rather than reservations, I would freely recommend this pen, both in terms of looks and of performance.

The first caveat is one which I speak for a great many modern pens; it’s rather heavy.  While only average of girth and length, it is of a weight which suggests a writer with relatively large forearms, and becomes somewhat unwieldy even in strong hands if the cap is posted.

The other caveat also has to do with posting.  There is that suggestively, even seductively-shaped false blind cap, urging the user to deposit the cap there while writing.  On my example, at least, the tolerances are such that getting the cap posted all the way down as shown in the photos below was… a bit of a struggle, I shall say.  It took, in the end, a bit of rotating to get it right down, and that’s probably not good for the finish on the tail.  If you are not concerned about marring that finish, there is another element to this caveat– the rotation, whether putting the cap on or taking it off that mounting, is best done in the direction associated with tightening.  The tail-piece is contacting an inner cap, which supports a nut, which is what holds on that big silver derby; turning to loosen is most likely to loosen that nut rather than getting the cap off the tail.  It’s not a very difficult job to get everything back together… but it’s not a lot of fun either.

Having said all that, I think I’ll repeat that I do like this pen, and I think it’s offered at a decent price.  As my first experience with this maker, it has left me interested to see what the more upscale models are like.

Production Run: 2012 to 2016

Cost When New: Initially $69.50 (with a $20 premium for points in other than fine, medium and broad, of which they have several possibilities). The price at the end of the run was $84.50.

Size: 14.0 cm long capped, 16.8 cm posted, 12.0 cm uncapped.

Point: Steel.

Body: Brass, lacquered.

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern).  Comes with converter and a short cartridge.

Franklin-Christoph Model 27 “Collegia” in Racing Green. I don’t really care which college that’s meant to represent, as I connect it inextricably with Jaguar E-Types.

Model 27, capped, showing that enticing tail-post. Use with caution.

 

 

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