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Pens That Almost Got Away

Posted in Fountain Pens

DISCLAIMER UPDATE (6/24/22): TWSBI and Narwhal have released a joint statement which I cover in my most recent TWSBIgate post. While not completely satisfied with TWSBI’s response to the situation, I no longer feel the need to dissuade people from purchasing their products.

DISCLAIMER (5/1/22): Since writing this post, TWSBI has been involved in some unsavory actions, and I am currently boycotting them. For more information, refer to the #twsbigate tag page.

Before I dive into this post, I have an announcement. After over two months of twice-a-week or more posting, I’m going to slow down a bit, and only post once a week for a while. I’m trying to give myself some more time for other hobbies, including an embroidery project, ancestry research, and a completely new hobby I want to try, bead weaving. Fountain pen posts will go up on Fridays. Non-fountain pen posts will go up on Tuesdays. Now, on to the pens that got away!

As a follow-up to my post on Pens I Almost Bought, I give you the pens that almost got away, and some that did. In the pens I almost bought post, I focused on pens that I talked myself out of buying. In this post, I’m looking at pens that I wanted to buy but didn’t for some reason other than deciding not to.

The pen world has a thriving secondhand market, and I’m lucky to not have many pens that truly got away. For that reason, I’m also including pens that I had to buy used because I didn’t, or couldn’t, snag them while they were available. I’m not going to count pens that released before I started collecting in 2017. Those, obviously, I would have to get secondhand.

Moving forward, when adapting a blog post from YouTube, I’m just going to list the YouTuber and video title of the video I watched, and — if applicable — the YouTuber who created the idea, after my post introduction. This post is inspired by Lauren Mae Beauty‘s video, Products that ALMOST Got Away… and One that Did! Products I Slept on but am SOO Glad To Have!!

The Ones that Almost Got Away

Atelier Lusso Timascus

I think I saw the official “for sale” post for these a bit after Eric posted it. So, while I was asking about price and payment schedule, the last one got snapped up. I thanked Eric for his quick responses, but he surprised me. He was kind enough to offer me the artist proof!

Well, I certainly wasn’t going to turn down such a kind offer. After ensuring he was certain about selling it, I laid claim to it. And I have zero regrets. It’s gorgeous and is the only proof I have in my collection, although I do have a prototype.

Goulet Pen Co. x Franklin-Christoph Model 31 Cosmic Dust

I eyed this first Goulet x Franklin-Christoph collaboration when it was announced, and even went to the product page multiple times once it had been released. But, I didn’t actually buy it. I don’t remember why. Then, one day it was sold out. I thought it would be OK. I hadn’t bought it, so it clearly wasn’t a pen I really wanted. But I kept thinking about it.

And then, lucky me, it was on Virtual Pen Show for a decent price. I didn’t wait around that time, snapping it up as soon as I saw it. It’s still in my collection, along with the 2021 edition, the Lyra. They’re good pens, and I’m happy to have them.

Retro 51 The System & The System Alloy

I wanted The System when it came out, but I wasn’t big on non-fountain pens at the time, so I talked myself out of it. When the Alloy was announced, I thought maybe I could get that one instead. I really wanted the color version, though, and decided not to get the Alloy, either.

The secondhand prices were atrocious, as they often are with Retros, so I gave up hope of owning either. However, to my surprise and joy, a friend decided to sell his set, and offered them to me at cost. Of course, I accepted, and now get to enjoy both!

And the Ones that Actually Did

Aurora Optima Cento Italia

I went back and forth on this one while it was readily available. I love the look, but I’m not in love with Aurora nibs — or prices. So I gave it a miss. I don’t ruminate on it, but any time I see one, I wish I owned it. The “tufted” look is really cool, and I love me some red and black. I’m hesitant to include this one, since technically it’s still available at some stores, but it will probably sell out before I have money to get one.

Iron Feather Creative Hummingbird

These are stunning. There’s no other way to describe them. I lost out on the first one to Nibs and Flourishes, not that I mind. I’m very happy she got such a meaningful pen. The second one, I didn’t have money to purchase, and I believe it sold at a pen show. I’m hopeful Mr. Weaver may make a third, but it’s a small hope.

River City Pen Co Mardi Gras Limited Edition

I remember being blown away by the process shots RCPC shared on Instagram (1 | 2 ) of _the_crazy_dragon_lady‘s work. The pen was great, and the dragon was beautiful! But, I simply didn’t have money available to buy the set at the time, and didn’t want to borrow more from the First Bank of Savings. So, I — sadly — let it go.

Admittedly, I forgot about it after a while. However, recently RCPC posted a photo of the dragon, and I was reminded how much I liked and wanted it. But I’m as certain as can be that it’s gone for good. I certainly wouldn’t part with it if it was mine.

TWSBI Aurora

I’ve been kicking myself for not jumping on this one since it sold out. and now that I have the Draco thanks to Jim, I feel the loss even more. Something tells me this beauty is lost to me forever, but if anyone has one they’re willing to sell for a reasonable price, please let me know.


Well, there you have it, the pens that almost — and did — get away. Have you had any pens escape you? If so, which ones, and are you actively searching for them? Do you, or anyone you know, have a TWSBI Aurora for sale? Let me know in the comments!

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