Tag Archives: squire

Review: Baron Fig Lock and Key LE Confidant and Squire

Let’s start this review off with a statement about the internals of the Confidant and the Squire- they are exactly the same as any standard edition. The Lock comes filled with BF’s dreamy creamy paper with enough tooth for all your penciling needs and enough coating to pair with almost any fountain pen. This paper is where it is at for both graphite and ink. The pale gray dot grid is a tad narrow but disappears into the background of your writing. Perfection. The Key is loaded with a Schmidt P8126 refill and the standard spring loaded twist mechanism, that works smoothly.

The Key (Squire) is machined out of solid brass and is uncoated which lends itself to forced patina as well as natural patina via use. The weight is more than double a standard Squire despite the extra weight the pen is still ridiculously comfortable to use. Because of the balance of the pen being toward the front end, I don’t find that it tires my hand at all in use. I’ve spent several days working on characters and an outline with the pen and filled many composition book pages with it. The pen is perfectly comfortable.

The Lock (Confidant) is covered in dark forest green fabric that reminds me of Maine Balsam Fir trees at dusk. The debossed maze on the front and back cover lends a layer of structured tactility that begs for the cover to be stroked. The end sheets are printed in gold foil that matches the bright brass of the Key. The subtle linen texture of the end sheets paired with the smooth foil is a lovely touch. Again, it’s tactile and I find myself absentmindedly stroking the pages. The ribbon bookmark is golden in color and typically about an inch too short for my taste.

The pairing of the Lock and Key in terms of look and color is perfect. The gold of the brass on the dusky forest green is a perfect combination. The brass shines against the deep green color and looks great. The combined tactile nature of the Lock and Key is fantastic. I want to pet my journal and fiddle with the pen. The weight of the pen is great and the whole package feels good in the hand. Continue reading

Review: Baron Fig LE Squire Spectre

If you have been listening to my podcast, RSVP, then you know how I feel about the BF Squire. The pen is perfectly comfortable. The weight is nice. Just heavy enough so I always know it is there, but not so heavy as to tire my hand. The size is perfect for my hand. The pen is short-ish, if you have really big meaty paws, this might not be the pen for you. The weight is toward the front of the pen for good writing balance. It feels wonderful. The twist mechanism twists the refill down just enough to expose the point without excess. I find myself fiddling with the twist mechanism in much the same way one might fiddle with a clicky nock. There is a slight gap between the nock and the body of the pen. It has been noted on other blogs that the pen should be seamless, but I see the slight gap as part of the aesthetic. The gap is perhaps .5mm. Though I tend to cart my Squire around in my pants pocket the anodized finish as remained perfect. Not one chip, ding, or scratch mars it’s surface. I would suggest that you NOT cart your Spectre in your front pocket, lest you end up ruining as many pairs of pants as I have. The motion of it rolling around in your pocket is enough to twist the nock, expose the point, and leave a nice large black stain on your favorite pair of camel colored khakis. Not only does this suck most of the ink out of an otherwise full cart, the refill never quite works the same. If you are wondering if the ink washes out, it does not. The Schmidt ink bonds quite well with cotton. The Schmidt refill works really well on the garbage paper at work, which is why it ends up in my pocket so often. It is also quite nice on Baron Fig’s paper. I quite like it in my Confidant journals.I find that the ink tends to bleed through on other paper- Write and Field Notes as 2 examples. The HP Laserjet I use in No Brand Notebooks handles it’s liquidy black ink just fine. If you are not a fan of the Schmidt cartridges you can buy many Parker style refills. Be careful though, many will not fit due to the super narrow opening at the tip of the Squire. Itoya and Monteverde refills both fit.As for the Spectre, I really dig everything about the pen. The little engraved ghost, the weight and feel. I was a little surprised at the color. Many of the images online show it to be BLACK the actual color is a deep dark purple black. The color is warm and looks a lot like graphite. I like the color but it was not expected. While I found the green of the Experiment too eye catching for my workplace the muted purple charcoal shade is perfect for work. It’s professional and flies under the radar and most people won’t peg this as “fancy pen.” The cost of the pen is $60, which makes this one of my more expensive pens. But any pen you refill is an investment. While my Pentel Alloy will likely break after a year of use, the Spectre will continue working for years and years of use. It should be noted that the pen does not have a clip or roll stop. The slightly narrower nock doesn’t keep it from rolling off a desk top. Because it is weighted toward the front, it will land tip first, likely ruining the refill inside. Baron Fig does offer a little pocketable leather case for the pen, which is a solid investment, if you intend to pocket carry. I quite love my Squires, I’m lucky enough to have an Experiment and a Spectre. They are solidly made and worth the investment. One of the great things about using a refillable pen is that you get to pick what refill you want to use- from Monteverde to Itoya to Parker to Schmidt you have plenty of choices here. Continue reading