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I had a great time during my recent trip to Phoenix, and one of the highlights was visiting Jay at Scottsdale Pen and Knife again. This was my second trip to his store. my first trip was in November of 2014 and you can read about it here and here.

Scottsdale Pen and Knife is a beautiful retail pen, ink and journal store in Scottsdale, Arizona. My 2014 blog post has lots of pictures of his store; this year I didn’t take any. It hasn’t changed at all in terms of layout; still as welcoming and enticing as ever!

I think Jay recognized us the moment we walked in. He’s an incredibly knowledgeable, warm and welcoming kind of guy and we soon fell into a great conversation about pens. My sister wanted a pretty pen and I talked about her purchase in this post, a Cross Botanica in the Green Daylily pattern.

My eye was caught by the Visconti display; you can’t help but notice those beautiful pens. Front and centre was the latest, The Crimson Tide in the Opera Masters series. Such a beautiful pen. Jay mentioned he could give me a good deal on it, like reducing the price by 20%. At $1095 US, even with that discount it still didn’t fit my budget! I didn’t ask to try it out, although later I thought I should have, because I rarely get the opportunity to test out such a beautiful pen. But then I thought do I really want to know that I love such a expensive pen? I decided I was better off not knowing.

We looked at almost every pen in the place, some of them twice! Parker Duofolds, Sonnets and Urbans, Viscontis, Monteverdes, Watermans, Cross, Platinum…. the list goes on and on. He has a really impressive collection, both new and vintage. I found out that the modern Watermans snap to post, which appeals to me. And he showed me a Conklin Word Gauge fountain pen in Blue Swirl, from the Conklin Heritage collection, and my heart just melted. I think I even said “This pen is going home with me!” I really wanted it but it just wasn’t in my budget. You can check it out for yourself here. Each pen has a large ink window that is etched with gradations of 1,000, 2,000, etc., which indicate the number of words that can be written with the remaining ink supply. Perfect for any writer isn’t it? It’s on my wish list, and of course Jay will ship internationally from his website. I was proud of myself for walking away from it this time. Maybe next year.

Here are some photos of the items I couldn’t resist.


I bought a bottle of Waterman Intense Black ink, a happy buddha pen stand, and two Noodler’s Ahab pens. Jay was very generous and gave me three copies of PenWorld magazine and a Visconti bookmark. Both my sister and I were overwhelmed by his generosity. But when we protested he simply smiled and said “It’s my store, I can do what I want!” Jay’s customer service is outstanding and his enthusiasm for writing instruments is infectious.


This happy fellow was in a display case with lots of other pen stands, some more ornate than others. This one appealed to me because of his size and the expression on his face. And pens sit perfectly in his little hands.


The Visconti bookmark caught my eye for the first time last year and when I mentioned it this year I never dreamed Jay would simply give one to each of us. The folded paper shows some of Visconti’s flagship pens.


Here’s a closeup of the bookmark. It says Visconti at the top, with 23 K Pd 950 Firenze at the bottom. So beautiful! They are for sale as well as being occasional gifts from the owner!


This is the first of two Noodler’s Ahabs I purchased. I had heard good things about them and wanted to try them. This is the Maximillian Emerald Demonstrator with a fine nib. I believe this model is the most popular of the Noodler’s line.


Here’s a closeup of the nib. Very smooth writer, not scratchy like a fine nib can be. They are advertised as flex nibs but I’m not into flex that much. I just enjoy writing with it normally.


The Ahabs have an interesting filling system called a slide piston mechanism. It’s basically a big plunger. You simply pump it while the nib is submerged in ink. Because the plunger is also hollow the pen has an enormous ink capacity. And because there is no metal it is an excellent candidate for turning into an eye dropper. I still mean to do that one of these days. Just need an o ring; I got some silicon grease when I bought my TWSBI Eco.


And here is the other Ahab I bought. This one is the King Philip Purple Demonstrator, with a medium nib. I think there may be an issue with the feed on this one; it’s sitting very low compared to the green one and I can’t seem to get very much ink to flow through it. I’ve contacted Jay to see what his advice might be. I fell in love with it’s beautiful colour. It’s a perfect match to my De Atramentis Heather Violet ink.


And finally here are two quick writing samples of the green Ahab, inked with Waterman’s Harmonious Green, and the Baoer Starwalker, inked with Waterman’s Intense Black. I didn’t buy the Baoer in the store of course, just the ink. Just like all the other Waterman inks, it is a good lubricant for the pen. And the black colour is intense indeed.

So that’s a rather quick run down of my visit to this wonderful Arizona pen store. My sister and I always have great adventures when we get together, and this day was no exception. From first-time pen buyers to seasoned collectors, Scottsdale Pen and Knife has something for everyone. Wonderful people selling beautiful pens. Be sure to drop in if you are ever in the area and tell them Heather says hello! 🙂