Few things give me greater joy than to resurrect something and make it useful again.  You can’t blame me for having a soft spot for these frankenpens – fountain pens cobbled together from various spare parts of the same model.   At the top is a Parker 51 demi with a vacumatic filler with the engraving “Josephine O’Hara”.  In the middle is a Sheaffer Craftsman lever-filler with an Admiral cap.  At the bottom is a Sheaffer thin model Touchdown.


These were created for me by a good friend, Tom Overfield, from spare parts in his pen repair cabinet.  The Parker 51 demi was a gift, in time for the first anniversary of our Manila pen group in 2009.  The other two were commissioned.  I had won a lot of three user-grade Sheaffers with slightly shrunken plastic barrels on eBay for a low price (the price of the 14k nibs alone was worth more than what I paid) and asked him if he could en-franken them.  I got a blue Sheaffer Craftsman lever-filler out of that, plus the two Sheaffers in the above photos.  I love them all.

Five years later, all are still in good condition.  None of the latex sacs or the seals have failed.  They’re not the handsomest pens in my little collection, but they do get a lot of love.  In fact, I use them quite often, even though I have other pens. I believe I got lucky with the quality of the nibs and feeds to begin with.

The term “frankenpen” doesn’t always have a good connotation.  It usually refers to pens that pretend to be the complete, original model (in order to sell at a higher price), when actually the parts are mismatched or come from different brands or even time periods.  These don’t pretend to be anything other than functional revivals of pre-loved vintage pens – they wear their colors proudly!  A number of us on FPN-Philippines own multi-colored frankenpens made by Tom, and we all cherish them deeply.  So much so they have been given unique names like Frankensnork (Leigh Reyes’ pen), Bride of Frankensnork (Caloy Abad Santos’ pen), Tuckenstein (a Tuckaway, Raffy Abrina’s pen), Thinenstein (Jenny Ortuoste’s thin Touchdown), Demistein (my Parker 51), etc.  Some of them are also with his friends in Europe and the USA.

If only some modern production pens wrote as well as these frankenpens!



(Waterman inks photo by Cesar Salazar.)

More and more people are growing interested in using fountain pens here in Manila, as evidenced by the growing membership in our pen group Fountain Pen Network-Philippines.  For a long time Parker, Waterman, Cross and Montblanc were the only brands readily available in the local fountain pen market.  Now there are new brands available:  Lamy, Pelikan, Sailor, to name a few.  Waterman,Aurora, Cross and Rotring are now no longer being sold here, while Sheaffer recently reintroduced itself.  The local Pilot distributor sells only school pens, not the fine writing instruments, nor the ink.

I’ve compiled a list of stores that sell fountain pen inks, in bottles and cartridges as of 2013: (click on links to see directory info)

National Bookstore branches  – Parker, Lamy, Sheaffer, Inoxcrom (cartridges)

Montblanc branches – Makati (632) 813-3739, Powerplant Mall (632) 898-2347, Shangri-la Mall (632) 633-4636, Manila (632) 521-1140, Robinsons Place (632) 551-2095, Ayala Town Center (632) 850-5532

Scribe Writing Essentials – 3/F Eastwood Mall, QC.  (632) 900-0053, Shangrila (632) 654-5071, Glorietta 5 (632) 386-4826. – Herbin, Lamy, Sailor, Pelikan (4001 and Edelstein), Noodler’s

Cutting Edge (Greenbelt 5, Trinoma, Eastwood, Megamall, Mall of Asia) – Waterman

Times Trading– Lamy

Updated:  We now have a distributor for Diamine inks!  Since I don’t have permission to post the contact details here yet, please join the Fountain Pen Network-Philippines forum or on its Facebook page and make your order there, addressed to Peter.

Updated September 2013:  Scribe Writing Essentials now carries Noodler’s inks!  Contact Cindy Fulo at 0998-9983998 for which branches carry specific Noodler’s colors.

Updated August 2014: Scribe Writing Essentials now carries Platinum Mix Free and Carbon inks!

As of this time, there are no local distributors yet for Rohrer & Klingner, Aurora, Visconti, De Atramentis, Pilot (regular and Iroshizuku), and other popular brands of ink.  For these, we resort to buying from eBay or online stores based overseas.