I have never been good at calligraphy. I do not have the hand control to form the letters perfectly, and my normal handwriting is too irregular. However, I do like writing with calligraphy pens, even if my writing is not up to par. Just using a calligraphy nib makes my handwriting look a little better than it really is.

Several pen companies offer calligraphy sets that will make anyone’s handwriting look a little better. Sheaffer offers several kits for all levels of calligraphy skill. Speedball offers a smaller selection, but excellent quality nibs for practice and other types of calligraphy pens as well. There are kits available from Manuscript, and Faber Castell, as well.

For those looking to create art, or just play like you can (like I do), look for one. It is a great way to have fun with your handwriting, or learn a prettier way to write!

Casio’s New Solar Atomic Baby-G

Casio introduced two new watches to its Baby-G lineup. The watches feature Casio’s tough solar technology and atomic timekeeping, so they never need batteries, and set themselves with the correct time. This is my kind of watch! Low maintenance! Casio has offered solar atomic technology in its G-Shock line for men for a while, and it is nice to see that it is now offering this for women.

Casio Solar AtomicCasio Solar Atomic

They currently come in white and black, and are available where most Baby-G watches can be found.

Noodling With the Best…

The August issue of Pen World Magazine has a great article about Noodler’s Ink. Noodler’s Ink is one of the top-quality ink brands in the world. It is made entirely in the United States, and is one of the most economical inks available today. It is non-corrosive, which is very important when filling older or antique pens, and the quality is very easy to see.

I use Noodler’s Ink, and prefer it for my pens. I love the color choices Noodler’s offers–over 65 different shades, including seven highlighting shades. The company even has a fraud-proof ink that can’t be erased from documents with bleach or ammonia. All of the inks are developed in small batches, which ensures the quality of the inks. The inks are all made from quality components, and the production is limited to the components at hand. Again, this is to ensure quality–substitutions are never made for the components of the inks. Nathan Tardiff, the owner of Noodler’s Ink, would never discount the quality of his product.

It is not available everywhere, but I suggest seeking Noodler’s Ink out. If you local pen shop does not stock Noodler’s, ask them to. You won’t regret it!


Diplomat Pen offers a pen that it claims has perfect balance. The Diplomat Balance line of pens is supposed to weighted and balanced perfectly for writing. Coming in fountain, roller ball, and ballpoint pens, the line is beautiful to see. Coming in blue (shown), white, and black, the pens do look like they would be well balanced and easy to write with.

The Diplomat Balance pen

The Balance fountain pen comes with either a bold or medium nib, limiting its range just a bit. Some, like me, prefer a fine or extra fine nib in a fountain pen. However, the ballpoint and rollerball pens can be changed from the medium point that they come with to a fine or broad point.

Diplomat Pens has been creating and manufacturing precision writing instruments since 1922. The company’s history is long, and the writing instruments it produces are works of art. I have written with several Diplomat pens, and love how it feels. I think I need to invest again! Diplomat Pens are available at My Diplomat Pens.

New Swatch Line–With Ladies’ Models!

Swatch has a new line of watches. The new Chronoplastic line is all plastic, all chrono, and it includes some nice ladies models! The Huyana is a vibrant hot pink, has a 41mm case, and a bright silver face. The Summer Curves model is the same size, with bright pink, yellow, and turquoise stripes on the face and the strap. The Lady Turquoise is bright turquoise, with a grey face, and turquoise chrono dials. All three of these models are water resistant to 30 meters, and come with Swatch’s two year warranty.

Another Tribute to the Lunar Landing

The accomplishments of Apollo 11, and the lunar landing are the stuff of history and legends.  Omas has created a line of pens to honor the men, and the history of the first trip to the Moon.  This limited edition line of pens was created with the Moon in mind, and it shows.  The ogival shape of the pen honors the shapes and technological achievements of the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The barrel of the pen represents the surface of the Moon after Armstrong took his first steps on its surface.  The carving on the pen clip represents the flight path of Apollo 11’s journey.  The lapis lacquer and lapis lazuli stone of the cap accents the pen beautifully, representing the oceans that cover the Earth.

1000 fountain pens, and 969 roller ball pens were created for this pen, to honor 1969–the year man successfully reached beyond the bounds of our Earth, and landed on the Moon.

The Omas Moon Fountain Pen
The Omas Moon Fountain Pen

We Choose to Go to the Moon…

The Omega Limited Edition Moon WatchToday is the 40th anniversary of the lift-off of Apollo 11, and it’s historic flight to the moon. In honor of that flight, and of all space missions, Omega Watches released two Apollo 11 “40th Anniversary” Limited Edition watches, a stainless steel version and a very limited platinum version. The stainless version is limited to 7,969 peices, and the platinum version is limited to only 69 pieces. Both editions, are powered by OMEGA’s calibre 1861. This movement shares its lineage with the calibre 321, which was used in the original Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. On the dial, below the words “OMEGA Speedmaster PROFESSIONAL”, the legend 02:56 GMT – the exact time that Neil Armstrong made his “one small step” onto the moon – is displayed in red. Both watches come in a beautiful presentation box.

I wish Omega had made a smaller faced/women’s version of this watch. However, if there is a man in your life who in into collector’s items related to the first missions in space, this is a great gift!

A Once in a Lifetime Chance

If you happen to be near Philadelphia, PA before September 7, 2009, I highly suggest checking out the Franklin Institute. It is currently hosting the only United States appearance of the Galileo, The Medeci, & the Age of Astronomy exhibit. The exhibit, presented by Officine Panerai (the link to watches!), showcases Galileo’s contributions to the developments of the telescope, his impact on math, astronomy, and physics, and his relationship to the Medici family. He worked to make the clocks of the time more accurate, was one of the first to see Saturn’s rings, and created some of the most intricate and beautiful tools of the time. Visitors get to see some of the tools he created and used, and two telescopes–one he used in his work, and one he built for the Medicis.

I have to say thank you to Officine Panerai for making this exhibit possible. It is truly amazing to see, and is well worth a trip to the City of Brotherly Love!