When I find a nib I love, I use it for every project; that is until I discover another nib, and I fall in love with that one. This past year, I fell in love (but not out of love) with three nibs. The first was the Speedball Hunt 22; the second was the Nikko G. I reviewed these nibs in a previous post, so I won't go into detail about why these nibs are so awesome here; just know that they are among my all-time favorite, go-to's. The third, and my nib du jour, is the R. Esterbrook 128. We were introduced in October, and we have been inseparable l ever since.
It was fate. I mentioned in my last post, What Supplies to Toss & When , that I am the fortunate recipient of my aunt's small collection of vintage inks, nibs, and pen holders. Among the thirty-or-so nibs in the collection, a handful are pointed pen, R. Esterbrook 128 nibs. I eagerly switched out my Nikko G for the new 128, and upon the first stroke, I was in love. The tines are stiff, producing medium-width downstrokes, and the upstrokes are finer than those created by the Nikko G. Yes, the hairlines are thinner...ah-mazing!
The Esterbrook Pen Company no longer exists, and their nibs are no longer produced. I wouldn't say R. Esterbrook 128's are rare, but you might have to do some digging to find them. There are several Ebay listings claiming to include 128's, but inspect the description and images carefully. The more popular nibs are #354, #355, and #356; none of which I have tried. The 128 is intended for drawing and drafting, but since I draw letters when writing calligraphy, and I illustrate in pen + ink, it is the perfect 2-in-1 nib for me.
The Esterbrook will remain in my pen holder until the next trending nib finds its way into my collection. But it's hard to imagine a more perfect nib existing. If the 128 is the best the world of nibs can offer, then I will gladly settle.