Cheap Pen Showdown! Daiso pen vs. Platinum Riviere

You can find 2 brands of fountain pens at Daiso stores in Singapore — the Platinum Riviere and Daiso’s own house-brand pen. Both cost S$2, have tipped (Western) Medium steel nibs that write relatively well out of the pack and use their own proprietary cartridges.

I think the Daiso pen is better value than the Riviere. It has a larger nib, a molded grip that resembles that on a 1980’s Pelikano, and the barrel has a wider girth. This pen feels more substantial. In addition, the Daiso pen doesn’t dry out while capped but the Riviere does.

The barrel of the Daiso pen has a rubber-like finish, which may not be to everyone’s liking. I’ve no problems with it. Still think it’s great value, and I bought a couple anyway just to practice nib stubbing.

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Esterbrook DB-114 desk set


(L to R: 116; DB-114; 2140)

I’ve been on the lookout for a DB-114 desk set in this colour, similar to my 116 desk set (blogged about earlier). I find this model more interesting than the 116, with the stepped sides bearing hints of Art Deco.

This one’s been well-used, with some wear and discolouration – even a slight bulge at the lever – but I’ve no problems with that since I wanted a set for daily use anyway.

Repairs were fortunately simple. Replaced the felt bottom on the porcelain base. Resacced the pen and replaced the wretched-looking 2556 nib it came with, with a pleasant 9668. Wiped barrel, taper and base with water before inking with Montblanc Violet.