About Me


My name is Stephen B.R.E. Brown.  I was born in The Netherlands and trained as a developmental and cognitive psychologist (M.Sc., B.Sc., both with honours).  In June 2015, I obtained a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Leiden University.

One of my passions is collecting, using, and tuning/maintaining fountain pens.  This web site is linked to my YouTube channel, to which I upload my fountain pen, paper, and ink reviews.

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  • I will be visiting The Netherlands in September. Can you recommend any stores or dealers who sell vintage pens?

    • sbrebrown

      I know of fountain pen stores (La Couronne du Comte, P.W. Akkerman in Amsterdam and The Hague), but none of these sell vintage to my knowledge – although the The Hague store has a large offering, so they may stock some out-of-rotation pens.

  • Samrat

    Awesome ! This is a great catalog !

    All the best


  • Great step forward for the fountain pen world by creating this Web site – makes finding all the incredibly useful information you provide that much easier. I applaud your ongoing efforts!

  • Dennis Boros

    G’day Stephen from Sydney Australia. Thank you very much for taking the time to set up this web site. I have always enjoyed your videos as it makes a wonderful distraction from the every day chores we have to put up with on the continent down under. Like chasing kangaroos off my front lawn and trying to evade and escape killer koalas.

    Anyway, I look forward to systematically going through all your videos again…alphabetically. I have a busy social life. Seriously.

    But seriously, I am sure I will find this web site useful, as will many others. I have only just got into the hobby of fountain pens, and between your videos and those of Brian Goulet I have amassed an amazing amount of information.

    As an Aussie, I also enjoy bushwalking… and forever on the lookout for those damn koalas. But I digress. My point is that I also find your “Gearing Up” videos extremely informative with many great ideas.

    Anyway, enough babbling from me. Keep up the great work! I for one very much appreciate the time and effort you put in.

    Cheers mate!

  • Martin Čižmár

    Hi Stephen, I watch your reviews of fountain pens on youtube from the outset. They are excellent. It’s great that you created this page. Thanks. I wish you all good. Martin from Slovakia.

  • Stephen,
    If it’s ok with you, I’d like to add a link in my Blog to this site (www.fountainofpens.wordpress.com). I assume it will be ok, but every time I assume something, it seems I make an ass out of you and me both (ass u me)…. Oh aren’t I clever?

    Sorry for the idiotic joke…But I don’t like to link unless I have the author’s permission.

    As many I’m sure have told you, you really are doing great work, at least within the fountain pen community. Can’t speak to the worlds of psychology or academia as I don’t know you. But rest assured if you lived near me in the US, I could just stalk you as I have so many others and then be able to tell you how well you were doing in all areas of your life.
    Well, time to go. I have another court appearance about this stupid restraining order.

    …….Made ya laugh.
    Best Wishes & God Bless
    Will Isaac

    • sbrebrown

      Hi Will, Very sorry for the slow response :-(! By all means, link to my website!

  • ashokdad

    Cool website. Well done.

  • John Finkbiner

    Congratulations on your new web site! I love the fact that it’s also linked to your YouTube account.

  • rbiemer

    Excellent site, Mr. Brown! Having all your videos indexed as you’ve done is and will be very useful, thank you.
    The site itself is clear and easy to use so that’s a plus.
    A small minus is that you mentioned selling some of your surplus pens–and that they would be nice ones!–as I am getting ready to look for some pen a bit higher end than what I’m currently using, I now get to speculate about just which of the pens you have shown us that might be part of your “extras”… This just when I thought I’d at least got to a small number of choices! 🙂
    Got your site bookmarked on tablet, phone, and computer.
    Thank you again for your time and effort in educating all of us about pens and inks!

  • Lee

    Hi Stephen,

    You mentioned that you are in Leiden? Is that where Einstein’s fountain pen is at? It’s according to this website: http://musingsonmath.com/2011/03/14/has-anyone-seen-einsteins-pen/

    • sbrebrown

      That is indeed where I live. I’ll have to check it out!

      • Lee

        Hi Stephen,

        If you get to try out Einstein’s pen, kindly do a video review. Thanks.

  • Kleber Vieira

    Hi Stephen,
    can you recommend me a fountain pen to write italic like Waterman 94 with good flex but less that 100 usd to buy in ebay?
    best regards,

    • sbrebrown

      It’s quite unusual to find vintage pens with italic nibs. You can try to find a Waterman with a music nib, but that will definitely set you back (way) more than $100. Flex nibs, though, should be available, e.g. in Waterman 52 (or 52 1/2)V.

  • liyin_yeo

    I’m a fountain lover, user and draw with fountain pens. I have been watching your YouTube videos. Your website is certainly a good place for me to read your pen reviews. Thank you!

  • Jia Jun

    Hello Stephen! I wanted to get a flex pen and I am choosing between Noodler’s Ahab or Namiki Felcon.. can you have a short shoot out video between them?

  • Dustin Rabatine

    Hey Stephen I was wondering what would be a good flex fountain pen that does not cost an arm and leg

    • sbrebrown

      Fountain Pen Revolution’s Triveni or Triveni Jr. models are nice.

  • CountryMouse

    I am in the US. Where can I get a small piece of plastic (what looks like part of a shitajiki) like you use in your ink reviews? Thanks!

    • sbrebrown

      Any plastic will do, just cut it to size.

      • CountryMouse

        ::thinking:: Won’t I have to smooth/sand down the edges or something? Trying to think of plastic of that thickness…

        • sbrebrown

          I’ve never done that.

          • CountryMouse

            This is going to sound dense, but I can’t think of plastic the right thickness to use except a shitajiki (pencil board). If I cut one of those with scissors, it will have a sharp possibly jaggedy edge. I will just have to keep my eyes open for something that can be recycled. Thanks! 🙂

            P.S. I LOVE your videos and end up buying inks because you’ve reviewed them! It’s all your fault that I bought a bottle of MontBlanc Irish Green. 🙂

          • Gina Shillitani

            Go to a craft store that sells fabric, or a fabric or quilt store. Get some Quilter’s Template Plastic. I’m sure its available on Amazon and lots of online retailers as well. Sturdy, comes in a choice of weights (thickness of the plastic), cuts easily.

  • Marci

    I’m enjoying your YouTube channel and the serious nibbage videos, especially. (As a Canadian living in the Netherlands and cat lover I was hooked) I would like to buy a pen for my guy, but he says that since he is left-handed it would not be possible for him to use. I let him try my pen with a broad nib and he loved it … so if I get him ink the dries super fast, is that the most I can do for him? What suggestions could you help me with and is a fine nib or extra fine the most he can expect to use? Thanks again for the time and effort you both put into sharing information.

  • Olof

    Hi Stephen!
    I love your videos and you are responseble for many of my Fountain pens purches! I started to collect fountain pens about a year ago! I purches most new pens, a doent really now what kind of vintage pens a should collect it’s a jungel for a new collector! Can you give me some advice? I live in Stockholm Sweden! My favorite brand is Onoto, i have 3, two of them are limited and i love Delta, Pelikan, Omas, Visconti and Sailor! I think i have about 40 pens, but for me is the quality the most important for me not how many pens you have! I was really disipoited yesterday, i had decide to purches Omas Arte Italiana Celluloid Milord i think it’s one of the most beautiful pens at the moment! Omas doen’t do them anymore! I do most of my purches at La Coronne du Comte! So i had to take the Ogiva instead with the same finish! It’s nice to but the Milord is nicer i think! I’m a shy person and i would never do a video on You Tube, but if i have a nice pen that you doen’t have and it would be fun to make a review! Is it possible to send the pen to you and you do the review? For ex i have a Onoto Magna Classic Marine! It’s quit light blue with silver flakes in! I have nr 18/20 so it’s a small limitation! And i have a Delta Indiginous people pen BriBri with a Fusion Stub nib that i love! I have nr 071/977! And then i have a Delta Capri Marina Grande with M nib! Fantastic pen so smooth! It’s a numberd edition but not limited! I haven’t seen any reviews of this pens! So if you are interested to to that i can ship them to you! I pay all the shipping cost for it! But i understand if you not interested!
    Best regards

  • Rachel A

    Hello Mr Brown, I have only just started looking into the world of fountain pens – so far I have only used pens which others have been kind enough to give me. But I’ve recently been charged with finding the perfect fountain by my partner, and am unsure what to choose becasue I am left handed, and often have problems with fountain pens smudging as I write. I notice you tend to prefer pens with broad, wet nibs. Would you be kind enough to do a shoot out of pens that leave less ink on the page, but nevertheless write smoothly, which you think might be more suitable for left handers? Your reviews have been very enjoyable and informative! Many thanks, Rachel

    • sbrebrown

      I’ll see what I can do!

  • Mirjam van der Leek

    Hi There, I’ve watched lots of your videos when deciding wether to buy a pen or not. And only recently I found out you’re a fellow Dutchy 😉 So my compliments on your English. Keep the videos coming I enjoy them a lot.

    • sbrebrown

      Graag gedaan :-)!

  • FFoghorn

    I think you’ve made 4 trillion videos and I’ve watched almost 3 trillion of them so far. Thank you!

    Since you’re now a Doctor of Cognitive Stuff, let me say my head is about to explode. Nakaya Twist Decapod, Pilot Metal Falcon or Pelikan Orange M800? It will be my first and only expensive pen; until now, I’ve survived in the wild on Lamy Safaris (one awesome, one miserably scratchy and one quite unpredictable). I was hoping you (or someone) would choose for me.

    PS: How did your assistant just spontaneously whip out an orange pen when you asked for it on your recent Pelikan M800 review? Do you have some sort of robotic pen warehouse? “Quickly, I need another orange pen!”

  • What I was hoping to find was what S.B.R.E. stood for. The S seems to be Stephen. Care to share?

    • sbrebrown

      Stephen Brendan Ronald Erik.

  • Mircea Teodor Oneata

    I would like to address a question if I’m not bothering. I have a pilot VP and something wired is happening since a couple of days. The left lateral side of the nib starts to leak ink after a couple of clicks, usually after 3. I know pens leak but this is not something particular to a VP.
    Is this something I need to worry?

    • sbrebrown

      I don’t know; I’ve not heard of Vanishing Points leaking like this, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I did not experience this with my VP. Maybe you can check to see if the nib and feed are inserted correctly.

      • Mircea Teodor Oneata

        I was thinking that perhaps something is touching the nib during clicks , perhaps the small door mechanism, or the nib is oscillating during writing and is touching the walls.
        Very strange.

  • Grafton Todd Eliason

    Hi Stephen,
    Congratulations on the doctorate. It is quite the accomplishment. I share your interests in fountain pens and psychology. I’m a professor and practitioner in the states. I always enjoy your posts.
    Eliasong on Instagram

    • sbrebrown

      Thank you!

  • Mirek Klubal

    Hey Stephen. first i want to say i like you videos and they help me refine my love for pens.
    you reviewed some Yiren pens. i want to recommend another one, model 856. it’s very nice pocket pen. it’s nicely made, i have several of them and they all write really nice. and they have nice feature – they stand on cap or on barrel verticaly 🙂

    • sbrebrown

      I’ll check them out!

  • Avesta Hojabrzadeh

    My favorite yellow item would be a yellow Corvette but a Kaweco fountain pen would be much appreciated…..

  • nikos87

    Nice to see your page in the web.Today i received my TWSBI eco with F point nib.i wonder if i can buy a Medium point nib since the fine it is a bit scratchy.Thank you.Nikolaos.

    • sbrebrown

      Yes, that is possible.

  • Bálint

    Hi Stephen! I really appreciate your videos, almost funny, nice pens, and I learned a lot from you about nib tuning! I’m on the beginning of the road of fountain pen collecting, mostly Chinese pens. I’d love to see a review from you of the Hero 100, which is a quite affordable 14k gold nib pen. I also ask for some ink recommendation. I want a purple(ish blue) ink, which looks like Pelikan Royal Blue BEFORE it dries. Or I hope they all do that, mine looks a bit old, probably some old stock, it’s in the J. Herbin style bottle (50ml) with ‘Made in W.Germany’ on the bottom. Preferably J. Herbin, Diamine or Rohrer&Klingner, as these are my easiest to get options here in Hungary 🙂
    Thanks in advance!

    • sbrebrown

      Maybe Diamine Bilberry?

  • Duff Mc P

    Herr Doktor Brown,
    I along with many others really enjoy your site and your insightful reviews. I also enjoy the eye candy your are so generous to share.
    I’ve been a fountain pen enthusiast since maybe 8th grade when I purchased a very inexpensive Shaffer pen. While on an exchange program to Ueniversitaet Hamburg, I purchased my only Montblanc 221 (F), which I’ve really enjoyed. The rest of my ‘collection’ is mostly Esterbrook, many of which I found as NOS.
    i’m wanting to get more into flexible writing, could you recommend an affordable pen with a decent flex nib?
    Vielen herzlichen Dank mein Herr,

    • sbrebrown

      I’d check out the Waterman 52 1/2 V. A black rubber one is usually quite affordable and it typically has a nice flex nib.

  • Achim

    I like my Jinhao X750 so much, I want to replace the nib with an EF, I prefer EF over all.
    But where can I get one? At a reasonable price, in a European web shop. I don’t want to order in the US.

    • sbrebrown

      I don’t know of any EU shop that sells replacement nibs.

      • Achim

        FPR is out of stock in EF and F, don’t know if they ever restock on/in those nibs.
        Thank you for your time.

      • sally190

        Beaufortink, in Invernesshire sell EF Bock nibs.
        They come in the feed, but can be pulled out.
        I have a M and F in Jinhao X750s and a F in a Noodler’s Ahab (Flex).

        I enjoy your reviews very much.
        You seem to often have a band-aid on a finger; slow down a little.


  • George Goodroe

    Hello Stephen, Just a quick word. I ordered the Lamy Special Edition Dark Lilac, and the Charged Green after reading your review. I can’t say enough positive things about the buying process through Fontoplumo. Emails along every step of the process including a minor wait due to backorder. Very nice packaging, and a note from Frank…I highly recommend Fontoplumo, thanks for introducing me.

    • sbrebrown

      Yes, my experiences with Frank have also been very good!

  • Jean-Vincent Quarez

    Dear Mr Brown, I watched some of your videos on youtube which were very interesting. I have a question about a pen which I have bought. Il has a special shape at the end. We can see the shape by zooming. I can’t do large and narrow writing with that type of pen. Do you know what is the name of that shape ?

    Best regards,

  • hugh geoghegan

    Hello – long time listener first time caller. I have bought a series of rOtring 600 fountain pens ( the originals & the newtons) and I was wondering if you had any advice on improving the nibs performance?
    I am trying to use the pens with a moleskin notebook and after cleaning, flushing and using a dilute detergent all the pens the performance is still not good. I am reluctant to try to change the nibs too much and I have not used brass sheets or a form of abrasive pad – your input would be appreciated.

    Also I acknowledge the 600 series is perhaps a case of style over substance but i really enjoy the weight, uncapping process and appearance of the pens and don’t see that point of leaving them in a drawer so any help would be appreciated.

    Enjoy your videos and their unique production quality.


    • sbrebrown

      Moleskine paper isn’t very fountain pen friendly, so that’s probably the problem.

  • Faska Van Der Pijl Nouwen

    Hi, in your older vids shot in your study there seems to be some sort of birdcage on the left, yet I have never actually seen or heard a bird in your footage. So now every time I check one of these vids I get completely distracted because all I can think of is “what lives in that cage…” Can you share? 😉

    • sbrebrown

      It held a hamster

  • Gurunandan Bhat

    Hello Stephen – First, Many thanks for creating a wonderful body of resources for those of us who love writing with fountain pens. While I have had a deep love for and an interest in fountain pens for over 40 years now, I would hesitate to call myself a “collector”. I do own 8 excellent fountain pens (MB 146 & 145, 2 Duofold Internationals, a Lamy 2000, a Platinum 3776 Century, a MB Generation and a Pelikan P200) – all of them really beautiful writers. And I don’t have any specific plans to expand this at least in the near future.
    One of my biggest disappointments has always been that I cannot write with all 8 at the same time – something I would love to do – if that was at all possible. 🙂 Which brings me to my question: What would be a good way in your opinion to “rotate” these beauties – Ink all of them and use one every day which means each one of them just sits around drying up for a week? Ink one, use it for an extended period, then wash and store it and ink up the next one and repeat – I tried this, and failed, miserably when the sight of the others crying out to be used caused me to jump off the wagon. Truly, these first-world problems can be terrible 😉 Sometimes I wish I could treat my meagre collection clinically – but I bought them sometimes at great sacrifice to write with them, not to “collect”
    But on a more serious and less rambling note – I guess my question is simply: How do you rotate among the few of the 200 odd pens that you own without damaging them by storing inked up ones.

    Once again, many thanks for your resources. My only regret is that I came to watch and read them only recently. And apologies for rambling

    • sbrebrown

      I simply ink up 6 at the same time and just use them until they’re empty :-). Did you see there is a Fountain Pen Group The Netherlands on Facebook now? We have regular meetings, which you may find interesting.

  • Raphael

    Why is De Roos no longer listed as a sponsor, has something happened?

    • sbrebrown

      They’re no longer a sponsor.

  • Raphael

    I am wondering whether I should get a bexeley owners club or a Aurora Optima, could you give some help?

  • Ian Larkin

    Hi Stephen, I enjoy your pen reviews, and more recently your Inkcyclopedia. Would you please consider bringing these two topics together? I have become aware of the need sometimes to match an ink to a nib and feed in order to achieve a particular effect: a crisp italic may need a wet ink to avoid hard starts; a zoom nib may need a dry ink on Rhodia paper to avoid smudges, etc. I would welcome your suggestions occasionally for inks that might suit particular nibs, or conversely nibs that might better suit particular inks. Best regards…

  • Raphael

    To/hello/dear Dr Brown,What paper do you use for reviews, and do you like it? is it recommended?

    • sbrebrown

      I use Clairefontaine or Rhodia. Both are good.

  • Ewan Mahony

    Hi Stephen! It’s my 23rd birthday today and I was hoping to use some birthday money to invest in a bit more of an expensive pen than I usually would indulge in. I’m training to be a doctor currently so I was looking for something to use on the wards. Essentially I was looking for something like the Parker Sonnet, but am also tempted by the Lamy 2000. I don’t really want something too offensively fancy as I don’t really want an overbearing pen for writing around patients. But I’d quite like something robust enough for everyday use, but also a bit nicer to write with (considering the large volumes of writing incoming). I really enjoy your Youtube content and value your opinion. I think £150 is as much as I would stretch to right now, and I was wondering if I could ask your opinion on what you might suggest? I appreciate that you’re busy but any help really would be appreciated. Thanks and keep up the videos please! 😀

    – Ewan

    • sbrebrown

      I’d get a 2000. It’s robust and a good writer.

      • Ewan Mahony

        Thanks 😀

  • Raphael

    Yo dr Stephen Brown, do you have a fpn account?

    • sbrebrown

      Yes. It’s listed in the description of every video.

  • Angie

    Hey Stephen! I was wondering, do you work as a psychologist full time or you live from fountain pens love? 🙂 I believe you are quite crazy guy and I can’t imagine you working and not talking about “smoothness”, “great thinckness” etc.

    • sbrebrown

      I am, indeed, a psychologist in daily life.

  • Duncan Race

    Hey Stephen, fab site love the videos too. Can i ask a quick question plse. I have a yard o led Victorian grand, and its a work of art. I have. Fine nib, and it writes really well, although sometimes itd a hard starter – once its off though its normally fine. If you were suggesting the absolute best writer, how would the yard o led compare? Its Loverly, but how good a writer is it against others?
    Duncan Race

    • sbrebrown

      That really depends on the hundreds of other pens it would be compared to.

      • Duncan Race

        Fair enough, if you were to pick one on absoulute performance alone, what would you recommend?

        Happy new year!

        • sbrebrown

          Probably a Namiki Emperor.