Since I have started with urban sketching, I use a LAMY Safri (EF-nib) and from time to time a MICRON fineliner by Sakura Pigma. Having a horrible handwriting, I have never been interested in calligraphy. Nevertheless, a few weeks ago I bought a special fountain pen. The 1911 Fude de Mannen Calligraphy Pen by Sailor will hardly win an award for aesthetical, functional design. Its strength is its nib.
Sailor Pen – the name is misleading – is a Japanese company, founded over hundred years ago. The tip of the Fude de Mannen (I have no secured knowledge of meaning of that name.) is bent upwards. According to the angle of the writing hand on can produce a different line thickness with just one fountain pen. The ink flow also works when one uses the wrong side of the nib, creating a very thin line.
The two models differ on the angle of the nib. One has a 40° angle (Blue; #11-0127-740) and one a 55° (Green; #11-0127-767). This one comes in a more pleasing design, too .
With price between about 7 and 14 € (depending on the model), the Fude de Mannen is probably the fountain pen with the best price performance ratio in the world. Taking this to account the converter with about 10 € is rather expensive.
The fountain pen is delivered with two cartridge with black Sailor ink. This ink is remarkable. It is the deepest black I have ever seen and it is very water-soluble. That allows a variety of shading depending of the thickness of the line.
The pen and the converter work perfectly with De Atramentis document ink. Even if one does not use the pen for a longer time, the ink flows smoothly
The handling of the Fude de Mannen needs getting used to. The more often I use it the more natural it becomes to change the angle of the hand while sketching. I would not recommend a fountain pen newbie to start with it but with some practising one achieves good results especially if one likes looser lines. Concerning beautiful handwriting, this fountain pen does not help me either.