Posted in Pens, Reviews

The Conklin Empire (Strikes Back)

The Empire

According to Conklin, the word empire means absolute control and the inspiration for their design. In actuality, it is inspire by the last pen designed by Conklin prior to the Yafa Brands acquisition, but let’s not get technical.

My Pen

This is the third Conklin (Yafa Brands) that I have reviewed. So far they are batting 500. The All American grew on me while the nib on the Duraflex Element was so appalling I sold the pen.

Conklin Empire (top) vs Conklin All American (bottom)

As you can see they are comparable in length but the All American is fluffier (we don’t say “fat” in the household, we don’t want to hurt its feelings). The Empire is just as heavy as its big sibling the All American – yes, it is a solid pen. The pen color is designated as “oatmeal.”

The very first time I inked up the pen and the ink converter filled completely! I’ve never had a converter fill this full. The ink is Diamine Aurora Borealis. The last time I used this ink I wasn’t impressed, but I’m giving it a second chance.

According to Conklin, the torpedo-shaped pen has a fluted cap and body design created from a shimmering acrylic resin. Torpedo-shaped pens are not high on my list of faves. Yes, I have several, I prefer the blunt-ended pens similar to a Duofold. That being said, there was something oddly appealing to me in the design of the pen; let’s read on.

The design is different but not so much as to be odd or weird. All hardware including the nib and section is stainless. The clip is attached by the typical Conklin method – a small metal flange. The ‘Conklin’ logo is stamped into the clip.

The body and cap contain a distinctive fluted. Both ends of the pen are squared. I would not post the cap. The pen is then 175mm long and you are liable to poke your eye out.

The medium nib is steel (I believe it is a German-made JoWo) as is the section. A couple times the nib “stuttered” when first contacting the paper. The Conklin website indicates the default nib is a two-tone omniflex, clearly not the nib on this pen. The nib writes better when the hand motion is slower. It writes well, a significant improvement over a Duraflex.

The pen sports a hidden mechanism, an all-new twist magnet lock system that allows a swift, soft, and pleasing operation of the cap. The barrel behind the section contains 4 tiny fins. These fins guide the cap onto the barrel until the magnets take hold of the cap then the audible click indicates the cap is secured.

Now that it’s inked up, let’s give it a go.

Welp, I was doodling with it and a couple of the usual suspects. Can’t say I knew what I was drawing but I liked the medium nib. The pen is heavy and fluffy. I’m thinking the weight will tire my hand.

Vital Statistics

  • Capped length. 144mm
  • Uncapped length. 128mm
  • Barrel diameter 14mm
  • Cap diameter 15mm
  • Weighs in at 31g


I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

8 thoughts on “The Conklin Empire (Strikes Back)

  1. That is a beautiful looking pen. The magnetic click I have never heard of. But Sauvage, the male perfume, have bottle tops that do just that. It’s a very nice and quiet ‘thunk’. Elixir is a nice smell too. After reading thoughts your’s and others’ past thoughts on pen/ink combinations and the vast differences in writing performances? I wonder if you settle on a pen/ink combination that truly are marriages made in heaven. Or….have that curious mind of seeing if, out of all the vast ink choices, that another ink may work just as well. There is a third consideration too. Paper! Starvation from dryness or prolific depositing of ink volume onto various paper choices can be very different depending upon the light/heavy GSM. Or handmade rougher papers. I really love Khadi and similar as you know. The consistency of decent ink pick up often surprises. Your lovely little doodle made me smile. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is a beautiful pen. I love the texture of the outer casing. Not always a guarantee of a beautiful writing experience though is it. It’s great when the feel is as good as the look of a pen.

    Liked by 1 person

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