2023 was the year we saw UK postal strikes and a cyber attack on Royal Mail affecting International mail for several weeks. Disney turned 100 and Twitter became X. Were you team Barbie or Oppenheimer in the big movie release of the year?
In May of 2023 the world witnessed the Coronation of King Charles III, the first UK coronation since 1953. The event started with a procession through central London, culminating with the service at Westminster Abbey.
2023 also saw new brands arrive for Pure Pens as well as countless new releases from your favourite brands.
New brand arrivals
To celebrate the year of the Royal Coronation we released our own celebratory Coronation Blue fountain pen ink to mark the occasion. It is a blue ink with a suitably royal red sheen. Retro 51 also designed a UK exclusive of just 500 pieces of a King Charles III Coronation rollerball pen featuring St Edward's Crown which as been used for Coronations since the 13th century.
We are always delighted with TWBSI's new releases and this year was no different. Most recently we received an Eco fountain pen in shade Creme & Rose Gold to join the other rose gold finishes. We were treated with new Eco's in the shades Heat, Indigo Blue and Persian Green. As well as a new 580AL in Sunset Yellow and Grape Diamond Mini AL. This year TWSBI released something a little different in the form of the Kai fountain pen. Made of a marbleised resin in blue and black finished with a gold plated nib and trims.
We also had many releases and sell outs from Retro 51. The exciting Dino Smash Tornado Popper Rollerball in mystery boxes and UK exclusive War of the Roses. The ever popular Halloween Special Edition Frankenstein was another instant sell out this year!
After Nahvalur changed their name from Narwhal, they this year brought out their Vacation Series including Cancun, Miami, LA, Tromso and a final stop to Quebec. Their Pen of the Year for 2023 was The Rabbit, a celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Again this year saw the long awaited release of many special editions from Pelikan. Their Pen and Ink of the Year was the Rose Quartz, with an M205 Special Edition fountain pen. After a very patient wait we also saw the M600 Red White and M800 Green Demonstrator fountain pens released this year. Pelikan have more pens in the pipeline with more still to come next year.
Ferris Wheel Press released their very popular FerriTales Collection fountain pen ink with spectacular colours such as Sugar & Spite and Adventurine. Field Notes gave us their Foiled Again pocket notebooks and Van Dieman's released their Birds of a Feather and Voyagers fountain pen ink collections.
The best sellers of 2023 remain largely unchanged from last year. Making the best sellers list are Noodler's Bulletproof Black ink, De Atramentis Document Black ink and several of the Pure Pens fountain pen inks. Also making the best sellers list this year were the glass dip pens and Diamine Alexandrite fountain pen ink. New brand Legami has made a big impact in the short time we have stocked it. The cute animal-themed erasable gel pens have been a great seller!
Our Favourite Pens & Inks from 2023
Choosing our favourite pens and inks from this year was a bit of a struggle, especially when it came to inks as there were so many to choose from. An instant favourite in the pen category was the Retro 51 Halloween Special Edition Frankenstein. With such limited numbers made it is no wonder they were an instant sell out! We also took a liking to the Nahvalur Voyage series, in particular Tromso. We couldn't wait to witness the glitter and sparkle of the Benu fountain pens, especially Bora Bora.
Inks on the favourites list were Wearingeul's The Phantom of the Opera and Dracula. Ferris Wheel Press Inks didn't disappoint with the illustrations on their FerriTales Collection boxes, with favourites including Brilliant Beanstalk and Sugar and Spite.
Always a highlight of our year is attending the pen shows. At the London pen show this year we were lucky enough to catch up with previous customers and meet new ones. We also enjoy catching up with fellow retailers in the industry to compare notes. We look forward to doing the same again next year.
What does 2024 have to hold?
There are more releases on the way from Pelikan and TWSBI that we know about and if this year is anything to go by we will be treated to a lot more.
2024 is a big year for Pure Pens, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary! We have some exclusive releases in the pipeline to celebrate this exciting milestone. So watch this space!