The Franklin-Christoph Model 45 XLV ("FC45") is the fourth Franklin-Christoph pen to enter my collection.
I got the IPO version in Classic Black. Since I got in on IPO (Initial Price Offering) pricing, I decided to upgrade the nib to the Masuyama medium italic 18K nib. I've been writing with this pen for over almost 3 months now.
Although the FC45 does not hold the "pocket pen" moniker, it is a diminutive pen. It is just a touch longer than the Pocket 40 and the Kaweco Brass Sport.
FC45 is a well-proportioned, slim pen.
The body is straight and tapers just slightly at both ends. Both the cap and tail ends are flat.
The cap end features the laser-etched Franklin-Christoph logo.
About 1/2 inch from the cap base are the laser-etched words "IPO" and on the next line down in smaller font, "Franklin-Christoph 45".
The concave grip section is made from the same material as the body. Through a bit of engineering genius, the grip flares out at the end to a lip that houses the wide-cut threads used to hold the cap. The design and construction are so well-done that the threads are just a natural part of the section and are not noticeable.
Another clever feature relating to the threads is that it only takes 3/4 turns to uncap the pen. It is a quick-release twist cap which makes it useful in those settings requiring frequent capping and uncapping (for me, this is taking meeting notes). Therein is the reason the threads are so unobtrusive - there's barely one full thread.
There is a slight step up from the grip to the body. Franklin-Christoph has round the step off towards the grips which results in absolutely no discomfort.
The straight body tapers gently towards the finial. This subtle taper area is where the cap pushes to post. It is merely friction held but it seems to have just enough grip to hold in place. In practice, the cap has not got dislodged although I still harbour an irrational fear that it will.
Overall, I find this pen very well-balanced.
It's a small pen but it's very comfortable. I can use the pen unposted. Just barely. Since the cap is so light, posting does not shift the balance noticeably. I tend to be a non-poster, so I often use it unposted. It's a habit from how I write. I tend to pause to think frequently. When I stop writing, I feel compelled to cap. It's just more handy for me to hold the cap in my left hand. Having said that, I've found it somewhat liberating to write with the cap posted without worrying about where it is.
Now, on to the pièce de résistance: the NIB.
As I mentioned, I splurged on a gold nib since I got a great deal on the pen with the IPO pricing. The 18K Matsuyama medium italic nib is a real beauty. It writes smoothly with a gentle softness. They say that italics are more finicky to use than stubs but I did not find that to be the case. I do find the nib to be crisper than a stub but not overly so. The line variation I can get from the nib is lovely. Due to the softness of the gold, I can flex the nib out some to get even more line variation. Of course, caution is needed as it would be sad to spring this nib. I think this nib is easily my favourite nib.
If I can say one negative is that the pen does not have a clip. That in itself is not a flaw. I know the clip would detract from the simplistic beauty of the pen. It does, however, mean that the pen is a roller as it does not have any flat edges or a roll stopper.
All in all, this Franklin-Christoph pen is undoubtedly my favourite of the Franklin-Christoph's that I own from the design aesthetic, comfort and nib perspectives. Everything about this pen works in my favour. the form factor is perfect. It's small but comfortable for long writing sessions. Most importantly, writing with the Masuyama italic nib is downright dreamy.
The FC45 is now available as a regular model. I feel the price is still excellent for the quality of pen that is offered. It is now available in a choice of colours including the swirly Coco Pearl, fun Cherry Ice and sunny Amber. I would consider adding another one in of these beautiful materials but I've got my Wish List considerations and I'm also on the wait lists for the FC45 in Antique Glass acrylic and P66 in Italian Ice. Oh, Franklin-Christoph, why do you have to make such desirable pens???