Esterbrook: A Rebirth - Phaeton & Estie Pen Collection Review

1858 to 2018.

Over 150 years, and a reinvention was just what was needed to bring the famous Esterbrook name back to life.

This well-known American business (based in Camden, NJ) that flourished between 1860-1960 was officially known as the Esterbrook Pen Company, founded by Richard Esterbrook.

It was a brand that saw great heights, producing and selling over 200 million pens per year. From fountain pens to pencils, the company was a little bit of everything to everyone. And not just people like you and me; Esterbrooks were held and used by presidents (Abe Lincoln, JFK) and public figures (Disney, Charles Schulz of Peanuts fame) alike. Sadly, as all good things must, it came to an end…until now that is.

Quality, value, creativity, and the traditional American spirit are a few of the things that have brought Esterbrook back to life in 2018.

Kenro, also an American business and pen distributor with the same goals at heart, has now risen to the occasion and revitalized the brand, keeping the same spirit but with the twenty-first century advancements needed for the modern writer.

Today’s Esterbrook pens come in very versatile selections. The Phaeton Collection is quite different from the Estie Collection, and both vary dramatically from the fun Popeye series that Esterbrook has also produced.

Here we’ll analyze the first two sets, but we can’t wait to see what future special options this company releases!

esterbrook phaeton

The Phaeton Collection

“Phaeton” is the word for an open automobile. Think of a horse-drawn carriage – except in automobile form (a more modern representation would be a convertible).

Popular in the early 1900s (and popular with the original founder of Esterbrook), this series started back in the 1960s, and was modernized for today’s collector.

Sleek bodies, bright acrylic colors, gold-plated hooded nibs, and gold plated clips are what you’ll find here. The red is striking (and our favorite!), but the green, black, and gold are equally impressive in their simple yet totally vibrant sophistication (something about the brushed chrome metal cap is super appealing, especially to me as a luxury car lover!).

esterbrook estie gold rush


The Estie Collection

The Estie series is something that real fountain pen lovers are going to be very excited about. Excellent writing features, at a great value?

Yes, we need more of that!

The features include a polished palladium clip, a JoWo size 6 nib, and a special ink converter (or for the people that have stuck with Esterbrook over the years, an MV nib adaptor that will hold vintage Esterbrook nibs too!).

The vintage-style acrylic is light, but solid at the same time, and the chosen colors are really what make this set a success. Offered in black and cobalt blue, the pens are certainly bold. But the tortoise variety is really what has us in awe. Coming in either gold or silver trim (not to mention rollerball and oversized options), this fountain pen is one of our absolute favorites of this year.

Esterbrook Estie Fountain Pen

Click here for a full review of the Esterbrook Estie.

Esterbrooks for All

Whether it’s the Phaeton or Estie that suits you more (hey, you can always try both!), Esterbrook has officially relaunched with something of which they should be super proud.

To see all the new options, be sure to visit our site. We’re just a click away on our website live chat, or in our Facebook & Instagram messaging. We look forward to talking pens with you!

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1 comment

  • Patrick McClear

    Hello I wanted to inquire about pricing for you collections of pens. I fondly remember using Ester brook pens in school in the 60’s.

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