Laban Checkered Flag Review

Have you ever seen such a beautiful beast? Yes, I said BEAST because this pen is BIG. (It also comes in a slim version, hurray!)

The woven Maple and Black Walnut strips are magnificent and the size of the pen really lets you see how beautifully done the inlay is. The checkered flag design is fantastic, whimsical and fun. Let’s get down to business.

 Laban Checkered Flag Posted

  • Walnut and Maple Veneer
  • Wood body makes this pen extremely lightweight for its size
  • Oversized smooth nib
  • Detailed engraving on clip and cap band are beautiful
  • Comes in a Slim Version


  • BIG, the biggest hands will find this usable for long periods

My Short Video:

Laban Checkered Flag Fountain Pen Design

Words cannot express the beauty of this finish. The varied Maple and Black Walnut strips across the body and cap are so exciting. It’s hard not to believe they aren’t just painted on, but they’re really woven veneer of these woods and make for an exotic looking pen. The maple shows its grain beautiful, the black walnut is so dark it hides most of the grain but you get my drift. You won’t believe the finish!


Steel Nib
Nib Width: 8mm
Nib Length: 23mm

Cartridge/Converter Fill
Pull/Screw Cap: Screw
Capped Length: 145mm
Posted Length:
Uncapped Length: 130mm
Mid-Grip Width: 10mm
Cap Band Width: 15mm

Total Weight: 43g
Cap Weight: 21g

laban checkered flag fountain pen

Oh, the emotions this pen conjures up! Laban Checkered Flag is all about power, fun, and standing out from the crowd. This pen just FEELS fast! I’m sure that’s the racing themed finish, but either way, it feels fun and unusual and gives you a sense of whimsy most fountain pens can’t.

Checkered Flag comes in this beastly big pen or a slim version that I would choose for a more manageable size, although I tend to LOVE big pens. This is just a MASSIVE pen, beyond huge at 15mm at the cap band, holding it is almost reminiscent of the over-sized crayon feeling in kindergarten when normal crayolas were too thin and snapped off in five-year-old’s hands. It’s bulky and in my medium woman’s hand, just far too big for serious writing.

But the finish is TO DIE FOR. It’s amazing. That’s why I’d love the slim version of this same pen, you get the benefits of the black walnut and maple racing flag finish in a still large, yet smaller than this, fountain pen.

Hell, this pen is just FUN. To match the oversized pen is an extremely massive nib. Nothing ca compare to the feeling of an oversized nib to me. I love looking at them and love writing with them even more. I do wish it was 14K, but it still writes wonderfully.

The pen Laban provided me for this review was returned to them after I finished this review, but you’ll notice some brassing (the plating wearing off, exposing the underlying metal) in the photo of the nib. It’s been reviewed before or someone at Laban has loved it before me, as you can see from the brassing around the breather hole in the photo below.

Brassing can happen more quickly when ink is allowed to sit on the  electroplate finish for days and weeks without being cleaned off, but  happens to most pens after years of use.

Either way, a new version of this pen won’t have this issue and you’ll be able to enjoy it for a long time before you notice it.

 How Does The Nib Perform On Different Papers?

nib laban checkered flag

Ah, the Laban Checkered Flag is so FUN to write with. I mean  FUN.

Not only is the  finish just lighthearted and awesome, but the over-sized nib reminds you that writing with a fountain pen is an experience unlike your ballpoint writing.

Over sized nibs force your hand to back off the nib a bit to keep the correct angle to the paper and this is the part of writing with fountain pens that keeps your hand from cramping from too much pressure. You just have to touch the nib to the paper and it does the rest and you just dance it across the paper lightly and it does the work. No pressure, no scribbling and no hand cramps.

Having said the steel tines are stiffer than a 14K nib would be so you ddon’t get the same buttery finish to your writing experience, but most people don’t or won’t notice a difference.

The lightweight wood body makes even this massive beast glide across the page with ease. If you’ve used a metal fountain pen and are used to the heavy brass body on most of them, this is a welcome relief to your wrist and fingers.

It’s a joy to write with, absolute joy.


writing sample laban

The Cap – Screw/Pull/Post and What That Means

laban checkered flag cap collage
Because of the sheer width of this pen, the screw off cap takes five rotations to remove and recap this pen.

The slim version would likely be a more enjoyable uncapping with far  less time from  your impulse to write to your posting the cap and getting letters on the page.

Because the body is wood and lightweight, it posts great on the narrower back of the pen. It seats well and doesn’t wriggle or chatter when in place.

Who is the Fountain Pen Good For? Is It a Good Overall Value?


Oh this fountain pen is just beautiful. I mean BEAUTIFUL. I would absolutely wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone that adores a racing flag finish, although I’d go with the slim version for all of the reasons I mentioned in this review above.

This is a beauty of a fountain pen and would be an excellent gift for racing fans or others who adore the black walnut and maple woven finish. No detail has been spared by Laban, this is class and fun mixed together resulting in a hip, attention-getting, and extremely useful fountain pen.

Get the price of the Laban Checkered Flag fountain pen now on Amazon.