I've been using this pen pretty continuously for several months now, and it deserves a review! Without Further ado...my custom pen from Newton Pens:
Shawn Newton made this pen for me, based on a (rough, rough) sketch I sent to him. I was looking for a pen that was shaped somewhat like a German pen from the 30s with a domed top, but with some aesthetic considerations from Japanese pens, thrown in with some ideas from American vintage pens - specifically, the cool bands on some of the Conklin Enduras. He hit a home run!
The body is Cumberland ebonite, with orange ebonite bands, and looks shiny and fantastic. I believe he joined the ebonite pieces by threading them and gluing them together, but the joints are seamless.
Weight and Dimensions
The pen is roughly the same length as a Duofold Centennial, but is much thicker (so roughly 5.3 inches in length or so, probably .6 inches in diameter. The ebonite construction means the pen feels very light, but I would say it weighs more than my Nakayas - Shawn left the ebonite very thick.
Nib and Performance.
I went with a steel nib - Fine. The nib has the Newton logo on it. I am not sure if Shawn did a grind on this nib, or if he tuned it, but it's exactly how I like my nibs to be! It's finer than most western/European fines I have used, and has the perfect amount of feedback. If I ever did want to change nibs, I believe it's a JoWo nib unit, which should be easy to screw out and swap in another #6 nib.
Filling System and Maintenance
It uses international standard cartridges or converters. I still love cool filling systems (fountainbel's bulkfiller is a personal favorite, and I need to review mine soon!), but I think C/C pens have a lot of advantages, especially if you want to switch inks often. There are enough threads on the section to use it as an eyedropper-filled pen, but I didn't think to ask Shawn if the threaded orange ebonite sections might cause leakage.
Cost and Value
I traded two Kindle Fires for this pen, and it is more than worth that. Shawn was great to work with and I think I may ask for another one of these, only with different materials...
This pen makes me smile every time I use it. It has also gotten more comments from people (pen people and non-pen people) than most of my other pens; every time I take it to my local pen shop (Dromgoole's in Houston, TX), it gets plenty of appreciative comments. Shawn was very accomodating and explained a lot of his process, and he does lots of cool stuff for kids in his school (he teaches high school art). If you have a chance to get a Newton, I say go for it!
Oh, and here's a writing sample - apologies for the poor lighting and overall junkiness!