I'm keen to keep this review a little shorter than most, and let the pictures do the talking. I don't remember where I first heard of the Kickstarter project that was launching this pen - it was probably on FPN - but I was intrigued by the promise of a fountain pen with a 'minimalistic' design, the prototype looked sleek, and I'd never backed a Kickstarter project before, so... I dived on in. Deciding I wanted a Titanium nib - and that the matte finish of the nib might not go so well with the brushed aluminium option - I ordered a black anodised model.
Several months later - the project was massively oversubscribed, slowing production times significantly! - the pen finally arrived in the mail, and I have to say I was impressed by pretty well everything bar the envelope it shipped in. The pen came in a stylish, simple black box - with the extra bits and pieces I'd ordered in their own individual plastic snap-lock bags:
In addition to the pen itself, I ordered two converters, a Titanium Fine nib (the pen came with a stainless steel Broad), and a black leather pouch - you can see them all in the picture above.
I already had a fair idea of what to expect from the Kickstarter web page - but it was still a pleasant surprise to see how sleek and simple the pen looked inside the pen box:
The matte surface of the pen looks great, and makes it fairly 'grippy' in the hand - slipping off the cap revealed a #6 Bock nib:
I normally prefer my pens to come with clips - that wasn't an option with the Nexus, but honestly, so far it doesn't bother me. I won't be able to carry it in my top pocket - but inside the pouch it fits well enough in my side trouser pockets...
Construction and Quality
Everything about this pen screams quality - it's been expertly machined and anodised, the threads are smooth and the tolerances tight.
The design of the pen is very simple - a small cap screws onto the body of the pen - the threads are at the top, rather than the bottom of the grip section, meaning there's no chance you'll find yourself having to hold the pen on the threads. The joins between cap and grip section, and between grip section and barrel, are imperceptible, making for a very classy integrated look.
To give you an idea of the size of the pen, here it is sitting between a Lamy Safari and a TWSBI 540:
Weight and Dimensions
Capped, the Nexus pen is 142mm long; uncapped it's still a fairly comfortable 135mm; the pen weighs in at 29g, including cartridge converter (the cap is about 3.5g), which makes it feel fairly lightweight. The ribbed grip section varies in diameter from ~13mm (closest to the nib) to ~14mm at its widest point, which in my hands feels really good. It's possible to get the cap to sit on the base of the pen - but over time I think it would mar the finish if I kept trying to ram it on, so I won't be posting the pen as a general rule.
Given the pen has no clip, I thought it would be a good idea to pay the extra for a black leather sleeve - the pen just fits, so that the top of the cap sits *almost* flush with the top of the sleeve (I'd have been happier if the sleeve were 2-3mm longer - but it's not a big issue! It'll do the job of protecting the pen's finish in my pocket...).
The pen is weighted really well, and sits comfortably in the hand - it makes it a pleasure to write with!
Nib and Performance
I swapped out the stainless steel B nib for the Titanium F nib before inking up - the surface of the nib is a kind of dull grey, almost charcoal colour, which seemed to attract the ink I was using (J. Herbin Rouge Hematite) and proved a little harder to wipe clean than stainless steel:
I was delighted with the performance of the Titanium nib: it seems to offer a little more 'feedback' than stainless steel, but glided across the page nicely and laid down a solid line of ink without gushing. The titanium material allows the pen to flex a little under pressure - but it's not designed to be a flex nib, and I wouldn't want to push it. Definitely worth the price, though - this is my first titanium nib!
The stainless steel B nib I bought with the intention of getting it ground into some kind of stub. Not sure whether I'll bother - it's a lovely nib, writes beautifully smoothly and lays down a very wet line of ink.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how much line variation I could coax from the nib:
Filling System and Maintenance
The design of the pen is very simple; it's easy to swap nibs in and out for cleaning. The pen takes international standard cartridges (long or short), and the cartridge converter I purchased along with it was very good quality. No complaints here!
Cost and Value
I got in early with the Kickstarter project, and snared the pen for £23 (~$US35 on current exchange rate), plus £25 for a titanium nib, plus £10 for the pen sleeve - with shipping thrown in. Cost through the namisu.com website is now £26 for the pen, plus £30 for a titanium nib - but I reckon it's still a pretty good price. This pen is uniquely and innovatively designed - I don't know whether they'll continue to manufacture more, or whether this was a once-of, but either way I'm glad I bought in!
I'm interested to hear from anyone else who's purchased the pen - feel free to add comments below...
Edited by Jamerelbe, 25 March 2015 - 15:05.