(second in the ”series III” of "Indigenous People")
The theme of this review is going to be pretty simple: This Pen Retailed For $900. Nine Hundred Dollars. When this pen came out in 2006, it cost... Nine. Hundred. Dollars.. I bought it new for much less on eBay, because, *shockingly*, it didn't sell very well. Apparently, this pen was (mercifully) limited to 1500 copies (this fact actually made me wonder if I shouldn't even ink it... more on that later). I'm having a very hard time not giving away my disappointment with this pen up-front... reviews should be objective until the opinion part... so, ANYWAYS...
Down to crass tackiness:
- Fit and Finish: 4/10 It squeeks. It squeeks when you write with it. I thought it perhaps I hadn't tightened the barrel down enough, but that wasn't it. It's a $900 pen that squeeks.
Anyways, rodent vibe aside, it's a pretty well finished pen. The material is really nice, and it screws together well. There certainly aren't any manufacturing defects or anything like that. No rough edges or glue showing.
- Style: 5/10 THE CLIP. HELLO??? What was Delta thinking. The clip looks like plastic dipped in chrome. I don't know what it's really made out of, but it looks like it was just stuck on to the pen at the last minute. It matches nothing. And the spring part where the clip attaches to the pen is just embarrassing.
Aside from the clip, the pen is just incredibly poorly conceived. Delta would have been... so immeasurably better off toning it down a little. If you snapped the HIDIOUS clip off and changed out the diamond... "tribal" do-dad on the tassie end with a simple silver band you might be on to something. Oh and pry off the animal head coin... do-hickey on the top of the cap.
The black and faux-wood (for some reason I thought I read it would be real wood) resins are actually really nice. Top quality. They go together really nicely and I think they are very tasteful.
One really... amazingly cool thing about this pen (and this is really about the nib) is that the nib is etched in such a way that the ink flows through the channels and looks wicked awesome (see nib picture). That is a really nice touch. It's such a nice touch it almost seems out of place on *this* pen.
The size of the pen is a surprise. It's quite short and fat and, in a big hand, it kind of needs to be posted (and, *of course*, who'd want to 'risk' posting this pen). I like the girth, and it's comfortable to write with. The threads aren't in the way, and as I said, the resin is quite nice. I also like the bulge above the threads... it's comfortable and feels natural.
- C/C Design / filling: 6/10 It's a cartridge converter. It's a $900 pen with a cartridge converter. Granted, it's a pretty large capacity CC... buuut... luxurious it's not.
- Nib: 7/10 High point of the pen. The nib is really really smooth. It's supposed to be a medium but I'd put it on the 'fine' side, which is great with me. One pretty big surprise (and another big disappointment) is that the nib basically has no flex. Here you have this giant (supposedly 18k) nib and it writes just like any other pen. Very little flex. My TWSBI wrote just as well out of the box and after being modified by Pendleton, it's far, far superior. As is my (recently reviewed) Parker Victory. In fact, every pen in my primary pen box is a better pen. I have a Sailor Young Profit here that is just as smooth and was 1/20th the price (granted the body of the pen is cheap plastic and this Delta is really nice resin, but just speaking about the nib).
- Price: 1/10 I mean... what can I say? Are you paying for the packaging here? Were they hoping nobody would ever write with it? Is the price point based on it being a limited edition? It is absolutely not even worth a quarter of the price. I am simply slack jawed and appalled. I would be inconsolable if I had paid full price for this. THIS PEN DOESN'T TOUCH MY HOMO SAPIENS. And I think they should be very comparable pens (and nibs).
Awesome etched nib, note how the ink has gotten in to some of the channels:
Pretty tasteful title, all gaudyness considered.
Here is the incredible cap:
Writing sample (yes, I am no calligrapher YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMIND ME...)
Compared to my TWSBI 540 (Pendleton-ized fine nib) and my Visconti Homo Sapiens:
As a side note: I actually find the packaging for this pen plain stupid. I feel like I'm paying for it through the nose, and who cares? This box is about 14" x 8". It has a glass and wood box INSIDE. You have to unscrew the top of the glass and wood box. Woop-t-do. How about a decent pen instead?
One thing that... just kind of has me stumped, is how can this nib really be 18k gold. It's a huge nib, and that would be a LOT of gold. Maybe that's the price of the pen? But the thing that gets me is, if it *is* 18k gold, why is it so... firm. I certainly have plenty of vintage pens with firm 14k nibs... I guess I'm just saying, what's the point?
My final... rather harsh verdict: This ain't a pen for writin'. This is a pen for staring at. This is the worst kind of vanity pen. You're supposed to keep it in the box and laboriously unpack it over and over and show it to your friends. But not ink it. Oh and make sure the price tag is visible. "Wow, so THIS is a thousand dollar fountain pen... huh...", "Yeah, see, this is number 984 out of 1500, and see this ring, that's sterling silver... and the whole thing is completely sourced in Italy. Isn't that cool?", "Yeah... yeah that's pretty neat... are these your other pens?"
Oh, and, no, I didn't even try the ink. As. If.
For a very different take on the ...even more expensive (er, I mean, 'exclusive')... model of this pen, here's the other review that was written by a FPN member (Jopen) when this pen was released: http://personal.tele...pict/indios.htm