I contacted Brian about building this pen because of my MB 149. I had recently purchased one in London, and loved everything about it other than the non italic M nib. While I wanted to send it to one of our Nibmeisters for a re-grind, I did not want to be without the pen that I like to write with the most (it’s big enough that it doesn’t tire my hand after a couple hours). My initial email to Brian was answered the next morning- I had told him of my dilemma, and asked for recommendations on what pen to get, and how it would have to be modified to get the feel that my 149 gives, at least as far as writing comfort. He recommended the Pearl or Herald, and told me what he could do to emulate the feel I wanted. With a cylindrical section and a slight extension of the pen’s length, I would have the pen I wanted. After contacting him about the build, I immediately went on his 3 week waiting list; he did not wait until we had all the kinks worked out of the design. His customer service is excellent, to say the least.
Initial impressions: 8/10 (smell)
Packaging: The pen came in a brown packing box. Inside the box it was encased in a plastic tube with cotton stuffed in the ends to keep it from bouncing around. The tube is nice, and I’ll keep it handy for shipping out pens for re-grinding or any other services. Also in the box were 2 notes from Brian and an eyedropper for filling my new pen. This was a good thing, as I didn’t have any eyedroppers handy, and would have made a glorious mess of things by being too stubborn to leave the house and go get one when I had a new pen to try out. One of the notes was written with the pen, showing the line variation on the .7 mm CI nib that I requested. The other covered his warrantee and showed what it encompassed- Brian doesn’t just make the pen, he will repair it, buff out scratches, and re-tune for you when you need. Once again, great customer service.
The Pen: Opening the tube, I was first slightly shocked at the smell of the pen. I guess that recently turned ebonite has a particularly strong smell, and having been locked in the tube for 2 days had… amplified it a bit. This went away quickly, however, and was overshadowed by the pen itself immediately. At first, it seemed that there were tool marks on the pen, but rubbing it with my eyeglass cloth cleaned the dust off, and it was perfect.
Appearance and Design: 10/10
I don’t want people to think I’m just in love with the pen and giving it high marks due to infatuation- I told Brian what I wanted, and he gave me exactly that. In my book, that means 10/10. I ordered the clipless, windowless, extra-less Edison Pearl. I’m that guy that goes to a truck dealership and makes them find the truck with no added amenities whatsoever before I’m even willing to test drive. The pen is solid black ebonite and has no furniture. The ends are not domed, but come to a slight point, which I like. On the body of the pen there is engraved “Edison Pen Co. Pearl 2009”. The ebonite is glossy, and picks up fingerprints easily, as do most of my pens. A quick swipe of a cleaning cloth is all it takes to make it gleam.
Removing the cap is a smooth process, as is installing it. It appears that the pen has one thread groove to start the cap on, or at most two, so it is important to ensure you have the groove lined up properly so as not to accidentally cross thread. The section of the pen is cylindrical, per my specifications. The normal Edison Pearl has a convex section- having not used one, I don’t know how the un-modified Pearl feels. The section of the Pearl is long enough that even with long fingers and large hands I don’t feel the threads as I’m writing, which I like as well.
Weight and Dimensions: 10/10- once again, I got what I specified down to a 32nd of an inch.
Capped: 5 and 3/32 inches from point to point.
Uncapped: 4 and 7/8 inches from nib to point.
Posted: I don’t post it, but here is the dimension: 6 and ¾ inches. The balance is better when un-posted, at least for me.
Weight: I don’t have any means to weigh the pen, but fully inked it is comparable to a Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point.
Nib and Performance: 7/10
I requested a .7 CI ground out of the upgraded steel nib that Brian offers. The nib is marked “Iridium Point Germany” and is two-tone. The re-grind was done perfectly, and is the equivalent of other pens that I have received from our more well known nibmeisters. Brian tuned the pen to about a 6 on a 1-10 scale of wetness, and it lays down a smooth wet line. I did notice on some inks, however, that it can be slightly dry at the start, but flows nicely after a few letters. These are inks that have historically had issues with dry writing though, such as Noodler’s El Lawrence. When I purchase my next Edison, I will definitely go with an Edison nib.
Filling System: 8/10
Er… Well, it’s an eyedropper… Kinda hard to mess up. Large ink capacity- about 5 shots with the eyedropper to get it full up. I would’ve checked what it takes in ml, but I don’t have the means to do so and I’m not interested in spending the money to buy something that will. The section removes easily, and the threads that hold it to the body are lightly coated with silicon. I don’t know where to get more to replace it, so I’m going to write Brian about that later. However, after several ink changes and flushes, the silicon is still there, and prevents any leakage. I have more trouble filling my vanishing point than I do this pen, and I don’t run out of ink often either. When you are almost out of ink, the pen may give a slight “blurp” of ink, but I enjoy this. It is easily catchable prior to hitting the page, and has caused no problems. As I didn’t get a window installed, I use this as an indication to re-fill.
Cost and Value: 10/10
I spent $ 300 exactly for the pen. Even though I offered extra for the customization, Brian charged me only what his website specified for the pen and the upgrades (upgraded steel nib and CI nib grind). I think that the cost was well worth it- this pen is now my lead daily user and is seldom far from my hand. I’ve just got to figure out what to do with the cap while writing longer than a few words, but I’m sure it will come to me sometime.
I would recommend a Pearl from Edison Pens to anyone that is interested in having a quality writing instrument that comes with not only an amazing pen, but fantastic customer service as well.
Size Comparison: MB 149, Edison Pearl, Pelikan M200
Side to side with a MB 149
In hand- I have large hands; wear an extra large glove
Writing sample; lousy handwriting, good pen
Edited by Wwillco, 09 April 2009 - 23:36.