Delta Profili - my futuristic candy in silver wrapping
Intro & First & Second Impressions
This pen was bought on impulse earlier this summer as NOS for a substantially reduced price. A pen with a sterling silver overlay (hallmarked) for £100 felt like a good deal. I had had very good experiences of my first Delta (365) - especially the precise and pleasant nib so I hade quite high expectations. I often fall for special details when it comes to design and in this case it was two things that catched my eye (except the overall impression of the pen; the silver overlay and the red) both related to the cap - the logo at the top of the cap and the stylish imprint "Delta Italy" on the cap. Two exquisite details.
I waited eagerly for this pen to be delivered. It looked just like I had expected - a happy, cool and futuristic pen with loads of character. I inked it up and it didn't start at all. After trying almost everything the only thing I got out from it was a very thin line - if I put so much pressure to the pen that would make writing sessions longer than 5 minutes into heavy hand exercise.
I was thus very frustrated and disappointed and tried a couple of more tricks, which didn't work, so I contacted the retaliler and sent the pen back for a nib exchange which they performed very quickly. When the pen returned I was once again eager to try out the pen. This time it started well by laying down a nice line without hesitation and I was so very happy to finally being able to use this special pen, but, after a page or so, the pen refused to write. Once again I tried every almost fool-proof remedy I could find information about here, but nothing worked. I became afraid to ruin the pen if I experimented more with it. I could - of course have sent it for nib exchange again - the retailer was very helpfu - but I saw a never ending story of sending packages back and forth, so I decided to send it to the doctor instead to be sure to have the problem properly fixed. And the very kind and skilled pen doctor John Sorowka swiftly cured my pen and its feeder problems. When appreciating the first - and second impression - of the pen, one cannot really ignore the fact that it - despite a nib exchange - didn't write out of the box and that it was something that couldn't easily be cured by me. Since it was instant love with regards to its looks it at manages to get 5/10
Appearance and design
The Profili combines a generally special design - shape, combination of resin and silver overlay - with a unusual attention to the details which enhances the design further. I have a huge, weak spot for those details. I've already mentioned the details on the cap, but it is also remarkable as a whole. A futuristic domed cap - dome in a shimmering red resin with the logo in silver on the top. The streamline shaped clip suits the design utterly well. The silver overlay is barley patterned, which makes it more scratch resistant (hides microscratches) and the resin trims goes very well with the silver. The swap - using resin trims and silver body in opposite to the standard - is clever and well performed. In all it feels like a pen where the designer was allowed to be visionary. Another nice thing is that even if this is a pen with silver overlay it is not blingy. The style is an odd combination of high-tec and playfulness. Clean lines. It is both humourous and cool. It feels like the design gives a wink to the late sixties - early seventies, but without feeling like a remake. I so wish that pen manufacturers dared to do this kind of special pens more often - fantasy and vision combined without boring bling. I'm not anti all sorts of bling, but it is too often only pretentious without any real originality (in my not-so-humble opinion ).
The only thing I think they could have given an extra thought is that the nib seems a little bit too small and dull for this pen, which in posted mode is quite long. It is no big thing, but I would have prefered a bigger nib with a more futuristic touch. To rate the design on this pen is very hard, but since the nib is a tad too small and dull it gets 8.75/10.
Build, Quality & Function
Apart from the nib business (which will affect the grade here, but I've already written lengthy about it) this is over all a very well built pen. I also like that it is not a design pen where the aesthetics has been prioritized on behalf of the function. The design is - on the contrary - promoting the functionality. The clip is both beautiful and well working. Since one posts the pens by screwing it onto the barrel it is a dream (for a fast writer) not having the bl**dy cap falling off by accident. I like that very much. The cap screws on and off securely. The pen is very well balanced and it is very comfortable to write with. The resin feels top notch and has a luscious, shimmering lustre. My hand feels very relaxed when writing with it. It feels genuinely like a high quality pen that is made to write with and to last. Unfortunately - as it regards function - I will knock off a few points because of the nib, which I see as a part of the quality control. Especially two faulty nibs in a row for the same pen is a bit over the top. It is both surprising and frustrating that such a well made pen couldn't be sported with a fully functioning nib, so the grade here is 7/10 (which might seem high considering the nib, but since everything except for the nib feels like worthy around 9/10 I think that is fair.)
Threaded barrel end makes it a joy to post the Profili!
Weight & Dimensions
Weight: 32 grammes (fully loaded with converter)
Length capped: 13.5
Length uncapped: 12 cm
Length Posted: 17 cm
Nib and Performance
The Profili is fitted with a F nib in 18 k gold.
Now - after being doted with and tuned by the thorough and highly recommended John Sorowka - this nib is a joy and would be worth around 9. It is smooth and soft with a slight hint of flex and some nice feedback. The nib lays down a nice fine line without fuss or inconsistensies. The only drawback now is that it is a bit wide being a fine (that is a factory issue, not dissatisfaction with the nib work done) compared with the other Delta, but it is so nice to write with. No effort needed to make the pen put down a line - it behaves just like it should. It is hard to make a decision in this matter. The nib quality regardless of the feed is good - if it was a nib of bad quality it hadn't been able to be this good even if tuned, so I feel that 7/10 might be a fair grade.
Filling system & Maintenance
This is a cartridge/converter filler that accepts international standard cartridges, which I think is good. Delta's own threaded converter is supplied. Easy to clean and easy to use. Since it accepts standard cartridges/convertors it is 8/10
Cost & Value
If I should base this grade solely on what I paid for this pen it would - despite the nib problems - get 10/10. But, I believe the fuss - sending the pen away two times for the same problem - knocks off one and a half point. £100 for a pen with hallmarked silver overlay with great design and function etc is a very good price and even with the additional shipping and repair costs the pen is well worth the money, but the fuss and time it took to get the pen in working order was very annoying. 8.5/10
Summary - 44.25/69 ~ 7,4/10
The grade summary shows how hard it is to give a fair view of a pen using grades. It is - in a way - a fair grade considered all problems I've had with the nib/feed. On the other hand - I really like this pen. Its design appeals to my fantasy and humour and - now, when it works - it is a great and comfortable writer. I think that this might be the pen that has gotten the lowest grade of the pens that I have reviewed and it is a bit ironic, since I see this as one of my few keepers in a long run. (I've begun to revise my own grading policy - it takes some time and experience of a lot of pens to cbe able to deliver a more nuanced judgment.) This pen has a great deal of character that in the end outweighs the flaws.
Edited for grammar etc - probably adding new faults...
Edited by dandelion, 10 September 2009 - 10:22.