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Columbus Extrema Sterling Silver #cl 2566


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#1 escribo

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 22:05

Columbus Extrema #2566 in Sterling Silver
Purchased from Parkville Pen parkvillepen.com

First Impressions: Pen came in a red cardboard/leatherette satin-lined presentation box marked with the Columbus logo inside & outside, with the legend: ARGENTO 925 0/00 inside. Box was inside an outer cardboard sleeve also with the Columbus logo, a model-number sticker, and a round sticker marked "M." The outer box sleeve shows signs of having sat around for a while; it is slightly yellowed and possibly flyspecked.
The pen was fitted with a “dummy,” or empty, short international cartridge, with a cartridge full of blue ink below it in the pen's barrel. Also included was an instruction leaflet in English and Italian.
The pen itself is slightly tapered, more so on the barrel end. The cap on both ends is shiny (unengraved), while the barrel and cap have longitudinal bands of "barleycorn" engraving alternating with narrower un-engraved, shiny bands, or pinstripes. The clip has the legend "Columbus" laser engraved on it. The letters in "Columbus" are stacked instead of being arranged side-by-side.
The pen seems small-ish, though capped, is not much shorter than a Waterman Phileas (more on that below).

So, here goes:

Appearance & Design (8.5) – It is a very attractive pen, I think.
I guess I just knocked off a little because it isn't the most beautiful pen I've ever seen. Nothing wrong with it, as I say, it is very attractive, and I like it. But 10 would be perfect beauty; I'm not even sure I know what that is... Still, 8.5 is an excellent score.

Construction & Quality (8) – I see absolutely nothing wrong with the build quality.
The cap does not post securely, though, which is an issue for me, as without the cap posted the pen seems pretty small to write with.

Weight & Dimensions (8.5) – It's semi-small, but seems smaller than it actually is.
Capped, the Extrema is longer than an Esterbrook SJ (at 4.73”) by almost 1/2" (12.5mm), about 11/32” (9.3mm) longer than an Esterbrook Transition J (at 4.88”), and about 1/8" (3.2mm) shorter than a Waterman Phileas. Its girth is pretty equivalent to that of the Phileas (and the Esterbrook J), except that unlike the Phileas (and the Esterbrooks), the cap is the same diameter as the barrel where the cap and barrel meet, making the others seem much larger than the Columbus.
Length over all: 5.225" (133mm)
Uncapped: 4.635" (118mm)
Posted: 5.665" (144mm).
Barrel greatest diameter: 0.458" (11.6mm)
Average section diameter: 0.335" (8.5mm)
As for weight, I don't have the type of scale which will measure grams or ounces in fractional parts. I doubt that a kitchen-type scale would be sensitive enough for our purposes here. The Extrema inked with a Waterman long cartridge feels a tiny bit heavier than the Phileas inked with a cartridge, but not quite as heavy as a Pilot Carbonesque Vanishing Point inked with converter. For a sterling silver pen this one is not very heavy; the silver must be fairly thin throughout. This could be good or bad, depending on one's preference. Since the cap can't be securely posted, I would prefer that the barrel be heaver. Still, at this price, I don't really expect it.

Nib & Performance (7) – Puts down a fine, fairly dry line.
Gold-plated steel nib. Box says it is a medium, but there are no markings on the nib itself to indicate nib width. On decent paper it writes like a Japanese fine.
It's also very smooth, even as dry as it writes. I guess you could say there is some feedback, as you can tell you're writing, but there is no scratchiness at all.
I love the very thin dry-ish line this nib puts down on paper; it's perfect for doing crossword puzzles on that cheap newsprint paper.
There's one problem, though: Uncapped, the nib will dry up after less than two minutes of non-use, such that it has to be re-started by dabbing it on a paper towel. That might simply be the price I must pay for such a dry writer; I don't know whether this fault can be remedied without making the nib write wetter.
I had to knock off three points here. Though I love how the nib writes now, I will most likely have to have the nib-drying problem adjusted, which I fear will alter its writing characteristics (making it write wetter).

Filling System & Maintenance (8) – Cartridge/Converter
No converter was included. I unscrewed the section from the barrel to find a dummy international short cartridge installed. I removed that and put the pen back together before going to the other room to get a cartridge. I noticed that the pen rattled. Took it apart again to find a full short cartridge in the bottom of the barrel. Decided that if it'll hold two short cartridges it ought to take a long Waterman, and it does. The pen's large-ish ink capacity is a plus for me.
Though I might or might not prefer some other filling system, the bare fact is that this is a C/C pen. It is what it is.
EDIT: I'm not sure what else I might expect to find, really. I have a Bexley LE with this same system. It's easy, reliable, and versatile; no problem here.
I knocked off two points because no converter was included with the pen. I'll have to do some research to find out what converter is a perfect fit, likely a hit-and-miss process.

Cost & Value (9) – To me an attractive sterling silver pen that writes decently at this price is a very good deal.
$115 included the shipping (which, by the way, was lightning-fast!). This is ~75% of the MSRP of $150 + shipping. I consider this to be a good deal; the pen is out of production, and as such, increasingly hard to find.
I always seek out bargains, and I believe this is one.

Conclusion (Final score [SUM/6]: 8.2) – I really like it.
Though I'd really prefer that the cap posted securely, if I can get the nib-drying problem resolved to my satisfaction, this pen will end up being one of my faves.

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What appears to be brassing or something just above the clip is not. Could be an artifact, reflection, or some tarnish.
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Edited by escribo, 10 October 2009 - 18:09.

I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.


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#2 diplomat

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 08:37

Escribo, thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review of new pen.
I think that a price like this of a silver pen is a bargain, even included the few things to be adjusted that you noted. Speaking specifically of the drying problem: for how long did you use the pen? Possibly the flow will improve with time and use, removing the problem by itself. As for the filling mechanism, it's difficult to find on the market an all-silver pen with something different than the c/c method.

Ciao,

#3 AltecGreen

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 17:48

Escribo, thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review of new pen.
I think that a price like this of a silver pen is a bargain, even included the few things to be adjusted that you noted. Speaking specifically of the drying problem: for how long did you use the pen? Possibly the flow will improve with time and use, removing the problem by itself. As for the filling mechanism, it's difficult to find on the market an all-silver pen with something different than the c/c method.

Ciao,



Columbus makes an 90th Anniversary pen that is all silver and a piston filler with ink window. I'm really tempted.

Edited by AltecGreen, 10 October 2009 - 17:48.

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#4 escribo

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 17:55

Escribo, thank you for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review of new pen.

The Review Template really helped. Though I consider myself something of a maverick, in this case without the structure already laid out for me, I might never attempted a review.

I think that a price like this of a silver pen is a bargain, even included the few things to be adjusted that you noted.

I agree! I am very pleased to have a silver pen, especially at this price!

Speaking specifically of the drying problem: for how long did you use the pen? Possibly the flow will improve with time and use, removing the problem by itself.

The moment I received the pen I rushed headlong into inking it, which, as we all know, is ill-advised. Later, I did a good flushing with mildly soapy water & rinse, using a Waterman converter. I also ran it through an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for a few minutes, and I tried flossing the nib with a piece of matte drafting mylar (without much success -- I think the mylar was too thick). None of these seemed to help. I believe that the tines actually meet at the tip instead of being a miniscule space apart. Maybe with the minute flexing involved in use, the tines will spread a bit. I have only run about 1/4 of a long Waterman cartridge through the pen, so I'm sure it is not yet "broken in."

As for the filling mechanism, it's difficult to find on the market an all-silver pen with something different than the c/c method.

I'm sure you're right, of course. I don't know what else I expected to find, and upon more reflection, I'm thinking it's probably the best solution here. Much better if Columbus had included the converter, though. EDIT: I decided it was a good idea to edit my review accordingly. :)

Ciao,

Thanks; arrivederci,
Jon

Edited by escribo, 10 October 2009 - 18:13.

I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.


#5 escribo

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 18:11

Columbus makes an 90th Anniversary pen that is all silver and a piston filler with ink window. I'm really tempted.

Oh no!
Now you have tempted me.
:o

EDIT: Ouch! Scares a 1000-dollar bill to death. :o Out of my league, but more power to you if you can afford it.
I'll look forward to drooling over reading the review. ;)

EDIT2: I could maybe swing the price of a silver Maxima, though. :D

Edited by escribo, 10 October 2009 - 18:27.

I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.


#6 AltecGreen

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 18:41

I'm contemplating the Columbus Anniversario. I don't own a modern Columbus but I own several vintage models in celluloid. I'm a big fan of Columbus and I'm glad someone else is discovering their pens.

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#7 escribo

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 19:05

... I'm a big fan of Columbus and I'm glad someone else is discovering their pens.

They are definitely on my radar now!

I may not have been much help, but I DID bump your thread up to the top.







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