I don't know when Curtis, an Australian pen maker, first entered my consciousness. Curtis is relatively new to the pen business as far as I can tell. I found my first mention of them in Pen World in 2006 and was intrigued. After all, we all know the famous Italians, French, German, British, and American pen makers, but Australian?
These are not cheap pens. Curtis's 'standard' model seems to be the Classic, which, according to their catalogue, retails for $399US. It is an interesting looking pen with lots of sterling silver furniture, but you would think that for almost $400US you would get the obligatory gold nib.
The Israel 60 Years is one of their limited editions and retails for $750US. (No. I did NOT pay retail.) The version I purchased is trimmed in sterling silver and limited to 1948 pieces. The overlay features a menorah, Star of David, and the State of Israel in English and Herbrew, with a laurel and olive branch integrated into the design. There are also more expensive gold ($3600US) and gold with diamonds ($5600US) versions. Here's a link to Curtis's photos:
I really wanted to love this pen and, in some respects, I do. It is about the same comfortable length as my Pelikan 800 and Montblanc 146. Due to the overlay, however, it is wider and heavier than either.
I like the color. It is a nice deep and sparkly blue resin. Curtis's website photos don't do it justice. The blue provides a good contrast for the sterling silver cap band, clip, and overlay.
The 14K medium nib, is not a large nib. It is more on the scale of a Cross Townsend than a Pelikan 1000. But it leaves the smooth wet line of a true medium. It writes the first time, every time, without a hint of skipping. It is a cartridge filler and the barrel is long enough to store an extra international cartridge behind the one in use.
So what's not to like? Well, first of all, open the link and look at the pictures. With the pen capped and upright, the overlay is upside down! This is also true of Curtis's Spirit USA, Musical Tribute, and Thoroughbred limited editions. (Could this be because Australia is 'down under'?) In any event, this has been corrected on Curtis's Lincoln Bicentennial limited edition.
Next comes the nib issue. Maybe I expect too much, but my Omas Bologna has a nice commemorative nib instead of the Omas generic nib. My Cross Tennis Hall of Fame has a nib with a tennis motif. The competition, Delta's Israel's 60th Anniversary pen has a Star of David. Is it too much to expect that a limited edition pen that retails for $750US would have a themed nib?
Then there's the posting issue. I'm not sure whether Curtis meant the pen to be posted or not. The barrel looks nicely tapered to accommodate posting but, without addressing the balance issue, the cap does not post securely.
Finally, a minor detail. Why did Curtis choose a black tassie? It looks okay, but a matching blue one would seem to be a more logical choice. Perhaps they were matching the black section?
The bottom line? I am happy, but not ecstatic about this pen. For the price I paid on eBay, that is more than sufficient.
Edited by watch_art, 07 January 2013 - 02:21.