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Review of Edison Pearl Fountain Pen


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#1 Philip1209

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 21:45

I have posted my full review of the Edison Pearl fountain pen on my blog. Included is a slideshow showing the production of the pen. To view the review on my blog, Click Here. Otherwise, the full text is below.

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I was first led to the website of the Edison Pen Company by the community at the Fountain Pen Network. On the company's website I discovered beautiful custom-made pens created by a man named Brian. In addition to the base models he offers, his site had a gallery of custom pens commissioned by customers. I was enamored. Then, I discovered the webcam. While working in his shop, Brian broadcasts live video of his work, even showing close-ups of the lathe, while making pens. Chatting with clients while completing his work, it was a quite personal experience that epitomized the advantages of a custom pen maker over a larger brand. On that webcam I was able to watch him turn cylinders of ebonite and acrylic into fine writing instruments.

Finally, the time for me to receive my first Edison pen came in May of 2009. In honor of me receiving the Eagle Scout Award of the Boy Scouts of America, my grandparents offered to buy me the pen of my choice. I immediately sent an email to Brian to begin planning my pen. I was able to nitpick with the details of my pen ad nauseum to receive the writing instrument that best fitted me, both aesthetically and functionally. Then, the day came when I booted up my computer and watched Brian craft my pen on the lathe. Even during the construction process, Brian continued to ask me questions about the pen. After the work in the shop was completed, the pen was forwarded to the engraver before being sent to me.

The pen arrived securely packaged. It was wrapped in a felt cloth, then placed in a secure plastic tube, then wrapped in layers of bubble wrap, then finally placed in a snug cardboard box that was secured with countless layers of tape. Needless to say, the pen arrived undamaged. When I first viewed the pen, I was impressed by its glossy finish. The red-black ebonite I selected has an aesthetically pleasing grain, similar to wood, that seems to change based on the lighting. While holding the pen in my hands for the first time I was quite impressed by the warmth and softness of the ebonite, which was quite unlike the metal and plastic I was used to. In addition, the pen is quite light. The low weight was surprising, but the simplicity of the design helps to alleviate much excess material. I selected a clipless model because I desired the perfect radial symmetry of the pen. It is important to point out that a clip is not only useful for securing the pen in a pocket, but it also stops the pen from rolling. However, because I mainly use the pen at my desk, I do not have problems with it rolling.

Because I ordered the pen in honor of my achievement of the rank of Eagle, I had a custom engraving done in the shape of a fleur-de-lis. The fleur-de-lis is the international symbol of scouting, so the pen now not only acts as a sentimental reminder of Boy Scouts, but it bears the emblem proudly on the section. Brian was creative with the engraving- he offered to fill the engraving with gold, hence making it more visible and defined on the pen. The engraving is done off-site, but still turned out beautifully.

Brian custom-tunes every single nib with the expertise of an experienced nibmeister before it leaves the shop. I was able to tell him that I like an smooth nib with an above average ink flow. Indeed, when the pen arrived, it was tuned precisely to my specifications. The pen writes more smoothly than any of my other pens and the wetness provides the good flow that I desire. Due to the somewhat narrow tip of my pen, it only seems to write well on ideal paper- with any coarseness to the paper, all of the individual imperfections in the fibers are transmitted to the hand. Some pens, such as the Lamy 2000, tolerate mediocre paper quite well, but I guess that the Edison Pearl requires paper to be made to as high of a standard as the pen itself in order to write well. My nib is somewhat stiff- it does not flex much to create line variation. This is fine for me because I do not write much in cursive, but Brian offers to tune the nib for flexibility for an additional cost. Finally, the feeder system in the nib works quite efficiently and without any problems. The nib does not excessively drying out when left without the cap.

My Edison Pearl may be configured to fill either as an eyedropper or with a converter. Brian includes the necessary equipment for both filling methods with the pen, so the method may even be changed with each ink filling. I prefer the eyedropper fill method because the whole body of the pen is then utilized for ink storage, allowing for a large ink capacity and a longer writing period without having to refill. The threads between the section and the body of the pen have been designed with eyedropper filling in mind so that no ink leaks through. In addition, Brian includes silicone grease with the pen so that the threads may be reinforced to prevent leaking. Overall, I have had absolutely no problems with ink leaking, and the large capacity of the eyedropper filling method has allowed me to write for long periods of time without having to refill.

In terms of cost, Edison pens start around $250. While this is a steep cost, with the base price much is included. The pen is custom-made to your preference in the material of your choice. Brian tunes the nib to your liking, and even the steel nibs he provides with the base pens are quite excellent according to other reviewers. The price of the pen increases with the degree of customization. Upgrading to the 18k gold nib costs more, having a custom nib, such as a calligraphy nib, costs more, and having extensive engravings or workmanship for a customization costs more. Still, at the base price the pen is a great value because you receive not only a superb writing instrument, but also a functional work of art. I highly recommend the Edison Pen Company to those in the market for a higher-end writing instrument.

To see a video slideshow of the production of my pen, see the review on my blog by clicking here.

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#2 Soulmaker1

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 22:29

Great review!

I just recieved my Edison Pearl (new to me), and love it, it took me a little a while to get used to size coming from a 149, but I can;t seem to set it down. It has a more tapered cigar shape than normal, made out of black ebonite with an 18K fine nib. :thumbup:

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Edited by Adrian Collins, 13 January 2010 - 22:32.

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#3 Philip1209

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 22:37

Nice pen, Adrian. I like it with the rhodium trim- it looks sharp. I prefer the size of my Pearl over some of my bigger pens, like the m800, and I like how light it is. What type of filling system are you using?

#4 Lloyd

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 22:43

Adrian, could you post a picture of your Pearl next to a MB149 for size comparison?
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#5 Highbinder

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 00:16

Adrian, could you post a picture of your Pearl next to a MB149 for size comparison?


That is exactly what I was thinking. Then I started dreaming about a 149 proportioned Pearl :cloud9:

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#6 buffalowings

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 00:27

the video really shows the color variation on the barrel a lot better than the pic would suggest, I thought it was black when I looked at the pic, thanks for this nice little review
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#7 Soulmaker1

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 00:29

Adrian, could you post a picture of your Pearl next to a MB149 for size comparison?


That is exactly what I was thinking. Then I started dreaming about a 149 proportioned Pearl :cloud9:



It quite a bit smaller, will post pictures when I get the chance. But I am thinking about having one made in 149 proportions as well! :puddle:
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#8 Soulmaker1

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 00:30

Nice pen, Adrian. I like it with the rhodium trim- it looks sharp. I prefer the size of my Pearl over some of my bigger pens, like the m800, and I like how light it is. What type of filling system are you using?



This one is an eye dropper, currently filled with PR DC Supershow Blue
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#9 Philip1209

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 00:58

the video really shows the color variation on the barrel a lot better than the pic would suggest, I thought it was black when I looked at the pic, thanks for this nice little review


Thanks. Here is another short clip where I showed the material under a flashlight. I think that it best shows how the material looks: http://bit.ly/8rOavY

#10 flodoc

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 01:26

the video really shows the color variation on the barrel a lot better than the pic would suggest, I thought it was black when I looked at the pic, thanks for this nice little review


Thanks. Here is another short clip where I showed the material under a flashlight. I think that it best shows how the material looks: http://bit.ly/8rOavY


Great review! Congratulations on your tasteful Pearl and on earning Eagle Scout. The second video does show the grain of the ebonite much better.

#11 Rabbit

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:51

Very nice!! I am an Eagle too. That engraving looks great. My dad would like a pen with something like that--he is still pretty involved with the troop as a leader. Thanks for the flashlight demonstration--that was a good idea to show the material better.

--Stephen

#12 penspouse

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:30

Nice review. Congrats on achieving Eagle Scout!
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#13 Ed Ronax

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 11:35

Excellent review, thanks.
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#14 chemo

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:04

I too would like to see the Pearl next to a MB149 and or a Pelikan M800.

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#15 Philip1209

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 08:17

I too would like to see the Pearl next to a MB149 and or a Pelikan M800.

SMB


I have a Pelikan M800 and a Pearl, but unfortunately my Pearl is at my home in Ohio and my M800 is here with me at college, so I will not be able to post side-by-side pictures for a couple months. May I request that other owners of the Pearl contribute these images?






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