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A Brief Overview of Bexley Americana Rio Grande Red


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#1 jigesh

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 00:02

Recently, I got a chance to get my first Bexley, an Americana model Rio Grande (red) with a medium nib. This is my first “Made in the US” fountain pen. Georges has it in blue while Russ has it in Red, like mine. Russ also made a nice comparison with Omas Milford. This pen was available in Rio Grande (red), Sierra Silver (grey), Yellowstone (golden/yellow), and Greenbrier (green). Bexley’s official website used to have a picture of all these colors but I can't find it any more on their website. However, it can be seen on the website of few other vendors.

It appears to me that the metallic band on the cap had some variations. For example, the red pen in above picture has a band with cut-out patterns in it; while mine has a solid band. The inspiration for this model is derived from vintage Doric, except for the filling mechanism (cartridge converter on Bexley), the material (acrylic on Bexley) and the style/length of the facets on the body.

The color and finish are beautiful.

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It looks very lively/vivid under direct light.

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The feel of the facets is warm and very convenient to hold. It balances well without posting cap (I don’t post cap) and feels light.

Physical Dimensions:

It’s a full size pen and yet very light for its size. It’s tad taller than Montblanc 146, Pelikan M805 and Sailor 1911 large – just to give some comparative idea. The measured dimensions are:

Full Length with cap closed: 5.75 inch (14.6 cms)
Length of the barrel plus nib section: 5.4 inch (13.7 cms)

Weight with ink: 0.8 oz (23.7 gms, the whole pen); 0.5 oz (14.8 gms, barrel only).

Nib and Writing Performance:

The original nib was medium and it wrote like a western medium:

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The medium nib was smooth, wet and a little springy if gripped farther though technically it can be classified more as a rigid nib I would say. It’s a dual tone 18K gold nib.

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I had no complaints with the original nib, but I wanted to make it cursive italic. I sent it to Mike It Work for regrinding it to a 0.6 mm cursive italic. Michael did a fabulous job:

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I am not an experienced cursive writer, so here’s a close up to show line variation (the paper is not as high quality as Rhodia, for example):

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Conclusion:

This is a beautiful, full sized pen. It’s not very expensive. The MSRP was $335 or so if I am not mistaken. But you can get it around $250 if you look around. I don’t know why Bexley discontinued it. The pen is pleasure to hold, to look at and to write with. I would say, it’s a very good candidate for custom grinds as well, like I did with mine. Georges had grip section broken later on and Bexley replaced it with a black one. I am not sure if this was common. The acrylic material does not look/feel very fragile, but I don’t have much experience with the stability of this material. As a buyer, I had that in mind before buying it. If anything like that happens on mine, I am sure Bexley will take care of it. In the meanwhile, I hope to enjoy it for a long time with positive recommendation to anyone considering this pen or any other pen in this price range.

Edited by jigesh, 01 March 2010 - 00:05.


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#2 Taurean

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:09

That is a most beautiful pen jigesh, congrats on the acquisition!

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#3 hari317

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 08:28

Thanks for the review Jigesh, the close up of the nib, was this photo taken after Mike worked on it or before?

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Hari
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#4 avlisyar

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 10:08

Great looking pen but I am partial. I picked this exact pen
up at the Philly Show in January of this year. Mine was purchased
from Richard Binder and mine was reground to a .7 CI. The pen feels
great in the hand and lays down a consistent wet line.
Shame they are no longer available.

#5 Ed Ronax

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 11:22

Nice review, nice pen, thanks.
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#6 English John

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:09

I bought one of these recently - same colour - stunning
A very nice large pen - Richard Binder has them at a good price at the moment.

I would love to find a blue one , George's looks great.

#7 jigesh

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:39

Thanks for the review Jigesh, the close up of the nib, was this photo taken after Mike worked on it or before?

Best,
Hari


Good question. I had planned to mention it in the original post but somehow forgot.

You can see signs of re-grinding on the nib close up. In other words, the close up of the nib is after the grind and in its current state of 0.6mm cursive italic.

#8 jigesh

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:43

That is a most beautiful pen jigesh, congrats on the acquisition!


Thank you, Taurean (and I am a Taurean, too!).


...Shame they are no longer available.



I agree.


Nice review, nice pen, thanks.


Thak you, Ed.

....I would love to find a blue one , George's looks great.



John, I think R. Binder still has it in blue.

#9 jigesh

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 13:01

While growing up as a kid, I had few pomegranate plants in our home-garden; and I remember the natural "dark/rich red yet shiningly striking" color of the inside of a ripe pomegranate. If you know what I am talking about, the color of this pen is exactly that.

#10 Russ

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 13:58

Great review! This is one of my all-time favorite pens...

#11 jigesh

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 14:23

Great review! This is one of my all-time favorite pens...


Thanks. I am tempted to get other colors, especially the green. On the other hand, my mind says if it's worthwhile to collect the same model few times. I already did it for Carene and Aurora 88 though.

#12 ArchiMark

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 14:28

Nice review and pics of that handsome pen,jigesh!

Haven't tried a Bexley yet, but that design is tempting...

:)

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#13 OiRogers

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 15:07

Nice review of a wonderful pen, I landed one recently in Black... not certain if mine is a one-off or prototype or what, but a wonderful pen none the less.

Thank you for your thoughtful review.

I'm currently pondering tracking one down in the blue to go with my current pen.

#14 Dennis B

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 15:46

Thanks. I am tempted to get other colors, especially the green. On the other hand, my mind says if it's worthwhile to collect the same model few times. I already did it for Carene and Aurora 88 though.


Nice review for a pen I've always liked. Just a couple of notes to add:

As you noted, the Sanibel Blue is sold out and has been for quite some time. And, you are correct about the cap bands. The original three colors, Rio Grande Red, Sierra Silver, and Sanibel Blue, had the pierced style cap bands. The two added colors, Yellowstone and Greenbrier had a solid cap band. As the pierced bands were used up the solid band began to appear on the other colors.

While the model has been disontinued, a few are still available and I just obtained a Yellowstone for a customer. I believe only one Greenbrier may remain in stock at Bexley.

Below is a pic of all the colors.

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#15 jigesh

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 16:26

....And, you are correct about the cap bands. The original three colors, Rio Grande Red, Sierra Silver, and Sanibel Blue, had the pierced style cap bands. The two added colors, Yellowstone and Greenbrier had a solid cap band. As the pierced bands were used up the solid band began to appear on the other colors...


Thank you for paying attention to these details and providing us the info, Dennis.


Thank you, Archimark and OiRogers for your kind words.

#16 hari317

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 16:57

You can see signs of re-grinding on the nib close up.


Jigesh, the grind looks like the nib can be used upside down as well.

Best,
Hari
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#17 ArPharazon

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 00:27

Nice review.

I have an Americana in Rio Grande red also. I converted mine to an eyedropper about a year ago, and it's worked fine since. All I did was seal the blind cap and section with some silicone grease on the threads. I'm actually thinking of reverting to the converter, though, since the ink capacity of the ED version is too high (I like variety in ink).


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#18 jigesh

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:46

...the grind looks like the nib can be used upside down as well....


Hari, I tried writing that way. It writes, but not well, and more like sharp italic with tooth.


Nice review.

I have an Americana in Rio Grande red also. I converted mine to an eyedropper about a year ago, and it's worked fine since. All I did was seal the blind cap and section with some silicone grease on the threads. I'm actually thinking of reverting to the converter, though, since the ink capacity of the ED version is too high (I like variety in ink).


Thanks for the info, ArPharazon.

#19 ParkerBeta

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 02:49

Nice review for a pen I've always liked. Just a couple of notes to add:

As you noted, the Sanibel Blue is sold out and has been for quite some time. And, you are correct about the cap bands. The original three colors, Rio Grande Red, Sierra Silver, and Sanibel Blue, had the pierced style cap bands. The two added colors, Yellowstone and Greenbrier had a solid cap band. As the pierced bands were used up the solid band began to appear on the other colors.

Dennis Bowden


Dennis, where in this lineup does the all-black "Euro" edition of this pen fall? I bought one from you a while ago, and it had a vented cap band. I don't like marbled colors, so the all-black one was just right for me!
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#20 Rufus

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:09

My very first Bexley was an Americana in Sanibel Blue; I like it so much that I've added 35 more Bexleys to my collection.
Bryan

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