Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Pilot/Namiki Metal Falcon


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 mrphyig

mrphyig

    Sentimentally Valuable

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 190 posts

Posted 05 March 2010 - 15:44

Tedious Backstory
I've been trying to make a Falcon happen for about half a year now. I ordered one on sale during Black Friday and received it with a manufacturing defect (parallel cracks down the barrel and up into the cap threads), so I returned it before I had a real chance to get acquainted. By the time the replacement arrived, I'd decided that I didn't want to worry about the plastic cracking again, and that I'd sell it to finance buying the metal version. Unfortunately, therefore, I don't have the materials to do a direct comparison between the two versions (which I suspect most people reading this review were hoping to see—sorry), but I'll try to bring up points that I remember.

Lemme tell you 'bout my sexy pen.


First Impressions
My Metal Falcon arrived in the same box that the resin version did: a faux-leather clamshell with "Namiki" gauged attractively out of the top. Inside, the pen rested on a removable plastic textured with microfibers that stuck to it like toner dust. I'm not a fan of this material, as I think it makes the box unsuitable for frequent transport.

The pen itself is very unassuming, which I love. Mine is the black lacquered model, so I'm missing out on the sparkly effect that the other Metal Falcon options offer, and it isn't the deep, almost reddish black of the resin version. I've been trying to figure out how to describe it to you and the best way I can think of is to say that it reminds me of black space on an LCD monitor—a sort of luminous rather than velvety black. The rhodium furniture adds to the effect, and my impression is that compared with the resin, the Metal Falcon has a colder look. Hefting it for the first time, I was surprised by how light it still seemed. I'd been expecting something noticeably heavier than the resin version. There was, though, substantiality to it that I didn't remember noticing when I'd first held the resin version; it didn't feel like plastic.


Appearance and Finish
This pen suits my aesthetic. The black lacquer is perfectly glossy and silkier somehow than the plastic gripping section. Wherever it meets the furniture (at both ends of the barrel and at both ends of the cap) it forms a very subtle meniscus-like lip that underscores the fact that it's coated rather than molded. As with everything else, my aesthetic is subjective, but I think the effect of those lips softens the appearance of the pen and communicates the quality of constructions. There's a lot of very fine detail to notice: some of the horizontal bands are stepped, grooved, or faceted, and the clip is solid, very gently rounded, very slightly curved down its length, and very slightly turned up at the tip—all of these touches are only for the benefit of the writer, and only for the writer who has had time to grow intimate with the pen through use. To casual observers, it's a conservative-looking black and silver pen. I think that rocks.


Design and Finish
I haven't measured my pen but my impression is that the figures Mr. Mattishaw gives at nibs.com are consistent with my experience (no affiliation—I just like his website). The length is slightly greater than that of the resin version and it feels very slightly heavier in my hand (though again, I haven't handled the resin version for weeks; this isn't an objective comparison). The original Falcon was the first plastic fountain pen I've used and by far the lightest as compared with my Sheaffer Prelude and Cross Townsend. Being unaccustomed to the weight, I found myself gripping it very tightly and digging into the paper with it, and also, I was forced to post the cap to balance it in my hand. The Metal Falcon still gets gripped harder than it should, but I feel more comfortable letting it glide across the page under its own weight. I tried posting it and enjoyed the balance, but even with the gentlest, most paranoid application of pressure, I've marked the lacquer at the end of the barrel. The length is alright to use unposted, so I probably won't be trying that again.

In both versions, the cap screws onto plastic threads on the barrel. The threads in the my cap are metal, and I notice that screwing the cap on isn't as smooth and luxurious-feeling as it was with the all-resin interface. It's still plenty serviceable, secure, and at no times loose.


Nib and Performance
Oh boy, oh boy. The Falcon nib is my first non-nail, so the gushing I'm about to do is probably fed a little by the pleasure of the novelty.

Let me start with the way it looks. My preference in nib aesthetics is embarrassingly superficial: I like prominent shoulders, lots of scrollwork, and two-tone plating. When I first saw pictures of the Falcon nib, I thought it was awfully ugly, like a sort of flaccidly triangular blob of mercury. It seemed too narrow and too squat at the time, somehow. (This kind of prejudice will probably keep me from trying a Parker 51 unless somebody actively puts one in my hand. My loss.) In person, the Falcon nib is beautiful. The slight upward swell that starts a couple of millimetres before the breather hole creates an unusual, graceful, and thrusting profile that's lost when viewed straight from above but unmissable when you're actually using the pen—another point for the writer's exclusive experience. Also, the perfect polish and fluidity of the swell would be ruined by scrollwork. So, it turns out that it's actually pretty cool to write with a point of mercury (or liquid gold, if you've got the resin version—both are stunning nibs).

The first thing I noticed when I started using this nib was how cushioned the impacts were whenever it met the paper. The whole stepped part of the nib bends upwards a bit and the tines separate when pressure is applied. The effect is that writing with this pen feels like I'm using a soft, blunt-tipped pencil or even a firm rubber toothpick rather than pointy metal. I find this sensation hypnotic and it compels me to write more and more, though I know it's not everyone's thing. Also, I don't know if this softness is a characteristic of all slightly flexible pens, or if this is a signature of the Falcon. (More widely-written members of the community could weigh in here.)

My resin versions had a "soft-medium" nib and provided quite a bit of line variation. My Metal Falcon is a "soft-broad" and doesn't seem to do that nearly as much, though I've been pretty gentle with it. If line variation is important to you, my impression is that the soft-fine would be your best bet. This is a heck of a smooth, juicy ride, though. I'm not sorry I picked the broad nib at all.

Finally, as a point of interest, the feed has no external fins and is made of this really neat, translucent, matte black plastic. When I hold it up to the light, I can easily see the breather hole and space between the tines behind it. Another secret detail!


Filling System
One of the big advantages of the Metal Falcon over the resin version is that it can accommodate the large "CON-70" push-button-style converter that everyone here seems to love. I'm definitely happy for its enhanced capacity (for reference, I started this review with a full charge and it looks like I'll be just about dry by the end. The broad nib puts down a lot of ink, though it shades too nicely to be over-wet), but having only used piston-style converters, filling with the push-button pump requires more coördination than I expected. If the pen slipped in my hand while filling or flushing it, I'd slam it nib-first into the bottom of the bottle or the side of the sink, and would be gloomy for a while. No such mishaps yet, but the fear and paranoia loom.

Also, there's a little floater on a metal rod that dangles loosely inside the converter and is used to break the surface tension and agitate the bubbles caused by the pump when you fill it (I imagine). It isn't doing it right now, but at times, that rod has a tendency to jangle and rattle inside the pen, giving a weird, moving-parts-innards feeling from stroke to stroke. It's an inconsistent issue that can be fixed by swapping out the converter if it bothers you enough—it wasn't a deal-breaker for me.


Cost/Value
The MSRP for the Metal Falcon seems to be "$300," but a common online selling point is $240. I got mine from Pam Braun for $180 with cheaper shipping than I've seen on the other online sites (again, no affiliation, though I am a satisfied customer, obviously). The metal version is at least $80 more expensive than the original, then, for which you get a heavier instrument with more ink capacity, a rhodium rather than gold furniture motif, and four options for colours. I wish I had the resin version here to compare the differences in build quality in a definitive way: I'm biased towards the Metal Falcon and therefore uncomfortable making broad, empirical-sounding claims about the attention to detail, polish, and finish, which may be the same between models and I'm only just noticing it now, on the Metal Falcon. I will say that for me, the $80 premium was worth having a pen that I'm not afraid to crack (and therefore, I'm not afraid to use), the added ink capacity, and the better weight/distribution in my hand. I love the nib and will use it to write many words. [My ink has just run out. I knew I'd make it.]


Conclusion:

I would buy this pen again. You should try it if you get the chance.

Edited by mrphyig, 05 March 2010 - 15:46.


Sponsored Content

#2 pinkbulldog

pinkbulldog

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 98 posts
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Flag:

Posted 05 March 2010 - 16:04

Thanks for the great review. The brown one is at the top of my list once Lent is over!

#3 Phaedrus

Phaedrus

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 36 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 06 March 2010 - 07:16

Thanks for the great review. The brown one is at the top of my list once Lent is over!


+1 for the metal falcon and +1 for the brown one. I took delivery of mine a couple of weeks ago. It is just super. I opted for the soft extra fine nib. This is a wonderful fountain pen. Feels great to write with, the CON-70 holds plenty of ink looks good and is really well constructed. This has displaced my Sailors as my "take to work" pen.
Control thy passions lest they take vengence on thee.

-- Epictetus (55-135 AD)



Posted Image

#4 pinkbulldog

pinkbulldog

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 98 posts
  • Location:Kentucky
  • Flag:

Posted 06 March 2010 - 13:26

Thanks for the great review. The brown one is at the top of my list once Lent is over!


+1 for the metal falcon and +1 for the brown one. I took delivery of mine a couple of weeks ago. It is just super. I opted for the soft extra fine nib. This is a wonderful fountain pen. Feels great to write with, the CON-70 holds plenty of ink looks good and is really well constructed. This has displaced my Sailors as my "take to work" pen.


Phaedrus, thanks for heightening the temptation! :gaah: But, your signature is precisely why I'll keep my promise and wait.

#5 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 08 December 2010 - 23:58

I hate to revive an old thread, but I do believe that your review has in large part convinced me of what my next pen shall be. Thanks so much!

#6 mrphyig

mrphyig

    Sentimentally Valuable

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 190 posts

Posted 09 December 2010 - 13:57

I hate to revive an old thread, but I do believe that your review has in large part convinced me of what my next pen shall be. Thanks so much!


My pleasure, Erwin. I should tell you, I had some hard-starting (probably baby-bottom) problems with the nib, for which the pen is currently being tweaked by Mr. Masuyama; I waited for months because I couldn't bear to send it away despite the issues. I haven't heard of this happening to other folks, though, so I'm probably just lucky.

I hope it brings you a lot of joy. I can't wait to have mine back.

- Mr. P

P.S.: Thanks for reviving my thread. It didn't wind up getting indexed (probably because of the lack of pictures), so I'm pleased to see it's been useful for someone.

Edited by mrphyig, 09 December 2010 - 13:59.


#7 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:50

My pleasure, Erwin. I should tell you, I had some hard-starting (probably baby-bottom) problems with the nib, for which the pen is currently being tweaked by Mr. Masuyama; I waited for months because I couldn't bear to send it away despite the issues. I haven't heard of this happening to other folks, though, so I'm probably just lucky.

I hope it brings you a lot of joy. I can't wait to have mine back.

- Mr. P

P.S.: Thanks for reviving my thread. It didn't wind up getting indexed (probably because of the lack of pictures), so I'm pleased to see it's been useful for someone.


Glad to see a man who knows his physicists! The pleasure is all mine--this reviews was just excellent. I'm sorry about your troubles--I haven't heard of it happening to others, either, so this probably does come down to your luck. It's pretty telling that you couldn't bear to part with it even when there were problems, though.

I hope that it brings me joy, too--I just recently ordered some Black Swan in Australian Roses ink, and am going to put a check in the mail to Pam (thanks for cluing me off to her, as well!) tomorrow morning. I hope that yours comes back to your liking.

And I was glad to revive your thread, in actuality--it was baffling that it didn't have more replies, considering how useful it was. Thanks again!

#8 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 12 December 2010 - 08:33

Oh! I have one last (at least, it seems to be the last at the current moment) question for you. Does the metal version come with the CON-70 converter, since it does fit it? If not, I may have to set about finding and ordering one. Haven't seen this specifically answered in any thread--I'd imagine that it's included, but I'd like to know for sure. Thanks yet again, my friend!

#9 mrphyig

mrphyig

    Sentimentally Valuable

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 190 posts

Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:11

Hoya, Ben. I'm sorry for my slow reply.

Mine did come with a CON-70 converter and my impression is that my experience was typical; I wouldn't worry. Alternatively, I'm sure Pam wouldn't mind you asking even though you've already made the purchase, just to satisfy your curiosity.

So? So? What did you wind up getting?

#10 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:48

I did wind up getting the black metal falcon with a fine nib (and it is wholly coincidental that we have the same tastes on each of those options!), and have filled it with Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses (much of which fits in this sweet CON-70 converter...). For now, it will suffice to say that I am very, very happy after playing around with it for about two hours. I think that with some good practice on my part, we could make some beautiful writing...

#11 Apotheosis

Apotheosis

    A Gathering Of All

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 620 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:51

mrphyig, I hope you dont mind me sharing some pictures of the metal falcon in this thread to share with everyone
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Its a wonderful FP with a springy nib and I would recommend this to anyone interested in trying it out !
regards and happy holidays !
Leo

Edited by Apotheosis, 27 December 2010 - 04:52.

Posted Image
"Oey !! Gimme back my pen !"

#12 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 27 December 2010 - 05:05

Beautiful pictures and beautiful handwriting, Apotheosis! Happy holidays to you as well.

#13 mholve

mholve

    Moderate Noodler

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,016 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 27 December 2010 - 12:57

I know what my next pen will be, and it rhymes with... Wait. What rhymes with falcon? ;)

#14 inkpenguin

inkpenguin

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 299 posts

Posted 27 December 2010 - 14:56

I know what my next pen will be, and it rhymes with... Wait. What rhymes with falcon? ;)

Vulcan?

#15 mholve

mholve

    Moderate Noodler

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,016 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 27 December 2010 - 17:35

Vulcan?


Close enough! We'll take it. :D

#16 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 28 December 2010 - 02:38

I know what my next pen will be, and it rhymes with... Wait. What rhymes with falcon?


I bet that you'll love it! I have no answer for your rhyme question, unfortunately :(. I'll think on it!

#17 River

River

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 273 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 28 December 2010 - 19:12

Balcon....y :(

I have been considering trying the falcon.

I just received a Noodler's flex to try first to see if I like the flex thing.

It is fun, but I'm not sure I could use it for everyday writing.

Perhaps the falcon is more usable.

Any thoughts?
Fountain pens ~ a stream of consciousness flowing effortless onto paper.

#18 benkalziqi

benkalziqi

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted 28 December 2010 - 23:17

I have not tried the Noodler's flex pen, but I feel that this is definitely usable for every day writing. If you feel like being fancy and flexing, that's your option, but if you just want to write nice clean lines with little variation, you can do that too. I think that you'd be fine, but see if you can't find one somewhere around you (that might be hard), or solicit more opinions from board members (that should be easy).

#19 mrphyig

mrphyig

    Sentimentally Valuable

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 190 posts

Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:36

mrphyig, I hope you dont mind me sharing some pictures of the metal falcon in this thread to share with everyone

*snip*

Its a wonderful FP with a springy nib and I would recommend this to anyone interested in trying it out !
regards and happy holidays !
Leo


Thanks for the beautiful pictures, Leo. I remember you helped get my old Falcon sold to make the metal one happen; I'm still grateful.

What I'd love to see, if you've got one handy, is a picture of your flex writing on Rhodia or Clairefontaine---you do this really cool thing with your shading that makes a very smooth vertical gradient. Y'know, if'n you're doing requests and stuff.

Mr. Masuyama hasn't finished with my Falcon yet. I miss it a lot.

#20 River

River

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 273 posts
  • Location:Chicago

Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:14

I have not tried the Noodler's flex pen, but I feel that this is definitely usable for every day writing. If you feel like being fancy and flexing, that's your option, but if you just want to write nice clean lines with little variation, you can do that too. I think that you'd be fine, but see if you can't find one somewhere around you (that might be hard), or solicit more opinions from board members (that should be easy).


Thanks.

I don't know anyone that has one, but there is a pen shop about 20 minutes away that I could check out.

One thing I did notice (mrphyig) is that with a flex pen the paper becomes MUCH more important. All of that ink seeps through regular paper, even high quality paper, but stays exactly where I put it on clairefontaine.
Fountain pens ~ a stream of consciousness flowing effortless onto paper.






Sponsored Content




|