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Edison Pen - The Pearl
Posted 10 September 2010 - 02:18
As always when a box arrives with a new goodie, I am excited to open it. My new Pearl model bulb filler pen from Brian Gray at Edison Pen Co. was no disappointment. This pen fills all my niches: it is handmade of the first quality, great finish, weight and feel. It’s a writer, not just a looker or a collectible. And it’s a keeper. It came in a very nice brown leather somewhat standard looking spring loaded, flip top box w/ a cardboard sleeve. Instructions were nothing fancy and a bit wrinkled, but they were clear and unambiguous. This is my first bulb filler pen and the filling process could not have been easier. I was ready to write.
I am in my sixties and have been writing with a fountain pen since my mid-twenties. Before the resurrection so to speak. My first pen was a Montblanc Diplomat, about the only pen you could buy at that time. I live in Atlanta, and there was not a single fountain pen for sale here at that time. I bought it on a business trip to New York. I remember it well. It did not write nearly as well as my new Pearl.
I am an avid collector of many things, cigarette lighters and tobacco related paraphernalia, Catalin radios, knives. The list goes on. Almost all of my collectibles come from the 1930’s and 40’s: a great period for design. Fountain pens have always held a fascination for me. They hark back to that different time when craftsmanship was king and handmade, high quality accessories were in great demand.
Today I have approximately 75 pens, some old, some modern, some collectible some not, some ornate, mostly not. Namikis are at the top of my list, both old and new. In any event my new Pearl fits right in.
Now let me turn to the suggested outline for a pen review on this website. Here is a link to the outline I will follow with the description of each topic to cover. http://www.fountainp...ic/80494-false/ This is my first pen review, so please bear with me.
1. Appearance & Design – On a scale of 1-10, I give this pen a 9. The theme is conservative, from the 30’s. It is made of black, well marbled rose and amber (for the translucent ink chamber) acrylic. The finish is silken to the touch. The seams where the various pieces screw together are quite smooth to the eye and even. Perhaps the optional pocket clip (which I chose to include when I ordered the pen) could be a little nicer. It’s not as nice as the one pictured. A bit too Plain Jane, but thoroughly in keeping with the retro feeling of the pen. The model of the pen (“Pearl”) and the maker (“Edison Pen Co.”) are modestly etched into the translucent amber ink chamber. The etching is hardly visible whether the pen is inked or not. Again very much in keeping with the lack of flash in this elegant pen.
2. Construction & Quality (8 of 10 points) – Both construction and Design are top notch. The acrylic pieces are nicely thick (no skimping here) perfectly turned and well fitted together. Perhaps the seams could have been more closely turned so as not to be felt when one rubs a finger over them. I am nit picking here. The butt pieces are slightly pointed which is in keeping with the original feel of a 1930’s pen. I deducted 2 points here only on account of the lack of nicely printed materials and the rather bland looking pocket clip. I must say that the absence of nicely printed materials is not really important to me, but the clip is. The packaging did include a miniature tub of wax to lubricate the threading. A nice touch; the threads were already waxed when the pen came.
3. Weight & Dimensions (10 of 10 points) – I have pens in all sizes and weights. Some of them are just too big, too small, too heavy or too light. I ordered this pen in part because of its comfortable size and weight. I don’t have a scale actually to weigh the pen, but it is perfect for me. Not too light, not too heavy. I often wear a sport or suit coat, and the pen balances just right in the outside breast pocket (here is where a slightly nicer pocket clip would have been appreciated). I am a stickler for weight. I like to know the pen is in my pocket, but I do not like it to drag the pocket down. I also write with my pen unposted (an old habit since I often allow an admirer to jot a line or two with the pen and the cap serves as my insurance of the pen’s return). For those who do write with the cap posted, this pen will also serve them well. The weight is once again perfect for writing. As with the weight, the size is ideal. Easy to carry and easy to hold (not to thick not too thin). My hands are a normal size. Measurements of the pen are 14cm long closed with cap in place, 5cm circumference at the thickest point, and 12.5cm tip of nib to end of butt uncapped. With the cap posted, the pen is 15.75 cm.
4. Nib & Performance (10 of 10 points) – I bought this pen to write with. I intentionally chose a “fine” point in a steel and gold nib. The quality of paper today varies widely. Much of it is not intended for ink pens. The notebook that follows me everywhere has very good paper, but I often have to write on very porous, not so well finished paper stock. A fine, somewhat rigid point serves me well given this variety of writing situations. The line is just right with a bit of wetness (which I like, always with a piece of blotting paper at hand). The ink flows evenly, with no splotches or bubbles. I look forward to testing other nib materials and designs from Edison. I have now been writing with the pen constantly for a couple of weeks with a variety of papers, and it continues to function extremely well. I have not had a chance to try any new inks. I am currently using Private Reserve Ink in Avocado color.
5. Filling System & Maintenance – (10 of 10 points) I give this pen a 10 for filling. It is, as mentioned above, a bulb filler and my first of this type. That said, it filled completely and easily on the first try. The instructions were simple; submerge the nib in the bottle and press repeatedly, pausing a couple of seconds each time until the bulb expands back to its initial state. When you see small bubbles you know it’s filled. Its capacity seems a bit larger than the common, modern converter and a bit less than a full size piston filler. The fine point nib means I got plenty of ink in a single fill. There was no mess. Just wipe the nib down with a bit of tissue. I have not detected any leakage into the cap or otherwise. BUT, I have not been on an airplane with it. I travel frequently and use a Visconti with the airplane friendly vacuum system for that purpose…another topic. Having used the pen for a relatively short period of time I cannot really comment on maintenance, but the nib section conveniently unscrews when I need to clean it up to refill again or change ink colors.
6. Cost & Value – (another 10 of 10 points). This is a handmade, essentially custom pen for $350 which I consider to be a bargain. Brian Gray, the craftsman and owner of Edison Pen, could not have been more helpful and considerate in guiding me through the purchase process. The pen took about 4 weeks to get. Brian went to the pen convention in D.C. during the production, and that dragged the process out a bit. He was more than willing to re-grind the nib if I wanted any adjustment (I did not).
7. Conclusion – (Final score 57/60). I have no real complaints and look forward to purchasing my next pen from Brian. The appearance of this pen is modest and beautifully finished. No flash but a very nice, practical and useful design. It has a true deco appearance which is my personal taste. I look forward to years of good service from this pen. It’s definitely in my top 5 from that perspective. After I use it for a longer time and go through the maintenance and refilling process, I will post any relevant comments. In this case I would say no news is good news. But stay tuned.
Sorry I cannot figure out how to attach a photo so go here and look at many varieties of the pen http://webcache.goog...Pearl-Main-Page
Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:34
Posted 10 September 2010 - 06:57
Thx for the very nice and informative review on what sounds like a wonderful pen.
I am considering a Edison myself hopefully sometime this year and this is just what I needed to help me along with that decision maybe sooner than later.
Congrats on a great choice of a wonderful writer. It's always nice to treat yourself, as nobody does it better than you
Posted 10 September 2010 - 15:26
Posted 10 September 2010 - 18:49
Need a pen repaired or a nib re-ground? I'd love to help you out.
Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Posted 11 September 2010 - 13:24
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Posted 11 September 2010 - 13:54
Nice thorough review, thanks for posting it. I'm curious about your comment concerning the ink capacity. From the photos I've seen, I assumed that the bulb fillers would hold a lot of ink. Any idea what the actual capacity is?
The Pearl does hold a lot of ink in eyedropper mode. I think though that with a bulb filler the large pen body now has to hold the bulb and has a reduced capacity. I still think it would hold more than enough ink for most.
I have a custom made Pearl that brian did for me with a special textured finish. My daily carry pen now days.
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Posted 11 September 2010 - 13:58