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Caran D'ache Leman Review


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#1 lewis

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:23



This is my first review on FPN and whilst I do not see myself as qualified or with years of experience, I do have passion and a love for this pen.

Introduction

I recall watching an episode of Top Gear (an English motoring show) and they were seeking the best roadster. The contestants: BMW Z4 and Porsche Boxter. After many tests, they all agreed the outright winner... Honda S2000!! What!!! This isn't prestigious enough to hold this title. It should go to a more well known brand like the Porsche or BMW, or at least give it to a Mercedes! The simple fact is the little Honda, whilst not such a sexy name (sorry Honda), it simply out performed its rivals.... and that analogy is exactly what comes to mind when I see the Leman.

This Swiss luxury goods manufacturer doesn't seem to roll off the tongue as a great pen manufacturer, however hopefully this review may go some way to demonstrating this pens greatness.

Appearance
I have the Ebony black version which features silver plated and rhodium coated trims. I think this pen exudes class. It has subtle curves giving a torpedo shaped body to the barrel, that when posted, becomes a straighter pen. The cap features a 'CdA' logo over a slanted top. A deep black achieved by 8 layers of coating over brass engulfs the cap disturbed only by the rhodium coated clip and ring. The body is tipped by a stepped rhodium disc. The body, more of that delicious DEEP black. Where the barrel meets the section, a rhodium 'disc' surrounds the barrel with 'Caran d'Ache' elegantly displayed - very classy indeed.

A very well designed and made thread that only requires a 180 degree turn secures the lid very firmly in place.

This pen feels extremely well built.

The Nib
The Nib can be described as a spade as it opens out very widely. It is single tone Rhodium to echo the sentiments of the pens design. I find it beautiful although some may feel it is a little plain. It writes so well. I have several FP's (including a Duofold, and Carene) which are all beautiful but each have flaws in the nib. I often pick the Leman up daring it to skip or tooth, but it just performs wonderfully every time - a bit like the Honda. There is no or very little flex however this nib is the definition of buttery.

Weight and Size
The brass construction gives it plenty of weight, considerably heavier than the Carene. The weight is well distributed and even posted is very well balanced. The Leman is a bit of a Chameleon as unposted it is quite small (just 12.7cm) but posted reaches 16cm (my own measurements) and therefore can be well suited to those who prefer small or larger pens.

Value
I've seen this pen selling for as much as £440 however I purchased it from Pen Fountain in Surrey (UK) for a mere £285 - a bargain. I feel this pen is easily as good as a Montblanc 146 and therefore suitably priced at £440. At £285, it is daylight robbery!

Filing System
As a cartridge/converter pen, some may argue that it lacks that allure offered by a piston filler. The converter screws into place very securely and does hold sufficient ink. I doubt as much as a 149 or M1000 but covers many pages of A4 sufficiently. There is a rubber seal where the barrel screws into the section - perhaps this can also be used as an eyedropper?

Summary
I am amazed at how well this Leman performs. It certainly looks and feels stunning, and at the risk of offending some purists, I think owning one demonstrates a little creating thinking and imagination outside the box..... in fact, there is no box!

Lewis - 9/11/2010

More Photo's available on my Flickr page - http://www.flickr.co...s/47645442@N05/

Apologies, This Should have been titled 'Caran d'Ache Review'

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Edited by lewis, 11 September 2010 - 13:52.

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#2 matt385

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 11:30

A very good review. I also think highly of Caran D'ache as I have an Ivanhoe pencil and everything you said of the Leman is true of the Ivanhoe, except the nib....
The key to life is how well you deal with Plan B.

#3 lewis

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 13:54

Thanks Matt. It's amazing how infrequently this pen appears in this forum. CdA are an extremely fine manufacturer but unfortunately do not have the marketing talents of some other more well known manufacturers.
Fountain pens aren't a collection, it's an insatiable obsession!

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#4 1point1mm

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 17:23

Great review and the verbiage makes it interesting! Nice!
See with what large letters I have written you with my own hand. GaVIxi

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#5 777

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 13:15

Huh! I didn't know Caran D'ache made pens... Cool, And thanks for the review!

Regards,
777

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#6 lewis

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 18:20

They certainly do tripple7 and good ones at that! CdA really do need a decent marketing director!
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#7 ballboy

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 12:14

Nice to read your review Lewis.
The black body and cap is very smart and subtle. I see we are in accord over most of the Leman's fine qualities and characteristics. John Mottishaw's site has a pen ink capacity guide. MB 149 holds 2.7ml I think and the M1000 slightly less. Whatever, I think the c/c standard filling systems serves this pen well, even with that big wet smooth writer of a nib.The only other CdA pen I really like is the Madison, but I've only seen in as a gold pencil, albeit well reduced in price. This pen has definitely spoiled me for even more prestigious/expensive pens. That's probably a good thing...for now... :rolleyes:

Well done with the purchase :thumbup:
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#8 lewis

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 15:48

Thanks Ballboy. It's a truly great pen. The craftsmanship is second to none. The materials are perfect. I have had / used several more expensive pens I don't recall having this much satisfaction.

I must stop with the superlatives!! :embarrassed_smile:
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#9 Russ

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 00:16

Now I found the review!

#10 lewis

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 08:29

Now I found the review!

any good?
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#11 Russ

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 00:26

Outstanding!

#12 lewis

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 18:11

Thanks. I hope it opens a few minds to this wonderful pen.
Fountain pens aren't a collection, it's an insatiable obsession!

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#13 Jyun

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 12:59

Thanks - informative review. A couple of years ago, I asked the owner of a very good pen shop in Melbourne to recommend a classy fountain pen as a commemorative gift - & they went for the Leman straight away

Could I just ask - does the pen come with a converter?

#14 lewis

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 19:29

Hi Jyun. Mine came with a converter as well as a couple of cartridges. The converter is great because it screws into place, very classy and very secure. Flow from the converter is excellent with Diamine Inks.
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#15 Erlkonig

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 17:19

I wonder why CdA is not that talked about here...........maybe because it's utilitarian lines are too utilitarian and those limited editions are, well, uber-expensive.

Anyway the Leman I dare say is one of the very BEST fountain pen out there - the very BEST balance, and the very BEST nib quality. I was so surprised by the perfect balance when I was first handed a Leman. All other attributes are alright - not much bling and not a conversation piece but very fine lacquer technique and built like a tank - but for its writing abilities, 10 stars are just not enough.

Highly and whole-heartedly recommended as a work pen.
Current lineup:
Pelikan: 1935 Lapis Blue LE, Concerto LE
Waterman: Harmonie
Mont Blanc: Karajan SE
Pilot/Namiki: VP Raden
Delta: Indigenious People - Maasai LE
Stipula: Pinocchio (Candy White) with titanium nib
Visconti: Van Gogh (Ocean Blue) midi
Omas: 620 demonstrator (black)
Sailor: Professional Gear (Kanreki Edition)
Hero: unknown FP


Wish List:
Montegrappa: Symphony (yellow)
Omas: 360, Unicef
etc.

#16 adyf

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 20:49

The cap on my Leman must fit very close to the black section because the twist on and off action of the cap has left the section with a very slight scuff mark. Not a big deal but just wondered if anyone else has noticed this on their Leman?

#17 nicholasyeo

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 14:36

The Leman is one of the nice, modern designs that Caran d'Ache make. It's simplicity and
beauty is truly admirable. Definitely a classic!

#18 lewis

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:12

I wonder why CdA is not that talked about here...........maybe because it's utilitarian lines are too utilitarian and those limited editions are, well, uber-expensive.

Anyway the Leman I dare say is one of the very BEST fountain pen out there - the very BEST balance, and the very BEST nib quality. I was so surprised by the perfect balance when I was first handed a Leman. All other attributes are alright - not much bling and not a conversation piece but very fine lacquer technique and built like a tank - but for its writing abilities, 10 stars are just not enough.

Highly and whole-heartedly recommended as a work pen.



I think you sum it up very well well there.
Fountain pens aren't a collection, it's an insatiable obsession!

Shotokan Karate: Respect, Etiquette, Discipline, Perseverance

#19 lewis

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 09:15

The cap on my Leman must fit very close to the black section because the twist on and off action of the cap has left the section with a very slight scuff mark. Not a big deal but just wondered if anyone else has noticed this on their Leman?



I can't say I've noticed that on mine. However if I post the cap, then there will be a 'scuff' on the barrel. However a simple wipe over with a cloth removes it.
Fountain pens aren't a collection, it's an insatiable obsession!

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#20 tawanda

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:22

Did anyone think to tell CdA that "leman" is an old English word for mistress or prostitute? :roflmho:
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