I've been up to my neck recently with university this and prac placement that so I haven't really had as much time as I usually do to browse these hallowed halls. Actually, I should probably be working on some presentations or reports or something but instead, I'm going to write a review on the Edison Pearl for four reasons.
- Reviews are more fun to write than reports
- I had the day off and it was nice and sunny. Perfect opportunity to snap some photos =)
- I promised Brian that I'd post a review
- The pen is almost orgasmic
So without further ado...
Presentation - 6.5/10
Nothing really special here. A nice long box in red/brown faux crocodile leather. Inside of the box is white and the inner base is padded with felt (or something like that). The top of the inside has 'Edison Pen Co.' and the Edison Pen Company logo printed on it which I thought was a nice touch and serves as a nice reminder that this isn't just some random box picked up at a shady warehouse.
The box opened with the Pearl inside.
Appearance - 10/10
Appearance is always going to be a very subjective thing but when you order a custom made pen, as I did here, then you can pretty much make it look the way you want it. When I was deciding what colour and material I wanted, it dawned on me that I didn't own a single LBP (little black pen). I was also quite curious about what ebonite felt like in the hand because I'd heard all sorts of wonderful things. So I opted for glossy black ebonite (and boy is it glossy!). For those worried that the glossy finished may get scratched, Brian has offered to buff any imperfections out of the pen at the cost of return shipping so bonus points there for excellent service.
Next step: clip or no clip? The pen does look much sleeker without a clip but being the absent-minded klutz that I am sometimes, I didn't much fancy the idea of having a rather pricey pen just roll off the table, I opted for a clip in rhodium because I think it gives it a cleaner, more modern look. I'd heard of a black/rhodium duotone nib from one of the reviews on FPN and fired off an email to Brian about it because I figured that would look steaksauce with black ebonite. Alas, those nibs didn't have the Edison Pen Company logo engraved on them so I went with the standard 18k rhodium coloured nib.
One important thing to note is that the pen is deceptively large. Although it is the baby of the Edison Pen Company's range, it is still a full sized pen. It's roughly the same length as a Visconti Opera Club and noticeably wider.
Size comparison. From left to right: Esterbrook SJ, Waterman Carene, Pelikan M400, Edison Pearl, Visconti Opera Club, Pilot M90
If you look closely, you can see the reflection of the grass. The engraving on the barrel is also a nice touch.
Function and Quality - 9/10
This is where the pen really shines. Everything lines up and fits together perfectly. Despite this being a relatively large pen, it is quite light. This is probably due to the material and the absence of any weighty trim or filling mechanism. That being said, there is enough weight there so you don't forget that you're holding a pen and whatever weight is there is very well distributed so that the pen is nicely balanced. The section has a nice curve to it that makes it very comfortable to hold.
As for the ebonite, it is an entirely difference experience to anything else I've ever felt. It warms up to your hand and feels almost 'soft'. Absolutely amazing for lengthy writing periods. I've heard some people complain about the smell of ebonite but I don't really mind the smell too much and the smell is barely noticeable after a week.
The only downside to the Pearl is that it doesn't post. I don't usually post anyway so, like the ebonite smell, this doesn't really bother me. However, I know that the smell and the non-posting may bother some people so I've knocked off half a point for each.
Notice the gentle curve of the section. Doesn't look like much, but it makes a big difference.
Nib Design and Performance - 10/10
As I mentioned earlier, I opted for an 18K gold nib in rhodium. I asked Brian for a fine nib with moderately wet flow (about a 7 out of 10) and just the very slightest hint of tooth. And boy did Brian deliver! The nib is absolutely flawless. Very smooth with just enough tooth for me to control it and a deliciously wet line. The nib starts without problem every time, even after sitting uncapped for fifteen to thirty minutes. The design is also quite nice with the usual nib material and size info engraved on bottom and the Edison Pen Company logo.
A small writing sample.
Close up of the nib. Not sure if you can make it out but the nib is actually marked as a medium. What happened here was that Brian had run out of engraved nibs in fine and gave me three options - wait a week or two for the next shipment of nibs, take a fine nib without the engraving, or have a medium nib reground into a fine. I went with option number three because I'm not a particularly patient person and figured that a reground nib would add just another level of customisation to the pen. More brownie points here for customer service.
Filling System - 8/10
The usual cartridge/converter filler which is perfectly fine by me. The pen also works as an eyedropper which I imagine, due to the reasonably large body, would hold a fair amount of ink.
Conclusion - 43.5/50
I think the score says it all. This is an absolutely amazing pen. It isn't cheap by any definition but you have to remember that for the price you're getting a pen custom made to your liking. You get to decide on everything from the material to the way the nib writes to the filling system. And I think that makes the Edison Pearl a worthwhile investment. Add to that the absolutely amazing customer service that just puts everybody else to shame, and I can say that I would most certainly recommend the Pearl and the Edison Pen Company to anybody looking for a higher end pen.
And here are a couple more photos to see you off.