This pen arrived in an ordinary pen box -- nothing overly large or ostentatious. Opening the box revealed a substantial cylinder of luscious acrylic. The material was marketed as "red/rust," but appears to be similiar to the "terracotta" material Bexley used in its 2001 sleeve-filler. Regardless of its name, it has lovely chunks of red, brown, gold, tan, black ... beautiful autumn colors! The material has depth to it and plays with the light. Gold trim complements the acrylic. Quite impressive!!
APPEARANCE AND DESIGN: 10 of 10
This pen trips my trigger on many levels: I love its minimalist, cylindrical shape, its wide (5/16") cap band that extends to the edge of the cap, its unusual clip, and its secure friction-fit posting. I also love its 18k Danitrio nib with engraved emblem (a rising sun?). All in all, an attractive, well-executed design.
WEIGHT AND DIMENSION: 10 of 10
This is a large pen at 5.5" capped, and 7.125" posted. The diameter is .625". I don't post my pens, and would find this one too long if I did. However, the cap posts securely if so desired. I resisted this pen for quite a while because I thought it would be too large, but the pen's size is pleasing and it's well-balanced. With recent trends towards supersizing fountain pens, this pen may soon be considered "average" size.
NIB AND PERFORMANCE: 5 of 10, corrected to 9.5 of 10
This 18k Danitrio nib was sold as a Medium and, out of the box, it wrote a medium width line. However, it was far too wet, so I adjusted the flow using the techniques I learned at Richard Binder's DC Pen Show nib smoothing seminar. After inspecting the nib under a loupe, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it's a Fine. I proceeded to adjust the flow and achieved a smooth, Fine, medium wet line that I'm quite pleased with. While I think Richard would pass me for the result I achieved, I'm afraid he'd flunk me for the fact that I managed to bend the tines downward ever so slightly. Luckily, the effect is one that pleases me, and given that the line width, wetness, smoothness and easy start-up are spot on, I'm quite pleased with my adjustment.
FILLING SYSTEM: 7 OF 10
This is a cartridge/converter, which I don't mind. Its converter is terrible, however, and caused ink to drip from the nib. I'll use a different converter, or convert this pen to an ED fill (in which case its ink capacity will be quite large). I've deducted 3 full points for the lousy converter, but really this is matter that's easily resolved. Given that it could be a frustrating problem for an inexperienced fountain pen user, however, I think the point deduction is justified.
COST AND VALUE: 10 of 10
I bought this from Avalon Pens for $140, plus $9 shipping. Given that Old Griz paid $90 for his steel nib Tosca two years ago, I consider this to be a good price for a Tosca with an 18k Danitrio nib. It would have been less of a value if I'd had to send the nib to a nibmeister for adjustment, of course. Danitrio no longer produces this pen, so availability is limited.
CONCLUSION: 51 of 60, corrected to 55.5 of 60
I love this pen and it's made it into my regular rotation. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that Danitrio is now focusing on more upscale fountain pen designs, so I'm delighted to have added this entry-level Danitrio to my collection!
Edited by Hennypenny, 31 October 2010 - 22:17.