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Gate City New Postal Senior


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#1 tawanda

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 19:15

This is the latest loaner from my good friend, the rent being, as usual, a review of the pen. So here it is...

The pen is made by the Gate City Pen company, and can be purchased via Richard Binder's site.


[attachment=80405:DSC02687.JPG]


[attachment=80406:DSC02689.JPG]


More pics can be seen here: http://www.richardspens.com/

This model is the Senior in amber and black. It looks remarkably like a Bexley, who I believe were very active in the production of the pen. It has the flat top, the twirly gold bead (for want of a better description) on the end of the clip, and IMHO, it screams Bexley. That may be great for many here on FPN but I'm not a Bexley fan (except for the torpedo shaped Submariner) The thing that I like least about this design is the fact that the pen cap is so oversized. Side-by-side, it is longer than either the blind cap or the ink window. Because it takes up more than a third of the overall look, it looks top heavy. Add to that the fact that there's almost an inch of black space above the top of the clip and you have a clumsy, unappealing, top-heavy looking pen.

The pen is huge. Although it is not as wide as a MB 149, (13 mm to 15.2mm) it is longer: 6mm longer when capped, 8mm longer uncapped, and a whopping 17mm longer posted! Actually, it is not easy to post it, the cap kind of perches on the end, very unsecurely.

The nib size is big but it fits in well, considering how big the pen is. But it is steel, which I think is sad. For the price (full price $245) it should have come with a gold nib. The medium nib in this pen has been professionally ground to a fairly crispish, cursive italic. Its got a fair bit of feedback. I'm not sure if that is the way the pen's owner wanted it, or if the nib's feedback is part of it's design, but I can't say I'm that keen. I would like to try a standard nib for comparison.

The filling system is via a rubber bulb hidden under a blind cap at the top. It took a little getting used to, but once I did, I found it fun. With each sucessive squeeze, you see the ink level go up, until it's about 3/4 full. And that, my friends, is a lot of ink! And that brings me to the ink window. I love it. It encompasses around half the body of the pen. Its a great feature, and it's such fun to watch the ink slosh around as you write.

So, in conclusion:

I like the enormous ink window, and the filling system is simple and efficient, making the pen a joy to fill and to wash out, too. It holds an enormous amount of ink: over 3 ml according to Richard's website.

The writing experience was OK but I'd like to try a standard nib for comparison.

The design, particularly in the top heavy cap, and the overtly Bexley clip, leaves a lot to be desired.

edited for typos...

Edited by tawanda, 11 November 2010 - 19:55.

For Sale:
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Pilot Elite (Short-Long)http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11951-pilot-elite-short-long/

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#2 Brian

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 22:39

Nice. Also an interesting piece that's sporting an IPG nib. Looks like a tool pen meant for serious business.

#3 Bronze

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 23:03

- It is made by Bexley, that is no secret.
I love the way it looks, just like the old postal pen.

It's also available in a smaller size if you prefer a smaller pen.

#4 Russ

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:04

The $250 price is certainly something to consider, but there is service behind it. Users won't be left in the lurch by Richard.

#5 opus7600

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:11

Also worth nothing that while supposedly the MSRP is $245, since Richard is the only guy making or selling them, I think it's fair to say the MSRP is whatever he's *actually* selling them for, which is currently $195. At that price he's undercutting an Edison bulb-filler by over $150. (What you give up for that is a greater choice of pen shapes and colors.)

#6 tawanda

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:52

I'm wondering if my lack of enthusiasm for this pen is, in part, a cultural thing. Its not pushing any of my nostalgia buttons, being a Brit. I suspect I'd be fonder of it if I remembered my granny having an original Postal pen...
For Sale:
Penman Ink http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11952-penman-mocha-ink/
Pilot Elite (Short-Long)http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11951-pilot-elite-short-long/

#7 Russ

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 14:10

If it came with a Titanium nib ... :ninja:

#8 opus7600

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 15:20

If it came with a Titanium nib ... :ninja:


Unlikely to happen, given who sells them. http://www.richardsp...p/materials.htm

#9 tawanda

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:56

I have had a few pens with steel nibsthat are excellent, A Visconti Van Gogh and a Waterman Expert rank the highrest non-gold nibs, for my personal taste. But 14k gold is way superior. Although I have limited experience, during the past three yrs or so that I've been a 'user' I've never had a bad gold nib, but I've had some real dogs made from steel, and not just Chinese cheapies, either.

If I pay £5 for a Hero I expect a rough ride. BUt, IMO, if I were to pay more than, say, £100 (£170?) I would demand a good quality gold nib.
For Sale:
Penman Ink http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11952-penman-mocha-ink/
Pilot Elite (Short-Long)http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11951-pilot-elite-short-long/

#10 hardyb

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 18:56

I bought one at the DC Pen Show from Richard. Red, transparent, medium steel nib. One of the best pen I ever used, bar none.
Writes like a dream, lots of ink capacity. Guts the competition like a fish.

Edited by hardyb, 12 November 2010 - 18:57.

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#11 tawanda

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 19:30

That's the wonderful (and sometimes emotive) thing about the fountain pen world, everyone has their personal expectations and desire.

For me, the nib has to be buttery smooth, silent, and the wirting experience should be like oil on silk...

Noisy nib and feedback just drive me nuts.
For Sale:
Penman Ink http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11952-penman-mocha-ink/
Pilot Elite (Short-Long)http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/classifieds/item/11951-pilot-elite-short-long/

#12 Russ

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 00:56

If it came with a Titanium nib ... :ninja:


Unlikely to happen, given who sells them. http://www.richardsp...p/materials.htm


Richard writes in that article: "And when it comes to brass and titanium nibs, it’s probably better not to go there — unless of course you just want to look at the pen and don’t actually plan to write with it." Ouch! (Pouts: "My Stipula Ventidue Ti writes very well, and I'm gonna ink it anyway.")

#13 1000km

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 18:28

The design, particularly in the top heavy cap, and the overtly Bexley clip, leaves a lot to be desired.


Thank you for this frank and honest review. Even legends have to come back down to earth occasionally.

Edited by 1000km, 18 December 2010 - 18:28.


#14 tonybelding

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 17:23

Just for a point of comparison. . . I got the New Postal Junior with a ruby ink window and a steel M nib. It has become a favorite for me, and one of the few pens that I use and rely upon routinely.

I've gradually been turning against the currently popular trend of huge pens, as I find them less practical to carry around. The Jr is pretty similar in size to a Pelikan M200. It's short but not a skinny pen.

The first one I got had problems with the nib, it was too wet and it sometimes scratched. I returned it for adjustment, and Mr. Binder straightened it out pretty quick. I am very happy with how it writes now. I like the filling system and huge, visible ink reservoir too.

My only complaint has been posting. It's possible to post, but the cap clings precariously right at the end of the blind cap. Maybe I could get used to it, but it's not the normal way that one expects posting to work.

EDIT: My other only complaint is that it takes two full rotations of the cap to go on or off. That's just a minor nuisance, though.

Edited by tonybelding, 20 December 2010 - 17:28.







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