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The Bellmont Pen


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#1 jleeg

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 15:47

Please excuse the pictures taken on my ancient 5 megapixel camera. The real review follows in a subsequent post.

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#2 jleeg

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 16:35

So, the Belmont Pen

I did indeed buy this pen, on Friday, at the start of the Philadelphia Pen Show. Many of the exhibitors where not yet in the house when I arrived and getting around was easy in a thin crowd. I imagine and hope that the show was well attended and that my experience was because I was an early bird.

THE WORM. Richard Binder's booth had but one person ahead of me having some custom work performed. Waiting, I got to see his line-up of Bexleys and beside them, a display of pens under the moniker Gate City Pens. Here's what Richard's site says about them:

Founded in 2010, the Gate City Pen and Ink Company of Nashua, New Hampshire makes fountain pens. Good pens, built one at a time the old way, by real people, not churned out hundreds per hour by a machine. Gate Citty Pen is all about fountain pens that you can love using...

Fills Like Lightning, Writes Like a Dream! In 1904, Alfred B. Davis patented a filling system that, even today, remains the quickest and most positive self filler ever invented. Davis’ “plunger” filler made its commercial appearance on pens branded post, and for this reason it is sometimes referred to as the Post filler. Today it’s often referred to as a syringe filler for its similarity to the operation of an ordinary medical syringe. The Belmont Pen takes its name from one of the brands sold during the Golden Age by the famous Rexall chain of drug stores, but Rexall’s Belmont never used this simple filling system. We have used modern materials technology to bring you a great pen that’s ideal for quick jotting as well as for extended journaling. (And we’ve even designed the filler for easy repair should it ever be needed.) With its ink capacity of 1.8 ml, you’ll be able to steer clear of the ol’ ink bottle all day long—but you won’t have to, because the Belmont Pen is so quick and easy to flush that you can change ink colors almost as fast as you can change hats. It’s the perfect pen for every “inkophile”! At 57/16" capped and 615/32" posted, the Belmont is a full-sized pen (but not oversize), designed to fit almost every hand. It handles beautifully either posted or unposted.


Packaging: I'm not much on the package. Pracitcal...Bexley-like case in a cardboard box with end-label.

Pen: Well, you saw the picture and can see better at www.gatecitypen.com I'll post a shot of the pen beside my Pelikan 800 for comparison. I was surprised that the Belmont measured up, size-wise, as it seems smaller, due in my opinion to the tapers at both ends of the capped pen. The hand-feel is dandy for my hand but that is a subjective matter. Let me just say that filled it is lighter than the 800. The cap posts well if that is your thing, and it too is light enough not to create a significant balance issue. There is gold lettering on the cap and I will try to catch that in the comparison photo. As for aesthetics...your call. I like the tortoise, especially filled. Thats green ink in it (Everflo India Green also from Gate City Pen Co). The pen is translucent so you can see the parts reasoably well though it does not come across as a demonstrator.

Mechanics: It fills as Richard says. The plunger is not spring-loaded but long enough (very long) and with a knurled end for easy grabbing. The blind end is large so when off it gives great access to the plunger. Big fingers? I think you'll be just fine! Be careful though, once filled (push in, pull out, x2) that exposed plunger stem is just asking to be inadvertantly pushed....voila..the squirting pen trick. So when you go to replace the blind end, the slightest degree of care is required. Carefully conducted testing suggests that you should refrain from filling after three briskly consumed martinis.

Writing: Well, it has been Binderized. Enough said. Richard took a broad nib and transformed it into a medium italics. View the writing in a previous post under this topic. I opted for a gold (Bock I believe) nib; 18k.

Overall: The provenance is a big part of this purchase. Its an American pen (I believe Howard Levy plays a role), with the Binder touch performed for me before my very watchful eyes, purchased at the birthplace of American democracy - that's right, the Sheraton Hotel Center City Philly. I like that it identifies itself on the cap...like pens of yesteryear, less concerned with being a limited edition and more concerned with being a practical work-horse for those who write with fountain pens...and don't want to go to the trough too often (holds about 1/3 again the amount of ink that my 800 holds).

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Edited by jleeg, 23 January 2011 - 16:49.


#3 jleeg

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 16:38

Uncapped and with blind end removed.

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#4 razr

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 16:44

A new syndrome is born...PAD (Pen Acquisition Disorder) :roflmho: Great review. This pen is already on my "to get" list (tortoise). Also love the ink color. Enjoy your new pen!!!

#5 pavoni

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Posted 23 January 2011 - 16:52

Please excuse the pictures taken on my ancient 5 megapixel camera. The real review follows in a subsequent post.


Great review jleeg, and lovely writing. That's another one to add to the list.

Pavoni

#6 Richard

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 00:59

I opted for a gold (Bock I believe) nib; 18K.

No, actually, the 18K nibs come from JoWo, the same company that makes Gate City Pen's standard steel nibs.
Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#7 bookworm2109

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:20

Great review. I have been looking at this pen on RIchard Binder'swebsite. I espically like the gray.

#8 isaacrn

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:36

What is your turn around time for getting the nib ground to a cursive italic right now?
In order to appreciate the sweet, you must truly taste the bitter....

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#9 Richard

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 15:30

What is your turn around time for getting the nib ground to a cursive italic right now?

If you're referring to regrinding a pen that you are purchasing, our site explains this very clearly.

On the pen sales "lobby" page:

Buy It Now, Get It Now

Please note: purchases of new pens usually happen in a matter of days. We do not put new purchases into the repair queue for nib adjustment or modification!

On each new pen brand page:

Looking for a Custom Nib?

Ordering a custom nib is easy — read this pop-up “comic strip” to see just how easy it is! If you order a new pen with a customized nib, I will modify the nib (for an extra charge) and ship the pen immediately instead of putting it into my regular queue.


Edited by Richard, 26 January 2011 - 15:30.

Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#10 jde

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 16:15

Uncapped and with blind end removed.


Very nice. I'm curious about this pen and it always helps to see it next to something familiar. Appreciate, too, the 2nd photo with the blind cap off.

Enjoy!
-Julie
 
...writing only requires focus, and something to write on. —John August
...and a pen that's comfortable in the hand.—moi

#11 Essensia

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:57

A spot-on review. I received this pen today in gray and filled it with Everflo Orchid. It hasn't been out of my hand or out of my sight for about 12 hours now. :thumbup: I'll add my subjective "it just feels good." Writing is smooth as silk. Nibs are interchangeable; I'm using the stock fine nib and also have the stock medium nib. Love the look of it, the double rings, and especially the writing on the cap. So cool. B) It's a touch retro yet very slick-looking. A dream to write with.

#12 opus7600

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 17:24

Now we need a Postal Review......


One
Two
Three
Four
Five

Try using google with the search term you want, appended with "site:fountainpennetwork.com". That will only show you matches on this site.

#13 HammerHill

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:33

Wow, this is one of the most striking tortoiseshell pens I've ever seen!

#14 lovemy51

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 23:49

i like the look of these a lot more than the Postal's. and yes, the t-shell is beautiful!!!

#15 Doug C

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 00:27

I just took delivery of one of these in the tortoise (even though I don't care for gold furniture), and it is one slick little pen.
The nib is great, and the filling system ingenious.
the Danitrio Fellowship

#16 liz4tin

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 23:04

Why oh Why must you tempt me! I just ordered one in Carribean Blue, ground to a stub. I'll let you know how I like it when Mr. Binder ships it to me.

#17 lbhajdu

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 20:51

The blurb about this pen says:

(And we’ve even designed the filler for easy repair should it ever be needed.)


Does anybody know if the user can remove the piston without tools and pen service skills? And if yes, does it come out the back or through the section? I like converters because I use a lot of sticky water proof inks (LRM, KTC, …) and I’ve figured out that I can pull the piston right out of the back of the converter clean the walls and apply new silicon grease making the converter work just like new. That serviceability would be a big selling point for many.

The styling is a little funny and as an eccentricity I find syringes creepy (no flu shots for this pup) but I am still considering this pen. Odds are that there will be a chance to see it in person at the Long Island Pen show in N.Y. March 16 and 17 2013.

Leve

#18 lovemy51

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:33

congrats, jleeg and mr. Binder! that's truly a beautiful pen!

PS. your photos are fine, jleeg :thumbup:




boy, i hadn't realized i posted here, but i don't mind doing it twice. awesome pen!

#19 mhosea

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 22:18

The blurb about this pen says:

(And we’ve even designed the filler for easy repair should it ever be needed.)


Does anybody know if the user can remove the piston without tools and pen service skills? And if yes, does it come out the back or through the section? I like converters because I use a lot of sticky water proof inks (LRM, KTC, …) and I’ve figured out that I can pull the piston right out of the back of the converter clean the walls and apply new silicon grease making the converter work just like new. That serviceability would be a big selling point for many.


It is easy for a pen repairer to work on. The only thing that stands between you and a completely disassembled Gate City Belmont pen is a pair of shellac'd joints, something pen repairers deal with every day. These joints are not meant to be unscrewed by a person without "pen service skills". You would have to remove one or the other to get the piston out. OTOH, you can access the ink chamber in front of the piston by unscrewing the nib cartridge.

Edited by mhosea, 02 February 2013 - 18:33.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.


#20 schwartz54

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 18:59

Quick question for other Belmont fans. I have the original blue. Love the pen, but have been noticing a slight rattle of the syringe when writing. Anyone else experience this?

The blurb about this pen says:

(And we’ve even designed the filler for easy repair should it ever be needed.)


Does anybody know if the user can remove the piston without tools and pen service skills? And if yes, does it come out the back or through the section? I like converters because I use a lot of sticky water proof inks (LRM, KTC, …) and I’ve figured out that I can pull the piston right out of the back of the converter clean the walls and apply new silicon grease making the converter work just like new. That serviceability would be a big selling point for many.


It is easy for a pen repairer to work on. The only thing that stands between you and a completely disassembled Gate City Belmont pen is a pair of shellac'd joints, something pen repairers deal with every day. These joints are not meant to be unscrewed by a person without "pen service skills". You would have to remove one or the other to get the piston out. OTOH, you can access the ink chamber in front of the piston by unscrewing the nib cartridge.








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