If you haven't my original post, please see here: http://www.fountainp...1#entry1903771. The premise is that I will be making a series of up-trades starting with a Red Wing Sung 322. My plan is to get to my current Grail Pen: the Pelikan M1000 Green Striated with Broad or Cursive Italic Broad nib.
Well, I made my first trade and Tony was kind enough to trade me an awesome Brown/Gold Airmail Clear Eyedropper pen. I think it is a model 69, although I cannot be sure. So, as promised in my original "deal" with the FPN, I'm going to review each pen that I receive in trade along the way.
Appearance & Design (7/10) – This eyedrop filler comes across as being very utilitarian. But, the chrome band around the cap and the chrome "jewel" on the top of the cap definitely add to the appearance. The body is crystal clear and not hazy at all. I was most pleased with that aspect. the cap is a semi-transparent swirl of resin. In this case the resin was orange and gold. But I know this pen comes in various colors. The section matches the cap. The threads on the section are very fine, so sometimes this pen takes a while to deploy. The gold plated nib is larger than I expected and quite nice for a pen of this cost. The clip has just the right amount of tension on it. The best part about this pen is that it hold a HUGE amount of ink (I think 4.5mL) so it is great for taking on trips or to exams where re-inking may not be possible. The clear barrel is a plus for those of you who like to show off the colors you have mixed.
Construction & Quality (9/10) – The barrel of the pen is very thick-walled and the clip seems rugged and sturdy. Dropping this pen on the pavement probably wouldn't phase it. Furthermore, the screw on cap ensures that the cap will not come off upon a sudden drop. During my testing of this pen, it never leaked once. Although, I did only carry it around for a week. The ornamentation and plating on the nib could be a bit better though and I've seen such on lesser pens.
Weight & Dimensions (7/10) – The dimensions are: Capped = 137mm, Posted = 161mm, Unposted = 118mm. The pen is medium-light weight. This probably due to the utilitarian approach they took in designing it and the thick walled barrel. But, I like the weight and feel of it in my hand and the balance is quite good too. Since I like a heavier pen, i'm going to get this one a 7 in this category.
Nib & Performance (7/10) – This pen seems to put down a very wet fine line. If you turn over the nib, it writes extra fine. Although, in this mode it is quite scratchy. The pen started up in the morning right away with no hassle whatsoever and this was a pleasant surprise. Furthermore the nib is much smoother than any chinese pen I have tried. There are two downsides to this nib: (1) sometimes it projects blobs of ink onto the paper (see the writing sample below. The number "6" has a blob that I pointed out), (2) The nib seems to bleed ink from the hole. I guess this is a sort of nib-creep that I have not yet seen in other pens. But, because of the reliability and smoothness, I'll give this pen a 7.
Filling System & Maintenance (9/10) - Two good things about this pen: (1) It doesn't get any simplier or maintenance-free than an eyedrop filler, (2) it holds a massive amount of ink. I never had this pen leak once, although due to the blobbing discussed above, I cannot give this pen a perfect 10.
Cost & Value (8/10) – These can be found on eBay for $9. That is a pretty good value for what this pen does. It works much better than some chinese pens I have paid this amount for and I like the look and feel of it better. Furthermore, I find it more reliable and definitely carries much more ink. I would give this pen a higher score, but I feel like maybe it should go for around $7 due to its mechanical simplicity.
Conclusion (47/60 = 78%) - Overall I am suprised at the quality for the dollar. I was thinking this was going to be a much lesser pen. This pen seems reliable although it does drop a blob of ink now and then. The construction is sturdy and the pen feels substantial but not heavy. The swirled color in the cap and section really draw attention. The nib is smooth, wet and fine to medium-fine (more like a western fine).
Overview of the pen (thanks for the image Tony!):
In My Hand for Scale:
Another Photo for Scale:
Nib and Section:
A Horrible Photo of the Feed:
Photo of the Nib Creep Problem:
I hope you enjoyed this review. Please let me know what I can do to make future reviews even better. I look forward to trading with you
Edited by JonB55198, 20 March 2011 - 13:46.