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Stypen Up! Review


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10 replies to this topic

#1 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 02:50

Hi Group,

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 Triple-Broad, Double-Broad or Cursive Italic Broad nib.

Well, I made my 2nd trade and Kris was kind enough to trade me two pens. I traded my Airmail 69TS for a Wearever Pennant and a Stypen UP! 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. This review will be for the Stypen UP! as I have already reviewed the Wearever.

Stypen UP! Review:
Appearance & Design (6/10) – The UP! is not the most beautiful pen on the planet. Its design speaks of industrialism and utilitarianism. Furthermore, the nib itself is steely and boring. But, the pen has a solid feel in the hand. It's just not my taste in design. But what saves this design from being a complete failure is the unique ability to retract the nib. It's very cool and helps the UP! make a slightly above average score. Another cool aspect is the spring loaded clip which has just enough tension to quickly clip it to your pocket or placket without dragging or snagging.

Construction & Quality (6/10) – The rubberized barrel helps you quickly twist the pen to eject and expose the nib. The materials help the pen stay light as a feather. They should have made it so that it would take a standard sized converter. But, as it only takes short international cartridges, I had to fill one with Noodler's HoD to do this review. Taking apart the pen was very easy and the locking mechanism definitely conveyed a sense of quality.

Weight & Dimensions (7/10) – The pen is small and light. Not my favorite. I like to KNOW that i'm writing with a special writing instrument when I use a fountain pen. But, this size and weight make it very portable. Thus, I'm giving this a slightly higher than average score since it achieves its intended goal of being portable. The only problem is that, it only takes short international cartridges so you cannot take it on vacation if you do not have access to ink.

Nib & Performance (4/10) – The nib is boring looking and too broad to be an all-around carry-wherever pen. I feel a portable pen should be able to stand alone and be useful in all situations. This nib didn't give this type of performance. Also, after filling it, it started hard. I need a pen I can rely on in my pocket while on short trips.

Filling System & Maintenance (7/10) - This pen uses short international cartridges and thus it cannot hold a standard converter. This is a big minus. I know that there are short converters on the market. But, for this review I had to refill an empty cartridge I had on hand. Major MINUS. Since I only could stomach to run one cartridge full through this pen I do not have a feel for maintenance.

Cost & Value (4/10) – I can't seem to find these online right now. But previously I found them for $15 USD or so. I would probably pay a maximum of $10 for this pen. Thus, I give it a 4 out of ten as it didn't meet my expectations for the aforementioned reasons.

Conclusion (34/60 = 57%) - Although the retractable option is cool, I don't think I would seek this pen out or put it on my wish list. The nib and filling system just aren't exciting enough to make it worth it. There are many other better options for $15.

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WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator


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#2 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 15:02

Very well made review!

About the M1000 3B, if you looking for one, it's really a great pen! And I don't use exclusively for signature, I use it everyday for taking notes.

Edited by fabrimedeiros, 07 June 2011 - 15:09.


#3 Lexaf

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 15:50

Hi Jon,
Read your review. Excellent! :clap1:

I agree with you on all points except for the minus you experience in taking it only one int. cartridge. One of the main gimmicks of this little pen is that it has a retractable nib and therefore it is is so short and thus so portable. Consequence is that it takes only one short cart.! When used as a travel pen it is not a big problem to carry 1 or 2 spare cartridges somewhere in your luggage, even a standard box of 6 Pelikan 4001 carts measures only 5 x 4 x 0.8 cm! That would not be a problem for me....

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I was very happy to obtain the Stypen from you in your following trade, because I already had the 'BIC' version of the same pen and I wanted to see if there were any differences. There is one! The Stypen has a metal spring loaded clip, the Bic has a plastic clip that is just an integrated part of the plastic cap. Defenitely a minor point in quality, comparing the two pens. All other details in the design are identical. Another funny detail is that that both brands (Stypen being a brand under the BIC umbrella) are made in France, but (as far as I know) the Stypens were particularly marketed for the USA, while the BIC version was made for the European market only. Extra strange, because one can find several other models under the Stypen brand in Europe, especially in France. :happyberet:

I do not think I am going to use these little pens on a regular basis, because they look and feel too much like a 'toy' pen to me. But, being the collector I am, I will keep them both, because I think the modern renaissance of the retractable safety pen is quite a genius gimmick, and I wondered why they never used the system in one of the other models or brands that are under the Stypen flag.... (given it is a patented system). Maybe the whole concept was not such a success after all; I have the impression that (anyway here in Holland) the pens were only available during a short period (round 2003-2004?) and maybe the model is already discontinued, making this pen a curiosity after a few years already. Should I introduce the term Junior Vintage here.... :hmm1:

I hope to read more from you when you publish the reviews about the P45 and the W'man Cultur. ( I know, you're a busy guy, and the study has priority, so take your time). Any developements in a coming trading deal? :rolleyes:

Regards,
Lex aka Lexaf

Edited by Lexaf, 07 June 2011 - 15:56.


#4 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 17:54

Lex,
Thanks for weighing in. I am happy you like the Stypen. I have already made the scans for the P45 and the Kultur. I have used them quite a bit and liked them alot! The Kultur was especially awesome! As for a trade, if you go check the original post, I have agreed to trade for a lovely cracked-ice Conklin Endura. It looks wonderful!!! :)
-Jonathan

WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator


#5 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 17:55

Very well made review!

About the M1000 3B, if you looking for one, it's really a great pen! And I don't use exclusively for signature, I use it everyday for taking notes.


I'm looking forward to getting it. I wonder if I should have the nib made into a Cursive Italic point or leave as a 3B? Thoughts?

WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator


#6 emiliovillegas

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 19:55

Any ideas where I could get the Stypen or the BIC?
Cheers
Emilio Villegas

#7 Freddy

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 21:41

Any ideas where I could get the Stypen or the BIC?
Cheers



For your consideration..give Fast Eddie K. a call in El Paso, Texas at..
http://www.airlinein...t/stypenup.html

Hope this helps..

Fred

#8 Lexaf

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 10:28

Any ideas where I could get the Stypen or the BIC?
Cheers


As the production of these pens is discontinued already for a number of years, it will not be easy to find a (web) shop where you can obtain them.
So you will have to dig in the used / new old stock area. Maybe a 'wanted' posting in the Classifieds section of this board helps.
Good luck hunting!

#9 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:44

It was really a fun pen to write with and I wish you luck in finding it.

WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator


#10 sharon888

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:53

Any ideas where I could get the Stypen or the BIC?
Cheers


I recently got a few Stypen Paris Saturn pens from Altman Luggage. They have a few different Stypen models in their Closeout section for $9.95 each.

#11 EenyBear

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 18:25

Amazon still sells the Stypen Up

http://www.amazon.co...1/dp/B0093NRKVW

The appear regularly on eBay.

 

Contrary to the general sentiment above, when I compare the Stypen to any other pen at the <$20 price point, or even the <$100 price point, it is the clear winner - although it's hard to beat the Pilot V-Pen disposable in this category.  Further, the Stypen Up that I have came out of the box writing as well as my Rotring 600 (knurled), and that's something to mention.  No leaks, easy cartridge installation.

 

I quite like it and I am a huge fan of cartridge pens for business travel.  The "Up" is a bit small for me to use for extended purposes but it's fun and writes extremely well.


Edited by EenyBear, 11 November 2013 - 18:29.







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