Registration on the Fountain Pen Network
Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.
Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team
FPN Quick Navigation
- Our New FPN 2015 LE Pen!
- - FPN Blue Pearl Celebration LE
- FPN Forums & Forum Categories
- - FPN News forum
- - The Mall forum
- - FPN World forums
- - The Marketplace Forums
- - Writing Instruments forums
- - Brand Focus forums
- - Regional Focus forums
- - Inks, Inc. forums
- - Paper, & Pen Acc. forums
- - Creative Expressions forums
- FPN Store, Donations, Accounts & Advertising
- - Store Home
- - FPN Ink Store
- - Advertise on FPN - Info
- - FPN Marketing & Advertising
- - Variable Amount Donations - Iridium, Rhodium & Platinum
- - Fixed Amount FPN Rhodium & Platinum Supporters, & FPN without Ads Donations
- - Premium (Trader/Retailer) Accounts
- - Straight PayPal Anonymous Donations
- - FPN Without Ads Donation, Annual Subscription
- - FPN Without Ads Donation, Monthly Subscription
- - The FPN Café Press Shop
- FPN Apps & Modules
- - Blogs
- - Classifieds
- - Gallery
- - Downloads
- - Home Page
- - Members
- - Pen Events Calendar
- - FPN's RSS Feeds
- - Shoutbox
- - Upload
- - Classifieds: Browsing
- - Classifieds: Creation
- - Classifieds: Questions & Answers
- - Upload: How-to
- Rules & Guidelines
- - FPN Rules, Guidelines, TOU
- - Classifieds Rules
- - Premium Accounts: Rules
- - Market Watch Rules
Onoto Magna 261 Centenary Edition
Posted 06 July 2011 - 13:37
The Magna 261 is made from polished black acrylic patterned with the wavy chased markings that Onoto use. While the standard nib is stainless steel, I ordered this pen with the 18K gold nib. The bands and trim on the pen are hallmarked sterling silver under gold plate. The pen fills via the included premium converter but will take International Long cartridges.
One thing I learned reviewing this pen is that it is damned hard to photograph a black pen without studio equipment! Careful use of the Levels adjustment in Photoshop was needed to bring out the detail.
The pen was very well packaged when I received it. There was a single-wall cardboard shipping box which contained an Onoto-branded outer card box. Inside the card box were all the little extras that you expect with a premium pen these days... cleaning cloths, care instructions, company history, hallmark datasheet and advertising. Under all this lot was the Onoto-branded main pen box which appears to be made of soft wood or wood-effect material.
The base of the pen box is a lined with a velvet material and there is satin in the lid along with the Certificate of Authenticity showing the pen’s Edition Number and the registration card and lifetime guarantee. In my case, the pen was 189 of 261.
As stated on the Onoto website, the pen is polished black acrylic which has a pleasantly warm feel to the touch. The “snakes head” chasing pattern gives a little more grip and is comfortable when holding the pen. The step down from barrel to section is very slight and does not impede the grip in any way. Capped, the 261 is very close to the Pelikan M800 in size and uncapped it is a little shorter and lighter.
The included converter holds about the same amount of ink as you get in an International Short cartridge so does not affect the weight or balance much. I did not feel the pen needed to be posted in order to balance or fit in my hands (which are medium but broad).
The cap takes 3 2/3 full turns to remove but locks nicely when fully closed.
The main reason I chose the Magna 261 rather than the Magna Classic was because of the trim. The 261 is black and gold with a single broad gold band on the cap whereas the Classics all have the three thinner bands. This pen was an anniversary present and I really liked the “wedding ring” look of the cap band.
At the time I placed this order the website only showed the chasing pattern as used on this pen but I understand that it will soon be available on the Magna Classic blue/gold, the havana brown/gold and the black/silver pen bodies.
The end of the barrel shows a clear rounded button with the “261” logo. I assume the logo is printed onto a gold-plated disc because it matches the colour of all the other trim. The button feels like it is made of some clear silicone material.
The cap is finished with the traditional deep relief ONOTO logo in gold plate (remember all this trim is gold over sterling silver) which I had difficulty photographing in my lighting conditions. The high portions are polished gold and the low portions are gold stippled.
By default the pen comes with a stainless steel nib but as I said, I ordered the 18k gold nib. I understand the nibs are made by Bock in Germany to Onoto’s specifications.
They are available in Fine, Medium (0.65mm) and Broad (around 1.0mm) round tipped without modification and can be sent to a Nib Technician for custom grinds. I know from our conversations that John Sorowka (Oxonian) is currently in their list of Nib Techs so I elected to have the nib assembly sent to him before shipping so he could adjust the flow for my preferred brand of ink and the fact that I am a left-handed underwriter. Since this was just a tune-up rather than a full re-grind, a price was agreed for this job according to John’s fee-scale.
This nib sizes as a true Medium, unlike the Pelikan Souverän nibs which can come across as a fat Medium/Broad.
In terms of stiffness, I would rate this nib as a 2 out of 10 on the “Nail to Noodle” scale. There is a little line variation if you press firmly but this is a modern nib with no flex as standard.
As expected from a premium nib that has passed through the hands of a Nib Tech, the nib is extremely smooth. There is just a little feedback but absolutely no toothiness, even on rougher papers such as G Lalo Vergé de France.
John adjusted the flow for Diamine ink and the nib has been set fairly wet at about 8 out of 10. Even under fast writing, this nib does not skip and starts first time on all downstrokes. With this flow rate, I will have to be careful on cheaper papers about feathering but it was my choice to have the nib set this way.
The Magna 261 (and the Classic) caps have no breather hole so the nib should not dry out when capped.
At the moment all Onotos ship with a premium converter (I believe it is a Schmidt K5 piston converter) with clear sides. The piston operated very smoothly and holds the same amount of ink as an International Short cartridge. The converter fits very snugly on the nipple and there is no risk of the converter loosening when carried. The rubber seal on the end of the piston has a double o-ring and with care can have a tiny amount of pure silicone placed inside to keep it running smoothly.
The converter is accessed by twisting the section and barrel. There is a near-invisible join part way along the section which takes 6 2/3 turns to undo.
If you wanted to use cartridges then the 261 will take standard International cartridges so you are not limited by colour or proprietary shapes. You could also refill your own International Longs if you were so inclined.
Cleaning the Magna 261 is trivial. Simply remove the barrel, pull off the converter and the back of the section is exposed for easy cleaning. The ubiquitous rubber bulb syringe can be used if the pen is seriously clogged but a straightforward soak and flush in cool, slightly soaped (fairy) water or 10% ammonia would be enough for routine cleaning.
According to the website, the standard steel nibbed Magna 261 is currently priced at £325 plus £10 insured shipping plus £50 for the 18k nib if you want it. Sending the nib to someone like John Sorowka for tuning or a regrind is of course extra. Remember that these prices include UK VAT at 20% which can be waived for overseas customers. Some folks will exclaim that £325 is a heck of a lot for a steel-nibbed plastic pen but remember... the trim is gold over sterling silver, not brass.
Now here is the good bit... Onoto are willing to negotiate on the price of the Magna Classic and Magna 261 for members of the Writing Equipment Society and also the Fountain Pen Network. The fact that they must support their retail partners mean that any discount cannot be openly discussed but just ask. You will be pleasantly surprised about how flexible they can be!
Here is a writing sample of the Onoto Magna 261 (medium) against the Pelikan M800 (medium) on G Lalo Vergé de France Ivory Laid paper using Diamine Umber in both pens. You can see that the Pelikan M800 nib is tending towards the Broad. Both nibs have been adjusted by John Sorowka for high flow so both are writing wet as intended.
NOTE : I have used one application of Photoshop Smart Sharpen on these two images as the paper had curled slightly and one edge was a little out of focus on the Pelikan M800 shot.
The Magna 261 is 140mm capped, 123mm uncapped, 163mm posted (but I do not feel it needs posting) and weighs 25 grammes empty.
The pen is practically the same length capped as a Pelikan M800, about 5mm shorter when uncapped and a little lighter but I understand that there is a brass insert available when ordering which will give the pen a little more heft. The diameter of the pen very closely matches the Pelikan M800 too.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 13:38
Posted 06 July 2011 - 13:49
Shotokan Karate: Respect, Etiquette, Discipline, Perseverance
Posted 06 July 2011 - 14:34
Posted 06 July 2011 - 14:40
I thought I would stick to the facts with this review and I hope folks find it useful. I have just had confirmation that the box is indeed real wood, not "wood effect" and that the technical name for the chasing is "guilloche" pattern.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 14:46
The Onoto Magna 261 is a very fine fountain pen.
Posted 07 July 2011 - 05:08
Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:00
Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:29
Weight-wise, the 261 in its standard configuration is lighter than the Pelikan M800. This is due to the fact that there are no brass piston parts and also because it holds less ink in the converter. I do not have any issues with the weight at all - it is light enough to be comfortable and the warm feel of the acrylic makes the pen a pleasure to hold. If you want a heavier pen, ask David to fit the brass insert on your order.
I am a frequent-changer when it comes to my inks - I love changing colours often. The design of the 261 with its premium converter means that cleaning the pen is very easy indeed. I bought one of the rubber bulb syringes from eBay and in a minute or two the pen was clean and ready to re-ink.
The nib is still behaving perfectly of course. I would expect nothing less from a modern premium nib that has been through John Sorowka. It is currently loaded with Diamine Rustic Brown. I heard that some of the Diamine browns can be a little on the dry side but I am not finding that with the way this nib is set up. Thanks John!
Posted 19 July 2011 - 16:08
Since I have been asked about the size of the section on the pen, I will add the following information...
At its widest point just in front of the threads of the barrel the section is 12.60mm diameter. At its narrowest just before where it flares to the nib it is 10.60mm.
Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:51
However I don't see how they justify the price. Examples of black cast acrylic cartridge converter pens made in industrialized countries with gold nibs include:
Namiki Falcon - $144.00 (richardspens.com)
Pilot Custom 74 - $160.00 (richardspens.com)
Platinum Resin #3776 - $99.88 (isellpens.com)
The Pelikan M800 - $431.00USD (richardspens.com) can justify its price at least because it's a piston filler, not that I believe piston fillers are better, but I understand they cost more to make. Also the Pelikan has a celluloid body. I am not sure if the price of manufacturing is much higher in England or if it's just because of markup. The review did not specify but I assume the feed is molded plastic as well and not ebonite (a hallmark of high-end Italian pens).
One thing they could do to get prices more competitive is to get rib of that fancy box. From the picture I see on-line the original Onoto pens came in a plain cardboard box.
Posted 05 December 2011 - 06:44
Thanks for sharing the information.
Sailor Professional Gear - Sailor Jentle Grenade
Kaweco AC Sport Red Limited Edition - Kaweco Red
Sheaffer Prelude Chrome - Private Reserve Sherwood Green
TWSBI Diamond 540 - Sheaffer Purple
Sheaffer 300 - Private Reserve Orange Crush
Posted 05 December 2011 - 07:32
Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:00
Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:25
There is of course the new plunger filler if you want a different filling system!
Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:52
The pen bodies are made for Onoto by Carville, who also make the Parker Duofold (another cheap pen ), which explains the sumptuous glossy finish. There is plenty of room in the market for largely hand made items such as these, and it is great to see the enthusiasm for Onoto building in the way it has.
As a raw material, I would doubt if silver has a great deal to do with the cost of the finished pen; I expect it's more about the costs of working with it.