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Bexley Corona Arrives!


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#1 tonybelding

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 15:30

I've really been waiting eagerly for this one, and it showed up in this morning's mail!!

I got the Summer Sunset color, which is basically that familiar red-orange we all know from great 1920s Parker "Big Red" Duofold -- and the pens from other makers that shamelessly copied it. The look is very classical: cylindrical body and cap with black "flat top" style ends, gold cap bands. I'm glad they decided to offer this color; it really is a good match for the styling.

We'd been told the piston mechanism is very smooth, and I found that to be true. It also adds a bit of heft to the pen, which I instantly noticed upon first picking it up. My other Bexleys have been very lightweight, but this is more of a middleweight. It must be the brass parts inside that I feel. It feels solid.

One of the first things I did before inking it was measure the ink capacity. I do this by filling and expelling water, then measuring the output with a syringe, which means that I make no attempt to account for the capacity of the feed. I measured consistently 1.1cc. To put in perspective, that's a little more than my TWSBI 530 and almost identical to my Pelikan M200 as measured using the same method. It's also about 60% more ink than a Schmidt K5 converter, which has been the standard for Bexley pens until now. So. . . This is what I consider to be perfectly decent and practical ink capacity, but if you were expecting something to hold three or four times as much as a converter, this isn't it. (Maybe you'd better go for a New Postal pen?)

I was worried about whether this pen's cap would post well. Not a problem! It posts in a nice and secure manner. The only quibble is that it does post onto the blind cap (like a TWSBI) so you don't want to go twisting the cap while it's posted!

I'm picky about clips. Although it's slightly peculiar looking on the end, I'm happy to say this clip is snag-free and has the right amount of tension. It is positioned pretty high on the cap, so it drops the pen deep into your pocket.

The nib and feed are housed in a removable unit, or module, that screws out easily. However, it's not identical to the ones used in Bexley C/C pens, and it doesn't have the nipple that a cartridge or converter would fit onto. That means you can't trivially swap nibs with other Bexleys, although you can disassemble the nib units and swap the actual nibs between them. It's a somewhat trickier operation.

The cap disassembles just like many other Bexley caps, without tools. The pen body and section don't come apart, and there's no immediately obvious way to get into the piston mechanism. So. . . A TWSBI it ain't. On the other hand, removing the nib-and-feed module gives you easy access to clean or lubricate inside the ink reservoir as needed.

The ink window I'm still not sure about. It's small. Compared with something like a TWSBI or a New Postal or a Belmont or a Stipula Vedo, the visibility of the Corona's ink supply is very constrained. It's about half the size of the window on a Taccia Merit, even. Only time will tell how well this works for monitoring the ink level. It might depend on the opacity of your chosen ink too.

I got mine from Richard Binder with the nib adjusted (i.e. "Binderized"). I inked it up with my benchmark Noodler's Black, and it's smooth with just the right flow. It's a F that's on the flabby side of fine, more like a fine-medium, as I had expected since German-made nibs often are.

A small quirk: The section is nicely shaped and I think will be comfortable, and is made of black plastic -- sort of black, anyhow. With the nib removed and light shining on it, I could tell it was actually a clear plastic with a heavy, but not complete, spattering of black color. It's only noticeable when the pen is disassembled, not in normal handling. The odd thing is, I've seen this before. The black cap of my New Postal Jr is the same way, sort of mottled translucent when light shines through it.

So, how's that for a first impression? I had high expectations for this pen, and right out of the box it's meeting those expectations very well. Congratulations to Bexley for getting this onto the market! This is the real thing, no gimmick.

Posted Image

  • Bexley 56
  • Bexley America the Beautiful
  • Sheaffer Triumph Valiant
  • Gate City New Postal Jr
  • Bexley Corona

Could we get some uncapped comparison pics? Next to some other well known pens? Maybe? Please? :D


How's this?

Posted Image

Edited by watch_art, 08 August 2011 - 22:52.


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#2 Tennessee Dave

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 16:02

Thanks for your review
Dave

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#3 OiRogers

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 16:04

I look forward to receiving my example of this pen... According to the email I got from Ms. Binder, my Corona should ship by Saturday.:thumbup:

I got mine with a steel nib, a first for Bexley for me. I'm going to see how the steel rides and then perhaps replace / upgrade with the 18k. I'm just going to guess that the Summer Sunset with gold trim will by far be the biggest seller in this line.... Any pen so strongly "DuoFold" like in appearance is sure to be a hit.

#4 Lady Spencerian

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 16:37

My Corona in Summer Storm, with a two-tone fine 18K nib, arrived yesterday. I agree with most of what you wrote in your first impressions (including your assessment of the nib). I panicked when I inked it with the free True Blue Everflo that came with the pen: the line laid down was way too juicy and wet, continuing to spread after it hit the page on Clairefontaine and feathering on printer paper. I emptied the pen, rinsed it, and tossed and turned overnight while I wondered what, if anything, might be done. While the coffee dripped this morning, I inked it again with Platinum Aurora Blue and got much better performance. I concur that the line is on the flabby side of fine, but I really like the pen and nib. I think it is one that will be in rotation often.

Edited by Lady Spencerian, 04 August 2011 - 16:40.


#5 Uncle Red

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 18:07

I've been looking at these so thanks for the comments. I know what I'd like for Channukah :thumbup:

#6 fourseamer

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 18:34

I think photos are in order here. I received my Summer Sunset and Blueberry Cream yesterday, and I am happy. I'm not as confident about posting the caps though. Very snug fit and onto the blind cap no less. I'm a serial poster, and I'm just not sure this pen suits my habit. Balance is a little top heavy and length is quite long with the cap posted, and like the TWSBI 530, you risk an inky mess if you twist the cap while posted. That said, I think the pen is large enough to write with unposted and nicely at that.

That small nit aside, the pens are terrific. Smooth nibs, smooth piston action, good capacity, good size and weight (unposted), and drop dead gorgeous. :)

Edited by fourseamer, 04 August 2011 - 18:35.


#7 januaryman

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 18:47

I received my Summer Storm and the look of the pen blew me away. Outstanding deep colors, the barrel seems to shimmer in the light if day. My nib was fine, Binderized, and a lot more medium-like than I had expected, but definitely a good width for me.

Unfortunately my Everflo True Blue (1st request) failed, but instead came with my 2nd request, Blue-Black. I filled it up nonetheless and was in love with the pen at once. My only gripe is that the Everflo Blue-Black seems to have a great deal of bleed through, at least on my Sustainable Earth notebooks. Or maybe the Corona is a very wet writer. Time will tell.

I liked the Corona so much that I'm badly tempted to go for another in Lemon Meringue. And maybe a CI custom nib to make me completely happy. But I'm going to enjoy the Corona I do have for a while, before I start wishing for another.

Edited by januaryman, 05 August 2011 - 12:14.

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#8 JefferyS

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 18:51

Thanks for the review, Tony. I'm hoping that mine will arrive Friday or Saturday.
Jeffery
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#9 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:14

good now I know that I will have to add it on the list :thumbup: thanks for the review
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#10 stnnorman

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:52

According to Mrs. Binder, my Corona has shipped and should be here any day. I ordered the blue, but Tony's review and the following comments have me second guessing myself. Maybe I should get the Blueberry Cream, or the Summer Sunset, or even the Lemon Meringue - I am afraid that I see where this may eventually end! Definitely will save for the orange Corona.

BTW: still relatively new to all this fountain pen stuff, but is the clip on this (and other Bexleys) a replica of the clip on the vintage Eversharps? I recently purchased an Eversharp, and the clip on this pen is almost identical to that on the Corona and other Bexleys.

Tony, thanks for the review. You have increased my anticipation to receive my own Corona!

#11 tonybelding

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:17

I ordered the blue, but Tony's review and the following comments have me second guessing myself.


The people who've seen the blue (Summer Storm) pens seem to be quite impressed with them. Based on the photos, I'd say you can't go wrong with any of these colors. I've groused once or twice in the past about Bexley's color decisions, but this time I'd say they hit a home run.


BTW: still relatively new to all this fountain pen stuff, but is the clip on this (and other Bexleys) a replica of the clip on the vintage Eversharps? I recently purchased an Eversharp, and the clip on this pen is almost identical to that on the Corona and other Bexleys.


I don't have a Wahl-Eversharp with that type of clip, myself, so I can't compare them side-by-side. They sure do look similar though. I do know that the Bexley roller-clips are very close copies of the Wahl-Eversharp roller clips (and I like them a lot).

#12 stnnorman

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 13:16

Thanks for the reply. I am always encouraged when two people from different worlds (Oklahoma, Texas) can find common interests and passions. ;)

#13 watch_art

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 13:32

Could we get some uncapped comparison pics? Next to some other well known pens? Maybe? Please? :D

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#14 Lady Spencerian

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 15:51

Does anyone else's Corona nib unit reek of acetone? At least that is the best description I can come up with for what assailed my nostrils when I opened the box. The smell appears to emanate from the nib, and is really bothersome as I write. At first, I thought it might be a remainder of pen flush from the Binderizing process but, after rinse and color change, it is just as strong.

ETA: my boyfriend tells me that the smell is likely a byproduct of the molding of the feed. He says it smells like overheated plastic and that it should dissipate over time, which is good.

Edited by Lady Spencerian, 05 August 2011 - 17:04.


#15 Essensia

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 16:39

Thanks so much for posting a review, Tony. I've been wondering whether to pull the trigger on a Corona. In my experience, Bexley + Binder = big win, and this review is further confirmation.

#16 watch_art

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 17:03

That is one awesome pen. The perfect size for me.

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#17 fourseamer

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 17:19

Does anyone else's Corona nib unit reek of acetone? At least that is the best description I can come up with for what assailed my nostrils when I opened the box. The smell appears to emanate from the nib, and is really bothersome as I write. At first, I thought it might be a remainder of pen flush from the Binderizing process but, after rinse and color change, it is just as strong.

ETA: my boyfriend tells me that the smell is likely a byproduct of the molding of the feed. He says it smells like overheated plastic and that it should dissipate over time, which is good.

Yes, I noticed the same. Pretty strong, acrid smell. When I unboxed my pens and noticed this, I left the pens out on my desk overnight. Uncapped. The smell dissipated some the next day. It will go away with time.

#18 tonybelding

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 20:37

Mine doesn't have any funny smells at all.

And with regard to the fine nib being sort of on the fat side. . . I found that mine writes surprisingly well with the nib flipped over to the reverse, making it more like a EF.

#19 Lady Spencerian

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 21:02

Mine doesn't have any funny smells at all.

And with regard to the fine nib being sort of on the fat side. . . I found that mine writes surprisingly well with the nib flipped over to the reverse, making it more like a EF.


That's lucky! Your feed must have been produced at a different point in the production run; or perhaps it has just had more airing.

Whenever faced with a medium nib (generally too wide a line for my handwriting), I have been known to flip it upside down to obtain a finer line, and have always wondered what the long term consequences would be for the nib. Can anybody tell me? I realize that some Japanese nibs are designed to be used in that manner, but what about these nibs? It is a really nice nib, and I would hate to inadvertently ruin it, but I really would prefer an EF line.

#20 watch_art

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 21:32

It doesn't hurt the nib at all. Binder makes some grinds that use both side of the tip. Steve Light uses a lot of B and BB nibs and flips to fine to get details in his drawings instead of swapping pens. Lots of Montblancs and Edisons.

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