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Bexley Corona - B - Summer Storm


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67 replies to this topic

#41 raging.dragon

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 22:28

Amazing that we can get a piston filler with an ink window for under $200 with a steel nib but bulb filler pens are being sold for $180 (Gate City) to $250 (Edison) with steel nibs. A bulb filler shouldn't cost more, it's like an eyedropper with half an ink sac at the end. Don't tell me machining threads for the blind cap justifies the price difference.


The bulb filling Edisons are fully handmade (except for the nib and feed unit) custom (or at least semi-custom pens). The buyer can choose any material available and can have a pen's shape modified to suit personal preferences. In contrast the Gate City and Bexley pens are regular production pens with standardized materials and parts. To me, this is more than enough to explain a $50 price difference.


Anyway...I like this Corona. I'd love to see more pens that are not c/c as well.

I'm not sure about your point about being full hand made. I've seen video of Edison pens being made. I've also owned an Edison Pearl. The nib units are the same set up as Bexley and kit pens. Choosing pen color may be "custom" but what's one rod of acrylic from another rod of ebonite? The programmed lathe still follows the same patterns. Are you saying that custom color costs more than piston filling mechanism? The Edison doesn't even have any trim! People can charge whatever they like - if someone is willing to pay then that's fine. I'm just saying the pricing seems off to me. But that's just me, I guess. I'd rather have a pen from a company that makes its nibs instead of laser engraving their logo on a Bock nib. To each his own.


The production (c/c) Edisons are $150. So $100 gets you a semi-custom pen, and another $100 a bulb filler.

Since it costs money to stock a large variety of plastic and ebonite rods, and (I assume) also costs more money to order stock on demand as opposed to buying in bulk before starting production. So materials cost for a semi-custom pen is certainly somewhat higher than a production pen, though the difference is certainly nowhere near $100. The semi-custom pens are also more labour intensive, as Brian has to work with the customer to determine what material(s) to use, and any other details the customer wants customized. Additionally, even if he uses programable lathe some custom programming may be required to accomodate customer requests (i.e. to tweak the section profile, length or diameter of cap and barrel, etc.).

And simple though a bulb filler may be, it obviously requires more work than a c/c filler.

Whether or not either of these are worth $100 to you, only you can decide.

Amazing that we can get a piston filler with an ink window for under $200 with a steel nib but bulb filler pens are being sold for $180 (Gate City) to $250 (Edison) with steel nibs. A bulb filler shouldn't cost more, it's like an eyedropper with half an ink sac at the end. Don't tell me machining threads for the blind cap justifies the price difference.


+1. It's very very hard to design a reliable piston fill like M800 and M1000 have. A bulb filler or an eyedropper are absolutely easy to make. So I can't understand that costs. $250 for an eyedropper with a steel nib?!?! I'm fan of complex and reliable mechanical fillers like piston fillers and vacuum fillers. They're a nice engineering design.


And a piston filled TWSBI is approximately $50. It lacks the metal piston mechanism of the M800 and M1000, but then so does the $200 Bexley. There are many people of this forum who doubt the value of any pen costing over $100, and many more not on this forum who doubt the value of anything more expensive than a free promotional ballpoint given out by some company.

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#42 KKieffer

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:32

Amazing that we can get a piston filler with an ink window for under $200 with a steel nib but bulb filler pens are being sold for $180 (Gate City) to $250 (Edison) with steel nibs. A bulb filler shouldn't cost more, it's like an eyedropper with half an ink sac at the end. Don't tell me machining threads for the blind cap justifies the price difference.


The bulb filling Edisons are fully handmade (except for the nib and feed unit) custom (or at least semi-custom pens). The buyer can choose any material available and can have a pen's shape modified to suit personal preferences. In contrast the Gate City and Bexley pens are regular production pens with standardized materials and parts. To me, this is more than enough to explain a $50 price difference.


Anyway...I like this Corona. I'd love to see more pens that are not c/c as well.

I'm not sure about your point about being full hand made. I've seen video of Edison pens being made. I've also owned an Edison Pearl. The nib units are the same set up as Bexley and kit pens. Choosing pen color may be "custom" but what's one rod of acrylic from another rod of ebonite? The programmed lathe still follows the same patterns. Are you saying that custom color costs more than piston filling mechanism? The Edison doesn't even have any trim! People can charge whatever they like - if someone is willing to pay then that's fine. I'm just saying the pricing seems off to me. But that's just me, I guess. I'd rather have a pen from a company that makes its nibs instead of laser engraving their logo on a Bock nib. To each his own.


The production (c/c) Edisons are $150. So $100 gets you a semi-custom pen, and another $100 a bulb filler.

Since it costs money to stock a large variety of plastic and ebonite rods, and (I assume) also costs more money to order stock on demand as opposed to buying in bulk before starting production. So materials cost for a semi-custom pen is certainly somewhat higher than a production pen, though the difference is certainly nowhere near $100. The semi-custom pens are also more labour intensive, as Brian has to work with the customer to determine what material(s) to use, and any other details the customer wants customized. Additionally, even if he uses programable lathe some custom programming may be required to accomodate customer requests (i.e. to tweak the section profile, length or diameter of cap and barrel, etc.).

And simple though a bulb filler may be, it obviously requires more work than a c/c filler.

Whether or not either of these are worth $100 to you, only you can decide.

Amazing that we can get a piston filler with an ink window for under $200 with a steel nib but bulb filler pens are being sold for $180 (Gate City) to $250 (Edison) with steel nibs. A bulb filler shouldn't cost more, it's like an eyedropper with half an ink sac at the end. Don't tell me machining threads for the blind cap justifies the price difference.


+1. It's very very hard to design a reliable piston fill like M800 and M1000 have. A bulb filler or an eyedropper are absolutely easy to make. So I can't understand that costs. $250 for an eyedropper with a steel nib?!?! I'm fan of complex and reliable mechanical fillers like piston fillers and vacuum fillers. They're a nice engineering design.


And a piston filled TWSBI is approximately $50. It lacks the metal piston mechanism of the M800 and M1000, but then so does the $200 Bexley. There are many people of this forum who doubt the value of any pen costing over $100, and many more not on this forum who doubt the value of anything more expensive than a free promotional ballpoint given out by some company.

The piston in the picture at the top is brass. So the Bexley does come with a metal piston. The Bexley also is $140 with a steel nib not $200.

Edited by KKieffer, 24 September 2011 - 07:35.


#43 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 13:34

Amazing that we can get a piston filler with an ink window for under $200 with a steel nib but bulb filler pens are being sold for $180 (Gate City) to $250 (Edison) with steel nibs. A bulb filler shouldn't cost more, it's like an eyedropper with half an ink sac at the end. Don't tell me machining threads for the blind cap justifies the price difference.


The bulb filling Edisons are fully handmade (except for the nib and feed unit) custom (or at least semi-custom pens). The buyer can choose any material available and can have a pen's shape modified to suit personal preferences. In contrast the Gate City and Bexley pens are regular production pens with standardized materials and parts. To me, this is more than enough to explain a $50 price difference.


Anyway...I like this Corona. I'd love to see more pens that are not c/c as well.

I'm not sure about your point about being full hand made. I've seen video of Edison pens being made. I've also owned an Edison Pearl. The nib units are the same set up as Bexley and kit pens. Choosing pen color may be "custom" but what's one rod of acrylic from another rod of ebonite? The programmed lathe still follows the same patterns. Are you saying that custom color costs more than piston filling mechanism? The Edison doesn't even have any trim! People can charge whatever they like - if someone is willing to pay then that's fine. I'm just saying the pricing seems off to me. But that's just me, I guess. I'd rather have a pen from a company that makes its nibs instead of laser engraving their logo on a Bock nib. To each his own.


The production (c/c) Edisons are $150. So $100 gets you a semi-custom pen, and another $100 a bulb filler.

Since it costs money to stock a large variety of plastic and ebonite rods, and (I assume) also costs more money to order stock on demand as opposed to buying in bulk before starting production. So materials cost for a semi-custom pen is certainly somewhat higher than a production pen, though the difference is certainly nowhere near $100. The semi-custom pens are also more labour intensive, as Brian has to work with the customer to determine what material(s) to use, and any other details the customer wants customized. Additionally, even if he uses programable lathe some custom programming may be required to accomodate customer requests (i.e. to tweak the section profile, length or diameter of cap and barrel, etc.).

And simple though a bulb filler may be, it obviously requires more work than a c/c filler.

Whether or not either of these are worth $100 to you, only you can decide.

Amazing that we can get a piston filler with an ink window for under $200 with a steel nib but bulb filler pens are being sold for $180 (Gate City) to $250 (Edison) with steel nibs. A bulb filler shouldn't cost more, it's like an eyedropper with half an ink sac at the end. Don't tell me machining threads for the blind cap justifies the price difference.


+1. It's very very hard to design a reliable piston fill like M800 and M1000 have. A bulb filler or an eyedropper are absolutely easy to make. So I can't understand that costs. $250 for an eyedropper with a steel nib?!?! I'm fan of complex and reliable mechanical fillers like piston fillers and vacuum fillers. They're a nice engineering design.


And a piston filled TWSBI is approximately $50. It lacks the metal piston mechanism of the M800 and M1000, but then so does the $200 Bexley. There are many people of this forum who doubt the value of any pen costing over $100, and many more not on this forum who doubt the value of anything more expensive than a free promotional ballpoint given out by some company.

The piston in the picture at the top is brass. So the Bexley does come with a metal piston. The Bexley also is $140 with a steel nib not $200.



Yes, both Pelikan (M800-M1000) and Corona piston fillers are made of metal (brass) and plastic. Pelikan has a plastic piston rod and a brass piston house, unlike Corona, which has a brass piston rod and a plastic piston house.

#44 tonybelding

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 13:48

I'm not sure about your point about being full hand made. I've seen video of Edison pens being made. I've also owned an Edison Pearl. The nib units are the same set up as Bexley and kit pens. Choosing pen color may be "custom" but what's one rod of acrylic from another rod of ebonite? The programmed lathe still follows the same patterns.


The real catch here is. . . If it's a custom made-to-order pen, then Brian Gray has to set up the lathe and program it for each part. If it's a C/C pen that's three set-up procedures: cap, section and barrel. If it's a bulb-filler, that's five set-up procedures: cap, section, barrel, reservoir, blind cap. That's going to consume a fair part of his day just to produce one pen.

If he's making a batch of identical C/C pens for the retailers, then he can set up his lathe to make caps and turn out 50 identical caps, then set it up to produce 50 identical sections, then 50 identical barrels. It saves a lot of time, which is why those pens can retail for so much less than the custom pens -- even though they are otherwise made to the same standards, from the same materials.

#45 watch_art

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 14:01

@tony:
exactly.

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#46 Orange25

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 21:56

Thanks for the review - some great pictures there.

The Corona looks really interesting. The Summer Storm design looks superb. I'm caught in two minds as to whether I want the Corona or a Parker Duofold.

Does anyone know of a decent place to buy Coronas in the UK? I know The Writing Desk sells some Bexley pens, but I don't think they stock the Corona. :(

#47 raging.dragon

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 14:20

I'm not sure about your point about being full hand made. I've seen video of Edison pens being made. I've also owned an Edison Pearl. The nib units are the same set up as Bexley and kit pens. Choosing pen color may be "custom" but what's one rod of acrylic from another rod of ebonite? The programmed lathe still follows the same patterns.


The real catch here is. . . If it's a custom made-to-order pen, then Brian Gray has to set up the lathe and program it for each part. If it's a C/C pen that's three set-up procedures: cap, section and barrel. If it's a bulb-filler, that's five set-up procedures: cap, section, barrel, reservoir, blind cap. That's going to consume a fair part of his day just to produce one pen.

If he's making a batch of identical C/C pens for the retailers, then he can set up his lathe to make caps and turn out 50 identical caps, then set it up to produce 50 identical sections, then 50 identical barrels. It saves a lot of time, which is why those pens can retail for so much less than the custom pens -- even though they are otherwise made to the same standards, from the same materials.


Thanks! :thumbup:

#48 smoores

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 18:27

Okay, so I have a Summer Storm Corona with a B nib on the way here...$108 including shipping.

Shawn...no more reviews for a while, okay? You are killing me with these lovely, large pens! :D Seriously, though, great review.

Edited by smoores, 28 September 2011 - 18:28.


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#49 watch_art

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 18:30

hundred eight!? where'd you find that??

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#50 spyguy

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 15:46

Thanks for the review! I have been eyeing this pen. It appears to have the same colors as the Taccia Legato Artic Swirl. I have been interested in the piston fill, but am disappointed about your review of the function. My Pelikan M600 is not as smooth as it should be, so I may not notice. I will add one to my collection... once money becomes available. ;-)
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#51 sheehmi

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 11:56

The Corona is awesome - buy it --as good if not better than my 2 Pelikan 805s; the nib (14K) is smooth as silk on skin and piston filler is no different performance-wise than the Pels
Rhodium trim only please

#52 smoores

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 13:19

hundred eight!? where'd you find that??



I put in a low bid on eBay and then forget that I had. I actually won it for less than my max bid. So now, to quote Daffy Duck "it's mine, all mine." My almost 4-year old said, "Oooo Mommy, that's pretty!" I'd have to agree with her there. It really is a striking pen.

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#53 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 18:44

hundred eight!? where'd you find that??



I put in a low bid on eBay and then forget that I had. I actually won it for less than my max bid. So now, to quote Daffy Duck "it's mine, all mine." My almost 4-year old said, "Oooo Mommy, that's pretty!" I'd have to agree with her there. It really is a striking pen.



Congrats, Aubrey! I can imagine how cute your daughter looking (mess with) at your pens! :D Inks, pencils, pens is one of the most beloved play by children! Have you ever introduced her in the FP world? Does she like it?

#54 Weiss.ar

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 20:51

I just got this pen today from Richard Binder.

I noticed that when I fill it up, and turn it on its side to look into the ink-view window, it looks like it's not completely full. There is noticeable air in the tube instead of ink. Does anyone else notice this, is it just the way this pen fills up? Thanks.

#55 watch_art

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 00:52

I reckon that's normal for a piston filler. My Corona does this - so does my Pelikan, my TWSBI, my... well all my piston pens. There's going to be a little air in there. No big deal.

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#56 smoores

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 01:57

hundred eight!? where'd you find that??



I put in a low bid on eBay and then forget that I had. I actually won it for less than my max bid. So now, to quote Daffy Duck "it's mine, all mine." My almost 4-year old said, "Oooo Mommy, that's pretty!" I'd have to agree with her there. It really is a striking pen.



Congrats, Aubrey! I can imagine how cute your daughter looking (mess with) at your pens! :D Inks, pencils, pens is one of the most beloved play by children! Have you ever introduced her in the FP world? Does she like it?


Oh, yes, she has her own pens. A penpal of mine sent her a Pelikano, a Kaweco Sport FPand two Sport RB's. She likes getting to use "her pens" and picking what ink colors go in them. :)

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#57 Weiss.ar

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:18

Thanks Watch_art. I have another question if you don't mind. My piston turns very, very easily. Much more easily than my Pelikan M200. Is this a problem or are all pens different and it's not going to be a problem?

#58 watch_art

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:42

Not a problem. I'm thinking mine just needed a bit of working over and over b/c mine is nice and smooth now too.

But yeah - most pens will have a different feel to them. If you grease the piston they'll all be smooth, but the screw and rod and all can give different feels.

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#59 Weiss.ar

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 02:57

So it's better for it to be smooth than difficult to turn the piston?

#60 watch_art

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 03:18

um. yes? why would it be better to have a stiff and difficult piston?

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