Took delivery of an Ahab. My first and last, so read on.
I undertook the apparently obligatory tinkering:
- the pen is delivered dirty from the factory which to me means poor post-production quality control.
- the pen needs to be adjusted to obtain a degree of writerly functionality, but not surprised as the pen is really a kit pen.
I've bought products that had these features in the past, and in the main they are deal-breakers as they impose on the buyer much of the work that should be done during manufacture. I would not recommend it to people who expect things to work out of the box.
Nib: some flex but the pressure needed to obtain flex was more than I consider acceptable. On that basis, I would not characterise the nib as flexible; I would describe it as semi-hemi-demi flexible (i.e. not much).
Fill: mechanism was cleaned but leaked at the plunger end when used. Problem with o-ring? Do I have the energy to buy an o-ring...unlikely.
Manufacture: build quality is very good for the price point. (made by a robot?)
Aesthetics: Zuni version, lovely colour; pen smells something fierce.
Hand Feel: there is a ridge as the barrel steps down which for some will be in the sweet spot for holding the pen and therefore will irritate. It irritates me.
Flow: left pen overnight and it did not start up right away; ink is Diamine Indigo.
Open/close: 2.5 turns to open; too many.
Weight/size: light and quite thick; will not suit smaller hands or thick fingers. Big hands or long fingers might like it.
As I don't believe in naked reviews, I did two head to head comparisons:
- with an ordinary new Conklin Duragraph: Durograph has physical flexibility but lesser line width variation. I needed to exert much less pressure to achieve line variation with the Conklin. If I want flex, then see next head-to-head.
- with a semi-flex from mid 1920s (yes gold-ish nib), but cost the same: Old wins.
I'm not convinced this is a great pen but it is a kit pen for people who value that and at this price point a great place to start playing. There are better pens in the price range (e.g. Lamy) ignoring the pursuit of flex, of course.
If flex is the goal, there are used pens with better nibs. I doubt it can be used for serious writing requiring flexibility
If Noodlers really wanted to address the flex market, they need to rethink the nib. I'd not waste any more product development time on a kit pen, though.
The association with Ahab and the whale makes me wonder if the pen isn't the white whale and we're all being taken for a ride. In the end, Ahab remained damned as he failed to learn.