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The Americans: Bexley Perlson Balance V.s. Edison Nouveau Premiere


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#1 lbhajdu

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 03:39

I thought I might do a dual review of these pens because they share some similarities. They are both manufactured in the USA, they share the same nib and they have a similar body shape. Since I am comparing I am not going to provide a quantified numeric rating. In the pictures the darker pen is the Edison Nouveau Premiere.

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The cap:
The Bexley has a metal band to prevent cracking from over-tightening, where as the Edison does not. Both pens have a clip made out of one peace of gold plated stamped metal. I prefer the Edison clip over the Bexley clip because the Bexley clip is much harder to pull back and looks a little too big for the pen. When recapping the pen the Edison seems smoother to twist open by just a hair, but I have been using it longer because I got it first so this may play a roll.
Turns needed to open and close the cap:
Edison Nouveau Premiere: 1.5 turns
Bexley Perlson Balance: 2.0 turns

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Nib:
My pens are both fine steel nibs with tipping material. They are both stiff and donít give any flex. Both these nibs are probably made by the same German manufacturer. Unfortunately this nib is used on many pens from different manufacturers. This takes some of the excitement out of it because all these pens essentially write the same. I am not even going to provide a writing sample. There are no problems with flow. The nibs  screw in and out like a Pelikan or Esterbrook would. Steel replacement nibs for both pens cost about $25 USD. The full set of the stock nib options are:
Edison Nouveau Premiere: Steel(B,M,F,EF), Gold_18K(B,M,F)
Bexley Balance: Steel(B,M,F), Gold_18K(Stub,B,M,F)
Notes: The Edison steal extra-fine nib is a new offering and was not available when the pen first came out. The Bexley gold stub has been unavailable for some time. Binder is the only one I know about who offers separate nibs.

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Filling System:
Both pens use the standard international cartridge converter with the usual trade-offs (easy cheap to replace v.s. small ink capacity). This means you can swap converters between the two pens. Itís always nice when a manufacturer sticks to the standard international cartridge converter instead of making there own converter or going into a crazed frenzy and making a different converter for each pen (are you listening Lamy).

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Feed:
Both pens have a plastic injection molded feed. I would have preferred Ebonite (hard rubber). Both of the feeds are a little different. The Edison feed flares out towards the tip of the nib. The fins have slightly a little bit more capillary buffering volume in comparison to the Bexley. The one thing I donít like about the Edison feed is that it has a little bit of give if you push on it with your finger lightly. I am only speculating, but maybe for flex nibs it may offer an advantage if the nib stays pressed up to the feed as the nib flexes up. The Bexley feed is more sturdy.

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Section:
To me the section is one of the most important parts of the pen because it is where I hold the pen. I usually prefer the section to taper towards the nib. As can be seen from the pictures these nibs taper towards the middle of the section. At first I did not like the shape of the section, but as I used it, it began to grow on me. To screw the section into the body of the pen the Edison requires 7.5 turns and the Bexley takes 5 turns.

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Body:
The body of both pens are made out of cast acrylic which is then milled and polished into itís final shape. Both pens are available in more then 4 different color patterns. Even though the pens have different patterns both manufacturers call the patterns of my pens -Cappuccino- (how is that for a similarity). I think the Cappuccino acrylic of my Edison is also used by Conway Stewart in one of there models. For both pens both the body, section and, cap are made out of the milled acrylic. Some pen makers use mass produced parts for some sections (I donít like that), but these do not. The threading for the cap is comfortable to hold on both pens. Even though Bexley has courser threads the crest of the thread is rounded to compensate. So holding by the thread in both cases is similar.

Note: There are some limited edition Edison Nouveau Premieres in blue/black ebonite (hard rubber). They will make custom pens out of different materials by request, but the cost is almost a factor of two higher.


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The case:
I donít care about cases. I think too much money is wasted on the case, when a simple cardboard tubular box would do. These pens both have fine boxes, but I am not going to bother to take a picture.

Cost and Availability:
As of the time of this writing both pens are in production. The Edison Nouveau Premiere is available Exclusively from the Goulet Pen Company on-line. The cost is at the time of this writing $150 USD. The Bexley Perlson Enterprise Balance is available on-line from the Perlson EBay auction web site. Because it is an auction, you have to wait until they offer a pen for auction. They generally post about two per week, unfortunately you can not pick the body material or the nib size (maybe they can be contacted for a request, I am not sure). Because itís an auction there is no fixed price.

Edited by watch_art, 26 November 2011 - 18:25.


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#2 watch_art

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:41

Wonderful review and great side by side photos. And GREAT photos. The lighting is beautiful!

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


#3 lbhajdu

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:09

Thank you. The pictures were actually taken on my bed. The white background is the back of an old wall calender from 2009. You can sometimes see the lines bleeding through. I donít have good lighting, but I know a trick. I use a tripod and turn the exposer time way up. It takes about 30sec. for the camera to take the picture (like in the olden days), and the final product is not bad even in low light. I run Linux at home so I use GIMP (itís like PhotoShop but free) to airbrush out the dust and stray hairs, crop and resize. I had a few more pics but did not realize there was a limit. The best ones are uploaded.

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#4 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:03

bothe pens are excellent choices, thanks for the review :thumbup:

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 26 November 2011 - 08:03.

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

#5 GHCHambone

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 09:07

Please forgive me, as I am new to the FP world. What kind of pen is the yellow one in the first picture?

#6 threeamigos

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:56

Great comparison of these pens. I've always wondered how they matched up. I do have the Bexley Balance in all 4 colors and in difference nib sizes. They are really nice pens.

#7 watch_art

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 13:49

The yellow is a Montegrappa Miya. Very nice little pen.
http://www.fountainp...-miya-fine-nib/

http://www.fountainp...ntegrappa-miya/

http://www.fountainp...showtopic=81354

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


#8 jandrese

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 16:27

Thanks for the nice comparison. I like the Edison. My wife likes the Bexley. How much for both? :roflmho:

#9 lbhajdu

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 20:21

The moderator watch_art graciously offered to add some more pics to the review up top.

GHCHambone,
I have a black lab like your avatar. Yep the other yellow pen is a Montegrappa Miya. Itís having some flow problems at the moment I picked it up on e-bay used for $200. I am ether going to send it back to Montegrappa for replacing with an EF nib and fixing or wait till R. Binder comes here in March with the Long Island pen show and ask him to have a look. The only Montegrappa service center in the US is just 15miles from my house, however they donít actually provide service they just ship things back to the factory.

threeamigos & jandrese,
I only have this pen in only the color and nib in the photos. I didínt mean to give the impression this is a sale, I posted in the review section. As it just so happens I am trying to boost my posts to the minimal 30 so I can post in the classified section. Though it was not these pens I was looking to sell, it was a simple Platinum Makie #44 Kikyo ( PTB-30000A ) F-Nib. I didn't want to just post garbage posts, so I thought this review might be a nice meaningful way to start. The Edison Nouveau Premiere was a gift from my father for my birthday he paid $150. The Bexley I had to wait for a one in the material a nib size I wanted to come up on ebay. I was lucky I bid $60 and just happen to win. But it was about the 3rd time I tried. I have no sentimental attachment to the Bexley.


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#10 jandrese

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 20:37

I was just kidding about buying your nice pens. Sorry for giving you the wrong impression. Enjoy, and goodluck with your sale.

#11 kiavonne

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:44

Excellent side by side review. Both pens are beautiful, and it is really nice to see these makers together in a thread.
Scribere est agere.
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