The packaging, as usual, is great and suits the theme well (I bought it from a boutique so I knew exactly what it would look like). However, my first impression of the Collodi isn’t “I MUST HAVE THIS PEN”. It was more along the lines of: Nice one. NEXT. I think it impressed my mom more, because she persuaded me to buy this pen when I was much more taken with the Gaius Maecenas. In my opinion, it is not a pen that impresses easily at first glance. Its champagne-gold color is not flashy, and the skeleton design, while elaborate and not plain old “patterned”, does not reflect light very well, causing it to be “understated” despite its cap.
The appearance, however, grows on you more and more like many conventionally “boring” designs. The reason the designs become “boring” and “conventional” is because they always look good, regardless of the current trend. In this respect, the Collodi reflects this sentiment, but it breaks the mold by juxtaposing luxury and simplicity. As we can see, the champagne-gold adornments are set right next to a rather plain, shiny black “precious resin” barrel, in a perfect blend of beauty and simplicity. It may be idiosyncratic, but I’m not particularly taken with very elaborate and BLING designs. And for once in a million years, the WE actually has explicit allusions to the writer himself! OMG!
On the cap, four characters from the tale itself are depicted: Pinocchio, the butterfly, the cricket and the whale. The cricket is also beautifully engraved on the nib, which is a joy to behold.
I’m rather lenient with this aspect of fountain pens. I can adjust well to variety of weights. Unposted, the balance is great and it has a nice and “weighty” feel, but not to the point of tiring the writer out. I can see myself writing a lot with this. I had this suspicion, and the lady in the boutique agreed that this pen was not designed to be posted. Of course, you can, but you might end up with some scratches on the barrel, and it would be heavy towards the back. For those who insist on posting their pens, this could be problem but as far as I’m concerned, I’m not concerned. It’s not “large”, roughly the same length as my Lamy Al-Star, capped or uncapped. The grip section is on the thick side which means your fingers won’t be touching each other, but I find it comfortable.
The medium nib made of 18k gold sets a nice, generous and wet line with minimal pressure. It’s reliable and starts on the go. However, as with most modern pens, it’s rather stiff and its smoothness, again, can’t rival my Lamy 2000 which is quite a shame, but I have never found a pen that seriously challenges the L2k in this respect. I like more flexibility to my nib, but because I can’t be bothered to inquire into vintage pens, this will have to do. When I bought this pen, it only came in F, M or B nibs. I think there could be BB, OB or OBB nibs, but WEs tend not to have a very good selection.
Filling System: 10/10
The piston filling system is quite hidden, much like the L2k (I can’t resist comparing them...). It is invisible until you fill it, but the action itself is very very smooth. Like the L2k, it’s slightly counter-intuitive because of its built-in design. Twisting upward ejects the ink, while twisting it back down takes ink in. It doesn’t leak, and I’m not entirely sure how much ink it holds (because I can’t see it) but I have had it for a while and need to refill it less than I do my MB Kafka (sorry if I can’t say much more than this).
Cost and Value: 8/10
I’m tempted to say: It’s MB; let’s not speak of value.
But I have to say, for such an exquisite limited edition, the $1100 I paid for it is more than reasonable. This is subjective, of course, and I have strong opinions about some more popular WEs that cost more, but utilize repeated patterns (which I aesthetically disagree with, considering it’s a limited edition. I can’t fathom how these patterns relate to the writer themselves. You might as well market them as regular collection pens if that’s what you’re going to celebrate a writer with). The price is still, however, on the steep side considering it’s only made of “precious resin” and “gold-plated”. I bought this pen at retail price.
As with most pricey limited edition pens, this is a hit or miss. It’s definitely not a must-have in the way that workhorses are. Its design isn’t the dearest to my heart even if it expresses my personality well and the nib isn’t anything mind-blowing, but I do not regret this purchase and it’s a perfect pen in every aspect in that it performs as a good, solid workhorse fountain pen is supposed to without any clunky behavior (it CAN be a workhorse and I plan to use it pretty regularly, but I don’t want to take it out on excursions or anything like that. It’s still a MB WE in the end...) and it’s superb in terms of balance (with respect to modern nibs, of course). It keeps the fingerprints off and the champagne tinted color is a nice change from other fountain pen designs. You can take it or leave it, but personally, I’ll take it and can definitely recommend it.
Sorry about the photos. I use yer cheap camera phone.
Edited by Rubicon, 26 December 2011 - 09:15.