Appearance & Construction & Design
Classic, very business-like style IMHO with gold-plated trim. Favoring the flat-top cap, I picked the Professional Gear version over the torpedo 1911/Profit version. When examining the piston movement, the piston looks like it's behind a thick, clear wall, giving the impression of a tube within the barrel.
I picked the burgundy Realo because the black Realo seemed so serious. The pen is pretty serious anyway. Currently the Realo only comes in gold-trim.
The pen feels solidly constructed. The acrylic is, well, acrylic resin. It's nice enough for a solid color resin. Not fragile.
Weight & Dimensions
The pen is light weight. Great for a small hander like me who doesn't get along with heavy pens. I'm using this pen unposted and it's very comfortable.
All inked up, the pen weighs 12gr unposted and 22gr with the cap on.
The closed pen is 5 1/4" — uncapped the pen is 4 5/8" nib tip to barrel end — posted the pen is 5 7/8".
Since I do not post my pens, I can't speak to the balance of the pen posted. See other reviews!
Nib & Performance
The nib is a two-tone F with the familiar Sailor anchor and 1911 imprint. The left side of the nib has "H-F" imprinted. The nib is an outstanding smooth writer. It was tuned to a "7" on the 1-10 Mottishaw wetness scale.
Filling System & Maintenance
Piston filler. Now, you'd think I'd jump and down at that fact. However, the capacity is only 1ml. I had expected it to be 1.5ml which turns out to be the capacity for the limited edition Anniversary Realo. Some day I will stop complaining about the 1ml.
Last December, some of us had some discussion about the Realo's capacity in the Rising Sun subforum.
Cost & Value
A birthday gift for *ahem* myself, last October I bought the Realo from Classic Pens aka Nibs.com to ensure the nib would write as expected out of the box. And so it does.
I fault myself for not confirming the ink capacity before purchasing: the 1ml is a major disappointment. .5ml might not mean much to some of you, but it means a lot to me in a day's work. Suggesting a pen's ink capacity is "huge" is something written far too often on FPN without measurements or an understanding of an individual's preferences. Let me say that 1ml is not a huge amount of ink, nor is 1.5ml a huge amount. 3ml is a lot of ink. 5ml is a huge amount.
This is the first time ever I've regretted what I paid for a pen. In retrospect, I wish I had bought the Realo as cheaply as possible on eBay. (If the nib needing tweaking beyond what I could do, I would have sent it to MikeItWork.)
I do love the nib and while I'm undecided about keeping the pen, the superb nib is the reason to do so. Although I've had many piston-filling pens in the past, this is the only piston pen in my small collection and so it provides some minor variety. I''m not a nib chaser: the pen's totality (appearance, weight, capacity and writing style/nib) is what I'm going for in a fountain pen.
There's no reason to avoid this pen. The nib is delicious.
Any fuzz in the photos below, pls forgive. I'm a dusty person, eh?
Edited by jde, 08 January 2012 - 19:27.