1. Packaging: The pen was delivered via DHL and arrived in a box covered in layers of bubble wrap and tape. Once through the bubble wrap, I uncovered a red box with a red cardboard outer sleeve. The red box is also cardboard, but the weight is nice and does not feel cheap. Upon opening the lid, the Etruria was nestled gently into a bed of soft, plush suede-like fabric. A nice, simple presentation. On the side of the box was a small drawer that can be pulled out. The drawer houses the instruction booklet and warranty information.
2. Pen Appearance: It is gorgeous. How else can I describe it? The blue cellulose acetate is darker than I expected, but when it catches the light, it glitters and sparkles like a jewel. I chose the silver trim, which goes nicely with the rich sapphire hues of the pen body. The clip and cap band have Stipula's classic leaf pattern. The fit and finish are top notch. The cap threads easily and all parts are polished to a high shine and fitted nicely. The pen is engraved with the company name as well as Notte Di Stelle, FPN 2011 06/49. "Starry Night" is a perfect description of the gorgeous celluloid.
3. Weight and balance: It is not a light pen. I would say around medium weight. It is lighter than my older Etruria (Amber convertible) and the weight is comfortable- not too heavy and not too light. It balances nicely in the hand without the cap posted. I find it a bit back-heavy with the cap posted, but I also don't tend to post my large-sized pens.
4. Fill system: This Etruria is a piston fill system. It holds a lot of ink! When full, the weight of the pen increases due to the amount of ink it can hold. It still remains well-balanced. I filled mine Thursday night and used it at work all day Friday and it still has a great deal of ink left. The piston is easy to turn and takes up ink easily. There is no viewing window, so it is a bit difficult to tell when it is running low. However, a window would detract from the beauty of the pen and I would rather it not have one.
5. Nib: There were several option for this pen in 14k and 18k. I chose the 14k nib in part due to price. The 18k was out of my price range. I also felt that the plated 14k nib would go better with the silver pen furniture. My other Etruria has a custom ground .9 18k nib, so I decided to go with the 1.1 italic. I like large, broad nibs. This nib is a cursive italic and has great line variation. I find it to be very smooth and buttery and an easy writer. The flow is nice and the nib also seems to have a bit of flex. It is a responsive nib and is a delight even for regular writing. It is not too crisp and can be used as a regular daily writer.
6. Overall: It is simply a stunning pen. It is as lovely to look at as it is to write with. I am delighted with it and thankful to Wim and Stipula for all the hard work making this project possible!
And now a few photos and writing sample in PR Tanzanite...
Edited by Lothianjavert, 21 January 2012 - 18:16.