I decided to take the plunge and buy an Onoto early last November. I received it around Christmas, and have been using it quite a bit at work and at home since then. Here are my impressions:
First Impression: 10/10
Large outer pen box, with a beautiful wood pen box inside. Along with the wood box, an excellent cleaning cloth, along with various bits of info. The pen box itself it beautifully made, with certificates of autheticity for limited edition, lifetime warrantee etc inside. But the PEN!! Beautiful. A good size, an excellent weight (you have the option of keeping it fairly light, or adding a weight to it to make it feel a bit more substantial. I prefer lighter pens for long periods of writing. The chased pattern gives the pen a gorgeous 'retro' feel to it, the clip it beautiful and solid, the barrel end detail is cool, and the cap finial is exquisite. Love at first sight.
Appearance and design: 10/10
The above pretty much already said what I thought about the appearance and design. It is a beautiful, full size (without being too big to go in a shirt pocket) pen with a a very high quality feel to it, from the finial to the solid clip to the PERFECT threading, it exudes solid, high quality construction. It can be posted, but it isn't really meant to be, and is a little long when posted. I am not a big fan of posting pens that are big enough to be used unposted anyway, so no points off there.
Construction and quality: 10/10:
Seems I am getting ahead of myself, and already described this above. Excellent quality of construction.
Weight and dimensions: 10/10:
OK, really, this is bound to be all about individual preference. This is a big pen, but fits in a shirt pocket. One very cool detail as mentioned above is that you can choose the weight of the pen - light, or weighted. If you prefer a heavier pen, they will put a tiny weight in it, to make it feel a bit more substantial. A clever idea, really. I have not tried the weighted one, as I prefer light pens for my shirt pocket.
Nib and performance: 8/10
I really, really wanted to love this nib out of the box. And maybe I would have had I normally used only the highest quality paper. But I don't. I found the nib far too wet for anything I normally do. So, I had to tighten up the nib, which then required some realigning and smoothing. But hey, that's me. Now, loaded with a nice dry Iron Gall ink, it runs beautifully, and I can barely pu it down. The nib itself (you have your choice of steel or 18K. I wanted the full meal deal, and went with 18K) is BIG, and gorgeous, with a very cool detailing - 'onotonotono...' running around the two-tone margin of the nib.
Filling System and maintenance: 7.5/10
One the positive side, this c/c filler is of course relatively low maintenance (unless you fill it with iron-gall). On the negative side, this is a pretty high end pen with a high end price, so one could really expect a piston filler, or some such. But whatever. I like the ease of c/c fillers.
Cost and Value: 9/10
Despite the lack of piston filler, this is a truly excellent pen, and the price reflects this, at $475 (steel nib), and $550 (18K nib), with a discount available for FPN'ers and return buyers. The cost is a bit steep, and to be prefectly honest, probably steeper than it needs to be. One the other hand, every time I pick up my Onoto, I think, "worth it".
I took a point off for the over-wetness of the nib, as well as for relatively sparse communication from Onoto (very slow email responses. Mind you, it was aroud the Christmas rush, so they were undoubtedly swamped). Other than that, the pen is absolutely stellar. In fact, with the new styles they keep comin up with, another Onoto purchase is certain to be in my future this year.
I hope this review is some use to a few people.
Edited by drgoretex, 09 February 2012 - 14:52.