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Posted 20 February 2012 - 23:35
Communication - 10/10
I emailed Brian numerous times getting details about the Pearl, asking questions, telling him what I wanted and most importantly listening to his questions about what I wanted. Communication goes both ways and Brian doesn't just listen, he asks. Because of that, I have the pen I wanted.
Appearance - 9/10
The Pearl has a slightly understated look about it (at least in black). It doesn't catch your eye right away, but it seems to draw you back. The slight angles of the conical tips, the subtle taper towards the ends, the simple clean line of the clip. While I first thought I might not like the company name on the pen, I've come to really like it now. It doesn't jump out at you but it reminds me of an old Onoto I have - there's something classy about it; a welcomed throwback perhaps. It's a little longer than an Aurora 88, a little shorter than a Pelikan M805 and while it's a little thicker than both it weighs less. Being a bulb filler, there are no metal parts inside, no piston mechanism. The result is a pen that is far lighter than it has any business being and therefore writes effortlessly for hours. The grip is much narrower than the body, so while a bit of a fat pen in the middle, it's not fat at all when you write with it. The only reason I don't give it a 10/10 is the viewing window. It's crystal clear and works perfectly, but by it's nature it's a bit thick and so the ink looks suspended in it - it's just a personal like/dislike and not a reflection of the pen.
Fit & Finish - 10/10
Upon receiving the Pearl I poured over it looking at the seams, the clip, the threads, the polish, the fit, the viewing window - you name it but not a flaw to be found. The cap is perfectly in line with the body and the seam for the end cap (to access the bulb) is so fine that in showing it to a friend they were amazed to see it open - they had no idea there was a seam. The same for the top of the cap where the clip is attached; barely noticeable. In removing the nib to clean it (my first choice of inks didn't like the nib right away) I found, as advertised, a nice clean seal of silicone grease around the threads - no leaks here and Brian includes a small container of silicone grease as part of the package.
Filling System (Bulb Filler) - 10/10
This is my first time with a bulb filler and I quite like it, it takes a little bit to get used to it at first. Quicker squeezes when filling and a little patience in-between squeezes give the best results - it takes a lot of ink (the whole body is basically the reservoir). Draining requires slower squeezes to get all the ink out but it is effective and I found it easy to clean. I'm not sure of the capacity, but it's a lot of ink - I'll be curious to see how often it will need refilling.
Nib Performance - 9/10
I opted for the steel nib both for cost and because I agree with Brian that the real difference between gold and steel (in my experience) is flex not smoothness. I also asked Brian to grind the nib to a 0.5 cursive italic with emphasis on being smooth (no scratches no catches in my motto). I send a scanned copy of my writing (I'll be mailing him a proper copy to keep on file for my next Edison) and we chatted back and forth about what I wanted and what would have to be done to get the desired result. I have to say, I'm very happy. The nib is buttery smooth and writes as well as my other nibs customized by Binder and Mottishaw. The nib is certainly not as flexible as my Sailor 1911 21K nib, but it's only a little stiffer than my 18K Pelikan M805 nib, I don't mind writing with it all. Why not 10/10 then? I don't believe in a perfect nib - at least I haven't found it yet. But this is as good as anything else I have. IF you want flex, it will disappoint but I wasn't looking for flex in this nib, so no disappointment for me.
Conclusion - 9/10
I'd rate this as a 9/10 overall (again, I'm not sure if the perfect pen exists) and I would recommend it and Brian without reservation to anyone. This is not a "kit" pen, it is a hand crafted pen and looks perfectly at home with my Auroras, Pelikans, Sailors and Pilots. Will I get another Edison? Yes. Have I decided what? No, but something with neon acrylic is definitely going to find a home with me sometime soon. I've uploaded a couple of pictures of my pen taken by Brian which he sent to me to confirm it was to my liking. Really, where do you get service like that? I hope this review was helpful to someone and that more people get to hear about Edison Pens and Brian (and no - there is neither affiliation or a kickback, although I wouldn't turn one down )
Posted 20 February 2012 - 23:42
Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:41
Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:48