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Posted 02 March 2012 - 20:46
This pen has a mildly dorky story behind it, which is that I wanted to write a space opera novel (I am a short story writer) and I needed incentive. I had some money saved up for a fountain pen and I decided that if I could finish a rough draft of the novel, I would reward myself by ordering a custom pen. I'd done some research and was pretty sure I wanted to try an Edison, so I went with that. Also, I wanted something that could be a workhorse pen and the bulb-filler's capacity sounded awesome (plus the mechanism looked fun). Anyway, I finished the rough draft, I ordered the pen, and then for frivolity's sake I asked for an engraving that is the emblem of one of the characters.
...what. I write science fiction, I'm already strange.
I had seen people take pictures of Edisons being unboxed. The box is some kind of faux leather, I think? I can't tell, and it seems to be a nice box, but any reasonably sturdy box would have been fine with me; I am not good at noticing packaging. Everything was carefully bundled up, which I liked, and even better, there were some instructions for how to use the bulb-filler. (It would have been easy to figure out, but still, instructions are even better.) It came with a small thing of silicone grease, which I am not sure what to do with, but I will look it up.
I took photos but my camera refuses to talk to my Mac, and while it will talk to my husband's Windows box, the Windows box also is refusing to talk to my Mac. So I can get the photos onto my husband's computer, but not from his computer to mine. (Unless I shell out for an ftp program, which for some reason he doesn't have. And email crashed when I tried that.) I am stumped, so I am going to use Mr. Gray's photos, which are watermarked EDISON PEN CO; Mr. Gray, if this is not okay, please let me know and I will take them down. (But honestly, his photos are better than mine would have been.) Note that I have cropped/resized the photos to adhere to size guidelines, and in the case of the third I flipped it 180 degrees so the engraving would appear right-side up.
Appearance & Design: 9.
I'll be honest, I picked the Pearl because I liked the simplicity of its lines. The Black Rose acrylic is subdued (black/dark red-brown) but rather classy, and I don't think my photos do the material justice. I considered something more bright red/black (some of the other acrylic colorways) but they looked too flashy. (I go around wearing black or gray. I am very boring.) I also picked the Pearl because I suspected the engraving was going to need all the help it could get in terms of space and the Pearl has a reasonably large diameter.
I have docked a single point for what I consider to be a minor issue that was partly due to my choice of engraving, which is that in person you can see that the tooth at 3 o'clock on the smaller gear is not complete; the lines don't connect at the tip of the gear. This is actually kind of appropriate for the character whose emblem this is, so I'm not bothered, but I think if you want an engraving you probably want to be careful about tiny fussy lines and angles that might not come out well. This is subtle enough that I didn't catch it in the photo that Mr. Gray sent to me before shipping the pen out, so my fault there.
You have to unscrew the end to get at the bulb (easy), and the join (sorry, is this the right word?) is so clean that I couldn't even see it at first. Heck, I can barely feel it with my fingers. Amazing.
Construction & Quality: 10.
The pen feels ridiculously solid despite my irrational fear of destroying it every time I touch it. I am a klutz and at some point this pen is going to get dropped, it's just a fact of life. But I am pretty sure it's going to survive me.
Weight & Dimensions: 9.
This is a large pen for me; I don't have big hands (6.5" from base of hand to tip of middle finger), but I wanted something with a larger diameter because it would give the engraving a fighting chance. If I picked a pen purely for size I would have gone with something slightly smaller, so this is the compromise I chose. If you have larger hands than I do, I imagine the Pearl is probably fine for you.
I'm just going to give you the stats from Mr. Gray's website since I don't have any way of measuring things right now:
Weight with cap: 22g
Weight without cap: 16 g
Cap diameter: .610"
Body diameter: .610"
Length capped: 5 3/8"
Length uncapped: 5"
That being said, this seems comfortable enough, I just have to adjust to it after acclimating to my rather slimmer Webster.
The pen doesn't post (or it seems like you could jam the cap onto the end, but the pen wasn't designed for it). I prefer to post because I lose things (and with one pen, it's just too short to use without posting), but I knew beforehand that this pen wouldn't post and I am going to make a habit of clipping the cap to a pocket or the pen case. Unposted, it's well-balanced. No issues there.
Nib & Performance: 10.
I'm really pleased with the nib the more I use it. It's two-tone steel. I wanted a firm nib and I am indifferent to gold in a firm nib, but the gold tone looks very pretty with the Black Rose acrylic.
I asked for a 0.6mm cursive italic, which was a gamble because I've only used round nibs before, and I am enjoying it a lot. (I figured if I hated it, I could buy a basic XF nib unit through Goulet Pens and put it in instead.) I didn't ask for any particular tuning so it was tuned to 7/10, which is apparently smooth with just a bit of feedback, and it happens that this is just right for me. The one thing I will have to get used to, which I knew would be the case in advance, is holding the nib at the right angle for it to write properly, as I tend to rotate the angle slightly as I write; this will be incentive to learn better habits. It writes well on the two papers I care to use it on (Devrian Global Industries composition books, which I have a stockpile of, and Clairefontaine).
Filling System & Maintenance: 10
I don't know about maintenance yet but I read somewhere that bulb-fillers are easy to maintain, so that sounded attractive. I read the instructions for filling, stuck the pen in a bottle of ink, and it was easy and entertaining. I read some review earlier where someone said they were sorry about the high capacity because it meant less filling of the pen because the mechanism is so fun. That's pretty much how I feel. It was no messier than filling my lever- or piston-fillers. The level of ink in the bottle went down way more than I am used to with my lever-filler. I'm happy.
I have not attempted to really disassemble things. I've never done so before and I'm kind of scared to mess with anything.
Cost & Value: 10
I ordered the pen through Edison Pen Company by staring at a gazillion luscious photos in the galleries and then sending an email. The pen cost $410 all told ($250 for Pearl + $100 for bulb-filler + $40 for cursive italic nib + $20 for engraving). The ability to customize was important to me. I won't lie, I did think about getting an entry-level Nakaya for $500 (this was my limit), but then I wouldn't have gotten the emblem. So for me this was the right choice, and if it weren't for the fact that I don't need more pens to write with I would be scheming for another Edison. (The Pearlette looks very nice.)
Very, very happy. Thank you so much, Mr. Gray. After I clear a couple short story commitments, I think I will try to write another space opera, but with this pen.
Posted 02 March 2012 - 21:20
- C.S. Lewis
Posted 02 March 2012 - 21:35
I also like the parallel in that you noted the gear engraving is not quite complete, and that your mss is draft #1. It seems fitting. With that said, I wonder if it's possible for them to correct that detail. Perhaps on publication of the book. Either way, it is meaningful. It's nice when two artists get together on a project and it turns out like this.
If you do take more pictures it would be interesting to see the pen in your hand for size comparison, and hear how you are liking it for longer writing sessions.
Wishing you good fortune with your novel and much happiness with your pen!
Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:47
I think you chose very well indeed, I would be proud to own such a piece.
I started on the fountain pen journey so I had some nice things to leave my kids and grand kids when I pass.
Edited by jwar2003, 03 March 2012 - 08:47.
Posted 03 March 2012 - 18:20
Posted 05 March 2012 - 16:20
Posted 05 March 2012 - 18:54
Posted 05 March 2012 - 22:58
The box it came in:
Pen in box:
Next to my other pens for comparison: the one on the bottom is a Waterman 52V (and yes, this is tape holding the cap together--to my shame, I busted the cap real bad) and the one on the top is my Webster. The Pearl isn't that much longer than the Webster, but what I didn't capture in the photo is that the Pearl has a significantly larger diameter than either of my other pens.
A much less good photo of the engraving:
The more I use this cursive italic, the more I love it. Best $40 investment ever.
Pen in left hand. My hands are 6.5" from base of palm to tip of middle finger, so, not large.
What the pen looks like when I'm holding it, more or less. Sorry for the blurriness, left tremor worse than right. But it's definitely long enough to be comfortable without posting, and the balance is good.
Posted 05 March 2012 - 23:18
The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. Norbet Platt
Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:42
I have it in green mottled celluloid. My only qualm really is that I wish I had the foresight to asked for a straight, rather than a concave section - a personal preference thing I forgot about.
The pearl is a beautifully designed pen. The pen disassembles very easily and Brian includes a silicone grease jar. His service is impeccable.
In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (, ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)