I have small hands, and was worried that I’d find a pen turned from a solid piece of bronze to be too hefty for me, but I decided I had to have one because I was sold by the philosophy behind the Colossus: a pen made of a material that gets better with age.
1. Appearance and Design (9/10)
I love the clean lines that define CE Levi pens, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I love the look of this pen. The design is very clean - a cylindrical bronze pen barrel with a brass blind cap of a slightly smaller diameter and a bronze pen cap of a slightly larger diameter, and a grip made of ebonite. The pen body is totally bare, save for two circles machined into the pen cap. I love the clean design of this pen.
2. Construction and Quality (10/10)
The pen’s construction is flawless. I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the pen from every angle. It was well polished, no scratches anywhere. The blind cap and pen cap screw very very smoothly to the barrel. They fit the barrel so well, it feels as though the joints are greased. They aren’t.
3. Weight and Dimensions (10/10)
I have small hands, and I hold pens using the regular tripod grip. The pen feels very heavy when you pick it up, and I was worried. But Cameron wrote on his website that he paid close attention to the weight distribution and balance of the pen, and the weight of the pen “disappears on the web of the thumb and index finger (I’m paraphrasing him). Well, the weight doesn’t “disappear”, that is, I feel it all right, but it was very well balanced, neither top nor bottom-heavy. I won’t use this pen for massive amounts of writing (eg note-taking during class lectures), but it’s perfectly fine for intermittent notes. I use it when I’m making notes and comments and underlining my textbooks and readings.
4. Nib and Performance
I asked for a Sheaffer Feathertouch nib for the pen, and it writes beautifully. Smooth, no tooth, with a tad of bounce to it.
5. Filling system and Maintenance (10/10)
The pen is a button filler. I never had one before, and certainly am newbie enough that I don’t know how I would take the pen apart to resac when it becomes necessary in, oh I don’t know, in a couple of decades? But the button is smooth to operate, and it’s easy to refill the pen.
6. Cost and Value (10/10) at $350, and (8/10) at $500
I suspect the higher cost of the Colossus compared of the Nox ($50) is due to the cost of the material and the increase in difficulty of machining bronze compared to ebonite. I can only imagine the skill and time that is needed to machine bronze to such a precision. The quality and design of the Colossus is top-notched, but I bought the pen mostly because of Cameron’s philosophy concept for this pen material.
I have had people comment on the Colossus whenever I use it. It’s shiny and striking, but it’s hefty. I like the Colossus, but if the philosophical concept doesn’t appeal to you the way it did for me, you will have to like heavy pens to like the Colossus. Personally, I love the Nox better, because I like my writing instruments to be lighter. If you love the look of CE Levi pens, go for it.
Some caveats: the pen cap won’t post, and it’s clipless. I don’t post my pens, and I use a pen case, so I don’t miss them. If these are must-haves for you, look elsewhere.
EDIT: Please scroll down to see the picture of the Colossus compared with other pens.
Edited by theabysswithin, 25 March 2012 - 22:05.