Packaging is typical of Edison pens, so see my review of the Edison Nouveau Premiere for photos of boxes if you're into that kind of thing. As with the Premiere, the Encore comes with a letter signed by both Brians.
Appearance & Design
This is a beautiful pen! Brian Gray has great pen designs in general, but he's really outdone himself on this one.
The pen was announced by Brian Goulet as exhibiting three new features. These were doled out to us over the course of a week of saliva-inducing teaser photos on the Ink Nouveau blog. They are:
- a cap band
- a #5 nib engraved with the Edison logo
- a medallion on top of the cap
The biggest surprise for Edison fans will probably be the cap band. I think this really adds a lot to the design, especially since it provides visual balance to the medallion at the top.
After the torpedo shape of the Premiere, this Edison Nouveau goes the flat-top route, showing some similarities to Pelikan pens (more on that later). Like Pelikans, the design is blocky, but not brutal. There is a slight taper at the end of the barrel that softens the shape, as does the taper of the cap lip.
Like the Premiere, the Encore is offered in three different acrylic materials. I chose the blue agate and am very happy with it. It's a very intricate and beautiful blue/white swirl pattern. Really an outstanding material, even by Edison standards. I could look at this pen all day. (See the Goulet Pens website for images of the other colors: turquoise and amethyst.)
The medallion on top of the cap is another nice design touch. It has a sort of "hammered" texture with a script "EN" logo.
Overall, the look of the pen is more "finished" than some Edison designs. I think it's a great look. The additional design touches add a little sparkle, but don't detract from the beautiful material and simplicity of line that are hallmarks of Edison pens.
Weight & Dimensions
Brian Goulet has already compared the Encore in size to the Pelikan M2xx/M4xx pens. Indeed, if we compare the two pens, especially uncapped, they have similar dimensions.
Once in a while, someone will complain about the pronounced threads on Pelikan pens. It's never bothered me, but you'll notice that the thread area of the Encore is pretty much flush with the rest of the body, so those with thread sensitivity should have no trouble.
Used unposted, the weight and balance of the Encore is similar to the Pelikan. Posted, it's a different story.
Relative to the Pelikan, the Encore's cap is longer, posts higher, and has a heavy metal medallion on top. This creates quite of a bit of back-weight when writing with the pen posted. At first, this bothered me a little, but I found that I got used to it pretty quickly. Anyway, at least for my hands, the Encore isn't bad to use unposted either.
Speaking of posting, the Encore posts very securely. I get the feeling that it's really made to be posted, as opposed to pens like the Edison Pearl and Herald which can post if you're really intent on it, but don't seem quite happy about it.
This next photo shows the Encore next to the Premiere to highlight the differences in the grip section. I don't think this is a new section design for Brian Grey, but the asymetric (narrower near the nib) grip section is less common on Edison pens than the more hourglass-shaped section featured on the Premiere. I don't have a strong preference on the section shape, but I thought I'd point it out.
Nib & Performance
Most Edison pens use a #6 nib (see the image of the Premiere, above). The much smaller #5 nib is so far used only on the Mina, Pearlette, and now the Encore. Aesthetically, I prefer the smaller nib.
It seems though, that the #5 nibs may write just a hair broader than the #6. At least this is the case for mine. Relative to the F nibs on my Herald and Premiere, the F nib on the Encore seems a tiny bit broader and considerably toothier. I'm expecting a Pearlette in the mail in the very near future, so I'll have to see if this holds true or if it's just a fluke with my nib.
Like the Premiere, the Encore uses a cartridge or converter (included). I imagine it would be a good candidate for an eyedropper conversion if that's your thing.
Because the pen barrel is so small (at least by Edison standards), the converter is a pretty tight fit.
Cost & Value
At $185, the Encore costs a bit more than the Premiere, but is still at the low end of the overall Edison price scale. I think it's a very fair price for a beautifully crafted pen.
I strongly recommend this pen, especially to those of us who prefer pens in the more "classic" size range. Beautiful, unique, solidly made, and a collaboration by two of the pen community's favorite people. What's not to love?
Edited by anaximander, 30 April 2012 - 17:38.