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Big Ben -- Green Candy Stripe


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#1 Soot

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 14:33

INTRODUCTION:

At first glance, this typical looking(distinguishable celluloid pattern) fountain pen gives the impression that it's a Wahl, but up close you will find that's not the case. It's a piston filler, and Wahl did not make any piston fillers(correct me if I am wrong, tks!). From what I gathered, FPN and elsewhere, Big Ben is a Danish company who produced good quality fountain pens. They were also a distributor of Wahl fountain pens in Denmark/Europe, thus they were able to source the celluloid used by Wahl and create a piston filler of their own.


Appearance & Design

The design of this Big Ben is very clean looking, the lines are smooth and even without any hint of ugliness. The color of the celluloid jumps out when it's shined with a bit of light, the pattern shifts with different viewing angle.

  • This Big Ben utilize a filler cap with a filler knob inside instead of being built-on filler knob.
  • The filling knob direction is reversed: turn clockwise to purge, counter-clockwise to fill.
  • One cap band on the edge of the blind cap and crown, three bands on the cap.
  • Striped ink-viewing window.
  • Big Ben BRITISH PATENT No 451 168 imprinted on the cap.
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Construction & Quality

The construction of the Big Ben is like that of a high quality fountain pen, but at a fraction of the price. Well built and not flimsy, feels very solid in the hand, and doesn't seem to damage easily with a mishap of butter fingers.

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Weight & Dimensions

The length of the pen is 128mm capped, 119mm uncapped (nib to end). It's heavier than Pelikan 400 (my benchmark), a bit dense but nevertheless comfortable to hold during long writing sessions.



Nib & Performance

The nib on this pen is not an original, it was replaced with a Wahl Gold Seal med/bold flexible nib somewhere down the years. It fits pretty nice with the pen, and if I didn't see an original nib on the pen previously I would have thought that's the nib it came with. The gold seal nib is quite flexible-- too broad for my liking on flexible nibs though.

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Filling System & Maintenance

It's a piston filler and not easily taken apart; maintenance is a problem because I am not sure how to take it apart. Probably not for the DIY-ers.


Conclusion

This is my third Big Ben, second one of the same model/color. Does that signify something? :rolleyes:
Seriously though, Big Bens are great pens. Their piston fillers IMO are high quality pens that were very solidly built to compete with high-end pens of the day, it's only when you get your hands on one do you say "wow, such a great pen!"

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--- Soot

Edited by Soot, 27 May 2012 - 17:05.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -- A. Einstein

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#2 IWantThat

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 15:23

I had not seen these before, but this one is stunning! Thank you for sharing your review :) With the Wahl nib, I'm sure it's absolute perfection.
Tamara

#3 dannyboy

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 15:40

Thanks for making me aware of a "new" vintage pen. Congratulations on adding your third Big Ben to your growing collection. That nib looks really sweet--nice handwriting, by the way, that shows the flex of the nib to great advantage.

#4 user01

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 15:49

Thanks for this review. The pattern is very nice although green is not my favorite color.

#5 Uncle Red

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 15:54

That's a really nice pen.

#6 Inkwisitor

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 22:04

You've introduced me to a pen I've never heard of before and very impressive it is too. As is your hand-writing which is very fluid and attractive.
"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

#7 pen2paper

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 22:13

Like the ribbed bands, and celluloid.
Thanks for sharing your interesting find.

emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#8 Chi Town

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:25

This is a Very Nice Pen! Thank You for sharing it with us.

Mike

            Visconti Last Lira aka Luigi Einaudi #63 of 975, Stipula Yellow Da Vinci Carbon Fiber T, Stipula Model T, Vintage Fountain Pens, Delta Amerigo Vespucci LE, Pelikan Special Edition Sahara F/P, TWSBI Micarta, Danitrio Mikado, Genkai, Nakaya Decapod Cigar, Watley in Woodgrain, Marlen Yellow Liberty LE, Santa FE Style Custom "51" made by Ralph Prather, president New Mexico Pen Collector's Club.


#9 Soot

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:50

Thank you all for the comments!
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -- A. Einstein

#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:35

Beautiful...going to double my speculative investments...play the lottery twice. :thumbup:

It's another name I'll look for.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#11 markiv

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 16:49

Thank you for posting this nice review of a lesser know pen maker.

I can also vouch for the quality of these pens.
Here is one I have in the same material with amber ink window. Though inspired by the Doric it manages to distinguish itself. The design and placement of cap rings on the faceted body, its nifty two stage piston filler and a significant #6 semi-flex nib are some of the things I like in this pen.

Now I hunt for one like Soot's!
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#12 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 19:54

this is one very nice and original pen :thumbup: thanks for sharing
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#13 amberleadavis

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:31

I think it is a beauty. Thank you for sharing!

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

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#14 kushbaby

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 03:37

I have a black Big Ben button filler that I adore. Loved seeing your pen. :puddle:

Thanks for sharing!!!
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#15 amk

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 16:12

Wonderful - I have just got one exactly the same in a job lot of pens! Very happy with it - mine has the original 'Big Ben' nib. That ink window is stunning, isn't it?


Too many pens, too little time!

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#16 EenyBear

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 02:01

Found this one... tempted, but won't mind if one of you beats me to it.  :)

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=item5d45dbdbb9



#17 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 06:28

Thanks for making reviews of these "unknown" pens


A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#18 Soot

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 20:11

Thanks for making reviews of these "unknown" pens

 

BIG BEN are quality "unknown" pens! Find them and you will enjoy them~


"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -- A. Einstein

#19 pensaro

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 14:41

just came across this item, never too late though  - isn't "Big Ben" made by the British company, Wyvern?



#20 xanthias

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Posted 10 February 2019 - 03:50

In reply to pensaro - Yes, Wyvern did make a Big Ben (and also, to add to the confusion, a "B-B"), but the patent number (despite being British) validates this as the Danish brand. See this link for background:

http://www.shootmagazine.com/wildwest/Vintage-restored-Danish-Art-Deco-1930s-Big-Ben-Fountain-Pen_r397167663282.html

The Wyvern Big Ben seems to have been characterised by a ball on the end of the clip. See these examples on Worthpoint for comparison:

https://www.worthpoint.com/inventory/search?query=Wyvern+Big+Ben+fountain+pen






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