This is the box I received in my mail, very well-packed in a huge carboard parcel with plenty of foam, and protected by a little cardboard sleeve, all enclosed in a bubble-wrap envelop. This pen was ready to travel anywhere !
When I opened this beautiful yet simple box, I saw the pen :
To my surprise, customization wasn't just a word. You can see the inner plate with my full name inside (blanked because I like my privacy ) :
This was accompanied by a little manual sheet, a certificate of ownership dated and signed by both Francis Goossens (aka Fountainbel) and Werner Helsen (Conid). With two tools to work on the pen yourself (the wrench is useful for a thorough cleaning, and it adapts clearly on the top of the barrel, thanks to two holes, to unscrew the piston system) :
So let's skip all this and go to the pen :
The pen is nice. I would lie if I said I like demonstrators, but Francis made a tour de force to make one that was beautiful to my eyes. The union of brushed Titanium and transparent resin is particularily well found, with nice proportions and shapes and an elegant and timeless design.
If it wasn't obvious yet, one can rest assured that Francis has a sure taste when it comes to pens.
This pen compares in size with the Pelikan M900 (but of course, not in weight):
But the big innovation with this pen is the filling system. Thanks to a disengageable piston, the filling mechanism doesn't waste space and enables at least twice as much ink as the Pelikan M900.
Step 1: Unscrew the turning knob,
Step 2: Pull the rod until it reaches the disengageable piston. Notice there is a little screw at the end of the rod.
Step 3: Keep rotating the knob as if you were unscrewing it from the barrel. The rod is now fixed to the piston.
Step 4: Push the piston until the rod is completely inside the barrel again.
Step 5: Now pull the piston to suck ink in. At the first time, the pen will get filled at 80%. If it isn't enough, expell the ink bubble when holding the pen with the nib up, and plunge the pen in the inkwell again.
/!\ Hard Hat Area /!\ I wrapped the nib with a paper towel, because there are ink projections from the ink contained in the feed when expelling the bubble. (Maybe I'm doing it wrong, in this case I'll take advice from more savvy people ).
Step 6: Screw the turning knob as if it was at the end of the barrel. This disengages the rod from the piston. Push gently the rod back inside de pen, and screw the knob on the barrel. Et voilà!, you're ready to use the pen for a solid week of non-stop writing !
Here is a little written review with some blah blah. Remember you have to sligthly unscrew the turning knob, in order to open the flow between the feed and the reservoir. The end of the rod is a plug. This pen won't leak when not used!
The nib is in Titanium, Fine, and it allows a little variation as seen here :
One's got to love the logo :
There is a real attention to details here. The number of my pen is engraved at the top of the clip.
On the cap's ring, stands the name of the creator proudly sitting beneath the clip's end:
The nib and feed:
The nib is very smooth, allows a little line variation and the engraving's pattern is quite beautiful. It is quite large, and starts instantly. No problem like on the Stipula T which needed lots of tweaking in order to work better. Francis adjusted everything prior to sending the pen, and it's just perfect.
The section has a very comfortable form. It's a real pleasure to hold this pen !
Now, since I don't have any way of measuring the ink volumes, here's a little picturesque comparison, of what the pen contained, expelled in an empty ink bottle.
Since the bulk filler won't expell all the ink, what's in the left bottle is only 80% of what was inside the pen's reservoir.
(on the left, this pen; on the right, the M900)
- This pen is a real proof it is still possible to innovate in the world of fountain pens, and that's what led me to buy it.
- The Bock nib is very smooth and the flow is finely adjusted.
- The pen is very well-balanced, posted or not, and very light. It has a timeless design.
- As far as I know, it's completely hand-made, which ads up to the personalization.
- Considering the limited human resources involved, the price is fair.
- Five years guarantee !
- The box is a bit cheap.
- The rod on my pen isn't perfectly straight, which induces some friction when activating the piston. Maybe some QC to improve there.
- There is a little scratch on the clip.
- The cap doesn't screw very safely. I have the feeling it could unscrew in a vest pocket, and since it is asked not to overtighten it, my advice would be to carry it in a pouch. Not a big deal, but better know it before your pocket changes colour
As you might have understood, this pen isn't perfect, but it is obvious the designer loves his trade and shows it in his design. I warmly recommend this pen to any enthusiast, and wish success to Francis for his future projects. Be sure I will be keeping an interested eye on them !
Edited by olivier78860, 18 July 2012 - 15:22.