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Review: Delta Indios Le


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#1 terminal

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 18:34

Delta Indios "Irmãos no mundo" Limited Edition
(second in the ”series III” of "Indigenous People")

The theme of this review is going to be pretty simple: This Pen Retailed For $900. Nine Hundred Dollars. When this pen came out in 2006, it cost... Nine. Hundred. Dollars.. I bought it new for much less on eBay, because, *shockingly*, it didn't sell very well. Apparently, this pen was (mercifully) limited to 1500 copies (this fact actually made me wonder if I shouldn't even ink it... more on that later). I'm having a very hard time not giving away my disappointment with this pen up-front... reviews should be objective until the opinion part... so, ANYWAYS...

Down to crass tackiness:

  • Fit and Finish: 4/10 It squeeks. It squeeks when you write with it. I thought it perhaps I hadn't tightened the barrel down enough, but that wasn't it. It's a $900 pen that squeeks.

    Anyways, rodent vibe aside, it's a pretty well finished pen. The material is really nice, and it screws together well. There certainly aren't any manufacturing defects or anything like that. No rough edges or glue showing.
  • Style: 5/10 THE CLIP. HELLO??? What was Delta thinking. The clip looks like plastic dipped in chrome. I don't know what it's really made out of, but it looks like it was just stuck on to the pen at the last minute. It matches nothing. And the spring part where the clip attaches to the pen is just embarrassing.

    Aside from the clip, the pen is just incredibly poorly conceived. Delta would have been... so immeasurably better off toning it down a little. If you snapped the HIDIOUS clip off and changed out the diamond... "tribal" do-dad on the tassie end with a simple silver band you might be on to something. Oh and pry off the animal head coin... do-hickey on the top of the cap.

    The black and faux-wood (for some reason I thought I read it would be real wood) resins are actually really nice. Top quality. They go together really nicely and I think they are very tasteful.

    One really... amazingly cool thing about this pen (and this is really about the nib) is that the nib is etched in such a way that the ink flows through the channels and looks wicked awesome (see nib picture). That is a really nice touch. It's such a nice touch it almost seems out of place on *this* pen.

    The size of the pen is a surprise. It's quite short and fat and, in a big hand, it kind of needs to be posted (and, *of course*, who'd want to 'risk' posting this pen). I like the girth, and it's comfortable to write with. The threads aren't in the way, and as I said, the resin is quite nice. I also like the bulge above the threads... it's comfortable and feels natural.
  • C/C Design / filling: 6/10 It's a cartridge converter. It's a $900 pen with a cartridge converter. Granted, it's a pretty large capacity CC... buuut... luxurious it's not.
  • Nib: 7/10 High point of the pen. The nib is really really smooth. It's supposed to be a medium but I'd put it on the 'fine' side, which is great with me. One pretty big surprise (and another big disappointment) is that the nib basically has no flex. Here you have this giant (supposedly 18k) nib and it writes just like any other pen. Very little flex. My TWSBI wrote just as well out of the box and after being modified by Pendleton, it's far, far superior. As is my (recently reviewed) Parker Victory. In fact, every pen in my primary pen box is a better pen. I have a Sailor Young Profit here that is just as smooth and was 1/20th the price (granted the body of the pen is cheap plastic and this Delta is really nice resin, but just speaking about the nib).
  • Price: 1/10 I mean... what can I say? Are you paying for the packaging here? Were they hoping nobody would ever write with it? Is the price point based on it being a limited edition? It is absolutely not even worth a quarter of the price. I am simply slack jawed and appalled. I would be inconsolable if I had paid full price for this. THIS PEN DOESN'T TOUCH MY HOMO SAPIENS. And I think they should be very comparable pens (and nibs).


Capped:
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C/C:
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Awesome etched nib, note how the ink has gotten in to some of the channels:
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Pretty tasteful title, all gaudyness considered.
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Here is the incredible cap:
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Writing sample (yes, I am no calligrapher YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMIND ME...)
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Compared to my TWSBI 540 (Pendleton-ized fine nib) and my Visconti Homo Sapiens:
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As a side note: I actually find the packaging for this pen plain stupid. I feel like I'm paying for it through the nose, and who cares? This box is about 14" x 8". It has a glass and wood box INSIDE. You have to unscrew the top of the glass and wood box. Woop-t-do. How about a decent pen instead?
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One thing that... just kind of has me stumped, is how can this nib really be 18k gold. It's a huge nib, and that would be a LOT of gold. Maybe that's the price of the pen? But the thing that gets me is, if it *is* 18k gold, why is it so... firm. I certainly have plenty of vintage pens with firm 14k nibs... I guess I'm just saying, what's the point?

My final... rather harsh verdict: This ain't a pen for writin'. This is a pen for staring at. This is the worst kind of vanity pen. You're supposed to keep it in the box and laboriously unpack it over and over and show it to your friends. But not ink it. Oh and make sure the price tag is visible. "Wow, so THIS is a thousand dollar fountain pen... huh...", "Yeah, see, this is number 984 out of 1500, and see this ring, that's sterling silver... and the whole thing is completely sourced in Italy. Isn't that cool?", "Yeah... yeah that's pretty neat... are these your other pens?"

Oh, and, no, I didn't even try the ink. As. If.

For a very different take on the ...even more expensive (er, I mean, 'exclusive')... model of this pen, here's the other review that was written by a FPN member (Jopen) when this pen was released: http://personal.tele...pict/indios.htm
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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#2 rwilsonedn

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 19:38

Was there originally a stone or something in that rectangular indentation in the middle of the clip, or is the empty rectangle part of the design? Maybe if there was once a 1-ct square-cut diamond in there it would explain some of the original price ...
ron

#3 terminal

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 19:52

Was there originally a stone or something in that rectangular indentation in the middle of the clip, or is the empty rectangle part of the design? Maybe if there was once a 1-ct square-cut diamond in there it would explain some of the original price ...
ron


You're right.... an included gem would certainly explain... something...

No, I'm pretty sure there wasn't. I have three reasons for saying that. I do believe this pen was totally NOS when I bought it because I bought it from a reputable source. Also, in the literature the pictures show the clip and there's no gem. Also, the review written by Jopen has his own pictures and also some from pub shots from Delta and none of the pens have a gem and all of them have the same... 'clip'.

So, I think it's just another example of the disastrous clip design.

Good eyes though, Ron, and thanks for the thought!
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#4 adamselene

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:27

So, what did you think of the pen?

* * *

All kidding aside, do these pens ever go for list price, as opposed to, say. MB which often does?

I had trepidation that I would feel the way you felt about the Los Indios, about a "Los Borrachos" Delta LE I just got on the 'Bay. I got a good price, but I never thought the $995 MSRP was real.

My pen had the same setup with the box. I actually thought it was very nice, but cheap.
I like the way my pen looks. I really like the way it feels in my hand, it is slightly shorter than my H Sap, but slightly bigger girth, and the silver art band gives it good heft and balance. The nib is an 18K M, a good smooth, wet writer with no flex, but some "spring."

The CC: was a big disappointment. I wish it was a piston filler. It suffered "vapor lock," but some soapy flushing appears to have cured it. But actually, I don't hate CC: pens. It allows for easy good hygiene, as I keep way too many pens inked, and flushing is a necessity.

Sorry folks, I don't have a camera to post a picture, and have never done a review. My Los Borrachos is a good writer, and a luscious looking pen, that wishes it were a piston filler. I got mine with a lucky auction buy from the 'Bay, for significantly less than I got my Delta D'Oro piston filler from Bryant at Chatterley Pens.

To objectively rate this pen, heck what does objectively mean? I think I like this as well as any of my Parker Centennials, but it wows them on the cuteness factor. (now only if I could have gotten the stub, but Delta sells them for $40 more than I paid for this pen!)

Cheers.

#5 terminal

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:44

I think that's a very good summary adamselene! I'd basically agree except to say I think mine is uglier ;)
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#6 Koyote

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:59

I'm confused, and this is a serious question: you surely must have seen photos before buying the pen, so you were aware of its aeshetics (which you seem to despise). And your review states that the nib writes nicely, and you mentioned no performance issues, so presumably it writes about as you expect. So, I am wondering why you bought the pen in the first place. I know you didn't pay $900, but you surely paid a few bucks for it -- why do that, if you have only criticism for the pen?

#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:36

This review is good point, it just strenghtens the point that you need to think heavily before buying a delta pen
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

#8 jandrese

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 13:09

Thanks for your honesty. No pen is a panacea, and that is one reason this review forum exists. Do your research here and few details will be left unanswered. In general, Deltas are no better and no worse than any other high end pen, and individual variation exists. The price can be high. These and most other fountain pens are sold as luxury items, and are priced as such. The Delta rep wears a Panerai and the Montblanc reps think nothing of taking half a dozen people out to really expensive steakhouses. They sell a lifestyle, a feeling, not a writing instrument, bic does that.

#9 terminal

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 14:50

I'm confused, and this is a serious question: you surely must have seen photos before buying the pen, so you were aware of its aeshetics (which you seem to despise). And your review states that the nib writes nicely, and you mentioned no performance issues, so presumably it writes about as you expect. So, I am wondering why you bought the pen in the first place. I know you didn't pay $900, but you surely paid a few bucks for it -- why do that, if you have only criticism for the pen?


No you bring up a good point. I guess, the short answer is, it's a combination of things.

  • I got it for an absolutely amazing price, by any standard
  • I wanted to try a Delta
  • I knew it was ugly, but see #1
  • I bought it for the nib and was disappointed... even though it's extremely smooth, it's nothing special (unlike a Visconti). So I guess it didn't really write as I expected.

Edit
I wonder, if everyone only buys pens that they know they like, and only reviews pens that they feel positive about, how all pen reviews are then not positive. Others must make the same lapse in judgement I made or no negative reviews would exist.

Edited by terminal, 27 July 2012 - 15:02.

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#10 terminal

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 14:52

This review is good point, it just strenghtens the point that you need to think heavily before buying a delta pen


Having only one Delta, I'm not in the best position to say anything but this: I will never, ever buy another Delta
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#11 terminal

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 14:56

In general, Deltas are no better and no worse than any other high end pen, and individual variation exists.


I'd disagree with this but I defer to your experience because I don't have enough background to say empirically.

I would add that Delta should absolutely be embarrassed to bring a product like this to market.... which says a lot of negative things about the company.
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#12 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 15:02

What a deception,such cost and such pen...
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.

#13 raging.dragon

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 00:04

Edit
I wonder, if everyone only buys pens that they know they like, and only reviews pens that they feel positive about, how all pen reviews are then not positive. Others must make the same lapse in judgement I made or no negative reviews would exist.


There are few serious reviews where the reviewer thinks the pen he/she bought is ugly. Most negative reviews focus on manufacturing defects or nib/feed problems (too dry, too wet, scratchy, drips blobs of ink on the page, etc.). Most manufacturers use standard Bock nibs, and thus they all feel and perform pretty much the same regardless of brand or price. The exceptions which come to mind are:

  • Montblanc, Aurora, Pilot/Namiki, Platinum/Nakaya and Sailor make their own nibs. Pelikan make some of their nibs and buy some from Bock. I'm not certain whether or not Lamy make their own nibs too.
  • Montegrappa, OMAS, Visconti and Danitrio use alot of non-standard Bock nibs

With a pen like the Delta Indio (or any other high end pen) you're paying for things like: celluloid or expensive custom resins, silver/vermeil instead of brass or steel for the clip and trim, the custom cast clip, expensive european labour instead of cheap asian labour, and low production volumes which require alot of work to be done by hand instead of automated. And it's also true for high end (luxury) pen marketing is expensive (the Panerai and dinners mentioned by another poster) and that markups are high to offset low sales volume.

Are these pens worth their high prices? That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself. I rarely pay MSRP for high end pens (and when I do it's an act of charity toward the local brick and mortar store), instead buying used or from retaillers that offer large discounts.

Edited by raging.dragon, 28 July 2012 - 00:09.


#14 raging.dragon

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 00:28

This review is good point, it just strenghtens the point that you need to think heavily before buying a delta pen


Having only one Delta, I'm not in the best position to say anything but this: I will never, ever buy another Delta



In general, Deltas are no better and no worse than any other high end pen, and individual variation exists.


I'd disagree with this but I defer to your experience because I don't have enough background to say empirically.

I would add that Delta should absolutely be embarrassed to bring a product like this to market.... which says a lot of negative things about the company.


Aside from aesthetics, which is a matter of personal taste (some people will find the Delta Indios attractive, others won't) your review didn't mention a single serious flaw with the pen. The filling mechanism was as advertised (c/c) and functioned as intended. The nib was blandly Bock standard, but apparently it was acceptably smooth and wrote without skipping, burping or any serious flow problems. The pieces fit together well and none of them were cracked or broken, the pen didn't fall apart, the plating wasn't peeling, etc..

So why the hate?

I'm left with the impression that you either had unreasonable expectations (especially for the nib), or that your negative feelings about the pen's aesthetics heavily influenced your impression of it's other characteristics.

#15 terminal

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 00:52

  • It squeeks
  • It's ugly
  • It's a good nib, but nothing amazing
  • It's incredibly over-priced
  • It's a c/c

What's to love again?


As I noted, my expectation was basically that this pen would be on-par with my Visconti Homo-Sapiens. I think that's reasonable. And it's simply... not.
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#16 jandrese

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:29

  • It squeeks
  • It's ugly
  • It's a good nib, but nothing amazing
  • It's incredibly over-priced
  • It's a c/c

What's to love again?


As I noted, my expectation was basically that this pen would be on-par with my Visconti Homo-Sapiens. I think that's reasonable. And it's simply... not.



Again, just personal preference. I've handeled a dozen or more Homo Sapien pens and have always felt underwhelmed, or disappointed by inferior workmanship. I could buy one, but could never justify the expense, and would never have felt good about it. I have many Deltas, several Viscontis, and about 175 other pens. None are perfect, and none would be easy to part with. Variety is the spice of life, and everyone should be so lucky to complain bitterly about expensive pens. Most have much more pressing matters to attend to. Have fun everybody, and don't take these things to seriously.

#17 paolino_paperino

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:20

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I find the pen attractive. If you hate it so much send it to me. I would accept it out of kindness ;-)

#18 wyldphyre

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:57

Posted Image


Off topic, but I have to ask. Why does the nib on your TWSBI look like its got a fungal problem? Aren't those nibs normally supposed to be shiny and smooth like the other two in the image?

#19 terminal

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:29

  • It's ugly

Again, just personal preference.


Yes.

  • It squeeks
  • It's a good nib, but nothing amazing
  • It's incredibly over-priced
  • It's a c/c

Again, just personal preference.


No.
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

#20 terminal

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:31

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I find the pen attractive. If you hate it so much send it to me. I would accept it out of kindness ;-)


LOL! This is very nice of you, and I certainly appreciate the offer. I have to admit the nib has kept it in my top 20 for the moment.
"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...






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