Unfortunately, my desk is covered with projects rapidly approaching deadline, so I can't devote the time right now to a full review and to playing with the new toy. However, here are some quick first impressions:
- The pen arrived in possibly the nicest presentation box I have seen in a while. Came complete with converter, one Namiki Blue ink cartridge, typical "how to use your new pen" sheet that covers many pen models, and a registration card for the Namiki 3-year guarantee covering "any failures due to faulty materials or workmanship". Converter is a typical "screw" type, a little shorter than (for example) the typical Parker converter. The cartridge is not a standard International size or shape, and the end that you pierce appears to be very large. Probably accounts for the good flow I note below.
- The Namiki Falcon bears a definite family resemblance to the Pilot 78 in terms of the styling and appearance of the pen barrel and cap. Slick, shinyshinyshiny black plastic, excellent clip, what I call "LTJG" gold bands on the cap (U. S. Navy Lieutenants (Junior Grade) have one wide gold band and one narrow one on the sleeve of their dress blues, you see ...). One narrow gold ring on the back end of the barrel, grip section has a wider gold ring on the nib end and a narrow one up next to the screw threads for the cap. Cap screws on (2-1/2 turns).
- This might be a controversial comment, but ... while the Falcon is presentable in appearance, it looks "cheaper" than you'd expect a $127 pen to look. If you leave it out on the desk in your office, someone might pick it up thinking it was nothing special, and could possibly abuse it without thinking about the replacement cost. People can be so careless. Keep this baby in your pocket!
- About the size of a Parker 51, in length and barrel diameter. The Falcon is very light in weight. I would guess that, while the pen is well-made, most of the cost is in the nib.
- The Falcon nib really gets your attention, for its dramatic, yet understated, appearance; very distinctive look, probably deriving from the engineering that went into it. The feed's appearance made me think of ebonite, but I am pretty sure it's "just" some kind of conventional plastic.
- Ink flow with Noodler's Black is excellent. No nib creep noted (does anybody ever get nib creep with Noodler's Black? thought I would mention it anyway).
- The nib is NOT a wet noodle. Namiki describes it as "soft." I would describe it as springy. If you apply next to no pressure, you get an extra-fine line. No skips, no scratchiness -- this thing is smooooth! With a little (and I do mean a little) pressure variation, you get a nice, expressive line with good contrast between hairlines and swells. Tactile sensation is most definitely not the same as with a dip pen meant for copperplate; compared to my Gillot nibs in an oblique holder, the Falcon nib is quite stiff. BUT -- compared to every other nib I have except for the fine Danitrio Densho nib, this one is a marvel of sensitivity.
- Speaking of flexibility and the DD nib comparison: The Danitrio Densho Fine nib lays down a wider line, and while the Dani nib flexes a bit more easily than the Falcon Fine, it does not have the springiness you need to instantly drop from a swell back down to a hairline. This ability to "snap" back to a hairline is probably going to be a major feature of the Falcon nib that I will exploit. Remember that this is first impression only, based on less than half a page of writing and a couple of doodles. I reserve the right to change my mind!
- Another note: I would advise being very careful with the Falcon nib, or at least the Fine nibs like this one. It is probably quite easy to push too hard and bend the nib or over-flex it to the point that the tines become misaligned. I don't think this is a nib for the ham-fisted writer who is used to a Duofold nib or a Lamy Safari spear.
Whenever I get caught up on Work That Someone Pays Me For, I will write up a more conventional review, with photos and writing samples.
Edited by BillTheEditor, 08 January 2007 - 20:17.