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Review: Grifos Pen And The City Fountain Pen
Posted 03 September 2012 - 17:45
This is my first review, so please be understanding of its shortcomings, especially my poor photography. I was motivated to write it after I received the Grifos Pen and the City fountain pen, which I bought when it was advertized on FPN. Afterwards, I also found that there had been a review on FPN of the Grifos company, which you can find at this link. I am listing here my personal impressions from the pen. For a couple of non-obvious items I asked Maurizio Stura, CEO of the Grifos Pen Company, who was always very willing to provide me with any information I asked for. You can find the Grifos web page of the Pen and the City fountain pen at this link.
Packaging, Appearance and Design (5/5)
The pen arrived in a nice box. Inside, it was the Pen and the City pen, which has a very attractive design on the silver barrel and cap. I find the design to give elegance to the pen, without making it too ostentatious.
Construction and Quality (5/5)
The pen is all metal. The barrel and cap are patterned solid 925 silver, while the trimming (and I had to verify that with Maurizio) is brass and then 18 ct rose gold plated or silver plated. There are stamps on the cap, the section, and the barrel confirming the silver content of the pen, but they are so tiny that Maurizio had to point out to me where to look for them. But they are there. Overall, I found the construction and the quality of the pen superb. It feels very solid, but it is not heavy at all. The cap is screwed to the barrel, and the threads are so nicely arranged, that I did not encounter any of the typical small occasional snags when capping the pen. On posting the pen, the cap “clicks” on the barrel, and removes any possibility of un-posting while writing.
Dimensions and Weight (5/5)
Capped 145 mm
Posted 159 mm
Without cap 124 mm
Cap length 71 mm
Barrel 12 mm
Section 10 mm
Weight 40 g (1.4 oz)
I show below a comparison of the Grifos pen with a Pelikan M800. They are similar in size, although the Pelikan feels a little wider in the hand (which is somewhat more preferable for me), because of the larger section diameter. Yet, the form factor and the weight of the Pen and the City pen feels very comfortable too, so I give it a 5/5.
Nib and Performance (5/5)
The Pen and the City pen has a large, smooth, medium nib. According to information from Maurizio, it is a steel, white-gold-plated nib, made by Boch. On it, there is only the emblem of the Grifos company, and that simplicity adds to the elegance of the pen. The picture with the writing sample below hopefully gives an idea of its performance. But I want to emphasize its smoothness and reliability. I find the nib medium wet, which I would rate 6/10 in wetness, but I am not sure what this rating would mean to someone else. Since I prefer not overly wet pens, this happened to be exactly at the level of my taste.
Filling System (4/5)
The filling system is cartridge/converter. I never use cartridges, so I did not test that part, but I assume that international cartridges will work fine. The converter works fine, and has more than adequate capacity for my needs (how is it that as I am developing more interest in pens, I do more and more of my writing on the computer? ). However, the pen has a small problem that prevents me from giving it a perfect score in this respect. When I try to screw the barrel on the section after filling the converter, it seems that the back of the converter tries to fit in some housing in the back of the barrel. Well, most of the time I have to make a couple of efforts before the converter finds its way in that housing. A small nuisance, which might not be difficult for Grifos to fix.
Cost and Value (5/5)
At the time of this writing, the pen was listed on the Grifos website with an MSRP of EUR 264, and a promo price of EUR 193. I would consider this a fair price for the quality you get with that pen. I was lucky to notice the Grifos posting on FPN a couple of months ago, which offered the pen at $140, and I consider that a great bargain.
Conclusion (Final score: 5/5)
Overall, I would say that the Pen and the City pen by Grifos is a well constructed, beautiful pen, with excellent performance. I have been using it for about three weeks now, and I am very happy with it. My wife, who is my consultant on the aesthetics of the pens, advised me: “Don’t take this pen with you when you travel. You do not want to lose such a beautiful pen.” Being wise, I plan to follow her advice…
Posted 03 September 2012 - 18:28
I bought my Grifos when they first came on the market and I must say my HO matches yours.
And another thing, when the tornado hit and I found my Grifos in the mud, 2 weeks later, it took
about 30 minutes to clean it up and it wrote like it was brand new, unlike some "boutique" pens.
And the people at Grifos are really nice folks.
Posted 03 September 2012 - 20:44
Posted 04 September 2012 - 04:14