Packaging was a standard looking navy blue sailor case. Nothing remarkable. Inside was this beauty.
Look at it... look at it. The matte black is slick and oozes character from every pore. It looks gorgeous without being flashy. This is no Montblanc. The matte finish is obvious, and despite a few minor drops, has zero nicks or scratches. The trim compliments the black finish better than gold, in my opinion. The nib is two-toned, which adds a small splash of color to the pen. The cigar shape is killer. It is prone to fingerprints and dust, but honestly, unless you are doing a photoshoot, it isn't noticeable. You have to look very carefully to see any blemish whatsoever.
If you're looking for a full size, and not an oversize, you (bleep) found it. Uncapped, it is quite a bit shorter than a Safari. Capped, it is a hair taller. The pen is medium weight giving a nice quality feel. It fits snugly in my medium sized hands, but if you are used to using oversized pens, it may take a bit of getting used to. It will feel small compared to an MB 149. I don't post pens while writing with them. The pen feels perfectly balanced in my hand - no forward or back weight at all. Since the grip section is also matte, it adds a nice bit of grip so even after a long writing section, a slightly sweaty hand is no problem at all. The softness of the grip is also phenomenal. Smooth mattey awesomeness.
I purchased this pen from Mottishaw, and he did a spectacular job on it. The medium nib is very smooth with heavy flow providing a Western medium-sized line. I take a point away because, despite how nicely it writes, I have to give the nib crown to the Pelikan M1000. I would have liked a bit more flexiness in the nib (though it is nice and soft). I have never experienced a skip or any sort of ink flow problems. Flipping the pen and writing on the backside of the nib, the point suddenly becomes an extra fine and, although a bit scratchy, is perfectly writable.
Filling system: 8/10
Cartridge converter. /shrug
Cost and value: 9/10
At $416 new, this ain't a cheap pen. You can get the same nib and pen size for ~$250 without the matte finish. To most, the matte isn't worth that much money. To me it is. I'm in love with the matte. It doesn't get attention like a big, shiny pen, but it doesn't care. It keeps on looking sexy as hell.
An indispensable part of my rotation. It gives me a nice contrast and variety to the oversized pens while still being professional and every bit as good a writer. Buy it. Actually, don't buy it. That way it won't ever enter the 'bling' category!
Edited by autopsy, 15 October 2012 - 06:57.