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Newton Tortoise Celluloid V.2.0


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#1 ArchiMark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 19:09

Newton Tortoise Celluloid v.2.0 – Custom-Made Pen
Intro and First Impressions



This is a review and story of how my new custom, made to order, Newton pen in beautiful Tortoise Celluloid, came to be, thanks to the creativity, perseverance, and dedication of the wonderful penmaker, Shawn Newton. He made sure that the pen I envisioned is the same as the one that he created.

The story starts back in late July 2012, when I got the notion of having a pen made to my specifications. While looking over the work of various custom pen-makers both well-known and less well known, I happened across at FPN some pens that Shawn had made.

In addition to great work of his, I was greatly impressed by his character and dedication to making a difference in the lives of young people through his program to provide fountain pens to them. He prototypes the custom pen one orders to get the design right and allow for buyer adjustments, then makes the final pen and gives the prototype to a student. Thought this is a great way to get young folks interested in writing and pens and wanted to support this project by ordering a custom pen. So, now the story really starts.....

I emailed Shawn and started a correspondence about the pen I had in mind. My idea was for a classic 30's vintage look oversize chunky pen.

As I'm an architect, I naturally drew up the pen design, scanned, and emailed it to him to enable the discussion over the design, materials, and detailing.

Shawn was receptive to my design overall and had some great input regarding some of the details, since he understands better than I the nature of how the details are impacted by the fabrication process.

Fairly quickly, we sorted the design and details out. Then after I selected the pen materials, I awaited Shawn's receiving the materials to start fabrication.

Meanwhile, Shawn made a prototype out of some material he had on hand and sent pics for my review and comments. While the pen was very nice, it was a bit different than what I had in mind, as it was more curvilinear in profile. After explaining to Shawn, he did another prototype, which was very close to my concept.

Soon, the tortoise celluloid and gold nib arrived, and production began on the final pen. It was very exciting as it progressed, as Shawn was great in sending progress photos along the way. He asked for my input and confirmation of design intent each time. Very much appreciated.

Before long, the pen was complete, and Shawn sent pics of the result and I was so excited to see my gorgeous tortoise pen!

Regarding attention to details, there was several emails regarding how to resolve the visual exposure of the ring at the top of the pocket clip. Unfortunately, the ring is a smaller diameter than the pen cap diameter I wanted. Shawn was concerned about it and I replied that it was OK to have the ring exposed, but visually recessed from the surface of the cap.

Another issue was the idea of cap rings or bands. Shawn is not equipped yet to do metal rings. So, I suggested doing some engraved rings in the celluloid to add some interest and detail. Shawn was amenable to doing them. If you look closely at some of the photos of the cap, you can see the 2 rings. They are somewhat obscured by the cap threads inside as the tortoise is transparent.


Also, a bit hard to see in the pics, but Shawn expanded on my idea for a decorative cap end insert and came up a creative solution.

You can imagine the excitement and anticipation upon receiving the package. I couldn't wait to open it to see the pen. It was more gorgeous in person than in the pics and the celluloid felt so nice and warm to the touch.

While the pen looked and wrote great with the 18K gold italic B nib (ground by Shawn), it felt a bit too short while holding it to write with. Somehow, the barrel length was shorter than it should have been, must have miscalculated.

Shawn, ever the great professional and gentleman that he is, offered to remake the pen to make sure that I was happy with the results. Hence the name, Tortoise v.2.0.....

And so after all this history, I now present you with the handsome and really gorgeous Newton Tortoise 2.0 pen that I just received a few days ago.....hope you enjoy it!

And thanks again to the wonderful pen-maker Shawn!

The first photo below is by Shawn and shows versions 1 and 2...the rest of the pics are by me....


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______________________________________________________________________

1. Appearance & Design
(9.5/10)


To me this pen has great classic lines, scale, proportions, detail, character and physical presence due to the design inspired by some vintage 30's pens, executed in oversize form, and the beautiful transparent tortoise celluloid. The gold pocket clip and nib harmonize well with the amber color in the celluloid.


Also, a bit hard to see in the pics, but Shawn expanded on my idea for a decorative cap end insert and came up a creative solution.

Gave the pen a score of 9.5 out of 10, as there are a few minor details that ideally would have been a bit different if possible technically. However, for me design is just about perfect.

2. Construction & Quality
(9.5/10)

The build quality of this pen is top-notch. The pen feels very solid and well put together. The cap and barrel threads are very well done and they screw on and off very smoothly.

3. Weight & Dimensions (10/10)

The pen has a nice heft to it, not too heavy or too light. As noted before, this is an oversize chunky pen, just the way I like 'em...and designed to my dimensions, so, has to be right.

4. Nib & Performance
(9.5/10)

The 18K gold two-tone nib is quite handsome with some decorative engraving and is a great writer with the crispy, yet smooth (but not too smooth...) italic B nib ground by Shawn.

I don't like nibs that are glassy smooth and Shawn took that into account when grinding the nib. So, for me this nib is like heaven and saved the time, energy, and cost of sending to a nibmeister to get nib ground.


5. Filling System & Maintenance (8/10)


The pen has a cartridge converter filler. It works well and is simple to use, clean, and change inks.

As for other maintenance, the nib unit screws out, so, should be easy to change if necessary.


6. Cost & Value
(9.5/10)

For all the time and energy that Shawn put into making this pen, effectively several times and grinding the nib to my specs, the pen is a great value cost-wise. Given all this, plus the materials and getting the equivalent of a custom made suit, the pen is a bargain.


7. Conclusion (Final score [56/6]= 9.34)

Summing it all up, this is an excellent well made custom pen that feels good in the hand, writes like a dream!

l love to look at and know that I lot of pen love went into the making of it by Shawn. Plus there's the bonus of several great pens going to some young students to get them hooked on and enjoy using fountain pens.

What more could a pen lover want?

Well, already thinking about a nice Newton made companion for the Tortoise..... need I say more?

Mark

:)

Edited by ArchiMark, 11 November 2012 - 23:01.

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#2 Freddy

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 19:26

Outstanding...looks to my eye as OS Pelikan 100...
Mike Charlie...Pleasurable read...

Thank you..

Fred

#3 watch_art

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 19:56

Wow what a great review. Thanks so much!
I'm so glad you're happy with it.
:)

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#4 ArchiMark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 19:57

Outstanding...looks to my eye as OS Pelikan 100...
Mike Charlie...Pleasurable read...

Thank you..

Fred


Thanks, Fred......

You're pretty close geographically, regarding the inspiration.... ;)

Not sure what the 'Mike Charlie' is about.....but that's OK.....

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#5 ArchiMark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 19:59

Wow what a great review. Thanks so much!
I'm so glad you're happy with it.
:)


You're most welcome, but I thank you for this wonderful pen!

As I always say, "You're 'da MAN!!!"

:thumbup:

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#6 watch_art

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 20:33

:)

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#7 Freddy

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 21:41

Outstanding...looks to my eye as OS Pelikan 100...
Mike Charlie...Pleasurable read...

Thank you..

Fred


Thanks, Fred......

You're pretty close geographically, regarding the inspiration.... ;)

Not sure what the 'Mike Charlie' is about.....but that's OK.....


You and Shawn set out to make a pen {a mission..so to speak}..
and successfully completed the mission..i.e..'Mike Charlie'=Mission Completed..

Fred

#8 Brian C

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 22:23

My cumberland looks a lot like yours. I wonder if Shawn used yours as inspiration for mine. http://www.fountainp...with-m1000-nib/

#9 nagarjuna

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 22:34

That is gorgeous! Love that unusual tortoise. He is a gifted fellow, isn't he.....
The world has certainly changed since I was a kid. Yikes!

#10 ArchiMark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 22:38

Outstanding...looks to my eye as OS Pelikan 100...
Mike Charlie...Pleasurable read...

Thank you..

Fred


Thanks, Fred......

You're pretty close geographically, regarding the inspiration.... ;)

Not sure what the 'Mike Charlie' is about.....but that's OK.....


You and Shawn set out to make a pen {a mission..so to speak}..
and successfully completed the mission..i.e..'Mike Charlie'=Mission Completed..

Fred


Now I get it, thanks for explaining!....

Gotta brush up on my mil/intel speak I guess....

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#11 watch_art

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 22:40

My cumberland looks a lot like yours. I wonder if Shawn used yours as inspiration for mine. http://www.fountainp...with-m1000-nib/


Sorta - the bulge on yours is closer to the middle of the barrel, while on the tort it's closer to the barrel end.
:)

fpn_1432247667__cropped-20150427_0641231 sigpic14481_1.gif vanness.jpg?t=1321916122


#12 ArchiMark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 22:41

My cumberland looks a lot like yours. I wonder if Shawn used yours as inspiration for mine. http://www.fountainp...with-m1000-nib/


Very nice pen!....

Yours looks more like the original prototype Shawn did....as yours has much more curvilinear profiles to it.....

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#13 ArchiMark

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 22:42

That is gorgeous! Love that unusual tortoise. He is a gifted fellow, isn't he.....


Thanks!....and yes, Shawn does great work......

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#14 Namo

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 23:49

The material is wonderful (I do have a pen in this celluloïd. Niiiice!) and the pen really look gorgeous. Could you show and/or tell if the pen is of a comparable size with the Delta Dolce VIta OS?

amonjak.com

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free 70 pages graphic novel. Enjoy!


#15 dcpritch

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 00:37

Wow! That's a great looking pen! I want one!
How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

— Samuel Johnson

#16 ArchiMark

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:48

The material is wonderful (I do have a pen in this celluloïd. Niiiice!) and the pen really look gorgeous. Could you show and/or tell if the pen is of a comparable size with the Delta Dolce VIta OS?


Will try to take some pics soon of pen side-by-side with my Deltas, don't have them with me right now.......

As I recall, they are very similar in size (length and diameter...)


Wow! That's a great looking pen! I want one!


Thank you!

I'm sure that Shawn would be glad to fix you up.....

:thumbup:

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#17 Abhik

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 16:41

Wonderful pen! I would love to get one with same material! Enjoy.

#18 enricof

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 17:17

I'm working with Shawn on a pen that will use the same material but will have some other special things...

After seeing your pics I simply can't wait.

Ciao - Enrico
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#19 ArchiMark

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 17:43

I'm working with Shawn on a pen that will use the same material but will have some other special things...

After seeing your pics I simply can't wait.


Sounds great, Enrico.....

And the waiting is the hardest part, but the good news is that Shawn is very good in keeping in touch with updates and progress photos once he starts fabricating....

I'm already scheming on a companion pen from Shawn to keep this one company.....

:)

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#20 ArchiMark

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 17:44

Wonderful pen! I would love to get one with same material! Enjoy.


Thanks, Abhik....

I'm sure that Shawn would be glad to help you.... ;)

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