Before I begin I should mention that I am writing this review for a $150 reduction in price on my pen, one might call it a "paid review."
I received this pen last Friday, and have been using it exclusively for the past week. This is not likely to change, and I may need to sell off the rest of my pens! Once I got to the pen, which was well packaged, I was floored. I stood in the hallway just looking at it. (Yes, I was far to excited to get the pen to my dorm room before opening it that I had to open it in the hallway.) The pen was much smaller than I anticipated. I find that the pictures on Mr Lewis' site don't provide a great sense of scale. After some use I am very glad that it is not any longer. It fits well in my pocket along with my phone and Rhodia No12 pad.
Appearance and Design:
In my humble opinion this is a beautiful pen, more-so than any of my other pens (including a CdA Ecridor, Waterman Expert II and Edison Pearl LEA). I chose to have the colossus in brass rather than bronze, and I dare say it looks much better . There are little to no machining lines on the pen, and the step between the cap and barrel and the blind cap and barrel are much smaller than anticipated.
Construction and Design
Given that the Colossus is made from a solid piece of brass, it is very strong. dropping it on the floor is not likely to cause damage to the exterior (I'm unaware as to the fragility of the innards so internal damage is possible). Brass does scratch and tarnish so if you want to have a pen that will stay nice an shiny for its lifetime, look elsewhere. My reason for choosing this pen of many another custom pen is that it will patina and develop its own "character" as time passes. It should be noted that this pen will NOT post.
Weight and Dimensions
This is a solid pen, and very well balanced. As advertised, the weight melts into my hand. I will have little to no problems writing a three hour exam with this pen.
(Actual weight and dimensions to follow)
Nib and Performance
Cameron helped me choose a single tone 14tk Sheaffer Lifetime fine-medium nib. A stiff nib in comparison to most vintage nibs, it is ever so slightly forgiving with a touch of spring. A nice consistently smooth nib (ie no super smooth sweet spot, and the rest is rather scratchy). It is just as smooth upside down as it is right side up (for the odd time one needs to write extra small). It is not a particularly wet pen, nor is it particularly dry. One might call it perfect! I've not tried it with any inks that are known for their shading properties, so I can't comment on that at this time.
The Colossus uses a button filler, in my opinion the coolest filling system out there. I find it very fun to use, and much easier than a lever filler. The pen sucks up 1ml per pump (and rather quickly, unlike vacumatics). it does not have a breather tube, so if you would like to fill it with 2ml of ink, you will need to flip the pen upside down, expel the air in the sack, and stick the nib in the ink before releasing the button (I've tried this once and have decided that it is wholly unnecessary).
Cost and value
At the price I paid for the pen ($350 + $25 for shipping) I would say that the pen is under priced. That said, at $500 I wouldn't even have considered it due to my current financial constraints. $500 is very much what this pen is worth.
I highly recommend this pen. It will likely become my EDC pen. Once I can afford one, I will very likely order another pen from CE Levi Pens. I can't say enough about Cameron's personality and workmanship.
All pictures were provided by Cameron Lewis. I shall post some of my own in the next few days to show off how it has aged, and to compare it side by side with my other pens.
And again, please ask me questions. I am sure I forgot to include some small detail in this review.
Edited by awc, 23 November 2012 - 05:23.