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Astoria Goliath In Blue


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#1 gutguido

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:35

INTRODUCTION:
For those who are not familiar, this is a creation from Max of maxpens.de, well known restorer, nibmeister and merchant for vintage Montblancs. Max bought out the rights to the brand Astoria, which was acquired by Montblanc in the early thirties and produced as a sub-brand under MB for a few years. The modern Astoria's are all of Max's own design and production.

This was a purchase that killed two birds in one stone: I was looking for a blue pen to pair with, you guessed it, a blue ink, and I also love designs that evoke a vintage feeling. When I found out about Max's adoption of the Astoria brand, and his Goliath model which draw upon the large Montblanc pens in years gone by, needless to say I was very excited!

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Appearance & Design (10):
Not that I've ever held a MB 139 in my hand, but from all reports the Goliath is supposed to be close in terms of size, and the styling is all vintage Montblanc. The hard rubber is beautifully finished. The blue is very elegant, eye-catching for its unique palette but not so sharp as to be loud. The distinctive clip and the bands are in sterling silver. The brand's logo is on the top of the cap, with a very slight domed shape and shiny finish which are sometimes not apparent from the stock pictures.

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Construction & Quality (10):
Befitting its name and overall theme, this is a solidly built pen. Finishing is impeccable throughout.

Weight & Dimensions (10):
The pen is about 13.8cm long capped and 16.8cm posted by my rough measurement. This seems to be slightly shorter than what the web site indicates. The pen is in the oversize category, but feels perfectly balanced for me and my small hands - when left uncapped. The section is slightly curled inward with a very smooth finish, so the ergonomics feel great, handling is secured and assured.

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Nib & Performance (10):
Sticking with the "Goliath" theme, I ordered a broad nib. The line width is as it should be. The 18K nib is from Bock in Heldelberg, and mine came with platinum plating (AFAIK from consulting the web site.) The nib writes buttery smooth out of the box - in fact it's so smooth sometimes it feels as if the pen is just gliding across paper and I need to apply a bit more pressure to avoid losing control. :P This feels like a wet writer during my initial trials with a Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao ink, but I have to test it with drier inks to confirm. In any case, it is not overly wet, with no feathering or bleed through issues on either Rhodia or Tamoe River paper.

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Filling System & Maintenance (10):
I ordered the piston filler option which is deemed an extra; push button is the standard that comes with the pen. No technical issues of note so far.

Cost & Value (8):
I ordered this directly from Max. You can find prices on Penboard or by searching topics in FPN.

I initially put down a lower score, but then thought about the price point as being roughly similar to say a writer's edition Montblanc ... considering the vintage styling being pretty special in and of itself, and the nib from Max performing as well as it does out of the box, I figured I should go easier with the score. I would not call the pen "good value" by any means as it is expensive (to me), but the price is nonetheless one which I feel is justified after having held and written with the pen in the flesh.

Conclusion (9.5):
I am very satisfied with the pen, and would have easily given it an enthusiastic pen if not for the price point.

The Astoria Goliath absolutely nails it as a simple, elegant, vintage style pen. Max's rendition of the blue is gorgeous, so the pen looks as good as it writes. It's a pity that the pen is unlikely to be a daily writer for me at work given the choice of broad nib, but I will try using it every chance I get!

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Given the proximity of color, after the Asa-gao ink from the first fill runs out, I intend to permanently pair the pen with the J Herbin LE Bleu Ocean ink ... a match made in FP heaven I say!

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#2 Mainecoon

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 15:53

Nice and elegant looking pen. I like the blue colour. Thanks for the review and pics. :thumbup: In time a writingsample with the JH blue ocean ink?
Happy Writing!, Mainecoon

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#3 pavoni

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 17:02

Superb review gutguido. :clap1:

Love Max's work and the Goliath is certainly the pen I would go for. Whilst I seem naturally drawn to black as a colour for pens, I can see myself with a pen this shade of blue.

Thanks to your review ;) the Goliath is on my Wish List (just don't tell my wife!)

Thanks for sharing.

Pavoni.

#4 pavoni

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 17:04

Yes, echoing Maincoon's comment, a writing sample would be very useful (please!)

Pavoni.

#5 ArchiMark

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:23

Thanks for the great review of this handsome vintage look pen!

Like that blue...as you say not too bright of a blue at least in the pics.....

+1 for writing sample.....

:thumbup:

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Current Pens: Cross, Delta, Montegrappa, Parker, Wahl-Eversharp


#6 Lince

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:29

Beautiful pen!!!
Nice photos, thanks.

#7 gutguido

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 13:43

Thanks all!

Re: writing sample, I don't have a scanner ... but here's a quick snap. The pen was re-inked to the JH Bleu Ocean, as mentioned earlier:

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I think the picture actually came out a bit more saturated than what the ink looks like in real life ... the shade should actually be darker and more subdued.

#8 pavoni

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 23:18

Oh dear......now I like the Goliath even more :headsmack:

Love the pen, love the ink, and your handwriting ain't too bad either gutguido :thumbup:

Thanks for sharing.

Pavoni.

#9 hari317

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 14:56

Simple elegance, wonderful!
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#10 Aysedasi

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 17:09

Very nice indeed - but having looked at the prices on the site - seriously out of my league!

#11 olivier78860

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 18:29

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#12 fountainpende

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 17:56

Wow ..: AMAZING PEN !!!

This is one of my holy grails ... at some point in time, I HAVE to buy one too !! The blue is a absolutely GREAT color. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :notworthy1: :notworthy1:

I don't think that the pen is too expensive ... its handmade and this matterial is extremely rare ...
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#13 Mainecoon

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 20:04

Thanks all!

Re: writing sample, I don't have a scanner ... but here's a quick snap. The pen was re-inked to the JH Bleu Ocean, as mentioned earlier:

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I think the picture actually came out a bit more saturated than what the ink looks like in real life ... the shade should actually be darker and more subdued.


Thanks for this. A nice pen AND a nice ink. Seems like a perfect match ! :thumbup:
Happy Writing!, Mainecoon

Dreams are presentiments of what you are able to accomplish (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

#14 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 22:59

nice pen but too bad the price tag is too heavy :crybaby: :bonk: :bawl:
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#15 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 16:23

Superb review gutguido. clap1.gif

Love Max's work and the Goliath is certainly the pen I would go for. Whilst I seem naturally drawn to black as a colour for pens, I can see myself with a pen this shade of blue.

Thanks to your review wink.gif the Goliath is on my Wish List (just don't tell my wife!)

Thanks for sharing.

Pavoni.

Can't but agree with that. The color of pen and ink are immaculate.

#16 pankaj

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:14

MB + Astoria. So nice. But no BIRD DROPPING ! :(



#17 pelman

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 13:25

stunning pen gutguido.  Lovely handwriting to boot. 



#18 TETRIS

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 21:35


Congratulations for your new acquisition and excellent review.
Max makes wonderful work, solid pens with exquisite taste and choice of materials.
Enjoy your nice pen.

Victor
Victor Barrocas

Oficina das Canetas

#19 betweenthelens

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 00:43

Beautiful pen and great pairing with the ink. I just love the color. So unique. Nice review!








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