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True Writer Silver Anniversary.....


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 04:53

My first review.....
Tried to follow the format as much as possible and decided to do the handwritten thing. Sorry the photos aren't better, but just used the cell phone. Used A4 sized Black n' Red casebound notebook.

Can't get it to display right.... arggghhhh....

Posted Image

Posted Image

Broke down and typed it up. Here it is:
REVIEW: TRUE WRITER SILVER ANNIVERSARY:

This is my first “more expensive” pen. (relatively speaking of course) All my others were $50 US or less. I asked my wife for this for my birthday this year as it is one of those “milestone” number birthdays. (55 – on March 13) I have had my eye on this one since mid December or so as well as a couple of others. The others? Pelikan M200 and a Parker 45 Flighter. I still want to get those. The P45 seems more within reach – at least time wise though. One of the reasons I decided to get this one at this time was I like the look of it – plain and simple. I also couldn’t convince my wife to let me get the Pelikan, which isn’t a lot more, but enough that as it was it was a deal breaker. Although the price on this pen is only $99 ($105 shipped), that is a huge jump from what I have paid in the past.

1. 1) APPEARANCE AND DESIGN: 8/10

This looks like a much more expensive pen than it really is. Levenger created it to commemorate their 25th/Silver Anniversary of being in business. As good as the photos on their website are they do not do it justice. Classic design with a modern twist. It has a gleaming gunmetal finish etched with an elegant undulating pattern that is almost wave like. Chrome appointments (nib, clip, both end caps and band around the base of the cap)

2. 2) CONSTRUCTION AND QUALITY: 7/10

The build quality seems impeccable. It is made of solid brass giving a very solid feel, but not so heavy that one would tire quickly. Schmidt makes the nib. This one is a fine, although I also had choices of M & B as well at the time of purchase. And like all True Writer pens, the nib is interchangeable. Levenger has F,M,B and Stub available. The Stub is a ground M.

3. 3) WEIGHT AND DIMENSIONS: 7/10

According to the Levenger website capped it is 5.5” x 1/2”, unposted 47/8” x ½”, posted 61/8” x ½” and weighs in at 1.07 ounces. (30.3 grams) I looked at other True Writers and this is heavier than almost all of them. The others are as light as .6 oz. The only one I found heavier weighed in at 1.22 ounces (34.6 grams) it has brass and lacquer construction.

4. 4) NIB AND PERFORMANCE: 8/10

I debated the nib size to get for some time, waffling between a medium and fine. I finally decided on the fine. My understanding is that Schmidt makes the nibs for the True Writers. It is the smoothest fine nib I have ever used. Virtually no feedback – at least to the point to where it would be annoying. Starts right up too. When putting pen to paper? I have used it on the following papers:

Black n’ Red notebook 90 gsm

Southworth 90 gsm 25% cotton Granite Specialty paper

OfficeMax (BizMart) Made in Brazil composition book

Copy/multipurpose paper – what I have of this is very inconsistent quality – sometimes on the same page inconsistent. No feathering on the first 3 at all – the copy paper – well some sheets are better than others. I also have some Avery 8317 note cards – but at the time I wrote this I had not tried on those yet. It came with converter and a cartridge of Raven Black. The handwritten version of this was done in Raven Black. Since then I have been using mostly Pelikan 4001 Blue Black.



5. 5) FILLING SYSTEM AND MAINTENANCE: 8/10

Standard C/C setup. Uses converter or standard international cartridges – will hold two. I haven’t tried but imagine that it would also a single long international as well. The supplied converter when installed rises 68 mm. Thus far maintenance has been easy. I don’t intend – in the short term anyway to acquire a nib of another size for it. (F,M,B @ $24; Stub $59; or all 4 for $99)

6. 6) COST AND VALUE: 9/10

I paid $99 – which for a pen of this quality I believe is reasonable. It looks, feels and writes like a much more expensive pen. While I didn’t poke around to see if it was available for less through another outlet, I believe I got a much more than fair deal.

7) Conclusion: 47/60 (7.8 average) While I am new enough at this to not have a lot to compare this to, I think that Levenger has done a magnificent job in creating this pen to commemorate their Silver Anniversary. Elegant but not so “blingy” that it becomes the primary focus. The gunmetal color is lighter than what I have on a couple of watches I have, which are so dark as they are almost charcoal/black. On this it tones down the glam just enough as opposed to a chrome pen. Of course, this is just one man’s opinion and this pen will not appeal to everyone.



Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it.



Assorted writing samples with some of my different pens,including this one:
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Edited by Runnin_Ute, 03 March 2013 - 04:21.

Brad
 
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"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


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#2 DanF

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:37

I'm curious about your review, but can't read it, it's too small. Perhaps you could type it if you are unable to make the pictures bigger and clearer.

Dan
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#3 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:22

I'm curious about your review, but can't read it, it's too small. Perhaps you could type it if you are unable to make the pictures bigger and clearer.

Dan


Thanks, Dan -

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#4 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:30

I'vve had my eye on a couple of the True Writers. I saw some reviews from a couple of years back that all seemed to have comments about their poor build quality. Have you experienced anything like that at all so far? Or seen any signs that you may?





#5 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 06:09

I'vve had my eye on a couple of the True Writers. I saw some reviews from a couple of years back that all seemed to have comments about their poor build quality. Have you experienced anything like that at all so far? Or seen any signs that you may?


Not as yet. And I have been using it a lot, ever since I got it. Spent several hours writing with it just today. I was in the passenger seat and taking notes on a book I am reading. 90-120 minute drive each way. Outside of a paragraph or two it was all I used today. It has been like that a lot lately.

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#6 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:43

I guess that's a good thing- for FP usage, anyway. Is this a pen in the same series as the Kyoto, French Impressionist, Cafe au Lait, and those others?

#7 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:58

I guess that's a good thing- for FP usage, anyway. Is this a pen in the same series as the Kyoto, French Impressionist, Cafe au Lait, and those others?


I think this is more of a one off - the whole 25 year/Silver Anniversary thing. (I almost bought the Cafe au lait- good looking pen)

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#8 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 05:12

I would imagine it is a one-off, but do you know or have you had a chance to compare- if it is *essentially* the same except for maybe the silver part? If it is, it would give a good idea as to how those write.

#9 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 03:42

I would imagine it is a one-off, but do you know or have you had a chance to compare- if it is *essentially* the same except for maybe the silver part? If it is, it would give a good idea as to how those write.


Have not had a chance to do that. Sorry.

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
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#10 rwilsonedn

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 19:22

I'vve had my eye on a couple of the True Writers. I saw some reviews from a couple of years back that all seemed to have comments about their poor build quality. Have you experienced anything like that at all so far? Or seen any signs that you may?

Harlequin:
There seems to have been a big improvement in quality control a few years ago. I worried about this also when I first started looking at True Writers: there were some pretty negative comments from early reviews. But the later reviews all seemed to be pretty positive. I took the (relatively minor) plunge, and ended up with an excellent pen: no quality issues at all. And Levenger seems to have built up a strong reputation for customer service if anything did turn up wrong. So today I wouldn't worry on the quality issue. True Writers are modern pens with firm nibs, not elegant artifacts of the 1930s. But they are in my limited experience very good modern pens at very fair prices.
ron

#11 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 02:23

Thanks ron, that is kind of what I had in the back of my head. I LOVE the look of the Cafe au Lait!

#12 MaddyMarcel

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 22:32

Thanks ron, that is kind of what I had in the back of my head. I LOVE the look of the Cafe au Lait!


Harlequin, I have two of the regular True Writers, a M and a B, bought maybe 5 years ago. I've been very happy with them. Nice balance, good ink flow. My only beef, and it is a minor one, is that I've completely knocked the enamel off the bottom jewel on the one I carry around with me every day ... but then I am not very careful* with it.

*(OK, actually, I admit that I sometimes chuck it loose into my handbag with three sets of keys, two loops, and who knows what else ... so I don't think I can really complain about that lost enamel ... I'm more amazed that the top one hasn't gone, too ...)
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#13 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:11

Which two do you have Maddy? You said *regular*, but what is the difference between those and say, the Cafe au Lait or Kyoto, etc (if there is any)?

Edited by Harlequin, 19 March 2013 - 05:12.


#14 nagod

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 14:46

metal body or plastic?

#15 MaddyMarcel

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:09

Mine are both plastic ... one is navy and the other is ivory ... hang on a bit, I'll post a picture and a writing sample ...
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#16 MaddyMarcel

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:10

Which two do you have Maddy? You said *regular*, but what is the difference between those and say, the Cafe au Lait or Kyoto, etc (if there is any)?


Harlequin as I understand it, the only difference relative to Kyoto is the color of the body ...
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#17 MaddyMarcel

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 16:56

metal body or plastic?


OK Here they are:

Posted Image

and here is the M nib:

Posted Image

Notice there is no breather hole!! Kinda weird, but it works. I haven't touched this pen in the last 12 hours, for this writing sample I just opened the cap and this is the start-up I got ... no out of image scribbles.

Posted Image

You can see here that I've knocked the enamel off that back jewel. The jewel itself is not at all loose, a problem I've heard some other people report. One day I will get it re-enameled ...

Seems like from the reviews I have read, people either love or hate their true writers. I have a theory about that (which may be wrong, but it is my theory):

I think Levenger is a general retailer of bookish and scholarly goods ... so for lots of their customers, I guess the true writer is their first fountain pen. And this would explain some of the complaints. In my experience, just about any fp will dry out ... if you leave it sitting around for two weeks. Also, when new, a fp needs a good clean before first use. This may be especially true for Levenger pens, I don't know ... but as I remember, my first one (the blue) neeeeeeeded flushing on the first day of its life. I flushed, filled, had flow problems, raised my eyebrows, flushed, filled, flushed, flushed, flushed, filled .... started to wonder what was going on .... got it. Since then, no problems.

Don't know if the second (ivory) one, was the same, because I just rinsed a LOT before I ever inked up. No problems.

This was a while ago, so maybe they have gotten better about shipping pens out cleaner.

Hope this helps. Happy to field further questions.

edit: ps - I just weighed. Mine come in at 24 grams. Technically they are probably a bit large in diameter for my hands ... an Esterbrook SJ/LJ is probably "right" ... but they are very comfortable to hold. No fatigue.

Edited by MaddyMarcel, 19 March 2013 - 17:14.

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#18 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:58

Comparison size wise with a Esterbrook J

 

20130731_195706_zps2ef2fd4c.jpg


Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#19 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 06 April 2015 - 03:24



Comparison size wise with a Esterbrook J

 

20130731_195706_zps2ef2fd4c.jpg

20130731_195706_zps2ef2fd4c.jpg


Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#20 Broxi

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 02:55

Super detailed review and nice looking pen.  Thanks for sharing!








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