GATE CITY PEN "NEW DUNN"
PRESENTATION: 8 out of 10
The New Dunn came well packed. The pen box is a standard Bexley box, which is acceptable considering Richard Binder designs the pens, but Bexley is the company that builds them. However, I can't help but think Gate City Pen should have spent extra money on getting boxes with their company name on them. Would have certainly increased their presentation score. Also, the pen was covered in lint which had to be whipped off with a towel (see the pictures.)Probably had something to do with the velvet lining inside the box.
FIT AND FINISH: 8 out of 10
The fit and finish on this pen is remarkable. It is almost perfect. The pen is well built, and the material seems like a very pleasant high quality resin. The walls of the cap and barrel are thick, and look like they will last a very long time. The clip feels solid and durable. The only complain I have is that the New Dunn engraving on the barrel is laser etched. Should have been heat pressed, just like in the original Dunn Pen that it is trying to imitate. The laser engraving makes it look a little cheaper than it would have otherwise, but it is not a deal breaker by any means.
Again, in this picture you can see the lint particles covering the pen...which I had to wipe off with a towel.
FILLER SYSTEM: 8 out of 10
Let's be honest, if you are looking for the most convenient filler system, stick with catridge pens...and if you are looking for the most convenient vintage filler system, you are better off with a piston filler or a lever filler. The Dunn Pump Filler mechanism is not exactly the fastest method of filling a pen from a bottle. You have to dip the nib in the ink, unscrew the red knob on the back, and over and over again push the red pump handle down quickly, pull it up and wait 3 seconds, then repeat it over and over again 12 to 15 times.
So why would anyone want to do that? Well, if you are looking for an authentic vintage experience and want to own several examples of vintage fillers, this pen offers a very unique and unusual system that is certain to catch peoples' attention. Also, even though the pen takes a while to fill, this filler system holds a tremendous amount of ink, so once filled it can write for 3-4 weeks before needing a refill. It holds 3.4 ml of ink. The pump filler system has its charms, which is why most people that buy this pen actually decided to purchase it.
WRITING CHARACTERISTICS: 9.5 out of 10
Wow, can this pen write. The nib is butter smooth and the feed does an excellent job of ensuring that the ink flow keeps up with any writing speed. The Binderized nib is something to behold. The nib is also removable, which means you can order several different nibs for this pen. That is a huge plus. (A German nib on an American pen though...oh well )
The pen is very light weight and balanced (as any vintage fountain pen would be.) You can write hours with this pen and not get tired. I wrote several pages this afternoon with no arm fatigue at all. You hardly have to put any pressure on the nib, and the pen performs magnificently both posted and unposted. The balance remains perfect even when the pen has been posted, which is amazing considering this is a pen about the size of a Pelikan M1000. This is a true writer's pen.
COST: 9 out of 10
At $185 for the one with a stainless steel nib, it is a little pricey. But the superb balance, butter smooth nib, fit and finish, vintage vibes, and exotic filler mechanism are well worth the price. It is hard to find that combination in any other pen at those prices.
Would have been 10 out of 10 at $160 or below, as it then would have been a real bargain. But oh well, it is what it is.
CONCLUSION: 43.5 out of 50.
Would I buy this pen again? YES! This pen was meant to write for hours at a time, and the vintage looks and filler mechanism are awesome. I have no regrets. If Gate City Pen improved the presentation by putting the pen in a pen box with their name instead of Bexley, and the New Dunn inscription on the barrel had been heat stamped instead of laser engraved, this pen would have scored almost perfect. But still, not bad at all!
Edited by Sallent, 12 March 2013 - 22:19.