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Gate City Pen "new Dunn": The Ultimate Review


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#1 Sallent

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:38

WARNING: This is not your typical review where the pen gets 10/10 in every category and any flaws get glossed over. If that is what you are expecting, go read another review. This is an honest review, and not some love fest.

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.

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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.

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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. :thumbup:

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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. :puddle: :thumbup:

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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. :P

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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!

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Edited by Sallent, 12 March 2013 - 22:19.

Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

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#2 hari317

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:29

Thanks for the review. Pen looks good.

Have you actually measured the ink capacity that you could get with this? How good is the long term maintainability of this pen? generic O-rings + Silicone grease or does it have to go back to Bexley/Gate city? matters for an overseas buyer.
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#3 Sallent

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 05:34

The filler system is extremely simple, which means it has almost no part for anything to go wrong with it...so it should be very durable. I would ask Richard Binder if you have any concerns about durability, as he is the one who designed this pen.

http://www.richardspens.com/
Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#4 iamchum

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:36

great review, I have been mulling over getting a new dunn pen myself :)

My two best writers.

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#5 JustinJ

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 13:05

I would like to see the nib imprinted with Richard Binder's pen company name. I think it takes away from the pen when it has a generic nib. I agree about the laser engraving versus the heat stamp.

I like the clip with a ball on it. The pen has a nice overall look to it.

Is the tube on the refilling mechanism plastic? It seems like a metal rod would have been better than a plastic piece.

I like the pen but the price is high, especially for a steel nib pen. The price of the Gate City pens has kept me from purchasing one. I would like to see more solid materials in the pen, especially at current price point.

Does anyone have a Gate City that they could compare to a Bexley?

Are you buying a better made pen with Gate City Pen compared to a Bexley? Do both pens use the same materials or does Gate City pens source different materials?

Is Gate City pens only advantage over Bexley the novel filling systems?

#6 de_pen_dent

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 13:17

Very nice review - and quite similar to how I'd grade it as well (I'd probably not take off that many points for presentation b/c Richard sells writers pens, not jewellery, but that's a minor quibble).

I have one or more of all the Gates City pens. I also have a few Bexleys.

I like the material of the New Dunn and the Postal bodies more than that of the Bexleys: it is more comfortable to hold, and also has a different and more pleasurable tactile feeling. As for robustness, while I have no way of comparing the reliability or sturdiness, all the Gates City pens feel really, really well put together.

Also, as Sallient put it, this pen is an absolute dream to hold and use, with as perfect a balance as one can get. The piston or CC fillers of the Bexleys are probably more practical if you want to keep switching inks. My Binderized Bexleys write really well, but I always want to keep the New Dunn and the Postal inked: the only other pen that makes me feel this way is the Nakaya Neo Standard.

Personally, I would much rather pay $200 for a Gates City than $150 for a Bexley.

[And as I keep repeating in every post on this subject, if anyone has a Postal Sr or Jr they want to sell, please let me know (preferably orange or similar color)!]
True bliss: knowing that the guy next to you is suffering more than you are.

#7 vondauster

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 14:42

Great review, and nice photos as well. :thumbup:

How, um, assured are the threads when screwing the cap back on? I have encountered a few pens where the threads are not deep enough or there are other issues with screwing the cap on, such as the threads not engaging until after a few turns and tries. A "Magellan" pen (otherwise very beautiful) comes to mind.

The only obvious omission to the NDP is an ink window. Too bad the "Tattler" version sold out!

Will
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#8 JustinJ

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 19:45

Very nice review - and quite similar to how I'd grade it as well (I'd probably not take off that many points for presentation b/c Richard sells writers pens, not jewellery, but that's a minor quibble).

I have one or more of all the Gates City pens. I also have a few Bexleys.

I like the material of the New Dunn and the Postal bodies more than that of the Bexleys: it is more comfortable to hold, and also has a different and more pleasurable tactile feeling. As for robustness, while I have no way of comparing the reliability or sturdiness, all the Gates City pens feel really, really well put together.

Also, as Sallient put it, this pen is an absolute dream to hold and use, with as perfect a balance as one can get. The piston or CC fillers of the Bexleys are probably more practical if you want to keep switching inks. My Binderized Bexleys write really well, but I always want to keep the New Dunn and the Postal inked: the only other pen that makes me feel this way is the Nakaya Neo Standard.

Personally, I would much rather pay $200 for a Gates City than $150 for a Bexley.

[And as I keep repeating in every post on this subject, if anyone has a Postal Sr or Jr they want to sell, please let me know (preferably orange or similar color)!]


Thank you for pointing to the differences you perceive in the Bexley and Gate City Pens.

Are the nibs different in the Bexley and Gate City Pens? I think it makes a world of difference when the pens are setup properly. I like that Gate City pens are bringing back older vintage style pens. They stand out among many modern pens. It would be nice if they begin offering vintage type nibs to go along with the pens. This would be a strong selling point and would add to authenticity of the experience when using the pens.

I still like the pen and find it quite nice.

#9 majorworks

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 20:19

Nice review of a great looking pen!

I'm just guessing but could the lint on your pen have been shedding from the faux felt/velvet box insert? I wouldn't have dinged the pen points for that, but that's just me.
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#10 Sallent

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 22:30

First: I edited the review and gave the New Dunn 8 out of 10 in presentation. Some of you were right, I was a little too harsh over nothing.

Second, allow me to answer some of the questions some of you have asked me about the pen:

1) Is it durable? I don't know, but the pump filler mechanism is super simple and has almost no moving parts. So my guess is that yes, it will be reliable. Also, the pens come with a 10 YEAR WARRANTY. :thumbup: That's right, I said 10 years!!! That is amazing. Richard would not do so unless be believed his pens will last longer than that and provide trouble free performance in that time period. Beats the 1 or 2 year warranty you get from most pen makers today.

The filler mechanism is plastic, not metal, but had it been metal the pen would have weighted a lot and would have been horribly unbalanced. However, with only 1 moving part (I'm pretty sure of that), it should last forever.

2) Are the threads deep and does it engage the cap well? Yes, the threads are excellent and immediately engage with the cap. Takes 2 turns to uncap and cap the pen, and the cap closes securely. The threads on the pump filler knob are also deep and engage well, though it takes more than two turns to work it lose, but it screws really nice and securely in place.

3) The material of the Dunn Penn is very nice indeed, as someone here pointed out. It does not have the same warmth as acrylic, but it is a high quality resin that feels quite durable. The walls on the pen body and cap are thick, so I think they'll stand up well to the test of time. Also, it does not look like it was injected, I'm pretty sure the pen was turned on a lathe by a person...which is something you normally only see in $300 pens. Nice touch!!!

Edited by Sallent, 12 March 2013 - 22:31.

Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#11 NobleDel

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 13:10

Sallent,

Your New Dunn looks great. Could you tell us which nib you got, steel or gold? How easy is it to clean the pen?

Thanks very much.

#12 JustinJ

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 13:14

Sallent,

Your New Dunn looks great. Could you tell us which nib you got, steel or gold? How easy is it to clean the pen?

Thanks very much.


If you look at the top of the review, it is a steel nib.

#13 tenney

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:15

Nice review. Thank you.
Just curious... you mentioned the lint a couple of times. Did that affect your score?
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#14 lovemy51

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 01:37

that's a pen with a lot of character. the only thing that kills it for me is the IPG nib -i'd like it more if it were just plain. OTT, very classy!

Edited by lovemy51, 16 March 2013 - 01:39.


#15 Sallent

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:16

Nice review. Thank you.
Just curious... you mentioned the lint a couple of times. Did that affect your score?


It did at first, which is one of the many factors which caused me to give it a lower score, but then I realized that was stupid considering a quick swipe with a cloth and the pen was spotless. Lint is lint, and does no damage to the pen.
Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#16 Sallent

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 02:19

that's a pen with a lot of character. the only thing that kills it for me is the IPG nib -i'd like it more if it were just plain. OTT, very classy!


Yes, that is a shame. :(

At least it is a very smooth writing nib and lays nice lines with perfect ink flow.
Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

#17 VirtuThe3rd

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:52

Looks really COOL!
Thanks for the sharing. :)

#18 MemphisBritt

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 02:46

Considering this pen. Great, informative review! Question: is the gold nib worth the extra cost? Nib size preferences? I write a lot and very quickly and like a good, consistent flow.

 

Thanks!



#19 ildbig

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 18:57

Does Gate City still exist?



#20 Freddy

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 20:36

Does Gate City still exist?

 

 Mike and Linda have the 'Belmont' in stock at 

 

world wide web dot indy-pen-dance dot com/Gate-City-Pens/Belmont

 

Fred








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