No! A rolled steel tip is not a long term solution.
That an Esterbrook 2xxx nib can be smoother than the same in 9xxx with 'iridium' tip is a given, how ever with a touch of smoothing they write as good. I of course am an expert, having one of each.
How ever, back in the day of One man, One pen, writing 8 hours a day, a rolled stainless nib was only good for a year and or year and a half, before you bought another cheap nib....in the 'iridium' 9xxx cost 2-3X as much, in an Esterbrook. The poor man's solution. Esterbrook did improve it's steel nib, so that the 2xxx, replaced it's 1xxx nibs. Writing 8 hours a day...an 'iridium' tip could be expected to last 7-10 years or even more.
Today of One man, 27 pens and one in the mail,....steel and 'iridium' will last a life time.
Iridium tipping was perfected in WW2. It's not changed much since. Before that 'iridium' could be lumpy, chunky and break off. It does not do that now.
Yes no tipping on italic calligraphy nibs can be normal. I have an Osmiroid set, ..some sort of bronze I'd guess, with none. The nibs were cheap enough to replace back in the day.... In one is drawing letters, it takes longer to wear them out. My Sheaffer's set that I sent to my god son, was not tipped either, nor is my Joy.
You have to remember 'iridium' was more expensive than gold back when a $20 Double Eagle could be bought for only $40. (1932- 70's)
"Iridium' is still not cheap...in the world is covered with a very thin layer of it, from the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs. So mining it is a problem. That is why over the time, 'iridium' has been replaced as far as I have read completely with other platinum group metals. Still more expensive than gold once was. I don't know how much the rare metals are going for now...but are not cheap.
Iridium point Germany is 'iridium complex replacement' made in Germany where they seem to be good at it. So China or India buys their 'iridium' from Germany and put it on their nibs as a perhaps the only quality on their nib. Trying to fake it's a quality German nib.
It is still expensive or the cheap Chinese pens wouldn't be rolled steel.
'Iridium' so those who are AR can't say there is no iridium in the tipping of a modern pen.
My '30's50's Pelikans and some of the others, have very, very little 'iridium' on their flat stubbish tips....it did make for cheaper manufacturing. The Americans had great big lump of it under the tip. I call it the American Bump under...because of my vintage flat 'iridium' tipped German pens.
As a 'noobie' I almost tossed nibs, thinking some idiot had taken a file or a stone to the nib trying to make a stub...for some odd reason. I was wrong.
As a stupid noobie, I thought in House nibs must be so much better.
Degussa (Bought up Osmia's nib factory 1932...Osmia's brand name (1922) was because they bought the patent from a Heidelberg Professor for the tipping.) Degussa continued to make the superb Osmia nibs, and of course nibs for many of the one time 120 German manufactures or pen assembling companies. Like Bock, there were cheaper nibs made, or nibs made that were not 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex' Like the Osmia Supra, or the nib size # 2,3 or 4 in the Osmia Diamond, semi-flex. I have Degussa nibs that are regular flex, on other pens.
Rupp (started 1922-@1970), Bock (started 1938), were as good. JoWo I know less about but they too have lasted since 1853.
Yep, so glad I didn't toss those "no name" Degussa and Bock nibs.
Many of the top names in pens use Bock today; like Visconti and many others (there is a list somewhere)....Pelikan did too before going back to made in House, could be the 1000's nib is still made by Bock.
Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 01 February 2014 - 16:07.