Here’s an overdue review of my most expensive fountain pen to date and my very first customised pen.
I first came across C.E. Levi pens at my very first pen meet 2 years ago (when I was such a newb and ‘ebonite’ itself was a foreign language), the Nox had such a nice finish, so sleek and unassuming and I was sold (emotionally only then). I am not that keen on his modern wood grains or ripples (no offence, I love my Waterman 52 ripple but only because it came from that period in time right?) and despite the lovely Colossus, the high-gloss finish? I can imagine the pen slipping right through my fingers.
A fan of Lamy 2000’s futuristic design and seamless curve extending beyond its piston, I was pleasantly surprised to see a brushed attempt at the Colossus. Conflicted between the Nox and brushed finish Colossus, I went for it regardless. Knowing that it’s a heavy pen, I borrowed my friend’s Lamy 2000 for a couple of weeks to get used to a heavy pen.
Sorry about the photos, but I tried:
Cap diameter: 12.5mm
I love the simplicity of the design—sleek and modern, imposing yet unassuming—and the double band grooves on the cap. Not meant for posting though. (This could be an idea for future attempts, but without ugly visible grooves please!)
I asked for the filler cap to be flushed to the body as well, but I do not understand why that could not be done. The same for the cap, I can tell he tried his best, but when I run my fingernail across, the kink is obvious. But hey, the 2000 is made on a computer-operated machine and this is by hand-operated machine right? With a nitpicking eye, the brushed lines wavers occasionally, okay wait, it wavers rather much upon scrutiny. The cap closes in about 700 degrees, making it almost 2 complete rounds. It squeaks sometimes, but I like the way the cap closes with an invisible pull towards the end and seals up the nib. You’ll never see the cap come loose on you. Knowing the issues of fingerprints and patina beforehand, I was prepared for it and now I like how my pen has been ‘broken in’ with my caresses.
Filling system: 4/5
My second button-filler, and we know button-fillers have less capacity. I’m all for that, since I get sick of the colour pretty quick. My paranoia is changing sacs though, is there anyone capable of doing a repair when Levi is no longer around. Case in point, the filling system is so well-integrated in this pen that I’m not sure how the hell I would get water or dampness in this pen as long as I cap both ends. The button-filler might just last forever without a replacement in this one that’s a comfort.
Awfully glad another friend jumped on the best nib that was offered, so I got the slightly cheaper, second best. A vintage #2 swan nib that is wet, flexible and sweet. Too wet perhaps, it writes fine but it spills ink into my cap and the stains transfers into the grooves. Being full metal, more careless washing could be done I guess but times like this, I want an ultrasonic cleaner for Christmas. I suspect that it’s the fitting of the feed being less than perfect. A heavier shake is all it takes for ink to spill.
It is a heavy pen, but it is metal after all. The solid weight complements its character, though I try to dispel the thought that I spent a few hundred quids to buy a brass rod for my hand. I love the Lamy 2000 design but I kept rotating the pen while I write, which doesn’t happen with other pens. Maybe it’s the hooded nib being too shy, for I do not encounter the same issue with the Levi pen. One check of the nib direction every time I uncap is all I need throughout any length of writing. During prolong time gaps between note taking, moisture gathers on the hands and the pen is prone to slipping. Instead of keeping it in a writing pose, I tend to place it horizontally between fingers nowadays. The weight rests quite well in the flesh between my thumb and index and there is hardly any writing fatigue with the pen at its cause.
2 months into its usage and I see micro scratches but they are like the faint patina and micro dirt settling itself into the tiny weeny brushed surface, I embrace this pen as my last purchase of the year but I can’t promise it won’t get itself a cousin in the future. Meanwhile, you can see occasional appearances of it in my Instagram.