Firstly please forgive me I have a lot to say and my writing and control of the language is not perfect nor anywhere near what I would wish it to be, and because of this it is pretty nerve wreaking to simply post this but here it is.
Desiderata Mercury Flex Pen Review:
Aesthetically the pen is beautiful no doubt about that. The wood is finished to a mirror shine. There are clear indications that show that this pen was hand made imperfections on the top of the cap and end of the barrel body just small things.
The finish on the wood makes me wonder what the pen would look like in a purely unfinished state with no clear coat just a fine sanding. I love the feel and texture of wood so perhaps something Pierre can explore in the near future. I know the concern here would be ink getting on the wood but perhaps there is someway around that.
The roll stop is an interesting and beautiful feature it’s very nice, however I wish there was also an option for a clip.
The section has a lot of fabrication lines moving around it probably from the lathe? I did not care too much for these. I think the section could have been worked up to look as shiny as the rest of the pen body. The overall shape of the section is very functional tapering in the middle and bulging out on the ends hourglass like. The threads do not interfere with the writing. The threads are a little unfinished for my taste and by that I mean when the pen arrived it had plastic shavings still on it. I had to pull them off and brush it with a toothbrush to make sure the area is clean and debris free. Not really something I want to be doing with my new pen.
There is a piece on the pen where the black band of the cap meets the pen body when it is capped. The pen body portion is just raw wood. I think it would look much nicer and more finished if it had a black plastic band just like on the end of the cap. That way plastic rubs on plastic and there is no possible degradation of the wood here. It would look more finished as well.
Having said that we make our way down to the nib. Gosh it looks magnificent! The ebonite feed looks lovely and well made it is beautifully smoothed and shaped. Of the two pens I own they are pretty consistent in their shapes and feed channels, which is great.
How does it feel?
The overall pen feels very nice. The texture on the barrel and cap are smooth and glossy. The sections material is really nice. I think it is some sort of plastic it feels nice and warm in the hand. I really wish the section had a mirror polish on it similar to the pen, or at least a uniform matte finish without the lines which I assume are caused by the lathe.
The pen is very light and perfectly balanced. It just sits on your hand comfortably and does what it needs to do.
Uncapped the pen is the perfect length a little under 5 1/2 inches from the back end to the tip of the nib. The pen unfortunately does not post I really wish it did if Pierre could find a way to have the cap post very far down without altering the current uncapped length it would be perfect. However not being able to post is not a deal breaker for me.
How does the pen write?
Perfectly. It writes simply marvelously. Ladies and gents leave your ink bottle at home. No ink bottle needed on the go for this dip nib. The writing experience is nice just as expected from a dip nib fun and flexy with huge line variation and enormous flex. The best part about the nib is that it is replaceable so if you damage the nib it is only a $3 replacement. Pierre’s handmade feed is really exceptional it provides the perfect amount of flow for the nib and it is very generous. The feed and nib combo provides a deliciously wet line so it may take a couple minutes to fully dry up depending on the ink.
Inks I have used in these pens:
Waterman Tender Purple
J Herbin 1670 Rouge
The only issue I occasionally have is when the surface tension in the sac prevents flow. Usually I just shake the pen a bit and the flow comes back. I placed a little agitator ball in one of the sacs to aid with the issue. It seemed to help a bit.
I can understand why Pierre decided on the Zebra G nib instead of a nib like the Hunts 101, Gillott 303 nib or other favorites. The Zebra g nib has a much longer life span and a smoother writing experience. The Hunts and Gillott would have started eroding quite quickly (within 24 hours assuming the pen has ink all day) while the zebra g has been a daily user for me since I received the pen and it always has ink in it. I have not experienced any issues with the nib yet but I have 10 replacement nibs for when a replacement is needed.
Another great thing is that you can smooth the zebra g nib a bit giving you easier upstrokes. Sometimes the Zebra G nib is a bit of a hard starter as well so a little bit of smoothing fixes that.
I am really happy with Desiderata’s Mercury pens they are absolutely a joy to use and I carry them everyday now. There are some cosmetic issues I think Pierre can easily address, as they are very minor final finishing steps.
Great job on these pens Pierre I am really looking forward to my next purchase from you!
Some quick Images:
Writing samples will follow very soon..