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Caran D'ache Varius Blue Lacquer Medium Nib

caran dache varius lacquer medium nib fountain pen review

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6 replies to this topic

#1 hkw003

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 06:34

I have never seen a review of the Caran d’Ache blue lacquer Varius. I think this pen is a great addition to people who wants to know more about the lacquer version of this Caran d'Ache model. This is my first fountain pen review and I hope to write more reviews for the fountain pen community. Please feel free to comment on this post. I hope to contribute more to the fountain pen community. I will like to thank Sbre Brown, FP geeks, and the Pen Habit for getting me started on fountain pen reviews. :)

 

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First impression
This pen is something special. The first thing that catches the eye is the blue lacquer. From what I can tell, it is a navy or dark blue. I will argue this is the prettiest of the lacquered Varius because the color really contrasts well with the silver plating. The color reminds me of the staedtler product with the pencils and erasers, which I used throughout school. I just love lacquer and always wanted to own a pen made with the material. When people think of lacquer, they think of Nakaya, Sailor, or Namiki. I am pretty sure they never thought of this Swiss brand.

 

score 5 out of 5

Appearance
This is a very thin pen which is a characteristics of many Caran d'Ache pens. They are usually very thin and a gripping section that is even thinner than the pen body. I usually have very big pens. My everyday carry is a Lamy Al-star and my biggest pen is a Homo Sapien Bronze. But the blue and silver body will make anyone fall in love with this pen.

The pen body is hexagonal with the beautiful Caran d'ache labeled cap perfectly aligned to the 6 sided blue and silver body. The hexagonal cap has smooth edges capped a cylinder top with the words Caran d'ache and the logo CdA.  I got to admit that Swiss engineering make this pen aesthetically pleasing and very precise. Well done Caran d'Ache.

The clip is a very functioning that can easily clip to any shirt and even jean pockets. Tension of this clip is just enough to secure the pen while having enough give to operate it with relative easy.

 

The metal cap is a fingerprint magnet. I personally have no problem with it, but some people certainly do. If you hate fingerprints on your pen, I would not recommend this pen

 

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score 5 out of 5

 

Size/ weight

The pen capped at 5¼ inches and uncapped at 5 inches. Capped, this pen stands at 6½ inches. The diameter of this pen at its largest section at ½ inch and the smallest section at ¼  inch.  I will say this is a very decent size pen, but the section is a little small for my hands. I will hold it a little further back. I can still write with this pen for long sessions.

 

This is a heavy pen. It is a smaller pen, but the metal certainly make this a very substantial pen on the hands. I like heavy pens so I definitely like the weight of this pen. I will advise this pen to be uncapped because it is a little back heavy when its capped. Without the cap, this pen is extremely well balanced.

 

score 4 out of 5

 

Filling mechanism

This is a standard/ international cartridge converter pen which will have some people groan. I personally have a power filler visconti and while I enjoyed it, its not too upsetting for some pens to have with cartridge converter. For the retail price, I definitely expect this pen to have a piston filler. I understand that the company might not want to put in a piston filling mechanism because this pen is pretty small with a small piston knob will certainly make this pen difficult to operate.

 

score 3.5 out of 5

Nib
The pen is nothing without the nib. This is a 18K Medium nib with a plastic feed. Decorated with the beautiful scroll work,  this is a very small nib. It writes smoothly when you write on its sweet spot. It has a preference on how you hold it. If you angle the pen towards you to admire the nib design, the nib will become scratchy. I have to adapt to its sweet spot, but it was not hard to figure it out. This pen has a lot of tooth so you definitely feel like writing with a fountain pen.  

 

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This pen writes like a true European medium. I have compared the Pilot Vanishing point and the Visconti Homo Sapien. The VP writes just a tad bit thicker Varius with the gushing Homo Sapien writing the broadest. It is very consistent with flow when I filled this pen with Waterman Serenity blue. It only skips once or twice after I had this pen, but once I started writing it is just magical. This pen does not flex well, while it can give some line variation, it is a pretty small difference between flex and unflex. I will not use this pen for any spencerian script.  

Score: 4 out of 5  

 

Price
At retail price of over $1115.95 at gold Spot, this pen is MORE THAN the Montblanc 149 and that is a piston filler. I saw this pen at the back room of Fountain Pen Hospital for $495 used. I am screaming inside because this pen is certainly NOT worth $1000+ dollars. The writing experience plus the blue lacquer is just not worth $1000. Luckily, I bought this pen off an auction on Ebay used for about $300. I will say this pen is a steal for me.  The owner really took care of this pen and I will treasure it like its previous owner.

Retail: 0 out of 5
Me: 5 out of 5

Conclusion
It is not everyday that someone can find this pen for the price I got it. The color just POPs. I am really impressed by the design. It is a beautiful Swiss design and I am proud to say I found my accidental grail pen. :D Here in the U.S., not a lot of people appreciate Caran d’Ache due to price and its not a Montblanc, Visconti, nor a Pelikan. I think I will looke into Caran d’ache more often in the future assuming the price is right. :D

 

Score 4.417 out of 5 Total

Attached Images

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Edited by hkw003, 10 January 2015 - 17:32.


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#2 Barkingpig

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 07:42

Thank you for this review.  I was just looking thru the listed reviews here as I considered a C A'D & you are certainly right there aren't many.  However it would appear that "those who try them REALLY like them!" & I made my first purchase just this week.  It has not arrived but I am excited to see what "the fuss is about!"  It certainly would seem that with the reputation of the Swiss watch makers people would be equally curious about a Swiss made pen.  I do not find the enthusiasm for some popular pens that others do & when I have stated same have been told, "Good, that means there will be more for US!"  Perhaps this is to be the way it is for Caran D'Ache & S T Dupont. The truth may be that EVERY pen brand will appeal to some more than others.  BUT I sure thank you for your review as It brought to life the excitement this pen represented to you in purchase & use. I look forward to your future reviews.



#3 TMK

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 07:49

A Sapiens Bronze, eh? I love those! Unfortunately for me, they are made of lava and are thus waaaay expensive. :/

Anywho, great review! I thought I'd seen the Cd'A Varius blue before, but I'm not quite certain. Thanks for your review!



#4 jar

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 14:14

The Varius in China Blue is a great pen and the concave section while thin works well for placing your fingers and allowing the pen to be used with a very light grip over extended periods.

 

One edit needed in your review,  You said "Nib
The pen is nothing without the nib. This is a 14K Medium nib with a plastic feed."  but it is an 18K nib.

 

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And the Boring Details.

 

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#5 hkw003

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 17:46

Thank you for giving me great feedback. They are all helpful.

To Barking pig, I have to agree. St. Dupont is another one of those BIG pen companies that are wildly popular out of states, but it is not as big here in the U.S. St. Dupont is such an exclusive brand. Graf Von Fabercastell is gaining traction. It is appearing in more places than a few years ago. I am sure you will enjoy your new pen when it arrives. What is the pen?  The main reason why I wrote a review as this pen has not been reviewed before (none that I have seen) There were pictures out there ( I am sure there were pictures.) 

To SLJVC, Homo Sapien is indeed a great pen. It is also very expensive.


Edited by hkw003, 10 January 2015 - 17:49.


#6 hkw003

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 17:46

To Jar, thank you for correcting my error. you inspired me to make a bid on the Varius after reading your fabulous review on the Metwood edition and the Chinablack hexagonal edition.  :) It is an 18K gold. I am sure you have many great pens in your collection, I hope you have more reviews coming.


Edited by hkw003, 10 January 2015 - 17:49.


#7 jar

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 20:09

To Jar, thank you for correcting my error. you inspired me to make a bid on the Varius after reading your fabulous review on the Metwood edition and the Chinablack hexagonal edition.  :) It is an 18K gold. I am sure you have many great pens in your collection, I hope you have more reviews coming.

 

You're welcome.  I think there might be a few reviews of some of my ST Dupont pens here as well.


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