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The "nexus" - A Kickstarter Pen From Namisu.com

nexus namisu kickstarter

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#1 Jamerelbe

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 15:04

I'm keen to keep this review a little shorter than most, and let the pictures do the talking.  I don't remember where I first heard of the Kickstarter project that was launching this pen - it was probably on FPN - but I was intrigued by the promise of a fountain pen with a 'minimalistic' design, the prototype looked sleek, and I'd never backed a Kickstarter project before, so... I dived on in.  Deciding I wanted a Titanium nib - and that the matte finish of the nib might not go so well with the brushed aluminium option - I ordered a black anodised model.

 

Several months later - the project was massively oversubscribed, slowing production times significantly! - the pen finally arrived in the mail, and I have to say I was impressed by pretty well everything bar the envelope it shipped in.  The pen came in a stylish, simple black box - with the extra bits and pieces I'd ordered in their own individual plastic snap-lock bags:

 

xgeu09m.jpg

 

In addition to the pen itself, I ordered two converters, a Titanium Fine nib (the pen came with a stainless steel Broad), and a black leather pouch - you can see them all in the picture above.

 

Initial Impressions

I already had a fair idea of what to expect from the Kickstarter web page - but it was still a pleasant surprise to see how sleek and simple the pen looked inside the pen box:

 

oeLETUr.jpg

 

The matte surface of the pen looks great, and makes it fairly 'grippy' in the hand - slipping off the cap revealed a #6 Bock nib:

 

1IbGYNm.jpg

 

I normally prefer my pens to come with clips - that wasn't an option with the Nexus, but honestly, so far it doesn't bother me.  I won't be able to carry it in my top pocket - but inside the pouch it fits well enough in my side trouser pockets...

 

Construction and Quality

Everything about this pen screams quality - it's been expertly machined and anodised, the threads are smooth and the tolerances tight.  

 

The design of the pen is very simple - a small cap screws onto the body of the pen - the threads are at the top, rather than the bottom of the grip section, meaning there's no chance you'll find yourself having to hold the pen on the threads.  The joins between cap and grip section, and between grip section and barrel, are imperceptible, making for a very classy integrated look.  

 

PzWcHMV.jpg

 

EBbkubF.jpg

 

To give you an idea of the size of the pen, here it is sitting between a Lamy Safari and a TWSBI 540:

 

K7WAkDs.jpg

 

Weight and Dimensions

Capped, the Nexus pen is 142mm long; uncapped it's still a fairly comfortable 135mm; the pen weighs in at 29g, including cartridge converter (the cap is about 3.5g), which makes it feel fairly lightweight.  The ribbed grip section varies in diameter from ~13mm (closest to the nib) to ~14mm at its widest point, which in my hands feels really good.  It's possible to get the cap to sit on the base of the pen - but over time I think it would mar the finish if I kept trying to ram it on, so I won't be posting the pen as a general rule.  

 

Given the pen has no clip, I thought it would be a good idea to pay the extra for a black leather sleeve - the pen just fits, so that the top of the cap sits *almost* flush with the top of the sleeve (I'd have been happier if the sleeve were 2-3mm longer - but it's not a big issue!  It'll do the job of protecting the pen's finish in my pocket...).

 

The pen is weighted really well, and sits comfortably in the hand - it makes it a pleasure to write with!

 

Nib and Performance

I swapped out the stainless steel B nib for the Titanium F nib before inking up - the surface of the nib is a kind of dull grey, almost charcoal colour, which seemed to attract the ink I was using (J. Herbin Rouge Hematite) and proved a little harder to wipe clean than stainless steel:

 

eZzUaPO.jpg

137CPM9.jpg

 

I was delighted with the performance of the Titanium nib: it seems to offer a little more 'feedback' than stainless steel, but glided across the page nicely and laid down a solid line of ink without gushing. The titanium material allows the pen to flex a little under pressure - but it's not designed to be a flex nib, and I wouldn't want to push it.  Definitely worth the price, though - this is my first titanium nib!

 

The stainless steel B nib I bought with the intention of getting it ground into some kind of stub.  Not sure whether I'll bother - it's a lovely nib, writes beautifully smoothly and lays down a very wet line of ink.  

 

6MFG7gs.jpg

 

I was pleasantly surprised to see how much line variation I could coax from the nib:

 

g7stsVv.jpg

 

Filling System and Maintenance

The design of the pen is very simple; it's easy to swap nibs in and out for cleaning.  The pen takes international standard cartridges (long or short), and the cartridge converter I purchased along with it was very good quality.  No complaints here!

 

Cost and Value

I got in early with the Kickstarter project, and snared the pen for £23 (~$US35 on current exchange rate), plus £25 for a titanium nib, plus £10 for the pen sleeve - with shipping thrown in.  Cost through the namisu.com website is now £26 for the pen, plus £30 for a titanium nib - but I reckon it's still a pretty good price.  This pen is uniquely and innovatively designed - I don't know whether they'll continue to manufacture more, or whether this was a once-of, but either way I'm glad I bought in!

 

I'm interested to hear from anyone else who's purchased the pen - feel free to add comments below...


Edited by Jamerelbe, 25 March 2015 - 15:05.


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#2 pyramidValley

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 22:47

Wow interesting looking pen! Could I bother you for a capped picture?  :D I check the website but couldn't find anything.

 

Also, the converter is very similar to the one the Nemosine pens come with. And actually, the namisu website is VERY similar to the nemosine website, I am wondering if they are related in any way?



#3 Feanaaro

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Posted 25 March 2015 - 23:58

The only thing I don't like with this pen (which I have too, but with a steel nib) is how wide even the "fine" is. I hoped the titanium was more reasonable, but it actually looks just as broad. Much broader than the Lamy 2000 "fine", making it more of a "medium" (even in German/American terms) imho. I wish they offered an Extra-Fine version, or at least a fine which was actually "fine".

As it is, I'm happy with the pen too, but I had to purchase an EF Bock to make it work for me.



#4 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 00:01

Hi, and thanks for the question.  If by 'capped' you mean cap posted on the back,  it's not really designed to be posted, and would probably mar the finish.  Just letting the cap sit lightly on the back (so it will fall off if I move the pen around), it looks like this:

 

QEoao0A.jpg

 

I'm pretty sure there's no relationship between Namisu and Nemosine - the former is a UK / Europe-based design company, with a very small design team.  Nemosine I *think* is a US-based company (?) that sources its pens from South East Asia...



#5 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 00:21

The only thing I don't like with this pen (which I have too, but with a steel nib) is how wide even the "fine" is. I hoped the titanium was more reasonable, but it actually looks just as broad. Much broader than the Lamy 2000 "fine", making it more of a "medium" (even in German/American terms) imho. I wish they offered an Extra-Fine version, or at least a fine which was actually "fine".

As it is, I'm happy with the pen too, but I had to purchase an EF Bock to make it work for me.

 

Hey @Fanaaro, thanks for dropping in - enjoyed your earlier review of this pen!  In light of your experience, I was expecting my pen to be a fairly broad, wet writer - like the Karas Kustoms INK that arrived in the mail the other week.  But (as per the photo above) I find the Ti F nib to be comparable to the Lamy 2000 F, and only marginally broader than the Metropolitan (I was writing on a Rhodia No16 / A5 pad).  The tines are perhaps a little more prone to spread under pressure, though...



#6 Feanaaro

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 02:22

Maybe I am not seeing it right... but from the image you posted it seems to me roughly twice as wide as the Lamy F, with the Metropolitan of course being even finer. It's difficult to make a comparison, but it seems roughly like the steel F I got, which writes more like a Medium in my opinion (especially because it is so wet, even if the tip itself is not very broad)



#7 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 02:55

To my eyes, the Bock (nexus) nib and the Lamy are very close (though the Lamy F is also a little broader than some of my other F nibs).  Both German both are definitely broader than the Japanese (Pilot) - but not by as much as I'd expected.  I agree, though, that the writing looks a little broader than the straight lines - a function of the nib being more 'springy' than stainless steel?

 

I'll be swapping out the J. Herbin ink in the next couple of days, and trying something a little more 'conventional' (maybe a Diamine, or a Waterman ink?).  When I do, I'll try another writing comparison.  



#8 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 13:15

OK, here it is, the nexus inked with Waterman Serenity Blue - and compared to the same few pens.  I concede, the Bock F nib is marginally broader even than the Lamy 2000 (L2K) F nib - whether you'd call it closer to M or not I guess is a judgment call!

 

GmxwFPb.jpg

 

Also, just for fun, here are the barrel, the grip section, and the cap lined up so as to show off the threads - fully disassembled pen, minus the nib assembly:

 

pzgi9Os.jpg



#9 Feanaaro

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 16:21

Well, it's obviously difficult to judge, especially from a pic, since it also depends on the ink used, pressure applied, paper and whatever. Maybe the Ti nib is indeed a little less wide than the steel one I got. For my part, I can certainly say that the steel "F" writes broader than any other German/European/American "F" I got, and also broader/wetter than a typical Japanese Medium (such as the Pilot Varsity's).



#10 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 22:15

Well, it's obviously difficult to judge, especially from a pic, since it also depends on the ink used, pressure applied, paper and whatever. Maybe the Ti nib is indeed a little less wide than the steel one I got. For my part, I can certainly say that the steel "F" writes broader than any other German/European/American "F" I got, and also broader/wetter than a typical Japanese Medium (such as the Pilot Varsity's).

 

The more I write with it, the more I'm inclined to agree with you: it's not a very fine Fine.  And I'm fine with that (pardon the pun): my taste in pens has been trending wider as I've gotten more into the 'hobby' (addiction?).  But yeah, it's probably at least a fine-medium, not a fine-fine or a fine-extra-fine...



#11 Feanaaro

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 22:22

That, I mean growing a taste for broader nibs, seems to be a fairly common trend among fp users. Not me though, I've been using fps for 15 years now, and I still want F/EF.

There also seems to be a trend in making the nibs actually "fatter" over time, which I really dislike. I mean, it's fine if most people like to write broader, but then they have M, B, BB, or even BBB for them, why do Bock and other nib makers need to make the "fines" wider and wider??

Anyway, as I mentioned I bought an EF nib (actually, two different EF) separately, and now I'm happy. The Nexus, in fact, has been my primary pen since I've got it, and I'm barely using any other one now.


Edited by Feanaaro, 26 March 2015 - 22:22.


#12 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 23:16

I still prefer EF / F pens for daily use, correspondence etc - but for general / personal writing, I enjoy experimenting with broader nibs and stub / cursive italics.  Different strokes for different strokes, I guess!



#13 Feanaaro

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 14:47

Do you know whether a titanium nib could be smoothed in the same ways as regular steel/gold nibs are?

Is there tipping, or is it just solid titanium?



#14 Jamerelbe

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 15:05

Do you know whether a titanium nib could be smoothed in the same ways as regular steel/gold nibs are?

Is there tipping, or is it just solid titanium?

 

Looking at the nib under my loupe, I can't tell whether there's iridium (or other) tipping material, or whether the whole thing is made of titanium.  Either way I'd imagine you can still smooth the nib in much the same way as normal - as long as  you exercise all due care. Don't take my word for it, though - I'm only venturing an opinion!



#15 mcgeechan

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 19:15

Nice looking pen :)



#16 Stephenthebear

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 19:45

I've had the tracking notice so I'm hoping mine will be here on Tuesday ...

I'm on the Titanium body and titanium nib ... It has taken a long time but I'm hopeful it's going to be worth itimage.jpg

#17 Stephenthebear

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 10:05

My Nexus arrived this morning ....

Looks good, I've just run some water through it, now to decide on what ink to put in it.

Box and converter quality are good and first impressions of the pen are positive (yet to write with it yet).

#18 Jamerelbe

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 10:52

My Nexus arrived this morning ....

Looks good, I've just run some water through it, now to decide on what ink to put in it.

Box and converter quality are good and first impressions of the pen are positive (yet to write with it yet).


Good to hear it - titanium or aluminium? Will be interested to hear your impressions once you've had a chance to ink it up!

#19 Stephenthebear

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 12:02

Titanium body and nib ...

First impressions - looks great, writes nicely but squeaks when I write !!

Needs more investigation but I'm really busy with work.

#20 BlueTofu

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 00:22

Any idea what the ink capacity of the converter is?







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