*large pictures and a large GIF in the review*
I'll start off the review by stating that this review is my own opinion, some may agree, or disagree. I like certain things about pens (and nibs) that others may dislike. I will also say that each pen (and nib) is different, there are some lemons out there.
As I received this pen in the mail (from Goulet Pens, you rock), and started peeling off the plastic wrap and bubble wrap, the dark blue of the pen box emerged. The box itself is pretty understated, which is nice, I'm not a very big fan of flashy presentation boxes, the simpler the better. After taking off the cardboard sleeve and opening the faux leather box I was greeted with a beige suede interior, which is fine, and the bright orange pen.
Inside were some of the normal instructional booklets, how to fill the pen, take care of it, etc. Enough of that stuff, on to the main reason I got this, the pen. It is orange, not slightly orange. Really, orange. Orangey, orange. It's wonderful. My girlfriend was there opening the box with me and exclaimed how pretty it was (she doesn't like orange, at all). That's how good it looks.
For first impressions, I think it did a wonderful job, there was nothing wrong with the presentation at all, and I thought it was great!
This is probably the second most important part to any pen, and the main reason for getting a pen (I don't know how it will write, but I know how it will look), and I can say that this pen is really pretty. Very, very, very, very pretty. It's made out of resin, the design is the Amber design. The other two are Cracked Ice (black and white cracked resin), and Forest Green (dark green resin).
The finials are both made out of black resin, as well as the section, which I like quite a bit. It harkens back to the earlier Conklin pens, and I like vintage pens. The top and bottom are flat top (again, I like flat tops a lot) and there are silver colored bands at the top, middle, and bottom. The clip is a clip, I don't really notice the clip design, but I will say that it is extremely tight. Very tight. I couldn't even get it over 3 sheets of paper.
Onto the main attraction, the body and cap. The resin is marvelous! I absolutely love it. This is my first orange pen, and I'm scared of getting another orange pen, because I don't know what can match the orange of this pen. The resin is ultra smooth, and highly reflective and slightly transparent, which is wonderful! It's possible to see the nib and the converter through the body and cap, it's hard to see, but it can be seen, and I think that is really cool especially on a resin pen. I really like the look of this pen, it's wonderful.
In this section I will be covering all of the physical properties of the pen, such as filling system, weight, dimensions, the cap, etc.
I will start with the filling system. It is a cartridge/converter pen, yes, no huge surprise here, but it is better than most. The converter (which comes with the pen) is a twist converter, so there's no worry of moving it around, it stays in while filling. It draws up ink, and is easy to clean.
Next, are the dimensions, coming in at 26 grams it is a fairly medium sized pen. Not too heavy for the small hands, but not too light for the monstrous hands. The size capped is 14 cm, uncapped it is 12.5 cm and posted is 17.5 cm. The first two are nice sizes, but don't post it. The pen becomes extremely long and quite back heavy, which makes writing, really quite difficult.
The cap screws on, and stays on pretty securely. The threads aren't sharp, and I haven't had them get in the way at all.
This is the most important part to a pen. How it writes. A pen that looks good, but does not write, is not a useful pen. I have an acronym for pens that do not write, PSO's (pen shaped objects). Which draws from the classification of weird looking bicycles, most of which are poorly done mountain bikes, which are called BSO's (bike shaped objects). This is a pen, and not a PSO, in fact, it is a remarkable pen.
The nib is my favorite so far, and combines my two favorite characteristics, wetness and toothiness. Now, this is where some might disagree, but I do not like smooth nibs. I've never liked them, I don't like feeling my nib glide along the paper, I like to write on the paper, feel the paper, hear the paper. I love the sound of a toothy nib. Now, toothy does not mean scratchy, or dry. Dry pens don't write, scratchy pens have something wrong with the tines (misalignment probably), toothy nibs are nibs where the tines have not been polished to extreme smoothness. I like toothy pens. A lot.
Does this mean I hate smooth nibs (Pelican M1000, or Sailor KOP)? No, I like smooth nibs, but I will take toothy over smooth (Namiki Falcon for example).
Enough with my criteria, and on to the pen. The nib on the Duragraph is wet, really wet, and extremely wet for a fine. I have a Waterman Expert with a Medium nib, and the Duragraph is wetter than that. It's really quite wet, which I like, I really like laying down a lot of ink and watching it dry. The nib is really fine too, it's finer than some Chinese fines I have too. Either way, I'll move on. The feel of the nib across the paper is nice, I can pick up the feedback of the paper from the nib, and I can feel and hear the paper. I think of it as driving a secondhand car, I've driven my mothers' newer car and I don't like it as much as my 1997 Subaru Legacy, the Legacy rattles and I can feel (and hear) the road through the seat, pedals, steering wheel, the entire frame responds to the road (some don't like that, I do). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I really like this nib. A lot.
The only thing I don't like about it, is the fact that it is two-tone. I like two-tone nibs, don't get me wrong, but this one looks bad. The nib is silver colored, and the Conklin logo is colored gold. It just looks bad, I wish it was just silver colored.
The pen was $44. That's not expensive. It's an amazing value.
Conclusions and Final Score:
I really like this pen, as it has been made clear throughout the entire review. It has surpassed my trusty Kaweco Sport as my daily writer (which is saying a lot, since the Kaweco has been my daily writer for almost 3 years). I just love it, it looks wonderful, writes beautifully, and is great! I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend this pen.