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Conklin Duragraph In Amber


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#1 Garden Man

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 00:12

*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.

 

First Impressions:

 

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. 

 

O0lpFY2.jpg

 

 

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. 

 

DqKhk9C.jpg

 

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!

 

5/5

 

Design:

 

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).

 

zba5cTn.jpg

 

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. 

 

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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.

 

10/10

 

Properties:

 

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. 

 

4/5

 

The Nib:

 

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).

 

ex3pL6k.jpg

 

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.

 

CJzp1Y8.jpg

 

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.

 

14/15

 

Value:

 

The pen was $44. That's not expensive. It's an amazing value.

 

5/5

 

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.

 

38/40

 

A (95%)

 

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#2 Bennett

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 00:59

Nice review. I also have the Duragraph in the amber orange color. However, my pen does not post well at all. Also the resin color is great but not as good looking as your version. I guess it's just the luck of the.cut of resin.

#3 Venator

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 02:25

Well, you've sold me. On the list it goes. Thanks for the great review.



#4 SteveE

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 14:46

I hate to be the dissenting opinion, but I much prefer the previous (pre-Yafa) version of the modern Duragraph.  The last version was an over-sized pen with the Conklin spring clip.  The pen had much more heft than the newest version and to me, felt better balanced.  It is large enough and heavy enough to be used unposted.

 

I have two of the previous versions and one of the newest.  The older pens had Conklin 14K nibs, while all of the newest ones I've seen are steel.  This is merely an observation, as all of the pens can be made to write very well.

 

One thing I definitely do appreciate in the newest model is the threaded (screw-in) converter.  Somehow, these just fit better and stay fitted to the section better over time.

 

BTW, Garden Man, if you really like orange pens, check out the new Conklin All-American.  It comes in an orange resin that looks very much like that used by Delta on the Dolce Vita series of pens.  Really slick resin, and a very good pen at another very reasonable price.



#5 Garden Man

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 15:46

I hate to be the dissenting opinion, but I much prefer the previous (pre-Yafa) version of the modern Duragraph.  The last version was an over-sized pen with the Conklin spring clip.  The pen had much more heft than the newest version and to me, felt better balanced.  It is large enough and heavy enough to be used unposted.

 

 

 

I'd like to someday have a vintage Conklin, but for now this will do. I have smaller hands, so using this pen unposted is great for me.



#6 Lamyrada

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 14:55

I have this pen with a black italic nib and I love it. what I don't like is that the threads inside the cap and the barrel do not quite fit. They kind of slide or get stuck-at least on mine; I don't think they have depth enough so the y don't feel tight on contact, they don't engage right away.

The line variation I get with it is beautiful. I don't think this pen was made to be capped. does not feel or look OK. It's like trying to write with a long Chinese stick or baseball bat, if you know what I mean. Otherwise, for the money, this is a great pen rivaling the 1.5mm TWSBI (around same price?). It writes as well. Workmanship is not as good, my only complain being the capping mechanism, If that would be resolved -- maybe I should put some smoothing aid (gel?)on the threads - it would be a perfect pen.

I am sure the older version is better. I don't know how much those were priced at, I would like to know. Anyway I could grab one to compare both? I would like to compare them.

#7 akustyk

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Posted 13 June 2015 - 20:51

Garden Man,

 

Thanks for an awesome review. I have very similar preferences for nibs, i.e., toothiness and wetness. I agree that this pen has some really good value, not to mention great performance. I probably won't buy it myself, but I enjoyed it vicariously, thanks to you review.


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#8 staflea

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:53

Excellent review and pretty much reflects my experience. Very striking looks, love the screw in converter, comfortable to write with and the nib has feedback - not scratch, feedback. It seems to be very tolerant to different inks as well. I use mine with ink samples so it's had all sorts of makes, colours and types and it has never misbehaved on any. Don't find my nib (a medium) is as wet as yours, but I don't mind that and it certainly is not dry. Really nice pen, nearly always an EDC. 



#9 Lamyrada

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 11:59

What is the meaning of EDC?

#10 Jamerelbe

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 12:56

What is the meaning of EDC?

 

"Every Day Carry" i.e. a pen you can take with you wherever you go...



#11 Lamyrada

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 13:17

Jamerelbe, thanks!

#12 SteveE

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 20:46

Garden Man - I just came back to this thread and felt that I should comment on your desire for vintage Conklin pens.  My "pre-Yafa" Duragraph hardly qualifies as vintage, as I purchased it new in (IIRC) 2006.  That earlier generation of modern Duragraph was produced when the Rosenberg family owned the brand, prior to Rob's selling the brand to Yafa.



#13 bone215

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Posted 21 June 2015 - 01:38

This is really a pretty pen.  I wanted to pick one up at the Philly pen show this January but...when I held it in my hand it just didn't fit right.  I ended up with a Monteverde Prima which shares some Yafa DNA (I think) with the Conklin.  Of course I could be wrong.

Good luck with that pretty pen.


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#14 InkyWings

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:06

Many thanks for this review since the green model has been on my wish list for some time now... and being a *newbie-newbie* (so newbie that this is even my first FPN post) that's really saying something! You've given me much to consider since I lean more toward glide than tooth but as was mentioned that can be a resolved with some of the fine tuning with which I'm becoming acquainted. Then again, given my leanings toward stub nibs might there be a good chance that toothiness would be a moot point anyway?

#15 OCArt

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 21:25

Nice review.  I have the 'cracked ice' version of this pen with a 1.1 stub.  I quite like it.  However I should note that mine came with a black colored nib (bought 8 months ago from Amazon.)



#16 sannidh

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 06:08

Thank you for this review :)

Your conklin looks alluring.


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#17 cobalt

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 15:02

Can anyone do a head-to-head comparison of the Duragraph: pre/post Yafa? Discussion isn't helpful without a common reference point. And, separately, if one wanted one of the pre- pens how would one go about getting one?


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#18 Lamyrada

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 15:16

Nice review.  I have the 'cracked ice' version of this pen with a 1.1 stub.  I quite like it.  However I should note that mine came with a black colored nib (bought 8 months ago from Amazon.)


Be prepared for peeling of this nib. Try finding my post here about that. I had to send it back to YAfa and after many mistakes and strange misunderstandings, they finally replaced the nib with another, not the crescent type nib I was expecting, but had to accept since they said they were out of stock. Use it every day so that if it will fail, it will.

#19 Right_to_Write

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 01:12

I have the cracked ice version of this pen with a fine nib. I really like the look, feel, and weight of the pen, but found the nib to be too wet for my tastes. A little adjustment took care of that and now it is one of my favorite pens. It looks vintage, which is one reason why I like it. I also like the screw-in converter.

 

BTW, I bought it from Goulet.



#20 inkstainedruth

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Posted 02 December 2015 - 01:24

I've been considering this pen.  I really like the color of the Amber, although the new blue one that the Goulets now have is also kinda nice....

Thanks for the review.

As an aside to OCArt, I'm not surprised that the nib started to peel.  I have had the same thing happen with the purple nib on a Platinum Plaisir.   :angry: 

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