Posted 26 July 2015 - 21:42
Just a quick micro review. No pictures, I'm afraid, as my bandwidth on holiday doesn't favour them.
I got the white version, with EF nib. Thanks to The Writing Desk in the UK for an excellent service (no affiliation).
Simple, well thought out. For those, like me, who like to post their pens, the rubber ring at the end makes a lot of sense. The plastic feels a little cheap, but at this price point, that is no problem at all.
Without the cap, the pen is quite pretty, with a clear demonstrator barrel and solid color at the back (white in my case). Not mad about the cap, though: it seems disproportionately thick/massive. That's why I gave a modest 6/10 score here.
Filling system: 10/10
A piston filler at this price point puts the tools you need to maintain it? Couldn't be better. The piston mechanism works beautifully.
Nib performanc: 9/10
The EF nib writes smoothly, with a hint of feedback. No scratchiness. Excellent flow. Nib is stiff, with no flexibility to speak of; you could get some line variation if you abuse the nib, but it's a pleasant writing experience without doing so. Wetness is about 6-7/10. It is by no means dry, but could hardly be called a gusher. (I've been using Diamond Carnival, part of the anniversary collection.)
Writing experience: 9/10
I have been pleasantly surprised by this pen. It writes smoothly and pleasantly. The balance is excellent. It is large enough to use unposted, but is even more pleasant a size when posted. The cap is too light to affect the balance. I would have preferred a slightly girthier pen, but that's a small gripe and means it will suit a wider range of hands
Bonus to this pen for writing out of the box without any modifications or work needed. I have become very annoyed at the number of new pens that need some sort of adjustment before they can work, so any review I do from now on will include this question. I haven't decided how to quantify it yet (perhaps 0 or 5 points depending on whether it WOOTB or not). The Eco clearly qualifies.
Overall: 42/50 + Bonus for just working without fuss
This is an excellent pen and is well worth the money. It knocks the socks off several much more expensive pens in terms of performance (if not beauty). I think it has real potential to knock the Lamy Safari or the Pilot Metropolitan off their pedestal as go-to entry level pens. But it is also a good choice for someone with more experience looking for a good daily carry pen. If you're looking for a thoroughly beautiful pen, look elsewhere. If you're after a decent-looking pen with excellent performance, then you should definitely consider the Eco.