Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
and each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
It is still December here - just about - and the embers in my fire have died completely as the winds of storm 'Frank' run around the corners of my house and rap the doors. There is, however, not a bird in sight; just my cat and nothing more. This pen was a bit of an impulse buy for me but one I am glad I pulled the trigger on as I believe it can be rather difficult to source. It is a limited edition, like all of the Writers Editions, if 14,000 units counts as limited. It takes its inspiration from the author Edgar Allan Poe, the master of Victorian Gothic horror and possibly the creator of the detective genre. Poe lived a rather sad life, plagued by unresolved griefs, bouts of depression and dogged (even in death) by malicious detractors. His short stories are magnificent; a triumph of dark and brooding menace. His poetry.....well,let's just say I quite like The Raven and we will talk of the the others nevermore; especially not 'The Bells'.
The Edgar Allan Poe Writers Edition was released in 1998, so is quite an early one in the series. It is a Victorian Gothic masterpiece. It is a large pen at 5.75 inches capped, exactly 5 inches uncapped and exactly 6.5 inches posted. The pen has a very vintage appearance with a significantly large domed cap that is half the length of the body of the pen. The pen has a bit of weight to it, but doesn't feel as heavy as the 149, although there is weight down to the cap. The pen is nicely balanced when writing posted, although some may feel that the weight of the cap is a little distracting. I must say that I don't find that to be the case and I write with it posted. The threads on the cap do tend to grip the piston nob, so care must be taken when removing it or the nob will turn! I allowed someone who normally doesn't post to write with it, on the promise that I would wall them up alive if they did a damage to it. They noted that it felt a little light to them unposted.
The marbled resin on this pen is not easily photographed in winter. It is a deep, dark midnight blue that would look good lining a luxury model coffin. It gives the appearance of a crushed velvet and works well with the gold plated accents. The cap bears the signature of the author picked out in gold engraving and also the number of the pen, discretely placed. The clip is a baseball bat shaped clip that is quite tight to the cap, but gives a vintage appearance. Either ends of the cap have black resin, but the end of the cap is a large dome with an off-white snow peak. Towards the opening of the cap (a screw cap) is a thin gold plated band that is a set of finely engraved bands, giving the strange, but pleasing appearance of a coiled spring. This same banded spring effect is repeated under the piston nob on the main body of the pen. It's a nice little bit of attention to detail. The cap also has a significantly large band beautifully engraved with Victorian ornamentation that looks a little like a stylised holly wreath. The cap length is 7cm.
The body of the pen itself has the stunning deep blue marbled resin as its central portion with black resin at either end. A small gold fine line engraved band sits beneath the piston nob which works smoothly and well. It is quite a long and slightly tapered piston nob with a rounded top. Towards the grip there is a slight bulge above the threads and the grip itself is concave. The threads are so finely placed and tight that I don't notice them at all when writing. It does force my grip down towards the nib more than I would be used to, but it is a comfortable writing experience. The 18K monotone gold nib is nicely engraved with a raven in reference to the famous poem of the same name, It is a medium in this instance and is silky smooth. Other Montblanc's I own or have tried all have that distinctive touch of feedback (in a very pleasant sense). This one doesn't, which was something of a surprise. It is a wet writer that has a little line expression with a touch of spring, but be aware that it can gush ink if pushed even a little. I like it very much, but it may not be to everyone's taste. It is comparable in line width to the medium nibbed 149, so it is edging towards a broad; at least in my book.
This is a very beautiful pen in a very striking deep blue resin. I like the nods to Victoriana and the Gothic touches. The nib is very good and the cap is distinctive and unusual. Overall it is very pleasing to write with. If my desk had a memento mori and a stuffed black bird on a bust of Pallas, the whole effect would be complete. The bad news is that this is not a cheap pen, but then it is no Jinhao. Is it worth it? Well, it is only worth it if you really like it enough to pay for it and use it and enjoy it. I know some people collect these pens, but I buy to use and this review is from the perspective of a user. This was my Christmas gift to myself this year (a work bonus, a generous token gift and a little saving of my own made it happen) in that I was able to exercise the freedom to choose something I liked. I chose this and I am very, very glad I did. I love it very much. I also bought a tablet this year - out of work necessity rather than pleasure - and it also was not cheap. It will in all likelihood be recycled into coke cans in about three to four years. This pen on the other hand will hopefully be with me for the rest of my days and perhaps I shall be more fortunate in my numbers than Mr Poe. But even if it not, a young member of my family might take ownership and if they look after it too, then it may even fall to a next generation.
Now; where did I put the black cat?.........
Edited by Uncial, 30 December 2015 - 16:08.