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Review: Romillo Sil #9

romillo sil essential handmade ebonite narcea slip-cap

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11 replies to this topic

#1 rpsyed

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 23:50

7x4nKSN.jpg

The Romillo Sil has long been on my radar, ever since I first heard about Romillo. The gentle tapering lines and absence of section threads made for such a clean and attractive design. A pen without any unnecessary parts or ornamentation, fitted with a wonderful handmade nib.

wA3LYuB.jpg

I knew I had to have one but for the first couple Romillo pens I bought (an Eo #9 and Essential #9), I went with the threaded models. It seemed safer. The Romillo cap lips are very, very thin and while I believe Alvaro would handle any warranty work without hassle I’d rather not have to deal with it in the first place.

OuGPIga.jpg

Romillo Sil #9 and Platinum 3776 Century.

w1GKXUX.jpg

Eventually, I took a gamble and ordered my Sil #9, in the lovely terracotta ebonite. I prefer simple designs generally and I felt like a solid color ebonite better fit the Sil model (I was also worried about the the mottled pattern being broken by the threads that connect the barrel and section together.

Gr8iPsw.jpg

Romillo Sil #9 and Platinum 3776 Century nibs. I swapped the nibs on 3776 and Nakaya Piccolo.

yB0YNUW.jpg

From left: Romillo Sil #9, Essential #9 and Eo #9.

In the end, I wound up with the Sil in terracotta ebonite, the lentil roll-stop and the barrel-end cabochon. I had got the cabochon, which is a solid 18kt disc with the Romillo logo in deep relief, on my Essential and always thought it was a nice and subtle touch to an otherwise minimally adorned pen. It also kind of cool that the Romillo logo is a stylized ‘R’, which is my first initial. I’ve not personally asked, but in another review, I read Alvaro was open to doing custom barrel cabochons, if you wish for something other than the stylized ‘R.’

bozp3iu.jpg

The certificate and writing sample for my pen. Each Romillo pen comes with one.

MXzr4z4.jpg

Instructions for the eyedropper filling system.

I should preface my comments by saying I am a big Romillo fan. I first learned about Romillo from a post on Leigh Reyes blog last year, after she bought a Narcea with the K-nib - an in-house, handmade nib meant to be flexible. A little over a year later I had purchased four Romillo pens, of which I still have three. I traded one of them, an Eo #9, for a Danitrio Sho-Genkai.

ILfbLyr.jpg

From top: Scriptorium Pens Aeterna (medium-size) and Romillo Sil #9. The Scriptorium is in Tibaldi Impero celluloid and the Romillo is in ebonite -- both wonderful materials.

5kZEamq.jpg

Romillo Sil #9 nib and JoWo #6 nib.

 

Romillo pens definitely aren’t for everyone but preferring simple and clipless pens for their clean look, Romillo pens was a natural fit for me.   

Romillo does not have an “Add to Cart” button on his website. In fact, there are not even any prices listed on his website. To get the prices of the pens, you must email him. After that, he will send you a price list along with a Romillo Pens catalog. I think it would be easier for all parties to just post a price list publically but I’m sure Alvaro has his reasons for not doing so. In any case, an email to him will get you the catalog and pricelist and I’ve never once felt like I was pressured to order while asking questions.

Q75GemL.jpg

I ordered the pen in January and received received it February and it has been more or less, continuously inked. I’ve only been using fountain pens for just about two years. I started with a Lamy Safari, like many others, but quickly moved up to pens in higher price brackets. But being so new to the hobby, there’s a lot I’ve yet to experience. But, for me, at least, the Romillo nibs are just superb.

BaJH0xN.jpg

From top: Newton Pens Orville (medium-size), Romillo Eo #9, Scriptorium Pens Aeterna (medium-size), Romillo Sil #9, Romillo Essential #9.

I ordered the pen in January and received received it February and it has been more or less, continuously inked. I’ve only been using fountain pens for just about two years. I started with a Lamy Safari, like many others, but quickly moved up to pens in higher price brackets. But being so new to the hobby, there’s a lot I’ve yet to experience. But, for me, at least, the Romillo nibs are just superb.

v4iWgcY.jpg

The feed seems to have changed on the newer Romillo pens. My newest Romillo, the green and black Narcea, has a flatter ebonite feed. I like the look of the fatter ones better, but there's no difference in function as far as I can tell.

My Sil #9 has a firm Fine-Medium nib, which is the most true to it’s name than my other firm Romillo nibs, which are actually quite springy. The Sil nib is pretty stiff but very smooth. All Romillo nibs, in my experience, have a unique feedback to them. It’s similar to writing with a graphite pencil with very smooth and soft lead. Some of the nibs have more or less feedback but none of them has ever been scratchy. They do have sweet spots though — due to the size of the nibs, they work best if you write with full arm movement. For finger-writers, I’d recommend getting a Romillo with the #7 size nib because of that.

pprgAAZ.jpg

Writing sample of Romilo Sil #9 with fine-medium nib, Danitrio Sho-Genkai with broad nib, and Newton Orville with #8 JoWo medium nib, and Romillo Essential #9 with fine nib.

NVPYW3k.jpg

The packaging of the pens are quite nice but also simple and compact, which I appreciate. I have more detailed photos in other posts, so I went spent too much time on it.

The pen is on the long side but not overly so. You can see it compared to a Lamy Safari and a Nakaya Piccolo The ebonite is not coated with anything and so overtime the ebonite with oxidize and discolor. If that’s a problem for you, then Romillo  may not be the best choice. The only other material available is celluloid, which is an early thermoplastic which can stain and discolor. Personally, I think the ebonite oxidizing is just a manifestation of wabi-sabi - beauty in imperfection, beauty in wear-and-tear. I do my best to protect the pen from UV light and I don’t soak the pen ever, but when the ebonite begins to oxidize, I won’t fight it.

Qf0pcX4.jpg

Two #9 Romillo nibs. From left: Narcea #9 and Sil #9. Since each nib is handmade and hand-engraved, there's some small difference in the dimensions and shape of each nib.

GBVS8Pb.jpg

Lamy Safari, Romillo Sil #9, and Nakaya Piccolo.

So far I’ve run Sailor Douyou Brown, Shigure Purple, and Romillo Sepia ink through it and it’s been flawless with both Sailor inks, and slightly dry with Romillo Sepia.

Romillo pens are expensive. And it can be hard for some to see the value proposition of a pen like this. The honest truth is, while a Romillo pen is a great writer, it’s NOT going to be a 10x better writing experience than Lamy 2000 or Pilot VP.

xpk7OHF.jpg

bIEiZZY.jpg

Three #9 Romillo nibs. From left: Essential #9, Narcea #9, and Sil #9. Since each nib is handmade and hand-engraved, there's some small difference in the dimensions and shape of each nib.

lvJQ0sn.jpg

From left: Lamy Safari, Romillo Narcea #9, Romillo Essential #9, Nakaya Piccolo, Romillo Sil #9.

kwexzUO.jpg

From left: Lamy Safari, Nakaya Piccolo, and Romillo Sil #9.

gOHEdZS.jpg

No custom pen made in a developed country with high labor costs is going to be a value pen. Hand-turning a pen and hand-forging and engraving a nib takes time and very skilled labor. It’s up to the buyer to decide if they value the craftsmanship involved or not. I personally do, and would gladly buy any of my Romillo pens again, but it’s certainly reasonable to think, as I’m sure many do, that they are simply too much money for what you get.

In the end, all I can say is if the aesthetics of Romillo pens work for you, you’ll get a great writing pen that’s incredibly well-made by a master craftsman.



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#2 Barkingpig

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 00:10

7x4nKSN.jpg

The Romillo Sil has long been on my radar, ever since I first heard about Romillo. The gentle tapering lines and absence of section threads made for such a clean and attractive design. A pen without any unnecessary parts or ornamentation, fitted with a wonderful handmade nib.

wA3LYuB.jpg

I knew I had to have one but for the first couple Romillo pens I bought (an Eo #9 and Essential #9), I went with the threaded models. It seemed safer. The Romillo cap lips are very, very thin and while I believe Alvaro would handle any warranty work without hassle I’d rather not have to deal with it in the first place.

OuGPIga.jpg

Romillo Sil #9 and Platinum 3776 Century.

w1GKXUX.jpg

Eventually, I took a gamble and ordered my Sil #9, in the lovely terracotta ebonite. I prefer simple designs generally and I felt like a solid color ebonite better fit the Sil model (I was also worried about the the mottled pattern being broken by the threads that connect the barrel and section together.

Gr8iPsw.jpg

Romillo Sil #9 and Platinum 3776 Century nibs. I swapped the nibs on 3776 and Nakaya Piccolo.

yB0YNUW.jpg

From left: Romillo Sil #9, Essential #9 and Eo #9.

In the end, I wound up with the Sil in terracotta ebonite, the lentil roll-stop and the barrel-end cabochon. I had got the cabochon, which is a solid 18kt disc with the Romillo logo in deep relief, on my Essential and always thought it was a nice and subtle touch to an otherwise minimally adorned pen. It also kind of cool that the Romillo logo is a stylized ‘R’, which is my first initial. I’ve not personally asked, but in another review, I read Alvaro was open to doing custom barrel cabochons, if you wish for something other than the stylized ‘R.’

bozp3iu.jpg

The certificate and writing sample for my pen. Each Romillo pen comes with one.

MXzr4z4.jpg

Instructions for the eyedropper filling system.

I should preface my comments by saying I am a big Romillo fan. I first learned about Romillo from a post on Leigh Reyes blog last year, after she bought a Narcea with the K-nib - an in-house, handmade nib meant to be flexible. A little over a year later I had purchased four Romillo pens, of which I still have three. I traded one of them, an Eo #9, for a Danitrio Sho-Genkai.

ILfbLyr.jpg

From top: Scriptorium Pens Aeterna (medium-size) and Romillo Sil #9. The Scriptorium is in Tibaldi Impero celluloid and the Romillo is in ebonite -- both wonderful materials.

5kZEamq.jpg

Romillo Sil #9 nib and JoWo #6 nib.

 

Romillo pens definitely aren’t for everyone but preferring simple and clipless pens for their clean look, Romillo pens was a natural fit for me.   

Romillo does not have an “Add to Cart” button on his website. In fact, there are not even any prices listed on his website. To get the prices of the pens, you must email him. After that, he will send you a price list along with a Romillo Pens catalog. I think it would be easier for all parties to just post a price list publically but I’m sure Alvaro has his reasons for not doing so. In any case, an email to him will get you the catalog and pricelist and I’ve never once felt like I was pressured to order while asking questions.

Q75GemL.jpg

I ordered the pen in January and received received it February and it has been more or less, continuously inked. I’ve only been using fountain pens for just about two years. I started with a Lamy Safari, like many others, but quickly moved up to pens in higher price brackets. But being so new to the hobby, there’s a lot I’ve yet to experience. But, for me, at least, the Romillo nibs are just superb.

BaJH0xN.jpg

From top: Newton Pens Orville (medium-size), Romillo Eo #9, Scriptorium Pens Aeterna (medium-size), Romillo Sil #9, Romillo Essential #9.

I ordered the pen in January and received received it February and it has been more or less, continuously inked. I’ve only been using fountain pens for just about two years. I started with a Lamy Safari, like many others, but quickly moved up to pens in higher price brackets. But being so new to the hobby, there’s a lot I’ve yet to experience. But, for me, at least, the Romillo nibs are just superb.

v4iWgcY.jpg

The feed seems to have changed on the newer Romillo pens. My newest Romillo, the green and black Narcea, has a flatter ebonite feed. I like the look of the fatter ones better, but there's no difference in function as far as I can tell.

My Sil #9 has a firm Fine-Medium nib, which is the most true to it’s name than my other firm Romillo nibs, which are actually quite springy. The Sil nib is pretty stiff but very smooth. All Romillo nibs, in my experience, have a unique feedback to them. It’s similar to writing with a graphite pencil with very smooth and soft lead. Some of the nibs have more or less feedback but none of them has ever been scratchy. They do have sweet spots though — due to the size of the nibs, they work best if you write with full arm movement. For finger-writers, I’d recommend getting a Romillo with the #7 size nib because of that.

pprgAAZ.jpg

Writing sample of Romilo Sil #9 with fine-medium nib, Danitrio Sho-Genkai with broad nib, and Newton Orville with #8 JoWo medium nib, and Romillo Essential #9 with fine nib.

NVPYW3k.jpg

The packaging of the pens are quite nice but also simple and compact, which I appreciate. I have more detailed photos in other posts, so I went spent too much time on it.

The pen is on the long side but not overly so. You can see it compared to a Lamy Safari and a Nakaya Piccolo The ebonite is not coated with anything and so overtime the ebonite with oxidize and discolor. If that’s a problem for you, then Romillo  may not be the best choice. The only other material available is celluloid, which is an early thermoplastic which can stain and discolor. Personally, I think the ebonite oxidizing is just a manifestation of wabi-sabi - beauty in imperfection, beauty in wear-and-tear. I do my best to protect the pen from UV light and I don’t soak the pen ever, but when the ebonite begins to oxidize, I won’t fight it.

Qf0pcX4.jpg

Two #9 Romillo nibs. From left: Narcea #9 and Sil #9. Since each nib is handmade and hand-engraved, there's some small difference in the dimensions and shape of each nib.

GBVS8Pb.jpg

Lamy Safari, Romillo Sil #9, and Nakaya Piccolo.

So far I’ve run Sailor Douyou Brown, Shigure Purple, and Romillo Sepia ink through it and it’s been flawless with both Sailor inks, and slightly dry with Romillo Sepia.

Romillo pens are expensive. And it can be hard for some to see the value proposition of a pen like this. The honest truth is, while a Romillo pen is a great writer, it’s NOT going to be a 10x better writing experience than Lamy 2000 or Pilot VP.

xpk7OHF.jpg

bIEiZZY.jpg

Three #9 Romillo nibs. From left: Essential #9, Narcea #9, and Sil #9. Since each nib is handmade and hand-engraved, there's some small difference in the dimensions and shape of each nib.

lvJQ0sn.jpg

From left: Lamy Safari, Romillo Narcea #9, Romillo Essential #9, Nakaya Piccolo, Romillo Sil #9.

kwexzUO.jpg

From left: Lamy Safari, Nakaya Piccolo, and Romillo Sil #9.

gOHEdZS.jpg

No custom pen made in a developed country with high labor costs is going to be a value pen. Hand-turning a pen and hand-forging and engraving a nib takes time and very skilled labor. It’s up to the buyer to decide if they value the craftsmanship involved or not. I personally do, and would gladly buy any of my Romillo pens again, but it’s certainly reasonable to think, as I’m sure many do, that they are simply too much money for what you get.

In the end, all I can say is if the aesthetics of Romillo pens work for you, you’ll get a great writing pen that’s incredibly well-made by a master craftsman.

Thank you for this beautifully written & expressed review of a pen that seems alive due to your appreciation of the pen. I appreciate your comments regarding price as well because it is assuredly true that "value" is a most subjective term.  BUT after reading this review I could very well understand why I would consider this pen.  It is beautiful & I am thankful for having had the opportunity to meet & share your new pen.  Enjoy!



#3 zaddick

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 01:40

Thanks for the review and the comparison shots. You make a good case for owning a Romillo. :)

Alvaro used to have his prices on his site, but that must have stopped about a year ago. Yes, they are expensive, but can be a good value if the buyer finds the story, process and materials to be worth the price. The nibs are beautiful looking to me and they are unique is a world of limited options.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!


#4 dms525

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 02:03

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feeling about these very special pens, Razi. 

 

David



#5 rpsyed

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 05:02

Thank you for this beautifully written & expressed review of a pen that seems alive due to your appreciation of the pen. I appreciate your comments regarding price as well because it is assuredly true that "value" is a most subjective term.  BUT after reading this review I could very well understand why I would consider this pen.  It is beautiful & I am thankful for having had the opportunity to meet & share your new pen.  Enjoy!

 

Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed. I know I always like to read all the reviews I can find before buying a new pen so I hope this helps others who are considering a Romillo.

Thanks for the review and the comparison shots. You make a good case for owning a Romillo. :)

Alvaro used to have his prices on his site, but that must have stopped about a year ago. Yes, they are expensive, but can be a good value if the buyer finds the story, process and materials to be worth the price. The nibs are beautiful looking to me and they are unique is a world of limited options.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

Thank you very much! I just wish I was a better photographer/had better equipment. Yeah, agreed. I definitely feel I got more than I paid for with each one.

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feeling about these very special pens, Razi. 

 

David

You're welcome! Btw, we need to schedule May's pen posse soon. I have several new items to share.



#6 da vinci

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 11:56

Great review, thanks rpsyed :thumbup:

#7 visvamitra

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 16:24

Stunning pen. I find Romillo pens stunningly beautiful. If I'll ever be able to oafford one, I'll do it immediately.



#8 mongrelnomad

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 18:51

Great review of a stunning pen. Have you noticed any worries with regards to the friction-fit of the (very slender, very delicate) cap?

 

I must get my Nervion out and contact Alvaro about the (very few) little niggles that have stopped me using it...


Too many pens; too little writing.

#9 rpsyed

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 03:01

Great review, thanks rpsyed :thumbup:

Thank you very much!!

 

Stunning pen. I find Romillo pens stunningly beautiful. If I'll ever be able to oafford one, I'll do it immediately.

Thank you!! It's a great pen and if you have a chance to get a Romillo, you should jump at it!

 

Great review of a stunning pen. Have you noticed any worries with regards to the friction-fit of the (very slender, very delicate) cap?

 

I must get my Nervion out and contact Alvaro about the (very few) little niggles that have stopped me using it...

Thank you very much! Given the really high standard you've set with your own Romillo pen review and your Hakase reviews, I'm honored that you enjoyed it. Your Hakase reviews played a big role in pushing me over the edge into my own Hakase order.

 

The cap lip is very thin. I probably should have expanded on this more in the review. It does feel well made but I don't think the Sil could handle as much abuse as say, a Pilot Vanishing Point or Lamy 2000. I'm a university student and part-time newspaper reporter, so I tend to carry cheaper pens when I'm out and my custom pens stay home. I think the Romillo Sil would stand up to many years of use given the care you'd expect would be given a fine writing instrument, but I'm not sure it's the most durable pen. I think it's worth the trade-off though -- that thin cap lip makes for such an elegant and clean look when the pen is capped.



#10 FrankB

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 10:30

Thanks for a very good review.  I appreciate your candor.

 

The minimalist aesthetic of the Romillo pens really appeals to me.  And I love big nibs.  With something like a Pelikan M-1000, I do not so much write with the large nib as I do "paint" with it.  (Literally drawing my letters.)  I enjoy that kind of writing, and I think a Romillo #9 nib would suit me.

 

For ebonite preservation or restoration may I recommend Renaissance Wax?  I have had extremely good luck with it.  So much good luck that I insist on giving all my ebonite pens a coating of it.



#11 sannidh

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Posted 13 May 2016 - 11:31

Thank you Razi for the wonderful review :)


You have come to earth to entertain and to be entertained - P.Y

 

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#12 rpsyed

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Posted 14 May 2016 - 00:31

Thanks for a very good review.  I appreciate your candor.

 

The minimalist aesthetic of the Romillo pens really appeals to me.  And I love big nibs.  With something like a Pelikan M-1000, I do not so much write with the large nib as I do "paint" with it.  (Literally drawing my letters.)  I enjoy that kind of writing, and I think a Romillo #9 nib would suit me.

 

For ebonite preservation or restoration may I recommend Renaissance Wax?  I have had extremely good luck with it.  So much good luck that I insist on giving all my ebonite pens a coating of it.

Thank you very much!! i think you're absolutely right on how the nib feels. I've not used a M1000 before but I get the feeling you're talking about with drawing the letters. The Romillo #9 would feel very similar.

 

I'll have to look into Renaissance Wax -- thanks for the tip!

 

Thank you Razi for the wonderful review :)

Thank you very much!! I'm glad you enjoyed it =]







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: romillo, sil, essential, handmade, ebonite, narcea, slip-cap



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