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Bexley New Style Prometheus In Raspberry-Black Ebonite

bexley ebonite prometheus midwest ohio pen review bobje

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#1 Bobje

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 22:40

fpn_1475446387__bexley-prometheus-hero-8

 

Ebonite is a wonderful material for pens, combining lightweight solidity with a warm texture that absorbs moisture without becoming clammy. It's an irregular material that lends itself well to the fountain pen, an analog technology that hasn’t changed much in 50 years. Most of my ebonite pens originated in India, and they all write well and display an understated, old-fashioned integrity. 

 

But the Bexley Prometheus is as American -- and as Midwestern -- as a Ford Mustang (Michigan) and a Cessna Citation (Kansas). Or a Rawlings baseball mitt (Missouri). Bexley was founded in 1993 in Columbus, Ohio, by Howard Levy and other pen people who say their inspiration comes from classic designs from the first half of the 20th century. The Prometheus was first offered in the mid-2000s as a piston-filler with a gigantic, no. 8 Bock nib in 18-carat gold. Bexley appears to be gearing up for a re-release of a cartridge-converter version of the Prometheus in fall 2016, and recently sold several developmental pens in acrylic, ebonite, and celluloid material, equipped with a large, no. 6 Jowo steel nib. 

 

This particular Prometheus is made from raspberry-and-black-colored woodgrain ebonite. I now own two Bexley pens – the Prometheus and a Gaston special edition in a Tibaldi rosso-verde celluloid. This limited experience leaves me with three impressions: Bexley knows how to select, machine, and finish gorgeous material; how to ship an unbelievably smooth nib; and how to find and incorporate excellent pen furniture.

 

The fine-grain material used in this Prometheus is the most uniform rendition of non-uniform ebonite that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know the source, whether it’s some classy version of ebonite ordinarily used in pipe stems and clarinet mouthpieces, but this material finishes up so smoothly that it cannot possibly fall in the economy category. The color is a quiet brownish-red that resembles mahogany.

 

The gold-plated pen furniture displays depth, weight, and finish that suggest durability. The clip looks like a sturdy gold sword, the kind of double-edged blade Prometheus might have used in the theft of fire on Olympus. Two gold rings decorate the barrel, and there’s one on the cap. One of the barrel rings appears to separate the section from the barrel, decorating the cap. But this is an elegant illusion – the ring actually divides the section at the threads, and doesn’t even touch the cap. The three rings also divide the pen in two nearly equal portions, and separate the black acrylic cap and finial from the ebonite.

 

Finally, the nib defines smoothness. If you like a toothy nib, one with some feedback, my Bexley experience suggests that you have two choices: buy a pen from someone else, or rough up your nib.

 

It’s tough to come up with things I don’t like about the pen. It’s largish, in the girthy sense. Most of its dimensions are almost identical to a Lamy Safari, but the barrel, cap, and section are considerably thicker. The section is about 13 millimeters in diameter, a little sturdier than I’m used to, but doesn’t require much adjustment in the way I hold it. Sometimes it’s a little hard to find the sweet spot on the broad nib, but I’ve noticed that I rotate this pen more than others. Maybe it’s the girth, I don’t know, but once I find the sweet spot, it stays in place.

 

The camphor aroma of the Bexley Gaston in rosso-verde celluloid is soothing and lovely. But the ebonite Prometheus is odorless, a good thing, because it doesn’t smell like burned rubber.

 

The material, design, and construction of the Bexley Prometheus make you say, “I didn’t know they made them like that anymore.” But they do. If anyone today is building on the legacy of pens with integrity, born in the American Midwest, started by George Parker in Janesville, Wisconsin, and Walter Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa, it’s Howard Levy, in Columbus, Ohio.

 

fpn_1475446461__bexley-prometheus-sectio

 

fpn_1475446582__bexley-prometheus-sectio

 

fpn_1475446516__bexley-cap-and-clip-furn

 

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fpn_1475446611__bexley-prometheus-conver

 

fpn_1475446638__prometheus-writing-sampl

 

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#2 Gloucesterman

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 22:50

Thanks for the review. The lines on this pen are simple, crisp and quite elegant - imo. I like it.

 

Too bad there is no money in the budget for a possible purchase.

Oh well, 2017 is another (budget) year.

 

Nice pictures, btw.


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#3 s_t_e_v_e

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 00:00

A sparkling review of a fantastic pen! I recently spoke with Howard about this pen and it's ED capabilities. Unfortunately it isn't designed to be used as an ED. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful pen and in my potential list of pens to buy. I was looking at the exact same pen. The red-black ebonite is lovely!

Edited by s_t_e_v_e, 03 October 2016 - 00:02.


#4 J85909266

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 01:02

I own two Bexley's myself, and I can mirror your observations. I have a piston-filling Poseidon Magnum II and an Oxblood Stalwart. Both are flawless, even under scrutiny.

 

I love the ebonite used on this pen, and really appreciate the review. I'm head-ver-heels for the design. I just wish they still made it with a number 8 nib. Bock makes an attractive, affordable titanium number 8 nib that I wish more manufacturers would utilize in their nicer pens. 


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#5 GardenWeasel

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 01:05

Gorgeous pen! Your writin' ain't bad either. :) wonderful actually!
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#6 visvamitra

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:57

Great review. I've heard good things about Bexleys but none of the ones I saw really appeals to me.



#7 Frank66

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 08:04

When I studied at Ohio State University, I was ignorant of fountain pens and knew Bexley only as a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.  Now next time I visit my Alma Mater, I definitely going to visit Bexley Pens.  Hopefully I may find the chance to have one of their wonderful pens ordered  some day soon.

 

Bobje, thanks for your wonderful review, congrats for your handwritten note.

- Frank66


Edited by Frank66, 03 October 2016 - 08:19.

- Kaigelu 316 Modification (250 #6 Bock Nib / Beaufort Ink Converter)
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#8 AurorasLover

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 22:54

Thank you great review!



#9 da vinci

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 23:25

Great review, thanks :)

I own one Bexley - a magnum piston filler - and it is a well designed pen with an excellent stub nib.

This pen looks good too, a nice design.

#10 Old Salt

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 01:16

Wow! What a beautiful pen.

#11 PAKMAN

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 01:21

Oh my! Beautiful and a great review! Thanks!


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#12 dinuraj

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 08:11

Beautiful pen and nice review. The handwriting is awesome as usual :-)



#13 Aysedasi

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 13:48

Great review, thanks :)

I own one Bexley - a magnum piston filler - and it is a well designed pen with an excellent stub nib.

This pen looks good too, a nice design.

 

That's a beautiful pen.  I've owned several Bexley's but they have all passed through my hands except one, a yellow ribbed Bexley Stalwart that I bought on eBay.  It's a really lovely pen (which cost very little money) and the steel broad nib is as sweet as a nut.......   :)



#14 Bobje

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 02:28

Steve, BRG, J859, GardenWeasel, Visvamitra, Omaslover, Frank66, Old Salt, Pakman, Dinuraj, DaVinci, Aysedasi,
Thank you.
Do you think it's an overstatement to say that Levy is building on the tradition of Sheaffer and Parker?

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#15 mehandiratta

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 08:14

such a well-written review...

beautiful pics... 

I enjoy your reviews...

 

how was the experience with grip section... as I see threads quite close to top of grip section near nib


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#16 VodnikVolsovecek

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 18:39

such a well-written review...

 

Well written, with an excellent handwriting :)  Thank you.

I appreciate that this pen is not trying to prove anything with the design, which seems to be deeply in the 90s., however... I find no particular reason to be in love with this one. A decent, well made pen, but I miss something more "iconic" in it.  


It may be worth to have a look at my classifieds :)


#17 alc3261

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 18:49

Steve, BRG, J859, GardenWeasel, Visvamitra, Omaslover, Frank66, Old Salt, Pakman, Dinuraj, DaVinci, Aysedasi,
Thank you.
Do you think it's an overstatement to say that Levy is building on the tradition of Sheaffer and Parker?

I too just got a Prometheus in a Blue stone chip material.



#18 Frank66

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 07:58

... I cannot pass judgement about the rest, but I find the red(raspberry)-black ebonite of the reviewed Prometheus pen just simply "rock and rolls" ...

-Frank66


Edited by Frank66, 06 October 2016 - 17:07.

- Kaigelu 316 Modification (250 #6 Bock Nib / Beaufort Ink Converter)
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#19 Bobje

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:08

Vaibhav, Frank66, ALC, Vodnik, 

thank you for the observations.

Vaibhav, I wrote again with the pen last night to test the feel of the section. The threads are indeed in a portion of the section where they can be felt, but they're so rounded and well-machined that they almost feel more like a texture than threads.


Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers


#20 s_t_e_v_e

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 15:53

Steve, BRG, J859, GardenWeasel, Visvamitra, Omaslover, Frank66, Old Salt, Pakman, Dinuraj, DaVinci, Aysedasi,
Thank you.
Do you think it's an overstatement to say that Levy is building on the tradition of Sheaffer and Parker?

 

I think he is but due to the times we live in today, he probably has to be a bit more conservative than Parker and Sheaffer that lived in the USA back in the day. I would love to see Bexley do things like Visconti - filling systems, nibs, unique materials, etc. Thats the legacy Parker and Sheaffer left behind imo. The reason I compare Bexley to Visconti is that they were founded just 5 years apart by like minded people and Visconti at this point is capable of really shaking things up in the fountain pen world with their innovations. Bexley has done it before but things seem to be slowing down a bit for them.







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