F Nib; purchased on "Super Special" at Fountain Pen Hospital
First Impressions 5/5
The Krone Architectus Gothic looks like something out of a fairy-tale -- a charmed object with magical properties.
The presentation is impressive: The pen comes in a very large, black leatherette box that is unmarked on the outside. Inside, the pen is the sole object amidst an expanse of black velvety cloth. The contrast is quite breathtaking. The inside of the lid is embellished with a large silver Krone logo. The box comes with a warranty card with an “unconditional guarantee ... throughout its life with the original owner”.
The Gothic features sterling silver overlay in an elongated floral design over red resin. The overlay is quite thick, and the silver has a dark, aged look to it. The red resin is a rich, luscious strawberry color. It is pearlescent, with tiny flecks of silver in it -- making it look even more like “strawberry flesh,” as the flecks resemble seeds. The overall effect is just beautiful, I cannot stop looking at it.
Another effect of the speckled red resin, is that it strikes a nice balance between beauty and playfulness. This pen does not look overly ostentatious, because the texture and color of the resin lend a cuteness and innocence to its appearance. The pen does not take itself too seriously, and thus presents itself as fun, rather than gaudy or over-the-top.
One thing to keep in mind, is that the color and the floral design make this more of a ladies’ pen than a men’s.
Some people have expressed concern about the section looking as if it is uncomfortable to hold. For me this happens not to be a problem: I hold my pens very low, almost at the nib -- so my fingers grip the smooth resin and not the silver overlay. Also, the transition between the grip section and the main portion of the barrel is not as sharp as it appears in the photos: the edge is actually beveled and rounded, so that it does not cut into my fingers when they rest against it. Furthermore, the overlay itself is not sharp at the edges, but rounded and smoothed out. When I do try to hold the pen by the overlay just to test how that feels, it is not at all disagreeable. Having said this, I recognise that the design might be uncomfortable for those who hold the pen differently.
In other aspects, the design is sufficiently functional for a pen the purpose of which is not primarily ergonomic. The pen is not too heavy, especially considering the thick layer of silver. And contrary to the speculations of some based on its looks, the pen does not become top-heavy when posted; it is rather evenly balanced. The Gothic is actually a little smaller than the other pens in the Architectus series (it is 5.5" capped, 4.75" uncapped, and 6.75" posted), so this model is particularly suitable for women, or those with smaller hands. In general, I cannot stress enough that design-wise the pen is really not at all as forbidding as its photos might suggest; it is quite user-friendly and pleasant to hold.
The 18K nib is smooth and works well with both viscous and liquidy inks. It produces a rather wet line, which is a plus for those who like that. The nib was available in F-B. Mine is a F, but writes more like a Medium. The line it makes is similar to an F Visconti Van Gogh, or the F Montblanc. I like my nibs to be as fine as possible, my favourite being the Japanese Fines and the Aurora EF. So the nib width on this pen is a problem for me, and I will need to send it out to get reground before truly being able to enjoy it for everyday writing. However, those who are not after the finest line possible, should find no fault with the nib what so ever.
Filling System 5/5
I love piston fillers, and as far as these go the pen is perfect. The piston filler works flawlessly and is easy to use. It is protected by a removable cap.
Cost and Value 5/5
I purchased this pen on super-clearance from Fountain Pen Hospital. The retail was $575 and my purchase price was $189. I would say that a Krone Silver Overlay pen for that price is quite a bargain. This pen in particular was definitely worth it.
Obviously, the Krone Architectus Gothic is not meant to be a practical pen for all occasions, so I will not judge it as such. In the category of specialty pens with “Wow” appeal, this pen is a tremendous success.
I have seen three of the Architectus pens in person: the Swords, the Celtic and the Gothic. Of the three, the red Gothic is by far the most impressive and unique. If you collect silver overlays, I would say that an Architectus is a must -- especially for this incredible price.
For a pre-purchase, frenzied discussion of this pen, see this thread:
Edited by QueenMargot2, 10 May 2007 - 01:56.