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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:51
I was really not too sure about this pen when I first saw it on the internet and in my pen catalogues such as Fountain Pen Hospital, Joon and Art Brown. I heard it was a big pen especially when I saw the dimensions of this colossal pen. I also heard that the 18kt gold nib is 20% larger than on the regular line of Bexley pens. The nibs on the Bexley pens are not dinky by any means. They are fairly large nibs that are produced by the Bock nib Factory in Germany.
When I received the pen, I had to send it off to the Bexley Factory because of a problem with the nib and the cap. The problems I had with the nib was that it was not properly smoothed at the factory, thus the nib was so scratchy, it was impossible to use. Also the cap would not stay on the back of the pen when posted. All problems were rectified by Howard Levy within the week.
Appearance/ Finish 5 out of 5
The Prometheus came in the normal packaging that Bexley sends their pens out in. A blue cardboard box with the small American flag on the side of the package along with that, the name of the pen, color and nib style is also on the same sticker. When you open the cardboard box, there is a blue wooden box that looks like a coffin. The box has a hinged flap that opens. Inside the coffin, the Prometheus lies ready to be taken out of its box and be filled with ink. This particular Prometheus is brown in color and the barrel of the pen looks like brown and beige cracked ice. Itís a rather nice looking pen that came with a high gloss shine, they way I like it!!
Design/Size/Weight 4 out of 5
They said this is a large pen, well it sure is!! Capped, the pen is about a Ĺ inch shorter than the Mont Blanc Meisterstuck 149 and ľ shorter than the Pelikan M1000. When the cap is posted on the Prometheus, it towers over both the Meisterstuck 149 and the Pelikan M1000 by Ĺ of an inch. As for the weight, the Prometheus and the Mont Blanc 149 are about the same weight. The Pelikan M1000 is more of a hefty pen but only by a small margin. The diameter of the Prometheus is very similar to that of the Mont Blanc 149 but I believe the Prometheus is a tad bit larger and there is no taper to the pen.
Ok, now I got that out of the way, now it is time to get cracking on the practical attributes of this pen. The design is an interesting flat top cap that is a plastic of some kind. I was not particularly keen on the design of the cap. The cap looks almost identical to one of a Crayon marker cap. The plastic is not hard as you would think a pen cap would be. And in my opinion, it looks a bit cheap. It gives quite a bit do to the fact that it has to stretch over the piston knob when it is posted and that is what makes it functional. I do not see this cap cracking or splitting at the lip due to the material the cap is made of. There is nothing special about the clip that is on the cap. It is, or looks like a gold plated clip and top ring. The cap is threaded and when capping the pen, the fit is nice and snug. I believe that it is due to the material that the cap is made of. I do not see this cap being accidentally unscrewed, so that is really a good thing.
One might think that the large size of this pen, writing would be uncomfortable. Well, they thought wrong!!! I have small hands but I like large pens. This pen fits better in my hand than does the Mont Blanc 149 or the Pelikan M1000. The weight seems like it was distributed equally throughout the pen. So the balance of this pen is just about right. I prefer to post the cap on this pen while I write. The weight of the cap seems to gently push the barrel against the web of my index finger and thumb. I write better when there is just enough pressure on this area of my hand. Now writing without the cap posted is just as nice. The pen seems to be perfectly balanced in the hand and fingers.
Nib Design and Performance 5 out of 5
The nib is a two tone 18kt medium nib. This nib is quite a bit larger than the other nibs in the Bexley pen line. According to Howard Levy of Bexley Pens, he stated that the nib on the Prometheus is 20% larger than the other Bexley nibs. I really didnít think too much of it until I removed the cap from the pen. Bingo!!! This is a really wide nib in comparison to the Pelikan M1000 and M800. It is not as long as the M1000 or the Mont Blanc 149 but it is definitely wider. This is a special nib made by the Bock Nib Factory of Germany. As usual, Peter Bock has done it again when it comes to his nibs. I am sure most of you know that Bock makes nibs for many of the famous pen companies such as Pelikan, Omas, Bexley and Laban to name a few.
The one thing that I really liked was that Bexley decided to used an Ebonite feed rather than a plastic one!! This really paid off when it comes to the performance of the pen. With a pen and a nib of this size, you really want a feed thatís going to keep the ink flowing to the nib while writing. Thatís where the ebonite feed really comes into play!! This is one wet writer!! Even though the nib is a medium, it writes like a juicy fine to a light medium. This is a buttery smooth writer as one would expect from a Bexley pen. No problems with the flow, thatís for sure, I have yet had this pen skip on me. One problem I ran into is that the ink in the nib tends to sometime dribble out while the pen is capped and transported. So when removing the cap from the pen, you have to be careful and also wipe down the nib and section. AS long as I donít use this pen as I would with a pair of Maracas, It is usually ok.
The Filling System 5 out of 5
Oh yeah!!! This is a piston filler and this pen holds a ton of ink. You know you have a pen that holds a lot of ink when you fill the pen, you can see the ink level in your ink bottle drop down substantially. The piston system holds ink at an unusually high pressure for a piston filling pen. This keeps a steady amount of ink flowing throughout the pen.
The Piston knob is quite large and an interesting thing that I found out might save someoneís carpet or clothes. Since the cap is supposed to fit snug on the piston knob while posted, you can fill the pen without having to take the cap off of the rear of the pen. On the other hand you need to beware!! If you are removing the cap from the posted position, make sure you wiggle the cap and gently twist the cap off clockwise. If you decide to twist counterclockwise, you will get a high pressure stream of ink all over the place.
Cost 2 out of 5
Holy (Potty Mouth)!!! This is an expensive pen, the MSRP is $575.00 on this one. I would never pay MSRP on anything unless my life depended on it. Luckily I bought this pen through Swisher Pens and it was under the clearance section. This pen was dipped a few times but never filled. The price was reduced from $431.00 to $345.00. I had to return a few defective pens back to Swisher and they gave me store credit and a big discount deal for my troubles. So in all I had paid $240.00 for the Pen, now thatís a steal! I donít think I could have gotten a better deal than that. Thank you Swisher Pens!! They are great people to do business with and if something goes wrong, they will bend over backwards to make sure you are taken care of.
This is a pen that grew on me, at first I really didnít care for the size or shape of the pen, I found it rather squatty. After a while of seeing it on the internet, I started to take an interest in this pen. The more I liked larger pens, the more this pen appealed to me. Since I bought it about a month ago, I really dig just about everything about this pen. It is a very large pen and it looks like it would weigh as much as a Mack Truck. Well, thatís not the case; this pen is not as heavy as one would think it would be. It fits well in the hand and writes like a dream. Writing with this pen really solidifies why I love Bexley pens. This is a very well made pen that is solid, well made and extremely sturdy. This is a working mans Mont Blanc Meisterstuck 149. This pen has very little plating and that is a good thing especially if this is going to be an everyday writer. There are not many parts on this pen that would brass over time. This pen can take a bit of abuse, not a whole lot but compared to a 149 and a M1000, this one will take some punishment. I donít think there will be many people abusing a pen that has a MSRP of $575.00
This pen is a wonderful work of art along with it being totally functional. If you are looking for a large pen in the spirit of a 149, M1000, Sailor King of Pen or a Large Conway Stewart, then this pen might be worth looking into. This pen is also an alternative to the typical super premium looking pen such as a 149, M1000 Sailor KOP. It is a good step out of the norm IMO. Is this pen worth $575.00? NO WAY, NOT A CHANCE!!! If the pen is priced at 50% off the MSRP then I would say, BUY IT!! If the pen was priced at $250.00 - $300.00 then I would consider that to be a fair price, in my opinion.
Posted 04 July 2005 - 14:13
Amazing, isn't it that a pen with that kind of an MSRP gets out of the plant with a nib that is so obviously messed up. In fact, it's surprising that it got out of Bock that way, then further surprising that it left Bexley that way. To cap it off (bad pun, I know) the cap not posting is likely something affecting ALL the Prometheus line. Wonder what Bexley did to fix the posting?
You are a persistent guy, and as such, will get things rectified regardless of what it takes. I wonder how other customers might react to the pen as you found it out of the box? I daresay that many would tend not to use it and roundly criticize it on those two points. Big points they are, because each inhibits the use of the pen as the customer may desire. Good that Bexley fixed it promptly, but decent QC would have prevented the situation from developing, at all.
That ebonite feed is interesting and has me asking questions to myself. Rather than skew this review, I think I'll start a thread about ebonite feeds and ask my questions directly.
As you pointed out so well in your review, Bexley suffers, as do most manufacturers, from IMS (Inflated MSRP Syndrome)! Are there really B&M establishments that charge the MSRP for pens? I would like to see a realistic MSRP, then the merchant could discount from that if they were so inclined, but we, as sophisticated consumers, would be spared the 'tackiness' that goes with the discounting game. Terribly unamerican attitude, I know, but Saturn has utilized the model with pretty good sucess in automobiles in the U.S.
Southern Arizona, USA
Fountain Pen Talk Mailing List
Posted 04 July 2005 - 16:44
Thank you for the excellent review, again!
Regarding the price point: considering the number of pens made, the special nib, etc., that is not a bad price, IMO. Ok, the bad thing about this one was quality control. for that price you may expect better than you got.
Other than that, great! I have Bexleys in my sight for some time now, there are a few models I really like, so it is always great to read about them, especially a nice review like yours!
Thanks again, warm regards, Wim
the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever
Posted 17 July 2019 - 16:18
Thank you again what a wonderful review that is still accurate nearly 15 years later! Thanks to this review I'll likely buy my first well-taken care of Bexley Prometheus