The pen comes in a minimalist box with the Caran d'Ache logo on top and the Hexagonal logo on the sides. The bottom has the serial number sticker. Inside is the pen and a Standard Ink Cartridge of Idyllic Blue.
At first glance the color of the pen hits like a wreaking ball! And after some squinting you want to pick it up.
The paint job almost looks like Laquer,with some lighter tones along the edges. I have seen this same paint effect on the Caran d'Ache pencils.
The pen has 6 sides to it with smooth edges which show off a different shade of the paint.
Considering its a full metal construction its surprisngly light,robust and fells solid in the hand.
The top finial is shiny metal with the Hexagonal Logo in embossed texture. The clip is chrome plated steel in the identical shape as on the Ballpoint pen. It has good tension and strength.
Below the clip is "894 Caran d'Ache" printed in black and "Swiss Made" near the finial. I like this stealthy way of branding products.
The cap and barrel are of a constant diameter through out the length.
The bottom finial is also shiny metal with a minuscule gap between the finial and the barrel which allows the cap to be posted in a concealed way.
Uncapping/Capping the pen is very reassuring and snug. It caps with a click.
The Nib is a Steel #5 without a breatherhole and the Hexagonal Logo. I went with a Medium.
The section is Glossy Black plastic which I have not found to be slippery. The section unscrews and a Cartridge or a Converter can be fitted.
There is a 2mm step up from the section to the barrel,which may or maynot be uncomfortable depending on your grip. No issues for mine tho.
Size Comparisons: Above to Below: Caran d'Ache Ivanhoe, Caran d'Ache 849 Fountain Pen, Lamy Al-Star, Pilot Metropolitan.
Size wise the pen is pretty average and well balanced in the hand.
The Medium Nib writes true to size and wet enough consistently for long writing sessions. Its very smooth,smooth enough to make it one of my smoothest Steel Nibs list topped by a Faber Castell steel nib.
Another surprise was the softness to the nib.Its in no way a flex nib but it does have some pleasent bounce to it which makes you enjoy the nib a bit more compared to a nail. My medium definaytyly goes to a broad grade.
I did not experience any flow isses out of the box so Kudos to Caran d'Ache for that.
The Little things:
- The Color is very striking.Think traffic cone or High Visibility Jacket Orange! This pen WILL get noticed.
- The paint job is impeccable.
- Surprisingly soft nib.
- The pen has been clipped to Shirt Pockets and Jeans Pockets without any incident of accidental uncapping.
- The pen has been carried around daily for almost a Month and has suffered no cosmetic changes.
- Posting the pen makes it too long but does not make it back heavy.
- Plastic threads on section vs Metal Threads on the Section might breakdown over time.
- If you use a cartridge,a spare can be carried in the barrel.
- This color is very difficult to photograph!
Pen Chalet has the pen listed at $52 which might be considered on the higher side for an "Entry Level" Pen but based on the construction and Performance of the Nib I will say it is well worth the money.
The amazing color made sure that It was the first pen i reached for and has become inseparable from me.