1. Appearance 5/5
This is a very attractive and traditional pen. It is platinum-plated with dark blue (almost navy blue) laquer pinstripes on the barrel and cap. The top of the cap has the Cartier symbol (overlapping mirror image letter "C") on a blue circle, which I think is subtler than a white snowflake or many other pens' logos. It's a precious metal pen, and looks it. Those that do not care for precious metal pens may not like it as much. However, it is a very conservative-looking yet very attractive pen.
2. Size/weight 4.5/5
I give this a 4.5 because my personal preference is for large, more substantial (heavy) pens. Those that like smaller, lighter pens should not get this pen. It's not a fat pen, like a MB 149, but rather is long and, because of its metal make-up, heavy. Using my postal scale, it weighs in at 1.9 ounces, or 54 grams. Its length (by my inaccurate wooden ruler) are 5 9/16" capped, 5 3/16" uncapped, 6 3/4" posted (which I do not do), and with a diameter of about 1/2". As a comparison, it is the same length as my Monteverde Regatta (which is a bit longer than a Pelikan M800). The diameter of the barrel is less than the Regatta and a tiny bit less than the M800 (but very close). If you do not like larger, heavier pens, you will not be happy with this pen.
3. Nib and Feed 5/5
This is the reason that I bought this pen. This has the smoothest nib I have EVER used. Maybe I just got lucky, but the feel of this is incredible. I got the medium nib. There is absolutely no "tooth" at all, which is probably a minus for those that like "tooth". I have only used PR Spearmint in it, but have had no problems with skipping or hesitation. The pen started immediately after no use overnight.
The nib is an 18c gold nib with the Cartier design on it. It is NOT very flexible compared to, say, my OMAS and Sailor nibs. It's about the same stiffness as my Dunhill Sidecar special edition. I would probably put it in the same ballpark as a MB Starwalker in terms of stiffness.
4. Filling System 4/5
This is a cartridge/converter system, and it comes with a converter. It is the Short International Standard size. This actually was a disappointment to me. I would have hoped that a high end pen would be a piston-filler. However, I am happy that it does not use a proprietary cartridge system, which would have limited my choices on ink cartridges.
5. Value 3/5
This is the worst feature of the pen. At about $800 retail, this is an expensive pen, and it is not even a "limited edition". Clearly, the precious metal nature of the pen added to the cost, and is the reason I didn't rate it even lower. Let's face it...you're paying for jewelry here at some level.
I really like this pen, primarily because I love the smoothness of the nib. I wince at the cost, even now, and that would be the main reason for any "buyer's remorse". However, the size and weight are perfect for me and coupled with the smoothness of the nib and attractive appearance, gives me a fabulous writing experience. I'm just not sure everyone would think that it is $800 worth of fabulous, though.
Edited by kenny, 29 May 2007 - 02:28.