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Conklin Duraflex - First Impressions

duraflex conklin duraflex modern flex nib llimited edition conklin

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#1 Gloucesterman

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 22:28

Several days ago, after monitoring my email account for several hours and having several brief online chats with Jessica (at Goulet Pens) I received the notification that the Limited Edition Conklin Duraflex fountain pen was now available for ordering.

 

The one I ordered came in today's mail a few minutes ago. Okay, yes, I jumped to open the package immediately.

 

A quick flush with a drop of dish cleaning fluid and I am ready to write.

 

First off, this pen and nib will never be confused with with any wet noodle pen that I am familiar with. It's a nice writer, with some feedback (may do some smoothing after I get used to it) and it does have some flex when one applies a moderate amount of pressure. 

 

The nib itself is a "western" fine nib (imo) and can be flexed to about 1 mm according to a ruler I have. Again, a moderate amount of pressure is required to get his line variation. With regular use over time the nib may loosen up some and be easier to work with/ manipulate.

 

I won't go into the measurements or details here because they are all available on the Goulet site https://www.gouletpe...lex/p/CK71477 . What I will do is describe my impressions of the pen.

 

The box that it arrived in has a somewhat more "upscale" feel to it than the other Monteverde pens I have purchased. The material is plusher on the outside and definitely on the inside. It's almost, well, Plush! Not sure how to describe it more clearly.

 

The pen itself is a dark black shiny resin with rose gold furniture. It harks back to the classy black pens of previous generations to some degree but with the bright "plasticy" look of a modern pen. Again, time and my carefulness will tell how well it ages in use. The finial has Conklin est 1898 on the top and there is the Conklin name and 384/1898 limited edition impression on the barrel. The ring at the base of the cap has the Conklin name also scripted along with some other "ccccc" (facing forward and backward) on its edge.

 

Closed, the capped pen measures 5 1/2" in length. Although it can be posted without being significantly back weighted, for me, posting makes it feel a little awkward. Also, because the cap only posts to the ring about 1/2 inch from the end of the barrel it doesn't seems secure although it did NOT feel particularly loose either.

 

One nice touch I noticed when I went to fill the pen was that it uses a screw-in type converter. The converter itself seems to be a nice one although I would not call it fancy. Just a good quality one. I must admit that I appreciate the screw-in converter of the simple push on type.

 

At $60.00 ($75.00 "suggested" retail price my opinion is it's a reasonably good value. especially as a "Limited Edition". The nib will probably be available on other "Conklin" pens and availability may be expanded to the all or part of the Monteverde product line.

 

Finally, for now, I am glad I was able to purchase this pen and look forward to using it in the future. I am still on the Goulet mailing list so I may end up purchasing another one (possibly as a gift) if I can do so conveniently when they are available again. Personally, I think the fountain pen community will see more of these types of nib options in the future. They may never approach the writing experience of vintage "wet noodles" or even really good flexible nibs and they will encourage and reward handwritten communications with more character and distinction.

 

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Goulet Pens, Conklin Pens or Monteverde/Yafa.


Edited by Gloucesterman, 25 February 2018 - 01:45.

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#2 Driften

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 06:49

I got mine in today as well. It goes from 0.45mm to 1.1mm easy and with more pressure up to 1.6mm, but I think that is going too far. My stopped flowing properly just after trying to go that wide. I did not clean it out first and think that might be the issue not anything else. Just going to 1.0 actually is good for this pen. It takes less pressure to flex them my Pilot Falcon that I don't really push at all that one is in M and don't push it past B. 

 

The Duraflex also spreads it's tines with pressure unlike what people say the Jowo (F-C, Edison) gold flex nib does in just moving away from the feed.

 

I actually like the Duraflex as long as I can get it so it flows right. Tomorrow it will get its soapy bath.



#3 sciumbasci

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:16

Needs more pictures!

#4 Driften

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 17:12

Sure here is a couple of quick pics I had been sharing with my buddy right after getting it.

I did not even have all the cleaned up yet. The pen body had some static cling going on out of the box...

You can see mine is #556. One really strange thing is how long the body of the nib is. I am guessing it's so you put extra leverage on the tip to make it easier to flex.

 

ConklinDuraflex-1.png

ConklinDuraflex-2.png



#5 Idipbananasintocoffee

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 17:25

Several days ago, after monitoring my email account for several hours and having several brief online chats with Jessica (at Goulet Pens) I received the notification that the Limited Edition Conklin Duraflex fountain pen was now available for ordering.

 

The one I ordered came in today's mail a few minutes ago. Okay, yes, I jumped to open the package immediately.

 

A quick flush with a drop of dish cleaning fluid and I am ready to write.

 

First off, this pen and nib will never be confused with with any wet noodle pen that I am familiar with. It's a nice writer, with some feedback (may do some smoothing after I get used to it) and it does have some flex when one applies a moderate amount of pressure. 

 

The nib itself is a "western" fine nib (imo) and can be flexed to about 1 mm according to a ruler I have. Again, a moderate amount of pressure is required to get his line variation. With regular use over time the nib may loosen up some and be easier to work with/ manipulate.

 

I won't go into the measurements or details here because they are all available on the Goulet site https://www.gouletpe...lex/p/CK71477 . What I will do is describe my impressions of the pen.

 

The box that it arrived in has a somewhat more "upscale" feel to it than the other Monteverde pens I have purchased. The material is plusher on the outside and definitely on the inside. It's almost, well, Plush! Not sure how to describe it more clearly.

 

The pen itself is a dark black shiny resin with rose gold furniture. It harks back to the classy black pens of previous generations to some degree but with the bright "plasticy" look of a modern pen. Again, time and my carefulness will tell how well it ages in use. The finial has Conklin est 1898 on the top and there is the Conklin name and 384/1898 limited edition impression on the barrel. The ring at the base of the cap has the Conklin name also scripted along with some other "ccccc" (facing forward and backward) on its edge.

 

Closed, the capped pen measures 5 1/2" in length. Although it can be posted without being significantly back weighted, for me, posting makes it feel a little awkward. Also, because the cap only posts to the ring about 1/2 inch from the end of the barrel it doesn't seems secure although it did NOT feel particularly loose either.

 

One nice touch I noticed when I went to fill the pen was that it uses a screw-in type converter. The converter itself seems to be a nice one although I would not call it fancy. Just a good quality one. I must admit that I appreciate the screw-in converter of the simple push on type.

 

At $60.00 ($75.00 "suggested" retail price my opinion is it's a reasonably good value. especially as a "Limited Edition". The nib will probably be available on other "Conklin" pens and availability may be expanded to the all or part of the Monteverde product line.

 

Finally, for now, I am glad I was able to purchase this pen and look forward to using it in the future. I am still on the Goulet mailing list so I may end up purchasing another one (possibly as a gift) if I can do so conveniently when they are available again. Personally, I think the fountain pen community will see more of these types of nib options in the future. They may never approach the writing experience of vintage "wet noodles" or even really good flexible nibs and they will encourage and reward handwritten communications with more character and distinction.

 

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Goulet Pens, Conklin Pens or Monteverde/Yafa.

 

Interestingly enough, mine is 0381/1989 :) I ordered it within 10 minutes of receiving the email. The box looks exactly like other Duragraph boxes. I'll post my first impressions once I test it :)

 

Happy writing!



#6 TSherbs

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 17:44

Sure here is a couple of quick pics I had been sharing with my buddy right after getting it.
I did not even have all the cleaned up yet. The pen body had some static cling going on out of the box...
You can see mine is #556. One really strange thing is how long the body of the nib is. I am guessing it's so you put extra leverage on the tip to make it easier to flex.
 
ConklinDuraflex-1.png
ConklinDuraflex-2.png


That nib is weird-looking.

#7 Driften

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 18:04

That nib is weird-looking.

 

 

It is a strange looking nib, but I like it. I would like it more if it was set deeper into the section. 



#8 max dog

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 21:50

I got mine in today as well. It goes from 0.45mm to 1.1mm easy and with more pressure up to 1.6mm, but I think that is going too far. My stopped flowing properly just after trying to go that wide. I did not clean it out first and think that might be the issue not anything else. Just going to 1.0 actually is good for this pen. It takes less pressure to flex them my Pilot Falcon that I don't really push at all that one is in M and don't push it past B. 

 

The Duraflex also spreads it's tines with pressure unlike what people say the Jowo (F-C, Edison) gold flex nib does in just moving away from the feed.

 

I actually like the Duraflex as long as I can get it so it flows right. Tomorrow it will get its soapy bath.

 

I applaud Conklin for their effort to bring a sub $100 flex pen to market.  I hope this initial effort will be successful for them, and they can offer that Duraflex nib as a regular offering at similar pricing.

 

The Noodlers pens with their hit and miss reputation and requirement to tinker with the nib to get it to even write properly has excluded itself from my consideration.  If the Conklin Duragraph is at least a decent reliable writer for normal writing, with the added capability to flex when pressed a little harder, I think at $60 USD, they have something very compelling here.  

 

If the Duraflex can do 0.45 to 1.0 mm line variation reliably without issues and with less pressure than a Falcon, I'm in.  It's no vintage flex, but can be a nice expressive fun semiflex.

 

Would be appreciative if anyone could post some flex writing samples with this nib.


Edited by max dog, 25 February 2018 - 21:57.


#9 sciumbasci

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 22:02

Sure here is a couple of quick pics I had been sharing with my buddy right after getting it.
I did not even have all the cleaned up yet. The pen body had some static cling going on out of the box...
You can see mine is #556. One really strange thing is how long the body of the nib is. I am guessing it's so you put extra leverage on the tip to make it easier to flex.
 
ConklinDuraflex-1.png
ConklinDuraflex-2.png


That is one sexy pen! Congrats!!

#10 althealice

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 22:04

I saw that Monteverde has the Omniflex nib that looks similar (if not the same) as the Conklin DuraFlex nib. I couldn't find a Monteverde pen with that nib though. Anyone knows about this? I'm curious if it's even possible to purchase the nib separately from Monteverde. I apologize if this has been asked before, I couldn't find a post about it.

#11 max dog

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 22:09

That is one sexy pen! Congrats!!

I agree.  That nib could have trouble passing through some airport security though.  It looks very impressive for doing something serious.



#12 Bluey

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 22:35

Looks like something they use at sea on whales in the Far East.


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#13 TSherbs

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 22:44

Looks like something they use at sea on whales in the Far East.


Or the tip of the tail in the creature of Alien.

#14 billy1380

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 22:53

Seems omniflex is misspelt on the box... might become a collector thing :)



#15 TSherbs

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 23:01

Seems omniflex is misspelt on the box... might become a collector thing :)


Too small on my phone to read... Is the i missing?

#16 kaspian

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 23:16

The reviews of the Duraflex at Goulet right now are like nothing I can remember. Of the ten posted at this point, six are 5-star and the other four are 1-star. Absolutely nothing in between.

 

There's quite a bit of flavor in the individual reactions, so it's hard to characterize them broadly. But what would you make of this? A rushed or sloppy design-and-manufacturing process? Slipshod quality control? The usual bugs that attend any new product?

 

I am very tempted by this pen at the $60 price, but it really does seem, as the saying goes, like a (bleep)-shoot.



#17 Bluey

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 23:24

Or the tip of the tail in the creature of Alien.

Can't see it myself, but then it's been an eternity since I saw the film.


Edited by Bluey, 25 February 2018 - 23:24.

Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.

#18 Mr.Rene

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 23:27

Seems omniflex is misspelt on the box... might become a collector thing :)

+1 OMIFLEX instead OMNIFLEX... :lticaptd:



#19 MG66

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 23:59

The reviews of the Duraflex at Goulet right now are like nothing I can remember. Of the ten posted at this point, six are 5-star and the other four are 1-star. Absolutely nothing in between.
 
There's quite a bit of flavor in the individual reactions, so it's hard to characterize them broadly.



Also interesting that even one of the 5-star reviews said the nib didn't flex much.

I would love to see a breakdown of scores among people who have used a flex nib in the past versus those who haven't.


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#20 ENewton

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 00:32

Also interesting that even one of the 5-star reviews said the nib didn't flex much.

I would love to see a breakdown of scores among people who have used a flex nib in the past versus those who haven't.


Carl

 

I think it also matters what kind of flexible nib the reviewer has used. 

 

I tried this pen today and with my normal level of writing pressure, it didn’t even make a mark.  With more pressure, I was able to write a uniform line, but to get any variation I needed to press quite a bit harder, and even then the variation was subtle.  I cannot imagine repeatedly applying the level of pressure that would be required to get significant line variation.

 

This being said, I am comparing the pen with more flexible writing instruments—vintage pens, dip pen nibs, and brushes--and have no idea how this pen compares with a Noodler’s Ahab, for example.







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