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Marlen Basilea


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Cloud

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 03:46

Hello,

I had promised that I would write a review when I asked for recommendations for my next pen... I was aflicted by the goldilock effect as one person describe my irrationnal need to have ''the perfect pen''. I can say, no pen is perfect. But this one is close to what I was looking for in a pen. So close that I don't think i will sell it in the future (as many of the pen I sold even though they where superbe).

First impression 5/5

[attachment=10214:100_2991.JPG]
[attachment=10215:100_2994.JPG]

Very nice packaging. A nice cardboard box with a beautifull gray box. The seller I bought this from had 3 different layers of tape and cardboard to secure the package very tight.
My first tought was WOW! What a nice pen. I impressive pen in a big box. Looks impressive. I then openned the cap to behold a nice two tone nib. A beautifull art deco clip on the cap and a hidden piston knob ninja.gif The red on the cap look distinctive without being too formal.


Appearance and finish 5/5

[attachment=10216:100_2995.JPG]

The pen as a black body,, silver finish (no tarnishing or brassing) I know this pen will still look good for a while. The red on the cap gives a nice little touch. The is also a silver Marlen symbol on the top of the cap. The appearance shows good taste, not too formal not too colorfull. It's a serious looking pen, without being a toxedo, banker or judge pen. There is anice attention to detail, the cap fits nicely, the overall shape of the pen accentuate distinctiveness wihtout the need of more color.

Design / size / weight 5/5

[attachment=10217:100_2996.JPG]
[attachment=10218:100_2997.JPG]

The size of the pen seems to be close to a pelikan 800, an similar to a visconti van gogh maxi. The body widdens so it become widden mid-lenght.It look a little bit shorter then my maxi but it's more a flat top and flat bottom design which makes it look a little shorter but the lenght of the pen seems to be the same without taking this into account.
The pen is wight is similar to my visconti van gogh maxi. It is not a featherweight but it has it's weight and I am not scare of it flying to the other end of the room when I am not paying attention.
*** note i write without the cap***
With the cap, the pen is on the heavy side, and i am not sure I would like it as much if I would use a pen capped. Same as my visconti, with a cap it heavier and not as balanced.
There is an engraving of the pen model manufacturer and number of the pen on the cap. It's not too obvious and I like the location of this.
The clip looks very nice, It's a stiff clip and it look very sturdy. The art deco style on it looks refreshing.

Nib design and performance 4,5/5

[attachment=10220:100_2998.JPG]

The nib is two tone and 18K gold. Mine is a fine, which is a very nice size. The nib as some flex but deffinitively a little less the my visconti. This may do to the lenght or width of the nib and 18k compared to 14k gold. It is around 3 mm less then my visconti nib in lenght and a little less wide. It is still a nice impressive two tone nib. It reminds me a little of the pelikan 400 I had in terms of nib flexibility. It is a nice smooth nib. Not as buttery smooth as an omas, and not as wet as an omas. It is a pleasure to write with this pen. It has a nice flow and nice characteristics. I would rate the flow 6,5 on 10. 10 being a waterhose and 0 a chalk on a school board.

REVISION:

After a couple of month and trying many vintage pen, the nib is on the stiff side, but smooth with a tiny bit of springiness.



Filling mechanism 5/5

[attachment=10219:100_2999.JPG]

The filling mechanism is a piston with an hidden knob. Ink capacity seems very good. But I don't write as much in the summer. I can still write a lot with one fill. Certainly more then with a converter. Or so I think. Is is smooth operating. I would have to test volume with something like serynge to check the volume. Maybe another day. It is fixed and doesn't move like the pelikan knob which would unscrew a little.

Cost value. 5/5

I consider this to be a whole lot of pen for the price. Anyhow for a modern pen. I really love this pen.


Overall, 29,5/30

I really enjoy writing with this pen everyday. It is my daily rotation my my visconti van gogh maxi for the last month. I think it'll take a long time before it loose it's place there.

Edited by Cloud, 19 September 2007 - 01:46.

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#2 PAKMAN

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 03:48

Nice review and nice looking pen! Hope you enjoy it!!

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#3 FrankB

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 04:05

I have been looking at these pens and wondering what they might be like. Thank you for your opinion. It helps.

#4 MYU

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:03

"All your pens are belong to us!" -- ok, you can have all of them, just leave us your Basilea. wink.gif

Vous avez écrit une revue gentille, nuage. Merci!

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#5 AndyHayes

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:08

I only came across these on the net last night so it is great to see one reviewed so soon after.

What excellent pictures too, they certainly add value to a review.

Thanks a lot
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#6 jonro

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 14:02

Good review and very nice pen. Is the trim on the Basiliea sterling silver, and what material material is the cap and body made from?

#7 Cloud

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 15:01

Thanks for the comments smile.gif

The trims are sterling silver. The material of the body and cap I am not sure. I'll try to find out later tonight.
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#8 Sazerac

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 21:36

Cloud:

Nice review of an excellent pen. Great pictures too. As coincidence would have it, I dug out my Basilea this morning after storing it for a few months and re-inked it. I forgot what a pleasant pen it is to write with. I think the color combination is excellent.

Mine is the black body/red cap version and has a monotone 14k nib. It is a ‘special order’ Oblique Broad nib, so I suspect that’s why it’s different from the rest that I see. But, boy, it sure is a comfort to write with.

They, indeed, are a great value for under $200.

Also, I pretty sure the trim is silver.



#9 RichardS

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 22:11

Yes, both the clip and the trim are solid silver. I've had one of these excellent pens for over a year now, and the trim will tarnish over time. But when you polish it up (I use a very gentle silver polishing cloth), it looks better than new IMO. There are some more pics HERE.

#10 slimnib

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 23:17

I have heard that Marlen are a problem. Many of the models skip after a bit of use. I like the look of the brand. but am fearful of a purchase for that reason. Is your still writing smooth?

Thanks for the review,

Harv

#11 Celticshaman

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 23:35

Very nice review and a delightful pen.Should give you years of service!!

JD


#12 John Cullen

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 23:54

Hey, nice review. I liked the way the photos went from the outside box to the inside and then the pen and then some closeups. I felt like I was getting a new pen. smile.gif enjoy, j

#13 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 17:25

That is one great pen, enjoy it wink.gif
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#14 Ghost Plane

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 23:49

Wonder if I need TWO Marlens...?

#15 RichardS

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 01:59

QUOTE(slimnib @ Jun 21 2007, 12:17 AM) View Post
I have heard that Marlen are a problem. Many of the models skip after a bit of use. I like the look of the brand. but am fearful of a purchase for that reason. Is your still writing smooth?


My Basilea wrote perfectly from the start, and is still going strong. A smooth wet line, with a little 'spring' to the nib; perfect for me. However, I did have some trouble with a Marlen (dot) com which skipped badly. What's called a 'baby bottom' nib was diagnosed by ever-helpful FPNers, and I did some work on it with micromesh paper and, probably more by luck than judgement, it's now just fine.

Like you, I have heard since that Marlen nibs can suffer from this problem. But I haven't heard of any on the Basilea, which has a larger nib than the other model.


#16 Cloud

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 03:41

Well, the pen never skipped once in the last month...well except when there is no more ink in the reservoir. But that can't count as skipping!

So far I've tried it with Aurora blue, and aircorp blue-black inks without any problems. I don't anticipate any problems with it.
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#17 MYU

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 16:43

Would you say that this is your all time favorite pen then? thumbup.gif

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#18 Cloud

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 17:13

No, this cannot be my all time favorite pen. This is a superbe pen, but it's hard to disqualify previous pen on very simple basis like not the right nib size...

I prefer the nib on my visconti van gogh maxi and the ink capacity in my marlen basilea. These are my two daily pen. I always have both so I can get threw the day with enough ink and very nice writing experience.

It is very close to perfection. But I am wary of saying all time favorite, because I really like previous pen I sold to arrive to this one. Sometimes the basis was something like the nib is too wide (omas ogiva) or too narrow (sailor 1911), or simply that it was long to set up the pen each time I want to write a simple note (danitrio raw densho).
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#19 MYU

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 21:47

You make a very good point. I have yet to find the absolute "perfect pen" myself. From now on, the question will be "Is that pen in your top favorite list"?
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I admire how you have been very specific about what you like and don't like, and have had the strength to let go of pens that lacked certain qualities important to you. My problem is that I see the good side too much, which makes it difficult to let go.

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#20 Cloud

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 22:57

For sure it's up there in my top favorite pen. I write with it daily and always enjoy using it. I've let go many pens to finish with this one. I am KEEPING this one. While it was fun trying different pens, I am glad my ''goldilock effect'' is finished. It fits exactly what I wanted.

1- big
2- Nice classic design
3- good ink capacity
4- good ink flow for a nicely wet wrtiting
5- smooth nib / with a beautiful two tone design
6- with a little flex (I like a little more but that is a very small complaint)
7- silver trim so no brassing
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