Two and a half weeks after contacting WTM Pens and deciding on the wood type and trim finish for my El Toro, I received an email advising me that my pen was ready to ship. When I had first emailed Wayne, he responded to my message within a day, with all my questions clearly answered. Subsequent emails were handled the same way â€“ such prompt and personal service was very nice.
For my pen, I chose for my pen Macassar Ebony with Platinum-plated trim. Macassar Ebony is an extremely hard, dense wood with attractive markings.
My El Toro arrived very well packed and presented. A handsome wooden presentation box protected the pen, and included were four cartridges (Private Reserve "Velvet Black" and "Black Magic Blue"), as well as a full-size converter for nib flushing / cleaning.
Appearance / Design / Finish
While the proportions and size of the large cap and short barrel make for a somewhat unusual visual combination, it works. I think my El Toro is a very striking pen, with its bold, shiny trim and chunky look.
The cap unscrews in two and a half turns, and then posts on the threaded barrel-end with one turn. I really like pens that do this, even though the pen is usable un-posted.
Wayne's attention to detail is excellent. The workmanship of my El Toro is perfect - all parts are flush-fitted, smoothly plated and cleanly finished. The finish of the Macassar Ebony wood is particularly nice, with the wood having a beautiful, extremely smooth and silky feel.
This is a heavy pen, at approximately ~48g capped. The cap is a few grams heavier than the body, and the body weighs approximately ~22g. The pen is 115mm / 4.5" capped, 105mm / 4.1" uncapped and 146mm / 5.75" when posted. Posted, the weight is a little more than I am used to, but the pen is well balanced and comfortable to hold, with the slightly-raised metal rings on the grip section providing a subtly-textured gripping area.
Design-wise, I have no complaints about this pen - except for the fact that the clip is very stiff. Due to the weight though, this isn't really a top-pocket pen. It's rather robust and solid - you could put it in your jeans pocket with your keys and not worry about it (except for scuffing), as it's a tough little thing.
Nib / Performance
The El Toro has a very large steel nib imprinted with "Iridium Point Germany" as standard, but a 14K gold nib is available for ~$50 or so extra.
I originally chose a Fine steel nib for El Toro, and was in luck when Wayne was able to manipulate it more toward XF for me. As soon as I was ready to use the pen, I popped a PR Velvet Black cartridge in and started writing on the second stroke! Writing is smooth with no skipping, and the nib is on the side of soft as opposed to a nail.
The El Toro takes an international size 'short' cartridge, but the barrel is long enough to accept a squeeze-type or 'bantam' mini converter with a few millimeters to spare. I believe Wayne is trialling these small converters and including them with future pens.
The El Toro is a really neat little pen, and the ability to pick a wood and trim combination which appealed to me - plus the lovely workmanship - gives this pen a very personal feeling. (Thank you Wayne!)
Here's the El Toro with another of my stout pens, a JP Lepine "Attila". While these are not pens I can write with all day, I'm rather pleased with my little El Toro!
Edited by Phthalo, 30 June 2007 - 10:59.