The first time I saw this pen a few months back I was not drawn to it. It seemed a bit plain, a little to "vintage" looking for me, and at the time I considered myself more of a modern guy. By which I mean a modern fountain pen guy, but I am also a fine modern gentleman! But that is beside the point. I am here to tell you about my pen.
So anywho, the hours turn to days, the days turn to weeks, and the weeks turn to months, and over that time I grew used to seeing Dennis @ Parkville Pen's ad for the four Deluxe II models showing up on the FPN Marketplace and the Green Board. I'd see it pop up, and click on it, and look at the pictures of the pens, and say, "Ah yes, its those spendy Bexleys that Dennis has been advertising! While Dennis is certainly a fine pen seller who I am in no way affiliated with aside from being a happy customer, I am definitely not interested in those Deluxe II models! So expensive, and so vintage looking! Nope, not my style!"
But then, not to long ago, the ad stopped showing up as frequently. No big deal, right? Since I'm not interested in the pens anyway, this shouldn't matter to me. Then why did I find myself searching back posts at the Marketplace looking for pictures of the pens? Answer me that question, if I am so uninterested in the pens, mister or missus fountain pen review reader! So I would find the ad, pull it up, and look at the pens, particularly the Antique Cream model. It just looked so nice for some reason all of the sudden. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, mayhaps? Really actually absence made the heart crave like a crazy man! I suddenly wanted that pen so badly!
Anywho, I was a day late asking Dennis for one of those sweet looking Bexley 2007 Owner's Club pens in mahogany (still looking for one, BTW. let me know if you have a line on one!), but I still had an itch that needed scratching, an itch for a limited edition Bexley. So after doing a bit of tire kicking with Dennis via e-mail, and after digging up those old FS ads a dozen or more times, and getting Dennis to take a picture of the Deluxe II next to an Americana so I could get a size estimate, I pulled the trigger and ordered the pen!
The pen was shipped out quickly and arrived in a scant day or three. The pen comes in a normal Bexley presentation box.
Appearance & Finish 5 out of 5
Cream colored cast acrylic.
Solid 10K gold clip and wide cap band.
Dark wood grain ebonite end caps.
It is simply the most uniquely distinguished pen in my humble collection. IIRC, these pens are handmade at Bexley, so everything is just perfect, just where it needs to be on the pen.
Design/Size/Weight 4 out of 5
As I said previously, the majority of the pen is a lovely, smooth, and soft looking cream-colored cast acrylic. The solid gold trim is subtle in its color, but lets you know exactly what it is, with a bold 10K imprint both on the clip and the back of the cap band. What really does it for me with this model above all the others is that only the Antique Cream color uses the wood grain ebonite end caps. This to me is the icing on the cake that rockets this pen into must-owndom. The section is black. I think having a wood grain section would have been a good move, which is the only gripe I can think of with the pen design. Having said that, sometimes I waffle a bit, and think maybe black was the right move. The pen is slightly longer then an M800. The actual pen body, independent of the cap, appears to have a slightly smaller circumference then the M800. The pen has a fair bit of heft, but is still lighter then an M800. While most of the weight of the M800 is in the back of the pen due to the brass piston screw, most of the weight of the Deluxe II is in the cap, due to the gold. The pen is a perfect handful unposted, but can be posted as well, though this significantly changes the weight distribution of the pen. The cap does not push very far on the back of the pen, making the posted pen long and back heavy. I am fine writing with the pen either posted or unposted. the clip is firm enough to stay put in the front pocket, without being so tight I end up ripping my front pocket clean off when I reach for it.
Nib Design & Performance 5 out of 5
I can't find any fault with the standard 18k Bock nibs. I've written with Bexley M and stub nibs. For the Deluxe II I went for the fine, and I am glad I did! Its a bit fat for a F, but that is find with me. I'm a M type of guy trying to find my feet in a fine sea, since I'm beginning to see the benefits of finer nibs for faster, smaller, and more accurate writing.
The F nib wrote like a total dream straight out of the box, with no preflush at all. I filled the pen with Aurora Black. It writes a perfect, consistent line with a very light touch, with just a bit of that lovely feedback I'm beginning to realize is characteristic of all Bock nibs. Did I mention I love Bock nibs?
The Filling System 4 out of 5
Cartridge/Converter. I really like c/c fillers. I love a good piston filler as much as the next guy, but I have no problem with a simple c/c filler. It works.
Cost/Value 3 out of 5
The MSRP of the Bexley Deluxe II is a whopping $520. I bought my pen from Dennis at Parkville Pen for a much saner, but still spendy $390 shipped. While it would be foolish to call this pen an amazing value , it is certainly worth every penny I spent on it.
Overall Opinion/Conclusion 4 out of 5
Its been a pretty wild journey with this guy, from having zero interest in it to absolutely having to have one, to holding it in my hand and realizing that all was right with the universe. I'm looking forward to spending lots more time with this pen, because even though it is the spendiest pen in my collection, I don't buy museum pieces! This may be art, but it is functional, and I'm putting this baby to work.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first official FPN fountain pen review! I hope you enjoyed it.
Edited by Johnson, 01 July 2007 - 03:18.