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A Custom-made David Broadwell Eyedropper with a Binderized Nib!
Posted 04 August 2007 - 20:38
First Impression 10/10
As soon as I opened up the package, I knew I got the pen I was looking for. To give some background, I was looking for a pen similar in design to the Nakaya Writer's Model, but much shorter. I tend to carry my pens in my pant's pocket, and therefore most pens longer than 5 1/4" or so tend to be uncomfortably long (the Pelikan 405 is good, pretty much any Dani Trio is not ). I also wanted it made of a material that would be resistant to every day wear and tear, especially when I am traveling, while remaining light. Finally, I wanted a filling system that had substantial capacity, which means either a piston or eyedropper filler. After receiving my request, David designed a marvelous pen that we fine-tuned together. The whole experience has left me with a very positive impression of bespoke penmakers!
The pen is made from polished black ebonite. As those of you with ebonite pens know, they retain warmth and provide a very comfortable writing experience. Likewise, the pen is resistant to scratches from every day use. The burnished sterling silver clip adds a touch of vintage to the pen, which I thoroughly enjoy. Visually, the most beautiful part of the pen's appearance is its clean torpedo shape. David has skillfully created the pen so that the cap and the body have no lip where they meet. Altogether, these elements create a truly visually astounding pen that is also well-suited to daily use.
One of my primary concerns with this pen was to ensure that it was suitably small -- no more than 5" or so. I am happy to say that David has been able to provide all of the excellent visual artistry described above in a 5" package (capped). Uncapped, the pen is about 4.75", with a girth similar to the Dani Trio Hanryo. Of course, this does come with a price: the torpedo design and size constraints do not allow the cap to be posted on this pen. While it certainly would have been preferable to at least have the option to post the cap, it is not a serious concern for me since I don't normally post my pens. As for the weight, since this is an eyedropper filler made from ebonite, it does not weight much. I would say the weight is very comparable to my Dani Trio Hanryo primary because the Broadwell pen has slightly heavier silver accents and a much larger nib and feed.
Nib/Filler System 10/10
Finally, we come to the business end of the pen, so to speak. The nib is a large 14K gold nib that Richard Binder has reground to an extra-fine. The performance of the nib is phenomenal; providing a wet, but thin line perfect for writing formulas or my daily journal entries. This was the first time I have worked with a Binderized nib, and I must say it is a very rewarding experience. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, the filling system is an eyedropper filler which holds about 4ml of ink -- certainly plenty of capacity for my writing needs!
Overall, I can say hands down that this is the most beautiful pen in my collection (which includes P51s, Montblancs, S.T. Dupont, Sheaffer, and many others). My interaction with David Broadwell and Richard Binder during the creation of this pen was nothing short of fantastic. They were even good enough to overlook my many (and sometimes annoying) e-mails about the status of the project. True professionals through and through.
Every aspect of this pen is exactly as I wanted it, and I couldn't be happier about how it turned out. On the other hand, there are some downsides to the purchase of custom pens that the reader should know about -- time and money. Since everything is done on a custom basis, you can expect to wait many months before receiving your pen. Also, as you can imagine, these pens are not cheap. While I won't cite the exact price, it was north of a MB 149. However, if you can't seem to find what you want out of a pen from volume manufacturers and you don't mind investing the time or money, then David Broadwell is definitely the person to make your pen (and knife) dreams come true!
Pictures are courtesy of Broadwell Studios. To visit David Broadwell on the web, go to: http://www.david.broadwell.com/ (no affiliation, just a happy customer)
Posted 04 August 2007 - 21:14
I'm soooooo envious.
Posted 04 August 2007 - 22:07
Edited by southpaw, 04 August 2007 - 22:08.
Posted 06 August 2007 - 00:52
Posted 06 August 2007 - 02:46
The nib is the 14K Bock nib that David uses on all his pens. It's identical to the 14K nib that Bexley used to use except for the Broadwell B imprint. Here are photos of the nib as used on The Pharaoh, a 24-pen LE that Bexley built and David accessorized with his custom-designed investment-cast and hand-finished solid 10K band and clip.
This one is mine, but the edition is not yet sold out.
Edited by Richard, 06 August 2007 - 02:47.
Posted 06 August 2007 - 03:14
Posted 06 August 2007 - 04:51
Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:20
Posted 06 August 2007 - 06:21
Edited by OboeJuan, 06 August 2007 - 06:23.
Posted 06 August 2007 - 12:41
Unfortunately, I am without a digital camera. The original photos were provided by David Broadwell. If I run into a camera in the near future, I'll take some more photos.
Posted 06 August 2007 - 16:41
Posted 07 August 2007 - 02:58
Posted 07 August 2007 - 19:15
Posted 07 August 2007 - 20:10