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Semi-OT: Taccia Aviator Blue Tie Ballpoint


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2 replies to this topic

#1 rroossinck

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 15:03

Before I write this review, I wanted to provide a little background on this pen. When I was in Minneapolis a few months ago (one of the first of many recent trips up there), I knew that there was this store that a few people were talking about called Ink that was somewhere downtown. I had to go and visit, as I'd heard tons of really great things about it.

So, after working out a time with Barry Rubin, the store's owner, I was finally able to go. Barry kept the store open late for me one night (it's by appointment only, as it's on the 45th floor of the IDS Center in the downtown area), and even gave me turn by turn directions after my GPS fell asleep at the switch. Downtown Minneapolis is pretty confusing for a simpleton from West Des Moines, where we're 20 minutes away from any part of town (including during rush hour traffic). I'd originally gone in to just look around for me, but I ended up doing a little birthday shopping while I was there. I needed a gift for my boss, who really isn't a fountain pen user (I'm working on him...he's currently trying to get used to an Itoya Blade that I gave him). I can honestly say that when I stepped into the store, it was far and away the nicest pen store I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. If you haven't been there yet, you're really missing out. If for nothing more than the eye candy, and the view from the store's windows, you need to go and check out Barry's store. I should have brought my camera so I could take some pictures looking out his windows. The sunset was amazing.

Anyway, I saw this Taccia and really liked it. So, I bought it with a pair of Parker Gel refills in blue. I've written with it for a few hours, to make sure that it meets my standards. I can assure you that it has. It's also been a very nice introduction to the Taccia lineup.

As a disclaimer...no affiliation to Barry (or Taccia) other than being a very happy customer.

Now...on with the review.

First Impressions
Whoa baby...that thing is sweet!


This picture is linked from ISellPens, and I trust that Todd doesn't mind me using it. (No affiliation, blah blah blah)

Appearance
The pen is made of a gorgeous black resin, adorned with rhodium-plated metal trim. There’s also a ring of deep blue resin around the “neck” of the pen, hence the name. The clip is engraved “TACCIA” in a slightly Asian-style font. Smashingly elegant, in my opinion. It would look just as good in a tux as it would in a boardroom setting.

Design/Size/Weight
It’s a twist-action ballpoint. it’s fairly thick, as far as ballpoints go. Not like a Pilot Dr. Grip, but more like the body of a Pelikan M2XX. It’s certainly not a heavy pen, but it’s got enough heft that you know you’re holding onto something. From a length perspective, my gues is that it’s about 5-ish inches long.

Nib
No nib on this one. On Barry’s suggestion, I swapped out the included black medium paste/ballpoint refill for a Parker 0.7mm Gel refill in blue. Surprisingly, the color of the ink is a pretty close match to the blue on the barrel. For those of you who haven’t used a Parker Gel refill, it’s an astoundingly good writer. Very smooth, no glopping of ink...none of the things that we all hate about ballpoint refills. The ink also dries fairly quickly - another bonus for us lefties.

Filling System
Takes Parker-style refills, which nearly everyone makes and are very readily available. Should you happen to find finer refills that write as well, please let me know. That’s the only thing seperating this refill from being perfect for me. I tried the Visconti 0.5mm refill, and didn’t like it. Wasn’t nearly as smooth as the Parker. Granted, it wasn’t an apples-to-apples comparo, but still, I liked the Parker better.

Cost and Value
Since this one is intended as a gift, the value discussion is potentially a moot point. But, for your $35-45, the packaging includes the pen, a black medium refill, and a nice hard-ish leather zip case (this one is black). Also include is Taccia’s lifetime warranty information. All things considered, I feel like I paid a fair price for a great product.

Conclusion
For those times when a fountain pen won’t do the trick, or if you need something on the formal side but can’t swing the cost of a really elegant fountain pen, look at this one. It’s definitely a good-looking formal pen, and the splash of color ensures that it doesn’t look too stodgy. The silky-smooth Parker refills offer a terrific writing experience, and in my opinion, these factors all combine to make it a great cost-conscious choice!

Here's a picture of the Aviator lineup. There's some great resins here, and I can assure you that the pictures I posted (Taccia) don't do proper justice to the pen.





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#2 J-san

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 17:48

Now there's a sharp-looking ballpoint. Sure is prettier than my Fisher Space Pen. I'll have to check out Ink one of these days. I feel stupid that I live in Minneapolis, but I have no idea where any of the pen stores are.
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#3 rroossinck

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 11:48

Thanks Jason. I think that my boss will like it, and it'll most certainly make it into his rotation. It also wouldn't surprise me if I were to buy another one for myself down the road.

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