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Ancora Perla- Review


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#1 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 17:36

Ancora Perla Special Edition for Levenger


First Impressions

To be quite honest, I really didn’t know what to expect when I bought this pen. I have wanted an Ancora pen for quite some time and the one from Levenger was at a darn good price. I received an email from Levenger (I am on the mailing list) and they listed some pen prices as much as 50% off the normal price. Surprisingly the pen that I wanted dropped dramatically in price and I was left with no choice but to buy it. I tried to convince the wife about that and for some reason she just didn’t understand nor did she want to understand!!! Oh well, I was glad to get that off my back, I know you penaholics understand what I am talking about!!! The pen confessions of a mad man I guess!!!

It took about 4 days for it to make it to my front door. I have to say that I counted every day since I ordered it!!! When it got to my door, I ripped the box open and I threw the packaging material all over the front room. Kind of like a child opening presents on Christmas!!! The pen came in a nice faux red leather box that actually looks very nice. When I opened the box, I saw the light emanating from contents and I must of heard the voice of God in a deep voice say”My son, here is the blessed holy pen I have give you. Use it wisely and you will be able to conquer nations with a scribble of the nib”. If you believe that, then I have a bridge I would like to sell you!!! Anyways, everything looked in order and I was extremely excited to fill it up with ink and take it for a test run. Lets see how this pen performed!

Appearance/ Finish 5 out of 5

Ok, at first I was a tad bit undecided on what color and nib size I wanted. Out of the Blue and Orange I chose the Orange color with a Broad nib. I have plenty of blue and black pens and it is time for a bit of a change. The material of this pen is acrylic and the finish is just mind blowing!! I was expecting the color to be a vivid orange but it was more of a dark reddish orange color. There is a marble swirl along with some striations; this is a very 3 dimensional looking material and finish on this pen. I have to say that I was very pleased with appearance; I just hope that the pen writes as good as it looks.

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This version of the Ancora Perla for Levenger is a bit different than the standard Perla. The Perla for Levenger version lacks the two large decorated silver bands one of them on the rear of the pen and the other one is where the section connects to the barrel. There is also another difference where the threads are located. On the Standard version, the threads are located near front of the section near the nib. The Special Edition for Levenger, the threads are located further up the section next to the barrel. The main design is the same but with some minor cosmetic differences.

This is the standard Ancora Perla

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This is the Ancora Perla for Levenger

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Design/Size/Weight 4.5 out of 5

The threads are not the typical resin threads on the barrel. They used silver plated (that’s what it looks like) threads to secure the cap with the rest of the pen. As far as I am concerned, this makes for a tight fit with the possibility of stripping the threads at a minimum. I also noticed something else that was a bit strange, it only takes a ½ turn for the cap to be removed from the pen. Other manufactures usually use a full turn to a turn and a half to remove the cap. I have a Parker Duofold Centennial that is 2 complete turns for the cap to be released. Now is it bad that this pen takes a ½ turn to release? No, not at all, it just takes some getting used to

The Cap band is a nice silver plated material that has an interesting engraved design. The clip is extremely difficult to lift and there are no springs at all. I never use a clip so that is not an issue. For others, this might be an issue due to the fact that it takes a good amount of force to push the clip to make the material of your shirt pocket slide through to secure it. On the other hand, once it is on there, the chances of the pen falling out of your pocket are very slim.

Posted Image

Ok, let me see, the pen is not very heavy at all and the design seems to be pretty solid. This pen does not feel like a tank due to the lack of the 2 metal bands on this version of this pen. With the cap posted or not, this pen does feel good. The dimensions are 5 1/4 X 2 1.1 OZ and that’s without the cap posted. With the cap posted the length is roughly 6 ¼ inches in length. This is about a standard size pen, even though I am used to oversized pens, writing with a slightly smaller pen is quite enjoyable and a good change of pace.

We already went over the color of the pen but I have to say that the color is just beautiful and I think a lot of time was used to come out with design the resin. The swirls and striations really make this pen stand out. As far as I am concerned, this pen is very well designed and I think this pen will stand the test of time with normal use.
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Nib Design and Performance 5 out of 5

This pen has a nib that is a tad bit less than an inch in length. It is an 18kt gold nib with rhodium plating. The thing that really made me scratch my head was how long the point is on the nib. You can see this in the picture below. Of course there are the typical engravings and designs on the nib. On this one, there is the trademark Anchor and the inscription of 1919 right above the Anchor. Why Anchor for an Ancora pen? Anchor, Ancora? Come one, you get it, don’t you??? It is the same! Ancora means Anchor in Italian.

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Ok, here is what it boils down to, how does this pen perform? I bought the pen with a broad nib because I like the nice thick lines and the broad nibs that I have bought in the past have been extremely smooth. I filled this pen up with some Noodlers Air Corp Blue Black ink because I know it has great lubricating properties. The pen fills via cartridge or converter and both are supplied by Ancora.

I put the pen to the test and I have to say I was very shocked by how smooth and springy the nib is!! I don’t know too much about flex but this nib is as flexible as the Stipula 22 with the titanium nib. There is very nice line variation and the nib feels extremely natural when you write. The nib glides effortlessly across the page of paper. There is a good amount of space from the tip of the feed to the tip of the nib. I think this is what explains the springy and flexible characteristics of this nib. This is one of the better nibs I have wrote with and there was ZERO skipping and no feed issues as of yet.

Posted Image

The Filling System 4 out of 5

Unfortunately, this pen uses a Cartridge Converter filling system. As we all know, I do not care too much for this type of filling system. The main reason why I don’t care for this filling system is that this pen drinks up ink like it was a Wino who came across a case of Thunderbird. I believe if they would have used an intergraded filling system such as a button or piston filler, this would have solved the problem. Then again, I bought the pen with a broad nib. Broad nibs tend to lay down a good amount of ink and that is what causes the pen to drain so quickly. On a personal level, I have a Visconti Ink Pot and I carry it around with me in my pen case. So as long as I know I have a good supply of ink, there is no need to fret.

Cost 5 out of 5

This is the place where most people go to when it comes to a review. “How much is it” and “is it worth the price” are the questions I normally ask. Well Levenger lists this pen for roughly $198.00USD but because they are having what they call the “Pentathalon”, the pen is now $99.95 USD. That is almost 50% off of the listed price. The regular line Ancora Perla goes for about $199.00USD and it would be silly for me to get the Levenger version for the same price and without the little extras that the regular line Perla has. For almost $100.00 off the listed price, I think it is a good price but if you want the 2 extra bands, then you will have to shell out an extra $100.00 for the Regular Perla. I do not think it is worth it at all. As far as I am concerned, for the price, this pen is a steal.

Conclusion

This is my first Ancora and I have to say that I am extremely pleased. Not only am I pleased by the performance but also the workmanship and thought that went into the design. I believe this pen is an “attention getter” but at the same time it has class and it will make people want to use it and try to swipe it away from you. I had to hide it from the wife; I don’t want it to end up missing like my Namiki Vanishing Point. This pen is a real pleasure to use and the price is right. I have to give this pen my full recommendation and for the price, this is your chance to own a writing instrument from one of Italy’s oldest and reputable pen companies.
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#2 inkyfingers

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 17:49

Really NS, you compose the coolest reviews. Thank you!
-Mike
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#3 southpaw

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 18:47

As usual NS, a great review. THANKS!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#4 RichardS

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 18:49

NS, another great review with stunning photography. I've never known much about Ancora, but you've convinced me to find out some more. What a great pen!

(Now I wonder if Levenger ship to the UK at a reasonable rate ... :rolleyes:)

#5 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 21:51

Thanks Everyone! I enjoy doing reviews and test driving new pens. I also like to let people know which pens I feel are really worth buying, lemons, overpriced, crappy nibs, you know, stuff like that.

When I first started to buy fountain pens, I found little to no information to go by. There were some lemons that I bought. I wish I would have known!!!!! So I kind of want to help people out and make sure they dont make the same mistakes as I did!!!

TNS
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#6 Apollo

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 22:00

Nice review! I've had my eye on the Perla myself. I definitely like that reddish orange color.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#7 Maja

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 20:16

Nice review! I've had my eye on the Perla myself. I definitely like that reddish orange color.

Ditto!
Thanks for the review, Noble Savage; it sounds like you got a great pen at a great price! :)

Just out of curiosity, the photo of the Ancora Perla here makes it look like it has a multi-faceted barrel. Any chance you meant to post a photo of an Ancora Prima?? :unsure:
Both are beautiful.... :drool:

Edited by Maja, 11 September 2005 - 20:16.

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#8 wimg

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 21:01

Hi NS,

Aaaahhhh. Another beautiful Italian pen. When I saw the picture of the nib, the first thing I thought was extreme springiness and maybe some flex. I just love the look of it.

And a great review, as usual!

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
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#9 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 22:59

Nice review! I've had my eye on the Perla myself. I definitely like that reddish orange color.

Ditto!
Thanks for the review, Noble Savage; it sounds like you got a great pen at a great price! :)

Just out of curiosity, the photo of the Ancora Perla here makes it look like it has a multi-faceted barrel. Any chance you meant to post a photo of an Ancora Prima?? :unsure:
Both are beautiful.... :drool:

As far as I know, neither is a multi faceted pen. I had to inspect both sets of images but as far as I am concerned, they look like standard smooth barrels and caps. The shadows and the lower resolution photos makes it a bit harder to interperate and gives the illusion of facets. The Prima is smaller than the perla and also the look is a bit different (color and color design) but the barrel and cap are just about the same.

As for the nib, flexy, springy and just a joy to write with!!!

TNS
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#10 Titivillus

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 23:43

Thanks Everyone! I enjoy doing reviews and test driving new pens. I also like to let people know which pens I feel are really worth buying, lemons, overpriced, crappy nibs, you know, stuff like that.

When I first started to buy fountain pens, I found little to no information to go by. There were some lemons that I bought. I wish I would have known!!!!! So I kind of want to help people out and make sure they dont make the same mistakes as I did!!!

TNS

Excellent review but let me temper it slightly in that I have purchased 2 of the standard Perlas and returned the first immediately and sold the second after a few weeks. The pen's construction was very good although some of the banding didn't look like it was completely finished ( might have been trying for a rustic look?). But both of the nibs I had were excrement, the first worse than the second. The first had what appeared to be a clown nose of iridium that was cut on a obtuse angle making it both rough and springy at the same time. The second had a rough underside that I was not really willing to deal with. I think the person I sold it to had it reground. It is my understanding that everything is made in house at Ancora and thus if the QC isn't good then there are problems at the buyer side.

I do not wish to take anything away from your review just say that if purchasing give it a good lookover before completing the purchase. I'm 0/2 and probably won't buy one again at any price.


Kurt H

#11 Maja

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 00:55

Nice review! I've had my eye on the Perla myself. I definitely like that reddish orange color.

Ditto!
Thanks for the review, Noble Savage; it sounds like you got a great pen at a great price! :)

Just out of curiosity, the photo of the Ancora Perla here makes it look like it has a multi-faceted barrel. Any chance you meant to post a photo of an Ancora Prima?? :unsure:
Both are beautiful.... :drool:

As far as I know, neither is a multi faceted pen. I had to inspect both sets of images but as far as I am concerned, they look like standard smooth barrels and caps. The shadows and the lower resolution photos makes it a bit harder to interperate and gives the illusion of facets. The Prima is smaller than the perla and also the look is a bit different (color and color design) but the barrel and cap are just about the same.

As for the nib, flexy, springy and just a joy to write with!!!

TNS

:blush: My bad.
I found a different photo of the Perla and it looks perfectly round---no facets.
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#12 wimg

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 20:18

Hi Maja,

The picture where the pen looked faceted was done with some filter in Photoshop, which is supposed to give depth. However, when you overdo it, any round object will start look faceted. Personally, I think pics are better off without the filter. Good photographers, like Bill R., don't need it to give depth.

So, it wasn't really your bad, just that of an overzealous Photoshop user... :D

Warm regards, Wim

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#13 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 17:20

Thanks Everyone!  I enjoy doing reviews and test driving new pens.  I also like to let people know which pens I feel are really worth buying, lemons, overpriced, crappy nibs, you know, stuff like that.

When I first started to buy fountain pens, I found little to no information to go by.  There were some lemons that I bought.  I wish I would have known!!!!!  So I kind of want to help people out and make sure they dont make the same mistakes as I did!!!

TNS

Excellent review but let me temper it slightly in that I have purchased 2 of the standard Perlas and returned the first immediately and sold the second after a few weeks. The pen's construction was very good although some of the banding didn't look like it was completely finished ( might have been trying for a rustic look?). But both of the nibs I had were excrement, the first worse than the second. The first had what appeared to be a clown nose of iridium that was cut on a obtuse angle making it both rough and springy at the same time. The second had a rough underside that I was not really willing to deal with. I think the person I sold it to had it reground. It is my understanding that everything is made in house at Ancora and thus if the QC isn't good then there are problems at the buyer side.

I do not wish to take anything away from your review just say that if purchasing give it a good lookover before completing the purchase. I'm 0/2 and probably won't buy one again at any price.


Kurt H

Hey here Kurt. I hope all is well with you!! As to your comments about the Ancora, the situation that you were in with Ancora Pens is the same Situation I am in with Stipula pens with the exception that I am 0-4 with Stipula on 3 models. So I know exactly how you feel.
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#14 wimg

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 17:27

Hey NS!

I´m 15-0 with Stipula, and 17-0 when it comes to nibs! All great, no problem whatsoever. I must admit I have 14 Etrurias and 1 Saturno, though... :lol:

Ok, maybe not entirely: I had one that developed a crack in the barrel, and one that blew a piston seal, but both were fixed without a hitch by Stipula, and much faster than my Pelikan M800. In all 3 cases at zero cost to me, BTW.

You must have been rather unlucky with the Stips.

Warm regards, Wim

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#15 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 22:41

Hey NS!

I´m 15-0 with Stipula, and 17-0 when it comes to nibs! All great, no problem whatsoever. I must admit I have 14 Etrurias and 1 Saturno, though... :lol:

Ok, maybe not entirely: I had one that developed a crack in the barrel, and one that blew a piston seal, but both were fixed without a hitch by Stipula, and much faster than my Pelikan M800. In all 3 cases at zero cost to me, BTW.

You must have been rather unlucky with the Stips.

Warm regards, Wim

You bet I do, In fact I believe we had this discussion a few months ago. They have some really stunning looking pens but No luck (for arguments sake). So at this time, I choose not to buy anymore Stips!!
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#16 Titivillus

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 22:58

Thanks Everyone!  I enjoy doing reviews and test driving new pens.  I also like to let people know which pens I feel are really worth buying, lemons, overpriced, crappy nibs, you know, stuff like that.

When I first started to buy fountain pens, I found little to no information to go by.  There were some lemons that I bought.  I wish I would have known!!!!!  So I kind of want to help people out and make sure they dont make the same mistakes as I did!!!

TNS

Excellent review but let me temper it slightly in that I have purchased 2 of the standard Perlas and returned the first immediately and sold the second after a few weeks. The pen's construction was very good although some of the banding didn't look like it was completely finished ( might have been trying for a rustic look?). But both of the nibs I had were excrement, the first worse than the second. The first had what appeared to be a clown nose of iridium that was cut on a obtuse angle making it both rough and springy at the same time. The second had a rough underside that I was not really willing to deal with. I think the person I sold it to had it reground. It is my understanding that everything is made in house at Ancora and thus if the QC isn't good then there are problems at the buyer side.

I do not wish to take anything away from your review just say that if purchasing give it a good lookover before completing the purchase. I'm 0/2 and probably won't buy one again at any price.


Kurt H

Hey here Kurt. I hope all is well with you!! As to your comments about the Ancora, the situation that you were in with Ancora Pens is the same Situation I am in with Stipula pens with the exception that I am 0-4 with Stipula on 3 models. So I know exactly how you feel.

And once again I don't mean to say anything against your review just that I had a different experience with the Ancora pens that I owned.


It's all the fault of the manufacturers for having little to no quality control.

Kurt H

#17 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 18:01

And once again I don't mean to say anything against your review just that I had a different experience with the Ancora pens that I owned.


It's all the fault of the manufacturers for having little to no quality control.

Kurt H


No offense taken, I agree with your statement 100%

Quantity not quality!!! :(
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#18 smudgy

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 01:11

Hey, how about a writing sample? :) :D
Vanessa

#19 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 21:37

Maybe one of these days!!! Ill have to kick my wife off of HER computer because MY computer doesnt have the scanner hooked up. Mrs. Noble Savage does not like to be kicked off of her computer. That would make Mr The Noble Savage life very difficult!!! :lol:
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#20 Maja

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 19:22

Hi Maja,

The picture where the pen looked faceted was done with some filter in Photoshop, which is supposed to give depth. However, when you overdo it, any round object will start look faceted. Personally, I think pics are better off without the filter. Good photographers, like Bill R., don't need it to give depth.

So, it wasn't really your bad, just that of an overzealous Photoshop user... :D

Warm regards, Wim

Well, thank you for the explanation, Wim! I couldn't understand why that photo made the pen look faceted.

Faceted or not, the Perla is a lovely pen :)
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