FIRST IMPRESSIONS 5/5
The Double Eight comes in a very handsome eight-sided box -- sort of a tube -- you pull on one end, and the pen and its "tray" slide out. The tray is covered in black velvet plush -- underneath is a compartment holding the Warranty & Instruction booklet, and a tube containing 3 ink cartridges. A very nice presentation indeed! Even the outer box is handsome and well-designed.
I'll post a picture, but this is a large pen in a rich brown/gold/orange/black cellulose acetate, with silver trim. I was very pleased with the rich colors and material -- reminiscent of the Tibaldi Iride, if not quite as translucent. The clip is "spring activated" and has a black stone embedded in it (in the fashion of the Mont Blanc Boheme). It measures 5 1/2" closed, and 6 3/4" inches posted. The cap is quite weighty, so I don't post it when writing. There is a silver-colored cap band that I initially didn't like -- it reminded me of a hex nut and seemed kind of clunky. It has grown on me, however, and I'm now rather fond of it. [BTW, I see that there'll soon be a "Granite" version of this pen.]
Nice, eight-sided classic design with nice girth and heft. Very comfortable and well-balanced in the hand. The threads are not as smooth and well-turned as those on more expensive pens, but they are certainly adequate.
I opted for a Fine "iridium" nib. This is what I would consider a true "fine" -- not an "EF-type" Fine like a Sailor or Namiki. It's a large, lovely two-tone nib with engraved lines running toward the tip -- I find myself quite taken with watching it as I write -- it catches the light in an intriguing way. I filled the converter with Noodlers Sequoia and found it to be a perfect complement to the pen and nib -- the nib was smooth and silky right out of the box. I like my nibs to be a 3-4 in terms of wetness (10 being Niagara Falls), and this nib is PERFECT !!!
FILLING SYSTEM 5/5
C/C system -- you either love them or hate them. I like the smaller capacity of a c/c because I don't write lengthy pieces and I like to change ink colors.
I got this for $49.95 on Super Special at Fountain Pen Hospital. I think it's a GREAT VALUE !! It's a substantial, well-made, super writer that has quickly found a place in my daily pen pack. It's far more impressive than its modest price would suggest -- and it's a pen I don't worry about losing or damaging when I take it out of the house. People regularly ooh and ahh over it, and think it's one of my expensive pens.
I highly recommend the Retro 51 Double-Eight -- it's a delightful performer, good-looking, and a great value! What more could be fairer?!!
Edited by Hennypenny, 04 October 2007 - 19:54.