Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Bexley Submariner Grande


  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 30 September 2005 - 18:24

Background

Ever since acquiring my first Bexley (a Sheherazade), I wanted another. Given the quality construction and the super-smooth nib, how could I not? The Americana is quite eye-catching, but it was the Submariner’s sleek looks that really hooked me.

The size of the pen, however, was a concern. The Bexley came out with the Submariner Grande! Uh-oh. As you can imagine, my resistance melted away and the hunt began!

The hunt would not be easy. Typical market prices for the Grande are around $220. This was too much for my budget, so a second-hand one in excellent / near-mint condition would have to do — unless I could find an extraordinary buy on a new one. The former eventually happened and I was able to snag a black Grande with gold trim for $137 including shipping from the Green Board on PenTrace :D ! I purchased it on a Saturday morning. Monday morning there was a Priority Mail package in my mail box (talk about quick service).
Posted Image


Initial Impressions / Overall Design (4.5/5)

The pen was very well packaged and, as you might guess, I was eager to see my new pen. After getting into the box, the Bexley box was wrapped in bubble wrap, which was in turn wrapped with 3-4 layers of packing tape. Talk about safe shipping! After some careful cutting, I finally got down to the box.

I opened up the box and . . . more bubble wrap holding the pen secure. Thankfully there was no more tape. I removed the bubble wrap and there the Submariner Grande was: the gold trim glistening in the light; the deep black finish shining like a mirror; the roller-ball clip staring at me; and the barrel inscription “Submariner Grande, Bexley 2005” casually laying there. It was pristine! I wondered if it had ever been used. If it had, it was very gently.

I picked the pen up and was pleased with its size — glad I waiting on the Grande and didn’t go for the standard Submariner. I quickly uncapped the pen as I couldn’t wait to see the famous Bexley stub nib. Beautiful. I quickly reached for a bottle of, what else, Waterman Blue-Black ink with which to break in the pen (isn’t it mandatory to use this stuff?).

The cap ring is well thought out and covers the bottom of the cap — no cap splitting problems here. The clip is Bexley’s roller-ball design and, IMHO, is the weakest part of the pen aesthetically. A more traditional spring loaded clip would have been better. As is, the clip seems to function well, but a final verdict on this aspect of the design will require more time.


Size, Weight & Balance (5/5)
With pen in hand, one thing you immediately notice about the Bexley is its balance, whether posted (that’s me nearly always) or unposted. The metal section plays a significant role in this.

Unposted, the pen has a relatively light feel to it due to the center of gravity being close to the nib. Posted it feels fantastic and is perfectly balanced. I don’t see fatigue being an issue in long writing sessions.

Dimensions on the Submariner Grande are:
Pen length capped = 146.5 mm, uncapped = 131.5.5 mm, posted = 164.5 mm, grip length = 21.5 mm not including threads
Pen barrel diameter max = 14.2 mm, grip = tapered 10.9-9.8 mm
Posted Image
From top to bottom for size comparison: Visconti Van Gogh, Bexley Sheherazade, Bexley Submariner Grande, Pelikan M805, and Pelikan M200.


Filling Mechanism (3/5)

It’s a cartridge / converter and it works as it should. Ho hum, ho hum. . . . <_<


Fit & Finish (5/5)

Attention to detail appears to be a Bexley trait. From the gold trim to the high lustre black finish, it’s there. The joints around the clip are tight. The cap ring and section joints are also. The barrel threads are crisp, smooth, and not sharp in case you have a high grip.
Posted Image


Nib (5/5)

As mentioned earlier, the buttery smooth medium on my Sheherazade had me eager to drive another Bexley nib. This Grande has Bexley’s famous stub nib which is advertised as 1.3 mm wide. The nib is a nicely designed and well executed. It is a beautiful two-toned gold nib which is engraved with the Bexley “B”, the Bexley name, “S” for stub, and “18k 750.”

How does it write? With Waterman Blue-Black ink on moderately decent paper, it produces a 1.1 mm wide line on vertical strokes and 0.3 mm wide line on horizontal strokes. Regardless of which direction the nib is moving, it is wonderfully smooth! Aesthetically and functionally, this is a great nib!
Posted Image


Value (4/5)

Value depends very much upon your financial situation, budget, and what you think is permissible to spend on fountain pens. The Submariner Grande would, IMHO, out-perform many higher priced pens with regards to fit and finish, balance, and nib.


Summary (4.5/5)

The Bexley Submariner Grande is an excellent pen: sleek, elegant, well-executed, silky smooth nib. It could be an even better pen in two ways: the filling system and the metal section. For some, the probably deterrent will be the metal section. While I don’t prefer them, the rest of the pen makes it worth while to deal with, even considering my often perspiring hands. The rest of the pen is just that good.
Posted Image

Here's a writing sample:
Posted Image

Edited to add writing sample.

Edited by southpaw, 30 September 2005 - 19:02.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

Sponsored Content

#2 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:03

Added writing sample.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#3 wimg

wimg

    Stip Etruria nut :)

  • FPN Admin

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,180 posts
  • Location:Maastricht, Netherlands, EU
  • Flag:

Posted 30 September 2005 - 19:53

Hi Southpaw,

Thank you for this wonderful review. I could actually see you go through all the movements, as it were. Very well written, and I do like the size comparison to other pens as well.

It surely looks like another pen has been added to the ever growing wish list, especially with the stub nib. It almost sounds like a 1.1 Etruria nib.... :lol:

Warm regards, Wim

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever


#4 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 30 September 2005 - 20:56

It almost sounds like a 1.1 Etruria nib.... :lol:

Nah . . . . This stub is definitely better it's on a Bexley and not some silly Stipula.
[Running away laughing . . . . ;) :P ]
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#5 wimg

wimg

    Stip Etruria nut :)

  • FPN Admin

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,180 posts
  • Location:Maastricht, Netherlands, EU
  • Flag:

Posted 30 September 2005 - 21:13

It almost sounds like a 1.1 Etruria nib.... :lol:

Nah . . . . This stub is definitely better it's on a Bexley and not some silly Stipula.
[Running away laughing . . . . ;) :P ]

:lol: :lol: :lol:

the Mad Dutchman
laugh a little, love a little, live a lot; laugh a lot, love a lot, live forever


#6 Apollo

Apollo

    Handsome Devil

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 998 posts
  • Location:Earth.... I think.

Posted 10 October 2005 - 23:17

Southpaw, that was a superb review. It was certainly effective enough to make me go out and get a Submariner Grande myself. ;)

I bought one in regimental blue with a medium nib. As you stated, these Bexley nibs are buttery smooth. I'll try and post some pics of it later.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#7 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 11 October 2005 - 00:11

Southpaw, that was a superb review. It was certainly effective enough to make me go out and get a Submariner Grande myself. ;)

I bought one in regimental blue with a medium nib. As you stated, these Bexley nibs are buttery smooth. I'll try and post some pics of it later.

Apollo, gotta love those nibs! I have to admit, though, your post scared me. To think that someone actually went and spent $$$ based on that review - well, I think this says it best :blink: . Glad you like it and can't wait to see the pics.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#8 Maja

Maja

    Fan of colourful pens

  • FPN Hon. Admin

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,416 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, Canada
  • Flag:

Posted 11 October 2005 - 02:42

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but how did I miss this review? :blink: :blush:

Thanks for the excellent review, Southpaw! Sounds like a great pen.
Was the stub the nib that came with the pen originally, or did the first owner have it stubbed?

I wish more pens came with stubbed nibs.... :(

Edit: In re-reading your review, I see that the Submariner Grande came with " Bexley’s famous stub nib which is advertised as 1.3 mm wide" so I guess it came from the factory like that... :doh:
It's nice not to have to pay for nib customization, post-purchase, isn't it? :)

Edited by Maja, 11 October 2005 - 02:45.

Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)

#9 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 11 October 2005 - 03:20

I wish more pens came with stubbed nibs.... :(

Edit: In re-reading your review, I see that the Submariner Grande came with " Bexley’s famous stub nib which is advertised as 1.3 mm wide" so I guess it came from the factory like that... :doh:
It's nice not to have to pay for nib customization, post-purchase, isn't it? :)

Agree with you completely. I think more manufacturers need to offer stubs as a normal nib choice, and I wish some of them would offer something not so wide. The smallest factory stub I know of is still 0.9mm wide (yes, wim, it's Stipula). I like my Binder 0.6 mm stub a lot.

You are correct in that the stub is factory. I must admit, I do like it a lot, although it is wider than what I'm used to. It just makes me want to grab a sheet of unlined paper and write large (compared to my normal writing, anyhow). It is large enough that, at least for me, it's tough to write on regular ruled paper (college ruled), but I enjoy it nonetheless! :D
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#10 marklavar

marklavar

    Collectors Item

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 912 posts

Posted 11 October 2005 - 09:32

As a matter of interest, there is a Sub Grande going cheaply on Ebay at this moment in time.................

#11 Apollo

Apollo

    Handsome Devil

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 998 posts
  • Location:Earth.... I think.

Posted 11 October 2005 - 21:41

Southpaw, I'd been considering the purchase of one ever since KCkc posted a pic of a yellow Submariner. I had read good things about Bexley nibs and really liked it's clean profile, but when I finished reading your review of the Submariner Grande, I was sold.

Here's mine:

Posted Image

Posted Image
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#12 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 12 October 2005 - 01:09

Apollo, it's a beauty! And I know about that medium nib - my Sheherazade has one - buttery smooooooooooth! The blue was my second choice for the Grande - black with gold trim being the first (just didn't have a big black pen). Now all you need is another Bexley with that wonderful stub :P .
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#13 TheNobleSavage

TheNobleSavage

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,622 posts
  • Location:Guadeloupe, CA
  • Flag:

Posted 12 October 2005 - 15:41

Great Review of a wonderful an American Pen Company!!! I am not sure if you have heard this or not, but Bexley is now offering substitutions for the metal section. I do not know the full details, but if you would like the resin section better than you would like the metal section on the Submariner Grande, you could get a swap out on it. That was one of the things I did not like about the Grande is the metal section. I would have liked the acrylic resin section instead.

I was not really big on the design of the Submariner and the Submariner Grande. It really reminded me of the Japanese pen styles such as a Platinum or a Sailor. Just my opinion, but it seems to be growing on me though. The Submariner Grande that I really like is the Limited edition for parkville pens. They have been long sold out but I have seen a few for sale on the greenboard in the past. I really dig the design, it reminds me of a classic Sheaffer balance color from the 30's&40's. Also the Mandrin yellow is a nice looking pen too!!!

TNS

Attached Images

  • grandele1_600x162.jpg

Check Out my Fountain Pen and Ink Review Sites
Fountain Pen Reviews
Ink Reviews

#14 Apollo

Apollo

    Handsome Devil

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 998 posts
  • Location:Earth.... I think.

Posted 12 October 2005 - 23:40

TNS, that is one nice looking Submariner there! I absolutely love mine. I don't mind the metal section, although I think it's great that Bexley will swap it out for a resin one as an option. This pen has immediately become one of my top 5 favorite fountain pens. For me, it ranks # 2 among the smoothest writing pens I own, second only to my Sailor 1911.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#15 RyanL27

RyanL27

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,090 posts

Posted 12 October 2005 - 23:51

Southpaw - nibs aside, what pen do you prefer between the Shehezarade and Submariner Grande? I'm really attracted to the styling of the Submariner, but the piston fill is a deal maker for me.
"I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them."
- Baruch Spinoza

#16 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:07

Southpaw - nibs aside, what pen do you prefer between the Shehezarade and Submariner Grande? I'm really attracted to the styling of the Submariner, but the piston fill is a deal maker for me.

Tough call. The nibs give them such different personalities and the pens themselves are so different. For me it was an easy choice - I got the one I found the best deal on first.

If I could only have one of them, I guess it would be the Sheherazade. I love piston fillers and it's a big yet light pen. I'd be tempted to get the Sheherazade with the stub nib (mine has the medium), but it's too wide for everyday writing for me. I'm toying with the idea of having Sam at Pendemonium turn my medium into a stub or oblique cursive italic (or maybe Richard, but I just don't want to be without my pen for 13 weeks :( ). BTW, I just cleaned and refilled it today - cleaned out very easily, easier than converters, my M200, or any other pen I have for that matter.

FWIW, I do plan on getting the metal section swapped out with a black resin section - Binder is going to do it :) .
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#17 TheNobleSavage

TheNobleSavage

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,622 posts
  • Location:Guadeloupe, CA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:19

Contact Howard Levy, I believe you can buy a new nib for about 60 bucks from Bexley
Check Out my Fountain Pen and Ink Review Sites
Fountain Pen Reviews
Ink Reviews

#18 Roger

Roger

    FILCAO's Columbia. Photo:www.tryphon.it

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,388 posts

Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:34

FWIW, I do plan on getting the metal section swapped out with a black resin section - Binder is going to do it  :) .

Is that a no charge section swap? Kinda doubt it, but it's still good that you can get it done at what I assume is a decent price.
Roger
Southern Arizona, USA

Fountain Pen Talk Mailing List

#19 southpaw

southpaw

    Museum Piece

  • Premium - Emerald

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,232 posts

Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:36

FWIW, I do plan on getting the metal section swapped out with a black resin section - Binder is going to do it  :) .

Is that a no charge section swap? Kinda doubt it, but it's still good that you can get it done at what I assume is a decent price.

Yup, just gotta pay shippin' 'n handlin' :D !
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#20 TheNobleSavage

TheNobleSavage

    Antique

  • FPN Supporter - Platinum

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,622 posts
  • Location:Guadeloupe, CA
  • Flag:

Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:45

If you want a swap and have already inked your nib, then I think it is 25 or 30 bucks. If you just want a brand new nib in addition to what you have, then I believe it is like 50 or 60 bucks. I had to get a new nib for one of my bexley pens due to a tragic fall. He took the old nib and charged me 50.00 plus 7.00 for shipping for the nib of my choice. Send Howard Levy an email and you can get the info straight from him. Let me know how it goes for you!!!

TNS
Check Out my Fountain Pen and Ink Review Sites
Fountain Pen Reviews
Ink Reviews






Sponsored Content




|