1. First Impressions - I've started looking for Krones ever since I lucked into my first on sale at FPH. They're beautiful, they're not the same old black and gold or black and silver finish, they write like a dream - wet and floaty smooth. Besides the unusual color combos and looks, they're an all day user's dream for comfort and ink flow. I've never yet been disappointed in the fit and finish.
2. Appearance & Finish 4.9/5 - I was surprised by the transparency behind the orangish red color. I've never seen a photo anywhere to do justice as they always appear flat red. The mechanism of the piston is visible through the material, yet not so obvious that I'd call it a demonstrator. For once, I'll be able to see what's left in the piston. Krones have meticulous fit and finish. I've never yet been disappointed. One can hardly see where the filler cap goes on the end of the pen. If I had any very minor critique, it's that the black nib holder [I don't know the technical term] shows just a hair through the semi transparent material at the end. As it's where I'll probably stain the pen over time with ink, no biggie.
3. Design/ Size/Weight 5/5 - These are wide and long pens. I'd taken one shot of it next to my YOL Grand. Much lighter, of course, but obviously designed to post. We're talking seriously good balance with the cap on. I'm guessing the non posters would be happy enough with it off, but I'm using it posted. One silver ring at the top of the post, which holds the clip on the pen. The clip comes down and ends in a ring at the clamp part. A little tarnished, since this is an older pen that's been sitting in storage somewhere, but I like the look. Beats the average standard design clips. Being a girl, these don't get clipped in a shirt pocket, but I'd guess a guy would enjoy the extra styling peeking over the edge and it'd be firm enough to hold the pen. VERY comfortable for marathon writing sessions
Gorgeous material. I don't have a clue what it is and haven't looked at the Krone website, but we're talking jewel colors. Very rich, very orangey-red floating in almost clear with just a slight yellowish cast. From a distance, the pen looks red. Think bright coral or carnelian. Or, if you're a woman, power suit red.
Very smooth and easy to grasp under the fingers. These pens definitely have some design to them, rather than being retreads of pens of the past. It totally appeals to the artistic side of me.
4. Nib Design & Performance 5/5- The nib surprised me. To date, every Krone I've gotten had a solid white gold, stark to the point of boring nib. This older pen has a two tone yellow and white nib and it's a little larger than what they're shipping on the newer pens. Aesthetically, it's gorgeous. I'm sorry they've gone to the plain nibs, because this is a beauty. Just as wet and floaty as all the others. This is a very satisfying B and it goes straight into my user rotation. This is the kind of nib I hunt for. I call them "precise" Bs because they leave lines with distinct edges to them as they float over the page. I'm getting nice shading from the Tulipe Noire because of the amount of ink it pushes around. Think hovercraft, think slick as ice, this is the kind of nib I'm coming to expect from Krones.
5. The Filling System 4.5/5 - This is a piston fill. Take the end cap off by unscrewing, twist the end of the piston and suck up enough ink that the level drops in the Noodler's bottle. If I have one dislike, this pen lacks the machined edges that are now molded into the newer pistons, so this one ends in a smooth piece. Ladies, do NOT put on hand lotion and expect to fill this pen! Screw the end cap back on and you're ready for a marathon. Glad to see Krone noted the problem and fixed it in later models.
6. Cost/Value 5/5 - Again, I got this NOS on eBay from a guy who normally sells cameras and occasionally has pens. The price was primo for a Krone. Counting shipping, $135 and I get a truly sweet writer. Go prowl the companies that are still selling these vanishing pens and you'll see them listed at over $200. This is my second Moderne, I got my other NOS on eBay for about ten bucks less, so this appears to be the ballpark these days.
7. Overall Opinion/Conclusion 4.75/5 - Definitely a keeper going straight into rotation. While it's not my perfect pen, it has enough of the attributes that it'll get heavy service. And, unlike the Yard O Led, I won't worry about taking this one out of the house. The gorgeous colors will not only glow in sunlight, but make it a hard pen to mislay in the paperwork. It's not as light as my Delta Passion, which is a little light for me. I'd call this a midweight on the range of pens I own, the Delta Passion being the lightest and the YOL Grand or Krone Archetecus being the heavies. If I hadn't experienced the YOL Grand as my perfect pen, this would be well on the way to qualifying.