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David Oscarson Celestial


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#1 AndyW

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 23:34

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS - OR, WHY DID I BUY THIS PEN??

Not sure how many of you have a dream pen, but if you are like me, there are certain pens you covet. Well, a David Oscarson has long been on my list ever since I saw one over 2 years ago. I was enamored by the beauty and quality of workmanship and thought if I ever have a special occasion where I am in a position to afford one, I would jump in and invest in one. Then, I saw the Celestial at the Washington, DC pen show 1.5 years ago, and recognized the one I was to target. I spoke with David 3x before I actually dove in and made my purchase. If you have never had the pleasure of David's company at a show, I highly recommend engaging him. He is very passionate about his pens and his work and is a real source of information. In addition, David is a real gentlemen and just a very nice person. No hard selling goes on, just him proudly providing information about his beauties. Knowing that my pen was a source of so much pleasure, it was easy to spend the kind of money necessary to own one.

I bought mine at a local pen show hosted by Bertram's InkWell in which David attended. This allowed me to get this pen at a very good price. Of course this is relative to everyone's individual pocketbooks. I happen to have some money coming to me and I thought I would splurge. I am refraining from a price discussion as each of us has to judge how much they can spend and what something is worth. Bottom line for me, though, is that my purchase experience was first rate from Bert and David. I can heartily recommend both.

PRESENTATION

I have joined many of us in wondering why so much money is spent on boxes. I only have 2 manufacturers boxes on my desk and one of them is the David Oscarson. I can't tell you much about it, but it appears to be some kind of burled wood or laquer. As much detail went into the box as into the pen. It comes complete with everything you need (see the discussion below on the filling system). What I can say is that is that the pen box is what you would expect. First rate and beautiful - commensurate with this pen.

APPEARANCE

Well, I think the pen is a real beauty and its looks are the reason I bought it. Here are some full pen photos. I played with getting the first one to be taken at night to play off the moon and sun seasons:











David uses a "hard enamel approach and a lot of guilloche with this pen. I cannot claim to be an expert on the hard enamel, but according to David it allows for the depth of the view of the guilloche. It is quite stunning. The cap represents the sun and the guilloche is meant to capture the heat waves coming off it. The barrel contains the 4 phases of the moon. With each of the characters, the hard enamel is laid on to bring it "up" to the character. It apparently takes quite a long time to do this. The basic materials are mostly gold over sterling silver. This gives the pen some weight.

NIB/WRITEABILITY









So, if you think the pen is as beautiful as I do, then you are in for a real treat when you write with it. Truth be told, I assumed I wouldn't ink it and I would just treat it as an investment. At David's urging I dipped it and wrote with it. WOW, double WOW. The nib is (excuse my lack of spelling here) Bosc from Germany and is a dream. I ended up with a medium, which I wasn't too keen about. I like European XF and Japanese F nibs. David told me to take the medium nib and he would send a fine to John Mottishaw for grinding to an XF at his cost. (Told you David is a real gentlemen). HOWEVER, the medium is not wide at all and I actually like it a lot. It's not as fine as a European Fine, but is does approach this width. The smoothness of the nib is just as good as it gets. I have nibs modified by Richard Binder and John Mottishaw, and I must say, this nib out of the box is as smooth as those modified by these masters. I was blown away. In term of flex, it is a medium flex. If pushed I would say it was on the stiff side of a medium flex, but write with it. It is a real pleasure. This pen is made for writing. It is not just eye candy. I realize this pen is not a dialy writer and I have not taken it out of the house to meetings. However, it is absolutely a daily writer for journals and everyday activities around my home office. This nib writes on everything very well. I even use it on post it notes - notoriously incompatible with fountain pens. There is a hint of feathering in my moleskine journals, but that is more due to the medium nib than the nib itself.

If you are lucky enough to get an Oscarson, plan on years of pleasurable writing...

The cap is very heavy and can be posted. But, the pen is pretty heavy anyway, so I would not suggest doing this. The cap fits snuggly on the barrel and does fit pretty far down the barrel. But the weight is such that I believe posting should not be done. I like heavy pens, but this is along the lines of my Krone Blue Gold in terms of weight.

FILLING SYSTEM

Another unique (as far as I know) feature of the pen is the 3 way optional filling system. You can go the route of the provided converter, or the cartridges that are also provided. Or, you can go the way I have chosen and that is with an eye dropper filler. The chamber in the barrel that holds the CC has a gasket at the top to seal it off, and you use the eye dropper provided to put ink directly into the barrel. It holds a fair amount (sorry I didn't measure it, but is is more than the CC). The process is very easy and not nearly as messy as I feared. I love the idea of letting me choose the best way and it the design is very, very simple. I sure wish more manufacturers would consider this...

VALUE

So, here's the dicey part - which I am not going to step into. The pen lists for a lot of money, and even with a big discount, it is still a lot. Value is certainly subjective, just as beauty is. All I can tell you is that it is bringing me a lot of joy. You decide if it is worth the money. What I can tell you is that it is a superior pen, well made, and one terrific writer.

Hope you enjoy the pictures and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Stepping outside the bounds of the review, just wanted to take this time of year to thank the contributors to FPN. It is a wonderful group. Each day I learn and laugh and get to share my passion with others. So, a big thank you to all. Wishing you, your family and friends the most healthy and prosperous of New Year's.

Andy W.


Here are some quick and dirty pictures of the box and its contents.








Edited by MYU, 14 November 2008 - 17:41.

Posted Image[/URL]

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#2 jonro

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 00:33

Congratulations on acquiring a very special pen. There's a lot of nice detail there.

#3 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:08

Congrats Andy -

I think David Oscarson crafts some of the most beautiful pens made today.

I am curious to know if you also examined David Oscarson's new Valhalla series. I have been drooling over his gray Thor and his blue Odin pens. I'm hoping to get the chance to see his pens in person next April at the Atlanta Pen Show.

Thank you for reviewing the writing characteristics of his pens - without seeing, holding, and dipping one of these pens it is very hard to assess how well these pens write. And no matter how good a pen looks, if it does not write well, then it's jst jewelry.

These pens, while laboriously crafted of fine materials, have clean designs that look good clipped into the placket of a polo shirt with khakis or in the jacket pocket of a good suit. I could wear the pen at work, or in more casual situations. I like that it can be dressed up or dressed down.

I had heard (seemingly wrongly) that the boxes that housed these pens were rather plain - can you post a photo or two of the box as well?



Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#4 Will Thorpe

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:54

I agree with your review. I don't own one of those pens but have written with several of David's pens at various pen shows. I had the same reaction with the nib, WOW! Exceptionally smooth and wrote like a dream. The enamel is kiln fired so the pen is durable, really durable, so I would have that in my pocket daily.

#5 Kalessin

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 03:45

Nice review -- thank you!

Can you describe how it feels to grip and write with that engraved metal section?

-- Joel -- "I collect expensive and time-consuming hobbies."

INK (noun): A villainous compound of tannogallate of iron, gum-arabic and water,
chiefly used to facilitate the infection of idiocy and promote intellectual crime.
(from The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce)

#6 nycom92

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 04:02

Very Nice review of a truly beautiful pen. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Oscarson at the Albany, NY Pen show in October. He is a very nice person, very proud of his pens. My 12 yo daughter was with me and he treated her like she was buying one of his pens! He had a wealth of information, even if you were "just looking" - His pens are an "investment", which means running in the $ 4,000-5,000 range.

The Celestial actually looks better in person! His other pens are just as amazing.

#7 greencobra

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 05:28

Super review. Your pen is the one I've admired also and it was a treat reading your review. Congrats on owning such a fine pen.
JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#8 omasfan

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 07:44

Wonderful pen! I don't think you have to apologize for spending a high amount of money on a pen. It's your right, and the pen definitely lives up to its price. Besides, FPN is teeming with insane creatures (I count myself among them) who spend way too much on pens, anyway. You are, therefore, in good company!
Is the cap a snap-on type? The build of the pen sounds a lot like a Dupont: all-metal pen with lacquer work, stiff yet very, very smooth nib. Is this a fair comparison? I have a Dupont Orpheo and love it dearly.
Enjoy the Oscarson! Will you be able to keep both nibs, the one that is modified and the medium?

#9 AndyW

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 13:00

Yachtsilverswan - I will post a picture of the box lateer today when I get back to my camera. I did look at the Valhalla series and thought it was beautiful. The Celestial was my favorite, though. The Valhalla is worth looking at. I didn't ask too many questions, so I can't tell you much about it. If you have a chance to meet David, though, he will be happy to tell you his inspiration for creating the series and all of the work needed to produce it. I would say the Valhalla is my second favorite of his pens. It is really stunning.

Dupontfan - Sorry if I came across as apologizing as I didn't mean to. I am proud of my collection and even prouder of the fact that I work hard enough to be able to earn the money that allows to me to indulge in my passion. The cap is a screw on, not a snap on. I haven't tried the Dupont, YET, so I can't compare. However, the nib is not really that stiff. I have much much stiffer ones. I hard a hard time classifying the nib as it is not flexible, but it's not stiff. It really is sort of a medium flex. I definitely love it, though. I will be returning the medium nib when I get the modified one. David was so nice to do this, that I feel obligated to return it.

Kalesin - I hadn't really thought about how the engraved grip feels. I went back to look at it and the engraved section is not cut deep so I barely feel it. You can feel it, but the engraving is smooth and not deep so it doesn't get in the way. The tactile feel is just fine by me, but I would suggest trying it out if you are considering the pen.

Nycom92 - I was fortunate enough to not have to pay quite as much as you quoted. If you are considering a purchase, email privately and I'll be happy to discuss the actual cost.

All, thanks for the interest. If there are any other questions, fire away. I love talking about this pen almost as much as I love using it!!

Andy W.
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#10 Sharkle

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 17:09


Great review, thank you! and a big surprise as well. I have enjoyed looking at the Pierrette model for some time, and actually got to handle some Oscarson pens at the D.C. pen show in 2006. I was surprised at how large the pens were. I love the softly engraved diagonal crosshatch design on the section of the Pierrette as well as the colors and other details. Your pen is gorgeous, and thanks for sharing your joyous experience with us. smile.gif



#11 Keng

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 19:02

Fantastic looking pen and I like the close-up photo of the nib. Congrats.

Mike
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
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#12 AKAGodSent

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 03:14

Absolutely beautiful pen, great pictures! While I was at the Pen Expo at Fountain Pen Hospital I stopped by the David Oscarson pens and was given the option of trying one out...first I asked the price, in reply I was told "They're all $4,500." I looked at my father and said "Well, trying is free!" so we both tried out the exact pen you got, it reminded me of the Michel Perchin MP5 that I wound up purchasing, perfect nib, smooth, good weight, and just a beautiful pen to look at. Thanks for your review, I also like that you can fill it with a dropper.
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” Voltaire
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#13 playpen

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 03:54

Beautiful pen! Congratulations on buying your dream pen! smile.gif

#14 captnemo

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 04:06

Very, very few high end pens appeal to me. And even fewer make me want one--almost none. But this pen you are showing here is something different. I think this is the first pen I've ever seen that I would consider shelling out big bucks for.

Very, very nice pen! Congratulations.

#15 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 04:17

You're right Andy.

The box is commensurate with the pen. Very nice. I go kinda weak in the knees for polished burled wood.

I've often wondered why some of these high end boxes are not designed with a glass top, so that the box can be used to display the pen. Removable foam or removable padded leather cushioning could be included to fully protect the pen for shipping.

I use Venlo's pen display cabinets, but it just seems that a pen this nice should be displayed separately - in a little shrine all its own.

Again, congrats Andy. This is functional art.

Edited by yachtsilverswan, 14 December 2007 - 15:16.

Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#16 AndyW

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 04:27

QUOTE(captnemo @ Dec 14 2007, 04:06 AM) View Post
Very, very few high end pens appeal to me. And even fewer make me want one--almost none. But this pen you are showing here is something different. I think this is the first pen I've ever seen that I would consider shelling out big bucks for.

Very, very nice pen! Congratulations.


I have a lot invested in my collection. I have been acumulating a number of high end pens, including a Krone Blue Gold, MB Proust, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Marquis de Pompadour, Jules Verne and many others in that price range. I have to say, this is the finest writing instrument out of the box I have. While I think it and the Marquis de Pompadour are the prettiest pens I own, this David Oscarson writes like nothing else I have that has not been modified. My Proust was modified ( I am not sure by who) and it is probably the smoothest most sure writer I have. BUT, I would not want to live off the difference btwn the Proust and the Celestial. There really is no difference in my judgement. BUT, the Celestial came out of the box that way. The Proust was modified. So, if you think you might be tempted, dip it, write with it and be prepared ...
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#17 alvarez57

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 04:54

Gorgeous pen and finally a review on David Oscarson. I like yours and also the white enamel. I also love his Harvest collection. I'm just too stingy to pay that price but who knows?????
I'm glad is your own gift for working hard.

sonia alvarez

 

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#18 Rincewind

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 11:52

Great post - this is a very beautiful pen and the box is suitably elegant. Certainly I would buy one if funds permitted, as I have a fascination with astronomically themed pens.

Meanwhile I will have to settle for my Delta Isaac Newton, Visconti Copernicus, Omas Galileo Galilei and Stipula Da Vinci Infinity puddle.gif

Season's Greetings!

- Stuart
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#19 Ghost Plane

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 14:16

puddle.gif Beautiful! puddle.gif

#20 kadymae

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 19:28

Dear Andy,

Thank you for the multiple eyegasm.


Katherine Keller
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