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Ancora Maxima


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#1 Sazerac

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:01

I have become a big fan of Ancora fountain pens. I purchased my first one last July, and have acquired several more since then. I bought this Ancora “Maxima” from the green board in November. It must have had almost no use because it was like brand new. I think I shelled out about $250 for it, which is fair. I wanted it. Plus, I do not even know where one can buy the Ancora Maxima in this color. So I jumped on it and am very glad I did.

I do not know the exact measurements, but as you can see from the photos, it is a large pen. Not oversize, though. It’s a smidge larger than the Pelikan M800 (in the photo below) all the way around – length and girth – and the nib is a bit longer. Unposted, it feels much like the Pelikan M800 in the hand. Posted, which I do not do, is not a good idea for this pen. For one thing, it is very long, and for another, it does not post all that firmly. I’d guess it was not made to be posted.

This pen is a cartridge/converter. As you can see from the photos, which do not do the it justice, it’s a gorgeous pen.

And it writes like a dream. The Ancora stub nibs do not usually produce too much line variation; they are much more like a sweet, juicy broad nib with a hint of variation. You can see in the pictures how long, lean, and tapered the tines of the nib are. This is what makes Ancora nibs special. They have a kind of “flex” to them that no other pens have (at least none in my experience). This “flex” is difficult to describe, but I put quotation marks around “flex” because it is not flex in the classic sense of the tines separating with downward pressure, producing broader downstrokes and thinner cross strokes. It’s more like both tines in tandem give a bit with every stroke. I imagine that on downstrokes, the tines actually do separate a wee bit, but it cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Again, it is hard to describe the writing experience of Ancora pens, but it’s fair to say that it is very “cushy.” The analogy that keeps springing to mind is when, as a kid, I would ride around in the backseat of our neighbor’s 72 Lincoln Continetal – he drove like a maniac – but there were no such things as rough bumps, only wavelike motions going down the road and around corners.

Another benefit of the Ancora nibs is that the nib and feed assembly unscrew much like nib/feed units from Pelikan, Stipula, and others. (The feed is not ebonite.) Of my many Ancora nibs, I have swapped them in and out of various other pens. Ancora nibs are supposedly well known for QC issues as the nibs are handmade in-house by Ancora. I have had mostly great experiences with Ancora nibs. All the nibs, except one, that came with my pens have written very well from the box. None of them have had major issues. It is true that I have sent a few out to be “tuned” by a nibmeister, but that is because I have found it money well-spent and send many of my pens (Omas, Delta, and Aurora) out to be “tuned.” The nib on this Maxima, however, has proven to be perfect as it came; no need for tuning.

One more thing that I like about Ancora nibs is that I never have exactly the same writing experience with any two of them. There is no radical difference between them, though. Of the six Ancora stub nibs that I have, I’d say the following is true: they are all distinctively Ancora, no two are exactly alike, but all have a ‘family resemblance.’ In my pen collection, I have several Bock nibs and really, really like them. The Ancora nibs, however, are a refreshing change from Bock nibs and well worth a try.

Overall, I am very happy with this pen. It’s a wonderful blue color with a bit of what the kids call “bling.” It’s got a profile that is a departure from most other Ancoras. It’s a wonderful writer, and it’s light.

Edit: Sorry. I forgot to shrink the photos down before posting.

Attached Images

  • Maxima_FPN_1.jpg
  • Maxima_FPN_4.jpg
  • Maxima_FPN_3.jpg
  • Maxima_FPN_2.jpg

Edited by Sazerac, 24 January 2008 - 08:14.


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#2 Tom Pike

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:18

Hi Neighbor,

Thank you for the great review of a lovely pen! As you know, vintage pens are more my poison, so I've got a newbie question: What is the significance of 1919 in the barrel and nib imprints? I appreciate the frame of reference that the Pelikan 800 provides in the pictures. Is this a heavy pen in hand, or is it really as light as the 800?


Cheers,
Tom

#3 Abhik

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:23

Lovely pen & juicy photos! How did you get 6 stub nibs? Did you buy separately?
Nice pen, enjoy!
Abhik.

#4 Sazerac

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 08:09

Hey Tom. Yeah, it's as light as the 800 as long as it is not posted. The Pelikan 800 has a bit of weight at the top of the pen due to the brass piston. This is what makes it so comfortable for me, and others too, I suppose. The Maxima does not have the piston, but the rhodiated metal "cap" at the end goes down a bit inside the pen, so the slight top weighting is similar. Also the metal ring by the nib gives it some nib-forward weight.

As far as I know the "1919" is the date Ancora was founded.

Abhik, I got them all separately. I bought every Anocra I could find on the green board and few from Al Mayman at Penultimate. (It was an six-month fever that seems to have passed. Well, my budget ran dry.)

Thanks for your kind words about the review.

Edited by Sazerac, 24 January 2008 - 08:12.


#5 Ghost Plane

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 13:33

Thank you! I've been hesitant to try a stub, not knowing how they ran in this pen. Really beautiful. puddle.gif

#6 PinarelloOnly

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 15:27

Very nice pen!!

#7 hardyb

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 16:34

Really beautiful. I have a fist full of Ancora myself and live them. The nibs have a unique feel to them and write wonderfully.
The Danitrio Fellowship

#8 jbn10161

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 16:54

Sazerac, great photos and writing sample!

What size is the point on the Optima you have in the third photo?


JN

#9 Sazerac

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 18:26

Ghost Plane: If you like very broad "broad" nibs -- and I think you do -- the stub is the way to go in the Ancora line. Their "broad" is not so broad. This stub is broad like an Omas "broad," for example. (It'd be broader than the Delta "broad.")

jbn10161: I'm glad you asked. I forgot to mention in the review that is a factory double broad (BB) with flex added by Richard B. Adding flex I believe makes the tines a little narrower. With flex, it really opens up, writes almost as broad as a marker.

(The Pelikan 800 is an OBB.)

Edited by Sazerac, 24 January 2008 - 18:27.


#10 Ghost Plane

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 21:51

Thank you. Yes, I prefer an Omas or Visconti style broad. I've even ventured into the Marlen BBs.

#11 nasoni

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 20:12

What is the green board?
Dick Nasoni
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