That being said, I think that it would be highly inappropriate for me to do any comparison between Bryan's pens and my pens, so for the purpose of this review, I'm taking off my penmaker's hat, and putting on my pen enthusiasts hat!
Besides, there's plenty of business for all of us custom penmakers. People who love pens will never be happy with just one pen! That includes me.
Lastly, there's no connection between Worcester and I except for being an ecstatic customer.
So that being out of the way, my review of this pen….
I've known Bryan Lucas of the Worcester Pen Company for a bit. We frequent some of the same penmakers forums, and his work is the envy of many a penmaker. I've always been a fan of his work, and since I had some extra Christmas money lying around, I wanted to treat myself to a nice pen.
When I first took the pen out of the box, I could tell that the utmost of care went into this pen. The threads meet the section perfectly. The centerband and clip are also perfectly flush with the profile of the cap.
Appearance and Finish
The pen is a little smaller than what I imagined from the pictures on Bryan's website (see specs below), but no points taken off for that. One of the nice things about custom made pens by Bryan is that the finish is impeccable…far and away better than most big manufacturers.
Most major pen manufactures will sand to about 600 grit, and then buff. It's just not cost effective for big manufacturers to go through all the trouble of sanding and polishing to ridiculous grits. Well, Bryan's pen is SUPER glossy. It takes a lot of time to accomplish this, and you usually can only get this finish from a custom maker.
My only comment on the negative side is that I would prefer a gold colored nib with a gold trimmed pen. However, I didn't make any trim or nib color requests when I ordered the pen, so one could argue that it's my own fault. You can see on Bryan's site that any trim/nib combination is possible. And besides, I have gold nibs in my own inventory that will fit this pen if I want to put one of them on. It's not a big deal.
The barrel has a nice taper which allows the cap to post. As a penmaker, let me tell you that engineering a pen with a perfectly fitted posting cap is no easy task. This alone is a testament to how much precision goes into this pen.
The pen feels fine in my hand with the cap posted or unposted. but if I had to choose, I think that the pen is a little better balanced posted.
Weight w/ Cap 19g, w/o Cap 10g
Diameter – Cap .552", Body .482" Section .327" (narrowest point)
Length - Capped 5.425", Uncapped 5.000", Posted 6.000"
I would say that the pen is similar in feel to a Pelikan M600, except that the Worcester pen has more taper in the barrel.
The cap attaches with quadruple-lead threads (another difficult task). It removes with a turn and a quarter, which is fine by me. Anymore than a two turns is too much for my preference.
Overall, the pen is probably a just a touch skinny for my hand, but I usually use larger pens…no points taken off, though. It's not going to stop me from using it daily.
The nib is an 18k gold medium Yard-O-Led. At first the nib was a little skippy on my upstrokes, but I just credit that to a breaking in stage. It only happened about 5% of the time. I brought the tines a little closer together, and this has not happened since.
The nib is incredibly smooth. The nib was obviously smoothed before being sent out. I could tell not only by feel, but there was just a touch of watery ink in the feed. This is the telltale sign that it was adjusted and flushed before being sent out. This is another advantage of getting a pen from Bryan. The big manufacturers could never take the time to smooth and adjust every nib before they go out.
The cap is very nice, with a very cool engraving on the clip. On the top of the cap, there is an imprint of a black pear, which is the emblem of the city of Worcester, according to the literature that came with the pen.
The pen comes with a top quality international converter. It will also take cartridges. No real comments on the filling system. Either you like converters or you don't. I like them.
This is where the pen really shines. Not only is this pen of top quality, but the price is a real surprise. Bryan's pens range from 60 to 175 GBP ($117 to $340). My pen was the baseline model ($117), but I had the Yard-O-Led nib added for a total cost of $240. Obviously, this pen with a steel nib for about $117 is a phenomenal value, my opinion.
And to top it all off…with the purchase of this pen, you get a one year guarantee against faulty manufacture.
Highly recommended. If you like big and fatter pens, this one might not be for you, but the value is amazing, and it's a beautiful writer. This will go into my pocket briefcase and become my daily writer.
My only comment to Bryan is that he definitely should consider doing this design out of ebonite. The crushed velvet that he used for this pen is outta site, but I could really see this pen in a very stunning green/black or red/black ebonite. (this is just my personal preference…I LOVE ebonite…maybe I'll ship him a piece, and see if he can chuck it up for me!)
Awesome pen, and since Worcester is a small operation, the attention to detail (especially the finish and adjusted nib) is something that you just can't get from the big boys.
Edited by watch_art, 22 May 2011 - 18:21.