A nice, convenient pen. Maybe not the most elegant or the most comfortable pen in the world, but it's ease of use is wonderful. The lack of a cap has made it practical to use a nice FP when it was formerly impractical.
It has a unique look to it, for sure. I went with a Blue Carbonesque model with Rhodium trim. I wanted something casual, and this looks good with jeans or business casual dress. Not so flashy that it screams "I cost a lot, steal me!" Yet it's flashy enough that I frequently get compliments after business meetings on the pen. Even from folks who typically prefer the classic black & gold blocky looking pens.
Let's get this out of the way now...yes the clip can be uncomfortable. The older versions dealt with the issue a little better. The clip will probably be a make-it or break-it for most people. It really depends on your hand size and how you grip your pens. The ergonomics aren't the best, mostly because I hold the pen low, and my fingertips are half on the body, half on the big hunk of steel at the nib end. This tends to be uncomfortable for extended writing, but great for quick notes. The length is great! Pen is a little on the heavy side, but not excessively. Again, I don't use this pen for extended writing, but I don't foresee any weight-related fatigue if I were to. I like a pen with some heft!! A retractable, gold-nibbed fountain pen.....this is amazing stuff!!
A little skippy on quick right to left's...other than that...amazing. Good, wet flow. A true medium line from the 14K medium nib. Great on just about any paper. Nearly zero tooth to speak of. Yes, it squeaks a little out of the box (the Broads are even worse), but that does work out eventually. This nib likes every ink I've tried in it (several brands and colors). Writes like a dream!! For around $100 you can get one like-new to new on the Marketplace (sometimes less), and for less than $50 you can get complete nib-units in the other two sizes that you didn't get with the pen. A complete kit for $150. Not bad, eh? ;-)
Filling System (6/10)
It's a C/C. I could do without a C/C, but since that's what this pen has, I don't have much choice, do I? The converter is tiny, and the cartridges aren't much better. And there's NO ink window, even with the barrel off! There's a tiny little clear spot, and if you hold the pen sideways you may get a rough idea of your ink level, but that isn't always accurate. This is my one and only real complaint on this pen.
Cost and Value (8/10)
I paid $125 new. I knew I could get it slightly cheaper online, but I wanted it when I wanted it, and so I had to pay the price. The best price I knew of for a new VP at that time was $110, so I figured at $110 + $5 for shipping, I only paid $10 for the luxury of having it NOW. Great pen for the money. $75-ish used and $115 new is a fair price for what you get, in my estimation. YMMV, of course.
Overall, this pen is a solid value. Great for quick notes. No cap to fumble with, easy one handed operation from a FP...how can you beat that? :-) I would say this is not one of my favorite pens, but it is a pen I don't want to be without. Strange, isn't it? It certainly fulfills a niche for me, though. And so it must stay.
Edited by KingJoe, 08 February 2008 - 21:17.