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Review: Ancora Perla


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#1 Sazerac

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 04:55

A version of this pen by Levenger has already been reviewed, but I thought it might be good to have a review of the non-Levenger version.

I bought my first Perla in July, and by December I had six of them – either broad or stub nibs. Each one was between $120-$150. The main reason I bought more than one, two, or three is that each one of the nibs has its own character, sufficiently so that individual nibs do indeed feel different. I mentioned in my review of the Ancora Maxima posted earlier that no two nibs are exactly alike, but all have a ‘family resemblance.’ Although the differences are slight, they can be noticed. This attest to the fact that these nibs are handmade, which is good and bad as some have reported that the nibs have QC issues. I have experienced this a slight bit. A couple of them needed to be tweeked by a nibmeister to perform flawlessly.

Sizewise, this is a very big pen. It would be classified as oversized. You can see below in the pictures where I have it lined up with (from left to right) a Pelikan M800, Omas Ogiva, and (at the end) a Dolce Vita OS. I find it more comfortable than any of those pens primarily because I like big pens, but you can see that the Perla tapers quite nicely on the nib section. Plus, this pen is large in the hand unposted. In fact, it is not designed to be used posted. It’s long enough without posting (note the rather stubby cap), and the cap does not stay posted. Unposted, the body of pen alone is more than enough for a comfortable writing experience.

It is also a gorgeous pen. The resins (or whatever the material is) they use on these pens is absolutely beautiful. I’ve tried to capture the pretty red, blue, and green-yellow in the photos, which is stunning when set off by the broad rhodiated silver bands at either end of the pen and topped off with the long, elegant nib.

I’ll be repeating my earlier review, but the Anocra nibs give the pen a unique writing experience. The nibs 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. It’s a very comfortable nib.

I prefer piston fillers on this count the Perla is disappointing. It is a cartridge/converter, although they do put a rubber gasket on the nib section. As a consequence, the nib section screws very tightly into the body. This makes it feel more secure and substantial. The cap unscrews with about one third of a turn, which is nice. One gripe I have with the pen is that filling the pen is best done by removing the converter as the threads on the bottom of the pen are quite difficult to clean after dipping in ink. Also, I have heard some have had staining issues with the ink on the nib section here. I avoid these problems by simply filling the converter.

In sum, I love the Perla. Even though I’ve had a couple that needed nib tweeking and filling the pens is quirky, each one is well worth the money I paid. I always have more than one Perla inked and at the top of my rotation.

Edit: I cannot seem to shrink the photos. Sorry so large.

Attached Images

  • Perla_Nib_1.jpg
  • Perlas_3.jpg
  • Perlas_with_text.jpg
  • Perlas_in_Comparison.jpg

Edited by Sazerac, 09 February 2008 - 04:58.


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#2 CharlieB

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 09:37

Nice photo! The Ancora Perla has a truly elegantly shaped nib. I love the way it tapers down to such a narrow point. I believe the flex you speak of is due to the narrow point.
CharlieB

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#3 Ghost Plane

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 14:06

Where are you finding so many?! I've been hunting for ages. All I've managed to find is the gold and I stained the threads in the section as it was an early pen and I didn't realize what some inks would do. And you've got the nibs sizes I lust after too!

#4 errantmarginalia

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 15:53

Thanks for the review. Like CharlieB, I really like the elegant shape of the nib. The fact that Ancora still make their own nibs is great as well, and the stub seems to produce a nice line.
Regards,
David

#5 Sazerac

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 19:50

Ghost Plane: I think I got lucky. Now, most my sources have dried up since I have not seen them in a while. I got a few from Al at Penultimate, one from the Fountain Pen Domain, and a couple from the green board.

#6 Ghost Plane

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 21:55

You must have as I tried the Russian e-mail address Katrina provided for the new Ancora distributor and got no response.

#7 CharlieB

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 21:59

Ghost,
Contact Jimmy at Total Office Products in Georgia. He has had them at pen shows in the last year. He may still have some.
CharlieB

"The moment he opened the refrigerator, he saw it. Caponata! Fragrant, colorful, abundant, it filled an entire soup dish, enough for at least four people.... The notes of the triumphal march of Aida came spontaneously, naturally, to his lips." -- Andrea Camilleri, Excursion to Tindari, p. 212

#8 Ghost Plane

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 22:01

Ooo! I got my Visconti Renaiscimento from him. Thanks!

#9 jonro

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 03:38

Thanks for the review, Sazerac. I enjoyed reading about your Ancora Perlas and will keep my eyes peeled for one.

#10 Sazerac

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 05:31

Glad you folks like the review. This really is a great pen to write with.

Good luck on your hunt Ghost Plane.

(I'm still looking for an orange one, myself. I've seen pictures, but they must be rare.)

#11 Ghost Plane

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 15:14

Have you checked Scott Lee at Prahableu? I haven't checked colors lately, but he's got a couple of M nibs left. Unfortunately the rest are ballpoints or rollers, I forget which.

#12 Sazerac

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 06:19

Ghost Plane. Yeah, I've checked. No such luck.

I'm keeping my eyes out but have little hope of finding one.

Maybe I have a good excuse to go to Russia, now.

#13 Ghost Plane

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 13:46

Sounds reasonable to me roflmho.gif

#14 diplomat

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 16:09

Ok, you were convincing enough. I think I'll buy one. smile.gif
I like the size, the double band on the body and - of course - the nib. Classic, even beautiful.
Actually your review is excellent in showing why having so few nib producers is such a bad thing.

QUOTE(Sazerac @ Feb 11 2008, 06:31 AM) View Post
(I'm still looking for an orange one, myself. I've seen pictures, but they must be rare.)


Ah ah! down the mask! it's not all about the nibs... you were bitten by the collecting bug!

Seriously: I think you're looking for the yellow model. Orange is not in the range as of their website.

http://www.ancorapen.../06als1pag.html

Regards,

#15 hardyb

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 16:36

I own several of the Perlas and one of the Maxima, which is a truly beautiful pen in the color below (the resin just seem to glow):

Edited by hardyb, 14 February 2008 - 16:39.

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#16 Sazerac

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:07

Diplomat, you see right through me. I suspected that it was the collecting bug that had bitten me when I found myself buying a second green/yellow one with a broad nib. Why would I need two of the exact same pen? It makes no sense to the ordinary mortal, but I bet it makes sense to my fellow FPN members.

Indeed, the 'yellow' model they have in the picture to which you link is the elusive 'orange,' as I call it. Not only would it complete my collection, but -- and this will sound odd -- orange is my favorite color.

I am glad to see there are other Ancora fans out there. It is a shame they are not more readily available in the US.

hardyb, do you have a line on where to get Ancora pens? Weaver at Fountain Pen Domain carried them, but he's offline. Other than that, I do not know of any retailer that carries their line.

#17 hardyb

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 19:05

hardyb, do you have a line on where to get Ancora pens? Weaver at Fountain Pen Domain carried them, but he's offline. Other than that, I do not know of any retailer that carries their line.
[/quote]
www.pensinasia.com/ancora.htm - 20k - Cached - Similar pages


www.pens.it/ancora/ - 11k - Cached - Similar pages

Ancora Pen CatalogSince 1919 ANCORA has manufactured unique fountain pens which authentically www.pencity.com/Ancora_Pen_Catalog.htm - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

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#18 diplomat

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 20:26

QUOTE(Sazerac @ Feb 15 2008, 06:07 AM) View Post
Why would I need two of the exact same pen? It makes no sense to the ordinary mortal, but I bet it makes sense to my fellow FPN members.


Sazerac, it makes a LOT of sense to me, I am afraid smile.gif

... but this make us happy, don't?

Enjoy your Ancoras, I am only a few steps behind.

Cheers,

#19 Sazerac

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 21:58

hardyb, thanks for the links.

diplomat, I knew I was in a place of understanding here.

#20 mda327

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:45

A version of this pen by Levenger has already been reviewed, but I thought it might be good to have a review of the non-Levenger version.

I bought my first Perla in July, and by December I had six of them – either broad or stub nibs. Each one was between $120-$150. The main reason I bought more than one, two, or three is that each one of the nibs has its own character, sufficiently so that individual nibs do indeed feel different. I mentioned in my review of the Ancora Maxima posted earlier that no two nibs are exactly alike, but all have a ‘family resemblance.’ Although the differences are slight, they can be noticed. This attest to the fact that these nibs are handmade, which is good and bad as some have reported that the nibs have QC issues. I have experienced this a slight bit. A couple of them needed to be tweeked by a nibmeister to perform flawlessly.

Sizewise, this is a very big pen. It would be classified as oversized. You can see below in the pictures where I have it lined up with (from left to right) a Pelikan M800, Omas Ogiva, and (at the end) a Dolce Vita OS. I find it more comfortable than any of those pens primarily because I like big pens, but you can see that the Perla tapers quite nicely on the nib section. Plus, this pen is large in the hand unposted. In fact, it is not designed to be used posted. It’s long enough without posting (note the rather stubby cap), and the cap does not stay posted. Unposted, the body of pen alone is more than enough for a comfortable writing experience.

It is also a gorgeous pen. The resins (or whatever the material is) they use on these pens is absolutely beautiful. I’ve tried to capture the pretty red, blue, and green-yellow in the photos, which is stunning when set off by the broad rhodiated silver bands at either end of the pen and topped off with the long, elegant nib.

I’ll be repeating my earlier review, but the Anocra nibs give the pen a unique writing experience. The nibs 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. It’s a very comfortable nib.

I prefer piston fillers on this count the Perla is disappointing. It is a cartridge/converter, although they do put a rubber gasket on the nib section. As a consequence, the nib section screws very tightly into the body. This makes it feel more secure and substantial. The cap unscrews with about one third of a turn, which is nice. One gripe I have with the pen is that filling the pen is best done by removing the converter as the threads on the bottom of the pen are quite difficult to clean after dipping in ink. Also, I have heard some have had staining issues with the ink on the nib section here. I avoid these problems by simply filling the converter.

In sum, I love the Perla. Even though I’ve had a couple that needed nib tweeking and filling the pens is quirky, each one is well worth the money I paid. I always have more than one Perla inked and at the top of my rotation.

Edit: I cannot seem to shrink the photos. Sorry so large.








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