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The Glenmont from Brian Gray (Edison Pen Co. formerly Pencraft)


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#1 Rufus

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 21:33

This is my first review on FPN so bear with me and I'll try to follow TNS's outline, which I think is very good, as closely as possible. I know you love pictures, and they really do enhance a review, but I'm a Luddite's Luddite and don't own one of them thar new fangled digital cameras and linking in pictures from another site is totally beyond my comprehension; perhaps Brian or another FPNer would be good enough to post a few pictures. Let me begin:

1. FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I'd been considering buying one of Brian's hand-crafted pens for quite some time. I'd read all the reviews on FPN about several of the models he makes, combed his website and finally decided that the El Grande Beaumont was what I was looking for: simple yet elegant classical design, meticulous workmanship, choice of materials and colours and well-priced. On February 19 I was about to pull the trigger and order an El Grande when I came across AJP's review on FPN, dated February 8, entitled, "Pencraft Custom Creation Review". That did it for me: I had to have Brian make me a pen like AJP's. That afternoon I e-mailed Brian enquiring as to whether or not he could make me a pen similar to AJP's; Brian responded almost immediately telling me that he was about ready to go into production of a new model based on the one he had made for AJP. Needless to say I was delighted and informed Brian that I was ready to go forward when he was. On February 20 Brian e-mailed me the proposed dimensions of the new model along with some design considerations. I replied to Brian that day to the effect that my thinking was completely aligned with his to which Brian responded that he would start on a prototype the following week. At this time Brian also informed me that he was thinking of calling his new model The Glenmont, which I thought was entirely fitting. The next day I e-mailed Brian with my thoughts on the nib and section for my pen. March 1 was a big day for me, as this was the day Brian sent me pictures of the prototype he had just completed; this protype had a section the same colour as the barrel and cap. I was thrilled with what I saw: it was exactly what I had in mind. On March 4 Brian sent me additional pictures of the prototype, but this time with a black section; he also informed of the price of The Glenmont at that time. The real zinger, however, came on March 5 when Brian sent me pictures of four new ebonite rods he had just acquired: orange, aqua, green ripple and mustard ripple. Up to that point I had decided on black and red ebonite with a black ebonite feed, but as soon as I saw the orange ebonite I knew that was what my pen had to be made of along with a black ebonite section and so informed Brian immediately. On March 6 Brian sent me pictures of my pen: orange ebonite, balck ebonite section, GFT and a monotone gold Bock nib; I was in second heaven. I made payment on March 7, Brian shipped on March 8 and a week later the pen was in my hands.

As those of you who have purchased a pen from Brian will know, they come in no nonesense packaging. Mine was shipped in a sturdy cardboard shipping box with the pen itself well wrapped inside a clear plastic tube, which, in turn, was nestled in gobs of packing material in the shipping box. Box and pen were in perfect condition, USPS and Canada Post notwithstanding.

2. APPEARANCE & FINISH

The pen's fit and finish are outstanding; meticulous attention to detail. The pen is exactly how I envisaged it: vintage styling, simple and unadorned yet elegant. The orange ebonite really makes this pen "pop" in my pencase, but it isn't gaudy at all: it makes a statement without shouting; it has presence.

3. DESIGN, SIZE & WEIGHT

Classic vintage styling and in the orange ebonite it is reminiscent of the ringless Parker Duofold. To me this is a full-size verging on over-size pen. Capped it is six inches and is the longest capped pen I own; it's about a quarter of an inch longer than my Bexley Fifth Anniversary in BCHR and my Bexley Americana , and about three eighths of an inch longer than my old-style Pelikan M800. Uncapped, however, it's a bit shorter than the aforementioned two Bexleys and a bit longer than the M800. I don't post any of my pens and I find the uncapped Glenmont the perfect size for me and perfectly balanced; as is the case for all Brian's pens, The Glenmont can't be posted. The diameter of the black ebonite section is about the same as that of the aforementioned three pens; it's certainly not bigger although it could be a shade smaller, but it's very hard to tell. In terms of weight, I find it between the two Bexleys and the M800, but it's a good weight for me. Although the pen when capped could have been a quarter of an inch shorter, uncapped it fits my hand perfectly and I wouldn't change anything in this regard.

4. NIB DESIGN & PERFORMANCE

I opted for the $90 upgrade to a medium monotone 14k gold Bock nib. This pen is special so I wanted to reflect this by upgrading both the section (ebonite) and the nib. I own six Bexleys, all with 18k nibs manufactured by Bock, but tweaked by Howard Levy, so for a change of pace I decide to go with the monotone gold Bock nib. This nib really suits this pen: again simple, unadorned yet elegant. Brian set up the nib perfectly for me making it a joy to write with; good flow, nice feel on the paper and a slight springiness. In terms of its overall performance in conjunction with the body of the pen it is the best of the best.

5. THE FILLING SYSTEM

As is the case with all Brian's pens it's cartridge/converter, but if you were daring you could possibly use it as an eye-dropper unless Brian advises otherwise. Without going through the pros and cons of C/C fillers, suffice it to say that I don't have a problem with them. The filling system obviously did not deter me from buying this pen nor will it deter me in the future based on my experience with many different C/C fillers over the years. I should note that I use the converter and I can't remember when I last used a cartridge in any of my pens.

6. COST/VALUE

The base price of the pen is $210, I upgrade the nib for $90, the section for $30 and added an aerometric converter for $5. Total price was thus $335 plus $5 for shipping and handling to Canada. So, you can have this pen for $210, but I think it screams for the upgrades I made. These days it's hard to come by craftsmanship such as Brian's and I received good value.

7. OVERALL OPINION & CONCLUSION

I love this pen; need I say more? It exceeded all my expectations. Brian is a master craftsman. I highly recommend this pen to you.
Bryan

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." Winston S. Churchill

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#2 bgray

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 21:51

Rufus requested that I attached some pictures....Thanks for taking the time to write this up, Rufus!

Glenmont.jpg

Glenmont2.jpg

Edited by bgray, 02 April 2008 - 21:59.


#3 rufius

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 22:10

Thats a beautiful pen Rufus. I am thinking of getting a Heritage for myself smile.gif.

-Zac

#4 cmenice

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 22:37

Good job Rufus. I think you hit it all. I have one just like yours biggrin.gif

#5 goodguy

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 23:24

On the last Cambridge pen meeting I had the chance to hold your pen and try it on paper and indeed I was very pleased with it.It has a very vintage kind of feeling to it and I probably wouldnt stop talking about it BUT then I tried your Ogiva well and the rest is history bunny01.gif

Thanks for the lovely review thumbup.gif

Edited by goodguy, 02 April 2008 - 23:25.

Respect to all

#6 Rufus

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 23:28

QUOTE(goodguy @ Apr 2 2008, 07:24 PM) View Post
On the last Cambridge pen meeting I had the chance to hold your pen and try it on paper and indeed I was very pleased with it.It has a very vintage kind of feeling to it and I probably wouldnt stop talking about it BUT then I tried your Ogiva well and the rest is history bunny01.gif

Thanks for the lovely review thumbup.gif


Goodguy, I'll have it with me at the April 19 meeting as well. I also have the Ogiva Guilloche with me so eat your heart out for both of them.

Bryan

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." Winston S. Churchill

#7 goodguy

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 23:31

QUOTE(Rufus @ Apr 2 2008, 11:28 PM) View Post
QUOTE(goodguy @ Apr 2 2008, 07:24 PM) View Post
On the last Cambridge pen meeting I had the chance to hold your pen and try it on paper and indeed I was very pleased with it.It has a very vintage kind of feeling to it and I probably wouldnt stop talking about it BUT then I tried your Ogiva well and the rest is history bunny01.gif

Thanks for the lovely review thumbup.gif


Goodguy, I'll have it with me at the April 19 meeting as well. I also have the Ogiva Guilloche with me so eat your heart out for both of them.

Bryan dont start with me or else I'll have to bring in my MB VW and show you what real pens are all about-just kidding (or am I hmm1.gif ).

No seriously I really want to try again both pens.I hope to have my new Ogiva by then.
Respect to all

#8 RitaCarbon

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 23:37

Gorgeous. Elegant. Stylish. Special. And surprisingly affordable. Thanks for your review, Rufus! Now, I know where to get a present for someone when she needs it.

Someone. embarrassed_smile.gif


#9 Seville

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 23:50

And as I read this I kept thinking...where have I seen this before?
Please bring it again to the meeting just so I can work out how to buy one for myself.

Philip
22174937295_4eab74ddc3.jpg
 
                                          

#10 AJP

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 01:02

Rufus:

Great review!! I love your pen it is absolutely beautiful. It does scream vintage style and elegance. Thanks for mentioning my review too. ::tipping my hat to you:::

Your comments on Brian being a master craftsman are dead on, as well. You can tell when you hold the pen (any of Brian's pens) that care for quality and detail go into every single one.

Best of luck with your new beauty!!

Cheers!
ajp
"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” - Robert McClosky

#11 Rufus

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:11

QUOTE(Seville @ Apr 2 2008, 07:50 PM) View Post
And as I read this I kept thinking...where have I seen this before?
Please bring it again to the meeting just so I can work out how to buy one for myself.

Philip


Philip, I'll have it with me at the April 19 breakfast meeting.

Bryan

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes." Winston S. Churchill

#12 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 12:15

one neat looking pen wink.gif
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time






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