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Esterbrook SJ 9128 Nib


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#1 vermiculus

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 22:01

There was a request for reviews of Esterbrook renew-point nibs a while back, and now I have access to a scanner I thought I'd oblige with a review of my favouite Estie renew point - the 9128 Extra flexibile extra fine. I won't try to put numbers to it, as I find scoring pens a little worthless, but I will do my best to explain the thing.


First Impressions

Everyone Loves Esterbrooks. I don't think you can see a J series in the flesh without falling in love with their looks and their somewhat dated post-war look - bubbly circles and clean lines make it as distinctive as the Parker 51. The Esterbrook Pen company is a good example of a company which survived the technology leap from dip to fountain, but unfortunately they lost out to the biro. I received this pen uninked as a lucky eBay find, and it felt just like I'd bought it from the shop in a time warp! I have now had two pens New Old Stock, and I find that I have a special affinity to them as their first user.

Appearance and Finish.
What a looker! The marbled finish on the J series is wonderful, but the "Dubonnet Red" must surely be the finest of them all. On top of that, I polished mine up with Renaissance Wax and it's so shiny that the magpies eye it through the window. The smallish 9128 nib suits the SJ, and when I put a 2668 into it once it looked oversized for the pen.

Design/size/weight.
I've tabulated the measurements in the writing sample, below. The pen is small in the hand, and very light - I think these are celluloid rather than plastic. This is the spoon-headed style of lever, and is a double-jewel type body. Even though it's small, I don't find it uncomfortable to use - and I usually shy away from smaller pens.

Nib
The real point of the review! (yes, pun intended).

The 9128 is a respectable flexi. It can do copperplate elegantly, and the steel construction means it's virtually indestructable. Mine was a little scratchy out of the box - it is very fine, after all - but soon relaxed after a bit of a flex workout. The line is medium-wet, and it doesn't deposit blobs at the flex, like some pens do. All in all, very satisfactory!

Here, I will post the writing sample to demonstrate performance:

Filling System
A Flawless lever filler. Indeed, these fillers are very robust and rarely do sacs need replacing, in my experience.

Cost/value
These can be had for between £10 and £20 ($20 - $40) depending on condition. I absolutely think that a good condition J series with a 9xxx nib is worth $40, though some might disagree.

Overall - This nib is a lot of fun to use, and was my first proper flex nib. Though I now have several Flexies, this remains one of my favourites. The pen itself is a joy to use.


Thanks for reading - this is my first review, so feedback is appreciated!

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#2 Breck

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 22:37

Nicely done, both with the find and the review! I really like having a full review along with a scan of the pen in action. I've gotten all my birthday presents already, so I guell I'll just have to put an Estie on my X-mas list...

#3 Souldrifter

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 22:40

QUOTE(vermiculus @ Jul 8 2008, 03:01 PM) View Post
Cost/value
These can be had for between £10 and £20 ($20 - $40) depending on condition. I absolutely think that a good condition J series with a 9xxx nib is worth $40, though some might disagree.

Overall - This nib is a lot of fun to use, and was my first proper flex nib. Though I now have several Flexies, this remains one of my favourites. The pen itself is a joy to use.


Thanks for reading - this is my first review, so feedback is appreciated!


I can't find the nibs anywhere right now less than $45. sad.gif Let alone adding a pen to that...

#4 vermiculus

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 23:00

Yeah, getting the nibs can be pricey. In fact, I paid about $20 for this, but it was in a bad eBay listing - I never knew I'd be getting such a goodun.

In fact, on eBay I find the pens go for less than the nibs! You could always try a Want-to-buy here...

QUOTE(Reginleif @ Jul 8 2008, 11:40 PM) View Post
I can't find the nibs anywhere right now less than $45. sad.gif Let alone adding a pen to that...


QUOTE
I'll just have to put an Estie on my X-mas list

Might not fill up your stocking, but it might be the best thing in there! wink.gif

#5 System of Adam

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 23:12

QUOTE(vermiculus @ Jul 8 2008, 06:00 PM) View Post
Yeah, getting the nibs can be pricey. In fact, I paid about $20 for this, but it was in a bad eBay listing - I never knew I'd be getting such a goodun.

In fact, on eBay I find the pens go for less than the nibs! You could always try a Want-to-buy here...

QUOTE(Reginleif @ Jul 8 2008, 11:40 PM) View Post
I can't find the nibs anywhere right now less than $45. sad.gif Let alone adding a pen to that...


QUOTE
I'll just have to put an Estie on my X-mas list

Might not fill up your stocking, but it might be the best thing in there! wink.gif


Do you have a 9028 for comparison sake? I have 4 9028 with one of them coming back from Pendemonium after smoothing and I'd love to know how this nib stacks up...

Great Review! Thank you

Adam
I Buy, Restore & Sell Esterbrook Pens, Desk Sets & Pencils

Currently on the hunt for:

Soennecken especially model 111 or matching pencils 11
Soennecken "Tower" sub-brand
Esterbrook or Waterman "Clergy" models with engraved crosses

#6 vermiculus

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 23:18

QUOTE(System of Adam @ Jul 9 2008, 12:12 AM) View Post
Do you have a 9028 for comparison sake? I have 4 9028 with one of them coming back from Pendemonium after smoothing and I'd love to know how this nib stacks up...

Great Review! Thank you

Adam

'fraid not - Wish I did! I should imagine that instead of just under 0.5mm to 1.1mm, it will be maybe 0.7 to 1.5mm - but that's a complete guess. I would also expect it to be easier to flex, too.

The only nibs I have tried are 9550, 9128 and 2668.

#7 wvbeetlebug

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 23:53

Whee! What fun! I really need to get a flexible nib.

:happycloud9:

 

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#8 lovemy51

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:50

i bought that same exact pen a few months ago for only $10 USD... alas! no flex nib crybaby.gif

Reginleif is right. those nibs go for about $45-50, so i think you got it for a very good price!

nice review... enjoy your pen!

#9 Gran

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 17:49

Thanks very much for the review. A lovely pen and a fascinating flex nib. Good thing Easter is coming.... smile.gif
May you have pens you enjoy, with plenty of paper and ink. :)

Please use only my FPN name "Gran" in your posts. Thanks very much!

#10 pen2paper

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 17:57

excellent review-liked that you defined ladies size.
what is the ink? great choice for the pen;)
want an estie with flex nib sick.gif <not sure what this emoticon means-using it for pea-green with envy.
p2p muttering ..budgetbudgetbudget donotcovetdncdnc bbb

Edited by pen2paper, 11 March 2009 - 17:59.


emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#11 pmorin

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 17:58

Thanks for the review... it shows how much I need to dust of my 9128 and spend some time practicing. I think I just need to develop some patience and find some time. I paid about £ 20 for mine, NOS in the box.

Love the Dubonnet Red in the Esterbrooks, still hunting for a J in that colour - but I really like the ink you used. Couldn't find the name/brand of it though... did I just miss it?
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#12 Gran

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 18:00

It is a lovely ink, isn't it?

Edited by Gran, 11 March 2009 - 18:03.

May you have pens you enjoy, with plenty of paper and ink. :)

Please use only my FPN name "Gran" in your posts. Thanks very much!

#13 johnboz

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 18:20

The 9128 is truly a fine nib (both in size and quality). I was writing with mine the other day and found it to be a very similar to the 9048, except that it writes a finer line. The amount of flex seems to be about the same.

A word of caution... the 9128 (at least mine) is very pointy for a fountain pen nib. I was cleaning it before I used it, got a little distracted and stabbed my finger with it. It actually drew blood. That was a first for me, but it couldn't have happened with a better nib.
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#14 MsLoathsome

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Posted 15 March 2009 - 06:55

QUOTE (pmorin @ Mar 11 2009, 10:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the review... it shows how much I need to dust of my 9128 and spend some time practicing. I think I just need to develop some patience and find some time. I paid about £ 20 for mine, NOS in the box.

Love the Dubonnet Red in the Esterbrooks, still hunting for a J in that colour - but I really like the ink you used. Couldn't find the name/brand of it though... did I just miss it?


Yes! Please tell us the ink you used. Looks great. I just got a 9128 too and my regular handwriting already looks better!
I subscribe to The Rule of 10 (pens, that is)
1) Parker Sonnet 1st gen 2) Pelikan 200 yellow 3) Parker 51 vac 4) Esterbrook trans J 5) Esterbrook LJ "Bell System Property" 6) Sheaffer Snorkel Valiant fern green 7) Waterman 52.5V 8) Parker 75 cisele 9) open 10) open (I'm hankering for a Doric)


#15 Gran

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 16:47

Am now the delighted owner of an SJ. It is a very pretty pen. Lightweight, slender, and most enjoyable to write with. I've a 9550 nib in it, and it's grand writing! I highly recommend these in the slender, ultra-light pen category.
May you have pens you enjoy, with plenty of paper and ink. :)

Please use only my FPN name "Gran" in your posts. Thanks very much!

#16 asimplemaestro

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 17:28

QUOTE (vermiculus @ Jul 8 2008, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I absolutely think that a good condition J series with a 9xxx nib is worth $40...


I could not agree more. Show me another pen that lasts as long, is as reliable, has as many interchangeable nib choices, and looks that good for less than $40.

#17 DarkAudit

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 23:03

I had a 9128 nib come my way quite by accident. I bought a copper SJ at an antique mall for $16. The poor light in the store kept me from clearly seeing the nib number other than it was a 9xxx series. Once I got outside into the sunlight I saw it was a 9128. Once I got home again I found out just how big a score that was. smile.gif

#18 Peter from Sherwood Park

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 03:38

Great review -- I am still keeping my eyes open for one of these nibs.

#19 Rob G

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 21:14

There are a couple of eBay sellers who have them.

I only got my SJ four days ago, with a 1550 nib. This morning I ordered a 9128 for three times what the pen cost. But, hey, since they're not made anymore, it's a seller's market, so what's a body to do?

I figure on getting a 9550, as well, so I'll have one soft and one rigid EF. Then, of course, I'll have to get another pen body because I'll want them both available. And then I'll require a third one, for a stub. And then, after that ...



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#20 pmorin

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 19:52

QUOTE (Rob G @ Apr 25 2009, 03:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are a couple of eBay sellers who have them.

I only got my SJ four days ago, with a 1550 nib. This morning I ordered a 9128 for three times what the pen cost. But, hey, since they're not made anymore, it's a seller's market, so what's a body to do?

I figure on getting a 9550, as well, so I'll have one soft and one rigid EF. Then, of course, I'll have to get another pen body because I'll want them both available. And then I'll require a third one, for a stub. And then, after that ...

Rob,
There's about 33 nibs.... so you should start planning now biggrin.gif

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