Buying this pen was not a matter of whether I was going to but when I was going to. Even in digital media, it was love at first sight. The lines, the elegant patterning of the material had me at ‘hello’. When I finally had the chance to see it in person at the Miami Pen Show this July, and was finally able to feel its presence as an object my only question was the best method to shop for it. Photos do the pen some justice but there is nothing like seeing it in full light of day with the play of the gold deep in the black celluloid body. The pen radiates elegance and class.
A Note: I am copping out with the photos. Anything I could do would look goofy. So I am including commercial images for reference only. If I ever get good enough, I will post pen-on-bearskin-rug sorts of pictures.
Initial Impression: 9.5/10
The packaging of the pen is simple and clean but still has a sense of fashion about it; there is a businesslike presentation of the pen that isn’t too fussy or precious. Even the packaging has class but was a hair short of impressive. Maybe a bottle of ink or something like it would have activated the presentation.
This is a large pen, at or about 5 ¾ “ with a nice weight to it. By comparison, the Vacumatic Oversize double Jewel is about ½” shorter and weighs about 25g; the Bologna weighs 37g. That’s 1 1/3 ounces for us in the US.
The proportions are outstanding with gentle curves that are synergized by the ‘movement’ in the celluloid. The pen wants you to pick it up and really outshines most of my other pens.
The cap is threaded onto the barrel impeccably; there is a kind of soft stop to it when it’s fully closed. Like it’s cushioned. Perhaps the celluoid of the cap meeting the metal of the section is a good marriage. Every bit of the pen is flawless. The trim is perfect, beautifully crafted and installed on the pen. There is a Vac-like jewel on the cap that is actually formed by the O ring trim piece at top.
At first, the ultra plain clip seemed a little stark or cheap. It didn’t take long for me to realize the real star of this pen’s show is the celluloid and the clip actually has a sturdy simplicity that enhances the barrel material.
Whoever came up with the celluloid concept was brilliant and well versed in design. At a far distance the pen looks like a nicely made black pen. As you get closer the glimmer of a subtle pattern catches your eye and as you get closer still, you get pulled into the rich elegantly organic quality of the gold threads that not only run across but into body of the pen.
Of course the pen has that celluloid warmth and softness.
The trim is gold tone but I don’t know whether it’s gold plate or some other material. I probably should know that but it really doesn’t seem to matter.
When I look at the other Bologna pens, this one and the Burkina celluloid are in the 'timeless' category. The others are great pens but didn't clamp on to my eye like this pen has.
The piston system is smooth and gets smoother once a little ink is in it and holds a ton of ink. The cap fits better than a glove. The section is brass/ perhaps gold plated a nearly exact match to the trim. The barrel is nice and strong and didn’t bend a bit when I used the pen to open a paint bucket. And the nib can countersink a 4d finish nail in a jiffy. Beautiful AND handy.
Writing/ Nib : 9.5/10
The ink flow is near-perfect for my hand and the nib is pure OMAS… Oh My, Absolutely Smooth. Sorry for the corn. It really is great. There is a hint of flex; just enough to make a line with unique character and it really does dance across the page. The monochromatic (gold only) 14k Nib blends flawlessly with the trim and relates to the gold in the celluloid. The only reason I graded the pen down a notch here is that the section being metal is cold, and a little too smooth. Some might like that; I like the feel of celluloid though I suspect the metal section will add some longevity to the pen.
I bought this pen at a very attractive price which only added to the delight. Like almost all the other pens, the retail price is delusional but at the current prices quoted by Nibs and a couple of others, their prices are totally fair for this magnificent pen. I have the Nakaya Cigar pen as well and these two are going to be my keepers. I have named it Ralph. The Nakaya is Heidi. And yes, I am nuts. And am kidding.
The pen is true classic. This will be on the want lists far into the future. The classic design and stunningly tasteful selection of materials give this pen a timeless presence that is a true pleasure to write with.
Edited by chumpowie, 11 October 2008 - 02:26.