This review is for a Dancheron Amber Celluloid Monte Carlo Series, Medium Nib, acquired on Ebay from luxury-xpress. Since then I have noticed it for sale at Isellpens.com (click on "other brands") where it is listed as "Paris Amber".
This was my first pen. I had no idea what I was doing. But the price was good. I think I got it for around $9, $15 shipped. I liked the color of the celluloid, and the price seemed reasonable (although I did not yet know about the diversity of the below-$15 Underworld of Fountain Pens...) I will cut to the chase and say that the reason I am posting a review of this pen first is because the pen remains to be my most valued at that price-point, despite my ignorance of FP's at the time . I will explain why, but first here is a preliminary picture:
So, let's see. I don't know much about the expensive celluloid pens, but the celluloid in this pen is quite substantial, unlike my two Esterbrooks, which feel flimsy and easy to damage. It makes a nice loud click when it bumps against a hard surface, but I have not seen any scratches yet. The celluloid shimmers as you turn it in the light, but you can see partly through the larger bead on the barrel. This doesn't detract from its beauty, you only notice it if you're looking for it. The celluloid is more of a yellowish-pumpkin color in real life. My camera made it look reddish, which it is not.
Its weight is substantial. Most of the weight is at the back of the pen. I don't like it posted because it becomes cumbersome. It weighs 41.5 grams on a laboratory balance. To compare, a Waterman Kultur (I have a purple plastic transluscent one) weighs 15.5 grams. The Dancheron is 14.8 cm with the cap on, 16.5 cm with the cap posted, and 11.7 cm uncapped. The thickest part of the bead is 1.4 cm. The grip tapers from .9 to .8 cm. It says Dancheron on the middle ring. The metal is heavy so it must be steel. The manufacturing doesn't seem remarkable, and the black lacquer shows fingerprints easily. There is a plastic sleeve inside the cap.
The nib reads Iridium Point Germany. I don't know how to describe nibs. It's not stiff but it's not very flexible either... It does make a broader, wetter line if you use pressure, and it feels very sturdy so I imagine it would hold up under a lot of pressure...
But, here is the part that makes me enjoy this pen the most: It writes extremely well upside-down, compared to all my other pens. You get a line which seems to be thinner that anything non-Asian I have that has been called a "fine". This is good because I like to write small and in tight spaces. It's nice to know that I have that option. It only skips when the cartridge is low on ink (but will still perform for a while after that skipping point, as my writing sample should demonstrate. It just needed to be primed or flicked to get it started. I imagine some detergent added to the ink might help, but it already flows nicely.
So I've only tried Noodler's Beaver ink in this pen, but I also have that ink in a Sensa Meridian, which is a nice writer, but the Beaver looks much better with the Dancheron, written either right-side-up or upside-down! Being a wet writer, the Dancheron shades extremely well. I tried writing a little cursive, and it looks great, although I don't normally write in cursive.
So the seller had a converter which I neglected to find out about it in time. I went to all the stationery stores I could find, and no one had a converter that fit. I actually found a tiny one (the problem was getting the last threads of the nib attachment to screw in while using a converter; if you forced it closed, then the end of the barrel would pop out of the celluloid bead at the back). I even trimmed the tiny converter, but I decided that it would be better to make this a cartridge pen. I don't know how to describe cartridges, but it takes the one that I consider to be ubiquitous. (It doesn't seem to take a weird one).
I think that's all I have to say right now. Because it shades really well I'm going to put Noodler's Golden Brown in it next, which shades well and is too light-colored for my F pens anyway. I'll append pictures of how it writes with that ink, when I get them.
Here are more pictures, including a writing sample, and the ad at Isellpens.com (not affiliated, but a pleased customer). (Note: someone else also sells it on Ebay)
For larger-size pictures, look in my galleryFLICKR Dancheron gallery
Edited by Melnicki, 22 March 2006 - 09:24.