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Krone Boulder - Chinook


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#1 KendallJ

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 01:57

Another pen that I happened to have taken pics of recently.

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1. Overall design 4*

For those of you who saw my review on the Krone Geometrik, the Boulder is another one of Krone's Fashion Pen series. All the pens of this line are bold designs, none similar to any of the others in the line, and all using somewhat eclectic design elements. Here the eclectic design element is color. This series of pens comes in some wild resin colors. My Chinook is salmon colored, with veins of dusty blue. Other combinations include Curacao (amber / teal), Parrot (blue / red), Purple Haze (purple / orange).

The body design echoes their vintage stretch line, with a beefy torpedo shape with tapered ends and big clip and band. If you like big pens, this design gives you the girth you are looking for.

2. Size / Weight 4*

A full resin pen, its light-medium weight, well balanced and comfortable. The deceiving feature here is the section which is smaller in diameter and allows even a small hand a comfortable grip. If you know me, I prefer pens that are functional and good for lots of writing. This one does the trick.

The pen is nicely balance either posted or not. On some pens I prefer one or the other depending on the balance, but here I'm ambivalent.

3. Nib 3*

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I've spoken before about variability in writing characteristics of Krone nibs, and same was true here. This one was a good writer, but needed a tweak from Richard Binder for full function. Now its a strong starter, and lays down a very wet line. The nib is simple in design being plated in silver (Rhodium? Im' not sure which) - which I prefer to single tone gold. With little ornamentational engraving, the nib is very sleek looking. This one's a Fine, but writes like a medium (or at least a Pelikan Fine)

4. Filling Mechanism 5*

This one is decieving. There's a blind cap on the pen, so I was expecting a button filler. Nope, it's a piston filler. The blind cap reveals the piston turn knob underneath. Smooth action, and plent of capacity. I like the idea of a blind capped piston filler, not sure why tho.

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5. Fit / Finish 5*

Here is where Krone excells. Resin is polished beautifully, Clip and band and nicely tooled, and solidly built. This clip is solid metal unlike most which are folded plate. The cap threads on very nicely.

The only esthetic element some might not like is the black plastic used for the threading of the section. I dont' mind it, but I don't find it an issue, as its covered when the pen is capped.

As with all the Krone pens, if you like a nice functional piece of pocket jewelry, the Boulder is a winner. Price is a little hefty at around $300 (I picked mine up on the PT green board at much less than that), but Krone markets to those who are willing to pay.

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Kendall Justiniano
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#2 marklavar

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 22:58

I like Krone pens. I'm disappointed that they do not attract much attention on these boards, because I find them to be very good pens, not just pretty objects.

I have a Krone Sterling and a Krone 'Blue Gold', both from the fashion line. I actually find them outstanding as writing instruments and stunningly beautiful to look at. The nibs are not toothy at all, glassy smooth in the case of these pens.

I hope to review these pens soon.

#3 PaulK

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 02:41

Nice review and pen! I know some of their pens are "over the top" but, then again, what Company doesn't have at least one "what were they thinkin'???" in their stable? I don't own a pen with this feature but I do like the idea (and look) of the blind cap piston filler.
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

~ Oscar Wilde, 1888

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#4 southpaw

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 03:21

Kendall, great review that I somehow missed up until the bump (thanks for that, Mark).

I had this very pen. Unfortunately, my experience was a bit different. I got it, flushed it, inked it, and the fine nib was wet - in fact, it literally dripped every word or so. Off it went to Krone for service.

Got it back, and the nib was much better - now the integral converter/piston filling system was wacked out. The knob turned, but sometimes the piston wouldn't. Off it went to Krone for service.

Came back and was finally in writing shape. Wrote with it, was disenchanted due to the earlier quality control problems. Decided to sell it. Was encouraged by some here to give it some time and try it again later. Wrote with it some more - didn't like the sharp step down from the barrel to the section, nor the sharp threads (I grip high most of the time). Neither of these would be issues for those who grip low on the section, but I decided this one just wouldn't work for me.

OTOH, I really liked the looks of the materials. Fit and finish were excellent, as Kendall said, and the celluloid was just amazing.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#5 KendallJ

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 03:25

Well shoot. that just goes to show you that you should leave all your old pics on Photobucket, because someone will dredge up a review that is 18 months old! whew!

Thanks all. I am one of the few Krone enthusiasts here. I have a Geometrik review also on the board [with pics ;)], but no time to look for it.

Kendall Justiniano
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#6 Ghost Plane

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 20:33

Bump! FPH has these on special for $179 if there are other Krone lovers out there.

#7 handlebar

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 17:07

Very attractive pen! Thanks for the review.

JD

#8 alvarez57

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 08:04

I also like my Krone pens, especially if they're on sale!
Very nice review, enjoy!

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#9 Ghost Plane

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 01:31

Just received two Boulders from FPH, one Curacao and one Thunderbird. The T-bird is lovely rich ruby shades of red in my favorite shade of that color. The Curacao is the brown version, but seems to have a greater color range from a deep tawny shade to large flecks of gold. Gorgeous pens, sweet writers right out of the box and grand additions to my collection of pens I love to write with! Gotta love FPH for not only putting the good stuff on sale periodically, but also having B nibs instad of the F/M monopoly so many sellers seem to have in sale merchandise. wub.gif

#10 scholiast

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 02:18

Thanks for the informative review. I am also disappointed that there are not more reviews of Krone pens posted in the review database. I was never really attracted to any of the Krone FPs until I saw their new Fiction. The combination of twirled purple and yellow looks so very medieval -- and coming from a medievalist, that is a compliment.
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one."

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, p. vii

#11 vanyieck

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 03:12

Great review. I'm passionate about my Krones, 5 in all. They are a under appreciated manufacturer. I've also found that they offer great service. Perhaps a Krone board would be appropriate and much overdue!

#12 greencobra

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 04:54

An oldie but goodie. I'm glad someone dusted this off and it popped up again. I've just recently seen their current selection and they make some nice stuff, very pleasing looking. Something to think about later on down the road.
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#13 David Miles

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 09:16

I like Krone as well. Are they a US company, Italian or German? I'm not clear about this.

#14 vanyieck

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:54

As far as I know they're based in the US but with international connections. The last time I sent my Paradox off for repair they sent it off to Italy.

#15 DavidMD

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 18:47

Greetings, Kendall (and Happy Thanksgiving 2007 to all)!

QUOTE(KendallJ @ Jan 4 2005, 07:57 PM) View Post
...I've spoken before about variability in writing characteristics of Krone nibs, and same was true here. This one was a good writer, but needed a tweak from Richard Binder for full function. Now its a strong starter, and lays down a very wet line. The nib is simple in design being plated in silver (Rhodium? Im' not sure which) - which I prefer to single tone gold. With little ornamentational engraving, the nib is very sleek looking. This one's a Fine, but writes like a medium (or at least a Pelikan Fine)....

Thank you for your well-illustrated review (and I apologize to fellow FPN members to responding to a thread that will soon be three years old).

I mentioned -- in an e-mail message to a friend who is an associate veterinarian at the Cleveland Zoo and is not in the financial dire straits that I have been enduring because of a prolonged, undiagnosed illness -- the special discount that the Fountain Pen Hospital has on the Krone Boulder line of fountain pens. (Wow! What a verbose sentence...!) wink.gif

Early this week, my friend sent me a message to inform me that he purchased the Krone Boulder Thunderbird fountain pen (with a fine nib) from the Fountain Pen Hospital at the special $179 price (which has been available for months, perhaps because Krone pens are rarely mentioned, except for their many limited-edition pens).

Krone_Boulder_Collection_Thunderbird.jpg

He told me that he ordered the pen as a gift for me -- to help cheer me up during these trying times, because he knows I prefer piston-mechanism pens based upon my experience with Pelikans, and because I cannot afford to buy it. I am very grateful to him for his compassion and generosity -- although I can obviously survive without the pen.

I wish the pen were available with an extra-fine nib (always my preference), but I will be curious to see if my experience with the fine nib is similar to yours (i.e., that it is closer to a medium nib on many, or most, other brands of fountain pen.

Incidentally, Kendall, the description on the Krone Boulder collection on Fountain Pen Hospital Web site states, "...The fountain pen is enhanced with a white 18kt. gold nib, available in M, F, and B...." Assuming that the description is correct, the Boulder collection does indeed have a "single tone gold" nib (white gold, in this case).

I know that inconsistent quality control seems to be a problem for Krone, so I am a bit anxious about now the fine nib on my Boulder Thunderbird performs.

If it is defective, I obviously will have to ship it to Krone for repairs -- nib or otherwise. If I have the same experience that you did, Kendall, with the fine nib not truly being "fine," I will contact Richard Binder, and/or fill out his nib-adjustment questionnaire, to ask what it would cost to have him adjust the nib to make it perform as a standard fine nib. Actually and ideally, I would like for Richard to adjust the nib so that it is actually an extra-fine nib.

(I know that Pelikan's extra-fine nibs do not meet Richard's standards for quality, so perhaps he can work on the nib so that it is comparable to a Pelikan extra-fine nib after he "brings it up to standard.")

Given my current financial status (and, obviously, poverty and a passion for fountain pens -- which I have had since getting my first fountain pen at age 12 in 1972 -- are totally incompatible), I hope that Richard can give me a rough estimate, if the Boulder's fine nib needs his skilled work and time.

If the nib is too wide, I will avoid using the pen (defeating the purpose of owning a fountain pen), but I do worry about the cost of having work done on the nib. (I can find no reference to Krone fountain pens on Richard's Web site, so I do not know if he has a low opinion of them or simply has not used or worked on them.)

I hope that the piston-fill mechanism in the Boulder Thunderbird I receive works properly. Given Krone's suggested retail price for its Boulder collection, the mechanism should be a quality piston mechanism, but one never can tell. (I have never had any problems with Pelikan piston mechanisms, which have set a high standard for me.)

As an aside, I know that some people have reported "stiff" piston mechanisms in the Lamy 2000, although mine works smoothly so far, and I sent the pen to Lamy USA for repairs because the cap suddenly refused to "post" one day, and I have no idea what could have caused the cap's gripping mechanism to fail. (My Lamy 2000 has an extra-fine nib, by the way, but it writes more like a Pelikan fine nib; I was expecting it to write like the extra-fine nibs on my other Lamy fountain pens, even the inexpensive Safaris' extra-fine nibs.)

Of course, my Boulder Thunderbird may have no problems, but I am preparing myself not to be surprised if the fine nib is unacceptable, and not "fine" based on my experience with other fountain pen nibs.

I will post another response here after I receive and try out the Boulder Thunderbird, and perhaps others will take advantage of the Fountain Pen Hospital's special price and submit reviews of the Krone Boulder collection.

Incidentally, I do not find the Krone Web site to be particularly informative or useful. I use Firefox almost exclusively, and -- at least with Firefox -- I get the Flash version of the Web site, even when I select "HTML" on the home page. (I hope the developers of the Krone Pen Web site did not design it with the assumption that most visitors are using a certain Web browser that is integrated into a certain operating system by Microsoft.) The Web page on Krone's site for the Boulder collection is at this URL; as you can see, the Web page is essentially an "electronic advertising brochure," and little more.

I apologize for being too verbose, Kendall, and I will let everyone know about my experience with my Krone Boulder Thunderbird, especially the performance of the fine nib.

Thank you!

Cordially,

David


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#16 Ghost Plane

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 19:07

The good news is these pens have lifetime warranties, should you need. I suspect you'll really enjoy it as the nibs run wet and smooth.

#17 omasfan

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 19:53

I am not a Krone fan, but this pen could change that. The only thing I am concerned about is the recess between the grip section and the barrel. Looks pretty abrupt to me. But the material is beautiful.

#18 DavidMD

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 05:10

Hello, Ghost Plane.

QUOTE(Ghost Plane @ Nov 21 2007, 01:07 PM) View Post
The good news is these pens have lifetime warranties, should you need. I suspect you'll really enjoy it as the nibs run wet and smooth.

Thanks for your reply. I am glad to hear about the lifetime warranties.

My only concern is that the fine nib might not be "fine enough" for me, especially because I strongly prefer extra-fine nibs, and many fine nibs, especially if the pen is described as a "wet" writer, are simply too large for my preference.

If I learn that a pen is available with an extra-fine nib, I will spend hours searching the Web for a dealer who offers the pen with that extra-fine nib. Sometimes the searching takes seemingly forever, because fine and medium nibs are more popular than extra-fine nibs, so dealers are apparently hesitant to stock pens of a given model with extra-fine nibs.

(I was given a Sheaffer Legacy Heritage fountain pen, with a fine nib, about two weeks ago. I found out from Sheaffer that they offer an extra-fine nib for the Legacy Heritage, and the nib replacement will be free because I have had the pen for less than thirty days. I should, however, try the pen with its current fine nib, because it might be suitable, but I need to ship the pen to Sheaffer by 27 November in order to get the free nib exchange, although I have to pay $10 USD to have the pen shipped back for me -- and, if I had to pay for the nib exchange, the cost would be $5 USD...half the cost of shipping! Incidentally, Sheaffer also offers an extra-fine nib for the Prelude, but not for the Valor.)

Perhaps the fine nib on the Krone Boulder Thunderbird that is on its way to me will be satisfactory. I can only find out by writing with the pen.

If the fine nib is "too much" for me, a nib exchange is not an option with Krone, because the Boulder line does not offer an extra-fine nib.

I will therefore either have to sell the pen or find out what it would cost to have the nib customized so that it writes more like an extra-fine nib.

I am eager for the Boulder Thunderbird to arrive and for the chance to try it out! (This fountain pen will be my first Krone and it will be the deciding factor as to whether I will ever get another Krone fountain pen, although the one that is being shipped to me is a gift.)

Thanks!

Cordially,

David

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#19 DavidMD

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 05:24

Hello, dupontfan.

QUOTE(dupontfan @ Nov 21 2007, 01:53 PM) View Post
I am not a Krone fan, but this pen could change that. The only thing I am concerned about is the recess between the grip section and the barrel. Looks pretty abrupt to me. But the material is beautiful.

Thank you for your response. Have you had bad experiences with Krone pens, or have you just never found them appealing?

To be honest, I cannot tell much about how comfortable a given fountain pen will be by looking at images of it. The recess between the grip section and the barrel of the Krone Boulder may or may not be an issue for me.

Having made the above statement, I like the aesthetics of the Cross ATX, but feel that trying to write with a shiny metal grip section would be awkward (not to mention the fingerprints). The Cross ATX is available with an extra-fine nib, but I have read reports here of caps sometimes not posting -- and I always write with a pen's cap posted -- as well as occasional problems with the clip.

I do like the pattern of the Krone Boulder line, and I prefer piston-fillers to converters or aerometric mechanisms, but I realize that not all piston mechanisms are not of the same quality as the Pelikan mechanisms that I have always found to be reliable and durable. (I had good luck with the piston mechanism in the Lamy 2000, but had to send the pen to Lamy Pen USA because the cap will not stay posted, and the Lamy piston mechanism does not feel as sturdy as the Pelikan's.)

I have no idea what the Krone piston mechanism will be like, of course. Given the retail price of the Boulder line, I will definitely avoid Krone fountain pens if the piston mechanism gives me any trouble.

Thanks!

Cordially,

David

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beauty out of nothingness."
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#20 Ghost Plane

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 20:07

I totally understand the hunt for the perfect nib. I'm a B lover and finding them is a real search sometimes. Apparently a percentage vanish into oblivion with people grinding them into exotic shapes and sizes.

I'm hoping you enjoy these pens. They're wet and smooth, so if you do need a grind, I'm assuming without any knowledge or experience at all that you'll have plenty of good nib to work with an easy flow.

I got two Boulders this year. One was perfect out of the box, the other I sent in when my Architectus developed a piston leak [that purple insert in the case was how I learned about the warranty] and asked them to "tweak" it as it would skip a little. Came back perfect and they put it in a nice little pen bag when they shipped it back. thumbup.gif






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