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REVIEW: Delta Jubilaeum LE


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#1 QM2

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 19:31



DELTA JUBILAEUM
2000 LE


The Delta Jubilaeum was a year 2000 Limited Edition produced to commemorate the "ano del Jvbilaeum" (Holy year of the
Jubilee) that coincided with the beginning of the third millennium. The Vatican, being the center of the Jubilaeum celebrations,
is the visual theme of the pen: Delta contracted an Italian artist to create an engraved miniature of the Piazza of the Vatican,
which was both engraved on the pen itself and included as a separate piece of artwork inside the packaging.

Three versions of the Jubilaeum were produced, with 2000 pens in each batch: A black version with silver overlay, a red
version with silver overlay, and a red version with gold overlay.



Packaging and Presentation

Delta put a lot of thought and energy into the packaging of this pen. There are 4 separate features that have been added to
the pen, making the overall package special:

1. The red outer sleeve features a papercut image of the Vatican (pictured above)

2. The box itself is done in red leather, and a more elaborate image of the Vatican facade is embossed upon it (below)



3. In addition to the pen, buyers receive an actual solid silver miniature engraving of the Piazza of the Vatican, made by the
same artist who engraved the pen. This is the same engraving as the one on the cap of the pen, but the larger scale allows
for more detail. The engravings are attached to heavy cardstock paper that is described as "ready to frame" and numbered
using the same system as the limited edition pens.



4. Inside the presentation box, the pen comes with a sealed bottle of special edition red ink. The bottle is beautifully done,
with a heavy, raised engraving of the Vatican dome on the lid and a special "Jubilaeum" label.

I am not big on packaging, but when something is done well I feel that I need to give the manufacturer credit. With the
Jubilaeum LE, Delta has gone above and beyond in giving this pen a very special presentation -- while keeping everything
in good taste, and even with a certain look of minimalism to it. That is not an easy combination.



Design

Visually, the Jubilaeum is one of the only Delta LEs I like, because it is tastefully done. My complaint with other Delta LEs,
is that they contain too many colours, patterns and design elements, that to my eye become cacophonous together. In the
Jubilaeum, there is only one colour present: an unusual shade of cherry red, that leans ever so slightly towards a muted
Venetian red. This goes beautifully with the silver overlay.

The overall form of the pen is a flat-top, but the barrel is elongated and narrows towards the bottom. This is not obvious
in photographs, but in person it is quite striking.

The clip, to my delight, looks like a clip and not a symbolic object (a pet peeve of mine in pen design), and is finished with
a rolling ball at the end that is characteristic of Delta pens.

All of the pen's symbolism is limited to the imagery on the silver overlay over the barrel and cap. The cap is engraved with
the miniature of the Piazza of the Vatican. The barrel is engraved with a "hammered" stone-finish, and the words
"JVBILAEVM" on both sides of the lever engraved in large Roman capitals, and the word "JOBEL" in a slightly different
font on the other side of the barrel.



Size, Weight and Comfort

The Delta Jubilaeum is about 5 5/8" capped, 5 1/4" uncapped including nib, and almost 6 3/4" posted. Diameter is difficult
to determine with a ruler, because both the top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel are curved -- but average diameter
seems to be over 1/2". This makes for a very comfortable wide gripping section, made even more comfortable by the "lip"
on which the fingers can rest while writing.

I do not have the means to weigh the pen, but I would not describe it as heavy. The silver is just an overlay, and it feels
quite light to hold both posted and unposted. To me it feels considerably more comfortable posted, but that is a personal
preference.

Filling System

Like most Delta LEs, this is a lever-filling pen. The lever was an important feature for me, as this is one of my favourite
filling systems. The only companies that consistently offer lever-filling pens today are Delta and Conway Stewart, so I was
glad for the opportunity to own one. Delta's lever features a square tip and is surrounded by an enclosure/box, unlike
Conway Stewart's levers, which are built directly into the barrel material. The lever on the Jubilaeum pen is imprinted with
the text "AD 2000". The lever functioned well out of the box, despite sitting unused for 8 years. The pen fills with a decent
amount of ink, and there is no sign of the sack leaking or the lever box needing attention.




Nib

The pen came with a Medium nib, marked "Millenium / Delta/ 18Kt/ 750". It wrote with no problems what so ever out of
the box, putting down a smooth, wet line, more on the side of a Broad. I loaded it with the ink the pen came with, and it
resembles a watered-down version of Skrip Red (not sure who makes Delta's inks). Eventually, I will customise this nib to
a cursive italic.

Value

I am actually unsure what the original MSRP of the Jubilaeum was, and what the current retail price would be. Given the
occasion for which the pen was produced and the very elaborate packaging, I am guessing it's "a lot". I bought the pen
earlier this year from an FPN member new in box, for what I am guessing was a small fraction of the price -- one of the
many beautiful LE pens that have been sold off in this manner recently on the marketplace. It was a great value, but not
representative of what one should expect to pay for it.

Conclusions

In my view, the Jubilaeum is one of Delta's very finest LEs. The design is both elaborate, symbolic, and tasteful. The
presentation and packaging are incredible. Comfort, performance, craftsmanship and attention to detail are impeccable.
The only problem people might have with this pen, is that the Vatican/Jubilaeum theme might make it too religion-themed
for some. I understand that, but do not think so myself.

Although I am not Catholic, this pen holds personal meaning for me: I lived in Rome during a pivotal time in my childhood,
and the Christmas and New Year celebrations there have attained symbolic significance for me over the years.

Whether personally significant or not, I feel that the Jubilaeum is such a beautiful piece of work and such a well-performing
pen, that it transcends any references to religion.


Edited by QM2, 16 January 2009 - 19:38.


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#2 Jopen

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 20:04

Thanks for a very well done review on a Delta which perhaps is of the best era of Delta LE's design. Too much silver for my taste, but very well done as usual.

#3 QM2

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 20:12

QUOTE (Jopen @ Jan 16 2009, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for a very well done review on a Delta which perhaps is of the best era of Delta LE's design. Too much silver for my taste, but very well done as usual.


Thanks Jopen,

You say "the best era of Delta LE's design". -- Does that mean that Delta has gone through stages of different types of design aesthetics? I would be very interested to know whether they've made similarly "minimalistic" pens in the past, meaning not too many colours or design elemets all in one pen. Their current LEs do not appeal to me, because they just look busy and overdone. I have not been able to find a good "history" page, that shows all their past models.



Edited by QM2, 16 January 2009 - 20:16.


#4 goodguy

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 00:14

Lovely pen,like you I think this is one of Delta's nicest LE pens.
The box is also impressive and is a nice addition to any pen collector.

I also have a Delta lever filler (Israel 60) and may I ask does it hold a large amount of ink ?
My pens ink capacity is small.

Thanks for the wonderful review and very beautiful pictures.
Respect to all

#5 QM2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 00:23

QUOTE (goodguy @ Jan 17 2009, 02:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lovely pen,like you I think this is one of Delta's nicest LE pens.
The box is also impressive and is a nice addition to any pen collector.

I also have a Delta lever filler (Israel 60) and may I ask does it hold a large amount of ink ?
My pens ink capacity is small.

Thanks for the wonderful review and very beautiful pictures.



Thanks Amir,

The pen does seem to hold a lot of ink, which was a surprise. I last filled it in mid-December with the LE ink. I've been writing with it for a bit every other day or so, and it is still going. That's not an objective measure of course, but it seems to hold a lot.



Edited by QM2, 17 January 2009 - 00:25.


#6 MDI

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 00:43

I forgot about these pictures! What a lovely review, too.
Collection: Pen Perfect | Ink: The Magic Fountain

#7 QM2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 02:23

QUOTE (MDI @ Jan 17 2009, 02:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I forgot about these pictures! What a lovely review, too.


That's right, thanks for helping me take them : )

PS: As soon as I wrote to Amir that the pen has great ink capacity, it finally ran out of ink. Now filled with PR Dakota red, which matches the colour of the body better than the somewhat watery Delta LE ink.

#8 Jopen

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 20:14

QUOTE (QM2 @ Jan 16 2009, 08:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Jopen @ Jan 16 2009, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for a very well done review on a Delta which perhaps is of the best era of Delta LE's design. Too much silver for my taste, but very well done as usual.


Thanks Jopen,

You say "the best era of Delta LE's design". -- Does that mean that Delta has gone through stages of different types of design aesthetics? I would be very interested to know whether they've made similarly "minimalistic" pens in the past, meaning not too many colours or design elemets all in one pen. Their current LEs do not appeal to me, because they just look busy and overdone. I have not been able to find a good "history" page, that shows all their past models.


Yes, I would say that they exhibit stages, as everything/body through the time. Do a search on Delta Joaquin Rodrigo, a quite simple but charming pen. They rely there in the form and a bit on the metal. I like it quite a lot. I will not mention Venezia, which is a perfectly balanced pen. Citta Reale is a bit on the complicated side but still on Venezia philosophy. Pompei is a simple winner (as are the simple Omas Arlecchino or Lucens), but it is based in an older design and relies in its fantastic celluloid and forms. If you go to the people series, Tuareg is something simple, original and perfect in every way; from there they start to complicate the design unnecessarily, but clients wanted "blings" and "dings"... I see that they had at first absolute plain pens, but after that they had 5-6 years of perfect designs. The last pens don't appeal to me at all, and if I am going to buy a pen, it has to "talk strongly to me"; I have to like it in every way...

#9 QM2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 21:02

QUOTE (Jopen @ Jan 17 2009, 10:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (QM2 @ Jan 16 2009, 08:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You say "the best era of Delta LE's design". -- Does that mean that Delta has gone through stages of different types of design aesthetics? ...


Yes, I would say that they exhibit stages, as everything/body through the time. Do a search on Delta Joaquin Rodrigo, a quite simple but charming pen. They rely there in the form and a bit on the metal. I like it quite a lot. I will not mention Venezia, which is a perfectly balanced pen. Citta Reale is a bit on the complicated side but still on Venezia philosophy. Pompei is a simple winner (as are the simple Omas Arlecchino or Lucens), but it is based in an older design and relies in its fantastic celluloid and forms. If you go to the people series, Tuareg is something simple, original and perfect in every way; from there they start to complicate the design unnecessarily, but clients wanted "blings" and "dings"... I see that they had at first absolute plain pens, but after that they had 5-6 years of perfect designs. The last pens don't appeal to me at all, and if I am going to buy a pen, it has to "talk strongly to me"; I have to like it in every way...


The Joaquin Rodrigo is not really my cup of tea, but the Venezia is gorgeous (and I like it much better than the Pompei).

My favourite Delta LE -- at least judging by photos -- is the Mille Miglia. I am afraid to even ask how much that one goes for!




Edited by QM2, 17 January 2009 - 21:25.


#10 Cars Pens Watches

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 21:37

Hi QM2,

Thanks for the thoughtful, detailed, well-written review of the Delta Jubilaeum LE pen. The generous supply of photos you included reveals a stunning, mesmerizingly beautiful pen. I like the silver overlays. Is is a nice change of pace. The hypnotic cherry-colored bits are striking, leave you longing for more, and, in the end, contribute to a totally successful execution of design.

I am a big fan of the Delta pen company, having recently acquired two 'Republic of the Seas' pens (FP & RB), two Delta Ainu pens (FP & BP), and one of the Alfa Romeo tribute pens (FP). IMHO, the Delta design philosophy stimulates the eye, stirs the heart, and fills the soul with beauty, warmth, originality, and creativity.

The Jubilaeum LE is a crowning success of form, function, and art.

Thank you for the great pictures and incisive review!

Best regards,

CPW
rickj

#11 QM2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 22:21

Thanks rick,
I had to look up the Republic of the Seas, but now I remember it.
Congratulations on your Delta Pens!
QM2



#12 MYU

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 06:40

A very fine review, as always QM2. smile.gif You explore the beauty of the pen and its presentation in a captivating way. I can really appreciate the thought and effort Delta put into the Jubilaeum.

For me personally, I just don't warm up to the pen body all that much. The bold "stone finish" to the metal and "JVBILAEVM" imprinted twice in large font detracts from the elegance of the cap. I'd rather see the Italian countryside continued from the cap into the barrel, or perhaps a suggested style of a column from some impressive building in the Vatican. Otherwise... WOW. The leather bound box, the ink bottle with exquisite engraving of the Piazza dome, and the miniature Piazza engraving mounted for framing makes for a striking impression. And the nib looks beautiful, certainly with enough tipping material to deliver a nice crisp italic after regrinding.

I feel sorry for the person who had to let go of it, but a big thumbup.gif bunny01.gif to QM2 for her score. wink.gif

~MYU~

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#13 Pepin

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:01

Thanks for the review. The pen is so sexy.
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#14 QM2

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 16:56

Thanks, MYU and Pepin.

MYU, I actually agree with you about the barrel design being a bit barren. But I think that I've put a positive spin on this
element, as it allows me see the pen as not perfect and to treat it more casually, therefore making me more comfortable
using it. And that is a good thing, because one thing about this pen is that it is extremely comfortable to hold and write
with. I think that so many of these great LE pens don't get to experience ink and paper as often as they should, and it is
shame, when some of them at least, were obviously designed with writing comfort in mind.

As for the price, I did not get the impression that the seller was sad to see this pen go. It had been on the FPN marketplace
for a while, with the price getting lower and lower, before I finally bought it. The owner seemed glad. I have the sense that this
is a pen that many would admire, but not many would like to actually own -- for whatever reason!..

I am posting some closeups of the nib:



and here is a "bleeding heart" shot. That's PR Dakota Red coming out of the breather hole.








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