Initial Impression: 10/10
If you are impressed with boxes and packaging, keep looking. Edison ships its pens in a lovely crystal clear acrylic tube with blood red rubber end stoppers protected by organic shock absorbers. OK, it's a plastic tube with cotton inserts. But the pen was very well protected and no money was wasted. I was looking forward to this pen's arrival and it came in five days, visually it is stunning and the Herald is my favorite shape of pen, the rounded torpedo shape.
I ordered a Herald made of Cappuccino Acrylic. I had worked with Brian Grey on a number of materials for my pen. He sent me small polished samples of extra materials he had on hand. When none of those panned out he got on his web-cam and cut and polished some other samples for me. Ultimately, it came down to a choice between the Cappuccino and Butterscotch Swirl acrylic he shows made into a #76 on his website. Liking the cream swirls in the brown base material better I chose the Cappuccino. The material choice is, of course, totally personal preference, but I like the Cappuccino very much. The brown base actually has very small reflective particles in it, which shimmer when the light hits at an angle giving the material depth and luster. The shape is all nice smooth curves with no steps or abrupt changes from section to section in the barrel or cap. The only flaw in the finish (-0.2) is the joint where the cap tip captures the clip, you can feel it. The gold plated clip is elegantly simple and solid. As compared to the Balance II and the Argento, the cap lip is not tapered in toward the barrel. This leaves a thicker and more robust lip. It gives the cap a more substantial look and feel. (See the last picture.) When I first got the pen the cap to barrel were very tight but they've loosened up nicely with a few uses and still tighten on snugly.
I don't have a scale but it feels the same weight as the Balance II and the Argento. The Balance has a brass weight in the end of the barrel to change the center of mass point, but all three balance the same. The "grip to tip" distance is about the same for the Herald and the Argento and less for the Balance, which makes the Balance feel nose heavy. Or the Herald feel more laid-back if you prefer. I like the laid-back feel better. I also like the diameter of the barrel and the Section as I like thicker pens.
From the Edison Website:
Weight w/ Cap 18g
Weight w/o Cap 10g
Cap Diameter .600"
Body Diameter .530"
Length Capped 5 3/4"
Length Uncapped 5"
Filling System: 10/10
The filling system is a Piston Type Converter filler that operates very smoothly and holds a lot of ink. It works and that's what counts to me.
I got the Edison 18k gold nib in Fine. The nib keeps the "elegantly simple and solid" theme going. You can see a better picture of it than I can take at his website. Brian describes he typical grind as "buttery smooth, with a slight amount of feedback, with nice flow (7 out of 10)." The nib is indeed buttery smooth and it has a slight amount of feedback; sweet very sweet! The flow is closer to a 9.5 than a 10, but it handles all the inks I put into it and writes like a Medium.
The standard Herald costs $190. I got the 18k gold nib upgrade for $100. I expect any pen over say $75 to work and work well. This is not a inexpensive pen. But it does what it does very very well. Is the gold nib worth $100 more than the Standard Steel or Brian's
Upgraded Steel Nib? Since I haven't tried them it is hard for me to judge the value of the upgrade. But the gold nib is smooth and soft, as compared to flexy, which is more important to me!
I am very impressed with the Herald and am getting ready to buy another. All I need to do is find the perfect material.
<<Edited to correct reported filler system.>>
Edited by Glenn-SC, 15 February 2009 - 18:46.