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  1. Hi All! Here comes a new "ruthless review". My ruthless reviews have a few peculiar features: Concise;Very strict. If a pen costs hundred of euros, no faults are allowed. A good pen gets a 60/100, a great pen an 80/100, an almost perfect one a 90/100. Only a divine pen can have above 90. Add a few peculiar criteria: "Nib appearance", "Usability in shirt pockets", and "Out-of-the-boxness", meaning to what extent a nib was perfect right after leaving the seller. Also, don't care about the box.NOTE: I've introduced a change in this review. Previously I used to rank each of the ten factors on a 0-10 scale, adding up to 100. However, I've decided that some aspects should be made more important. Here they are, ranked by importance and by number of points they get as a result ("Construction" and "Quality of materials" have been merged into one). There's also a bit of logic as to why some factors are more important than others: Criteria 1. "Nib performance" gets a max. of 30 points - Why? Is there anything more important than the nib? A pen is a worthless piece of plastic if the nib does not write well.2. "Appearance and design" gets a max. of 20 points - Why? What good is a FP if it's not beautiful? Note: I hate flashy pens, so a LE Montegrappa would probably get a zero3. "Nib appearance" gets a max. of 10 points - Why? A nib is what you'll most likely see when writing with a FP. It has to be beautiful, otherwise you're going to hate your pen.4. "Cost and value" gets a max. of 10 points - Why? Not among the top-three points because after all, we don't collect FPs because of their cost-value ratio, I guess. 5. "Construction and materials" gets a max. of 10 points - Why? This is quite important but not as much as, say, in a car rating, for we almost all use pen cases anyway.6. "Out-of-the-boxness" gets a max of 5 points - Why? Since most of us know how to do nib-fixing (and a nib meister is never too far), I've reduced the importance of this factor.7. "Filling system and maintenance" gets a max. of 5 points - Why? Hard to rate as it's subject to individual preferences. I'll keep it among the lower-importance factors.8. "Weight and dimensions" gets a max. of 5 points - Why? For me it's almost ininfluential: I like both small and big pens. So it will be a low-importance factor.9. "Clip and usability with shirts" gets a max. of 5 points - Why? Can be very important for some, but irrelenvant for others. So, here's the review! Pilot Custom 74 - Blue with 14k n.5 M nib (pictures here: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/atn/item/fkk-1000r/) · Nib performance: 30 out of 30 This pen has a magnificently good nib! It's soft, springy, with a bit of feedback but not too much, with a bit of line variation but not so much that you lose control, it's basically the perfect everyday nib. I'm going to keep this inked forever, always ready on my desk. I'm absolutely amazed. · Appearance and design: 15 out of 20 Conservative, not very creative, but with a nice combination between the blue of the body and the gold trims. It makes it classy without being banal. Note: this is not the demonstrator version, but the plain blue one you can get from Rakuten. · Nib appearance: 8 out of 10 This is a small, pretty nib, with some nice scrollwork. The only thing is that it would be nice if it had a rhodium masking in some places to make it bicolor. · Cost and value: 10 out of 10 Ok here comes the awesome part (well, the other awesome part, after the nib): I paid USD 72 for a 14k gold nibbed pen with a fantastic nib, from a world-class manufacturer. Compare it with the USD 150 you pay for a Lamy 2000 with its dull nib, and you get the idea. This Pilot is awesome value for money! · Construction and materials: 6 out of 10 Good, although not the best: the plastic has a slightly cheap feeling, but nowhere close to the cheapness of a Platinum pen. · Out-of-the-boxness: 5 out of 5 This nib's absolute perfection was achieved with no tuning or fixing at all: it was perfect straight OOTB. I didn't even need to flush it! · Filling system and maintenance: 4 out of 5 It's a cartridge/converter pen, which is not great, but 1. hey, it's a USD 72 pen! And 2. the converter is Pilot's famous con-70, which is by far the best converter in the market. So we definitely cannot complain here · Weight and dimensions: 3 out of 5 This pen is a little bit too long for many people, but being super-light-weight, this is not likely to be a major issue. The only complain is that the section is perhaps a bit too thin for some people. · Clip and usability with shirts: 2 out of 5 Pretty bad: the pen is so long that it probably won't fit in many shirt pockets. It's great for jacket inner pockets, though. Final score: 83 out of 100. This, for a ruthless review like these, is a really high score. Trust me, if you've never tried a Pilot n.5 14k gold nib, you must get one. I've never had such a great experience on a daily writer. This is pure pleasure to write with, a perfect nib in an elegant design, with good quality and very convenient price.
  2. vojtahlad

    Wing Sung 3003

    I purchased another of the new models introduced by the resuscitated Wing Sung brand. The 3003 type in a nutshell: Pilot-like nib, converter filling, slip-on cap, ridiculous price. I wrote in my previous review that the new models of Wing Sung are pretty impressive. This one is not so much. Appearance and Design Do not expect any revolution in this department. Wing Sung 3003 is a commonly designed flat-top pen without any extravagant features. There are various versions available - transparent ones with coloured finials and opaque ones in crazy highlighter-like colours. Construction and quality Fair. I purchased the transparent version which reveals various imperfections. But frankly speaking there is not much to reveal. I did not notice imperfections or problems worth noting. Regarding the price (about 1 USD), I bought a very nice product. Weight and Dimensions Wing Sung 3003 is a smaller pen. This applies especially to its length, the girth is average and very comfortable to hold at least for my hands which are a bit on the smaller side. Here you can see some comparison, left to right: Jinhao 992 (which has very similar dimensions and very different nib), Wing Sung 3003 a Pilot 78G (with the same nib): It is clear that there is not much difference in lengths. The Pilot is markedly slimmer than both Chinese pens, especially its section. Both Chinese pens are more comfortable to hold for me than the slim Pilot 78G. Dimensions: Capped: 135 mm Uncapped: 120 mm Posted: 152 mm. Weight: Capped: 18 g Uncapped: 10 g Cap: 8 g The cap can be posted securely but its weight is comparable to the pen so posting changes balance significantly. Nib and performance The only nib available is EF. I did not try it but the nib should be interchangeable with the Pilot 78G and some more Pilot pens. Here you can see a comparison with the original Pilot 78G M nib (right), Lamy EF nib (top), and Jinhao 992 nib (left) which is declared to be F but behaves more like M: The nib was a bit misaligned which is visible in this photo: When I tried to fix this, I realized that the nib material is very soft and easy to bend. After some tweaking, I was able to align the nib which decreased the nib feedback. I am afraid that the nib will be unstable due to the softness of its material and will require re-aligning. The writing experience is OK. When aligned, its smoothness is on the average of my EF nibs. The same can be said regarding the line width. As you can see in the photo, it is a bit thinner than Wing Sung 6359 EF and a bit thicker than Lamy EF. Jinhao 992 F is much wider (but the writing is very smooth). I wrote several pages and did not experience any remarkable problems. No hard starts, no drying, the ink flow is fair and stable. I have no complaints regarding its behaviour. Filling system and maintenance It is a converter-filled pen. The converter was included and it seems to be quite specific. On first glance, it looks similar to the Pilot CON-50. But the lip has a much smaller diameter so the converter is not compatible with Pilot pens. Cost and Value The prices start around 1 USD. Do I need to write more? Conclusion This is not a pen which beauty stuns you. It works well and its price is really low. It may serve as a workhorse for people loving the finer lines. And if you lose or break it, it is easy to replace. The most important weak point is the nib. I have a bad feeling from its soft material and I expect that it will require some care when used. I am thinking about mounting the original Pilot nib to this pen. I like the design much more than the Pilot 78G and swapping the nib would remove the main weakness of 3003.
  3. ppdiaporama

    Baoer 051 Review

    I’ve recently started down the path of trying out Chinese pens. They’re inexpensive and can be quite handsome as well. I bought my first one a few months ago with the sole purpose of taking it apart and tinkering with it Given their low price (2,50$), I purchased two Baoer 051 from two different sellers on ebay; one black and chrome, the other mainly chrome with black stripes. Interestingly, both pens came with different nibs and feeds. Appearance & Design This pen looks good. It bears the same design as a Monteverde Impressa. It doesn’t scream bling or cheap as some other Chinese pens do. This is a pen will look good in your shirt pocket or on your desk. It’s fairly elegant However, I’m not fond of the top of the cap. I find that it’s disproportionate to the rest of the pen, especially to the bottom end. The pen comes with a #5 nib. One of the two nibs is a bit shorter than the other and looks too small on a pen this size. The grip section is quite comfortable. It’s large enough to fit your gingers. It’s tapered at the end to prevent your fingers from touching the nib. Construction & Quality Paint is chipping from grip section from one of the two pens that I purchased … and only after 1 day. The clip is very springy and quite nice. It’s attached to the top using a screw. It is far nicer than what you typically find on Chinese pens in this price range. Nib & Performance As mentioned earlier, both pens had different nibs & feeds. The first had a very scratchy and dry nib with the imprint “Iridium point Germany” on it. I polished it using 12000 grit micromesh and it is now quite smooth. The second one had a shorter nib with “Baoer” on it. This nib was fairly smooth and wet out of the box enveloppe. Conclusion Assuming that you get one with a good nib and that paint doesn’t come of the grip section (or anywhere else for that matter), this is a really good bargain. This is a good looking pen. It is well made and a pleasure to write with. I purchased this pen because I wanted to tinker … mission accomplished! I even replaced the nib with a spare Edison!
  4. RudraDev

    Ink Review: Krishna Cool Breeze

    Hi, I recently went on a hunt to find the best turquoise-blue ink I could find and I landed on this ink by Krishna pens. This ink is a part of their super-saturated series and the color is a super nice azure. Here's the full review: Color: The color is a super vibrant turquoise without any green undertones. this ink is a true blue. the color is somewhat similar to Robert Oster Fire and Ice and Noodler's turquoise. Drying time: THe flow of this ink is very wet. I used a medium nib and it took about 35-40 seconds before it became completely dry. the pen I used was relatively dry flowing, so if you were to use it on a wet BB nib or a flex nib, the dry time could be higher. Drip test: The ink is not advertised as being water resistant, and it is not. most of the ink washes away with water, but the writing, for the most part, remains legible. so I would say that it is moderately water resistant. Shading: This is where it shines. The ink shades like crazy! Even on regular paper, the shading is very prominent. I don't know if this is a trend with turquoise inks, but this has to be in my list of top 10 shading inks. Saturation: The ink is a part of the super-saturated series. the saturation is very good, especially since the ink flows very wet. Ease of cleaning: Since the ink is saturated, it does tend to be a little cumbersome to clean, but nothing too difficult. I would rate the easiness to be moderate. Conclusion: The ink is super vibrant and shades really well, plus the color is a delightful shade of turquoise. My only complaint would be the tiny 20ml bottle the ink comes in. The retail price for this ink is Rs. 180, or about 3 dollars US for a 20ml bottle. It's definitely one of the best turquoise inks I've tried. materials I used: Krishna Cool Breeze ink Lamy VIsta Medium nib Tomoe RIver 68gsm A4 printer paper 75gsm
  5. https://youtu.be/IP-TdORaibs Hey Folks. J. from Carpe Pluma with another review video. This time we look at the Montblanc Starwalker. Time stamps included if you want to jump around. Check it out if you get the chance. Thanks!
  6. https://youtu.be/FxlVOQ9t6fg Hey Party People. Here's a review I did of the Platinum 3776 Century. Check it out if you get the chance. Thanks!
  7. https://youtu.be/yviAVt1hPgU Hey Party-People. J. from Carpe Pluma with another review video. This time we look at the Lamy Safari and Vista. Time stamps included if you want to jump around. Check it out if you get the chance. Thanks!
  8. https://youtu.be/I49e8nhfXm8 Hey Party-People. J. from Carpe Pluma with another review video. This time we look at the Pilot Metropolitan. Check it out if you get the chance. Thanks!
  9. I've had a look here and while I find his name mentioned in various threads I don't think anyone has actually done coverage. I get the impression that within the UK John is one of the worst kept secrets of the pen world, where as outside, especially in the US he seems to be over looked (I may be wrong there, in fact I'd be happy to be wrong). I should point out from the start is my only connection to John is having spoken to him a few times at pen shows and both of us having IT connections (though I seem to remember he was a mainframer before early retirement, where as I have a UNIX background). A certain amount of the following has been taken from his website, but those on the 'right' Facebook groups will also recognise some of the pens I mention and he is very approachable at pen shows if he's not busy. John is based out of a workshop at the Sherwood Forest Art and Craft Centre near Mansfield, though he is also a regular at most of the pen shows in the UK. He was also part of the group who helped restart the Newcastle Pen show. His website does say he welcomes visitors, though I suspect it is safest to ring him in advance. I know I should be in the area around April/May so will try to pop in myself for a nose around (and maybe another purchase). So down to his pens. John works by eye so each pen is made with attention to detail but no two will be absolutely identical. The fit and finish is very good. At the shows, and from his website, you can buy pens made with acrylic and ebonite rods, but also from rods made by/for Conway Stewart and OMAS. These obviously cost more as the materials themselves also do. On his list there are also pens with steel and silver work, which I believe are also done by him as his website does state he only buys in clips, materials and nibs. He has made some very interesting one offs (though annoyingly at this moment in time I can not find photos). Two years ago he re-bodied a Pelikan M800 in OMAS ARCO Brown, which he sold on eBay. Last year he also re-boddied an M1000 in the same material, though I'm not sure if this was for sale or a private commission). On talking else where (while actually writing this) I've been reminded he also re-bodied a Montblanc in ARCO for a private commission. The easiest way to buy from John, unless there is a specific pen or commission you are after, is to go to a UK pen show. Chances are he will have a table and from experience he is happy for you to handle the pens (you should really ask first) and also to do nib dip tests. He does seem to bring a large selection with him. John's website is at http://www.handmadefountainpens.co.uk My review of two of his pens, so you can have a more personal view is at https://dapprman.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/john-twiss-pens/ Hopefully some other owners of his pens will add to here.
  10. When I started out on my quest for inks that look nice AND have very good water resistance properties, honestly the last ink series I thought I'd be getting were J. Herbin's standard fountain pen inks. I had a very misguided opinion of the line as being too faded looking, low saturation, dull, certainly not water resistant. That's until I accidentally found some reviews that showed water tests of J. Herbin's Lie de Thé. I also realized how interesting of an ink it is. It led me down the path of reanalyzing the whole line of inks, and I almost got a large size of Poussiere de Lune and some other colors. But back to Lie de Thé! I take back what I thought and welcome this ink with open arms to the top of my favorite inks list. The color: It's a very complex sepia color! It keeps shifting between looking more green? or is it more orange? or yellow? As a paper towel drip test below shows (green-gray-brown base, orange and yellow elements over that), this ink has all of those colors, and due to the excellent shading property, all those colors are visible to some extent. But this ink definitely keeps you guessing if you stare at it for a while, influenced also by lighting conditions. Shading: Amazing shading! Not only that, but there's some color variation between different intensity parts of writing. This ink's ability to shade comes through well in all of my pens: from dry writers with wide italic nibs to wet writers with round nibs. Sheen: none, I really tried to make it appear, but it's not there Ink flow: Pretty high flow ink in all of my pens, lubrication is medium, not as high as, say, Organics Studio Walden Pond Blue, which is highly lubricating. Bleed-through: none observed on Fabriano's Bioprima or Clairefontaine paper. A small amount with a wet nib pen on standard [low quality] printer paper Feathering: none on high quality paper, a little bit on cheap paper. Water resistance: another stand-out property of this ink! Some pale color wash off, but what remains is a highly legible and neat gray-green-brown base color. Photographs were made in diffuse natural daylight indoors on a somewhat sunny day. I don't like using my scanner to show inks, as it's not terribly accurate. I can get accurate photographs much more easily with my set-up (paper shown below is Fabriano Bioprima 85g/m2, pale cream color)
  11. Noodler's #41 Brown does what it was created to do, and it does it very well. Will it win an award for the best behaving, best shading, and best sheening brown ink ever created? No. It should, however, win an award for being a ridiculously awesome bulletproof brown ink. I love it for that reason and highly recommend it. Quick stats if you don’t want to read all the details: Flow/Lubrication: 2 of 5 Saturation: 4 of 5 Shading: 3 of 5 on Tomoe River; not much on standard papers Feathering: none Bleedthrough: none Showthrough: none Water-Resistance: 5 of 5 Dry Time (FP friendly): <30 sec Dry Time (non-FP friendly): <5 sec! Smearing (dry): none Sheen: None Cleaning & Maintenance: above-average (needed more frequently) Staining: possible on converters and demonstrators - easily remedied with diluted bleach Buy again: absolutely - will always have in my collection *A quick side note...This is my first ink review. Also, my photo editing skills aren't the best. Hilarious combination.* I love brown inks and #41 Brown was one of the first bottles of ink I bought years ago. It is a dark and deep sepia color, according to the founder of Noodler’s Ink. My first thoughts when seeing it on paper, ‘Yep, that’s brown.’ Anytime I want a bombproof brown ink, this is the first bottle I reach for in my collection. Lamy 2000 fine - Tomoe River (yep, I mistakenly went from 'h' to'j' hahha) TWSBI Vac 700 broad - Tomoe River Lamy 2000 fine & TWSBI Vac700 broad - Leuchtturm1917 Noodler’s 3oz glass bottles are simple and functional, filled to the brim. Here’s a closer look at the label on the bottle (read Mr. Tardiff’s description of the ink for more backstory): If you want the best behaving brown ink you’ve ever experienced in your fountain pen’s life, this isn’t for you. #41 Brown doesn’t behave badly, but it does require careful pen maintenance (as does every other highly water-resistant ink regardless of brand and color). I would not leave this ink unused in a pen for very long. It wants to work, not to sit idly waiting around for days or weeks at a time. As long as you use your pens often and clean them regularly, you’ll be fine. Even better if it’s a pen you can easily disassemble. Compared to regular fountain pen inks, water-resistant and bulletproof inks tend to dry out on the nib a bit more quickly when left uncapped - #41 is no different. As long as you’re conscious of this and keep your pen capped when not writing, it should pose no issue. During extended sessions, I had no problems with the nib drying out as long as I kept writing. When I did leave the cap off too long, a quick wipe on a paper towel (or my finger) had the ink flowing again. Dry times were weird on Rhodia and Tomoe River (anywhere from 8-30 seconds pending on how much ink pooled) and exceptional on lesser quality paper (under 5 seconds!). If you’re a lefty or anyone who needs a fast drying ink and you use standard paper more often than Rhodia or Tomoe River, #41 Brown is a great option. Tomoe River (smears you see are my fault - my cat kept jumping on the desk...) There was little to no feathering on every paper I tried, including a junk-mail envelop and a Walmart spiral notebook. Impressive! No bleedthrough and little to no show-through. It’s a drier ink which is awesome if you’ll be writing on lower quality papers. On FP friendly papers, a juicy nib will work best (that is, of course, just MY preference). There is some shading with wetter lines on Tomoe River and Rhodia. How about the bulletproof & waterproofness qualities? Post-soak. On Rhodia and Tomoe River, a tiny bit of ink slightly smeared with a wet finger (and I do mean tiny). On all other paper where every bit of ink could bond with the fibers, nothing moved. Here are a few quick comparisons to some of the other brown inks I have: I must admit, I'm biased. I love Noodler’s Ink & Nathan Tardiff and have a keen appreciation for his water-resistant & bulletproof inks (as well as his mission). When I was first getting into fountain pens, I only wanted waterproof inks and Noodler’s was the first brand recommended to me. It wasn’t until I had a dozen or more bottles of Noodler’s bulletproof inks that I started exploring other non-bulletproof inks and other brands. Though I have a wide variety of inks now, from most brands and companies, I always have at least a couple of pens in my rotation filled with Noodler’s bulletproof inks.
  12. As you may have guessed by the title, this is a review on the Waterman Expert Mk III. Its a pen that is near and dear to my heart, since it got me into this hobby. My parents gave it to me for Christmas. I had asked for a fountain pen because ever since primary school, I had prefered them over ballpoints. I was in my third year of law school, and just wanted a nice looking, high quality pen to use on exams and to accompany me when I would start my carreer. The one I was using before I would now call a Lamy Safari, but back than that name was meaningless to me. They spent hours in Leën, Hasselt trying out different pens and eventually settled on this one because of its business like, understated looks. It was way over budget for a Christmas present but they wanted to give me something that would last. In the end they most of all gave me a new hobby. The pen came packed in a typical Waterman blue clamshell box, which I still consider as one of the nicer fountain pen boxes I have. Its sturdy, with a good quality hinge, thick soft padded interior and a compartiment that contains the warranty information and a Waterman Serenity Blue refill. What it does not come with; a converter. A word of warning, dont get a Waterman converter as I did. They crack easily and operate difficultly. Get a Graf von Faber Castell converter for it, or alternatively a identical one from Pelikan. Being a 135 euro pen, it not shipping with a converter may seem difficult to understand, but as Ill try to demonstrate down below, actually really fits the pen. The design of the pen gets to you in waves. First you notice how bland and boring it looks. This is not a pen for people who want to get noticed. Its a mix of shiny black and matt black, with silver trim. Secondly, you notice just how well the design works. When capped, its a smooth continuous shape that reminds me of a submarine. When you take the cap off, it remains relatively smooth, looking as a pen that was designed not to have a cap at all. The pen can be posted and the cap even snaps on the little silver ring on the barrel. As much as I like the look and the balance of the pen when posted, the cap rotates while writing so I prefer to keep it unposted. Finally, you start noticing the little things that make this pen different. Theres the Waterman logo on the top of the cap, placed on a slope. Its odd, but it works. Theres the typical Waterman clip, with an opening in the middle. Theres the nib, thats small and does not even have a breather hole. Its very featureless, but it compliments the look of the pen brilliantly. Theres the material its made of: metal but with a matte lacquer. Perfect weight, strong and special to the touch. The size is ideal toom though this is of course highly subjective. Especially with slightly smaller hands like mine, it is just very comfortable to hold. I like holding it, uncapping it and in order not to look like an idiot, that means writing with it as well. I had some bad luck. Though I didnt know back then, the nib was overpolished and didnt start properly, ever. Two returns to Waterman and one nib exchange later, the problem was solved. The nib is as hard as a nail. Its ironic how the same company that is known for its old flex pens now makes this. Push as hard as you like, youll damage your table before you see any line variation. Though probaby if thats what youre after, few steel nibs are ideal. The pen behaves beautifully: no more hard starts, it glides over paper and the ink flow is as reliable as can be. One issue it seens to have with coverters (not with cartridges) is ink starvation. I have this same issue with my Van Gogh so maybe its just me but I can never empty a converter without forcing ink in the feed by twisting it halfway through. Apart from that minor nuisance, the pen is a true joy to write with. In the case of this pen, I think the main question is who it is for. The Community is used to demonstrator pens with a vacuum filling system and a replacable nib for half the price of this. You can also find a gold nibbed Platinum 3776 for that same half price. Even the Lamy 2000 is well whitin reach. How dare they ask 135 euros (about 155 dollars) for a cartridge-converter filled, steel nibbed pen? Shouldnt Waterman just stick to making their inks? Not quite. As bad a value as the pen might seem on paper, it is brilliant when you actually put it to paper. Its a design that is going to work for a lot of people who may not necessarily be in this Community, but buy fountain pens out of preference over a ballpoint. They want something that they can use alongside their coworker who has a Montblanc, without the price tag or the flashy look. It blends in a business setting or a clean desk like no other pen I know. Its inoffensive, chique and bland to the casual eye, yet a party for the lucky soul who bought it (or got it for Christmas). I highly doubt they will even notice the lack of a converter, because they will use cartridges anyway. If they show their pen in a pen shop asking which cartridges they need, the seller will likely give them Waterman cartridges. So they will end up with a Community favourite ink without knowing it and the ink starvation issue doesnt happen when using cartridges. I adore this pen, can you tell? As if this review didnt contain enough blasphemy yet, I even got the matching ballpoint and like that as well. It has a great twist mechanism and Watermans proprietary ballpoint refills are very smooth to write with. I hope you enjoyed this review of my gateway pen.
  13. Here is a brief overview of the pen. There is a link at the end to the full version on my blog. Please note that while the review is on the 50th Anniversary model of the Scala, it also applies to all other models (aside from the nib part for the steel nibbed versions). The Scala is often overlooked. Part of the problem is that Lamy alone have a number of other pens that rival it, all cheaper. This includes the ever popular Studio. Appearance & Design This is a smart looking pen following the Bauhaus design philosophy. It is deceptively simple in appearance, but at the same time rather smart and classical looking. The chromed components work well with the rest of the body, though at the same time they do prove to be fingerprint magnets. The cap snaps on/off with a satisfying click and can be posted, though this moves the balance point too far to the rear for my liking, however the pen is longer than it first appears, so for many this will not be an issue. http://i.imgur.com/QRU33vJ.jpg Construction & Quality The pen is made of steel, with the finial and grip sections being chromed over. My pen has seen a fair bit of abuse over it's time of use and I've not seen any scratches or chips appear. The balance point feels like it is about half way along the barrel, which works very well for me. The one downside for me was the tines of the nib were slightly misaligned. Only noticeable on some strokes in one direction, but still annoying on a pen where the nib is manually tested. http://i.imgur.com/6l9h2ao.jpg Weight & Dimensions Being a steel pen, it is not light, but at the same time I do not consider it to be heavy. With the long, gently nib tapered section, and the point of balance I find I can comfortably use this pen for long periods of time. http://i.imgur.com/bItafqh.jpg Nib & Performance As mentioned above, the tines were very slightly out of alignment. Easy to fix, but annoying. Once sorted then the pen became very pleasant to use. In typical Lamy gold nib fashion the writing experience is slightly springy, buttery soft, and on the wet side. The fine nib produces a line closer to a western steel medium. http://i.imgur.com/qlFKba0.jpg Filling System & Maintenance This is the standard Lamy system. All Scala pens (in the UK at least) come with a converter. This model came with a 50ml bottle of blue ink instead of the ubiquitous cartridge. The Lamy system is reliable, well known, and in the event of a converter failure, cheap. http://i.imgur.com/SNkdLMk.jpg Cost & Value This is where it gets interesting. From what I can tell, Scala sales suffer as the pen is about 30% more than the Studio, which it both rivals and pre-dates it. With the latter being popular, this also affects take up. I actually feel the Scala is the superior pen and while more expensive, the extra cost is worth it. When you get to models with gold nibs, the percentage difference is a lot less and I personally think the look and feel of the pen suit the gold nib more and would actually recommend this pen. As to the Glacier version I reviewed. Like all the other Lamy 50th Anniversary edition pens, there was an additional price hike. Fortunately, unlike on the 2k, most shops seemed to discount it back down to the price of the other gold nibbed special editions. Conclusion This is an often over-looked pen, and from threads else where there is a split in views as to which is the better pen, the Scala or the Studio. I much prefer the former and have considered getting another (probably one of the annual editions), where as I'm not looking to get a second studio despite the appeal of the recent colour choices (a Scala in British Racing Green would appeal me). Certainly this is a pen I'm happy to recommend to others. My full write up can be found at: https://dapprman.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/lamy-scala-glacier-edition/
  14. Apparently a 0.5mm NIB Was pleasantly surprised that it wrote as well as it did . Is a bit of a dry writer . Cants LEFT well Cants RIGHT not quite as well , but still writes . Very insensitive to writing angles . ( Writes inverted rather well ) It's not smooth , but at the same time it does not tear into the paper . Very consistent ! It does dry on the back sweep doing horizontal 8's , but then it is a dry writer . Ink sack was not too hard to fill , no leaks no burps so far .. There was a very slight hesitancy to start after 24 hours , very slight . ( Captured on the video ) Over all , a rather pleasant pen so far .
  15. justaninker

    Noodler's Whaleman's Sepia (2016)

    I received my bottle of Whaleman's Sepia a few days ago, and I'm like a rabbit now - very hoppy! This ink looks like reddish brown muddy sludge in the bottle. Not surprisingly it's a bit thick and dry, but its reputation as a nearly unusable ink is exaaaaaagerated. It behaves relatively well for me in a Pilot Petit1 and a preppy, both with fine nibs. If I pause for more than 10sec when writing the first stroke would be a bit hard, but that's it. I'm going to "tame" this bad boy with some decyl glucoside, a non-ionic surfactant similar to the surfactant in Photo-Flo. Will follow up with results. For now, hope you enjoy the review of the yet "wild" Whaleman's Sepia!
  16. Hello, I always get anxious before buying a new fountain pen! Despite all those pre-buy "researches", sometimes, the nib turns out to be not that smooth or the flow does not have that feeling. However, today, just after trying out the new one, I could pretty much confirm that it would become one of my go-to fountain pens. I bought Jinhao 606 for Rs. 250 (about US$ 3.7) from a local store. It is a moderately heavy, full metal pen with fine hooded nib. The body has a silver matte texture. The finishing is pretty fancy considering the price range. The flow was smooth and crisp from the beginning (this is not a characteristic of Jinhao pens! In my experience, they always need few scratches and shakes to roll smooth :-)), the lines were even and sharp. The property I like the most of this pen is the combination of the weight and grip width. Often a metal pen of this weight would have a narrower grip. It can be compered to Sheaffer's 9405-0 VFM in this catagory, the overall dimension is similar too. I would definitely recommend Jinhao 606 to anyone who is comfortable with metal pens and fine nib.
  17. Here is a brief overview of the pen, with a link to the full review at the end of this post. Appearance and Design: 9 While this model (the Chuzzelwit being based on the Magna Classic) is under a decade old, appearance wise there is something very classically British about the pens. The core model unashamedly harks back to a time of old and is still hand made. The odd sized nib helps give an illusion that this pen is smaller than it really is, as if it were the same pen Winston Churchill apparently asked his wife to obtain after he lost his in the Number 10 bunker. http://i.imgur.com/dQKgUaU.jpg Construction and Quality: 9.5 The score is based upon my original Magna Classic, as the Chuzzelwit was a prototype bought as such at the 2018 London Writing Equipment Show. The only problem with the latter is the clip is too stiff and had to be prized slightly away from the body. The pens are hand made and the execution is superb. Everything fits together extremely well. The clip has spring and is easy to use and the pen feels secure when in a pocket. If there were to be one gripe it would be that it takes roughly 3.5 turns to remove the cap, though this is down to the use of a single thread allowing the branding to line up nicely with the clip. http://i.imgur.com/qCrcHiV.jpg http://i.imgur.com/XsmVKUI.jpg Weight and Dimensions: 10 The pen is light and appears smaller than it really is, but I found this made it incredibly comfortable to hold and use. The threads are thin and cannot be noticed unless you rub your finger up and down against them. The smooth tapering also makes it very easy to find a comfortable position by which to hold the pen, it does not force you in to a specific position. If you do want a heavier pen then there is a cost option (£30 ?) to have an additional weight added in to the barrel. Nib and Performance: 9 As of late 2018 Onoto are changing their supplier from Bock to Jowo. The gold nib on my Magna Classic is the former. With the Chuzzelwit I had an option of a fine Bock or a medium Jowo, trying both at the pen show the latter was far nicer and so was the one I went with. The size is #7 and the appearance is the same for the nibs of both manufacturers (steel). The gold nib in the Magna Classic is fine. It is a very nice writer, smooth and wet, though on the stiffer side. Despite preferring softer, bouncier nibs I actually rather enjoy the experience of using this pen. On the Chuzzelwit, the steel nib is also very nice and is possibly nicer than the gold one, which is something to bare in mind as Onoto pens, despite the costs, come with steel nibs as standard, the gold ones are an additional cost option. http://i.imgur.com/s5qWEYV.jpg http://i.imgur.com/8geWS0l.jpg Filling System and Maintenance: 8 There's not too much to say here. The pens both came with unbranded standard international pattern convertors already installed and no cartridges. The convertors are firmly in place and fit well. I'm not one of the 'if it costs more than a couple of hundred quid it must have a piston' brigade, so I have no problems here. As a result the pen is easy to clean. Also the nib is in a unit that screws in and out. http://i.imgur.com/7Q1eCGH.jpg Cost and Value: 8 (9.5 for the Chuzzelwit as it is a prototype) This is a difficult ones. Onoto pens are not cheap, starting at just under £400 and going in to the multi-thousand. Additionally they come as stock with steel nibs, the gold option costing £120-140 extra, however at the same time they are hand made in traditional ways and with great care. The nibs are hand tuned, and also there is a life time guarantee on the pens (though I do not know if this is transferable). Conclusion: 9 I was nervous when I bought the Magna Classic, but enjoyed using it so much that I actually went to the 2018 London Writing Equipment Show with the intention of buying another of their pens if I could get a decent price. The prototypes have risk, but for me was ultimately worth it. As ever I advise people to try before buying, especially with the cost of these pens and their rarity on the second hand marker - something of a good sign as it shows people consider them keepers. My full write up can be found at: https://dapprman.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/onoto-magna-classic-and-chuzzelwick/ (edit next day to correct spelling from Chuzzelwick to Chuzzelwit)
  18. The Woodshed Pen Co - Fountain Pen Review Having used fountain regularly for most of my life, I ought to know a thing or two I guess. It's become a serious obsession over the last ten years, since I started losing my mobility and ending up in a wheelchair. During this time I've refined my tastes in pens, inks and discovered I spend more time online researching fountain pens than perhaps maybe considered normal. But every now and then I come across that ticks all the right boxes, like this for example: Mr Mike Allen of The Woodshed Pen Co, manufactures unique acrylic fountain pens. Each lovingly made by hand, one at a time. The Woodshed Pen Co are based out of Charleston SC, USA and ship worldwide. But the pens Mr Allen creates and markets via Kickstarter are in my eyes, sublime! The Pen arrived within a week from the USA, which in itself I thought was quite impressive. The pen came well packed, in a very nicely made handmade knitted pen sleeve (a nice touch). From the very moment my eyes glazed down at the pen, the only word I was able to utter was Wow! The pen has an exquisite, shimmering and sleek look to it. I find both the shape and finish extremely pleasing, that's perhaps an understatement because the sheer quality of finish is superb! The first things I should mention is the pen is designed to be used unposted and cap doesn't feature a clip. Personally neither of these are a deal breakers to me. To place a clip onto a pen of this quality in my opinion would be a crime and ruin it's good looks ;-) Dimensions: Capped: 135mm (with a slight taper towards each end). Uncapped: 128mm. Barrel width: 15mm (where the cap and barrel meet). Grip section: 12mm (where the fingertips would fall). Please Note: I believe these are average pen dimensions. As each are made by hand to order, it's acceptable to expect some variation from pen to pen. The pen uses cartridge/converter system and can converted with ease into a huge capacity eyedropper. It comes supplied with a quality Schmidt converter. The nib is the very dependable Jowo #6, the very same as used by the likes of Edison, TWSBI and many others. I was sent a fine nib, which is my personal nib of choice (also the same nib as fitted to my Edison Herald and TWSBI 580RB). The Woodshed Pen Co currently offer the Pen with EF, F, M, B, 1.1 or 1.5mm nibs, either polished steel or black oxide finish and finally also with an 18k gold option. I've filled the pen using the supplied converter with Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine (my current inky obsession) and as expected the pen performed flawlessly, no hesitation or skipping. So far It has started the first time, every time. It appears to be very consistent and predictable laying down the perfect amount of ink straight from the start, not too dry not too wet, but just right for my taste. The pen suits my average sized hands perfectly, it's both light to use and well balanced. I found the grip section to be perfectly sized and despite having some unresolved Carpal Tunnel Issues, the pen is one of the most comfortable I've used in a long time; (I'm not sure I should mention that the cap smells fabulous if your wondering what to do with it LOL). In conclusion: I love the pen, the finish on the barrel is wonderful, the whole pen shimmers like a piece abalone shell. I see something new every time I pick the pen up; it really is wonderful work. But most of all, I loved the way it worked flawlessly from the first moment I inked it up. So if you not put off By the cap issues, looking for something a little different to add to the collection - Why not take a visit to Woodshed Pen's Kickstarter or Facebook page and take a look at Woodshed Pen Co's unique hand made offerings. You wont be disappointed. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2031465346/cracked-ice-fountain-pens https://www.facebook.com/woodshedpenco/ Or via email at: woodshedpens@gmail.com The pen was kindly supplied free of charge for review purposes by The WoodShed Pen Co, to whom I have no affiliation or connection - Other than perhaps becoming a future customer (yes I liked it that much)!
  19. *comes in a 3 oz glass bottle * it's definitely pink *more of a blue-pink than an orange-pink (the third photo looks the most accurate to me, but your monitor may show it differently) *dries pretty fast, under 5 seconds *highlights over a variety of inks without smearing *not water resistant (that's not a surprise!) The first sheet is the 32 lb HP laser paper - the only part that really shows (obviously) is where I shot the paper with a syringe full of ink! The second sheet is cheap 20 lb copy paper, and I (personally) wouldn't have any trouble highlighting on both sides of the paper. You can see it a bit, but it's really not bad at all.
  20. Cross Peerless 125 Every Cross fountain pen I've ever used thus far was a disappointment. Cross makes good ballpoints and mechanical pencils, but their fountain pens are not for me (though many people love them, so it might have been just bad luck). On the other hand, every Sailor fountain pen I've ever used wrote like a dream. I have two Sailors and they're my favourite pens. Really great, but cosmetically they're rather boring black cigars. Enter the Cross Peerless 125: a magnificent 18k Sailor nib (and Sailor feed) in a classy Cross design. I tried this one today, fell in love with it and bought it on the spot. I paid 300 euros for it, which is more than 10% below list price but nevertheless a lot more than I usually pay for a pen. Especially for a pen that's made in China... But we can't be snobbish: the quality of this thing speaks for itself and is second to none, regardless of place of origin. Whoever built this pen, they nailed it. We're talking at least Montblanc level quality. Even the act of unscrewing the cap... it feels as if there are ball bearings in there, it's really nice engineering. This is a rather large pen (very close to MB 146 and Pilot Custom 823) and it's not feather-light, but it's certainly not heavy and the ergonomics are fantastic. Size and weight are just perfect, it fits the hand like a glove. Out of the box, it writes very well. Nice and wet, but not a gusher. Note that if you dip the pen in an ink bottle, it'll write like a big, fat, juicy, European M. Use the converter or a cartridge, though, and it'll write somewhere halfway between European F and M. The nib is magical. If you like it smooth but with character, this is it. If you're looking for hot butter on glass smoothness, then this pen is not for you. It writes like Sailor's best pens. It does not write like a Cross, nor like a cross between a Sailor and a Cross (pun intended). If you're in the market for (say) a MB 146 or a Sailor King of Pen but would like to save some money, it might be worthwhile to try this pen. +Ergonomics, fits the hand like a glove, suitable for long sessions +Writes like a top-tier Sailor +Quality of materials and construction +Looks, writes and feels like a high-end pen +Packaging /Good value for money and very high quality, nevertheless a lot of money for a pen that's made in China /Not a black cigar, but the design is not for everyone (some might perceive it as ostentatious)
  21. Jinhao 993 - Also knows as the shark pen .. Cartridge converter - screw on cap . The first time I wrote with this pen I was shocked at just how butter smooth it was . Unfortunately the 993 lets you down quickly as you change your writing position and maybe cant or tilt the pen at a slightly different angle . It very quickly becomes scratchy and dries up ( does not put ink on paper ) .. No leaks - No burps .. No starting issues .. Did not like canting 45 degrees Left or Right - Did not like being inverted .. Same deal after resting horizontally for 24 hours - started ok but same as above . Obviously had to polish the NIB , initially I started with 5000 grit but it made little difference so I had to go to 2000 grit to effect any change to the NIB's behavior . I then backed up the work with the 2000 grit by going to the 5000 grit .. Pen writes much better now .. The smoothness has spread over a larger writing area ( pen angles ) ... For 99 cents , .... Pen has been cleaned and put away .
  22. Chromo's are different , but they come pretty close
  23. This review is dedicated to the city of Paris, its people, its spirit. Half way through this review is when the massacre happened, peace be on all of us. The tragic co-incidence is that the pen under review is marked – Paris. Warning – This review contains bad puns, parody, snowflakes, mud-slinging, dodgy English, terrible grammar, digressions, ostentatious use of langue française , immoral pictures and a certain dragon. If you are one of those with sensitive tastes, or are easily offended by any of the above, please refrain from reading/looking any further. You have been warned! Taking a page out of Bilbo Baggins’s travelogue, I’d say that I practically have the entire fellowship in my ring sans one exception. There is Legolas epitomised by the shaeffer Targa 1004 in Sterling Silver XF, lean, mean, and blisteringly fast combined with elven feature of immortality The Pelikan M215 Lozinge with a, wide hairy M steel nib is the ever reliable Mr Samwise Gamji Then there is the ‘Click’ Ebonite Gimli with its rough edges, less than acceptable table manners (inky fingers), huge (dr)ink capacity, temperament etc., despite its failings, I keep tugging at this drawf’s beard often. I found Aragorn in the form of the Pelikan 1000 with an ‘S’ nib (Oh, that’s an another story; if you survive this review, let me know in the comments section if you’d like me to write that story for you) Frodo in the Parker Duofold international, the other two hobbits are my Carené s with Stub and Oblique-Stub. The Lamy 2000 Stainless Steel dons the hat of Boromir. As you see there is a hole in the ring, so to say, the old wizard, the one who is equally comfortable in the company of hobbits, elves, kings and even a Balrog. As soon as my retina registered the image of the Waterman exception Night and Day with platinum stripe, my limbic system lit up and the amygdala switched to Gollum mode …. “we wants it, we deserves it” etc, my banker choked on an olive at the same time somewhere in Spain. Akin to Gollam’s mentality, you can’t give up on precious just because it is expensive, as expensive is a function of time and timing, or so I convinced myself. After relentless searching for months a good deal manifested on ‘great river’.com; Too good to be true, but too tempting to ignore, caved in and placed an order. Funny that the price tripled as soon as my order was processed, I didn’t know what would happen, would they honour the order or just send me their standard apology e-mail? Surely you have been to a zoo, but were you there during ‘meal time’? I mean, when the zoo keepers are preparing to feed the animals? Yes? The smell is in the air, stomach is burbling with hunger pangs. They know they’ll get the food, but they just can’t wait. They are circling, running up and down, howling and being very impatient in their extra-large pen (yes, the other pen which means an enclosure and you did see what I did there, didn’t you?). Then you know my plight until my pen arrived in the mail box after two weeks. I don’t remember how the outer packaging looked, as it got torn to smithereens in a hurry. Well, what do we have here, an unassuming package that practically every other lower tier Waterman came in, nothing exception-al. Gingerly the outer sleeve is slid and there is the waterman’s usual hard cardboard box, box is slowly opened to reveal the most elegant pen I have ever set eyes on, yet ! Unlike the Carene, Charleton, Perspective or expert which did not have the control number, this box contains a control number which can be used to return the pen. There is a box of 8 cartidges of Serenity- blue and a waterman booklet that contains information on how to fill the pen, and an international guarantee. Yes there are bling pens out there whose 24 carat gold barrel is hand-turned on a rose-engine by 14 and three fourths blind virgins working tirelessly for 3 years and 14 months, studded with diamonds taken directly from Smaug’s den , Ultra Ultra Limited Edition, limited to just half a pen (they found that by the time they finished making the cap, they erm… were no longer virgins). Some completely outrageously ostentatious ones that would put a full-size-lit-up-Christmas-tree-with-Santa-sitting-on-it to shame (don’t know what I mean? have a look at some special Italian pens) , some oxymoronic (I’m looking at you Montblanc - Mahatma Gandhi http://www.montblanc.com/en-us/discover/limited-editions/great-characters/mahatma-gandhi.html ), some geek delights with their innovative functional designs like the Pilot VPs, Conids , Snorkels etc. Then there is the elegant one - exception, black lacquer, sharp looking guilloche-engraved Platinum pin stripes, silver trim , solid , functional and holds its own in a sea of ostentatious snowflakes. I digress. Gandalf had arrived! Since he was still clad in grey (Medium nib), he was neatly packed and sent off the helpful elf’s at Newellco (I have written about their fantastic service before: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/292563-customer-support-and-after-sales-service-the-way-it-should-be/ ) for a stubborn change. While Gandalf was in the mines of Moria earning his badge, the rest of the fellowship did give me good company but the zoo keepers had to be summoned often to help contain an aforementioned hungry animal. Three weeks later another package is decimated (yes, this time I tore it into exactly 10 pieces), it’s from the Elves. Gandalf the white had re-joined the fellowship of the Ring. All hail the new white wizard with a stubby nib. If you are still reading this, I hear you mutter – Start the FµÇ%ing show, well hang on, Rome was not built in a day… wassit?. Let me take a détour from middle earth to extreme east, humour me this. There are show pieces that are immensely beautiful, delicate, ornate and often expensive. They are made explicitly for one purpose – display. Take for example the “For show only” deliberately made blunt Katana and Wakizashis, Legendary temper (of the steel kind), Masterful craftsmanship, elaborate sheath but doesn’t poke. The point is – what’s the point? A fountain pen is made to write, and writing is what makes it a pen. Unlike a Katana which is unsuitable for cutting veggies (Unless you like your salad with a dash of traditional Choji Oil) a good fountain pen could be used for both – cleaving short notes during meetings or a verbal diarrhoea like this one. Write it does, the exception, with aplomb if I may add. Every pen worth its nib writes, but we are not here to read a binary report are we? we are interested in the how, we are curious about on what all, we would like to know if this is a low slung super sports car that’s flip over a tarmac after encountering the slightest bump or it is a rock crawler that eats up the Rubicon-trail for breakfast ? Ladies and Gentlemen if I were to report that the Waterman Exception Night and Day with Platinum stripes and silver trim endowed with a Stub nib writes like a Lump of deep frozen soft butter sliding on a red-hot inclined mirror-polished steel plane, orRain drop rolling on a fresh lily pad, orMercury globules scuttling on flat shiny polished lens grade glass, orYour private data slipping out of a high-security databases/websites <sorry, couldn’t help>, orInsert your other favourite analogy for nib smoothness hereI would have to go sit in the corner with a dunce hat and plead guilty for spreading a blatant lie. Is it smooth? Plenty; Is it the smoothest? No, but not far from it either. The smoothest Stub Nib crown (right out the box without sending it off to a nib meister) though, goes to another of Waterman’s stable mate the Carene. Of course there are, I am sure many other factory stub-nib pens out there that are far smoother than the Carene, but my stable is small. Come to think of it, if my pen box were indeed a stable, a couple of sturdy studs, a cosy cow, a couple gallant goats and erm cheap-sheep etc. I digress. The Exception is more like a winter Olympics solo figure-skating champion who is practicing on a frozen-solid serene Siberian lake on a crispy bright winter morning under a pastel blue sky. Calm, composed absolutely sure about the moves, this champion we observe, apart from performing gravity and physics defying routines is whistling and humming a catchy tune, but one can still hear the blades cutting though the ice, the slight rustle when the titanium composite tipped steel, cuts through the cold crystal lattice. Hum it does, the exception nib, while it splices through paper floating on its single tone18K solid gold- Rhodium plated appendage. The hum adds to the experience, it is not a singing nib for sure, not like the Pavarotti-on-steroids Pelikan M-1000 Nib, no ma’am. This is more like a gentle young lady humming in the shower trying to recall a tune that her long lost grandmother sang to her as a lullaby when she was a toddler. I tried that once, the bathroom singing I mean and my neighbour croaked, this one still registered as croaked under mysterious circumstances. Unlike our Olympics champion on ice skates, the exception can’t spread its tines one bit. I understand from this very forum that the ancestors of the Exception could easily carry out that feat. So, flex is out, but does it at least have a spring to its tines? Not unless you use it as a crutch. One can feel the paper through the pen, slightly, just the way I like it. If one pays enough attention, you can feel the texture of the paper, the sensitive among us could distinguish between 60gm vs 90gm vs 120gm by just drawing a line blindfolded. A slightly wider line is rendered by the exception when compared to the Carene, but the Carene also renders the thinnest, Shading is better with the Exception though. There are other forces at play when judging line variation as we already know, for example the result and experience that you get when you take a single 90gm paper, place it on a smooth hard surface, say a glass table will be significantly different than writing on a padded book. When it comes to shading though, even with medium flow the exception is able to eke out enough shading to please the eye. Imagine if the nib is tuned to wet flow and one uses beautiful shading inks like the Iroshizuku line, the results could be ethereal. Now that we are in the flow business, the pen was tuned to mid flow by the elves at Newellco, so that it behaves well on business paper (read cheap – made for ball-points). I’ve tried it on various denominations from 60gm to 190 from different brands; Rhodias, laser-printer paper, post-its and funky fibrous Japanese paper, tissue paper at the dining table etc., not a skip in the beat. This pen turns out to be rock-crawler of the fountain pen world, perfect for business sojourns where you don’t know which paper you gotta ink (Think airports, immigration forms, tic-tac-toe on the back of the immigration form while waiting in the queue, customs declarations when carrying product samples, hotels receptions, dinner cheques, newspaper sudoku… etc etc ). As we all know, that there are multiple variables at play here some of which is determined by the user himself/herself, for example how much force does one put on the pen, the angle the nib, the way it is turned, speed of writing, writing-style, letter size, the grip and sometimes the stare as well, Oooo ya the stare; ok, not the stare, but you get the point… Now that we have been through the performance grind let’s get into the looks and details department, shall we? Handsome, exquisite, L'art nouveau, suprême de raffinement, extrêmement élégante … these are the words/phrases that come to mind (I can curse in French too). Trust me, I don’t know a word of French, I’m adding all this to make it look high-brow, or so I’m told. Although partial to dual-tone nibs, this Rhodium clad 18K affair shines in the company of O-so bah-uh-ti-full platinum pin-stripes and other Rhodium coated appointments. The nib has a globe motif with 12 longitudinal lines and 4 latitude lines. “Waterman Ideal” is etched on the nib to good effect. The size of the Nib when compared to the rest of the body is just perfect, in comparison to its stable mate Waterman elegance which erm., IMHO, is a tad hmm ‘Petite’ in the nib department. The “élégance” may work well with a “la petite robe noire” (LBD), but if I don one, onlookers retinae are guaranteed to be burnt and pretty much always chaos ensues; I am certified WMD – weapon of mass distress. I digress, on the other end of the spectrum though, you have pens that have spades attached to them, ladies and gentlemen let me introduce to the Namiki Emperor who is already sitting on Freud’s couch; I say no more. Twirl the nib to find a wholesome feed with jet black fins made of plastic (if plastic sounds ‘cheap’ to you, how about we use the name of its noble twin ‘precious resin’). Notice that the fins are more closely packed at the base of the nib and gradually transitions towards spare while the ridge grows in girth. This is in direct contrast to its no-fin pen-box-mate Parker Centennial Big Red with a 3B (new version). Somehow without taking the functionality into consideration the finned feed looks (IMHO of course) way better the Ski-pist-slope of the aforementioned Parker. The fins remind me of the enigmatic sand shark’s gills swimming through the inky blue translucent shallow waters. There is an “ST” and “35” imprint on the feed. Although I’m fairly sure that “ST” stands for Stub (Duh), the secret of “35” eludes me, maybe experts on this very site could help? My guess is though, that “35”indicates the feed length in millimetres. Let’s get back to the pin-stripes, shall we? Let me entertain you with an anecdote. Recently I happened to attend a high-profile meeting with a Japanese Conglomerate with the CTO sitting next to me. Usually these meetings with big boys are as entertaining as watching paint dry twice, I noticed that the notes-booklet on the table was made of good quality paper, so I whipped the Exception from my jacket and started doodling, err… making notes. The paint was not drying fast enough, the first page of the notebook was filled with doodles and as I was about to turn the nib to my face a gentle voice near my shoulder whispered in a very typical Japanese accent ‘Very nice pen’ . OK, I woke up, recovered from the stupor, and offered the gentlemen to have a look at it. A gentle bow ensued and in half a second later I see a high quality Schneider-Kreuznach 10X illuminated loupe come out of his pocket!! The stripes are inspected, then the nib, the cap, the stripes again. He stops, smiles and says ‘very precise, very beautiful’. I was half expecting him to give me the pen back, as I was already feeling nervous, the other half wanted to continue with the interaction as it was, way far better than watching the second coat of paint dehydrate. He then gets an optical cloth, shows it to me and says ‘may I?’, I was part offended, part intrigued , part WTH, since it took too long for the words to come out, the best I thought was to do is bow, which I did. He proceeds to polish one facet of the lacquer coated brass body and out comes the loupe again. He takes his time and says ‘very many layers, transparent, high quality, very nice, German?’ I wanted to say French but, I just said no. So he summarized the exception for me. Beautiful, Precision engineering, can be passed on to the next gen. He did ask for the maker of the pen later, I am sure a takeover is being planned as you read. Honestly the guillochée does it for me, just look at it. It exudes precision, attention to detail, craftsmanship and it stood the10X multi-element colour-corrected illuminated loupe inspection by a Japanese OCD CTO. It looks absolutely stunning and deflects the light in its characteristic light-shade-light which takes me back to the lab where as a young un I was staring at newton’s rings, agog at the beauty of interference of light. This is precisely the feeling you get when you look at the pattern, it is just mesmerising. Even my camera sensor goes into a tizzy displaying moiré in certain angles, despite the AA filer, so go figure. Did I mention the barrel was square-ish? No? Oh, yes it is and did I also forget to mention that the barrel and the nib-unit connects via bayonet mechanism/mount? The “baïonnette mount” Very similar to the D/SLR or for that matter a range-finder lens mount, (not the M42 of course). More info here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayonet_mount . This way the square-ish joint is never misaligned. Simple but very effective engineering. The Barrel at the bayonet end tapers from the big square with each side measuring 1.32mm into a smaller square of 9.9mm. The barrel is released from the nib unit by a simple anti-clock wise twist; amusingly this works even with the cap on, so one can change the cartridge without removing the cap. The barrel plugs back into the nib-unit with a very reassuring click, neat. As you may notice, only 2 (opposing) sides of the barrel receive the guillochée treatment, the other two are beautiful deep translucent black lacquer. The smaller end of the barrel is crowned with mirror polished cabochon which extends on the barrel by 3.7mm. I’d wax eloquent about how much attention to detail has been bestowed on this, but since eloquence not in my (g)jeans, and I’ve run out of wax, I’ll let these pictures speak. The cap needs its own chapter, really. Not only does it get as much attention to detail as the barrel and nib unit, it looks gorgeous, the characteristic waterman split section clip is spring loaded, a spring that holds the weight of the pen. In fact this is the only pen among the full size full weight variety that scored full marks in my upside-down clip test. The test is simple, take a plain old A4 laser printer paper, clip the pen onto it. Make sure that pen is filled to its maximum capacity with ink. Now turn the paper + pen upside down. Give it a few short vertical nudges. Now repeat the test with a thin, smooth nylon cloth. If the pen falls off: fail. If the pen moves down by more than a 10mm : fail. If of course the pen holds its ground and doesn’t budge: pass. What’s the point of this test, you ask: simple, I don’t want my pens to fly off just because I bent over to pick a fallen object. Till now the pens that have failed the test miserably are the Lamy 2000 steel, geez come on LAMY, when you change from Makrolon to Steel, you ought to upgrade the spring as well; another culprit that funnily enough also comes from the stable of LAMY is their LAMY 2000 Titanium ball point (I use ball points for tactical reasons, not much for writing). Hell, the 2K-steel falls of even if there is no ink in the barrel! Function / form, my flabby old hairy gluteus maximus. I digress. The Exception’s cap also gets the beautiful guillochée treatment similar to the barrel. If you observe closely there is a “P” sitting over a “W” inside a square on the clip. Does it stand for Paris, Waterman? Any pointers? The cap also has two bands, one on top and the other, bottom. On the bottom band, there is a precision engraving: “FRANCE”. The band on the cap match the bands on the barrel in sheen, texture, finish and lustre. Surprise surprise, the cap has a serial number on it ! On another note, the cap can be easily disassembled just with a screw driver. Some images for your entertainment follow. If you are adamant poster, this pen is bad news. No sir/ma’am, this won’t post, unless one wants to justify the action by saying: “But I got big hands bro, and webbed feet and I wear a size 200 shoe” Ah, Yes I see that you are holding “understanding insecurity – for dummies” in your armpit, please join the Namiki Emperor on the couch. Jokes apart, no, seriously, the balance of the pen goes for a toss if used posted, the cap is heavy and it shows. The pen sans the cap is no push over either, the barrel weighs a substantial amount but it is not ungainly. Like one of those long distance adventure bikes, which look imposing and are bloody heavy until you ride one. Once on the bike, as the wheels roll, the bike disappears, the wind caresses your skin, and vast wide landscape beckons, you are no longer counting miles, but enjoying your smiles. The exception does it to you, poetry ensues, or an essay or maybe another review like this. Like a katana which is usually heavy (unless you have trained for years), if you know how to wield it, it’ll dance with you else you’ll end up in a bloody mess. That rounds up the exception as well, which tips the scales over 55 grams. Yes, this review was hand-written and then typed, yes including the photographs, if you have to ask. No, really, just the review. If you are an over-writer or if you happen to hold you pen like a banana about to be eaten, then the square-ish nib section could pose a problem. The nib section gently tapers from square from the baïonnette section to a circle at the nib-end. Since I hold pens with a tripod grip, this doesn’t bother me; in fact the grip feels very natural, even better than the regular round ones. The Exception is no exception when it comes to filling mechanism; it uses a standard cartridge/converter system and takes Waterman Cartridges and Converters. The interesting bit is that when the pen came back after the nib exchange, an additional converter was included, nice. Although I’m biased towards integral filling systems which use the barrel itself as a container (pistons/bulk-fillers/snorkels etc) this somehow works for the exception. I carry my ink and eye-dropper and just refill the cartridge. Another thing to report for people who travel, this pen has yet to embarrass me by leaking during inter/continental flights. I cross my tines… I mean fingers. The cap fits securely on the pen with a reassuring click. The cap can be operated single-handed, an advantage in many an occasion, be it at airports, hospitals, hotel lobbies, taxis, courts, farms any place where your non-writing arm/hand is engaged in holding luggage, hands, pigs, Katanas etc. Although the process of capping in itself is quite assuring, it is not the best. I assure you it is secure, but the feeling could be better. If you really want to feel the assurance, try Legolas, I mean Shaeffer Targa. The difference is undeniable. So, what do we have here? A 10/10 ? Grail-pen, Unobtainium, Krypton? None of it, sorry. Let me put it this way, I use it regularly, it disappears after the first stroke. It brings a broad smile to my f-ugly face when it’s writing or just sitting pretty in my jacket. That’s all I need and want… YMMV. Here are is a couple of questions for you Let us know your fellowship of the ring , which pen would you choose to which character and whyThis is my first review on fpn, so don’t be gentle, get the bricks and rotten tomatoes out, I like to learn fastYour view on picture-to-words ratio - Less/enough/too-much/OTTYour view on picture qualityThanks for reading and hope it was useful -Dance Of Light





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