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  1. Introduction: I first saw this pen in a Horology magazine almost 6-7 years back. It was a 2 page Caran d’Ache ad featuring the pen with a tourbillion, the 1010, on one side and the Varius Ivanhoe on the other side. The “coat of mail” finish really caught my eye. Skip forward 2,3 years and the local Caran d’Ache distributor stocks up on some Ivanhoe pens. I used to eye them every time I was at the mall which was at least once a month. Handled it a few times,did some dip tests with the tester. I probably used it so much that I felt like I owned it subconsciously. Then one day all the Ivanhoe FPs gets sold out. It was then that I knew I missed my opportunity. A few weeks of sleeping over it , getting some dreams about the pen, I finally order one at the beginning of May and buy it on the 1st of June. Rest in peace Paycheck. Packaging: Nothing too special here. Outer grey sleeve, slate colored box. Box contains the pen; a Schmidt made Converter, 2 Cartridges and some paperwork. Currently using one of the Included cartridges. The Pen: Not much to say except "just look at that!". In the hand,its a pretty compact pen, fitting my smallish hands well. Nice heft to it,mostly in the cap. The cap is polished to a mirror and a fingerprint electromagnet! Impossible to keep clean, which I have given up on. The clip has a "vintage" look to it. The chain coat has a smooth finish but the typical feel of running a fine chain between you fingers. And if you try to press the chain coat between your fingers you do feel a very little bit of give. It trully it remarkable how they get such a tight level of finish and tolerance. The end has another polished finial which receives the cap for posting with a firm grip but making the pen back heavy. Uncapping the pen takes exactly 2 turns and is buttery smooth! Another area of amazement as the threads are metal. The nib is #5 size 18k Rhodium plated. It might look small but is proportional to the over all aesthetics of the pen. It has an interesting flourish pattern on it. It writes a normal Medium line width and is among one of the smoothest pens I have giving a slight feedback only on touch down. Good flow and consistency. No complaints for a nib out of the box. The section is again polished and a fingerprint nightmare but again it doesnt bother me. The diameter is on the slim side,picture holding a pencil,thats how thin it is. There is a palpable step between the barrel and section but the threads are inconspicuous. I find holding the section comfortable and non slippery but it might be a problem for a few people. The sections screws open to allow inking. Another thing to note is the rubber O ring. Some size comparisons: Conclusion: Having used this pen for a full day it feels like I have found my perfect pen. Had been telling myself that this is my grail pen but that term doesn't seem right now. A grail item is something which you strive your whole life to attain. Am I lucky to attain mine so soon in my journey? Sure feel like it.
  2. anyone have any experience with this fp? http://store.carandache.com/int-en/1572-silas
  3. I have never seen a review of the Caran d’Ache blue lacquer Varius. I think this pen is a great addition to people who wants to know more about the lacquer version of this Caran d'Ache model. This is my first fountain pen review and I hope to write more reviews for the fountain pen community. Please feel free to comment on this post. I hope to contribute more to the fountain pen community. I will like to thank Sbre Brown, FP geeks, and the Pen Habit for getting me started on fountain pen reviews. First impression This pen is something special. The first thing that catches the eye is the blue lacquer. From what I can tell, it is a navy or dark blue. I will argue this is the prettiest of the lacquered Varius because the color really contrasts well with the silver plating. The color reminds me of the staedtler product with the pencils and erasers, which I used throughout school. I just love lacquer and always wanted to own a pen made with the material. When people think of lacquer, they think of Nakaya, Sailor, or Namiki. I am pretty sure they never thought of this Swiss brand. score 5 out of 5 Appearance This is a very thin pen which is a characteristics of many Caran d'Ache pens. They are usually very thin and a gripping section that is even thinner than the pen body. I usually have very big pens. My everyday carry is a Lamy Al-star and my biggest pen is a Homo Sapien Bronze. But the blue and silver body will make anyone fall in love with this pen. The pen body is hexagonal with the beautiful Caran d'ache labeled cap perfectly aligned to the 6 sided blue and silver body. The hexagonal cap has smooth edges capped a cylinder top with the words Caran d'ache and the logo CdA. I got to admit that Swiss engineering make this pen aesthetically pleasing and very precise. Well done Caran d'Ache. The clip is a very functioning that can easily clip to any shirt and even jean pockets. Tension of this clip is just enough to secure the pen while having enough give to operate it with relative easy. The metal cap is a fingerprint magnet. I personally have no problem with it, but some people certainly do. If you hate fingerprints on your pen, I would not recommend this pen score 5 out of 5 Size/ weight The pen capped at 5¼ inches and uncapped at 5 inches. Capped, this pen stands at 6½ inches. The diameter of this pen at its largest section at ½ inch and the smallest section at ¼ inch. I will say this is a very decent size pen, but the section is a little small for my hands. I will hold it a little further back. I can still write with this pen for long sessions. This is a heavy pen. It is a smaller pen, but the metal certainly make this a very substantial pen on the hands. I like heavy pens so I definitely like the weight of this pen. I will advise this pen to be uncapped because it is a little back heavy when its capped. Without the cap, this pen is extremely well balanced. score 4 out of 5 Filling mechanism This is a standard/ international cartridge converter pen which will have some people groan. I personally have a power filler visconti and while I enjoyed it, its not too upsetting for some pens to have with cartridge converter. For the retail price, I definitely expect this pen to have a piston filler. I understand that the company might not want to put in a piston filling mechanism because this pen is pretty small with a small piston knob will certainly make this pen difficult to operate. score 3.5 out of 5 Nib The pen is nothing without the nib. This is a 18K Medium nib with a plastic feed. Decorated with the beautiful scroll work, this is a very small nib. It writes smoothly when you write on its sweet spot. It has a preference on how you hold it. If you angle the pen towards you to admire the nib design, the nib will become scratchy. I have to adapt to its sweet spot, but it was not hard to figure it out. This pen has a lot of tooth so you definitely feel like writing with a fountain pen. This pen writes like a true European medium. I have compared the Pilot Vanishing point and the Visconti Homo Sapien. The VP writes just a tad bit thicker Varius with the gushing Homo Sapien writing the broadest. It is very consistent with flow when I filled this pen with Waterman Serenity blue. It only skips once or twice after I had this pen, but once I started writing it is just magical. This pen does not flex well, while it can give some line variation, it is a pretty small difference between flex and unflex. I will not use this pen for any spencerian script. Score: 4 out of 5 Price At retail price of over $1115.95 at gold Spot, this pen is MORE THAN the Montblanc 149 and that is a piston filler. I saw this pen at the back room of Fountain Pen Hospital for $495 used. I am screaming inside because this pen is certainly NOT worth $1000+ dollars. The writing experience plus the blue lacquer is just not worth $1000. Luckily, I bought this pen off an auction on Ebay used for about $300. I will say this pen is a steal for me. The owner really took care of this pen and I will treasure it like its previous owner. Retail: 0 out of 5 Me: 5 out of 5 Conclusion It is not everyday that someone can find this pen for the price I got it. The color just POPs. I am really impressed by the design. It is a beautiful Swiss design and I am proud to say I found my accidental grail pen. Here in the U.S., not a lot of people appreciate Caran d’Ache due to price and its not a Montblanc, Visconti, nor a Pelikan. I think I will looke into Caran d’ache more often in the future assuming the price is right. Score 4.417 out of 5 Total
  4. Greetings! I wanted to share my experience shopping on pensinasia.com with you. Almost two years ago, I won the auction for a Caran D'Ache Varius China Blue ballpoint on eBay. Since then, I have been looking for the matching pencil. Unfortunately, I had not found one in any area pen stores and the two frequently listed on eBay have been overpriced. So, of course, time has passed and, now, the China Blue Varius has been discontinued (no longer listed on the Caran D'Ache site). Disappointed by this as I still wanted to purchase the matching pencil for my lovely ballpoint pen, I renewed my efforts to find someone from whom to purchase the pencil. I contacted several brick and mortar (B & M) stores in the United States as well as online retailers to inquire about purchasing the pencil. Folks at all the B & M stores informed me that the China Blue Varius had been discontinued, adding that I would be lucky to find a pencil as folks do not usually purchase high-end pencils these days. Several online retailers that I contacted told me the same thing, and other online retailers include statements such as "This is a special order item and may take up to 2 - 3 weeks for shipping." As I continued to look for the pencil, I found the pencil listed on redfingerprint.com. Although a bit wary, I decided to buy the pencil since it was listed as being in-stock and the price was reasonable. So, I made my purchase, selected PayPal as my method of payment, and replied to the order confirmation email, requesting a PayPal invoice so that I could pay. After that, since I did not receive any communication from redfingerprint.com, I sent another reply to the order confirmation email, requesting a PayPal invoice again. Since I still did not receive a reply, I decided to cancel the order a day later as I had tried to communicate by email and via the site without receiving a reply. I did not receive a reply to this second email until three days later, and I was informed that the pencil was not in stock and could not be ordered from redfingerprint.com's various suppliers. From there, I moved to pengallery.com as the pencil was listed as being in stock and folks on FPN had mentioned pengallery.com as a good online pen store. This time, I placed my order and paid immediately via PayPal as this was an option. I immediately received a confirmation for my order and a receipt for my purchase. Unfortunately, two days later, I received an email informing me that the pencil was no longer in stock and that it would take about a month for the pencil to be order and shipped from Switzerland. Since the pencil is no longer listed on the Caran D'Ache site, I did not believe that it would be possible to order the pencil from Caran D'Ache and I canceled my order. Lai at pengallery.com treated me well and processed a full refund rapidly. So, still without the lovely Caran D'Ache China Blue pencil, I continued my search. Since I did not want to send inquiries to retailers who had already informed me that they did not have or could not order the pencil, I checked my lists, surprised to find that I had not inquired at pensinasia.com. Since I had read many positive (glowing, actually) reviews of purchases from Tay at pensinasia.com, I emailed Tay to inquire about the possibility of purchasing the pencil and, since it never hurts to ask, I inquired if he might be willing to match the redfingerprint.com price for the pencil (sending the hyperlink to the listing of the pencil on the redfingerprint.com site with my inquiry). Tay was great: not only was the pencil in stock but also Tay was willing to match the price! Even better, Tay processed my order that very day and sent me a PayPal invoice so that I could pay immediately -- I liked that a lot since I prefer to pay immediately. : ) So, my order was processed, I paid for the pencil, and I received confirmation of both my order and my payment IMMEDIATELY. Although Tay said that he would ship on Friday (I placed the order on Wednesday), Tay shipped on Thursday! So, not only is Tay SUPER organized but also Tay ships FAST!!!! You might wonder if it is possible to top this -- the answer is yes, it is possible as Tay used Priority EMS shipping, sent me a hyperlink to the speedpost.com.sg tracking site and the tracking number for the pencil, and Tay sent me a picture of my dream pencil with a hyperlink to a page on pensinasia.com that has additional pictures of the pencil!!! Better than all this is Tay's great communication -- friendly, efficient, and always timely and greatly appreciated!!!!!!!! : ) So, I "watched" online as my new pencil traveled from Singapore to the United States in five days -- only three business days as this included a weekend. Upon receiving the package on Tuesday, I was pleased to see that it was well wrapped and the Caran D'Ache box was inside another box for protection. With anticipation and delight, I carefully opened the outer package and then the outer box to access the Caran D'Ache box within. Then, I opened the Caran D'Ache box to reveal my new, gorgeous Caran D'Ache China Blue Varius pencil within -- breathtaking and a perfect companion for my ballpoint, forming a gorgeous pen and pencil set! Tay is MAGNIFICENT -- kind and helpful -- providing GREAT service and a PERFECT purchase! I am grateful to all of you who have shared your pensinasia.com purchase experiences on FPN as you let me know that pensinasia.com is a reputable site with a caring seller -- Tay. I am DELIGHTED with pensinasia.com and APPLAUD Tay as a FANTASTIC seller -- THANK YOU, Tay!!!!!! Below is my lovely Caran D'Ache China Blue Varius pen and pencil set. How LOVELY!! Enjoy!
  5. Soer

    Caran D' Ache

    Hi fountain pen lovers, How Gooooooooood is this Caran d'Ache Varius Ivanhoe pen :D http://www.lacouronneducomte.nl/webstore/main/images/cda_varius_ivanhoe_fp_all.jpg

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