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  1. I’ve been thinking about Conid’s current offerings a lot, recently. Speculating about where the brand will go in the coming months and years. What do you want to see them focus on next, which direction do you think the brand will take? Personally, I hope they’re able to find the time to innovate, once they have their backlog under control and their process ironed out. I’m a huge fan of the Minimalistica, and would order one made in a nice celluloid or attractive resin in a heartbeat (though a friction-fit cap may not jive well with ‘fancier’ materials). Also an ink window on the Delrin model, even for a higher price, would be an instant buy. I’d also welcome any new pen models, especially some more in the no.6 nib range. I’d love to hear any thoughts and opinions you might have, below. I know Conid’s processes and practices can be a divisive topic for some, but let’s try to keep our gaze on the future. Cheers!
  2. Hi all. My apologies for being 'new' to the forum; I've lurked here for many years, and have digested countless reviews of pens and inks. My fountain pen journey began as a 16 year old, almost two decades ago, with a Waterman Phileas as a birthday present. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my youthful use cracked the section, and so for a long time I thought fountain pens were supposed to leak ink into the fingers. Needless to say, my passion quickly waned. Then in 2012 on an overseas trip, I impulse-bought a modern Sheaffer - which was a delight, and with a fine nib it was suddenly usable on all sorts of papers that I had thought the Waterman had not been (as a fat medium)...and I became interested in pens again. Over the past 5 years, I have acquired and disposed of a great many of the 'greats' - Lamy 2000, Parker 51, Pilot VP, Pilot 823, Sailor 1911, etc. With a brief peak at around 20 pens, it became obvious that I do not enjoy what many of you cherish in this hobby - the routine of cleaning and re-inking individual pens. It was clear to me that I needed to whittle the collection down to a small, but cherished, core. As I would go through up to 2 converters/cartridges of ink per day, I gravitate to piston/vacuum/other fillers. And so, having sold all the others, I was left with: a Sterling Silver Sailor 1911L with Naginata Togi nib for my first daughter's birth, a Burnt Orange M800 for my second daughter's birth, a Homo Sapiens BB nib, a 1953 Pelikan 400 Brown Tortoise, and a 1970's Omas Gentleman with super flexible gold nib. I was close to pen nirvana. I just needed one more pen, I thought... Which brings us to here. After much internal debate and consideration, I felt Conid represented most of what I loved about fountain pens - a unique mechanism, clever engineering, exclusivity, a wide selection of nibs, and the practical elements of easy cleaning and long-duration between fills of ink. Herein lies my review. I tend not to like numerical ratings, as inevitably a new purchase scores very highly and it is impossible to compare scores between pens. Apologies therefore for lots of text, and some of the pictures will have my Reddit username attached. The Ordering The Conid website is clear and concise, with lovely pictures of each model and a variety of after-purchase options. I picked out the model I most liked, thought I would not be satisfied without trying one each of the gold and titanium nibs, and put a few comments in the comments section. Within a short time, I received an email relating to my order and confirming details. I was then given an estimated ship date. Almost to the day, I received notification of package and shipping. As the pen departed Conid they sent a nice update email with pictures of my particular pen and the writing samples they generate during the testing process. DHL from Belgium to Australia took 5-real-world (ie. not business) days to arrive, including customs clearance (with a small amount of duty and import tax to pay). Pretty snappy! The Unboxing I don't like fancy boxes. They all live in a drawer, empty and unloved, at my house. The box is as shown: Utilitarian. Resembles a military ammunition box. Inside it the pen nestled nice and securely, along with the extra nibs, tools (if ordered), spare o-rings (a nice touch), instruction manual, and a lovely engraved plate: It all looks like it's made to suit function, rather than being 'pretty', and that's exactly how I like it. I've read other reviews say they'd prefer even simpler packaging to reduce cost - I think it suits the pen nicely, but that's just me. The Pen I've had TWSBIs previously, so they are my immediate comparison point. I haven't previously had a high-end demonstrator, so users of M800 demonstrators may be able to chime in. At this price point, I like my pens to feel solid and I prefer a bit of weight. I have big hands. This pen fits me better than any other I've used and feels valuable. For comparison, I feel modern 149s feel plasticky for their price point (but this is very much personal taste), and I overall don't like the light plastic feel in a high-end pen. The finish is perfect on my pen. I cannot find any imperfections that bother me. Everything is 'necessary', down to the beautifully functional clip that's machined from a solid piece of titanium. The ink sloshes around beautifully inside the body of the pen, meaning that for the first time, I somewhat regret my 'professional blue' ink choices... To summarise, even if nothing else, the feel of the pen out of the box made it clear the money spent was used wisely. The Nib As far as I'm concerned, this is what it's all about. Like many of you, I've had fluctuating experiences with the big manufacturers tending to provide nibs that write with...ahem...varying quality from the box (cough cough Visconti). The effort Conid put into checking nibs prior to shipping is evident. I ordered both an 18k Gold Medium and Medium titanium. They are both superb. I ordered both because prior reviews didn't help me pick one over the other. On the one hand, I love gold nibs and value smoothness with a hint of character. For example, I'm not the hugest fan of Sailor's "pencil on paper" feedback, even though I have retained a lovely example of their pens. But oldrifleman's review that they didn't like the pen until fitting it with titanium meant I didn't want to have any regrets. I like stubs, but not for everyday use, so I resisted the chance to modify one of these. The titanium nib is not as soft as I'm lead to believe the Size 6 nibs are. It's soft, but I don't think it's quite as springy as the Visconti Dreamtouch Palladium nibs, for example. The Conid example I have is quite smooth, though I agree with previous reviewers that there's a slight feedback of titanium like a high frequency resonance....as someone who prefers little feedback, I find it quite pleasant and it's no where near Sailor levels. However...the gold. Wow. What a nib. It's smooth, it has some softness, and it's neither too wet nor too dry for me. It's unbelievably my favourite nib in my collection right now, and that's despite my conscious effort to avoid bias towards 'a very expensive recent purchase'. It's perfect for me, and I do actually quite like the gold tone against the titanium. I think it's a little bit of show, for an otherwise not-very-showy pen, and I prefer it to the rhodinated look. Simply put, I love the gold and a week into ownership, it's been on constantly. The $60 spent on the titanium is by now means a waste, and it's incredible that it can even compete with the stunning gold nib, but I can't see myself swapping nibs very much at all. I've gone through two fills of ink, and it just grows on me more and more. Conid nailed this one! Summary This pen arrived in Australia at considerable cost. The Euro to AUD is not kind, and further import duty stung a little. It's my most expensive pen. However. Everything about this pen is exactly as I wanted it. The experience purchasing from Conid was one of outstanding communication and as-promised service. This pen meets my needs as the ultimate daily user perfectly. It holds bucket loads of ink, looks pretty doing so, writes like a dream, and somehow flies under the radar without being excessively opulently flashy, with just a hint of bling with the gold poking out from the nib. It joins the final collection, complements it perfectly, and (hopefully) obviates any further pen purchases for the indefinite future. Overall, I love it! I highly recommend Conid pens to people with similar likes to me.
  3. As a multi-time poster on FPN, it struck me today that I'd never taken the time to write a review of any of my favorite fountain pen examples. It's not that I hadn't figured that I should before; I've never felt moved or compelled by a writing instrument to take the time to write down my thoughts - ironic given my love for pens and writing. That said, when I came home yesterday and saw a note on my door telling me that I'd missed a package from Antwerp, I was both so incredibly excited for the wait to be over, and so incredibly disappointed that I'd have to wait another day. So today, I went out, picked up my package from the post office, grabbed lunch, came home, set up my portable photo tent for when I'm out of my studio, and opened the package. Firstly, the package. An beautifully crafted box, from the outer sleeve with its lovely embossing to the inner aluminum packaging. Everything down to the carving of the inner foam is on point and perfectly executed. It's a marvel to look at. Additionally, the nib stroke sheet is helpful and shows Conid's commitment to accuracy and consistency. Next up is the nib. I ordered a Fine titanium ground down to an Extra Fine titanium for my example. This is my second Conid, with a Slimline Titanium Fine stub as my first. I love the stub, although the edges can catch paper fibers and cause some scratching. That said, when it hits the sweet spot, it's very sweet. This example's EF is simply incredible. When I put the nib to the page, ink just started to flow. And flow. And continue to flow. This might be the most pleasantly wet and smoothe nib I own, literally gliding across the page. With some titanium nibs (I swapped, for example, my TWSBI Vac 700 and Diamond 580al steel nibs for Titanium Bock Fine nibs) and found them to be a little scratchy. With the CAISO, Fountainbell's nib work is outstanding, and I have to give him some serious kudos for his attention to detail and professional skill. Let's swing over to the barrel. Smoothe, with a lovely cool texture and beautiful titanium fittings, it looked beautiful, albeit a little utilitarian before, filling. Sharing a photo, I was told it looks "quite masculine," and I can understand, in many ways, why. That said, its image completely changes when filled with ink, maximizing the body and accentuating the curve throughout the center. It almost becomes a completely different pen with every fill. In the hand, it feels just right: weighty, but not overly so, well balanced, cool, smoothe with some feedback, and just the right width to be comfortable. The (not so) blind cap is beautiful, sitting flush against the clear acrylic connecting to the machinery inside, while the titanium milled cap body and cap balances out the other end. Conid logo sits tucked into the cap made from acrylic. It's so well polished, you can't tell any separation between the acrylic from the logo and the titanium of the cap. Conid's attention to detail, as many has said, is outstanding, and I'm still blown away by how precise a job they've done. Then there's the most interesting part of the pen: the cap-actuated bulkfiller. At this point, the Bulkfiller mechanism is fairly well known. You write a syringe by turning the blind cap, pull it back, screw it into a plunger screwed into the back of the pen, press the syringe down, submerge into ink, draw ink into the pen, spin the syringe in the opposite direction until it unscrews from the plunger, and press the syringe back down into the pen. It's much easier to see than describe, so watch an animated video here: Or watch Francis (fountainbell) filling a regular Bulkfiller here: Most Bulkfillers seal when screwed all the way down, making flying, travel, and storage simple. This pen's mechanism is cap actuated. When you put the cap on, a plug in the cap depresses a needle in the feed, which seals the section from the main body of the pen. Ink is sealed away from passing into the feed, until you remove the cap again. For frequent travelers (who don't write as they fly, as removing the cap will open the feed to the main body of the pen again) this is a wonderful addition. Beyond that, from a technical perspective, it's quite the feat of precision engineering, and Francis has really outdone himself. There's only one downside, as I can see it, to this system: the plunger in the cap covered in ink when it screws into the feed upon closing. For those of us with a minor obsession with keeping out pens clean, that can be a bit of a headache. That said, it's a tiny tradeoff for everything else this pen provides. Size wise, the pen is larger posted than the Montblanc 147, but smaller than the posted Visconti Homo Sapiens. Posted, it's slightly larger than the Conid Slimline, but feels much more substantial in the hand. That said, the Slimline holds 2ml, while the the Kingsize holds a whopping 3ml of ink, at a complete fill. Size wise, it's almost exactly as long as the TWSBI Diamond 580 when capped. There is a significant weight difference, as well, given that the Diamond 580 holds significantly less ink. The pens also feel considerably different from a material perspective, as the Kingsize was CNC'd, I believe, from a solid piece of acrylic while the TWSBI's shape was injected into a mold. The quality difference is apparent as soon as you take the pen out of its case. I'm stunned by this pen. I have plenty of pens, from $3 Jinhao that write expertly to $7000 Montblanc that I'm not convinced I'd ever write with. That said, this has to be the single most well constructed and precision manufactured pen I've received, with what may be my favorite nib out of any pen I own. Yes, I know, I've been gushing this whole review (I never actually intended to write a review, but just post photos for folks who were curious), but as I said at the beginning, I was more moved to write this than anything. I have a feeling that this pen just made it to the top of my rotation, and will probably stay there for a while. Now I just have to figure out how to order additional nibs, and I'll be all set. For good measure I included a few photos of the Kingsize along with the Slimline.





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