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Porsche Design P'3100 Fountain Pen Review
Letrow posted a topic in Fountain Pen ReviewsThis is a short review of the Porsche Design P'3100 fountain pen. The P'3100 comes in a nice looking black box, probably cardboard covered with some synthetic material. Nice, but not comparable to the luxury boxes that some other fountain pens come in. The pen looks big and somehow technical, probably of the cable design and the little spring-loaded dots at the bottom of the pen. The material is TecFlex, a stainless steel borrowed from motor racing, which provides the unique weaved pattern. My motorcycle has something which is similar, so I quite like this. The pen feels really smooth and although it is quite heavy, it feels very comfortable when you hold it for writing. The nib is ... well different. The Pd mark can be clearly read whether the pen is held up or down and the other text on the pen (750 M 18 ct) is upside down compared to what most other fountain pens have. On the cap it says Porsche Design and Germany and the nib has the markings as described above. Apart from that the bottom half, once unscrewed, shows the number 201 in black. I am not sure what that stands for. The metal parts on the pen are covered with a layer of palladium, to give it a silky finish and the material is said (by Porsche Design) to be hard wearing and almost everlasting. We'll see about that ;-). The nib is 18 ct gold and rhodinized. The clip looks pretty common and is spring-loaded. It has a bit of move to the left and right, but feels quite sturdy. The cap comes off with a short quarter turn. I like screw on caps, but usually the turn is longer (e.g. the turn on the TWSBI is about a full turn and a bit). Compared to the TWSBI Diamond 580 the Porsche Design pen is slightly bigger and definitely heavier when picked up. This is the stainless steel version of the pen. It is also available in a weave of gold and stainless steel and in black. I am not a fan of black and gold and stainless steel might be a bit too flashy for my taste, so I am quite happy with this material. The pen feels nice and cool to the touch and the overall impresion is one of quality and smoothness or silkyness. I am not sure about how well the weave pattern is dirt resistant and once dirty it might prove difficult to clean.I am not sure why you would do it, but if you drop this pen it can probably stand a lot of abuse. When the bottom half is unscrewed you see that the bottom half is all metal on the inside. The weave covers that and the combination makes it a big pen. Both bottom half and nib section are stainless steel and both parts feel heavy. The screw thread here takes about 5-6 turns to unscrew, much more than the cap needs. The screw thread on the nib section is covered entirely and not immediately visible, a nice touch. The pen has a good grip, the palladium providing me with enough resistance. Towards the nib the grip narrows a bit, so depending on hand size I think a lot of people can hold this pen comfortably.Writing is incredibly smooth. I am pretty enthusiastic about my old S.T. Dupont Classique pen which is smooth, but this is much smoother.The 18 ct nib is covered with rhodium (Rh), a member of the platinum group, just like palladium. It is silvery-white, very hard and chemically inert. Its resistance to corrosion makes it suitable for fountain pens. You all know this of course. This is a modern looking pen, but at the same time you know you have something of a classic at hand here, because of its unique look and the material used. The pen moves over any paper in an effortless way. I like to use it uncapped, but even when capped (the cap is secured by pushing it over the three pins on the bottom half) the balance is very good. The pen does not realy feel too heavy even then. It might be because both nib section and bottom half are quite weighty, it keeps the balances in check. The nib is a Medium size, on the narrower side of medium. Very pleasant to use, just right for me. The nib is made of 18 ct gold, covered with rhodium as I said before and has 750, M and 18ct stamped on it, upside down. The nib doesn't have a hole on top, it is just cut. Ink flow is without any problems. The nib is broad and looks massive. The underside is ribbed, nothing really stands out there. As I understand it, these pens are designed by Porsche Design and produced by Graf von Faber-Castell. The pen takes the international cartridges or the Graf von Faber-Castell converters. As far as I know I can't easily remove this nib to service it or replace it. I'd go through a service centre in all probability. From the writing example you can see that the pen does not have any hiccups in terms of ink flow. Writing is very smooth as I said before and this might be the one point that some people like less about the pen. If you like a bit of resistance in your writing, this might be too smooth for you. For me it works, but I do notice that my letters come out slightly less clean-cut than with the TWSBI. I bought this pen about 170 euro. Not really cheap, but I feel it is good value for the money paid. A review of the other pen I mentioned above, the S.T. Dupont Classique can be found here.