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  1. PRELUDE In the search of suitable replacements for a Meisterstuck Doue FP 145 My meticulously planned fountain pen hiatuses are occasionally disrupted by the well-meaning members of my family. Instead of appreciating my carefully timed fountain pen acquisitions, they enthusiastically offer advice on investments, the time value of money, and everything in between. To add a twist to the tale, they threw me a curveball last year by gifting a Meisterstück Doue FP 145 LE, even though I had only bought a total of three fountain pens in the last three years. If we exclude the Opus 88, then it's just two. The Doue 145 is undeniably a beautiful pen, but I found myself wondering if I could ever use it with its slim metal section and rather shortish nib. Determined to find a more suitable replacement, I revisited the local MB Boutique. While Montblanc's customer service remains top-notch for pens within the two-year warranty period, they seem to derive more delight from pens outside the warranty period than their customers do. Faced with the task of choosing two pens to match the value of the pricier Doue, I was drawn to a Naruto LeGrand 146. Then, the salesperson revealed his secret NOS drawer, housing various pens, including a Great Characters Walt Disney FP. Opting for the Montblanc M, not only because its 2018 price, combined with the Naruto, matched the total credit value for the Doue, but also because it simply looked nicer. And here goes the review.... If you like a pictorial blogger view, here is the link: A Review of the Montblanc M in Red PRESENTATION (6/6) Usual MB The usual MB single pen box. The standard Montblanc single pen box with no customisation, with the only variation being the red cardboard sleeve that encases the box. The RED collection boasts a charitable initiative, contributing less than 1% (€5) towards fighting HIV/AIDS programs. It's almost as if Montblanc is tackling HIV/AIDS single-handedly, making minuscule donations of €5 at a time, all while charging the end customer a whopping €540+. As Master Yoda famously said, “Do or do not. There is no try”. The pen securely nestles within a cushioned and somewhat snug slot inside the box, accompanied by a complimentary cartridge filled with black ink. However, it seems that most of the ink inside the cartridge had evaporated during its 5 years of shelf-living. DESIGN (6/6) From the likes of the Apple Watch The Montblanc M, available today in three finishes—Ultra Black, RED, and RED Signature—has been designed by Marc Newson, renowned for his work on the Apple Watch. Newson has successfully blended functionality with elegance, anchoring the design firmly outside the tradition for Montblanc. The shape of the pen is particularly appealing in modern pen terms. It boasts a perfect cylindrical shape with zero taper and rounded ends, except for the flat section, commonly referred to as the “plateau” at the end of the barrel. The platinized clip is a personal favourite; it avoids the cheap look of the Safari, perhaps because it's not oversized and doesn't unlawfully occupy a third of the cap's surface area. The glossy and bright red finish mirrors background lights and hues effectively. Upon uncapping, one notable feature is the novel use of magnets to secure the cap. The snap cap rotates itself to align its magnetic poles perfectly, ensuring the clip and plateau on the barrel are perfectly aligned on a plane. A soft snap securely seals the cap, earning full marks here. According to Red Dot Project award records, the snowflake emblem made of white resin is ultrasonically welded onto the plateau and then milled with a diamond tool to maintain flatness. The design reflects a harmonious flow and is truly eye-catching. The cap, adorned with the snowflake emblem on top like regular Montblanc pens, exhibits impeccable overall quality of work. In certain lighting conditions, the magnetic insert is faintly visible inside the cap. The knurled platinized metal section adds enough weight to balance an otherwise light barrel. Due to the flat plateau on the barrel, the cap cannot be posted. The section, embossed with the MONTBLANC brand name five times on the visible rear ring where the cap snaps on, is somewhat short and not ideal for longer writing sessions. More on that later. FILLING & CLEANING SYSTEMS (4/6) Cartridge & No Converter This is where, like many other fountain pen users, I express my concerns. It's worth noting that this pen only supports standard international short cartridges, and none of the available converters are compatible due to the featured plateau on the barrel. On the positive side, the pen accepts short international cartridges or proprietary MB cartridges, limiting its cartridge capacity to 0.5 ml. The form of the pen, while aesthetically pleasing, somewhat restricts its functionality as part of the design. Perhaps because the pen was conceived in this digital age, the designer didn't anticipate it being used extensively. Additionally, cleaning the section with running tap water is an easy process. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The two toned rhodium ruthenium stunner The 14k nib is claimed to be handcrafted by Montblanc in a series of 30 steps. Rhodium-coated with a dark grey ruthenium-coated inlay, this nib is a stunner. I particularly love the shape of the nib, which comes in two widths - Fine and Medium, as far as I know. A dazzling cylindrical flow of silvery rhodium bounds the dark grey ruthenium inlay with well-defined contours. Just below the circular breather hole, the 'M' logo rests within an encircled star. The tail end specifies the composition 'Au585' of the gold-alloy, and the brand name 'MONTBLANC' rests just above the tail. Between those, a hallmark of 'StOD' inside a crossed ellipse adds a touch of elegance. As always, the nib itself doesn't mention the width explicitly, but a sticker at the piston end of the barrel provides all the necessary details. Once you turn the nib, you'll behold a somewhat unconventionally shaped black glossy feed that seamlessly matches the curvature of the pen. Apart from an air hole, there is nothing else in the feed, although the nib runs almost medium wet. PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The Newtonian Laws The overall capped length is around 14 cm. As perhaps mandated by Mr. Newson, I have to use the pen un-posted. Although the section has a somewhat comfortable girth, the shortest length of the section of around 2 cm with a step from the barrel does make it less than ideal to use it as a workhorse. The metallic section balances the weight of 19g pretty well. Below are the pictures along with a Conid Minimalistica for a comparative reference. The Minimalistica is super comfortable for me, here are the dimensions for the Montblanc M. Uncapped Length ~ 12.5 cm Total Length ~ 14 cm Exposed Nib Leverage ~ 1.6 cm (A #6 nib has typically 2.4 cm) The weight of the pen is comforting even without the cap. Overall Max Weight ~ 27 g (with a cartridge, without cap ~18.75 g) ECONOMIC VALUE (0/0) FOC for me No comments. No rating, as I paid nothing WRITING & FINAL COMMENTS (5.4/6) Writes well The writing experience is quite pleasant, albeit with a relatively stiff nib. It does possess a hint of tooth and precisely the kind of control you'd expect from a well-tuned nib. There is a certain degree of softness in the nib, though minimal line variation occurs with pressure. Lines dry in 30 seconds with MB Toffee brown ink on Endless Regalia 80 GSM paper, and the line width is sufficient to display some shading. The nib skipped on the black cartridges (the salesman included a couple of cartridge packs), but it performs flawlessly on the brown ones, offering a steady ink flow with no drying issues. However, the length of the section, along with the step, leaves something to be desired in an otherwise excellently designed fountain pen. The nib leverage is minimal, so you inevitably touch the step from the barrel. With sweat, the knurling on the grip loses efficiency, unlike a Conid Kingsize with a titanium section. The weight, balance, and aesthetics of the Montblanc M surpass present standards. I believe Montblanc has successfully created a modern pen. Thank you for going through the review. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. REFERENCES Mark Newson - M Red Red Dot Project PS. I am posting a fountain pen review after 4 long years and my 2 year old keeps me totally occupied.
  2. Hello, Everybody, To me it is a bit of sad and sentimental story, yet life goes on. Perhaps it’s worth sharing, please pardon me if not so… My one and only “friction fit mechanism” 149, with 18C architect grind nib started failing after 45+ years of continuos use. It started developing hairline cracks in the section. I have treated the pen neither badly, nor like a piece of jewelry. Being a valuable part of my every day reality it has traveled with me all around the world for 40+ years. Material fatigue, perhaps… As I know nothing about “precious resin” solvent welding (any shared experience would be more than appreciated), my only option was getting a replacement 1963 type barrel. Those who had it tried to charge for it almost as much as for a new pen, without mint condition warranty, so it was not a secure and afforfable option. Luckily, a friend had an entire 1967 type (screw-in “threaded” mechanism) spare body, which cost me just a fraction of what I’d have paid for a 1963 barrel only. I knew my 149 would become a sturdier, heavier pen, with less ink storage capacity than the one I got used to. It made me feel a little reluctant, but I eventually decided to go for it. So, I just “transplanted” the nib unit and cap to the newer body. It is still a great pen, almost as much a marvel of engineering as the old one, just feeling somewhat more robust, with weight distribution slightly reminding of the 50s celluloid ones. Yet, my trusty “friction-fit” is gone for good, or at least until I arrange a barrel I can afford, or hopefully learn solvent-welding MB “precious resin”. 🙂
  3. Hello, I’d like to learn is there a solvent which works for welding cracks in Montblanc Meisterstück plastic, commercially known as “precious resin” (cracks in section, cap lip etc.). I’m familiar with techniques and tooling, only would like to know if someone could share which is the right solvent. Thanks in advance!
  4. The Ondoro is another of my Faber-Castell Design (FCD) pens. These FCD steel nibs are common across the entire design product range - Basic, Loom, Ambition, Ondoro & e-motion and have been impeccable in my experience. My first pen from the design series was an Ambition. I feel that the Ondoro is structurally a much better pen, though it might lack a bit of aesthetic flair prevalent to the Ambition. Below is a link to this review on my blog: Faber-Castell Ondoro Review The Ondoro line comes with a fountain pen (with 4 different nib widths), a roller ball, a propelling pencil (0.7mm) and a ballpoint pen across three coloured resins - Orange, Black & White (now discontinued) and a wooden one (smoked oak) priced substantially higher. PRESENTATION The Ondoro along with the included converter was hand-delivered at my workplace by A.W Faber Castell India personnel, encased inside this moss-green cardboard box. This colour always reminds me of the Australian Baggy Green Caps. The box has a slider where the pen is placed beneath a fabric band on a felted bed, along with a warranty card and a cartridge. Like the pen, the box does portray certain elements of minimalism. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Fc0XQgBbg8g/VeHlxofp3nI/AAAAAAAAFVQ/cm40PCnSoYs/s1600/box.jpg DESIGN - HEXAGON & CHROME (6/6) The pen seems to have an affair with geometry, structurally constituted of two overlapping hexagonal prisms - one orange and other chrome, with domed ends. Bold and minimalistic both in terms of convergence and functionality. The barrel is glossy while the cap is shiny chrome plated metal. Unfortunately the mirror finishes have a magnetic attraction for fingerprints. Faber-Castell calls the barrel material precious resin and it does feel qualitatively substantial. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jwgZbMNod34/VeHl7XF8PlI/AAAAAAAAFVY/ozpam9geDiw/s1600/DSC_5717.jpg The metallic cap snaps on and off the barrel with audible clicks. While putting the cap on, the hexagonal facets of the cap need to be aligned with the ones on the barrel. There is some metal at the end of the grip which actually is part of an insert for the nib unit. And there rests the shiny FCD nib. The barrel is designed to converge with the section subtly initiating a concave taper at the end of its hexagonal facets, leading to a comfortably concave grip section. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UwY4iHyWtyo/VeHmMQG5zdI/AAAAAAAAFVo/_bxi6lwZDgE/s1600/DSC_5725.jpg The finials at either end have smooth and convex domes, the one at the end of a barrel carries a engraved circle or an ‘O’. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2bRPeFtLQrY/VeHmHqEzhMI/AAAAAAAAFVg/gflyaBVtiwU/s1600/DSC_5726.jpg A mirror finish on the hexagonal chromed cap will attract your attention while you keep resisting your instant urges to polish off finger-prints, even after the slightest touch. The dome like finial is etched with Faber-Castell logo of two jousting knights and embossed there is a traditional statement preserving antiquity - Since 1761. The spring loaded clip is shaped like an arc with a concave end. It’s engraved with GERMANY on one side of its loading point. A plastic insert inside the cap gives the snap-on friction. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PZkfeOy0kTQ/VeHlwGjb_LI/AAAAAAAAFVI/RXHG6CgwqS8/s1600/cap.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) The rather small resinous concavity at the end of the barrel unscrews from the barrel with seven turns and it disengages the section containing the nib and CC filling system. There is a mention of e3 on the metallic thread insert, it’s apparently a reference to their old manufacturing plants. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-r54us3mfHlU/VeHmXs1aUxI/AAAAAAAAFVw/ccQWq8h8GSY/s1600/DSC_5755.jpg The insert for the section threads with the metallic insert in the resin barrel. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qscoJSXp5Ls/VeHmkJikquI/AAAAAAAAFV4/l343kFQhwS8/s1600/DSC_5757.jpg The converter says SCHMIDT on the piston along with the brand imprint of FABER-CASTELL Germany on the metallic sleeve. It has a reasonably high capacity of around 1 mL, and the ink does last for quite a while! I usually am biased towards piston fillers, but I like the capacity offered by Faber-Castell or Schmidt converters. In case of GvFC Converters, there is no mention of Schmidt on the converters themselves. This converter will snugly fit many other pens. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NSOno4o5b_g/VeHmlIAnTaI/AAAAAAAAFWI/lWTl-pFgC5k/s1600/DSC_5763.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The nib is made of stainless steel alloy with an iridium tip. The initially available nib sizes featured F, M and B nibs, though an EF was made available later. I went with an F sized nib. Right out of the box, this was a very smooth nib. The nib has a perforated imprint of dots which cover a third of its surface area. There is a subtle absence of any breather hole. The nib-size is embossed above the traditional Faber-Castell Design logo of two jousting knights near the tail. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GuGepiLE0h8/VeHmk2nj1EI/AAAAAAAAFWE/zimurJDHyqs/s1600/DSC_5776.jpg The feed is standard grey plastic, with a big filler hole for ink suction, which incidentally is used across the GvFC Intuition & Classic Series. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fDBSCfLAAE0/VeHmvEJDeYI/AAAAAAAAFWQ/PTA5tgQflgM/s1600/DSC_5778.jpg Faber-Castell Design (steel) nibs are sourced from JoWo whereas the GvFC nibs (18k except Tamitio) are made by Bock. PHYSICS OF IT (5/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING Sans the cap, the pen measures around 12.4 cm, which is quite comfortable for me given the wide girth. The cap can be posted easily. While the posted pen exceeds a 15 cm scale, a steel cap of 17g does make it top-heavy. Uncapped Length ~ 12.4 cm Capped Length ~ 12.8 cm Posted Length ~ 16 cm Nib Leverage ~ 1.9 cm Overall Weight ~ 32 g (Cap Weight ~ 17 g) Some capped, uncapped & posted references with a few pens like GvFC Intuition, Pelikan m205 and TWSBI 580 run below for your reference. Terracotta is much redder than the orange in an Ondoro http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jVgRyXwdBG4/VeHm9LFmMQI/AAAAAAAAFWY/Dtwhl79Buqw/s1600/DSC_5787.jpg Uncapped the Ondoro almost matches a TWSBI 580 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-HH2u5rSS3kI/VeHm_94vbnI/AAAAAAAAFWg/IKajNkSc5vE/s1600/DSC_5804.jpg Not really posted! http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZWsHc5_wH_I/VeHnGAQDFMI/AAAAAAAAFWo/3qO8OdWoej0/s1600/DSC_5815.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (5/6) The Ondoro resin versions retail at around USD 125. I purchased it with a good discount, directly from A.W Faber Castell India, as there were some warranty issues with my other Faber Castell pen. I believe it’s a good value for money pen given such a beautiful nib, which can defeat any other. OVERALL (5.6/6) This nib is moderately wet, runs fine and smooth. There is absence of any line variation among horizontals & verticals. The nib has got some spring and a touch of softness. I find the grip very comfortable to hold the pen, you might say a little bit of barrel weight could have blessed this one. I will definitely recommend this pen to you, if you are looking at the Faber Castell Design Series. Being a moderately wet writer out of the box, the Fine nib puts a decent fine line (finer than TWSBI F) which takes around 15 seconds to dry a wet MB Toffee brown ink on MD Paper. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LtLB1WGbtKs/VeHnQe4ukTI/AAAAAAAAFWw/rHcuB7G_a0w/s1600/DSC_5837.jpg REFERENCES Faber Castell Ambition GvFC Intuition Faber Castell History Bock Clientele Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.
  5. I do own some celluloid pens, a Parker Vacumatic pen and pencil set and a Montblanc from 1951. They’re nice, but I don’t really understand all the love for celluloid. As far as I know, celluloid was first used as a poor man’s replacement for ivory, but is still expensive and difficult to produce by modern standards. It tends to shrink, warp, and discolor with age, and it bursts into flames with relatively little provocation. I can see why it is rarely used today. It seems to me that acrylics, which can be beautifully colored and do not have those disadvantages, are altogether superior. Yet, celluloid seems to hold a special place in the hearts of fountain pen aficionados. Why? Why is Montblanc’s precious resin the object of criticism for being “just plastic” while celluloid is immune?
  6. One of my initial reviews@fpn was of the FCD Ambition. I took this pen out today to give it a deeper look, after gaining relatively more experience with Faber Castell line of pens. Here is a link to my review on blogger: The Faber-Castell Design Ambition Review So here goes a detailed review. Long ago during school days, I had used some of the not so expensive Faber-Castell ballpoints, pencils, highlighters, rulers, mechanical pencils and geometry sets. They used to be a bit scarce in India then, as they came with a ‘Made in Germany’ tag. Though there was little or no price difference with other Indian brands like Camlin or Omega, these were not widely available as such. Years later one fine day, while randomly searching for pens made by Faber-Castell, I bumped across the Ambition/Ondoro/e-motion fountain pens which were placed in a premium segment with Graf-Von Faber Castell Anello/Intuition in luxury segment. In India, a few models were available in Shoppers Stop Online and some of the other known e-com sites, back then. I finally ordered an Ambition (then an Ondoro) from Pensavenue, as they were running a discount sale on all Faber-Castell products. I added a converter since it was clearly mentioned that a Faber-Castell Design (FCD) converter was not included with the gift package. A BIT OF FABER-CASTELL HISTORY Around 1660s Kaspar Faber was one of the pencil makers in Stein, Bavaria, Germany. Later Kaspar’s son Anton Wilhelm Faber took over the business and the initials A.W were added from his name in 1839. Later on in 1898, when Ottile Von Faber (sixth generation of Faber family) married Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen, A.W Faber-Castell was born. Count Alexander modernised the company and introduced the jousting knights logo. Faber-Castell started manufacturing fountain pens in 1951, after acquiring the Osmia Company and produced fountain pens till 1975. They had carried the Osmia logo [diamond-within-a-circle] till the 1960s, given Osmia’s high brand recognition in the fountain pen industry. Later under Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, Faber-Castell started expanding their factories & offices across the globe and also started manufacturing fountain pens under two banners of Design and Graf von Faber-Castell (introduced in 1993) from the 90s. These Ambition range comes with a fountain pen (with 4 different nib widths), a roller ball, a propelling pencil (0.7mm) and a ballpoint pen with various barrel designs constituting of resin, wood or brushed steel. PRESENTATION Within 3 days, the pen and a converter were delivered in a moss-green cardboard box. The colour reminds me of lush green cricket outfields and the Australian Baggy Green Caps. The box has a slider and the pen is secured with an elastic band on a felted bed, along with a warranty card. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-msdcMLZM5x8/VcX15lwx8aI/AAAAAAAAFCI/azlre_iK5vU/s1600/DSC_4963.jpg DESIGN - THE CYLINDRICAL MOTLEY OF RESIN & METAL (4/6) Held in hand, the pen will feel somewhat heavier towards the cap end, with a relatively lighter brushed barrel made of up black coloured resin (Like MB, Faber-Castell also calls it ‘precious resin’, I feel it has comparatively lower density). http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Hih-SaIwMKU/VcX2CwS4I1I/AAAAAAAAFCQ/DXWLWXZ25Hw/s1600/DSC_4973.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SxktYdYHRiQ/VcX2Xh2uVkI/AAAAAAAAFCo/sz_dpqB7bMw/s1600/DSC_5010.jpg A convergence in its minimalistic design of the chrome plated accents is achieved with another piece of metallic finial at the end of the barrel, which also serves as the click-lock for posting the cap. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n4O_LTCsd-8/VcX2HuQbODI/AAAAAAAAFCg/iPvdisa5D18/s1600/DSC_5000.jpg And yes, the chrome accents are prone to fingerprints. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-P96DZiiL9xI/VcX2EdtvRaI/AAAAAAAAFCY/8T7Awrn-FRk/s1600/DSC_4983.jpg The cap is substantially heavy with a snap-on locking mechanism. Once you pull it, it comes off with an audible click, and you can see a chromed metallic section attached to the non-differentiated grip, at the end of which rests the shiny nib. Absence of any taper in the singular cylindrical section, introduces a steep step for holding the pen. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4UFE2LGgsjE/VcX2mbCswxI/AAAAAAAAFDA/LKc5NSRPrUQ/s1600/DSC_5019.jpg A mirror finish on the chromed cap etched with the Faber-Castell logo of two jousting knights will immediately gleam with the slightest amount of light and it is also embossed with the traditional statement preserving antiquity of A.W Faber-Castell - Since 1761. The clip is spring loaded and is shaped like an arc with a concave end. To generate friction with fabric, there are multiple grooves on the insides of the clip’s concavity, where it touches the cap. There is also a plastic insert inside the cap which gives the snap-on friction. However, it seems to lose grip with time. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UQI4QeeQLeA/VcbJiYDaMgI/AAAAAAAAFD0/gT_mkgHU35c/s1600/Cap.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (5/6) The small metallic section at the end of the barrel unscrews from the resin barrel with less than three turns and it disengages the section containing the nib and CC filling system. The nib has a screw fit, and inserts into a metallic sleeve like most of the Faber-Castell fountain pens which I have seen. The nib sleeve has threads which synchronize with threads on the insides of the resin barrel. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RK7DWlaZ-AU/VcX2asJWGLI/AAAAAAAAFCw/E6G25MRITCo/s1600/DSC_5048.jpg The converter says SCHMIDT on its piston along with a brand imprint of FABER-CASTELL Germany on the metallic sleeve. It has a reasonably high capacity of 0.8 – 0.9 mL, and the ink does last for quite a while! I am usually biased towards piston fillers, but I like the capacity offered by Faber-Castell or Schmidt converters. In case of GvFC Converters there is no mention of Schmidt on the converters themselves. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Dha1qS8xnX0/VcX20pkwu2I/AAAAAAAAFDQ/kMbn4yPpB0Q/s1600/DSC_5072.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The nib is made of stainless steel alloy with an iridium tip. The initially available nib sizes featured F, M and B nibs, though an EF was made available later. I went with an M sized nib. Right out of the box, this was a butter-smooth nib. The nib has a perforated imprint of dots which cover a third of its surface area. Had these been real perforations there would have been an opulence of breather holes. And in fact there is not even a single breather hole. The nib-size is embossed above the traditional Faber-Castell Design logo of two jousting knights near the tail. Nib section is screw-fit and thus easily removable from the steel sleeve for cleaning or replacement. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-56jH49qkE40/VcX2mZWV-lI/AAAAAAAAFC8/AkLF0kvG-Ec/s1600/DSC_5083.jpg The feed is standard grey plastic, with a big filler hole for ink suction, which is incidentally also used across the GvFC Intuition Series. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wJHOQThFG3Q/VcX200DcZCI/AAAAAAAAFDY/yqDYXJWC2QI/s1600/DSC_5103.jpg Faber-Castell Design (steel) nibs are sourced from JoWo whereas the GvFC nibs are known to be sourced from Bock. PHYSICS OF IT (3/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING Without the cap, the pen measures around 12 cm, which might not be comfortable for people with medium or large hands. Posting the cap is easy and it seems to be secured with a click-lock at the finial section. Although the posted pen exceeds a 15 cm scale, the steel cap makes it pretty top-heavy. In addition to weight, the cap freely rotates once it’s click-posted. While writing posted, the beautifully arched clip later becomes the pen’s arch-nemesis for top weight imbalance, with free rotation around the metal section. A girth less than 1 cm might be inadequate for the shorter uncapped length. Uncapped Length ~ 12.2 cm Capped Length ~ 14 cm Posted Length ~ 15.8 cm Nib Leverage ~ 1.9 cm Overall Weight ~ 28 g (Cap Weight ~ 15 g) Capped and uncapped and posted with a GvFC Intuition, Pelikan m400/2XX and a bigger MB146 run below for your reference. The Intuition has a wider grip than the Ambition. (Reusing some older pics here) http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-raOQ2a8hfmg/VaneoU3hiRI/AAAAAAAAE04/MbwYl1DQCNw/s1600/GvFC%2B017.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-3IfUp77HFXU/VaneucQwuSI/AAAAAAAAE1Q/ywtzuSmqxKQ/s1600/GvFC%2B018.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lEIIXA9iDXQ/VaneqEEmoVI/AAAAAAAAE1A/_cJ3dzaaoo0/s1600/GvFC%2B019.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (5/6) It retails at around USD 70 and I got a converter included at the same price because of the aforementioned discount. I believe it’s a good value for money pen given you too end up with such a nib, which defeats many of the gold ones. OVERALL (4.6/6) This nib is wet, runs wide and smooth like butter, without giving even a hint of feedback. I purposely used a less wet ink, but the pen did quite well against a drier pelikan 4001 ink. There is a bit of line variation with relatively thicker verticals. The nib has some spring and a touch of softness. In fact it lays a wetter and wider line with a little pressure. If you hold it from the metal section, the pen might feel slippery after some time and it might even rotate a little between your fingers. I instinctively hold the pen just above the metal section. Being a wet writer out of the box, the Medium nib puts a line which takes more than 20 seconds to dry on MD Paper with a relatively dry Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black ink. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w-SffYYQWEk/VcX3A22t3SI/AAAAAAAAFDg/aai7dhvEl5Y/s1600/DSC_5185.jpg REFERENCES Faber Castell History Bock Clientele Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.
  7. It's been known for some time that most of the more expensive pen manufactures, or the ones who would be inclined to use the term "precious resin" to up sell a plastic pen, have been creating pens with material that is transparent when viewed in the infrared portion of the EM spectrum. And having just gotten my first dedicated IR camera, I just couldn't resist getting some of my more swanky pens out for a nice family portrait. From left to right: Namiki Falcon (SF), Pilot Falcon (SEF), Pelikan M400, Pelikan M405, Pilot Custom (14k), Platinum Century #3776, Pilot Custom 74, Pelikan M800, Pelikan M600, Pelikan 140, Pelikan 400. Here are the pens in the visible spectrum (iPhone 5): http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/823/1n4d.jpg And here are the pens in the near-infrared spectrum (Canon T2i at ≈ 800nm): http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/841/hvkyb.jpg Here's a visual aid: http://imageshack.com/a/img850/1272/dhk.gif Here are the Pelikan M400 and M405: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/834/pzz6o.jpg And here's the section of the Pelikan 140: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/853/q4no.jpg The two Falcons and the Pilot Custom are able to be seen through, but just not with the ease of the obvious ones. I only have one Montblanc, a 344, but I can't find it. When I do I'll take a pic and post it here. And I find it very interesting that either the Pelikan M400 or M405 has an opaque rear twist cap…

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