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  1. writerlydoohickey

    Gravitas Skittles Fountain Pen

    I’m winding down my pen purchases – FINALLY! (I think? LOL.) — so I’ve been pretty choosy about which pens will cap off my modest collection. One these is the multicolored “Skittles” Gravitas Fountain Pen, which has been part of my daily rotation for the last couple of weeks. Besides the striking color, one of the first things most people will notice about the pen is that it is H-E-A-V-Y. With the cap on, it comes in at a hefty 85 grams; even without the cap, the weight is still pretty substantial at 57 grams (it’s a little lighter based on the official site: 74 grams capped, 49 uncapped). Nevertheless, it’s easily the heaviest pen I own by far. It’s also on the longer end of my preference, coming in at 5.75 inches capped, and uncapped at 5.25 inches, including the nib. What’s surprising for me is how comfortable it is to use despite of it all — the ergonomics is great, it feels great to write with, and everything is machined to perfection. Sharp spots in parts like at the edge of the section or in the threads can be especially apparent in metal pens, but not in this one. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it for super long writing sessions, but I haven’t felt strained at all over the many times I’ve written with it. Another concern I had going in was the metal section, which for sweaty-palmed folks like myself, can be a little more challenging to keep a hold of compared to other non-metal pens. But I was again pleasantly surprised that Ben Walsh, the designer and creator of the pen, made the section have a matte finish for better grip. The thoughtfulness in the design, creation, and execution of the pen is also apparent in the quick way the cap twists off — just around 1 ½ turns. In spite of this, the seal the cap provides is pretty good, and I’ve had no hard starts at all and the pen always writes smoothly even after being left unused for several days — which is especially noteworthy given the ink I put in it, which is on the drier side. Ben explained that the good seal is due to the body meeting the cap at a 30 degree angle, plus the joining of two conical surfaces when the cap is screwed shut. The filling system is CC, and the pen comes with a converter. The “Skittles” look is also permanent, as the coating used is the same as the ones on high-end cutting tools, eliminating any concerns that the multicolor look will fade over time. And since it’s made out of stainless steel, it’s not a pen you need to baby — disinfect it with alcohol all you want or put it in your pocket with your keys, and it still comes out unscathed. One thing to note though, is that it doesn’t have a roll-stop or a clip. Besides the fact that the cigar shape is my least liked fountain pen shape, I really have no significant complaints. The issue with the weight will likely be subjective — while it is heavy, I haven’t really minded it since in my mind, how it feels in the hand when writing and the rest of the way it’s designed makes up for it. I did not have the opportunity to test the nib though, which Ben says he tunes as well before sending orders out as I was pretty excited to put in my triple-stacked Karasu nib from PenSloth in it. Nib swapping is pretty easy on this, the nib units are easy to screw out and screw in securely. Finally, the overall design is also minimalist, which I like, featuring a single, but pretty nice logo on the lower part of the cap. All in all, the Gravitas Skittles Fountain Pen is a solid pen, in every sense of the word. It’s priced at EU75.00, which I think is very reasonable — modest, even — for a pen of this quality and craftsmanship. It’s a pen that I include in my EDC most of the time and I’ve not been disappointed so far. Definitely a good buy, as far as I’m concerned.





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