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A Review Of A Blackstone Axiom Model Fountain Pen (Prototype)



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Like a number of other FPN members, I was given a Blackstone Axiom Model fountain pen (prototype) by Kevin Watson of the JustWrite Pen Company, Australia in exchange for agreeing to review and comment on the pen in accordance with FPN guidelines. The particular pen that I was given had a black carbon fibre finish with titanium trim with a medium and 1.1 stub nib assemblies. In addition to using the pen myself, I brought the pen and nibs to my Saturday morning pen club meeting to see what others thought. I also found that some of my comments overlap the FPN categories for such reviews and that will be apparent as you read this review. Accordingly, the comments that follow are a compendium of my thoughts and other members of the London Pen Club.

 

Appearance and Design – 7/10

Rather than attempting to photograph the pen with my limited skills at such things, I suggest that you look at the “much better than I could ever do” photos posted here –

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/298253-new-australian-made-fountain-pens-available-for-review/?hl=justwrite

 

The pen is very attractive and eye-catching, in a black carbon fibre finish with a rounded black cap top, central (cap) ring and bullet-shaped barrel top. The trim is titanium – clip and clip ring, two cap rings and three barrel rings. The imprint “BLACKSTONE” in small but readable letters can be seen on the black cap ring, just beneath the two titanium cap rings. In my opinion, I think that the Axiom is very similar in shape to an Aurora 88.

 

Almost every member of my pen club who saw the Axiom were immediately attracted to its attractive finish and wanted to write with it.

 

Standing back and looking at the pen, the carbon fibre finish gives the impression that the Axiom is lighter than average. Similarly, the bullet-shape of the barrel top gives one the impression that the cap of the pen will post easily and snugly – if one needs to post it. Unfortunately, neither impression is correct. It is for those reasons that I have reduced the rating of the Appearance and Design of the Axiom.

 

Construction and Quality – 7/10

I found the construction and quality of the pen to be very good. I mention these next few points for greater certainty, as I expect that they were the result of Kevin’s intention to get the prototype to me quickly and thus would otherwise be prevented by “stricter” QC. For example, I did note the presence of what I assumed were manufacturing oils in the pen and also that the black resin barrel top was loose enough to come unscrewed when I tested the construction and fit of the pen with my hands. Finally, I found the quality of the converter to be sub-par, even for a pen selling in this price range.

 

Weight and Dimensions – 5/10

Weight Capped 51 gm Uncapped 29 gm

Length Capped 140 mm Uncapped 122 mm

Diameter Cap 13 mm Barrel 12 mm Section 11 → 9 mm

 

The pen is much heavier than it should be, especially if it is to be used for any significant period of time, as one would expect from a pen that is in the “affordable user” category (where I would put this pen). If I was customizing this pen to suit my hand, I would have the length of the barrel increased somewhere between 10 – 20 mm – because I prefer to write with an unposted pen. While I could get the cap to post on the end of the barrel, I simply could not get it to remain posted. Perhaps threads should be added to the barrel top so that the cap can screw on to it. Before that is done, the weight of the cap and barrel need to be reduced in such proportions that when the cap is posted, the pen is balance. The pen given to me simply has too much weight in the cap, i.e., the balance point is about 2/3 of the length toward the back of the posted pen whereas most people like it to be the reverse of this - about 1/3 of the length of the posted pen from the front. The weight and the balance of the prototype are by far the most serious concerns that I have with the pen.

 

Nib and Performance – 9/10

I was provided with a Medium and 1.1 Stub Jowo nibs. Both nibs are stainless steel and ruthenium coated. These nibs were both a delight to write with and the feeds kept the nibs ready to write with – even after putting the pen down and capping it for over 2 weeks! I love these nibs and the ability to change them easily because they simply screw in and out, like Pelikan nibs.

 

Filling System and Maintenance – 7/10

The Axiom is a Cartridge/Converter filler, taking standard international cartridges, and it came with a standard screw-piston converter. As I mentioned above, the converter is sub-par and everyone at my pen club commented on it when they examined the pen. If you don’t own many fountain pens, like many people who will buy this pen, you may not recognize this to be a problem. Nevertheless, the pen deserves to have a quality converter to go along with the high quality Jowo feed/nib.

 

As I mentioned under the Nib and Performance section, I was given two nib/feed/section assemblies, a Medium and a 1.1 Stub. It is very easy to change nib assemblies. Like Pelikan pens, it is simply a matter of unscrewing the barrel, removing the converter/attaching the converter to the nib/feed/section assemblies, replace the barrel and proceed. When the nib is unprimed, especially with cartridges, I like to squeeze the cartridge so that the ink “floods” the feed and the nib.

 

Cost and Value – 8/10

It is my understanding that these pens will retail for about AU$100 or US$75. I think this price is more than fair, especially once the weight/balance issues are addressed – then the pen will be the perfect gift for those professionals looking to add a bit of flair to their writing!

 

Conclusion – 43/60

I was pleased to be given this opportunity to review this Blackstone Axiom fountain pen. I am a sucker for carbon fibre and ruthenium/gun metal so I would buy this pen in a heartbeat – once the three key problem areas – weight, balance, and converter – have been addressed.

 

JustWrite Pen Company can be reached as follows:

 

http://justwrite.com.au/

info@justwrite.com.au

kevin@justwrite.com.au

MikeW

 

"In the land of fountain pens, the one with the sweetest nib reigns supreme!"

 

Check out the London Pen Club.

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Hi Mike,

 

Thanks for the review - I'm in the middle of moving house (after 13 years in one place, and with three school-aged kids and all their stuff - what a nightmare!) so my review is still pending...

 

I believe (from correspondence with Kevin W.) that the pen is not intended to post - though the sharply 'step down' at the end of the barrel creates the appearance that it should.

 

My only real issue with the pen thus far is the weighting issue - not that it bothers me (I've gotten used to it), but even uncapped it's a little back-heavy. Other than that, I'm pretty impressed with the look and feel. The nibs (B and 1.1mm stub) write really well and I'm *really* taken with the ruthenium finish.

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