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Oldwin Art Déco Ciel D’Orage


dms525
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It’s a sad fact: “So many pens. So little time.” At this point, I have more pens that I love writing with, looking at and fondling than is reasonable. I resist thinking of myself as “a collector” and believe that pens should be purchased to use, not merely to possess. The idea of a pen rotation is fine, but, if it takes over a year for a pen to get into the inked rotation, is it really meaningful? I dunno. I think should be selling some pens, not buying more of them.

Yeah. There are still major makes of pens I have never tried that have their admirers and don’t have strong negatives. But, I have some resistance to venturing into new territory; I know, if my first experiences are positive, I am likely to want more … and more, and more. It’s a bottomless pit, truly. So much for wise advice to self.

I had bought several Waterman pens from Mora Stylos in Paris. The store gets stellar reviews for both their merchandise and their service, and my experience has been consistent with that. So, I was aware of their in-house Oldwin brand. I had read some positive reviews of Oldwins, but never seriously considered adding one to my own collection.

Then two things happened: The Tibaldi Impero Celluloid drifted onto my radar screen from a number of directions, including the Scriptorium Aeterna that Renée made for rpsyed that I actually got to see and try out. I really really liked the material. I realized it was rare, was disappearing from pen makers’ stock and was not going to be made again.

And then I happened to make one of my periodic online visits to Mora’s web site, doing some price comparisons on other products. For some reason I can’t reconstruct, I looked at their photos of Oldwin pens, and there was an “Art Déco” model in what they called “Ciel d’orage” (Stormy sky), but its celluloid was clearly Tibaldi Impero. Even though the nib options were nonexistent (You can have any nib you want, as long as it is a Bock 18Kt monochrome medium.), I had to have it. I just hope I can have the nib customized to my preference.

I think, if I show you some photos, you will understand, even though photos cannot do justice to the real beauty of this pen.

The pen arrived very quickly - two working days and a weekend, from Paris to Central California. It was packed in the usual superlative fashion by Mora. Taking the gift box out of the foam-padded shipping box, you find it austere and classy and in no-way over-done.

The pen material itself is strikingly beautiful. The fit and finish are flawless. The only possible area for improvement I have found is that no attempt has been made to align the celluloid's pattern on the various parts - cap and barrel, section and barrel, etc.

The Art Déco is a large, even an over-size pen. The photos above compare it to a Pelikan M800 and a Mont Blanc 146. I have not liked other over-sized pens such as the MB 149 and Pelikan M1000, but the Oldwin does not feel uncomfortably ponderous. It is comfortable to write with both posted and unposted. Clearly, there is no reason to post it, other than habit or fear of misplacing the cap.

Note that the threads on the section are placed at the nib end. This allows for a stepless transition between barrel and section. I tend to hold pens close to the nib, so these threads are actually more uncomfortable for me. This encourages me to hold the pen a bit further upstream than I otherwise would.

Oldwins are all sold fitted with #7-size Bock 18Kt gold medium nibs. This nib has an iridium tip, but not a big one. It is one of the springiest nibs I own. If there is enough tipping material to grind into a cursive italic, it should be a wonderful writer. As is, it is quite smooth with just a bit of feedback. It writes a medium-fine line, with some variation depending on writing pressure. All in all, a very enjoyable writer, except that my preferred script is italic, and this is a round nib.

Oldwins are Cartridge/Converter fillers. Mora ships them with a box of Waterman Cartridges and fitted with a Waterman-type converter. (Most days, I prefer Piston fillers to C/C fillers, but I see advantages to each method. I will eschew further commentary of a sectarian nature.)

In summary, the Oldwin Art Déco fountain pen in "Ciel d'orage" (AKA Tibaldi Impero) celluloid is a beautifully designed, large pen. Materials are of the highest quality. Its construction is flawless. My only quibble of substance is that I wish they offered a wider selection of nibs. I am hoping I can have the one they sent me ground to my taste.

David

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A writing sample to go with the pen review:

 

 

 

David

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Thanks for the review David. I 100% get not wanting to open any more doors to a new manufacturer. I fought Pelikans for a while and am getting weak on Omas. But, the journey is the reward as long as we are responsible financially.

 

Tibaldi Impero celluloid is also my favorite modern celluloid. If you enjoy it, there are a few pens in the material worth pursuing. It was used a lot in the mid 2000s so there are Stipulas, Bexleys and a few others.

 

Enjoy your new treat. I hope you can get the nib sorted. Perhaps at the SF pen show?

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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Beautiful pen and material, and that nib! It looks like a whopper!

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Wonderful pen David and an equally wonderful review. Thanks for posting.

Do remember that the items on your bucket list have an expiration date.
 

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Thanks for the review David. I 100% get not wanting to open any more doors to a new manufacturer. I fought Pelikans for a while and am getting weak on Omas. But, the journey is the reward as long as we are responsible financially.

 

Tibaldi Impero celluloid is also my favorite modern celluloid. If you enjoy it, there are a few pens in the material worth pursuing. It was used a lot in the mid 2000s so there are Stipulas, Bexleys and a few others.

 

Enjoy your new treat. I hope you can get the nib sorted. Perhaps at the SF pen show?

 

 

Thanks, zaddick, for you comments.

 

I would not attempt to collect pens in the Impero celluloid. Now if I happened to find it in a pen that was appealing otherwise, I would grab it up.

 

I figure I can get the nib fixed one way or another. Michael Masuyama will be my first recourse. If he says he needs more material to work with, I can see if Minuskin will re-tip and stub it, but pretty soon we're talkin' real money. I plan on bringing it to the SF Pen Show. If you want to see it, please look me up. I'll be there all three days, but only part of each day. I would like to connect with more FPN members, especially those whose interests intersect with my own. Some of the Bay Area folk know me by sight, as does Michael. Hmmm ... Actually, I look a lot like my avatar.

 

David

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Beautiful pen and material, and that nib! It looks like a whopper!

 

It is beautiful indeed. The nib is a #7 - the same size as a MB 149 nib. It is interesting that I had this size nib on a M1000 and found it unwieldy. I sold that pen (for a fraction of its value) to a nephew whose hands are in proportion to his 6'5" stature. The nib on the Oldwin feels just fine to me.

 

David

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This is an amazing pen... How much was the landed cost..

 

I kinda love converter fills more.. As they are easy to clean.. And helps in utilizing more of my inks.. Because of less capacity...

 

This material is a stunner...

Thank you for sharing the review..

 

Do share the feedback.. Once you grind the Nib to cursive italic..

vaibhav mehandiratta

architect & fountain pen connoisseur

 

blog | instagram | twitter

 

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This is an amazing pen... How much was the landed cost..

 

I kinda love converter fills more.. As they are easy to clean.. And helps in utilizing more of my inks.. Because of less capacity...

 

This material is a stunner...

Thank you for sharing the review..

 

Do share the feedback.. Once you grind the Nib to cursive italic..

 

 

Thank you for you comments, Vaibhav!

 

The price is listed on Mora's web site. I was charge no VAT, being outside the EU, and there was no shipping charge. So the cost to me was actually about 100Euro less than what you see listed.

 

I will certainly update this review after I have had the nib ground to italic.

 

David

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Magnifique!

 

Isn't there a conid in the same material that is also amazing?

 

Great pen to write with too.

 

Thanks for sharing.

.

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Magnifique!

 

Isn't there a conid in the same material that is also amazing?

 

Great pen to write with too.

 

Thanks for sharing.

Zaddick also mentioned other pen makers who have used Impero. I haven't kept track of this myself. I don't recall seeing a Conid in this material, but that would certainly be amazing, as you say.

 

David

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Beautiful pen . Thanks for a nice review and pics . Congrats on acquisition of this wonderful pen.

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Beautiful pen . Thanks for a nice review and pics . Congrats on acquisition of this wonderful pen.

 

 

Thank you, dr saleem ali.

 

David

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David:

First, thank you for a fine review of a wonderful pen. I was unaware of either the shop or the Oldwin brand.

Second, a possible way out of your user/collector dilemma. I think there needs to be a third category: a person who buys pens not to collect them, and not just to use them, but to learn from them. Such a person would not, for instance, attempt to have one example of every Esterbrook that reached production. Nor would they refuse to buy a pen because they already had one that was working. They would buy a pen because it was unfamiliar and they wanted to learn about it, even if they were unlikely to use it regularly.

Finally, if that is a #7 Bock nib, it seems likely that there are factory CI and sharp italic #7 Bock nibs around with which you could replace it, without having to subject it to a regrind. But perhaps not, for that large a nib.

Anyway, thanks for a very enjoyable review. Perhaps we could connect at the SF Show.

ron

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Wonderful pen, David.

 

I have 2 Oldwins, one a fine italic carried out by John Mottishaw (bought at a pen show from Sarj Minhas) in the cigar shape, and the other same shape as yours in a kind of blue flecked material bought from the shop in a recent visit to Paris.

 

I have no doubt you will enjoy your pen :)

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David:

First, thank you for a fine review of a wonderful pen. I was unaware of either the shop or the Oldwin brand.

Second, a possible way out of your user/collector dilemma. I think there needs to be a third category: a person who buys pens not to collect them, and not just to use them, but to learn from them. Such a person would not, for instance, attempt to have one example of every Esterbrook that reached production. Nor would they refuse to buy a pen because they already had one that was working. They would buy a pen because it was unfamiliar and they wanted to learn about it, even if they were unlikely to use it regularly.

Finally, if that is a #7 Bock nib, it seems likely that there are factory CI and sharp italic #7 Bock nibs around with which you could replace it, without having to subject it to a regrind. But perhaps not, for that large a nib.

Anyway, thanks for a very enjoyable review. Perhaps we could connect at the SF Show.

ron

 

 

Thanks for your helpful comments, ron.

 

I think your "way out" of my dilemma describes my position pretty well. As I am sure you appreciate, some things cannot be learned from books or conversation alone but require hands on experience. And, if one can only gain that experience by purchasing the "learning materials," it gets expensive pretty quickly. I imagine it was easier when most communities of any size (including mine) had multiple B&M pen shops where one could talk to knowledgable sales and repair people and try out pens without having to buy every one of them.

 

I had thought about purchasing a #7 Bock 18 or 14Kt gold nib in either B, BB or Stub width to replace the one that came on the Oldwin. That is "plan B" or maybe "C."

 

Let's try to connect at the SF Pen Show.

 

David

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Wonderful pen, David.

 

I have 2 Oldwins, one a fine italic carried out by John Mottishaw (bought at a pen show from Sarj Minhas) in the cigar shape, and the other same shape as yours in a kind of blue flecked material bought from the shop in a recent visit to Paris.

 

I have no doubt you will enjoy your pen :)

 

Thank you, da vinci.

 

That is encouraging news. Can you tell me what is the width line your "fine italic" ground by John Mottishaw writes?

 

My experience with John is that, compared to other nib technicians, he prefers to start with a wider piece of tipping material to end up with a particular width italic nib. On the other hand, he ground a F nib on an OMAS Paragon to a very usable CI for me that writes about 0.65mm. That is narrower than I prefer, but usable.

 

David

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Thank you, da vinci.

 

That is encouraging news. Can you tell me what is the width line your "fine italic" ground by John Mottishaw writes?

 

My experience with John is that, compared to other nib technicians, he prefers to start with a wider piece of tipping material to end up with a particular width italic nib. On the other hand, he ground a F nib on an OMAS Paragon to a very usable CI for me that writes about 0.65mm. That is narrower than I prefer, but usable.

 

David

I will try and get the pen out over the weekend and post a writing sample and measurements.

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I will try and get the pen out over the weekend and post a writing sample and measurements.

 

 

Thank you! That would be greatly appreciated.

 

David

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