Something New // Nemosine Singularity [REVIEW]

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Nemosine Singularity
Medium nib, steel
Clear Demonstrator Version
$19.99USD [purchase from jetpens]
Converter, copper version: $2.99USD [purchase from jetpens]
Current ink: Lamy Petrol Ink, 2017 Limited Edition Colour – 50ml – $20.00CAD [purchased at Paper Papier]

I am writing part of this on a Via rail back to Toronto from Ottawa. It’s a long enough ride to be productive, so I figure I’d start writing my next review while watching the scenery of Canada zoom past me. Just kidding, I really didn’t do much, fell asleep almost right away. But when I finally woke up, I did do a little bit of doodling on the shaky ride on my tiny table in my crammed seat; plus jotting down some thoughts about the pen I’ve used over the past week!

I’m going to be looking at one more recent purchase and then go back to some earlier pens in my collection! This is the Nemosine Singularity. It’s a relatively new pen that just hit the market not even a year ago — around Fall of 2016. I read a few early reviews before deciding to get one, and thankfully so, since soon after I bought mine the pen was sold out. (They are now back in stock though! Buy away… hehehe) And to top off the ‘new’ theme, I went and got myself a bottle of Lamy’s new limited edition petrol ink!

This rare limited edition ink is currently sold out at most online retailers that I frequent, but how I found my bottle was really a stroke of luck. As I may have mentioned, I was out of town the past week, and while looking for things to do in Ottawa on my first night in, I looked up stationary stores, of course. Hoping to get something along the lines of wonderpens in Toronto, I chanced on Paper Papier, a little shop within the vicinity of Byward Market, stocking anything stationary related including papers, greeting cards, sketchbooks, notebooks, and of course, fountain pens! (I realize now that I should have taken a photo of my visit, I know for next time) And lo and behold, they had the petrol ink! I couldn’t say no, picked it up on the spot. A little more expensive than I expected to pay, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity. So here we go!

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Simple packaging: pen, converter, catridges

Look
Does this pen look super awesome? Not bad!

I would say this pen wins pretty decently just by being a demonstrator. It isn’t the end all be all of demonstrators for me though, so, like I said, not bad! It comes as a twist cap, with a chrome ring on the top attached to a standard looking chrome clip. The top and bottom are detailed in a little flattened cylindrical cone shape, so its like having a subtle spike on the top and bottom. This also means it can stand up straight (not that that’s a problem). The grip is hourglass shaped, black, and relatively short (around 2cm including the threads). But that, I think, is to make up for the enormous nib! I must admit, the first thing that attracted me to this pen was the cool nib design. It’s got some wicked majoras mask-esque butterfly pattern etched on it, with an elegant “N” for Nemosine, “M” on mine for medium, and “Made in Germany” in tiny letters at the bottom.

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The pen comes in quite simple packaging, a white box with the Schwarzschild radius equation printed in the middle:   R = 2GM/c^2
Inside, there’s the pen, included convertor, SIX mini cartridges and a description paper. Simple and clean, and nothing fancy, but expected for an entry-level pen such as this I suppose. I did end up purchasing a separate converter in copper, but I can’t remember the reason since there is one included. So either I forgot that the pen includes one, or I really liked the look of the copper and what is an extra three dollars added for a nicer look. I think the copper looks great in the clear barrel and compliments the petrol ink quite nicely (more on that below!).

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Comparison with the Pilot Penmanship and the Lamy Safari

The pen is actually quite short in length compared to other pens. I’ve compared it with the Penmanship and the Safari, both of which are longer than the Singularity capped and posted. I don’t have any issue with this, since the only difference this makes might be in weight, and as I discuss below, I actually quite enjoy the weight of the pen. The plastic material of the pen does seem at first glance, quite cheap looking, especially the kind of tacky chrome accents and black plastic grip. But despite that, the quality of the pen is quite solid and it doesn’t actually feel cheep once it is in hand.

Feel
Here we go…can this pen compete with the other entry-level and affordable pens I’ve looked at previously? Absolutely!

Right off the bat, the pen felt great on paper. I was writing with it intensely for a few days, taking lecture notes and doodling all day for a few days straight. I ended up using up the ink in the converter and had to refill it every night. The M nib is quite excellent, and glides very nicely on paper (I was using a leuchttrum1917 dot grid notebook). Perhaps I have been too used to using my EF and F nib pens, which are my preference, but after using this M, I am starting to reconsider my allegiances. The ink flow on this thing is quite good; very smooth, no skips, and not scratchy at all. The reverse actually has quite consistent flow despite being a little scratchy on paper. I wonder if that’s what the EF would feel like? A little curious to try it out now.

Being an M with quite a luscious flow makes the pen less ideal for accurate drawings, but excellent for sketches and lineweighted drawings. I’ve tried doodling some old ornamental buildings in Ottawa for practice but also to test out how the pen feels with drawing. I quite enjoyed using it to sketch, and I utilized both the reverse and proper side of the nib for the sketches to get varying line weights (given how detailed these buildings can get). The lines that are produced are quite consistent. There is almost no flex in this nib no matter how light or hard I press. I like this, because the consistency allows me not to worry about my drawings looking too rickety or uncontrolled (granted they still did while I was trying to sketch on the bumpy train ride).

This pen works well when pinch-gripped, mostly because that’s the way the grip is shaped, and also the size of the barrel in general for my relatively small hand. I can comfortably pinch grip this to write and doodle, but at the end of the day, I like to fist grip my pens to get the most accuracy for drawing and for more consistent lettering. Either way the pen feels solid and good to hold. As much as I love how pens look posted, I actually preferred writing and drawing with this pen un-posted. Even for such a light feeling pen, I liked the weight better un-posted because it felt easier to control.

Value
We’re talking about a ~$20 (with tax) purchase here, complete with a quality pen, converter and six extra cartridges for those who don’t have an bottled ink yet. This is definitely a pen of value and a great get for anyone looking to get into fountain pens.

The pen writes and draw well, it has a nice demonstrator look with a few chrome accents, it is converter and cartridge compatible, as well as eyedropper friendly. It is an all-round pen for every-day use that lasts decent extended usage and has potential to take a beating despite the cheap plastic look.

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Conclusion
I have to say, pretty wonderful entry-level pen purchase. It is definitely worth what you pay; it comes with  all the necessary things to get going on a fountain pen adventure (six cartridges!) and an included converter — which, more often than not, is not included with a pen!

Pros/
– great value
– smooth writing with M nib
– flexible use with converter, cartridge or eyedropper
– cool pattern on nib, many nib size choices (including really pretty heat-treated re-entry nibs)
– nice converter choices: chrome, brass, copper

Cons/
– May look a little cheap at first glance
– does not have much heft, weight-wise
– the nib does not look like superior quality steel

Ink
How can I not talk about this wonderfully superb ink. This year’s special edition colour from Lamy is ‘Petrol’, a beautifully deep and subtlety teal ink with a unique deep red-ish sheen. It really is brilliant, and now that I know it is sold out in so many places, I am very happy to own a bottle! The lid is coloured close to the teal colour (a little lighter than what the ink looks like on paper) and it comes with the classic ring of blot paper in a plastic bottom that supports the glass bottle.

The ink itself is great. Smooth flowing and dries beautifully wherever I use it. Not super watery but not super dry. Very standard and solid ink quality. I’m glad I’m using it in an M nib at the very least, since at least the colour and sheen show a little better with thicker lines. If I were to use it with an EF or F nib, I feel like the ink would look almost indistinguishable from black except under bright light. If you can still get your hands on this, go for it, it will be totally worth it!

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The Lamy Petrol 2017 special edition ink

Thanks for tuning in! That took a little longer than I planned, but it was fun and I love trying out new things.  Till next time! TWSBI or Wink 😉

 

 

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