Hello first review of 2018! These reviews often take me quite a bit of time, because I have to give some time to really dig into the pen, because I like to practice and plan my doodles, and because I like to sit down and write some meaningful thoughts on my pen. So I started this review while back home, went on a trip to work on it some more, and here I am at home again to finish it off. Where even to start! You may recognize this as the last of my personally invested Holiday Haul of 2017 (link), and something I wrote that I knew I had to get my hands on someday for my collection. It really was just a matter of when. I was camping the amazon price while it slowly dropped everyday until I couldn’t handle it anymore and clicked purchase. So here we have it, my first experience with a gold nib, and one that I had great expectations for and spoiler alert, I was not disappointed.
Does this pen look super awesome? You bet.
I was very excited to get this one (thank you 2-day shipping, amazon prime!) and unbox it. Of course, I’ve seen plenty of pictures already online so I knew the look I was going to get, but something about holding it in person and looking close-up at the cleanliness of the finishes really does make a difference. The body is a lacquered paint on metal — I chose mandarin yellow because I like yellow! — with chrome accents at the clicky, middle twist separation as well as the tip and clip. Yes the funniest part of this pen is that the clip is where the nib is. Really strange, and initially may throw people off about having a comfortable grip, but it makes total sense. Since the pen is retractable, therefore, there’s no cap, which normally houses the clip. So the clip stays in the same spot that it normally would on a regular capped pen, it’s main purpose I imagine is to keep the pen upright when it is clipped and being carried around.
The packaging was simple but more upscale. I was used to pilot packaging in a tiny cheap crappily hinged plastic box, but this one was an upgrade in a sizable box with a viewing window and soft-ish bed for the pen. I don’t do much with the box after unboxing, other than take some pictures of it, so I’m not sure I’m that much happier with this nicer packaging than I am with the cheaper ones, other than that the box has more cushion for the pen to keep it safe. Still, having nice and clean packaging is a plus for me, and overall adds to the value of the pen package.
This is a retractable clicky fountain pen, and it’s a very beautiful one. It might also be one of the only ones of its kind, hence my desire to add it to my collection. Also, given the variety of colours, material combinations and nib sizes, as well as special editions that come out every year, I can also see the value in having multiple variations of the pen. (Maybe for the more avid and lucrative collector.)
The nib itself works behind some kind of mechanism, likely similar to what most clicky pens use. But unlike most clickys, where the pen tip is exposed, this one has a metal seal-proof flap, that can prevent ink from drying up, especially since this is a fountain pen! The idea is brilliant and I would be curious as to why there isn’t a cheaper steel nib version of this pen. I think it would do really well! Sometimes the almost 200$ price point for gold nib pens ends up being a deterrent, but for such a neat idea, unless the mechanism itself is expensive to produce, I don’t see why a cheaper option wouldn’t be available. I haven’t done my research though, so there could be a really good reason why.
The plunger end of the clicky is huge! And by huge I mean, supremely deep, for a click pen. I like this! It’s comfortable and addictive to press, though I am hesitant to test the durability of the mechanism. The pen is also easy to use/maintain. I take it apart at the middle, pull the pen nib along with converter out and then fill that part before putting it back into the casing. So I think I never had to clean the body! (I hope) I’ve noticed a little bit of nib creep up higher on the nib (it’s a unique nib, not sure how to describe — check out the photo) but it doesn’t seem to affect anything, so I just wipe it every time I open up the pen to refill.
The difference between the clicky and a typical fountain pen with a cap, is that…there is no cap! Here you can see a comparison with my TWSBI 580, uncapped/un-clicked and capped/clicked. The only downside might be that there are less objects when I’m taking photos, so the pen looks a little lonely on it’s own.
So I’ve mentioned this before, but this was my first gold nib experience. Was I blown out of the water by it? The answer would be no. But am I still impressed and happy with how the pen feels? Of course!
In hand, the pen has some good heft. It is a metal pen after all. I admit I was aiming to get the decimo initially because I knew my small hand would appreciate that more, but I couldn’t resist the yellow colour, which isn’t available in the decimo (usually they’re more pearlescent and pastel-y colours). That being said, I did find the pen a fraction too large in hand, despite my longer fingers; but not uncomfortable! It took a little getting used to for the size, but because of my typical pinch grip style (and experience with those triangular grip lamy safaris), I didn’t have too much trouble getting the hang of using the pen. In fact, I really enjoyed using the pen for writing.
I started off using the pen for journaling; the nib writes wonderfully smooth with an ever so slight resistance on the leuchtturm1917 paper I was using. On other papers like the baron fig notebook that I used to doodle my ‘new years’ message, it was surprisingly smooth despite the toothier paper. On the Passion Planner paper that I drew this review on though, smooth as butter. I have noticed that despite the nib being quite smooth with consistent and impressive ink flow, the pen doesn’t gush out like my Lucina does. Perhaps this has to do with the ink I am using, but it could also be the nib! I am not sure. But that being said, I am happy with this because I tend to enjoy the slightly drier nibs because when I doodle slower, I don’t want ink to build up and destroy my paper. This pen is true to its Japanese F nib — like a western EF. The line is thin, crisp, and reliable. To get lineweights in the same colour, I pretty much have to draw over multiple times because the line is so thin! (Time to consider getting a medium/broad as well…? =3)
While I was on my trip, I watched a concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. I did a small study on the building during my advanced studio with Gehry (which eventually led to my final concert hall design — i know, looks nothing like it), primarily analyzing it’s hall type and acoustic performance. And boy, what a performance. The acoustics in here were certainly top notch and I was so excited/happy I got to finally check out the building in person. The ornamentation on the stage frame was fabulous among other classy details. How could I not sketch it for my review using this classy pen?
I mentioned before that the pen is a little on the larger side for me, as well as with some heft. I am used to my cheaper plastic pens, and tend to use my heavier pens less often (usually cause they are more expensive but also because they are heavy and get tiring to use), so I was worried I would get tired of this one and it would end up being a shelf sitter/occasional accent writer. It was indeed heavier and tended to make my hand tired and crampy when I wrote for more than an hour, but I have gotten used to it over time. I still can’t use it for extended periods of time, and even when drawing I have to take breaks. I also started using the pen when my right wrist was still recovering from a minor injury, so maybe that added to the fatigue.
All in all, it’s an excellent feeling pen, and I have to say, the more I use it, the more I want to keep using it, mostly because it’s just so convenient and it’s so reliable. I mean, it’s a clicky fountain pen! I am considering bringing this pen in to work as my workhorse daily. I often need to cap and uncap my pens when using to jot notes down or to-do items, and having a clicky is immensely more convenient, not to mention the smooth sailing quality of this nib. No one else at work really uses fountain pens (except the big honcho), so I am sometimes a little hesitant to bring in my fancier pens to use out of fear of snobberish-ism or just being different. But what does that matter? I still use a fountain pen everyday at work, so perhaps the real fear is bringing something expensive in and it going missing within a day or two.
I am tempted now, I dare say, to eventually get another one, in a different nib size, and perhaps another shade of yellow if available. Or just get a decimo to test out the difference in weight and size. We shall see, the list is already pretty long.
This is an easy one to answer; this pen was completely worth my money. I also paid significantly less for a brand new one with my stingy camping on amazon, but after using it for a good while, I’d be happy to purchase another one someday at full price, but probably only for a special edition, or another yellow variation for my collection. I am a little worried that I say spending over a hundred dollars on a pen now is worth it, or as if it’s the new standard. Is it because I got the Pelikan? It is probably because I got the Pelikan…
But regardless of this fact, I still do think this pen was worth what I paid for it. What makes this pen so valuable for me is the convenience coupled with quality. It is a quality product with ingenious engineering and it also performs extremely well.
- Excellent quality and clicky mechanism
- Smooth and consistent nib
- Convenient and easy to use, clean and maintain
- Variety of colours and nib choices available
- Slightly on the heavier side for me so my hand gets a little tired after longer use
- Maybe on the pricier side, but great value and worth investing into
This is my second Pilot Iroshizuku ink that I’ve tried. One that I gave as a gift but occasionally still borrow cause I like to change up inks now and then. Hurhur.
The ink is a sort of dark turquoise, which I thought looked professional because it wasn’t super bright, but also has some character because of the turquoise. It’s a very friendly ink, flows well and with great consistency. I’ve only ever used it with F type nibs so I can’t say I notice much shading or variation in it. It’s a little less runny than the Tsutsuji that I own, but like I said earlier, I don’t know if it’s because of the ink itself or because of the nib — it’s now inked in my Lucina) Probably an inky expert would be able to comment on that more.
I’ll try to do some more ink comments next time, I’ve only just started to be a little more fascinated with ink pairings and different kinds of ink types, not to mention the gazillion colour options.
Happy weekend! Sorry for the super long break between full reviews, they’ve taken me a little longer to do, but also I wanted to spend enough quality time on them. Thanks for reading! Still got some more things brewing up, stay tuned~