Hello from the Weirdoforest Bunker! I hope you are all doing well, staying healthy and safe from the crazy that is fallen upon us these past couple weeks. I myself have been hunkered down at home at my #wfh setup and trying to be as productive as possible whilst also trying to get through things that have been on my list since day -0. I started this review probably early this year in January and couldn’t find the time to get back to it. So here we are, finally a new review of a new (old) pen I got back at the end of 2019!
Does this pen look super awesome? Yessir!
I will admit here and now, this was an impulse buy. I went into the Toronto Pen Show targeting to spend a specific amount of money and NOT use my credit card. I think I was relatively successful except for this one buy that was not accounted for. I’m not exactly able to pin-point the reason this pen stood out so well to me. In retrospect there are a couple things I can think of.
- Demonstrator pen – yup I like these
- Gold! – Even despite its matte finish, the brass was enticing
- Pattern – This pattern, unique to what I believe to be a Chinese military armour pattern
On top of these items of interest was also the neat etching on the finial of the pen cap, and the option to switch to eye dropper (I rarely do) from converter. The demonstrator barrel is made of some pretty strong acrylic and I don’t feel like I can break this even if I threw it across the room (I will not test this though). This is also, I believe, my first pen that uses a Jowo nib, so I was excited to finally give that a try. The nib is a #6 stainless steel gold plated fine nib.
The strangest part of the pen design I would say are the two little round nubs near the top of the pen cap, meant to prevent the pen from rolling away. I can see why rolling pens can be a problem (especially when taking glamour shots!) and the lack of a clip tends to add to that problem. This is a solution that still looks funny but I’ve grown used to. I’ve had this pen for several months now, and I have been using it on and off since last October. It now looks significantly more patinaed with that nice weathered brass look. I admit I enjoy the pen more when it was pristine and shinier gold, but this is okay too, it feels more natural.
This is not a light pen. Any pen that touts some brass is bound to have some weight to it and this pen is no exception. However, all that weight is centred on the pen cap, and so when writing or doodling, the cap tends to come off and we’re left with a well balanced and weighted pen. The brass pen grip and brass back end help to balance the pen. I don’t feel fatigued when I use this pen in terms of weight.
Now for the nib test. As you know, I usually use my fountain pens for doodling or drawing. For drawing, It’s hard to say still what kind of nib-ness I prefer – scratchier, smoother? Both are good for different purposes. But for writing, for sure a smoother nib is preferred because of efficiency. I found this nib to be a little on the less smooth side for ink flow. It still flows very consistently, don’t get me wrong. However I found that I had to increase a tad of my weight on the pen just to maintain a solid ink line. Now perhaps this is due to the ink I’m using as well as the F nib. So it’s possible that the real test is how the pen holds up with alternate types of inks. The Kyo no Oto series does seem to have relatively thinner and drier ink — I am not 100% sure on this, don’t quote me!
Other than that, this pen is good. It’s not excellent, in fact, I still find it hard to replace my Pilot Penmanship for drawing and it’s quite literally the cheapest pen I own now. However, I enjoy using this pen for light doodling and also occasional writing in my planner, but unless I ink it up with black (maybe I shall), then I almost certainly won’t use it regularly.
This pen cost me $150 CAD upfront at the pen show. At the time, it wasn’t available online or in stores in Canada, but now I can see it’s available for cheaper online. I didn’t have tax though, so in the end I got it for just short of what it would have cost me to order it now. That being said, this is an expensive pen! It has a lot of neat detailing and very great aspects, however any steel nibbed pen that isn’t one of the big names (Platinum, Pelikan, other P-brands, etc.) and sells for this much, I always have to second guess. At the very least, it is certainly unique, as are many of the Taiwanese branded pens I own (Abaloney especially), however the price tag may always end up being a hard sell. I’m on the fence about this one, but leaning more towards probably worth it. It’s a solid pen, and if you enjoy long writing sessions with an inkwell that will not dry up, eye dropper-ing this armoured beauty will get you what you want.
- Beautiful pattern engraving
- Neat finial engraving
- Well constructed
- Eye dropper option
- Solid nib and ink flow (but not extremely flowy)
- Wont’ roll off your table for a clip-less pen
- Could be heavy for some
- Some may not enjoy the smell and patina of brass
Fun fun — new ink! I forgot why I ended up with two bottles of Kyo no Oto ink but I remember researching and debating for a good while which two colours I was going to get. This is not cheap ink, but it’s not super expensive either. It’s also got a beautiful tint to it and rolls over paper very smoothly. This particular colour is a poo-ish dark yellow/gold and it seems to change colour everytime I use it. I thought it would really match the Golden Armour look, and I think I made a good decision at that.
Sometimes I find that the only problem with having so many colourful inks is that I rarely use them. At work I tend to just use the dark colours, and if I ink a pen with a bright colourful colour, it tends to just sit on the side for a while until I decide to kamikaze through just to be able to clean the pen. Perhaps the habit will need some revision and I will start using more colours in my planner notes. That really is where I use my pens the most. We’ll see if I can make the transition >:}
Thanks for tuning in, and for sticking around, or welcome!, if you’re just popping in. So begins my backlog of reviews of a slew of new pens I picked up over the end of last year 🙂 Exciting times to be holed up at home.