Edelweiss in the Alps // BENU Talisman Fountain Pen [REVIEW]

Benu Talisman Fountain Pen “Edelweiss”
$145.48CAD (Cult Pens)
Currently Inked: Ferris Wheel Press “Peppermint Drop” – $23CAD (FWP)

Happy Holidays! Sneaking in one last review for 2021 with a pen completely off the todo list and one that is actually part of my Holiday Haul (upcoming post to kick off 2022). I inked this one up just to try out because I’ve heard good things but was pretty blown away and just ended up doodling a review for it anyway. So here we are, might as well wrap up the year on a happy note (because we could all use more of that).

This Talisman pen, along with another variation I picked up at the same time from BENU was a bit of an impulse buy. I read about it on occasion, at this point fairly sure most pen enthusiasts have heard of the brand by now, but was never really drawn to get one. This was simply because I didn’t see myself being interested in the outrageous and unique designs. Well…what do you know, I think more recently I’ve been a little enamoured with sparkles or things with a neat finish, perhaps in part because of my recent custom pen purchases or perhaps also a carry over from my keyboard hobby. There has been a rise of artisan keycaps cast in resin. In either case, these pens and their over the top sparkly look really caught my eye with the combination of more ‘classic’ pen looks, this one being a more traditional pen shape with some patterned grooves cast into the barrel and cap (more on that later).

A more accurate reason for why I jumped on this, was unsurprisingly for those who know me, because I first saw on UK Fountain Pens that there was a limited edition version – and was immediately saddened to know I was too late to jump on the grab. But it made me curious and determined to pick up a pen to try anyway!

And so, one holiday evening, I spent a good while reading up on BENU pens, the Talisman and Euphoria (review soon maybe?), another good while deciding which colourway to go and then bam – few days later, Cult pens got me these pens to my doorstep right before Christmas! Let’s take a look shall we?

Looks
Does this pen look super awesome? Yes and yes!

This is one sparkly and dazzling looking pen. I feel like I had a phase in my life where I just liked everything super stoic, plain and simple – and I still do mostly – but as I get older, I’ve started to have more interest in spark and unique-ness and joyful little bursts of something. Hence my fascination with the sparkles imbued and scattered throughout the resin body of this pen. That isn’t to say everything needs to be sparkly now, because once you see my Holiday Haul, and even as I think about it now, I’m ready for a 2022 of just pure black pens. ^_^;;

Anyway, sparkly pen, yes. It’s also got some neat ribbing pattern on it. I wish I were more cultured to know what the pattern is called, but it does remind me of the pattern I’d punch into a coke can after I was done with it. It’s a subtle pattern and I like it, but it seems to hold little ability to keep the pen from rolling on my table and ultimately still relies on the pen clip to keep it from rolling.

Comparison with Lamy Lx and Atelier Lusso Andromeda

The pen has a fairly standard size, measuring just under 14cm (5 3/8”) with a max cap diameter of 1.5cm (5/8”) and tapers down to 1.1cm (3/8”) at the end. The entire pen is made from a very high quality feeling resin/acrylic, featuring bedazzling sparkles, glitter and swirls. From the description, it sounds like actual Edelweiss flower was crushed and mixed in with the resin. Very nice backstory insert included about Edelweiss as well in the packaging!

Speaking of packaging, the pen comes in a simple cardboard box with info sheet and a bonus surprise pen stand too! Clearly I didn’t research enough to know that every pen came with a resin pen stand too – these are shaped like a flower and mine looks like it somewhat matches the colouration of the pen as well – a light minty teal swirled with black towards the end of the cap/pen grip area. It’s a very magical looking resin, shines beautifully in any light and I like it a lot! There is no special finial, but there is a pen clip that looks plain but works very well. You can lift it from one end, a bit like a lever, so that it can slip onto whatever you need to clip. I’ve slipped it in and out of my leather pen case and have had no issues.

Feel

This pen really blew my expectations away. I mean, I expected good things just based on what I’ve read, but I did not expect to fully appreciate and enjoy using this pen as much as I do! Usually when I get pens outside of your solid japanese giants (Pilot, Sailor, Platinum), well known big names from Europe like Lamy, Pelikan and consistent Taiwanese brands like TWSBI, I get exactly what I expect, a solid workhorse of a pen (most of the time), with an overall good experience. Not all the time, but for the most part, the brand is where it is because of the consistency in what they produce.

For some of the more unique looking new-ish-er pens I have tried purely because I enjoy what the pen looks like and hope for the best when getting the user experience, I often get a good solid feel but nothing extraordinary. A good example might be brands like Opus 88 (Koloro), Fine Writing Instruments (Golden Armour), or 3952 (Abaloney), where I have an overall decent experience with the pen, but it’s not necessarily something I’d grab right away for a daily driver. I ink the pens for a monthly rotation for inkly, but outside of that they just sit tight in the pen cup. The custom pens I have gotten so far (Tailored Pen Company and Atelier Lusso) are a little more special, giving me an equally decent experience/feel with the added bonus of it being a custom resin personally turned by a human.

Click to Enlarge!

This Benu pen sits just above all that in my books. There’s no other way to describe it than that this pen feels GREAT! Right out of the box, freshly inked, it just felt great to use. The ink is smooth and consistent with no starts and skips or stops. The reverse is very smooth and just as consistent as the regular use. I think something else that I found surprisingly wonderful about using this pen was the weight and balance in my hand. It just suited me really well – I could use pinch grip with no issues of control, despite the larger #6 nib. And I didn’t really need to use fist grip to hold it tight when drawing to maintain my line control. I think this is very valuable in a pen as I draw, and one thing that tends to set pens apart for me in their feel.

Pinch (left) and Fist (right) grip

In addition to being very well balanced, the grip is a comfortable size for my small hand, and the pen does not feel too heavy or too light. Even when posted, it doesn’t feel too back heavy, though I prefer unposted. I mindlessly doodled the drawing for this review while engaged in something else, and I didn’t have to worry about ink flow, uncomfortable-ness or fatigue after an hour of doodling.

I don’t think I rave too much about pens in my reviews too often. Usually I am very happy with most of my purchases with mild reservations about how I feel after drawing with them. But I can say with certainty that this has been a very fun pen to use and it will serve as an excellent workhorse pen with no worry about me dinging or scratching it up because of how well built it is. The nib is a #6 steel Schmidt. It’s got a bit of bounce, which I usually don’t prefer for a drawing pen, but I don’t seem to notice or mind it when I use this pen. The steel is solid enough for me to control but springy enough that when I really press down I can get a little bit of line variation.

For my doodle, I drew a photo of the Edelweiss flower in it’s favoured habitat of the Alps. I had fun with this one because of the level of control I had with this pen. As mentioned above, the excellent balance on this pen made it so easy to control, whether it was to put pressure and fill in darker swaths of ink, or to lightly graze and hatch shaded areas. Very enjoyable experience to say the least.

Did I get lucky with the tuning on this pen? Or do they all come like this. Guess I’ll just have to find out when I try the Euphoria!

Value

I’ll start this section by saying this is not an entry level pen price. At almost $150 Canadian, it’s definitely in the mid-tier standard for large quantity production pens with a unique design and colourways. I will also note that this pen didn’t come with a converter, so while it had a bonus pen holder/stand, not having an included converter was a bit strange since most pens like this usually come with one. However, despite all these notes, for me, this pen has excellent value and I think I will really make use of that $150 as I work the glitters out of this pen and thoroughly enjoy it.

As most reviewers and pen enthusiasts would say, pen value really comes down to the person – whether it is something you will enjoy on a daily or even occasional use, whether you enjoy looking at it, whether you enjoy the novelty of it or whether you simply just enjoy collecting. All are good reasons to put value on a pen and this one just seems to check a lot of those boxes for me.

Conclusion
Pros

  • beautiful and unique resin colour – and sparkles!
  • excellent balance and feel
  • ink flow is great with no issues out of the box
  • nib is great, solid and sturdy
  • really great control when writing or drawing

Cons

  • not the cheapest pen you can get out there
  • does not come with a converter
  • Doesn’t come in anything that isn’t sparkly

Ink

I’m using a Ferris Wheel Press ink called Peppermint Drop here – a bit of a festive vibe given the holidays. I got this in a set of ink chargers so I don’t have a full bottle, but it’s a wonderful ink worth considering a full bottle for. Smooth, silky with a great deep shading when dry. It works great with this pen and I’m happy I chose it for the first ink up in this pen. I don’t know that I use this kind of deep forest green too often, but when I do, I enjoy seeing the luscious colour every time.

Sparkles

Thanks so much for reading and following along. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas weekend and are enjoying a good break from the busy busy pandemic life. May this review give you a little bit of hope and joy and have a wonderful rest of 2021! See you in the Holiday Haul >:}

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