I got this pen as a birthday present after a lengthy period of staring at four different pens and going on the fact that this one was heavy.
I like how the pen feels, even though the tiered grip section looks like it may be uncomfortable, itis actually not bad at all. I tend hold the pen on the silver band above the section anyway.
So, in the style of an awesome review:
Dealer prep 7: It has a nice blue box lined with suede-y material, a warranty and a set of instructions. Came with a long international cartridge -- the converter was bought separately. Points off for that I suppose.
Fill 'er up 6: Standard C&C type pen. Not a humongous capacity.
Test drive 8: Absolutely lovely to write with first up. Smooth wet line, the fine nib producing a bold stroke that makes me wonder why anyone would go for a broad...
Under the hood 6: The nib is pretty when looked at as something that's supposed to be pretty, but the engraved details I sometimes find distracting -- I panic and start to think I've scratched it! The lack of a breather is interesting, I have a suspicion it may affect the performance (see below).
Performance: The pen is comfortable and writes well when it wants to -- the feed doesn't stay saturated for long though. No real hard starts or skipping, occasionally an upstroke at the beginning of a word.
Design notes: The tiered grip section is actually surprisingly comfortable, no problem when I do happen to hold it there, though I usually grip above the section. The cap won't really post fully on, as can be seen from the picture, and makes the pen a bit top-heavy for my taste.
Detailing 7: It's a nice looking pen. Not the nicest looking pen. A bit angular for me, but I chose it for the heft. It was comfortably the heaviest pen of the ones I chose from. The engraving on the nib, as I said, is a little distracting.
Road Trip 5: Rather than a 21 minute road trip, I think a three hour exam counts, right?
Now to the main issue: how it writes in the long stretch.
Beautifully. When it wants to. When the feed is saturated it is an absolute pleasure to use on just about any paper I have tried it on. Cheap printer paper, lined refills, the recycled paper used in the printers at University, Moleskine notebooks. Probably the best pen I have owned (this is my first serious fountain pen, so that isn't saying much).
However, this doesn't last. After a few lines (how many depends, I think, on the type of paper -- I should conduct some tests when I have time), the flow becomes much drier, writing becomes a tiresome effort, a few start-strokes on letters start to skip... really quite unpleasant. Twisting the converter works, which suggests that the feed is drying out, but is not being replenished -- air isn't making its way through the feed into the reservoir. I do wonder if the fact that the nib doesn't have a breathing hole might be partly to blame for this.