Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lamy Dialog 3 Palladium Fountain Pen, Ex Fine Nib

After reading many reviews, watching many videos, and just drooling over this minimalistic looking, artistic marvel, I decided to take the plunge.  I literally acquired this fountain pen for half of its retail cost.  I won an ebay auction, and if you know anything about ebay, its about being at the right place, at the right time.  So, I now have it, and you want to know, what do I think about it, right?  Okay, buckle up, I haven't written a review in a while so bear with me.

First impressions
Seeing the Lamy Dialog 3 in photos and on video is one thing, but holding it in your hand and inking with it on paper is a whole different level of experience.  It appears to be a long fountain pen, but is 14cm long which is fairly average in length.  It is 13mm in diameter, which is on the girthy side, but a side I like having large hands.  Because I purchased this pen on ebay, it did not come with the nice faux wood magnetic closure box which I have seen on videos, but I wouldn't have kept it in a box anyway.  I purchased an Aston black leather pen slip pouch for this sleek writing tool.  But I digress.  The designer of this pen, Franco Clivio, obviously sought to create a writing implement like no other on the market, and I think its safe to say, he succeeded.

What sets this pen apart from other pens is its method used to engage and retract the nib.  A clockwise twist of the midsection engages the nib which is a #5 14 Karat gold nib.  It has a plastic hood inside which closes and opens as the pen is twisted to open and close it.  At the same time, the clip pushes up and down.  It inks quite smoothly on paper and is a pleasure to use.  Its ample girth really allows someone with large hands like myself to enjoy the writing experience immensely!  The nib has some flex, and lays down a wet line, but not as fine as a Japanese ex-fine nib.  This pen has some weight to it also, weighing in at 45grams, it's not a lightweight by any stretch.

The Lamy Dialog 3 is a Fountain Pen that has a unique appearance and a feel to match when writing with it.  It has a smoothness unparalleled by most writing instruments I've tried to date, and affords its user a writing experience not soon to be forgotten.
As such, I highly recommend it!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Fountain Pen

When I first saw Monteverde's One Touch Stylus Tool Fountain Pen, I loved everything about the way it looked.  Having previously written a review on the Multi Tool 4 in 1 level Pen here: http://multipendimensions.blogspot.com/2011/07/multi-tool-4-in-1-level-pen.html , 
I was intrigued to say the least with this extended feature edition of a go to writing tool such as this one.  In the ecosphere of Multi Function Writing Instruments, as I've stated before, the possibilities are endless.  Monteverde's offering of the One touch Stylus Fountain Pen is living proof of that theory.  For this review, I chose to write about the utility yellow version of this remarkable pen as it is also available in black and silver.  In another review I will address its sibling, the One Touch Stylus Tool Ballpoint Pen, which compliments the pen up for review today quite nicely.  Monteverde has also made available rollerball and mechanical pencil versions as well.

First impressions -
Monteverde has a reputation for producing quality built writing implements, and this one is no exception.  The utility yellow hexagonal faceted barrel, constructed of brass and copper, has a heft and balance that makes this pen a go-to candidate for writing.  At 38 grams in weight, 154mm in length, and 10mm in barrel width, this fountain pen is quite substantial when held in hand.  It appears to be at home in a workshop environment along side other tools, especially Stanley yellow ones which have the exact shade / hue of yellow.  As this pen comes loaded with features / functions, let's take a look at what else it has to offer.

Features -
In true multifunction pen fashion, One Touch Stylus Tool FP comes with a full compliment of features.  To begin with, the hexagonal barrel has ruler measurements, imperial and metric on four of the six sides.  The other two sides hold a chrome, pressed metal pocketclip and bubble level.  The pocketclip was not as sturdy as I would have liked, hopefully Monteverde, if they choose to make a second iteration will include a sturdier one, like stainless steel, preferably matte colored.  The bubble level, while not as sizable as desired in a workshop environment, is a legitimate tool and when tested proved to be reliable.  The top cap of the pen is nicely engineered.  The outside holds a capacitative tablet stylus, and when unscrewed reveals a double duty philips and standard screwdriver housed underneath.  These two screwdrivers are of the size to handle small jobs such as tightening eye glass screws and laptop screws.

As we move down to the opposite end of the pen barrel, we encounter the nib unit.  It is a standard German Iridium type medium tip stainless steel nib.  From the scroll work I'm guessing of the Schmidt variety.  The nib is covered by an aluminum screw on cap and has nice knurling on the thread end which serves several purposes.  The first being the most obvious, to unscrew the cap when  exposing the nib in order to write.  The second reason is for removing the nib unit entirely from the barrel housing.  This process involves grabbing the knurled part of the cap and pulling straight out and away from the barrel which frees the entire nib unit from said barrel.  Once exposed, the ink cartridge and nib unit are free to be changed, cleaned, etc.  Along one side of the nib unit is a double sided white arrow which is lined up with the pocket clip side of the pen barrel and then the nib unit can be reinserted inside the barrel.  Doing this procedure lines up the nib with the pocket clip for writing inline.  My one problem with the nib cap tends to be setting it down after its been unscrewed and I'm in the writing mode.  There's always that fear of misplacing it without an available replacement.  My advice to Monteverde if a second iteration is being planned, would be to make the threads compatible with the stylus cap so they can be exchanged out, or to make the cap from stainless steel and magnetize the cap so that it could potentially sit on top of the stylus cap.  Just suggestions.

Performance -
Before we begin discussing performance, I must mention this FP uses standard international ink cartridges, and apparently can employ Monteverde's mini ink converter, which I have yet to try.  When I do I'll add the update here.
While not a huge fan of medium width nibs, I do appreciate a smooth inking nib of any width.  And this nib does not disappoint.  Although it is on the stiff side, there is no scratchiness when inking, it simply lays a smooth, wet, medium line down on paper.  The heft of the barrel and the balance of the pen as a whole make for an enjoyable writing experience.  Again, if Monteverde is reading this, in a second run of this FP, please provide different nib widths, preferably fine, ex-fine.

Conclusion -
Being a Multi Function Pen affecianado, this pen basically provides me with a tool that lives in my EDC bag for close retrieval when needed.  Having a fountain pen in addition to its other attributes is simply icing on the cake for me.  Is it for everyone, definitely not.  But for me it's a highly recommended pen and for those who know who you are.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tech Force Pen

There's a new pen in town to add to the design minded pen arsenals of many.  It's Tech Force Pen (catchy name) by Josh Wilson. Josh recently launched his first Kickstarter project and is seeking funding to make it a reality.  For a pledge of $50.00 you can get the aluminum version of this architect inspired writing tool, or for $75.00 the black version can be yours.  Here's the link:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1572999363/tech-force-pen
Check it out if your so inclined.