As you may or may not know, it was my birthday last Friday. I saw my father and step-mother on the Saturday where they presented me with, amongst other things, this nifty little pen. I got home and inked it up, and I’ve been switching between the nib units since then.
Now, quick disclaimer; obviously, I didn’t pay for this. And I wasn’t asked to review it, but I’m going to because, why not?
I think this pen is labelled as part of the “College” range of pens, but to be honest I’m not entirely sure what that means. However, I do know that this is part of the new “Save My World” collection to raise awareness for endangered animals. Mine’s the Ocean one but it also comes in Asia and Africa, I belive. Here it is on their website. (Of course, there are loads more designs and lots more pen sets too but I like this collection.) Now, I don’t know exactly how much it cost, because it was a present, and it came from Gent, Belgium, so maybe the same price as on the website. I’m not sure.
Paper: Staples Arc, A5 Lined.
~ Calligraphy nib – Pelikan Turquoise cartridge.
~ Fountain pen nib – Pelikan Pink cartridge.
~ Rollerball nib – Pelikan Violet cartridge.
So, it’s a plastic pen body with three different nib-units – a rollerball, a fountain pen and a 1.4mm calligraphy nib. (Which is a really weird number to pick for a calligraphy nib, but hey.) This pen takes standard cartridges and therefore will take a standard converter and I think it might take international long cartridges, but I’m not sure. It probably does because the body is long enough to hold an in-use standard, short, international cartridge, with another as back up. But I know for a fact that it takes international short cartridges for two reasons: a) it says so on the box and b) I’m using Pelikan violet, turquoise and pink cartridges with it. I haven’t tried using a converter with it yet but I have a basic, standard converter and it does fit (and stay).
The pen is super light, even when posted (posting does help if you like a little bit more weight, though it won’t weigh that much more) but that’s because the whole pen is made of plastic as far as I can tell; nib bits excluded, obviously, which are iridium with the Online logo on them – simple and uncluttered. It’s not a very thick plastic, but it’s not flimsy – if you give the lid/body a gentle squeeze, it doesn’t move and it feels pretty stable. I like the fact that it’s light, and I like the points on the top of the cap and the bottom of the body; I think they’re a little different and I like different. I think the points give the illusion that the pen is a little longer than it is, which isn’t that needed because it’s a fairly average length. But I find that posting the cap does make it a little too long for my liking.
Oh, speaking of the cap. There is a clip on the lid, but this is made out of plastic on this model (I can’t speak for the other clips on other pens, just this one) and it’s not… You could slip it onto a shirt pocket and it would hold for a bit, but you couldn’t clip it to anything thicker than cotton because it’s not a very flexible clip and I think it would snap easily.
Capped length: 13.5cm
Uncapped/unposted length: just over 12cm.
Posted length: just over 16cm.
There is one thing I must point out before I take a closer look at each nib unit – there is a tiny bit of a drop/step between the body and the nib section. It’s really only a couple of millimetres, but that may bother some; especially on the calligraphy unit due to the texture of the grip section. You might be able to see in the photo above; the fountain pen on the left has a smooth/non textured, slightly molded grip section that’s similar in shape to the Lamy (but skinnier and really not too obvious), the rollerball in the middle has an ever so slightly rubbery-like grip, and the calligraphy nib on the right has a grip covered in ridges.
I think that’s it for that. Now, the most important thing – how do they write?
The Calligraphy Nib.
As I said earlier, this is a 1.4mm calligraphy nib, which I think is a rather bizarre number choice, but, I really like it. It’s not too obvious that it’s a calligraphy nib, at least not with my handwriting (your mileage may vary) but there’s a certain… Flair to some of the letters. It’s understated, in my opinion, and I like that. Plus it makes Pelikan Turquoise look gorgeous.
I put the ink cartridge in the nib unit and the pen started writing on the second stroke. That’s more than acceptable for me – the first stroke was the letter O and I think I write those backwards so that’s more an issue on my end, not the pen’s. I found the flow very good and I didn’t notice any skipping/flow issues – not even if I left the pen sitting for a little while.
This unit is a smooth writer with no physical feedback, I think. There’s a little audio feedback but I couldn’t feel any resistance when I was writing, and really the scritch-scractch noise of a nib on paper is pleasing to me so the noise doesn’t matter. There’s nothing there that affects my writing speed or anything.
As previously mentioned, the grip is clear plastic with ridges, which can be uncomfortable to hold after a little while, especially if you grip your pens tightly. That’s something I discovered accidentally on Sunday afternoon, and I don’t normally hold my pens very tightly, so I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to use an almost death-grip. That was a freak incident for me and hasn’t happened since. Maybe I just have tougher fingertips but aside from that one time, I don’t find that grip section uncomfortable.
The Fountain Pen Nib.
As you can see in that scan up there, I’ve written that I think that this nib can be between a European Medium and a European Fine. Maybe it’s more medium but there are some sections in the things I’ve written since Saturday where the line looks on the finer side. Whatever it is, it’s even smoother than the calligraphy nib, if that’s possible, and it starts writing just as quickly as that nib too.
The grip of this section is by far my favourite of the three, which surprised me because I think it’s very skinny. I kinda with it wasn’t black and was clear like the calligraphy nib though, but I can deal with it the way it is. The nib is a very nice writer and there’s even less feedback than with the calligraphy nib – I don’t even think there’s any gentle scritch-scratch noises when I write.
I really like this nib unit and I keep going back to it the most.
The Rollerball Nib.
Ah, the rollerball nib unit. How much I want to love you. And yet, how little I do. This one took longer to get going, and, as you can see from the sample above, it didn’t stay going very well or for very long. I don’t know if that’s because it needs time, or because of the paper. It might be a little of both, because I tried using it on some standard, basic printer paper and it wrote instantly. There was a little feathering and some bleeding but that’s what you get with cheap printer paper. I’m not quite sure what to do with it apart from trying more papers. Then again, I haven’t tried using a converter with it, so I guess I’ll try that too. But, at the end of the day I’m honestly not too fussed if I can’t get this nib unit to work because I’m very happy with the other two. I guess maybe it’s possible I just got a stubborn one. It is comfortable to hold though; the grip’s a good one!
Overall? Love this little pen set. I would recommend it; going by the price on the website, it might be a little pricey for some, but, it’s what? Twenty Euros? (And I’ve just noticed that I don’t have a Euros key on my keyboard…) Which is roughly £15, I think? And you essentially get two pens for that, which I think is good. That is, if you get a stubborn rollerball like me. If you don’t, then you get three pens which is even better. And, if you keep the nib units in little plastic baggies, you can keep cartridges in all three at the same time and just swap when you please. Or you could keep the cartridges in them and keep the nib units clipped in the packaging; that would work too.
To be honest, I would totally recommend one of the regular fountain pens by the brand too, or even a pen set with the three calligraphy nibs (I’m thinking about getting one of those at some point).
Plus, I can’t resist a pen with animals on it.