It seems that the best way to launch a new pen these days is via Kickstarter, with plenty of pundits queueing up to pledge money to try something new. I try to avoid them until reviews come in & most of the time until they actually ship but with this one I couldn't resist a punt.
The pen is available in a whole host of materials from Damascus steel through to the bog standard black polycarbonate that I chose. This is the same polymer as is used in the Lamy 2000 and there are many more design details that harken back to this classic design beyond the material of choice.
The shape of this pen is rather beautiful, with a similar aesthetic as the Lamy 2000 but more modern in feel and shape. The main design feature is the ridge pattern that runs all the way down the surface of the grip, barrel and cap. The ridges are smooth to the touch and make the pen extra grippy. For short writing sessions this is pretty good, but I tend to find my fingers end up a bit sore if I write for a long periods of time.
It is a short pen with a reasonably long grip but a short barrel and in use with my large hands I find it too small unless it is posted. Post the pen however and it feels nicely balanced and slightly weightier which is good as this is one of the lightest pens I have in my collection. It turns out that the barrel is so short that you need to use a shorter than standard converter, it comes with one that seems relatively well built but if it breaks you may not have a backup to hand.
The clip is very clippy, almost making it unusable and I cannot use it on a shirt pocket without it distorting the fabric. It looks very plain and I vary on a weekly basis on if I like or dislike it, currently I think it suits the pen nicely.
The screw threads are chunky, similar to those on a Franklin Christoph pen and it uncaps quickly. When I got the pen it was hard to open and close but with some usage it has loosened slightly and now works well. The chunky nature means they are not sharp at all and perfectly comfortable to grip onto whilst writing.
The nib on this pen is made by Bock and I have found it to be great. It is smooth with the merest hint of feedback which works well for me. It isn't too wet or dry, overall a great performer and makes this pen a great one to use.
My pen has broken at the end of the cap, some of the thin rings broke off slightly which is a shame. I contacted the manufacturer and they apologised and are going to ship out a replacement part, so customer service at Tactile Turn seems pretty good. Sometimes pens break and I haven't heard any one else suffering from this problem so it's probably a one off.
I have to conclude that I am on the fence with this pen. I love the nib, the overall aesthetic of the pen and the material choices. I am less enamoured by the size, it's just a bit too short and the compromise this forces on the converter size. The texture on the plastic feels great for short writing sessions but less so for extended ones. This polycarbonate version costs £70 in the U.K. from Izods and at this price it seems rather expensive.
I have received a replacement cap direct from Tactile Turn and fitted it to my pen, so it all looks as good as new again. Great service.