Every now and then a new pen with a full flex nib is announced. If it happens to be very cheap I might buy it. I can put up with a cheap disappointment but not an expensive one! Of course they are always a disappointment. Admittedly, they’re flexible if you press hard enough but it would be very uncomfortable to do that for long and the snap-back is more of a drag-back. Hopeless, in other words, and far from truth in advertising.
Fountain Pen Revolution has a Darjeeling pen on offer with an ultra-flexible nib. It’s a pretty thing with the colours of the Big Red. FPR have never let me down before so I ordered one and they didn’t let me down this time either! The steel nib is truly flexible and it snaps back to a closed position instantly. I am pleased to be surprised. It isn’t Swan, Onoto or even the prewar Japanese steel nib type of flexibility but it’s impressive and usable. By that I mean that though the flexibility is easily induced it lacks the smoothness in action of those older nibs. I think I can probably fix that with some polishing of the inside faces of the nib tip.
I played with it for a while yesterday and even applying a lot of pressure and writing fast I didn’t see any railroading. I declare myself impressed! I don’t have much use for flexibility in my everyday pen use and I’m not much good at it so excuse the writing in the sample.
Even apart from the nib, this is an impressive pen for the money. It owes a little inspiration to the Parker Duofold and not just in the colours. The cap bands stand proud of the material as did the early Duofold’s and it has an nice ball-end clip but it’s far from being a slavish copy. There is no blind cap, as this is a cartridge/converter filler, and the butt end of the barrel comes to a shallow point. The pen is a modern medium size at 13.8 cm capped. It closes with two turns. For those who like doing such things, this pen has been designed to also be used as an eyedropper filler. A screw piston converter comes as part of the package.
Before writing this I read some other reviews and there are a couple of points I would like to put straight. Some have complained about the fit and finish – I find it to be exemplary. Some reviewers thought that the cap rings did not fit properly because they sit proud. They fit properly. It is a reference to the Duofold. Another said that the metal parts were so badly finished that they scratched their other pens. Perhaps the finish has improved since then but I don’t find that. It was also said by some that the plastic feels cheap. In terms of weight and smoothness, the pen seems fine to me and I have no other means of calculating value by touch alone.
In all a well-made flexible nib pen of some style for a paltry £24, of which around a tenner was the price of the nib. It’s an exceptional bargain. I think our Indian brethren have much to teach the rest of the pen-making world.
And why did I buy a pen with an ultra-flex nib when I don’t use flex? Curiosity!