Author’s Note: If you missed my first fountain pen post, you can view it here:Write On! Hopefully this will explain some of my geekiness, though I don’t think all of it will ever be fully explicable.
Anyone who is involved with the online fountain pen community will, at some point, come across the Edison Pen Company’s name, either in a review or a discussion. All I can say is, save your money and treat yourself to one of Brian Gray’s pieces of art without hesitation. You will definitely not be disappointed, though you will probably need to win the lottery so you can buy one of each style and color. A few weeks ago, at the end of a very stressful week, this beauty came in the mail and has barely left my hand ever since:
This is the Edison Beaumont Pneumatic in purple dew acrylic with an 18K gold nib. Isn’t she gorgeous? The first thing I wrote with her was a love note to my husband, and I’ve been feverishly writing with it since. I had decided a while ago that I wanted to have the one thing my small collection was missing: a “splurge pen” (meaning one that I would put more than $100 into). I had heard many excellent things about the Edison Pen Company and the first thing I had to decide was whether I wanted a production model or a signature model. The difference is that the production line of pens are the basic models Brian has created that offer no customization (and therefore, a lower price) and the signature models can be customized out the wazoo like I did with mine (yes, I have checked, wazoo is a technical fountain pen making term). They’re all amazing looking and I’ve read many great reviews about the production line models, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them. It just depends on how fancy you want to get with your pen and how much money you have in your pen budget.
After looking and drooling (and nearly electrocuting myself by doing so on my keyboard) I decided to take the plunge and go with the Beaumont Pneumatic because I love the filling system and the vintage look. It’s a jump into the way-back machine to a time when pens like Parker Vacumatics were the norm, and I love the extra ink capacity a piston filler affords (trust me, I’m as long winded when I write as when I speak- I need all the ink I can get into a pen). The next task was to choose a color, and Brian has pretty much anything under the sun in that regard. From subdued classic colors like burgundy and royal blue to shocking neons, you can have whatever your heart desires. When I came across the purple dew acrylic, my mind was immediately made up. Purple is my favorite color, and sadly, my crappy (at indoor photography) camera can’t take a decent picture to do this finish justice. It’s even got a subtle sparkle to it that I noticed when using it outdoors the other day. Since this was a birthday present partially funded by my parents and in-laws, I took the plunge and got the gold nib; I wanted all the hardware to match the nib, so a gold clip and cap band were a must. I placed my order and the only difficult part was waiting for him to make it. Three weeks has never tested my patience so much!
Finally, I got the email I’d been waiting for and Brian let me know my pen was ready. After a slight payment malfunction due to the fact that Paypal really prefers that you use the right email address to send a payment (note to future customers- it’s edisonpen.com, not plural), my pen was on its way. When I opened the box, I knew that I had made the right decision. The Beaumont has a classic look that reminds me of the old vacumatic pens in that it has a flat top and the words “Edison Pen Co. Beaumont PN.” etched lightly into the barrel. The body is slightly translucent and the gold of the piston shows through a bit, giving the pen an air of mystery that I really quite like.
The weight of the pen is excellent – I have incredibly small hands (I wear extra-small gloves to play handbells) and I don’t like really heavy pens because I end up getting writer’s cramp with them. This pen has just enough weight to be balanced without feeling heavy, and I can use it for over an hour without noticing any fatigue. The nib is a lovely wet broad (ok, so outside of fountain pen circles that would sound really bad!) and suits my handwriting nicely – as all gold nibs are, this one is a bit springy which allows for a little line variation that, with the right shading ink, looks quite sophisticated.
What impresses me the most about the pen is the filling mechanism. A pneumatic filler isn’t new technology, but it is a very efficent way to fill a pen. You unscrew the blind cap on the top of the pen and pull the piston out before submerging the nib in ink. The two most important things to remember are 1) to put your finger over the hole in the top of the blind cap to ensure that a proper vacuum is created, thereby collapsing the ink sac when you push the piston down and 2) to release the cap after the nib is submerged. You also should hold the pen in the ink for about 10-15 seconds to ensure the sac completely fills. I’m not sure how much ink it holds compared to my other pens, but I’d take a wild guess that it’s twice as much.
So, do I love my pen? Yes. Would I recommend the Edison Pen Company to anyone who wants a quality pen that they can pass on to future generations? Without a doubt. Now go buy yourself one. You know you want to!