Saturday, 23 February 2013

Faber Castell Perfect Pencil Junior

Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil Junior is the FC Perfect Pencil's poor cousin. It seems audacious to call itself Perfect but here it is: pencil, extender, sharpener, eraser and pencil tip protector in one, it retails at 3.75 Euros at the airport and comes in blue, black and red. At 12.9cm it is approximately a third shorter than a standard pencil but comes to a 17.5cm when the extender is applied - a plastic unwieldy contraption that doubles up as a sharpener.

The pencil which comes sharpened is cylindrical with a metal ferrule and black eraser. Faber-Castell and the FC logo -two jousting knights- is printed in grey near the top. b2 is engraved on the barrel. It writes like a standard pencil, maybe HB or softer. Nothing to write home about but a good pencil to take to school where functionality is perhaps more important that style. Because style is not something the Perfect Pencil Junior has in abundance.

Most of what is wrong with its style -or lack thereof- is the extender or cap. Half smooth glossy, half ribbed mat, it features a wide clip and the top slides open to reveal the opening of the sharpener. The top of the cap can be detached when it needs emptying. Practical yes. Stylish no. The plastic contraption does not work well as an extender as it makes the pencil top heavy and in addition it rattles when posted. Good news though that the extender/cap fits any pencil.

The slimmer version is certainly more pleasant to the eye with the much more elegant cap and ribbed detachable sharpener at the top. But then the pencil shavings cannot be saved within the cap as is the case with the larger/wider version. Oh, well. Can't have everything. 

If you can't afford its posh relative -the real Perfect Pencil- the Junior can serve as well. 
Children's monosyllabic verdict: "Awesome."

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Ink and Pen Rotation by inkophile

Which one is your favourite? Palimpsest favours Noodler's Australian Roses with Namiki Falcon.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Montblanc Meisterstück Classique Platinum Fountain Pen Review

Had it not been for the Montblanc emblem at the top of the cap (and the price tag), the inexperienced user might have been excused to think that this is just another fountain pen. There is no glamour in the Montblanc Meisterstück Classique: no jewels, no facets, no flashy decorations, no substantial width either. What is there is a pleasing-to-the-touch deep black precious resin barrel with platinum-plated accents and a nib to die for. Not a pen to fall in love with perhaps but a good workhorse nevertheless. Perhaps more oomph should have been expected given the price tag.

Slim line and lightweight the Montblanc Classique is an unassuming pen. This Meisterstück features a black glossy barrel and cap, simple platinum-plated clip with an engraved individual serial number, platinum-plated rings on the barrel and cap and a trim where a wider middle band stands out engraved with the Montblanc brand name - “Montblanc Meisterstück Pen”. Top of the cap and tip of the barrel are rounded and the Classique is topped with an inlaid MB emblem - representing the snow capped peak of the Montblanc mountain.

It comes with a robust piston ink converter which looks the epitome of luxury as far as ink converters go with its golden band inscribed Montblanc Germany and invocation “Use Montblanc ink only”. It takes six rotations to unscrew the section to reveal the ink converter and the metal thread mechanism is designed with attention to detail.

What really makes this Meisterstück a delight is its exquisite nib - a fine 14K gold nib with rhodium-plated inlay inscribed “4810” - the height of the Montblanc mountain. I cannot praise it enough. Yes, it is a rigid nib but take it for a test drive and watch it demonstrate the difference between a Fiat and a Ferrari. No conditioning necessary. Ink the Meisterstück and see it write. No skipping, no dry moments - this nib will write like on butter. Smooth magnificent ink flow (Montblanc Mystery Black was used) on any quality paper.

The Meisterstück Classique is an everyday pen you can depend on for smooth writing. Its unassuming - too unassuming - exterior looses it some points on the design front but if it’s dependable writing and pocket jewel you’re after the Classique is your pen. Now, if you’ve had another few hundred more to spare the Meisterstück 149 is a more attractive option: something really to write home about.