What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Let Ahab Beware of Ahab

Posted by Dirck on 19 December, 2011

Without a sight of a vast whale, white or otherwise, I find Ahab pitched upon my shore.  The pen, of course, as so elderly a person, even if not long-drowned and fictional, would likely not be allowed inside for fear of startling my son.

In point of fact, it arrived last week, and both the FP Geeks and Goulet Pens command recognition for brisk action.  I’ve been examining it in preparation for the page on my main site… which I put together yesterday.  Because I won’t pull material from there over here (the other direction is just fine, though), I’ll just provide a link to that page and make some less guarded observations here.

In general terms, I like it.  I find, though, that I have to be conditional in my liking, expressing it as, “A darn good pen at that price,”  rather than the way I speak of the TWSBI Diamond simply as, “A darn good pen.”  The Ahab costs about half as much, and that is a factor in my response to it, but there is still a little bit of cheap-pen-ness hanging about it which some people might find off-putting.  And I’m not referring to the widely reputed smell of the Noodler’s resin.

A more serious… not concern, as that’s too strong; “hesitation” perhaps… is the degree of user adjustment anticipated.  Re-laying the point and feed relative to one another, carving the feed, all of it is fine for the brave pen hacker, but for the beginner it’s a little intimidating.  I worry about the effect it might have on the popular opinion of fountain pens; “Sure, they’re nice to write with, but you have to fiddle with them for weeks to get the throttle sorted out.”

My final observation regards the filler.  I love the self-filling mechanism, in that it is interesting, easy to work (apart from some intentional stiffness) and rather efficient.  I wonder, though, at the ink requirements of someone for whom its really quite large capacity is insufficient.  The fact that it can be removed to convert the pen to an eyedropper seems to me over-egging the batter.  I can’t think of the last time I had so much writing to do that I felt a pen carrying somewhat more than a sixth of a Herbin bottle of ink would be necessary.  Yes, the flex point will lead to enhanced thirstiness, and one would hate to have to resort to frequent refills, but that much ink capacity just seems to be showing off.  It’s silly.

Wait.  I like silly.  What am I complaining about?  Despite all that I’ve said here and over at my site, I am very pleased to have one of these pens.  I’m even more pleased to get it for free, of course, but I wouldn’t have regretted it had I spent my own money.  Thanks again, Geeks!

Today’s somewhat less silly pen: Pelikan New Classic
Today’s ink: Noodler’s red-black

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