What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

I Call Shenanigans!

Posted by Dirck on 22 November, 2012

This has been working on my vitals for rather more than a month, and apparently it won’t go away from simply being ignored.

The pen company Delta has recently announced a new “Fusion” point.  To save myself a little typing*, I will merely offer this link to the FP Geeks’ (them again?!) initial article on the topic, which is more or less a reproduction of Delta’s press release.   To sum up, they are putting forth a point made of two separate metals; the part immediately touching the feed is in essence a simple steel point of common shape, such as is mounted on today’s pen, and which has a little gold wafer stuck to the back of it.

This wafer is suggested to somehow concentrate ambient heat (or even perhaps generate it), which will warm the ink passing under the steel component, improving flow in some perceptible degree.

…which, in a very figurative way, gets me up on my feet, shouting “Shenanigans!” and urging one and all to take up their torches and pitchforks in the interest of both honesty in advertising and basic science awareness.

The second, first: I’m not a doctoral physicist, but I like to think I’ve got enough of a grip on the basic aspects of thermodynamics to know the following; a lump of relatively ordinary metal might, through its conductive properties, come to very briskly attain the ambient temperature, but it won’t get any hotter without some extra heat input.  So, whatever combination of steel and gold appears in the new Delta point, however warm your room is, that is the temperature it will be, unless it happens to be in a particularly strong sunbeam and acquires heat through insolation.  That temperature is likely to be rather less than the ink itself, which has a greater thermal mass than the point and is less likely to shed the heat it picked up riding around in your pocket.

Honesty in advertising, then.  The markings on that point are all on the little appliqué gold bit.  They indicate a gold content of 18k.  This, one rather suspects, is the whole point of this point; the use of that number, that magic, avarice-inducing number, on the point of the pen, while radically reducing the amount of gold actually involved.  If one looks at the gold content of the point in toto, it’s probably more like 10%, but because it’s concentrated in that little fixture, Delta marks it as 75% pure gold with a straight face.  An incautious consumer, used to two-tone masking in high-end pens, may not realize they’re being practiced upon.

This thing is on two pens now.  The cheap one is MSRP $265.  Shenanigans!

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Herbin Éclat de Saphir

*The season’s bounty appears in the form of a quantity of freezing rain followed by a shin’s depth of snow.  The lunchtime walk was both tiring and very limited as to top speed, so I started here late.

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2 Responses to “I Call Shenanigans!”

  1. Maja said

    I tend to agree with you, but the nib does look lovely. A fellow Vancouver Pen Club member brought one back from his visit to the Delta factory this summer (well before they were released to the public) and it is a very aesthetically-pleasing nib that writes beautifully. I’m not 100% sure about the ‘science’ behind it, though.

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