Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Levenger True Writer Kyoto Fountain Pen - Broad

I've had my disturbed, fountain pen-obsessed eyeball on this gorgeous pen for awhile now. I am ever so lucky that Levenger generously sent me this beauty to review. Thank you kindly, Levenger, for this opportunity!
Levenger True Writer Kyoto
ABOUT

Brand: Levenger
Model: Kyoto
Body Material:
Trim: Chrome
Length (capped): 5.45"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.85"
Length (posted): 6.25"
Barrel Diameter: 0.5"
Section Diameter: 0.4"
Nib type: German
Nib material: Steel
Weight: 26g/0.9 oz
Barrel design: Round
Fill type: Cartridge/converter
Price: $79.00USD
Where to buy: Levenger

PACKAGING
Levenger True Writer Kyoto In Box
Levenger pens are nicely packaged. They arrive in a cardboard sleeve, with a green Levenger box inside. The hard Levenger box opens up to reveal a felt bed with the pen held down by a soft strap, along with a cartridge and a converter. I like that both are included - something I would hope for and expect at this price point, but I also appreciate that Levenger provides both nevertheless. However, while I think the box is nice enough, space is limited in my work area so I won't be keeping it.

APPEARANCE

The Levenger True Writer shares the same style and shape of body with the other True Writers. It is a fairly simple design - just a regular body with a threaded cap, friction post, a clip, and a metal center band. Where it pops is its incredible material. The resin is a multicolored dream - with a yellow/orange/brown base, and flecks of gorgeous blue and violets along the body, it's some sort of eye candy. Or just candy. It's almost hard to describe and it's even harder to capture in photographs properly.
Levenger True Writer Kyoto In Sun
Sorry for the shadows and generally bad photography - I was trying to capture the colors and flecks.
The center band is engraved with Levenger, and True Writer appears to be screened. It's a nice touch, and is not over the top, nor does it look cheap. The only thing I do not like is where the center band is placed on the cap. It's not actually at the end of the cap, which would give the appearance of splitting the pen up at the cap and barrel. Instead, it's slightly higher up on the cap, so there is some more resin below it. It is visually confusing and makes the cap appear shorter than it actually is. Minor detail though.
Levenger True Writer Kyoto Uncapped
Note the location of the center band.
NIB & PERFORMANCE
Levenger True Writer Kyoto Nib
The Levenger nib is not the most beautiful to look at; it is rather plain and simple. The steel nib is simple and has a few lines on it, basically. The broad nib is delicious though. Yes, I used the word delicious. I can easily ignore the plain appearance of the nib because I simply love the writing experience with this juicy broad nib.

The nib is a wet writer, and it's good and juicy. Ink flow is consistent and keeps up with the broad nib's demands. The lines are thick and inky. While writing, you can see the ink gleaming until it dries. I really, really like this broad nib, and I'm glad I took a chance and opted to go broad instead of picking my usual fine or medium.
Levenger True Writer Kyoto Writing Sample
In terms of line variation, keep in mind it is a stiff nib, even though it's so juicy. With pressure, line variation can certainly be achieved. Given the nib is so juicy, ink flow does keep up. It's definitely not a flex nib though, so don't expect it to be one. You can't write with the amount of pressure needed to get much line variation.
Levenger True Writer Kyoto Writing Sample
IN HAND

The True Writer Kyoto is a lovely pen to hold. It is not too heavy, and it is a perfect length, both uncapped and posted. The cap is not very heavy so when it is posted, the weight and balance does not shift too much towards the back of the pen (something I hate), so it is quite comfortable to write with.
Levenger True Writer Kyoto Posted
The nib is so smooth and little pressure is required to get the ink flowing, therefore it's just easy to write with this pen. No effort is involved - you don't have to grip the pen tightly, you don't have to press hard on the paper or tap the nib to get it going. It's just simple and straight forward. That combined with the weight and balance makes the whole experience pretty darned awesome.
Levenger True Writer Kyoto Writing Sample
PROS
  • Stunning to look at! Beautiful appearance!
  • Smooth, buttery nib.
  • No hard starts.
  • Lovely, consistent broad lines. 
  • Very comfortable pen to hold and write with.
  • Great weight and balance to the pen. 
  • Functional, snug clip.

CONS
  • Sometimes difficult to cap because threads are tight - just requires some effort. This is improving as the pen gets broken in.  
  • Location of center band is aesthetically wrong to me, by a few millimeters. 
OVERALL

I have read the one star reviews on Levenger's site for this pen and it boggles my mind how people have so many issues with this pen. Maybe they got defective pens, in which case I am certain Levenger would have replaced it - as any good company with proper customer service would do. I did not have any of these issues that people are writing about - no nib breakage, no splatter, no skipping from lack of ink, no hard starting. Nothing of the sort. I have received nothing short of a pleasant, smooth, delectable writing experience. I did not tweak this pen to achieve these results, and given Levenger's guarantee, I feel it is safe to recommend this pen to you, not only for its beauty, but for the writing experience as well.

The Kyoto body is also available in a ballpoint and roller ball, if fountain pens aren't your thang.

Other Kyoto Reviews
Does This Pen Make Me Look Fat?
From The Pen Cup
Levenger True Writer Kyoto In The Sun
This gorgeous fountain pen was sent to me by Levenger for reviewing purposes. I was not compensated monetarily, and all opinions you have read here are 100% my own, I promise. Swear on Tyco's life.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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