Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine @PilotPenUSA @PenChalet

I love flex nibs and I longed for a Falcon forever because I really wanted to try a modern flex pen. Finally, I acquired one and have been using it for quite some time. I have actually used two so I can give my opinion on two of these pens!
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
ABOUT

Body Material: Resin
Trim: Gold
Length (capped):  5.37"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 4.82"
Length (posted): 5.89"
Barrel Diameter: 0.47"
Section Diameter: 0.40" - 0.43"
Nib material: 14KT Gold
Weight: 22 g
Fill type: CON-50 Converter/Cartridge
Price: $144.00USD/$130.00USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet/Amazon
Use "GourmetPens" at PenChalet for 10% off!

PACKAGING

I bought my Falcon used, and the second Falcon I have used was also not mine, so I can't comment on the packaging. I'm guessing it wouldn't blow me away anyway. I hate keeping packaging.

APPEARANCE
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
This Pilot/Namiki Falcon has a very classic appearance: it is a black resin body with gold trim. The ends are blunt, tapered off slightly from the body. The cap is wider than the barrel. The finial is black, matching the rest of the body. The section is also black, and tapers towards the nib. The threads are also plastic and at the end of the section. Overall, the appearance of the pen is pretty classic... until you see the nib!

Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
NIB & PERFORMANCE

The nib has a very simple but unusual appearance - it's a 14K yellow gold nib that says Namiki and soft fine on it to indicate the nib size. The nib has a strange arch in the middle of it, right before the breather hole. It's an interesting looking nib.
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
Since I have not used a new Falcon, I cannot comment on how they work out of the box. The one I bought used needed the nib and feed knocked out to give it a serious cleaning - there was so much ink crusted in it! All writing before I did this was a failure. It ran dry and wouldn't work and drove me so nuts that I just put it in a pen pouch for months, because I couldn't punch the feed out without a punch block.

After cleaning, both Falcons I used worked very nicely. The nibs are smooth, wet, and precise. Ink doesn't gush from them, but when flexed, the flow can keep up well. I wish there was a better ink system because the CON-50 converter isn't the best and it doesn't hold that much ink, so when flexing a lot, ink runs out pretty quickly. Some people like this though, so maybe that's okay with you.
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
The nib is a semi-flexible nib that is soft, so with moderate pressure, it flexes quite a bit. My Falcon was not very broken in yet, so while the nib was soft, it needed more pressure to achieve the same amount of line variation as the second Falcon (which did have a broken in nib). How do you know when the nib is broken in? Well, just use it, and eventually, it becomes softer and easier to achieve full line variation!
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
IN HAND

The Falcon comes in a resin and also metal body. This one is the resin so it's pretty light and very comfortable. I find it well-balanced, well-designed, and well-weighted, easy to use both unposted and posted. The cap posts securely and snugly, and I don't worry about the body being scratched when I post it (which may be something I'd consider if I had a metal Falcon). The threads are smooth and comfortable - not sharp to grip.
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
It's not the biggest pen either, when compared to other pens, such as the Sailor 1911 Large fountain pen. It's a nice size for almost all users, I think - not too big, not too small. Just right!
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
Top and bottom: Namiki Falcon, Sailor 1911 Large. 
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine
PROS & CONS
Review Namiki Falcon Black Resin Fountain Pen - Soft-Fine

As to my comment that some Falcons need to be worked on: I said this because I have talked to several people who have bought new Falcons and they had issues with the ink flow on theirs. I have heard of two solutions: one is to change to the CON-20 converter, which alleviates the problem of the surface tension hampering ink flow in the CON-50 converter that comes with the Falcon. The other is to send it to a nibmeister to tune up for you. Don't let this hold you back on this pen - even if it needs to be worked on, that's not a fee that is too steep, and the pen is very fun and very pleasant to use, so it's well worth it! I think for the most part though, you should be okay.

OVERALL

I really like the Falcon. They are no longer Namiki Falcons, and are now branded as Pilot Falcons (though you could probably find some that are still stamped as Namikis). Since this pen can be used as a normal writer or as a semi-flex nib, depending on how much pressure you apply, it's a nice pen for every day and fun use as well. This is a decent pen, especially if you want a modern semi-flex pen - it's a decent price point. The nib can also be modified for further flex, which is a great option. I would love to get a Mottishaw Spencerian nib unit! Anyway, lovely pen. I definitely recommend them - for whatever your writing needs!

Do a gal a solid and if you fancy any of these and want any item of your own, use my affiliate links :)

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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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