Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte

I sold my soul and bought this.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (13)
ABOUT

Body Material: Lacquer/Abalone
Trim: Gold
Length (capped): 142.1 mm/5.59''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 128.7 mm/5.06''
Length (posted): 159.0 mm/6.26''
Barrel Diameter: 10.3 - 11.7 mm/0.40'' - 0.46''
Section Diameter: 9.5 - 10.8 mm/0.37'' - 0.42''
Nib material: 18kt gold
Weight (all): 32 g
Weight (cap): 12 g
Weight (body): 20 g
Fill type: Cartridge/Converter
Price: € 2.660,00
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte
(use code GOURMET10 for 10% off your purchase, excluding Montblanc)
La Couronne du Comte Banner
 PACKAGING
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (1)
The Yukari Nightline Moonlight was presented in a large, light bamboo box (light in color, as well as weight). I love the fabric it was tied with, but I've never been able to re-tie it in the same way.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (2)
Inside, there is a soft, velvety bed in a luscious, deep red. It's a seductive color of red that gorgeous pens should be nestled in. The pen also came with a bottle of Namiki Black (I admit, I would have preferred Namiki Blue, although at this price, both could have been supplied). The pen is also supplied with an artist's card/signature, Namiki's lifetime guarantee paperwork, and a DVD that shows Maki-E technique. This is an interesting, educational added touch that I apprecuate with such a unique and valuable pen. There was also a soft polishing cloth included, which is very appreciated with a pen with such a lustrous finish. Not much to complain about here. The presentation suits the pen.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (3)
APPEARANCE

Some people don't like shiny things. I wish I was one of those people. As Dougie said,''You're like a f***ing magpie, coming in here getting anything that's shiny." (Derek, Netflix, S01E04). So there's that.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (4)
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (5)
I have always loved and admired the Raden technique - not only must it be painstaking work, it's beautiful. And expensive. It must be a labor of love. I sold off a lot of pens I was meh about to purchase this pen, and I will admit, it was primarily based on its appearance.

The Yukari is a normal-sized pen, with a round cap and barrel, and with rounded off ends. The cap threads on, and is a little wider than the barrel. As for the shape alone, I love it. It's not as obvious as a cigar pen, but is a little slimmer and more gradually tapered.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (10)
There is nothing on the top of the cap; it's just smooth, polished black ebonite. The clip is attached internally, through a small, perfectly cut and shaped slot in the cap (attention to detail noted!). The gold clip is wider at the top and narrows into a round ball at the end. It's engraved with the Namiki logo, and NAMIKI. I really like the shape of this clip and think it suits the Yukari well. The section is smooth, round, and tapers slightly towards the nib. It ends in a flared lip, which looks good.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (14)
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (15)
The pen combines the Raden technique and the Roiro-Urushi finish. Both the cap and barrel are treated with these techniques. The abalone shell is layered in strips into black lacquer, with the pen's name in mind: Nightline Moonlight. It strives to capture the somewhat haunting, yet magnificent clear moonlight as it flickers over a dark, rippling lake. The rippling effect was created with the black lacquer semi-circles in the abalone stripes. It takes some imagination (or a hopeless dreamer) to see the effects. I see it. I love it. I think it's beautiful, creative, elegant, and yet, very simple in its design. In some lights, the Raden glows, and the depth of the black lacquer is pretty mesmerizing. Stunning, romantic, wonderful. Shiny.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (18)
I love it. It glitters and glows in blues, greens, and purples. Loooove.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

The 18 carat gold bicolor nib is a medium. It has a single slit and a round breather hole. It is engraved with the Namiki logo, Namiki, the nib size, and gold content. Most of the nib is yellow gold except for the rhodium-plated mountain range. It is a pretty nib.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (8)
The nib is a flawless performer, which is partially how I managed to convince myself to purchase this (and not feel too guilty about it). It's just a regular round medium, and it writes on the finer side of medium, being a Japanese nib. It was perfectly adjusted and givers me no issues whatsoever. No skips, no hard starts, no drying out, no being temperamental, just nothing. It doesn't even hard start after sitting untouched for days. It doesn't dry out while writing - slow or fast, and neither in long or short writing sessions.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (16)
The nib is smooth but not glassy, and I enjoy the little bit of feedback is offers. It's a little springy but not soft, and it's on the wet side. Some line variation is possible with pressure, but I more so rely on this nib to be my ''write everything because it always works no matter what'', and it's crazy comfortable (more on that in a moment).

So, overall nib performance? Outstanding.

The CON70 converter is not my favorite. It holds a sufficient amount of ink, and I haven't felt ink-deficient while using this, but it's just never been my favorite converter.

IN HAND

The clip is usable, although it is quite snug. I appreciate the tightness though, because this is not a pen I want falling out of anything.

The section is comfortable to hold. I love the flare before the nib - it keeps my fingers in place. I do not find the threads sharp at all, so the section works really well for me. It fits into my grip perfectly. No looking for the right hold - it just fits. Another reason I am crazy about this pen.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (6)
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (7)
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (9)
Unposted, the pen feels surprisingly heavy for its size. It is so smooth and it warms up in my grip. It's well-balanced, but not too heavy. It writes with its own weight. I love it. The cap does post quite deeply and securely by friction. Given the finish of the pen, I prefer not to post the cap, and it doesn't need it either. At least, I don't need it posted.
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (12)
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (11)
The pen's weight and shape is perfect for me. I absolutely love it. It feels solid, warm, real, perfect. It's hard to describe how perfect the perfect pen feels when it fits perfectly in your hand. ... Perfect?

The body shows fingerprints and grease, hence the polishing cloth that was included. This dulls the glow of the pen, but it's easy to wipe off. If you're the kind of person who hates fingerprints and such, it'll probably drive you nuts.

PROS & CONS
Review Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight Fountain Pen @CouronneDuComte (17)
Emphasis on expensive. I know I'm crazy. 
OVERALL

I take this pen almost everywhere I go. It's nestled in my bag, and while it has occurred to me this may be stupid - it might get stolen, I might drop it - I am taking a risk, I suppose. I keep my things safe, and I take care of them. I get immense pleasure from and greatly enjoy using this pen. It's always inked.

The Yukari Nightline Moonlight is a crazy purchase. I appreciate all the man/woman hours that have gone into creating this, but it's still really expensive. I'm not saying it doesn't have serious value, I'm just saying it's very expensive. It's beautiful and well-made, with great attention to detail, a fantastic writer, and oh-so-comfortable in hand. There are certainly Yukari models that are not this expensive, but this was the one that stole my heart. A true beauty; an expensive, yet captivating work of art.

I received a discount on this pen for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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