Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review: Conklin All American Sunburst Orange Fountain Pen

Thank you kindly to Scrittura Elegante for donating this pen for review!
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ABOUT


Body Material: European Resin
Trim: Chrome (gold colored)
Nib material: Two-tone #6 steel
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Length (capped): 144.0 mm/5.67"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 126.4 mm/4.97"
Length (posted): 168.7 mm/6.76"
Barrel Diameter: 12.6 - 15.2 mm/0.49" - 0.61"
Section Diameter: 10.8 - 11.8 mm/0.42" - 0.47"
Weight (all): 34 g
Weight (cap): 14 g
Weight (body): 20 g
Fill type: Standard international cartridge/converter
Price: €82,50
Where to buy: Scrittura Elegante


PACKAGING


Conklin's current packaging kind of freaks me out. It's big and coffin-like. This is a large clam shell box with rounded off, cut corners. The top has the Conklin logo and it's lined with two gold lines, bordering the edges. The inside is a velvety, beige bed, and the pen is secured in place by a ribbon. Under the pen bed, there are two ink cartridges and your pen's warranty information. It's solid packaging but it's so excessive, both in size and for the price of the pen. It's not spectacular, but it does the job.
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APPEARANCE


The All American is a pretty pen with a cigar shape - one of my favorite pen shapes. I enjoy the smooth lines and consistent appearance of the pen. The finial is unmarked - it is just a round, polished dome of this European resin in Sunburst Orange. The clip is attached through the cap quite far down, with a thin metal tab. It's a small clip relative to the pen, and is quite simple - it is engraved with Conklin. The section is quite short with a very slight pinch. It's smooth and round, and ends in a ridge before the nib. The cap threads are located right at the back of the section on the end of the barrel.
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The barrel has a small, subtle engraving: tradeConklinMark / Toledo, Ohio, US / All American. For those who dislike imprints on the barrel, this one blends in and is not very obvious. I like that. I love how pretty this pen is - the speckled, pearlescent orange resin is bright and shimmery, and is slightly translucent. How gorgeous.
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NIB & PERFORMANCE


The steel nib is very simple but it's pretty, and the size and design matches the pen. It's a two-tone #6 steel nib with a single slit and a crescent-shaped breather hole. It's engraved with Conklin (this part is plated with yellow gold) and Toledo USA. The side of the nib is engraved with M for medium.
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Ok, I must admit the writing experience with this particular nib was less than stellar. I did flush it first, just in case. At first, it wrote well - smooth and it felt like ink flow was pretty decent. I quickly found the nib was very dry, with an ink flow that struggled to be consistent, and very fast drying times. The fast drying times is kind of convenient for using on cheap paper or in a journal, but the dry writing experience was not that great. In addition, the medium looks like a fine. It's a firm writer but not super stiff and one thing that was pleasant was there was decent line variation - it did get a bit skippy and the feed couldn't keep up, but the feeling of the spring was a bit cushioned. Even adjusting it to be a bit wetter doesn't make it any smoother.
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It did work for fast writing, although dry, and it passed the free weight test, again, also on the dry side. Given this, I was surprised it worked for reverse writing! Overall, the writing experience was so-so. It was dry and just didn't feel that pleasant. I don't know if it was this particular nib or if they're all like this - can you chime in? Have you used the medium?

IN HAND


The clip is super springy but the pen is light, so it doesn't have to be very snug to hold the pen in place. I found it worked well enough and was easy to slide on and take off papers, pouches, and pockets.

The section is very small but my grip fit on it comfortably - the threads at the back are very smooth and the ridge in the front is smooth. I think if you even have a larger grip, it would be comfortable. Unposted, the pen is light, large, and fills my grip well. It's well balanced and doesn't slip around.
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The cap does post by friction and it holds in place well enough, but it's not ideal. I don't like it - it doesn't sit deeply enough so it feels long and unbalanced for me. It's not too heavy, just unbalanced. It's more comfortable to use unposted, and I think most users (unless you really want to post) would find it comfortable unposted.
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I like the feeling of the resin. It's just a warm, smooth finish that feels good in hand.


PROS & CONS


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OVERALL


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Hmm.. I have mixed feelings. The pen is gorgeous. The bright orange resin is warm, happy, and rich. The comfort of the pen is there - it's a nice size, nice design (for my tastes, anyway), and overall, I find it very appealing. I think the writing experience could have been way better. The medium was too fine, too dry, and not all that satisfying. I would go for the stub instead.

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I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion.

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