Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: @InventeryCo Mechanical Pens - Brass, Chrome, Onyx

Inventery describes themselves as follows:
CONNOISSEURS OF REFINED GOODS. 
INVENTERY is an independent design house specializing in the design and manufacturing of refined goods and stationery products. We obsess in quiet madness over the small details, and seek taste and sophistication in modern life. 
PRODUCTS FOR THE THINKER, JOURNEYMAN, AND EVERYDAY ESSENTIALISTS.
While I cannot comment on their other products, the following is how I feel about three of their Mechanical Pens. My thanks to Inventery for sending these pens for review, and for supporting me!
Review @InventeryCo Mechanical Pens - Brass, Chrome, Onyx 17
Review @InventeryCo Mechanical Pens - Brass, Chrome, Onyx 20

ABOUT

Brass
Body material: Brass
Treatment: Untreated Brass
Refill: Schmidt P8126 Capless Rollerball
Weight: 57g
Length: 12.5cm / 5”
Diameter: 11mm
Price: $90.00 USD
Where to buy: Inventery

Chrome
Body material: Brass
Treatment: Chrome
Refill: Schmidt P8126 Capless Rollerball
Price: $90.00 USD
Weight: 57g
Length: 12.5cm / 5”
Diameter: 11mm
Where to buy: Inventery

Onyx
Body material: Brass
Treatment: Black Oxide
Refill: Schmidt P8126 Capless Rollerball
Weight: 57g
Length: 12.5cm / 5”
Diameter: 11mm
Price: $90.00 USD
Where to buy: Inventery

PACKAGING

The Inventery Mechanical Pens were presented in small black boxes nestled in a bed of shredded matte black paper. The boxes are firm cardboard with little slide out trays. The matte black sleeve is minimally marked with the Inventery logo in gold. It's very clean and elegant. The tray inside is a foam bed that holds the pen very snugly. There's also a gold trim card with the Mechanical Pen logo.
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Overall, I like the packaging. Minimal waste and not an excessive size compared to the size of the pens.

APPEARANCE

The Mechanical Pens here - Brass, Chrome, Onyx - all have the same design and shape with different finishes. The pens have round barrels with one flat facet, and small conical noses. The barrels are straight from end to the nose cone. I would have loved to see a little flare or curve simply because I like the more curvy look near a section.
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Review @InventeryCo Mechanical Pens - Brass, Chrome, Onyx 9
The knock mechanism is chrome colored in two parts. The knock is unmarked but they are Schmidt mechanisms. The pen is engraved with its individual number near the top of the barrel, on the flat side - No. 175, for example. The other side has a cute little Inventery logo engraved in it. All three pens match and look great together.
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The pens have a straight forward, simple design. The flat facet blends into the body so you can hardly see it. There is no seam between the body and the nose cone, which looks pretty tidy. The Brass is shiny and bright with a slightly matte finish. The Onyx is all black with a matte finish. The Chrome is the only one of the three that is polished and shiny.
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After weeks carrying all three pens, I found the Brass did not develop a patina, the Onyx did not chip (which is usually what I worry about with black finishes like this), and the Chrome got covered in finger prints and required constant wiping. It picked up the most micro scratches and scuffs, but still looked decent after weeks. I think all shiny chrome finishes scuff a little. If you don't like that look, either steer clear of the Chrome or keep it in a little sleeve/pouch. I prefer the look of the Brass and Onyx, personally.
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PERFORMANCE & FEEL

The Schmidt Capless rollerball that is shipped with the pen is a standard rollerball refill but a solid performer. It's smooth, not blobby and inky (so minimal smudging), dries fast, and is pretty water-resistant once the ink dries. The weight of the pens makes it effortless to write, as the tip just glides across the page. It's quite nice. Since I am obsessed with it, I swapped the rollerball refills for an EasyFlow 9000 refill - my preferred ballpoint refill. It's divine with this set up because again, the weight of the pens allows the refill to write smoothly and flawlessly. I love it!
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In hand, the weight of the pens is very satisfying and comfortable. The pens are the right length for my grip and because of the weight, I think even those with larger hands will enjoy using them. They feel robust and substantial, and they look and feel well put together. There are no sharp edges or rough bits that suggest poor attention to detail.

The knock mechanism is quiet - not completely silent but quiet enough that you could probably get away with some clicking in a meeting and not get death stares for it. It's a clean and satisfying clicky mechanism, for those of you who enjoy that. I know you od, that's why you're reading about pens.

One of my favorite features of the pen is the flat facet roll stop. It's just so quick and easy to put the pen down on your desk and not worry about it rolling off, plummeting to the ground. It also makes grabbing the pen from your desk easy because it doesn't skitter away.
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Changing the refill is really easy - just unscrew the knock mechanism and remove the refill. The spring is likely to come out as well so be sure not to lose it!

The Brass and Onyx had enough texture to the barrels to offer a bit of grip - neither of these pens slipped around in my grip. I found the Chrome, being polished and shiny, not only picked up fingerprints, but it felt a little slippery in hand. If you tend to have sweaty hands, the Chrome may not be the best choice for you. I don't usually have sweaty hands when I write, but I still found myself reaching for the Brass and Onyx more often because they never slipped around.
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Ignoring the slippery feeling of the Chrome, I found all three pens comfortable to use for writing with. There is no designated grip section but it's easy to find somewhere comfy on the barrel to hold. For longer writing sessions, I reached for the Brass and Onyx again. For me, the fingerprint/grease/scuffs/slippery feeling of the Chrome made it my least favourite of the three pens.

PROS

  • Simple, elegant, tasteful packaging. Minimal and no wasted space.
  • A fair price for the quality and design of the pen.
  • The Schmidt rollerball refill serves well, but if you want a really wonderful ride, try the EasyFlow9000. That one is magical.
  • Comfortable size, weight, and balance.
  • Pens feel robust and solid.
  • Knock mechanism is almost silent - great for school and work settings.
  • Heavy but not cumbersome for longer writing sessions.
  • Let's not forget one of the most convenient features - the flat facet which serves as a roll stop! Having these roll off your desk could do some damage to your floor, especially if it's a (soft) hardwood. The roll stop is subtle and very convenient. Great design feature.
  • Easy to change the refill.
  • No sharp bits to bite your fingers. 
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CONS

  • The Chrome finish picks up a lot of scuffs and marks.
  • The Chrome finish is polished so it can feel slippery, greasy, and even wet if you have sweaty hands.
  • The barrels are straight from knock to nose cone, and I would love to see a little flare to it - perhaps at the grip section. As it is, it has a clean and minimal shape, which isn't a bad thing. I think I would just love it if it had a flare. 
  • Ok... although I think the price is fair (because I appreciate silly nice pens), I can see that $90 may be a bit steep for those not thrilled by a rollerball/ballpoint. Perhaps $75 would even be more doable?
  • The numbered engraving might make you think it's a limited edition. It's just numbered, which does make each pen special, but it does not mean it's LE. This isn't really a terrible thing, but if you expect an LE, you won't be getting one.
  • No clip, in the event that you like to clip pens to your pockets or pages.

OVERALL

It's clear the pros outweigh the cons for me. There isn't anything really wrong with either of the pens and I find them quite satisfying and enjoyable to use. It's just a matter of deciding whether the pros work for you and if you can live with the cons. Having a slippery, scuffy pen is easy to avoid - there are three other finishes to choose from (Brushed Chrome, Brass, Onyx). Considering the quality and finish, the prices are fair. Personally, I would love to see these around the $75 mark, but I've been known to pay stupid amounts for pens just because I really liked them.

If you're looking for a clean, classy metal pen that will perform well (either as a rollerball or ballpoint), the Mechanical Pens here are worth a look.




I received this item/these items free of charge for the purposes of this review. This is a sponsored post - I was monetarily compensated for my time, feedback, and thorough review. I have done my absolute best to remain neutral in this review - everything you've read here is my own opinion.

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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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