I was super excited to...
January 22, 2014
I was super excited to order my Spalding fountain pen. I had bookmarked it
during my first order, deciding that if I liked fountain pens, some day I would
come back and "splurge" (which, I think we all know in fountain pens,
"splurging" is a very relative thing).
Fast forward a year, and I decide to take the plunge. Overall, I'm a bit
disappointed, but the pen still has some great qualities.
As far as the benefits go, the pen is stunning to look at and the nib is
excellent. I absolutely love the wood finish and think it looks great. Mine is
lighter in shade than the image led me to expect. If you're hoping for it to
dark, red or even a medium type wood shade, it is not. It's a very light wood
color. But I still think it looks absolutely magnificent. The nib has a great
flow. I personally prefer a bold nib, if possible. I like thick, dark, even
outright wet lines being laid down on paper. The Spalding is far lighter than
what I'd like, but it feels great. Super smooth. For comparison purposes, my
main fountain pen thus far is as TWSBI Mini with a Bold nib.
Unfortunately, I do have complaints. So much so, that the Spalding will not be
much in my regular routine, though I do keep trying to work it in.
First, I will say, the pen is extremely poorly balanced. The cap is exceedingly
heavy. It may be an exaggeration saying that 90% of the pens weight is in the
cap, but it doesn't seem much like it. Whatever end of the pen the cap is on,
you can feel it and it really just makes it feel cheaper than it should. And it
affects my writing to some degree as well. I feel like I have very poor control
when attaching the cap to the end (I know there are more formal terms for some
of these parts, and I apologize for my crude method of relaying these details).
Since the pen uses an international short cartridge, there is a large amount of
room inside the barrel. I have considered trying to fill the barrel with some
heavy material, since it would balance the pen much better. And overall, the pen
is too light for my tastes anyways.
The nib and "mount", the parts that screw in to the barrel of the pen are always
slightly unscrewed when I go to use the pen. I am able to write, but even with
the mount loose 1/8 of a turn, there is flex between the nib/mount and the pen
barrel. It's just frustrating since I know when I remove the pen from my pen
cup, I'm inevitably going to have to do a quick turn to cinch down the nib
before I continue. When I'm busy and not consciously thinking, I just start
using the pen and end up with a bit of a mess on my hands, since my handwriting
is affected by this. I may look in to some chemical to try to cinch down the
threads, but not lock them permanently.
I am using the included black ink cartridge. I bought an international short
converter, but it does not fit. It's just a hair too long in the initial stem
that mates in with the pen (or so it seems). I like the color of the ink quite a
bit (I like my black ink to be very dark). However, whenever I take the cap off
the front side of the nib has a coating of black ink on it. I will dab it off
with some tissue, but if I cap it and leave it nib down in a pen cup, within 30
minutes the front nib will be coated again. I suspect the cartridge will not
last very long if this keeps up. It was also extremely messy to install, I've
never had trouble before with cartridges or converters, but made a very large
mess on my hands, old shorts and 3 or 4 paper towels. This almost certainly was
more my doing due to inexperience; But the process may not be as fool proof as
it was on my Pilot / TWSBI / Lamy pens.