Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen review

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I have always wanted to try an actual fountain pen but have never had the chance. I wanted to see if something worthwhile has been lost overtime with the advent and widespread use of the ballpoint pen. So when the folks at GoldSpot.com offered to send the Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen, I totally raised my hand at the opportunity to try a bit of Old World style and function that for most has been left in the decades gone by.

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The Namiki Falcon Fountain Pen comes very well presented, in (what appears to be) a leather clad, silk lined, clamshell box. The Falcon collection has a black lacquered barrel and cap. The nib and metal accents are coated in 14 karat gold. The nib is available in fine, medium or broad. According to the GoldSpot website, “The nib was designed by Namiki engineers with input from the association of pen shop owners in Japan who recommended a soft, flexible writing feel.”

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I should backup a bit; if you are like me, I had an idea of how a fountain pen worked but had never seen one up close. Like many/most other pens, the Falcon has a cap (screw on in this case) and barrel. But instead of screwing a ballpoint assembly into the barrel, it has a nib and ink reservoir. The ink reservoir you see here is a piston converter, where you pull the ink from a bottle via vacuum. You can also use a pre-loaded cartridge and/or ink bladder.

The quality of the Falcon fountain pen is excellent. I was given a Mont Blanc ballpoint pen a few years ago and the Falcon’s black resin body and metal accents are just as nicely constructed and finished. I have received many comments about it from some of the old-timers at work asking where I got it and if they can give it a try.

namiki_falcon_pen-inhand2Writing with the Namiki fountain pen was definitely a new experience. I quickly found out that unlike a ballpoint pen, the nib has to be angled correctly for smooth writing. Being a fountain pen rookie, I also found that filling the reservoir can be a little bit messy, but not horribly so. The Falcon writes as the Namiki engineers envisioned: it has a smooth, soft feel with a bit of flex as you move along the paper.

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I really like the Namiki Falcon and have enjoyed the (new) experience of writing with a nibbed fountain pen. Due to it being so nice and relatively fragile, I doubt I will carry it with my in my EDC bag; I’ll stick with one of my hardened aluminum SureFire pens. But I will most definitely keep it at my desk to use when I am in the office in a more controlled environment, where I won’t have the worry of it being damaged during my travels.

 

Product Information

Price:$180
Manufacturer:Namiki
Retailer:GoldSpot
Pros:
  • - Excellent craftsmanship
  • - Quality feel and weighting
  • - High end/fun/interesting writing experience
Cons:
  • - Expensive, esp when compared to a $0.50 ballpoint pen
Posted in: Gear, Pocket Gear, Reviews

13 comments… add one

  • Bob Y May 31, 2013, 3:05 pm

    I’m in my 60’s, and I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at your approaching a fountain pen as an almost alien object. I think I’ll cry .

  • Rob Tillotson May 31, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Excellent choice for a first fountain pen, might spoil you a bit if you decide to use them on a more regular basis though :) My own collection doesn’t include anything so luxurious, that’s for sure.

    But I guess they are kind of alien to most people now. And with the way some of the better roller/gel designs write these days it’s not really necessary to use a fountain pen just for the average person to improve significantly on the ballpoint experience. Oh well.

  • mike May 31, 2013, 7:32 pm

    If you like the feel of a fountain pen, I’ve found the Lamy Safari a great pen for EDC and a great value at under $40 And, no messy refills as a bonus. That’s what I carry.
    Check it out here: http://www.lamyusa.com/fountain_main_safari.php

  • jim May 31, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Welcome to a world gone by. I use my dad’s Montblanc Diplomat to sign every document that leaves my home office. It keeps me in touch with him and makes me strive to improve my penmanship. Another list art..

  • Haesslich June 1, 2013, 12:46 pm

    I’ve got a cheap(er) Cross fountain pen I’ve used (with cotton paper) for correspondence since high school.

    Not as convenient as a gel pen, to be sure, but I’ve always found handwriting to have more… character than with a ballpoint. The less-stiff Namiki sounds like an interesting step up, though. What cartridges does it accept?

  • Haesslich June 1, 2013, 12:48 pm

    I’m going to assume Pilot cartridges are in that list.

  • Rob Tillotson June 1, 2013, 3:25 pm

    @Haesslich Near as I can tell from the web, it uses Pilot cartridges, which means international standard ones won’t fit, and comes with a converter as well.

  • Dave Marcus June 1, 2013, 4:15 pm

    @Bob Y, I know what you mean, I have about 80 fountain pens in my collection!

  • Dave Marcus June 1, 2013, 4:17 pm

    Dave, you’ll also find that the pen will write much better with very little pressure on the nib, the idea is to get the ink to flow off the nib onto the paper. Very, very, little pressure.

    Dave

  • Cherry Micalizio June 1, 2013, 10:33 pm

    I am delighted to find that there are so many people interested in still using fountain pens but with fountain pens goes blotting paper
    and this is something I have been unable to find anywhere.Is it still made? Does anybody know where to purchase it.

  • Janet Cloninger June 2, 2013, 10:16 am

    @Cherry Micalizio A quick Google search for “blotter paper for fountain pens” turned up hundreds of results. You can buy blotter paper at Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Dick Blick art supply stores, most every online pen dealer…

  • AtomicRich June 12, 2013, 11:12 pm

    Can’t decide whether a Namiki Falcon is the pen I would give a first timer but it sure is an easy writer. I have many wonderful fountain pens, which I have used since childhood, including a two year old Namiki Falcon, which is a great pen but I would call it a niche pen because of its unique flex nib. A roller ball pen is the workhorse of pens. Anything written with one will never be confused with anything elegant or personal. For this, you will need a fountain pen. No way around it.

  • jay i gotta say August 7, 2013, 1:20 am

    Fountain are making a ‘comeback’ of sorts (in the western world) and there’s a mountain of new designs, modern stylings, new companies, and very affordable pens to be found, calligraphy pens included. It remains a healthy niche market (popular w/ artists/designers – among others) and almost everyone enjoys the novelty and design if nothing more.. (Plus, they make XCLT gifts!)

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