Thursday, February 10, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 325

Today, I have a couple of new things to show, starting with my Namisu 'Nova Aluminium' prototype fountain pen in "Comet Grey"!

(please click on images to enlarge)

(No, the pen didn't come with a Swiss Army knife---it's just a prop ;)

Though it sounds like a Japanese company, Namisu is actually the name of a small design studio based in Fife, Scotland. The 'Nova' fountain pen was designed by Adrien Cols and María Millan of Namisu and introduced in September 2015 in a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.

The first Namisu pens I ever saw in person belonged to fellow pen club members Ben and Natasha, who brought some to our meetings a few years ago. I was really into acrylic pens at the time, though, so Namisu pens weren't on my pen-buying radar. About a year ago, fellow VPCer Stuart acquired a Namisu 'Nova Aluminium' prototype in "Satin Black" (which he reviewed here ... and raved about to me :) so last November, I finally caved in and bought one for myself when they had a sale on 'Nova Aluminium' prototypes in the "Comet Grey" colour. The 'Nova Aluminium' models were initially only made in those two colours for the Kickstarter campaign, but are now available in two additional colours (red and blue). 

Side note: the 'Nova' form is/was also made in titanium, bronze and ebonite as the 'Nova Studio' line, and in copper and brass as the 'Nova Copper' and 'Nova Brass' models, respectively. These models all had the same basic design as the 'Nova Aluminium' pens, but with fancy finials in the case of the 'Nova Studio' pens.

A word about prototypes: Current 'Nova' models have matching sections, but the section on my prototype isn't the same colour as the rest of the pen, so I'm guessing that's why it's a prototype (oh, and although the section looks shiny in my photos, it actually has the same matte, satiny finish as the rest of the pen). I was curious to see what other 'Nova Aluminium' "Comet Grey" prototypes looked like ... and I found one on Reddit, but it was a much darker grey than mine. The Redditor that owned the pen also said that his cap and barrel were two different shades of grey (fifty shades of grey?? lol).

Soooo, how much did I pay for my pen? Well, I bought it from Namisu's official website at 50% off for £18.33 + £8.00 shipping---a great price for a very well-made fountain pen. It arrived safe and sound, in a simple clear plastic tube with the Namisu name on it. 

According to their 2015 Kickstarter campaign, "...the Nova fountain pen is designed to be used without posting the cap. The weight has been carefully distributed to avoid fatigue during long writing sessions." I usually post my fountain pens, but this one I use unposted because it is very well-balanced unposted, and feels good in the hand that way..

Model data (from

Length (Length uncapped) – 139mm (128mm)

Aluminium Weight (Weight uncapped) – 29g (20g)

Maximum diameter: 15.5mm

Grip diameter: 12mm

The pen is made of aircraft-grade aluminum with a scratch-resistant anodized satin finish that feels very smooth and pleasantly cool to the touch. The fit and finish is very good, and the cap screws on/off  with just one full turn. The design is minimalist and elegant (and I love the matching conical ends on the cap and barrel). I also like the clipless nature of the design, although I must admit my pen does like to roll around on my desk, as it lacks any barrel stop.  

The 'Nova' models can be purchased with a titanium nib, but the nib on mine is a steel #6 Bock nib in Extra Fine. I actually meant to order a wider nib, but in my haste to grab this pen at half price, I accidentally selected the narrowest nib option in the pull-down menu (oops) The good news is that it's a great Extra Fine nib--it writes very smoothly, it's had no start-up issues to date and I really enjoy using it  The pen has a cartridge/converter filling mechanism and takes short or long international ink cartridges, or an international converter (not included).

The other pen-related acquisition I got at around the same time is a Dee Charles leather two-pen sleeve in "Midnight Red" that I bought from I hadn't heard of this American maker of leather goods before, but I love red stitching on black pen cases so when I saw this one on sale, I didn't hesitate to add it to my order (I checked just now, and it's still on sale for $17.59 USD plus shipping!).

(above: a closeup of the Dee Charles logo embossed at the closed end of the pen sleeve)

The stitching is neat and even, and I applaud the addition of that extra line of stitching down the middle of the sleeve that prevents the pens inside from coming in contact with each other; little details like that make a big difference.

The interior lining is made of fabric with a tasteful red, black and white plaid design that matches the leather and stitching perfectly. The pen sleeves come in a multitude of leather and interior options (22 as of this writing), so there's likely something to please everyone.

(The top of the sleeve can be  folded down, and it fits my Namisu 'Nova' & Kaweco 'Steel Sport'  fountain pens comfortably inside)

Important note
: I'd read some reviews on Pen Chalet's site (before I bought the pen sleeve) that said the leather material was stiff and didn't have much give to it, making for a rather tight fit. After my pen sleeve arrived, I inserted two thick wooden spatula handles in it, and left them there overnight, to stretch the leather out a bit. It worked, and now I can fit two medium-sized pens in there without worrying about pulling off their caps when removing the pens from the sleeve. They're still a snug fit, but that's not a bad thing as you don't want the pens falling out, either! As for oversized pens, I don't know--the sleeve may or may not be able to accommodate them. The case is very well made, though, looks stylish, and protects the pens inside it very well.

(photos & review by Maja)

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