Saturday, February 4, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 458

As promised, here's my review of an obscure modern German fountain pen I acquired--a ECOBRA Cityline Ancona in Anthracite Black!

I didn't know a single thing about the manufacturer until I found its website...

From the official ECOBRA website:

"The ECOBRA Company was established 1893 in Nuremberg by a master craftsman called Johann Eichmüller. In the Middle Ages many compass forges were located in this area. From then on ECOBRA has been dealing with the construction and manufacturing of compasses both for the educational and the professional sector.
During the past years a big variety of items has been added to ECOBRA`s product range and ECOBRA has become one of the leading and renowned German manufacturers for retail and wholesale stores at home and abroad covering the product sectors Graphic Arts, Cutting Tools, Stationery Products, Office and Drawing Supplies, Compasses, Presentational Equipment, Optics, Navi­gation, Writing Instruments."

(~ click on image to enlarge ~)

I bought the pen via eBay a few months ago for $29.99 USD (from longtime Bay seller "missing-pen" in Germany) as I was drawn to its styling ... and the fact that it was an obscure German fountain pen brand; I've been in the fountain pen hobby for 22 years and that was the first time I'd heard of ECOBRA, so I got a bit of a kick from discovering a new brand.

The pen looks solidly made, and has an "indestructible" look to it (like Iron Man ;)

The pen measures 15.5cm posted, 13.5 cm capped, and 12 cm uncapped (nib tip to barrel end). Its total weight is 36.1 grams, with the cap accounting for 13.5 grams of it. The section is tapered and flares from 8 mm at the nib end to 11.5 mm at the barrel-section joint. I'm a "high-gripper" so I tend to hold the section where it's about 11 mm wide. I do not post this pen for the two reasons mentioned in the next paragraph (potential scratching of the barrel and --more importantly--the inner cap liner issue); even if those reasons didn't exist, the pen would be too long for me to use posted comfortably.

I love those three parallel horizontal lines cut into the top of the clip...and I love that the ECOBRA logo is red; it goes so well with the black of the pen's body...

A word of warning:
The cap is a snap-on type that has a plastic inner-cap liner which can be pushed back in the process of posting the pen ... resulting in the cap not being able to be snap onto the barrel when you try to cap it :/ This mishap actually happened when I was measuring the posted pen for this review (I hadn't been using the pen posted because I didn't want to scratch the barrel). I managed to pull the cap liner back into place using a metal instrument with a sharp curved hook.

Above: It's hard to see, but the cap top is matte, whereas the barrel end is shiny. I'm not sure why they did that; I like symmetry in my fountain pens!

The pen was purchased second hand, so it has a few scratches on it (which the seller disclosed in the eBay listing), but that's fine with me--it reminds me of a soldier whose armour has been damaged in battle.

One of the things I really like, design-wise, are the concentric grooves on the section; they facilitate grip, but I think they look stylish, too.

The pen came with a silver-coloured Fine #5 size nib. I think they could have put a slightly larger nib on it, and it would have been nice if the nib had the ECOBRA logo/name on it --it just says "Iridium Point Germany". The latter quibble is a minor point, though -- the pen writes smoothly and has no flow problems. The pen fills via standard international cartridge/converter.

(a little photo editing I did --using to give the photo a comic book look 😁)

All in all, I really like my "battle-scarred" ECOBRA fountain pen, and I'm glad I came across one on eBay!

 ~ Review by Maja ~

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