As has now become customary, here is my review after test-driving the pen for a few months:
I purchased this pen in a recent drop. The fit/finish/craftsmanship is superb. No one is going to question that. The pen is gorgeous and you will get comments on it when you use it. The attention to detail is stunning. The cap band, the finial, the etched insignia under finial and above the clip, the clip, the barrel, the section, the look of the nib--all show an exceptional attention to detail. One of the best looking pens on the market.
Here is the written review:
The pen I ordered is the Platinum-Plated "Classic Series" with a Medium Oblique 18k gold nib (true-to-size western medium). My first reaction to the nib was I wish it was a size larger, but it may be because many of my daily pens use exceptionally large nibs. I'd chalk that up to mostly personal preference, but I still think for the heft and size of the pen it should be larger.
Paper: Rhodia lined
Ink: Mont Blanc Honore de Balzac limited edition blue (if you haven't noticed, this is my favorite ink)
- Flow is good, pen writes well and has no interruptions in flow even with fast writing or cursive.
- Line variation is quite good with this nib grind
- Pen has great weight distribution when not posted. However, pen feels too heavy and top-heavy when cap is posted. Pen is still on the heavier side when not posted, but feels good in the hand.
- Section is rather small for larger hands (long fingers)--you may feel cramping after prolonged use if you have Edward Scissorhands-like fingers. This isn't a deal breaker for me because I generally only write a page or two at a time.
- Clip is quite substantial, beautiful aesthetically, and has great tension (but not too much).
- Finial is etched and looks quite nice
While the writing is not as wet as I generally prefer, with a decent shading ink you should see some nice shading:
This is a close-up of "flex." Keep in mind, this is NOT a flex nib and since the nib is a soft 18K gold if you push this nib YOU WILL DAMAGE IT. However, with light (~1/2 of that needed for a ballpoint) pressure you get nice additional line variation with no interruption in flow or saturation. Feed keeps up nicely under all writing conditions. This is not even a semi-flex nib, I would classify it as a "soft" nib. It's worth repeating: do not push this nib.
This pen does have one major drawback. The nib "squeaks" when writing. It's smooth, but it squeaks. Similar to a nail on a chalkboard, but quieter. It is annoying and none of the standard tweaking (slight tine adjustment, light sanding, etc) has done anything to get rid of it. I'm not sure if this is a problem only with my pen or a larger issue, I've only owned ballpoints/rollerballs from these folks in the past (which are fantastic, but not a standard parker gel refill).
Bottom line: The pen is in the $400-$500 price point, which is an insanely competitive space with many good to great options (this pen fits in the "good" category). There are certainly better performing pens you can buy that have a little less "flash" in this price point. Ultimately, if you like the look, buy it, but if you're looking for the best (or a better) performing pen in this price point, you've got a ton of better options, and many are frequently offered on Massdrop at competitive prices.