This was an amazing surprise as a Christmas gift from one of my best friends, but I’m not going to let that bias me in writing a review. That said, I have really enjoyed using this pen.
My first tentative step back towards using fountain pens was a Sheaffer, so I think I’ll always have a bit of a soft spot for the brand. I think they’re quite underrated in the pen world, when actually they are a good, reliable every day fountain pen.
It is a beautiful looking pen, with a lovely two-tone nib. I particularly like the rubberised grip section – a key bugbear for people with the 100 or 300 models. They have a smooth metal grip, which tends to lead to holding the pen slightly higher in order to compensate for any sliding.
The Prelude also has a slightly weightier feel, which means it feels substantial in the hand. Solid. It creates the sensation of writing with something that is quite serious about its job.
The brushed steel housing does that quite well too, come to think about it.
The lay down of ink is quite wet, so I would suggest using it with a relatively good quality paper. I love using my field notes, but the bleed and feathering in these books is far too well documented for me to need to go into it here. I don’t mind it too much, so have happily used it to plan out my writing for next week in the Ambition Edition 56-Week Date Book:
I’ve got a medium nib which is a good compromise for me with this pen. My writing actually should require a fine nib as it is relatively small and jerky, but that always comes at the cost of smoothness. Fine nibs, regardless of material, always feel scratchy to me, so I tend to use them for simple, every day writing. Scribbling, for want of a better word. The medium nib in this pen is smooth and the size simply forces me to make more leisurely notes. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon planning or some idle story plotting.
At the moment I’m using the black ink cartridge it came with, because I think a traditional colour works with the traditional style of the pen. A blue or blue-black would be fine too, but I can’t see myself using turquoise or orange or similar in here. I may be pushed to purple, but that’s because I’d give that colour at least one go with just about everything.
So, if this pen wasn’t a gift, would I have bought it for myself? Hell yes.
Would I recommend it to others? Again, yes. Especially for people starting out. It’s not a ‘shove into your bag’ pen or anything like that. But the grip combined with the nib makes for a writing experience that is encouraging enough to keep people dipping their toes (and nibs) into the fountain pen world further.