– Handwritten Review –
- Kaweco Dark Blue
- Maruman Mnemosyne 182
- A super clean, well-made fountain pen coming off a successful Kickstarter campaign
- Bock medium in steel, size 250
- international standard cartridge / converter (not included)
- 29g capped, 20g uncapped
- 12mm grip diameter, 139mm capped, 128mm uncapped
- Comet grey, or Black Aluminum
The Namisu Nova Kickstarter reward was delivered to me just over a week ago, and man has it delivered. The pen is machined (on a mass scale) aluminum, anodized with a “comet grey” finish. It’s sleek, cleanly designed, and is comfortable to write with. Read on to see how the Nova holds up!
Packaging is really straightforward here, and I like it. The pen came in a soft felt drawstring pouch within two plastic bags. That’s all. No cartridge, no converter. I would have liked to see at least a cartridge included with the pen, as people who may not be experienced with fountain pens might not know what to do. They do have a converter as an add-on on their store, so add one if you don’t have them hanging around. I threw a Kaweco short cartridge in mine, and it flooded the feed quickly and I was writing in no time.
The pen is very sleek looking. It’s very reminiscent of a Nakaya Piccolo. Comparing the dimensions, the Nova is about 10mm longer and tapers a bit more at the end. Its widest in the middle, and tapers off slightly towards the cap and tail. The end of each pen is machined into a very soft conical point. At first, I felt like the pen was a bit too minimalist. The grey finish is very monotone, and the pen’s sleek appearance may be a bit too plain for some. This all changed upon spending some more time with it. The pen is pleasing to look at and nice to hold, however I feel like it’s constantly trying to roll itself off my desk. The shape of the pen is very, VERY prone to rolling, so make sure you’re careful when placing the pen down. The anodized finish is very nice, there are no machining lines on the pen, the color is even, and the light texture makes for a good grip. This pen just looks refined, much more so than their last Kickstarter project.
When I got the pen, I took out the titanium nib unit from my Tactile Turn Gist, as they’re the same Bock units, it screwed right into the Nova. You can see more about this nib in the Tactile Turn Review, but for now, let’s discuss the Bock steel medium nib that came with the pen. The nib is large, has a nice presence, and fits the overall size and design of the pen. It lays down a smooth, medium-wet line and I haven’t had any problems with it so far. I’ve heard reports from others saying that they needed to smooth theirs out a bit, but no complaints here. The steel nib is stiff, as expected, but it’s definitely a nice writer. The filling system (or lack thereof) accommodates international standard cartridges or a converter. The Schmidt converter is offered on their site for a few extra bucks, but the pen does not come with anything to get you writing straight out of the package.
The pen feels like they’ve been making them for quite some time. It’s refined, the threads are smooth, and the fit and finish are great. The tapered shape of the body comfortably seats itself in my hand, and it’s nice for long writing sessions. The aluminum version of the pen is weighted a bit towards the front — just enough to be noticeable. The manufacturers do not suggest posting the cap, but it does fit on the back of the pen. I find that the cap posts pretty securely, and doesn’t throw the balance off, or make it too long to write with. It’s comfortable (for me) either way, but I think I prefer to write with it unposted. I’m impressed with how the Nova feels. The shape has an organic feel to it, and it just plain works.
- Price point is very good (just under $40USD)
- Comfortable to write with
- Smooth Bock nib
- Very refined build quality
- Sleek design is a bit plain
- Rolls like crazy
- Doesn’t include cartridge or converter
The Nova by Namisu is impressive. Although I didn’t have one of their last Kickstarted pens, they seemed to have improved upon the shortcomings of the last one. The pen performs well, looks great, and it’s at a pretty solid price point considering you’re getting an all-metal pen with a trusted name brand nib. I would definitely recommend the Namisu to both beginners and advanced fountain pen users. I liked it so much, that I bought the solid titanium version two days after getting this one. More on the Ti version later!