One thing people want to know is why I continually choose brass for things like pens — it’s heavy and has a slight smell to it. I choose it for the patina. I agree that when you get something brass, it looks too brash at first — too gold, too shiny. For the first month almost every brass item I own doesn’t look right.
It’s after that, though, when the brass starts to really excel. It begins to look well used, worn, and yet, indestructible. Brass also feels indestructible in your hand. It’s durable, yet aging with you.
Pens aren’t something at the top of the list for most people any more — keyboards are likely far more important for many. And so by choosing brass, I am choosing something which appears to move through time with me, and bucks the norms of what you see on an otherwise austere looking tech-dude desk.
The issue with brass pens is that they are heavy specifically because of the brass used. The Namisu is easily the heaviest pen I own, and while it feels superb to hold, it quickly tires my hand to write with. If my intention is to write any more than a few brief notes, then I find myself looking for another pen to use.
This is not the case with the Machine Era pen, but perhaps a combination of the weight and largeness of the pen combine to making it quickly tiring to write long form with.
This pen looks as though it is a click action rollerball, however that’s not the case. The top of the pen actually twists while actuating downwards to deploy the ink cartridge. The problem with this is that it’s a lot of work to actuate the pen, as it’s more than one full turn.
I don’t mind anything about this mechanism other than how many twists it takes to deploy the pen — it is otherwise one of the few twist mechanisms that I don’t undo while writing with the pen.
Even at all these annoyances with the pen, I find that I really do like it. There’s something about the size and stature of the pen that speaks to me. In my hand it feels like I am taking a decisive action to write.
I’d never carry it, it’s too heavy. I don’t like to write long form with it. But I do love to sign my name with it, I do love taking short notes with it. But it’s also added several dents to my wood desk from dropping it while on phone calls, maybe I need a brass desk too…
So the net of all of this is a mixed bag: I wouldn’t buy it again, and yet it’s the pen currently sitting on my desk. It’s really neat, in the same way that it is absurd.