(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
A few years ago, I reviewed the Wink Pen, a glass nib fountain pen with a converter fill. That pen didn’t meet my expectations due to problems with flow and a less than satisfactory nib. Now Wancher, after years of research, has produced a glass nib fountain pen with a converter filling system. It is called the Shizuku, and it will be available in several colors named after the planets, moons, and space.
Shizuku is a Japanese word that refers to water dropping onto a surface. The Shizuku pen is made from Duralumin, which is a material used in aircraft. It’s lightweight and durable. This material is anodized with incredible colors and also has a tiny bit of texture.
The pen arrives in a large black-velvet-lined box with a red kimono and bottle of Wancher purple ink.
My Shizuku pen is called Earth. It bursts with swirls of colors: yellow, pink, blue, turquoise, orange, purple, and silver. It’s really gorgeous in sunlight.
Unfortunately, the pen has a visible seam on the body and cap. This may simply be how the anodizing process works with this material, but I would prefer a seamless finish.
The pen is, indeed, light in the hand even though the metal itself is quite thick. It weighs 26.5 grams capped and 18 grams uncapped. The cap does not post. The pen is relatively small in length, about the same size as the Kaweco Student: 5.4 inches/137mm capped, 4.7 inches/120mm uncapped.
I’m not too fond of the major drop from the barrel to the grip. Plus the grip is very short--only 10mm. But you can hold the pen by the barrel rather than the grip, so it’s not a deal breaker. I just wish the grip was longer or the step-down smoother. I do love the classy gold/copper color of the grip, and the metal extends all the way into the barrel where it meets the converter.
The nib is a work of art. It is hand-crafted from glass and is an extremely smooth writer. I’ve never been much of a fan of glass nibs, but this one has changed my mind. It writes beautifully, and I love the color of the ink on the clear glass.
The really cool feature of the Shizuku is that it is not a dip pen. This is a glass-nibbed pen with a converter. Unlike the Wink Pen that I reviewed previously, this converter system works perfectly. The ink flows from the converter onto the nib seamlessly, and the nib has just the right amount of wetness.
The nib writes like a fine steel/gold nib. It doesn’t offer any line variation, but it writes smoothly and works well for writing or drawing. I experienced no skipping, blobbing, or hard starts, even after leaving the pen unused for several days.
Wancher is now accepting pre-orders for the Shizuku pen. The options include eight styles: Blue Moon, Saturn, Earth, Mars, Venus, Pluto, Eclipse, and Jupiter. You can choose between a clear glass nib or a black glass nib (for $50 more). There are other add ons, such as pen pillows and pen cases. The base price for a Shizuku is $300, though the Blue Moon model is $350.
I am thoroughly impressed with this pen. And it’s not just me. My daughter, who normally rolls her eyes at my fountain pens, saw the Shizuku and said, “Oooooo! I like this one!” I let her give it a try and she (an artist) was wowed. I suspect she’ll steal this pen from my collection as soon as I’m done reviewing it.
(Wancher provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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