(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
I’ve wanted a Namisu Nova ever since I first saw the pen on Kickstarter, but I wasn’t quick enough to get the aluminum or titanium versions. So, when I saw the new ebonite version, I was thrilled. I knew this material would be light and not slippery, like metal pens can be.
The pen comes in minimalistic packaging suited to the pen’s classic style: a black cardboard drawer box. The pen sits in a v-shaped recess in the drawer, but is not held there by elastic or anything else. I was a little concerned that it wasn’t at least wrapped in plastic or something else to protect it, but it seems undamaged.
This is a classy looking fountain pen. It’s all matte black ebonite with solid titanium finials and threading and comes without a clip. The ebonite warms to your hand while you write and it feels like satin. Although the pen is matte black, it does show fingerprints, but they are easily wiped away with a soft cloth.
I’m reminded of the Nakaya Piccolo when I look at the Namisu Nova. It has similar conical finials, with a gradual widening of the barrel near the middle. There’s a noticable step down from the barrel to the grip, but I’ve not found this to be uncomfortable when writing.
The pen is very light due to the ebonite materials, weighing 21 grams capped and 14 grams uncapped. It is 140mm long capped and 128mm uncapped. Namisu did not design the cap to be posted.
The top finial is engraved with “Namisu Studio.” Otherwise there’s no obvious branding on the pen itself.
The pen also has a titanium threads where the cap screws onto the barrel.
I purchased my Studio with a titanium EF nib, mainly because, at the time of my purchase, the only choices were a steel medium or the titanium EF. More options are available now. The nib has some basic scrollwork like other Bock titanium nibs.
I’ve found the EF nib to be pretty scratchy and loud on paper. The tines seem to be aligned, but there’s a divot on the top of the tines near the nib. I’m not sure if this affects its performance or not, but it does make the nib tip look a bit mangled.
Other than scratchiness, the nib writes well. I’ve not experienced any hard starts or flow issues.
And, the titanium provides a little bit of flex and line variation.
The pen is a cartridge/converter. It comes with a Schmidt converter, but no cartridges.
I am very pleased with my Namisu Nova Studio. I love minimalistic pens, and this one has a wonderful zen simplicity with unique titanium accents. You can purchase the Namisu Nova Studio in ebonite from Namisu with a steel nib for £105 (=$132 at today’s exchange rate) or with a titanium nib for £140 (=$178 at today’s exchange rate), plus shipping. This is currently Namisu’s most expensive pen.
- The Namisu Nova Studio is an affordable ebonite pen with a beautiful form factor: simple, elegant, and well designed.
- The pen is light and well-balanced, and the ebonite warms to your hand as you write.
- The nib writes without any hard starts or flow problems (but see below).
- The titanium nib offers a little bit of flex and line variation.
- This is Namisu’s most expensive pen. It’s affordability depends on the exchange rate.
- The titanium EF nib is a bit scratchy and may have some flaws (the divot I mentioned above). But since Namisu doesn’t design the nibs, that is really the fault of Bock. However, Namisu should examine nibs for flaws before shipping.
- For people who like heavy pens, I would recommend the Namisu Nova in titanium rather than the ebonite.