Posts filed under Wancher

First Look: Wancher Dream Pen

Wancher Dream Pen

Wancher launched a new fountain pen Kickstarter today, and I was one of the few who received a loaner pen to preview. If you couldn’t tell by now, they have put on the full-court press in the community around this launch, and for good reason: This pen is something else.

If there is any pen style that makes my heart go pitter-pat it is Japanese urushi pens. Keep that in mind as I discuss this pen because by nature I am predisposed to like it. This is the perfect style of pen for my tastes.

Wancher Dream Pen Closed

Normally, just saying the words “Japanese” and “urushi” put dollar sign thoughts in your head, and rightfully so. The Wancher Dream Pen itself is expensive, but relative to the time it takes to manufacture one of these pens and where similar pens in the market are priced, this one is intriguing.

Wancher Dream Pen Open

What Wancher is trying to do with this project is to bring back the artistry around urushi pens. As with many once in demand skills and trades, the demand for labor and time intensive tasks has shrunk in our modern world. Anything we can do to help continue these valuable traditions I’m all for supporting.

I’ve had my Dream Pen for several weeks now and not only have I enjoyed using it, I can see the craftsmanship that went into making it. The fit and finish of the pen is outstanding, and the urushi application is as good as any that I have seen with my admittedly untrained eyes.

Wancher Dream Pen Parts

There are several different backer levels of this project, but two primary pen choices: Polished Ebonite or Urushi coated. The polished Ebonite pen ($175 Super Early Bird) alone is worth backing in my book. Yes, it’s “just” a plain black pen, but you get all the pleasure of the Dream Pen without the urushi pricing. Plus, you have the choice of a steel nib to save even more and swap in your own nib.

  L to R: Aurora Optima, Pilot 823, Nakaya Portable, Wancher Dream Pen, Eboya Houga, Edison Pearl, Sailor Professional Gear

L to R: Aurora Optima, Pilot 823, Nakaya Portable, Wancher Dream Pen, Eboya Houga, Edison Pearl, Sailor Professional Gear

I will be backing one of the urushi coated pens ($350 Super Early Bird), most likely the red, although they don’t make it an easy choice. Blue, Black, and Tamenuri (the finish of my loaner pen) all look stunning. The nibs are Jowo so they are great quality, although I would like to see something added to the design to make a special pen more special. Even a simple logo stamping would help. The price is good enough that I’ll get over it quickly.

  It's right there with the Sailor King of Pen size-wise

It's right there with the Sailor King of Pen size-wise

Wancher is a known quantity, but a still new-to-me brand. I’ve enjoyed the few products of theirs that have crossed my desk. I’ve seen nothing out of them so far that makes me think they aren’t going to delivery exactly what they promise in the Kickstarter project, but understand that this is Kickstarter. There are inherent risks with any project. Most of the time it works out as intended, other times there are bumps along the road.

I appreciate the work Wancher has put into this project ahead of time, and I look forward backing this project and owning a Dream Pen of my own.

(Wancher provided this product on loan to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on January 25, 2018 and filed under Wancher, Kickstarter, Pen Reviews.

Wancher Penfolium 13 Pen Portfolio: A Review

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

(Update: Please read the comment below from Scott Franklin on the origination and lineage of this design. -BD)

The Wancher Penfolium 13 Pen Portfolio is a black leather pen case with a soft, Jacquard, cream interior. The case has room for thirteen pens plus there is spare room in the expandable envelope for a notebook or other accessories.

The case comes in a black cardboard box with the Wancher logo. It is wrapped in a muslin cloth bag to protect the leather.

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Made of full-grain cowhide leather, the case feels sturdy and well made. It has a magnetic snap closure.

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The case is large, measuring 11.02 inches long x 6.69 inches wide, so it won’t fit in a purse or a small backpack. But it will fit in portfolio cases and larger backpacks.

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One of the things I really like about this pen case is that the pen slots are pliable cloth. Because of this, you can fit virtually any pen in the slots. I filled the case with pens ranging from one of my smallest (a TWSBI Mini) to the largest (a Wahl-Eversharp Decoband Oversize). Every single pen fit, even the Wahl-Eversharp. This is a major difference between my go-to pen case, the Franklin-Christoph Penvelope, and the Wancher. The Penvelope simply cannot hold larger pens because its pen slots are unyieldingly rigid.

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  The LM1, Dumas, and Wahl-Eversharp do not fit in the F-C Case

The LM1, Dumas, and Wahl-Eversharp do not fit in the F-C Case

That said, the larger pens (my Lambrou LM1, Montblanc Dumas, and Wahl-Eversharp) required a little twisting and turning to manipulate them past the lip of each pen slot, but it wasn’t much of an issue. The only pen that I had trouble getting in the pen case was my Omas Blue Angel. For some reason the clip simply did not want to go over the lip of the pen slot, scrunching the soft material instead. With some pulling on the clip, I was able to get the pen in.

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Regardless, I was impressed that I could fit every size of pen into this case. I also tried clipless pens, such as my Nakaya Naka-ai Cigar Housoge Kikyo Platinum, Danitrio Sho-Hakkaku, and Nakaya Cigar Dragonfly. All of them fit nicely, and I even held the case upside down and shook to see if they might slip out. They all stayed put even without clips.

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As I said, the Wancher case is sturdy and well made. The snap closure is solid, and I would feel confident carrying my pens in this case. I do have a few issues. One is the size—it’s a bit large for me. I like my Franklin-Christoph six-pen Penvelope because it fits in the small backpack I carry to work. And, honestly, do I really need thirteen pens with me every day? Well . . . um . . . yes. I can totally justify having thirteen pens with me. You never know when you need a certain pen with a certain nib and a particular ink! So, I may wind up switching to the Wancher mainly because I can put my large pens in it, whereas my F-C case can’t accommodate them. As a result, I wind up having to put my larger pens in separate single cases if I want to bring them to work. I’ll just have to carry the Wancher in my laptop bag instead of my backback.

The other issue is that the Wancher case only comes in black. I prefer brown leather. Perhaps Wancher will eventually offer the case in other colors since it does so with its smaller pen cases.

You can purchase the Penfolium 13 Pen Portfolio from Wancher for $85.00.

(Wancher provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Posted on November 10, 2017 and filed under Wancher, Pen Case.

The Wancher Crystal Fire Opal Demonstrator Fountain Pen: A Review

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

The Wancher Crystal Fire Opal fountain pen is a demonstrator pen with a couple of unique features that make this pen stand out from other pens in its price range.

First, the cap uses a “double compact” mechanism to insure that the pen does not dry out between uses. The inner cap is built so that you push and twist to mount it and that creates a seal.

  Credit: Wancher.com

Credit: Wancher.com

Second, this pen can be inked using a cartridge, converter, or an eyedropper (provided with the pen). There’s a rubber ring between the grip and barrel that seals the barrel, so if you choose to eyedropper the pen no silicone grease is necessary. As an eyedropper, this pen holds a whopping 4ml of ink.

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The Wancher Crystal comes in five colors: Indigo Sapphire, Smokey Quartz, Emerald, Fire Opal, and Light Smoke Topaz. The pen I received is Fire Opal which is an orange acrylic. This pen reminds me of the Aurora 88 Minerali in terms of its design, though the Wancher is considerably less expensive and doesn’t come with a gold nib.

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The pen is an intriguing mix of colored acrylic and clear. The cap finial, the grip, and the barrel bottom are all mosaic-colored acrylic. The cap is black acrylic and the barrel is clear.

The cap is adorned with a chrome clip and its band is engraved with the name Wancher. As stated earlier, the cap boasts a push and twist mechanism that seals the pen so the nib doesn’t dry out. I don’t always get the cap affixed on the first try because the threads don’t catch, but I like the concept.

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The nib is a stainless steel fine with some scroll work and the nib size etched on the surface. It writes smoothly and is fairly wet, but I have experienced a few hard starts with this nib.

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The pen I received did not come with an eyedropper (because Brad left it out of the package!), so I can’t comment on that accessory. But the converter works well and holds a decent amount of ink.

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I consider this pen to be medium sized, measuring 152mm capped, 141mm uncapped, and 172mm posted. Posting this pen throws off the balance, so I don’t recommend writing with it posted. Overall, it’s a light pen, weighing only 23 grams capped.

Pen Another View.jpg

I’ve been using the Wancher Crystal for journaling, grading, and general writing. It’s a comfortable pen, and I’ve been mostly pleased with how it writes. It performs best on fountain-pen friendly paper, but it handles cheap copy paper fairly well too. As a grading pen, the fine is a little wider than I like since I need to write in tiny spaces, but for general writing the nib is a good size.

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This is my first Wancher pen, and I’m really quite impressed. I like the design (though if it were up to me I would’ve gotten the Indigo Sapphire color because: blue). The fact that it can be used as an eyedropper is a definite plus. I also like the twist and seal mechanism in the cap.

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You can purchase the Wancher Crystal Fountain Pen from Wancher Pens with a fine or medium nib for $70.00.

Pros

  • The Wancher is an interesting pen design with both colorful accents and a clear demonstrator barrel.
  • You can use three different filling methods with this pen: cartridge, converter, and eyedropper. The rubber seal means you don’t need to use silicone grease to eyedropper the pen.
  • The special cap design means that the nib should not dry out between uses.
  • The pen comes with several accessories: an eyedropper, a converter, and a cartridge.
  • The stainless steel nib is smooth and mostly trouble free. I experienced a few hard starts in the course of writing (usually on cheaper paper, but I had a few hard starts on fountain-pen-friendly paper as well).

Cons

  • The Wancher pen retails for $70.00 which seems a bit expensive considering that this is not a piston filler and the pen is acrylic. But it can be eyedroppered, and in the photos on Wancher’s website, it comes packaged in a really nice, hinged wooden box (though the site says packaging may vary).
  • The Wancher is an acrylic pen. People who prefer weightier pens will probably find this pen to be too light.
  • Occasionally I experienced hard starts with this pen, usually on cheaper paper.

(Wancher provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

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Posted on October 20, 2017 and filed under Wancher, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.