The PHX–1 was my first introduction to Chadwick Parker and Joe Huang, the team behind BIG i DESIGN. At the time, it was the second pen project I had backed on Kickstarter, and while the “design tool set” style of the PHX–1 wasn’t exactly up my alley, I was intrigued by the product. I was also very pleased with the results. The quality of construction and attention to detail were obvious.
It was around that time that I struck up regular email correspondence with Chadwick and Joe. They kept me in the loop on what they were working on, and I watched their success on Kickstarter grow. Success doesn’t begin to describe their latest project though. The Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus launched almost a month ago and recently crossed the 500% funded threshold with over $160,000 pledged. I jumped right in as an early backer - before I had even talked to Chadwick and Joe about it - and have watched as it continues to climb higher and higher.
So what is all the fuss about with this pen? Fortunately, the guys were able to send me a prototype of each available model and I am able to tell you about it first hand.
The main selling point of the Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus is the fact that the barrel is compatible with over 30 refills. The full list is on the product page and it is quite varied. It contains many popular refills such as the Pilot G2, Uni-ball Jetstream, and the Mont Blanc Rollerball as well as several lesser known but equally as nice refills like the Ohto Ceramic Rollerball.
My first order of business was to test as many as I had available. The Pilot Hi-Tec-C Cavalier refill was the first one I reached for and it fit like a glove. In fact, it is almost as this pen was made specifically for it. It fit in tightly and there was no gap around the tip opening. The Uni-ball Jetstream and Signo RT refills fit equally as well, as did the G2. The Signo 207 and Zebra Sarasa Clip fell a little short though - the tip did not protrude far enough out of the barrel for me to be comfortable using it to write with. These are prototypes after all, so I have reported my findings back to Joe and he confirmed that there are more tweaks currently in the works. I also verified that some of the refills not listed do in fact not work with the Solid Titanium Pen, mainly the standard Hi-Tec-C and Signo DX refills. Neither is a match, but similar replacements are available as stated above.
With the vast amount of refills eligible to use, the pen barrel almost gets lost in the shuffle. It shouldn’t because it is very well done. Like their previous products, the construction quality and attention to detail are top notch. The titanium barrel is a medium weight and features a threaded cap that also posts on the end of the pen. When posted it gets lengthy but the weight of the pen is such that it isn’t too unbalanced.
An additional feature is the stylus tip on the end of the pen, which can also be replaced with a threaded plug for $3 (or free to everyone if the project reaches 1000 Facebook Likes). I was impressed with how responsive the stylus actually was. I had a bad experience with a different pen/stylus combo recently but this one was a breeze to use.
The clip is strong, but not overly so to where it takes a large amount of force to lift it. It also has a sharp looking Ti logo on it, similar to what you would see on a periodic table of the elements. A felt pen sleeve to protect your pen when not is use? Yes, it comes with that too.
I was able to get in on the early backer rate of $59 when it first launched and even at the normal price of $65 it feels like a great buy compared to many other Kickstarter options. With its beautiful design and versatility, the Solid Titanium Pen + Stylus may just be the one pen to rule them all.
You still have about a month left to get in on this project, so head over to Kickstarter and check it out.