I didn't back the original Ajoto pen Kickstarter. In retrospect, that was a huge mistake now that I have one in my hands that Ajoto graciously sent me. It is an exercise in beautiful simplicity, which is often times difficult to get right. Ajoto has nailed it with The Pen.
The first thing you notice when opening the envelope is the packaging surrounding the pen. I'm not a packaging guy in general, most of it hits the trash after all, but what Ajoto did here makes you take notice. The pen itself lays in a molded cork tray which slides into an anodized aluminum box. And not just that, there are additional printed cards included to top the cork box with (that also includes your product serial number) and a great little folded card covered in the Ajoto logo that holds the refill. If Ajoto cares this much about their packaging, then what is contained inside must really be special.
And it is. The overall feel of the pen is not just solid, but completely in sync as a whole. This is done by limiting the moving parts and having a smooth twist deployment mechanism for the refill. It is quiet, easy, and simple. To top it off, the refill the pen is built around is the Schmidt P8127, which for my dollar is the best rollerball refill on the market.
All of the fawning up to here would be pointless if the Ajoto pen didn't live up to its design beauty when ink hits the page. And there, it excels. In a metal machined pen, in this case brass, balance is key. Many first time pen manufacturers miss this critical point, but not Ajoto. At 50 grams, weight could be an issue, but the way the pen is balanced makes it feel almost weightless as the pen glides across the page. An impressive feat for sure.
The elephant in the room with the Ajoto pen is the price. It is very expensive, with aluminum models starting at £125 (~$188), and moving on up the charts for Brass, Rose Gold, Rhodium, and 14ct Gold barrels. This is not a purchase to be made without consideration.
After using the pen, I understand the price. This is a high-quality production that will last a lifetime. That doesn't make it any easier to pull the trigger though, and I would have a hard time recommending it over pens a fraction of the price. But, if you are looking for something unique that will make an impression in the hand and on the page then Ajoto is a brand well worth checking out.
My thanks to Ajoto for providing this pen at no charge for review purposes.