(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
Gimena Pens may not be familiar to most Pen Addict readers. I had never heard of them until a friend mentioned their pens. Gimena is a company in Spain, and they make beautiful, handmade wooden fountain pens.
My Gimena Ebenus is a very rare pen–number two out of only five pens manufactured in 2010. I found it on the FPN classifieds and grabbed it immediately because I had heard such good things about the brand.
The Ebenus boasts a simple, clean design. The ebony wood is untreated (though I think one of the previous owners rubbed some oils into the pen, making the wood a creamy, darker black).
My pen is clipless, but you really should check out Gimena's website and look at their clips. They are leaf shaped and look like the elves of Lothlorien made them. If I buy another Gimena, it will definitely have a clip.
The only other design elements on the Ebenus are the Gimena logo carved into the finial . . .
. . . and the words "Gimena Ebenus 2/5" around the bottom of the barrel.
The cap screws smoothly onto rhodium-plated brass threads. The barrel attaches so seamlessly to the grip, I confess I didn't know how to open the pen to fill the converter at first! The craftsmanship is simply outstanding.
The nib is 18k gold plated in rhodium and diamond-engraved with the simple Gimena logo and the year of manufacture: 2010.
This is one huge and gorgeous nib and it is fitted with a special ebonite feed.
The medium nib writes a wonderfully smooth line and is almost stub-like. Unfortunately, I have experienced some difficulties with ink flow. Once the ink gets a little low in the converter, the pen exhibits hard starts and skipping. I have to unscrew the barrel, twist the converter to push the ink down, and re-screw the barrel. That isn't difficult, but it is annoying. I'm not sure if the problem is the converter, the feed, or the nib. Pablo Carrasco, of Gimena, is currently working with me to find a solution to the problem.
The pen balances nicely in the hand. It is the perfect size–neither too big or too small (it is 5.6 inches/142mm in length capped and 5.2inches/132mm uncapped). I haven't tried to post it as I don't want to risk marks on the barrel, and I never post my pens. The wood is not heavy (the pen weighs only 27 grams capped), but it feels solid and warms immediately to your hand. Even though my fingertips sometimes touch the threads at the grip while I'm writing, the threads are so smooth I don't notice them. Those rhodium-plated brass threads also add some weight to the pen. Besides, they're beautiful–who would've thought that threads could be part of the aesthetic of a pen?
My Gimena came in an incredible round zebrawood box with an onyx stone on top. I don't know if all Gimena pens come packaged this way or not. The original owner said the pen arrived in a generic box, but he returned it for some work on the feed. When Gimena sent it back, they put it in this zebrawood box.
I adore my Gimena Ebenus. It offers a simple elegance that mass-manufactured pens simply cannot match. Because Gimena pens are handmade in Spain, they cost a pretty penny–or, in this case, a pretty Euro. You're looking at spending a minimum of $500 or so depending on the pen design (there are currently eight models available); whether or not you choose a clip or roll stopper; and whether or not you want a special nib grind or flex nib. To me, these pens are worth the cost because they are so unique and expertly crafted.
My Ebenus model is no longer available (after all, only five were made). But Gimena produces several other versions of the Ebenus along with other models. Next on my list is the Erica with a leaf clip, of course.
- Gimena pens are handmade out of various types of wood. The craftsmanship is top notch.
- The 18K rhodium-plated Jowo nib is big and beautiful with a lovely engraving that suits the simplicity of the pen. The nib writes smooth as silk.
- I've never owned a pen that warmed to my hand like my Ebenus. It is not weightless, but it's certainly not heavy. It just feels right.
- Every bit of this pen is made of fine materials--ebony wood, rhodium-plated brass threads, an ebonite feed, and, of course, the 18K nib.
- Handmade fountain pens are expensive, especially if you order them from another country.
- I've had problems with ink flow–skipping and hard starts.