When Brad sent me the S-Model pen, I was immediately struck by the bright blue body and silver accents. It's an attention-getter, and also features some great color combinations. The realm of machined pens is so rich and diverse. It's always fun to try out a new brand or interpretation of the ubiquitous pen. And with all small-batch machined pens, there's always a designer behind the curtain. In this case, Michael.
Michael's Pens is operated out of Indiana, and features some truly unique designs. There aren't any standard stock items per se, but more limited edition creations that are gone after they've sold out. The aesthetic of these pens share a common thread: boldness. When you see one of these pens, you know it's unique and strikingly bold. The S-Model I have is a fairly small contender compared to the other Fat Boy models available. The Teslacoil pens, while a bit busy, send a charming nod to the Tesla coils by way of including coils around the body of the pen above the grip section. The designs are bold, and that means they won't appeal to everyone. But they are so much fun at the same time.
When you get down to it, the pens that Michael offers are mostly made from aluminum, but you'll also see some copper, bronze, and stainless steel. Unlike some machined pens that feature minimalistic design and sparse branding, the S-Model is bold and well marked. There's branding of some kind on every piece of this pen except for the knock mechanism, which you probably recognize from other pens like the Retrakt, EDK, and Mover/Shaker. That's the only similarity between these different pens, though. The S-Model strikes out on its own in every other way.
The body of the S-Model I have is an electric blue with long silver lines grouped in threes down the sides. The lines are shallow grooves that have a nice shimmer. To me, the effect reminds of the Empire State or Chrysler buildings of New York, which may explain the name of this edition.
The grip section features three fat rubber grip bands that provide a surprisingly comfortable area to hold the pen. This is usually a common complaint with metal pens: the grip easily becomes slippery. With these rubber grips, this will never be an issue with this pen. The clip is exceptionally strong, to the point of being difficult to operate at times. But given the weight of the pen and the fact that everything about this pen feels exceptionally well-made and durable, that makes sense.
The cone is a nice size compared to the grip, and features a rubber O-ring on the inside at the top of the threads. I'm guessing that this helps provide a good seal with the section and also prevents it from unscrewing easily on its own.
The S-Model accepts standard Parker-style refills, and they fit perfectly in the body. The tolerances on this pen are all perfectly close and relaxed, adding to the overall high-quality feel of the pen. My pen came with a Monteverde Soft Roll refill, which is exceptionally smooth and consistent. My only complaint about the refill is that it dries out very easily and requires a small amount of scribbling to prime before writing. Since the Parker refill is a large market, you can easily swap in something else if you like.
Writing with the pen is comfortable, and I've been able to use it for long stretches with no discomfort. It travels well, stays put when you clip it to something, and is extremely well built. It features a unique, bold design that pops out at you, which I happen to love. If you happen to see Michael at a pen show, stop by and see what he has. There are a few pens available on his website, but not this particular model.
It's always exciting to check out new pen makers, and I hope to see many more rise up in the future. Give Michael's Pens a test if you have the chance to see them in person. These are well-crafted, well-made products designed and built in the USA with pride.
(Michael's Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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