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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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