(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
The Karas Kustoms Vertex in acrylic is the second release in the company’s Signature Line. The pen comes in either black or dark green acrylic, and you can choose from nine colors for the grip section.
The pen comes in a rectangular machined box with a black, slip-in lid. The box itself is a work of art.
Although my pen didn’t come with a soft pipette or a cartridge, apparently these accessories are normally included with purchase.
The pen has a sleek, streamlined look, with a slip on cap, no clip, and a tapered barrel. It’s a small to medium-sized pen, measuring 5.24 inches/133mm capped, 5.11 inches/130mm uncapped, and 5.9 inches/150mm posted.
The cap posts deeply and securely on the barrel. Because the cap doesn’t have a clip and rolls easily, either post it or set it down vertically. The pen is light, weighing 18.73 grams posted and 12.5 grams unposted (filled with ink).
Although the cap top looks flat from side, it is actually concave, and this adds a little touch of flair to the design.
You have a huge selection when it comes to the grip color. It comes in nine colors: transparent amber, transparent blue, transparent orange, transparent red, transparent smoke, sea glass, Coke bottle, green apple, and UV clear “Italian Ice.” I fitted my pen with the Italian Ice grip. The grip is a nice size, measuring 10.74mm, and it screws onto the barrel seamlessly--no threads, no huge drop from barrel to grip. Another cool thing about the grip is that it acts as an ink window when the pen is capped.
The Vertex is intended to be used as an eyedropper, though you can use a standard international converter if you wish. Three o-rings are in the pen: in the barrel, in the grip, and in the cap, which means you don’t have to use silicone grease to prevent ink leakage. It’s a little hard to see the ink in the black barrel when you’re filling it, so go slowly.
The pen comes standard with a #6 size steel Bock nib. My nib is a medium, and it writes smoothly. The nib sports an etched design with the Karas Kustoms logo and the nib size engraved.
I’ve experienced no burping, hard starts, or dryness when writing with the Vertex. The pen feels wonderful in the hand because of its seamless construction.
The only negative about the design is the slip cap combined with the eyedropper system. You have to be careful when you pop the cap off to avoid spurts of ink on your hands or clothes. So far, I’ve managed to remember to hold the pen with the nib pointed up, but I suspect one of these days I’ll forget and have a mess. The pen comes with a warning about this issue, but I wonder if a screw cap would have been a wiser decision.
The Vertex in acrylic is available from Karas Kustoms at the base price of $130. Steel nibs come in sizes EF, F, M, B, Stub 1.1, and Stub 1.5. You can upgrade to a two-tone steel nib (F, M, or B) for $3.00, a titanium nib (EF, F, M, or B) for $35, and a gold nib (B) for $80. You can also purchase the Vertex in Delrin models (black and white) for the same base price of $130.
(Karas Kustoms provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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