Writing with a fountain pen has become a resurrected art. With mobile technology enveloping our modern culture in almost every facet, many of our writing needs have been replaced by the keyboard or the touch screen. In recent years, many of you (especially followers of our blog), have heeded a call to return back to a more personal form of expression using pen and paper. Much like the phoenix arising from the ashes, the almighty pen has made a comeback and continues to grow in popularity.
The Bexley Phoenix
collection is a new release of 2015 for the Ohio based manufacturer of fountain pens. The Phoenix is aimed to recapitulate the essence of the fountain pen's return to relevance. Each feature of this edition answers the questions of why the fountain pen has experienced a resurgence.
The Pen Details
Proudly made in the USA, the Bexley Phoenix is crafted from acrylic resin and features an internal piston-filling ink system with a clear or translucent barrel to view the ink that it holds. Part-demonstrator, part-acrylic resin pen, the Phoenix marries the two concepts of having an eye-catching acrylic used in the cap with the transparency of a demonstrator barrel. Part of what has made pens a modern luxury accessory is the wide array of beautiful acrylic resin materials that they are made from. There's a color design for every personality here - Solid black for the classical purist, Cappuccino for the latte-lover, Red for those who have a fiery passion for writing, and Blue Velvet for those who fine serenity and calm in handwriting.
The demonstrator barrel with ink window is a feature that has become such a staple in pen designs across all brands. Writers love watching the ink be sucked up into the pen and seeing the ink slosh around in the barrel as they write. Also, it's easy to see when a new fill up is needed.
And you won't need to worry about filling this pen very often. The internal piston mechanism has a capacity of almost a full 1 mL of ink.
Bexley Phoenix Demensions
Length Capped : 5.35"
Length Open without Cap : 5.125"
Length Posted : 6.45"
Diameter at Section : 0.43"
Weight : 0.92 oz.
The Writing Experience
Uncapping and filling the Bexley Phoenix is much like your standard Pelikan
piston-filler model. However, it is noticeable that the finishing on the cap threads and the piston mechanism are not very smooth. In fact, they take a more encouraged twist to operate. Possibly, over time and use, the "stiffness" of unscrewing the blind cap will become looser and smoother. Right out of the box, it isn't so.
The pen filled right up on the first turn without any hesitation. I used J Herbin Cafe des Iles
, since it has a lovely coffee bean on the bottle label and it goes well thematically with the Bexley Phoenix Cappuccino finish.
The medium, stainless steel nib on this pen wrote wet and juicy with a feather-light touch. I was surprised by how smooth this stainless steel nib performed without any adjustment. Writing on a Rhodia Ice 80gsm notepad
, the pen effortlessly gave a rich, wet line.
Writing for an extended period of time was easier with the cap in-hand than posted on the back-end. The cap does post on the back, but not very securely. The writer would have to firmly fit the cap on the back-end in order to get it to post well enough. The black, front end section is a pleasure to comfortably hold while writing. From an aesthetic point of view, I would have wanted it to match the acrylic resin color of the cap.
A Few Choice Words
Final Grade : B
- Writing Quality : The stainless steel nib performs exceptionally well as a wet writer right out of the box. One of the smoothest steel nibs that I've experienced. The pen's size and weight is decent enough for a man or woman. (grade A)
- Aesthetic Quality : The resin caps are quite appealing and the novelty of an ink window is always fun and useful. The clear window could be polished more and the "frosted" white part that hides the piston mechanism is not very flattering. Really would have been more impressive if more of the pen was made out of the cap material. (grade B-)
- Utility : Piston-Fill system has a large thirst for writing fluid. Writers who prefer the cap posted may not be happy with the loose posting of this pen's cap. Tight cap & blind cap operation. (grade B)
- Price : Drawing another comparison to Pelikan, the Bexley Phoenix $219 MSRP price point is similar to a Pelikan Tradition Series M200 with a steel nib. The money is better spent with the Pelikan. (grade C+)
While the Bexley Phoenix does provide a fountain pen that stores a large amount of ink and writes exceptionally well with a steel nib, the fit and finishing of this pen leaves something to be desired at this price level.