Narwhal Nautilus Fountain Pen - First Look

Narwhal Nautilus Fountain Pen Review

Surfacing from the depths of imagination, Goldspot Pens presents the latest Narwhal Pens creation in the Nautilus collection. In this post, we'll explore every detail of this oversized, piston-filling fountain pen.

Following the nautical themes within the Narwhal brand, the Nautilus pen is named after the soft-bodied cephalopod that lives inside of a hard, chambered shell. The animal lives inside of the shell's largest chamber, using the other chambers to fill and expel seawater like ballast tanks on a submarine. So, it's only appropriate that this Narwhal pen has a large chamber to fill with writing fluid.

"Nautilus" is also the name of the fictional submarine from the Jules Verne novel "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Written in 1870, Verne's concept of submarines exploring the ocean was still a fantasy. The Nautilus fountain pen has a submarine-like, cylindrical profile with rounded ends and three circular portholes in the barrel. The portholes act as ink windows for the writer to monitor the level of ink remaining in the pen.

Adding to the steampunk mystique of this design, Narwhal accents the pen with a decorative cap band with the Narwhal brand mark submerged in a wave design pattern. The rounded, bar-shaped clip reflects the tubular profile of the pen.

Design and Styles of the Narwhal Nautilus Fountain Pen

At the time of the Nautilus' maiden voyage, two styles are available - Bronze Corydoras and Cephalopod Black. Both pens are made from polished black ebonite. Corydoras has antique bronze trims with a gold-plated nib while Cephalopod has stealthy black trims and black, ruthenium-plated nib. A third, colorful ebonite design called Pelagia Noctiluca will also be available in the near future and is finished with rose gold trims and rose gold-plated nib.



Comparing the Narwhal Nautilus with Other Fountain Pens

To size up the Narwhal Nautilus fountain pen, let's compare it to other large fountain pens like the SCRIBO Feel, Namiki Emperor, and Platinum Kurikara-ken fountain pens as well as the Narwhal Original fountain pen.

*Measurement* Platinum Kurikara-ken Narwhal Original Narwhal Nautilus SCRIBO Feel Namiki Emperor

Length Closed

6.1 in. / 154.9mm

5.77 in. / 146.5mm

5.9 in. / 149mm

5.875 in. / 149.2mm

6.9 in. / 174.1mm

Length Uncapped

4.5 in. /114.3mm

5.24 in. / 133 mm

5.24 in. / 133mm

5.25 in. / 133.5mm

6.2 in. / 157mm

Length Cap Posted

Cannot be posted

6.92 in. / 176mm

Cannot be posted

Cannot be posted

8.5 in. / 215mm

Barrel Max Diameter

0.6 in. / 15.2mm

0.53 in. / 13.5mm

0.51 in. / 13mm

0.67 in. / 17mm

0.7 in. / 17.2mm

Section Grip Dia.

0.4 in. / 10.1mm

0.43 in. / 11mm

0.45 in. / 11.5mm

0.4375 in. / 11.1mm

0.5 in. / 13.2mm

Pen Weight

1.37 oz. / 38.9g

0.7oz. / 19.8 g

1.3 oz. / 36.85g

1.29oz / 36.50g

1.7 oz. / 47.7g

Features of the Narwhal Nautilus Pen

Unscrewing the cap two full turns reveals the Nautilus' tapered grip section and #6 size stainless steel nib. For those who already enjoy the Original Narwhal or Schuylkill models, the grip section is the same in length and only differs in a slightly girthier diameter.

Narwhal manufactures its nibs in-house with a custom scrollwork design and the Narwhal emblem directly below the breather hole. The nib and plastic feed are friction fit into a nib unit housing that can be unscrewed from the section. At this time, the Nautilus is available in fine, medium, broad, or double broad nib sizes.

Filling Mechanism and Writing Experience

To fill the ballast tank of the Nautilus fountain pen, the writer unscrews the blind cap to activate the piston mechanism inside the barrel of the pen. The filling instructions are the same as any piston-fill fountain pen. In case you're unfamiliar with how that works, check out this guide to fill your fountain pens.

For the writing sample, I filled this Bronze Corydoras Nautilus in medium point with Waterman Mysterious Blue. After taking a dip, I'd like to offer my first impressions of this new fountain pen design.

The thicker, weightier design feels substantial in hand. Even though you cannot post the cap on the back of this pen while writing, the Nautilus has a well-balanced weight. Combined with the large grip area and ebonite material, the Nautilus has a comfortable feel for an oversized pen.

The medium point on this stainless steel nib performs beautifully right out of the box. With previous Narwhal models, the nibs tended to write thicker than their size designations - the fine writes more like a medium and a medium more like broad. This medium writes like a European medium point with an average flow - not too dry and not too wet. I checked with Frank from Narwhal who confirmed that this new range of nibs conforms to European sizing conventions. So, if you're familiar with the line width of Jowo or Bock nibs, Narwhal nibs will be similar.

Material, Packaging, and Pricing

In contrast to the resin or acrylic construction of most modern pens, Narwhal builds the Nautilus out of solid ebonite - a material used in many vintage fountain pens. The difference is one that needs to be experienced firsthand to truly appreciate. It has a warmth that becomes more noticeable the longer you write with it. The downside is that the polished surface is a fingerprint magnet. Also, there is a characteristic smell - ebonite has a slight sulfur smell due to the vulcanization process that will fade over time. While it's not as bad as Noodler's resin pens, ebonite can be offensive to the olfactories after opening the box for the first time.

Speaking of the box, the Nautilus is packaged in a white, square, clamshell gift box with a white outer box sleeve. The Narwhal emblem is printed in reflective silver on the box sleeve with the brand name and model printed on the box lid. Open the magnetic flap to find an invitation-style user guide and warranty card. The Nautilus pen rests in a cut-out of white foam.

Besides making colorful, piston-fill fountain pens, Narwhal is also known for producing budget-friendly pens that deliver on value. Since ebonite is a more costly material than acrylic resin, most pen manufacturers charge a premium for ebonite pens. Such is the case for this oversized Nautilus pen. The Black ebonite Nautilus styles start at $120 and the colorful Pelagia Noctiluca will be sold for $160 USD.

What do you think of the Narwhal Nautilus fountain pen? Let us know in the comments below and feel free to share with friends and family to give the not-so-subtle hint that you might want this pen for a future gift.

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