With the Koloro Demonstrator, launched shortly after the original Koloro line by US and European retailers, Opus 88 is offering a different product with a flagship feeling. Don’t expect ebonite, contrast colors, or a #5 German nib this time; in their place is a straightforward oversize demonstrator with an ice-clear body, a 3.0 ml ink capacity, and a #6 Jowo nib.
A little background behind the Koloro Demonstrator is needed. As early as 2016, Opus 88 made a blue demonstrator, code name BluePrint, featuring it with the oversize acrylic body and an exquisite package. The BluePrint was a huge hit. In the late-2017, almost paralleling the introducing of the colorful Koloro line, a clear version of the BluePrint came out to greet the fans at the Tainan Pen Show on the 19th of November with limited quantity. Around the pen show, the company made it available over the internet, and that’s when I preordered this pen. After the pen show, the company finally adopted a nickname for this pen, White the Double Ice. Not until recently this clear demonstrator began to be categorized under the Koloro line during its overseas marketing.
Minutes after getting my hands on this pen, I found the only interchangeable part in the box between this demonstrator and the original Koloro is the standalone red eyedropper—in other words, it’s just NOT a Koloro.
By only casting transparent acrylic bars rather than stitching it with ebonite, Opus 88 has created a demonstrator with chilling visual effects. Contrary to some previous estimation, the Demonstrator is a gigantic pen, it is even larger than a Pelikan M1000. And this large footprint of the pen is dominated by the clear finials in both ends, and the rough-looking surface within the ink chamber, with clear cutting threads connecting the two parts.
If the clear visuals with interesting texture variation don’t set this pen aside from other mainstream demonstrators, soon you would realize that it has a dedicated eyedropper mechanism to show off through the clear body. The Demonstrator has a hefty looking shut-off valve and central rod that is more impressive than that from a standard Koloro. Some European retailers claimed this system has a capacity of 2.0 ml of ink. However, I managed 3.0 ml of ink into the barrel without tainting my hands. The weight of the pen when full may be so big that the company prevents the this pen from posting by making the blind cap as wide as the cap.
Another point of difference the Demonstrator has compared with a standard Koloro is its stealth twist in the furniture design. Unlike the chromed clip and the blind cap ring in a Koloro, this one has a matte finish black clip with little pattern design. Below the clip sits the brand name, also in black. To me, these stealth look is somehow reminiscent of an Aurora 88 Black Demonstrator, and that’s a good direction to go. It will be perfect if the company has engraved their brand into the cap rather than silk-printed it.
As for the business end, the Demonstrator has few items that could turn heads. With a legit Jowo #6 nib unit connected perfectly with the ink chamber with the help of an O-ring in the back of the nib housing, this Demonstrator opens a whole new world for pen addicts with a specialty in acquiring and swapping big nibs. The original Koloro only comes with a #5 nib, which still feels not as fancy as this one, and in my collection, I have more big nibs in dispatch than smaller ones, making it harder for me to customize. The Demonstrator is also housing this big nib well with a comfortable section, and it held similar to a fully-inked and posted Franklin-Christoph Model 02.
I picked an F nib for the Demonstrator. It features the same branding as we have seen in the smaller Koloro nib, and writes similarly well. The larger form factor here is also enabling a longer writing distance per shutting, which means that between each closing of the shut-off valve, the feed can hold more ink than the original Koloro. I will stick to this nib for the coming weeks to see how the whole package hold during extensive usage, and then I would try to swap something interesting into this nib section. A stealth black nib like the one below is obviously on my list of consideration.
I paid $112 for this pen directly to the Opus 88 thanks to its sales during the Tainan Pen Show, and it is currently retailoring at $120 at the PenChalet and roughly the same at some European retailers. The pricing here once again shows that this Demonstrator is superior to the Koloros. Personally, I do understand the pricing of it may not be able to hold the candle to some entry level gold nib offerings from Japan. But because a clear Franklin-Christoph eyedropper usually costs $175 eyedroppers and comes without a dedicated eyedropper filling mechanism in this Opus 88, I still consider it a great value proposition.