I got my first Edison last year from Goldspot, and it has been sitting on my desk for a long time. I didn’t get enough time to write with it during the past days, but I kept fidgeting with it. This Edison Collier refreshed my take on the Edison brand or even the modern acrylic pens as a whole. At that time, the point of differences of acrylic pens seems to be lacking when the budget is kept under $180: besides a nice nib unit from reputable nib makers, a sleek barrel design that focuses on showing off the material itself, what else would make it sounds thrilling? Eyedropper-compatibility? Certainly not.
But the Edison has been practicing some unique during the production (even for the affordable production line), and they genuinely add up to an impressive texture experience, which is something hard to find elsewhere.
The first thing about this Collier is the tremendous size of it. It is a chunky pen, bulging both in the cap and the main barrel. In hand, it feels larger in size than all my Franklin-Christoph pens that also features a #6 Jowo nib unit (except for the desk pen, Model 66). The item pictures from the product page certainly didn’t educate me well to get me prepared for the pure size of the Collier. When capped, it feels as chunky as a Pelikan M1000, and when uncapped it feels even chunkier than an uncapped M1000! The bulging part of the main barrel just expands in your palm. This body is so large that the pen cap was designed not be able to post. However, it is not a heavy one by any criteria—the business end that you would write with weighs only 0.5 oz.
Once I rotated the pen a little bit in my hands, I immediately felt the surface of the acrylic. It felt like holding the curved screen edges of a warm Samsung Galaxy phone after playing a heavy graphics game on it.
I know that is a strange way of structuring words, but that is exactly what I had in mind when I first held this pen in my palm and twisted it. I was so addicted to this feeling that my girlfriend almost burst to laugh when she found I was fidgeting with a big pen underneath our desk (yes the unboxing happened minutes before that dating).
The high-gloss polish of the acrylic from this Collier really updated my understanding of how smooth a pen could be, and this feature, in turn, would welcome you to touch and feel the pen in a more detailed way, which is a huge difference from my previous experience with an oversize acrylic pen. For most of my Franklin-Christoph, I appreciated the smoothness for only one time and began to enjoy the pen by looking it in sunlight, and for my Noodler’s Ink Neponset, I just ignored the polish and proceed to the nib. This Edison Collier, on the contrary, just invites you to rub your fingers into every inch of it.
Then you would begin to appreciate the incredibly tight tolerances this pen has. I always encountered pens that with good construction quality, such as the Live in You pens or the Lorelei, but this Collier is certainly pushing the extremes. The transition from top finial to the cap, though visible, is hardly touchable when you rub your fingers around there. That’s very difficult to achieve for two glossy surfaces. Then is the clip, which is straight, tight, and sturdy, inserting into the cap through a rectangular cut out exact fits the width of it. The treads that connect parts are sharp, precise and faultless, leaving no chance of wobbling or unpleasant friction, and once the pen is fully closed, the whole package feels air-tight. Again, I want to remind you that you can always insert a piece of paper into the gap between cap and barrel of most of the Mont-Blanc Le Grands…
With these efforts, it would be naturally the showtime of the acrylic itself, the Burnished Gold. Rotating the pen in light, you would find a vivid current of gold dust flows into and out of a dark background, or, a wild river in the night. Sometimes it is a rush running straight across the length of the pen, while sometimes I see reversed currents that end up in a swirl. It is a stunning look, but this level of beauty is only possible when the surface of the pen itself got the chance to be highly burnished.
The bi-color steel Edison nib fits the look of the Collier by featuring gold and shining silver tones, and it writes creamily well. I heard that Brain Gary, the founder of the Edison Pen Co., gave the nibs from his products another process of inspection only to make sure it looks and works well. I encountered two cases of failures of the nibs from F-Ch and one from Laban during the past year, which proves the extra QC procedure for these standardized nib units is necessary. Thus, I was rather confident when ordering a B-size nib, a nib size that I was new to. I want to give this pen a gentle and smooth feeling, and this nib turned out to live up that mission quite well. The Sepia ink from Rohrer & Klingner matches the gold and black theme nicely.
I started to use this pen seriously entering the new year, and so far, my only issue is that the clip is too close to the pen cap, requiring extra care for me to clip the pen to a pocket. Another potential concern is about the durability of its brilliantly polished finish, whose status is still great after 12 days of use. I may get back here half a year later to update its condition.
Many people regard the Edison and F-Ch to target the same section of the fountain pen buyers: on paper, they are all tuning pens from a wide selection of exquisite acrylic rods; in fact, they are quite different. While F-Ch excels in developing its own design style, Edison makes pens in more traditional shape, with exquisite filling systems and QC measures, such as extra tuning, polishing, and nib checking. The Collier belongs to the entry-level lineup of the Edison; thus, we didn’t see something like a pump filler here, but extra QC efforts aren’t missing here. I did some wood tuning work when I was in college, and I can only imagine those extra procedures to be the dullest part of the production.
The Collier’s $169 retail price puts it head in direct competition with the offerings from F-Ch and considering the new offerings from Live in You and OPUS 88, one is totally reasonable to argue about whether it worth it. But my suggestion here is a simple one: if you fancy the feeling of a warm-glass texture in an over-size pen, then here is your next pen.
Update Jan 20st 2PM ET: A size comparison picture between the Collier and M1000 was added.