Back in October, if you had asked me if I would be as deep as I am in the world of fountain pens as I am now, I doubt I would have said anything remotely like a yes. Fast forward four months, and here I am. My dance with fountain pens is both long and short, depending on where you look. My first pen was a Waterman Phileas I had purchased from Staples some years ago. I had used it for a little bit, then it ended up sitting. Four months ago, one of my colleagues happened to show off a Jinhao he had purchased, and started using around the office. This caught my interest, and got me back on the train of fountain pens. Thinking I had lost the Waterman, I ordered up a new pen from Amazon, and moved along from there. Enough about the history though, it’s time to bring in the star of this show!
I had been watching some pen related videos on Youtube, happening across some videos from the Pen Habit. The production values of the videos are wonderful, and I found myself going from one video to the next. Eventually I started watching the group Q&A’s with SBREBrown and Gourmet Pens, when Azizah happened to show off her new pen, the Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight. (Say that 10 times fast!) My immediate reaction – “Ooo, shiny! I want!” Needless to say, I looked it up, and promptly learned how expensive it was. At the point, I made it my goal to some day purchase it.
In the intervening time since I first saw the pen, and now, I had done quite a bit of research on the pen. Learning about the techniques used in the production, having a solid appreciation for the work that goes into producing a piece of art like this. Every time I saw the pen, I had the strongest desire to have it. In part of that research, I discovered that there had been a similar pen prior, that Namiki Yukari Nightline, also called, the Namiki Nightline, or the Namiki Nightline Yukari, and the list probably goes on. I saw it, and promptly decided I had liked the appearance more than that of the Nightline Moonlight. That desire turned into a quick resignation of fate once I had learned that the original Nightline had been discontinued. At that point, I was willing to accept that I wasn’t going to get it, and was prepared to proceed with the Nightline Moonlight. Both were wonderful looking pens, and I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed by either. At this point, I already knew where my funding would come from, I just needed to wait for it to arrive.
And now this brings us to this past week. On Monday, I was going through one of my occasional perusals of eBay, originally looking at Parker Vacumatics in the Blue Azure finish, when I decided to perform a quick search to see what would come up with the Namiki Yukari Nightline. As expected, almost all of the posts were Namiki Yukari Nightline Moonlight, with some of the other finishes from the Yukari collection mixed in. I start looking through them, when I see one at a relatively reasonable price, that is, not nearly as much as one that would be brand new. I looked at the listing, in particular the posted images, and noticed, to my surprise, that it was actually the Nightline, and not the Nightline Moonlight. Knowing my funding would be deposited that week, I kept a close eye on the listing, feeling quite nervous each night that someone else might snatch it away, causing me to miss out on what would probably have been my only opportunity to own one. The fact this post exists is statement enough that I was successful in getting the pen, though it was certainly a gamble, considering the cost, and that the source was eBay. Let it be said that this gamble paid off. I had never had such wonderful communication with an eBay seller, especially one to felt the need to issue a bit of a refund as the included ink was old. It was also rare that I would order something off eBay, and it be shipped the same day. Two days later, I had the pen in hand, and was feeling great.
Backstory finished, I think it’s time to get to the things that people want to know. The bits and pieces that make up a review!
The pen is beautiful. The abalone shell is laid into the lacquer in segmented strips, creating a profile of a city skyline. In the gaps between the tall skyscrapers, gold dust is sprinkled in to represent the stars in the night sky. The gold accent of the clip, and the monotone gold nib fit the pens aesthetics very well, and don’t look out of place. The smoothness and high-polish of the roiro-urushi finish only add to the beauty.
The photos seen here don’t really do the pen justice. The abalone shell catches light at all different angles, and glows and shimmers depending on each individual piece. The parts that glow in the light seem to move around as your perspective shifts. The mix in colors between the purples and the greenish-blues provide uniqueness to each of the skyscrapers envisioned, just as those buildings would be unique in the real world.
In hand, the pen has a pleasant heft, with the barrel interior being a thin wall of brass. The pen is well balanced, and feels comfortable in longer writing sessions. While it is possible to post the pen, and it posts rather deeply, I choose not to do so to protect the finish of the lacquer. Posted, the pen becomes slightly back heavy, which might add strain to the writer with longer sessions.
The nib on this pen is an 18k Namiki #10 nib with a fine point. It writes smoothly, with just enough feedback to know that you’ve made contact with the paper, and are laying an appropriate line. The line produced is consistent with that of my Pilot Custom Heritage 92 Fine, albeit with some subtle variation afforded by the 18k nib. I would consider the nib more stiff than soft, especially if you look at something akin to Platinum’s soft-fine on the 3776. It has a little bit of give, but it’s resistance serves as a reminder not to push hard, and favor the light touch instead.
I have this pen inked up with Akkerman #5 Shocking Blue, which you can see in focus for a quick writing sample.
In all, this is a very beautiful pen, and easily took my #1 spot.