Pen Review: Levenger True Writer
Levenger is a brand with which I have very little experience. The US-based company, found at http://www.levenger.com, sells fine writing instruments, paper, desk accessories, leather goods, etc. In addition to selling some of the more well-known pen brands, they also manufacture a few writing instruments of their own. I had heard good things about their pens, so I decided to put one to the test, and went with the Levenger True Writer Select in Mediterranean Blue. (It is also available in the coffee-colored Macchiato and the grey-swirled Storm).
The pen comes in a very high quality wooden pen coffin. I don’t necessarily care too much about a pen’s box, but if you’re looking for a pen to give as a gift, the case on this pen is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen (apart from the pen boxes from Nakaya), and will make for an excellent presentation.
The first thing you notice upon opening the pen box, however, is not the box, but the color of the pen. Nestled against the black fabric lining of the box, it just grabs your attention. The pen is made of a stunningly beautiful swirly blue/turquoise resin, layered with streaks of white. It really is a deep, beautiful, rich color that evokes images of tropical, white sand beaches. Little jewels of the same material decorate the top of the cap and the bottom of the barrel, carrying the same beautiful color through the design.
The pen’s fitting are super-shiny chromed metal, which fit nicely with the shimmery depth of the material, and add a bit of sparkle to the surface of the “water.” The streamlined design of the clip nice, and the clip itself is very stiff–almost too much so. The threads threads for holding the cap in place are very well-machined, and the cap screws on smoothly and tightly.
The chromed metal section is a little small for my grip, and I found myself gripping the pen on the threads occassionally, but it never bothered me to do so. The threads were not sharp or uncomfortable at all.
The pen is a cartridge/converter pen, and utilizes standard international cartridges and converters. It comes with a short ink cartridge in black, and a Schmidt-style, Levenger-branded converter.
But perhaps the nicest thing about this pen is the nib. The chromed steel nib is wonderfully smooth–in fact, it is one of the best out-of-the-box writers I’ve ever had the opportunity to use. I selected the fine nib on my pen, and was surprised at the smoothness of the fine nib. As someone who generally prefers mediums, having such a smooth fine nib has been lovely. As a steel nib, it is quite firm, so don’t expect much in the way of line variation out of this pen. But aside from that? Perfect ink flow, smooth writing point–what more could you ask?
There is no question that a lot of thought went into both the design and the construction of these pens, and on almost all counts, it does a beautiful job. There is also no doubt that this pen is massive. It’s easily up there in size with the Montblanc 149, the Homo Sapiens Oversize, etc. It’s a big, big pen. Unfortunately, my one small complaint is that, to my eyes and hands, the pen seems slightly out of proportion. It lacks some of the finesse and smoothness of line that I might expect from such a large, flagship-style pen. I’m being exceptionally nit-picky here, but I just wished that the shape of the pen was a touch more refined and delicate. The chunky nature of pen combined with such an intricate and unique material seems just a little out of balance to my eye.
But aside from that one minor nit-pick, this is quite a lovely pen, with a wonderful nib and writing experience. I suspect I would like to try to get my hands on some of Levenger’s slightly smaller models to see how they would feel for me. I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I feel as though the True Writer Select is just a little but too long of a pen for me. I will still use it, and use it happily, however. Especially because staring at that resin while I’m sitting in a dreary work meeting in the middle of a dreary Seattle winter will remind me of cruising around the Mediterranean, stopping at little ports along the way, and walking about the beaches. It’s a perfect little escape, wrapped up in a writing instrument.