Edison… What’s that? A relatively small pen company based in the USA, Edison is run by Brian Gray, an all around genius when it comes to super cool fountain pens. There are many different models such as the Herald, Hudson, and this, the Collier, but Edison’s main focus is custom made fountain pens.
Edison, a name every pen lover should know
Now when I say custom, I mean custom. We are talking hundreds of different colours and patterns, different filling systems, nib materials, sizes, and other small customisations you can get as special requests. Edison sells these custom pens under their Signature line, with standard colours coming under the Production line. You choose, Brian makes. Want a black pen with a pink cap? Just say so. Want a symbol etched into the body of your pen? Brian will oblige. From what I have heard, Edison takes even the most whacky of requests, and Brian will talk you through the entire process, from planning to postage.
But this pen isn’t part of that custom process, it’s part of the standard lineup of Edison pens.
The Edison Collier Silver Marble
One look at this pen is enough to raise eyebrows. It’s gorgeous! A three dimensional acrylic pattern, with dark swirls throughout, lined with a deep blue. It was this that prompted the purchase off a fellow Fountain Pen Network member. Lightly used and with a nib tuned by Mr Richard Binder, $150.00 was a good price.
The pen comes apart easily, and the nib and feed actually screw out, making it possible to purchase other nibs and screw them in as desired.
Measurements are as follows:
- Body – 15g
- Cap – 11g
- Together – 26g
- Capped length – 150mm
- Uncapped length – 128mm
- Cap length – 70mm
- Nib length – 23mm
- Grip section width (average) – 12mm
- Posted length – Unpostable
- Width at widest point (middle of cap) – 16mm
- Clip length – 42mm
- Clip width – 5mm
- Left/Right handed – Both
- Postable – Not really, cap sits very loosely on the back; danger of cracking the cap if you force it on.
- Body Texture – Glossy, polished
- Crown details – Nothing, blends in with rest of pen
- Materials – Acrylic resing (body, etc), plastic (feed), steel (clip and nib)
- Filling system – Cartridge/Converter, also eyedropper fill
- Retail price – Approx. $150.00AUD
- Available colours – Hundreds, but from the production line there are the Silver Marble, Antique Marble, and Persimmon Swirl
- Cap system – Screw type
- In production – Yes
- Other features – Grip cutouts, ink window
- Markings – Very subtle laser engraving on body, logo on nib
- Number of pieces – 4 (cap, body, grip section, feed/nib housing)
- Removable nib/feed – Yes (screw out, but they can be separated from the housing with some pulling)
Popping Open The Box
The box is amazing! It’s a faux-leather, crocodile skin pattern material that is extremely sturdy, much like a jewellery gift box. Opening it up I was greeted by the pen, a mammoth swirl of silver and blue, held down by a soft ribbon. The inside of the box is very luxurious: covered with soft fabric and a cushioned bed underneath the pen.
The Edison logo (a fountain pen nib “light bulb”, an homage to Thomas Edison) is emblazoned on the inside of the lid. The whole package gives off a luxurious, expensive feeling. Also included in the box is a Schmidt converter (no cartridges included here) and an Edison bookmark. Nice!
First impressions are always the most important, and the Collier is one impressive pen. The shape is all about curves, from the smooth, rounded corners of the clip, to the sloped grip. The material is acrylic resin, which is ideal for pens as it is easily shaped and polished to form all of the pieces, and it also comes in a huge array of incredible patterns such as this.
The entire surface has been polished to perfection and is expertly made; the pieces just seem to blend into each other with no gaps and minimal seams. Trim is basically non-existent, save for the large and functional clip and, of course, the nib, and this really makes the pen very sleek.
The finer details really make this pen all the more impressive. If you look closely, you can see an inscription on the body of every Edison. This is small and very hard to see unless under a bright light, done on purpose so the look of the pen is not ruined by fat logos and chunky branding. On mine it reads “Edison Pen Co. Collier”. The attention to detail is obvious on other parts of the pen too, like the fact that the cap comes off with exactly two full turns and the clip is just flexible enough to clip onto things easily, but firmly.
It’s nice to be this impressed with a pen, even before writing with it.
Edison sources their nibs from a German company, JoWo (pronounced “yo-vo”). JoWo produce some of the best nibs on the planet, and they are used by many other manufacturers too (some of your favourite nibs may actually be JoWo’s). Brian also customises these nibs and checks every one before shipping it, so there’s no doubt you are getting a great nib.
The nib on mine, however, was further customised by Richard Binder (one of the most famous names in the fountain pen world), which made it into an absolutely amazing, slightly wet writing, fine nib. It’s quite fine, maybe a hair thinner than standard Western fine nibs.
The look of each nib is fairly standard, save for the nice Edison logo front and centre. The nib also displays the size letter (‘F’ in this case). The look blends in well with the rest of the pen, and the silver colour of the steel matches the colour of the pen too. I would imagine a gold coloured nib (which can be put on for a fee) would look out of place on this model.
Comfort and Filling
I said the pen was huge, but that’s mainly because it is made for large hands, and the cap is not postable. I usually prefer to post the cap whilst writing with pens, but the size of the Collier is perfect for my hands, so it is not such an issue. I usually hold the cap in my other hand or place it on the desk whilst writing; the clip prevents it from rolling off.
The grip on the Collier is also fantastic, with a consistent curve from bottom to top that fits my fingers perfectly and prevents any slipping whilst writing. The entire pen, I should mention, is made from the same acrylic resin in the silver marble colour, including the grip section. I wouldn’t say that long term use would discolour the material, so a good clean now and then will bring it back to like-new condition. Mine hasn’t gotten dirty or faded in any way over time.
Comfort is amazing too, particularly because the pen is perfectly balanced. Placing the uncapped pen on my finger at about halfway down the body (ie the middle on the pen) shows how balanced it is. It just sits there, without any sway. This translates to a comfortable experience throughout, as the great grip section coupled with the perfect balance makes long writing sessions a breeze.
Filling the pen is done with the included converter, but the pen can also be eyedropper filled too. Just put some silicon grease on the section threads and it will be airtight (no need for a rubber o-ring here). However, because the material is slightly transparent, I was afraid that staining the inside with a bad ink would ruin the entire pen, so I opted for the converter.
The converter is relatively capacious, and writing a few pages every day for about 1.5-2 weeks made it pretty much empty. A little trick I use when it gets to near empty is to screw the converter all the way down. This pushes any remaining ink into the feed, and will give you a page or two more of writing (great when you don’t have an ink bottle on hand to refill).
So what’s nib actually like to use? Extraordinary, as is expected. I would put the flow around 7/10 (where 10 is gushing, and 1 is dry and skippy), which is slightly too wet, but certain inks dry faster and make it suitable for standard notetaking. All this despite the nib being made from steel (gasp!). Just goes to show that steel nibs should be taken just as seriously as gold nibs.
The no-pressure test is one of the best ways to tell the quality of the nib and feed. This scribble was done without any pressure on the nib, and resulted in a near perfect line.
The nib is very smooth and polished, with a hint of tooth typical of finer nibs such as this. Filling it with Diamine Steel Blue initially made it a fantastic pen for taking notes during lectures, but after running a whole converter through with that colour, I decided to get my hands dirty (inky) and mixed 1 part Noodler’s Black, with 2 parts Diamine Marine. The result is this blue/dark green that’s possibly one of the most interesting colours I have seen. I digress, but at least I know the pen takes both Diamine and Noodler’s inks well and should therefore take to other brands just as well.
Line width sits between the (Western) Extra Fine – Fine mark, which makes it perfect for very small writing, but the increased flow makes fast, large writing possible too! The nib’s size is #6, so slightly larger than a Pilot Custom 74 nib. The size and design of the nib fits in well with the size of the pen, but also makes writing very comfortable as the point is the perfect distance from the section.
Line variation is nil, as it is a ball shaped tip and the nib is not springy nor flexible in any way. A nail nib, in other words. Perfect for standard, non-elaborate writing such as note taking or for marking and annotating papers.
What to say about my first Edison… Well, I can say that this will not be my last. I was always very wary of Edison as they are not well known, but it only takes one great pen to convert me to a fan. Personally I would have preferred a pen that posts, but it’s nice to have variation in my collection.
Where would you use the Collier? Well, you can choose an understated colour and use it as a business pen, or choose something elaborate and whacky just to show it off at school or out and about. This is a pen for just about everyone, and the range of custom options in Edison’s Signature service makes it easy to make the pen truly yours.
+ Amazing colour
+ Nib writes like a dream
+ Extremely comfortable for long periods
+ Large size
+ Very sleek
+ Presented beautifully
o Large size may deter people with smaller hands
o Unpostable cap may be a negative for some
- No included cartridges