There isn’t much I can say about the Edison Pen Company, founded by Brian Gray, that hasn’t been said a million times. In brief, they have a production line of pens that are available at various retailers, but one can also custom order a pen from them in several models and a large number of neat materials.
So I’m the guy who, given a vast number of potential combinations of pens and materials, chose a black, cigar-shaped pen with gold trim. Perhaps that’s boring to some, but I don’t care.
The Herald Grande is, unsurprisingly, a very large pen. When capped, it dwarfs my other oversize pens. Uncapped, it’s comparable to my Pelikan m1000. The section is a big, fat cylinder with very little taper to it. The barrel has a bit of a waist near the threads and flairs out a bit before tapering down again, which gives it a subtle, unique shape. It’s a light pen, and its section diameter and length of the barrel make it great for long writing sessions. The cap posts very securely, but it’s absurdly long when posted.
The fit and finish were absolutely superb out of the box. The threads are perfect. The seam between the cap’s finial and the cap is barely perceptible. This is pretty standard for Edison pens.
The nib worked well out of the box, also typical of an Edison pen. Edison claims to adjust their nibs to have an ink flow of 7/10, and that’s what mine was adjusted to at first. On Edison’s scale, I think I would prefer closer to an 8.5/10, but it’s pretty easy to fix. The beautiful thing about Edison pens is they’ll accommodate just about any request the buyer can think of, within reason, and ink flow is one of those customizable points.
What doesn’t come across in a written review or even in photographs is how the pen material feels. It’s a subjective point, and one that is difficult to describe. Compared to the various plastics used in pens, ebonite feels different. Some would say warm, or smooth, or soft, but it’s nice to the touch in an organic way. This sensation is amplified immensely on a pen as well polished as this Edison. This is a pen I can just hold, but like any reflective, smooth, black surface, it shows fingerprints like no other.
If I was going to criticize this pen, it would be that it’s huge. On the other hand, that’s why I bought it, so that’s not really a fair criticism. Personally, I think it’s a bit of a shame that Edison doesn’t offer #8 nibs on their giant pens like this, but surely only offering #6 nibs helps keep costs lower and, functionally, there isn’t a lot of difference. It’s an aesthetic preference.
I think in the custom pen realm, Edison makes some of the nicest pens at the moment. In a lot of ways, the company eschews needlessly fancy stuff (like #8 nibs) in favor of practical materials and designs. Even so, Edison still offers options–filling systems, nibs, and so on–that most other custom makers cannot compete with. And if the options are too daunting, one can always send Brian Gray an email for help.
I love the Edison Pen Company and they’re easily one of my favorite fountain pen makers. It’s not just because they make awesome pens, there’s more to it than that for me–it’s really cool to have a modern pen made by fellow Midwesterners who are keeping a tradition of Midwestern pen manufacturing alive. Even if one’s not looking to buy into a company’s cool story, Edison pens are still fantastic and a relatively great value considering the customization options.
- Perfect Fit and Finish.
- Fantastic customer service and a lifetime warranty.
- This pen is massive.
- Despite their great value, Edison pens are expensive.
- This pen is massive.
- I sort of wish #8 nibs were an option on bigger Edison pens.
- I sort of wish I ponied up for the pump filler/vacumatic option on my pen.
- Threaded cap.
- 1.5 turns to remove.
- Two tone 18k gold.
- This one is a fine.
- Other options:
- Steel nibs in extra fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1 italic, and 1.5 italic.
- 14k flex nibs in extra fine and fine.
- 18k nibs in extra fine, fine, medium, broad, double broad, 1.1 stub, and oblique double broad.
- Edison can custom grind nibs into just about anything one could want, too.
- Polished black ebonite.
- Other options abound.
- Filling system:
- Standard international cartridge/converter system.
- Long cartridge compatible.
- Converter ink capacity is 0.8mL.
- The pen can be converted into an eyedropper filler (measured 3mL ink capacity).
- Edison has other unique filling system options in addition to cartridge/converter pens, depending on the model.
- Capped: 166mm
- Uncapped: 142mm
- Posted: 187mm
- Total: 26g
- Pen: 16g
- Cap: 10g
- Section diameter: