I reviewed the Namisu Nova Ebonite a while ago (review can be found HERE), and I still enjoy that pen a lot. But it also made me want to try the metal versions of the Nova, since they also offer them in full aluminium, Titanium (and now also brass) construction.
You might have seen my review of the Namisu X-01 rollerball prototype in brass that was sent to me a few months back (if you haven't yet seen that review, you can find it HERE), but they also included a couple other prototypes, including a solid brass version of the Nova. Perhaps you saw some of my pictures of it on social media, but I decided to hold off on the review until it was officially released (which is now). I didn't want to be a huge tease and talk about something that didn't really exist yet!
|The three prototypes. L to R: Namisu Orion Copper, X-01 rollerball, Nova brass.|
In the meantime, I also bought myself a brushed titanium version of the same pen (#oneofeverythingitis). Because 1: I really like the design, A LOT. And 2: I wanted to make this more of a review about the Namisu Nova in general, so I could better put things in perspective.
The design of the Nova is the selling point here. It's a simple cigar-shaped pen with conical finials on top and bottom, which is a shape you can regularly find from other pen manufacturers as well (such as Nakaya, or Edison,...). It's a fat pen, but with a balanced appearance due to the taper towards both ends. When closed, it's a true design object, and I find it fascinating just to look at the monolithical shape in shiny titanium or patinaed brass.
You've probably noticed -and I made it more than clear in earlier reviews- that this design style is completely my kind of thing! I like modern and minimal products, and enjoy their simplicity. But of course that's purely a matter of personal taste.
The Nova is a fairly average-sized pen, that looks a lot bigger because of the wide diameter. It measures a decent 13.9cm (5.47") closed, and 12.8cm (5") without the cap. Open, it's just the right length to fit the hand comfortably, which is good, because the cap isn't made to post (you can try but it'll do more harm than good).
The diameter at the widest point is a bulky 1.55cm (0.6"), and the section is quite a bit narrower: 1.2cm (0.47"). The difference in diameter is obviously accounted for by a noticeable step behind the block threads, and it's quite sharp. Comfort-wise, this'll definitely play an important role, even though apart from this it's actually a very pleasant pen to hold. The curved shape fits the hand perfectly, but that step is definitely noticeable, and it's something to keep in mind.
|L to R: Namisu X-01, Nova brass, Orion copper, Lamy safari, Lamy 2000|
Then we come to the -possibly- most important aspect: weight! These are all-metal, so you definitely shouldn't expect a lightweight pen. But there is definitely quite a hefty difference (literally) depending on which material you choose. The brass is the heavyweight, and comes in at 89g (63g uncapped), the titanium is lighter at 40g (30g uncapped), and the aluminium version is the lightweight at 27g (19g uncapped).
Comparing these three, the Al and brass are quite opposite ends of the spectrum, with the Ti lying somewhere in between. The titanium is the easiest of the three, and it's the safest bet when you don't know which weight would suit you best. It's not too heavy, not too light. The aluminium version is ideal if you don't like heavy pens at all, because it's only slightly heavier than acrylic or resin pens.
The brass version is a different story. It's the outlier, and a more 'exotic' choice for people that don't mind a heavy pen. On their website, Namisu also mentions this, and recommends it for people that are looking for an oversized pen, which is exactly how the Nova brass feels with its' big and bulky appearance and the weight to match.
|L to R: Namisu Nova brass, brushed titanium, ebonite.|
I found that I reached for other pens more frequently compared to the brass Nova. Yes, there are more comfortable pens out there, but nevertheless I do enjoy writing with it. The trick is to lightly grip the pen and let its' weight do all the work. When you write for longer periods of time, there definitely is some fatigue from the sheer weight; But I actually found my grip to be less cramped than with some other pens (the relatively wide section definitely helped with this I think).
|Attention to detail and very precise machining|
|Namisu leather pen sleeve, can be bought separately|
The Nova retails at a very reasonably price point. The aluminium version goes for 45 GBP (55 USD), the brass comes in at 70 GBP (now on sale for 60 GBP, which equals 74 USD), and the Ti is 75 GBP (93 USD). Prices vary a bit, depending on the currency value, and they also regularly do discounts. I think Namisu has their price point down, with excellent value for the price you pay.