It has only been a couple of weeks since Namisu released their all-brass version of the Nova, but they haven't exactly been sitting still: Early this week they released yet another new pen (or rather a new version of an existing model), this time the Orion in solid copper!
Now, I'd begin this review by saying the Orion is Namisu's first fountain pen design, but that wouldn't be entirely correct. It really all started with the Nexus, which was the predecessor of the current Orion, The Nexus had a slightly different design (the orion is sleeker and appears more refined than the Nexus), and was marginally larger.
|Top to bottom: Namisu Nova Ti, Nova brass, Orion copper, X-01 brass.|
|Patina on the left, shiny and polished on the right.|
At around 80 grams, calling it heavy would be an understatement. It's REALLY heavy, most likely far outside the comfort zone for a lot of people. Weight is something you always have to keep in mind with copper or brass pens. If the weight bothers you, Namisu offers a couple other material options that might suit you better, such as aluminium and titanium. These versions obviously offer the same design and functionality, but at a fraction of the weight (the Ti version, for example, weighs in at under 40 grams).
The weight does bring some fatigue with longer writing sessions, but it's fine for short notes. To be honest I actually expected it to be worse. The threads are situated in front of the section, right behind the nib, so your grip won't be hindered. The grooves provide decent grip, and the general shape and dimensions of the pen fit comfortably in the hand.
|L to R: Namisu X-01, Nova brass, Orion copper, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000|
Construction, fit and finish are excellent. All parts are machined from solid copper, and fit together precisely. So far all Namisu pens I have tried are very well-made, and the Orion is no exception. The only downside I found is that the section can occasionally unscrew when you try to unscrew the cap, but that's a minor nuisance.
I bought a titanium Nova with a titanium nib recently, and decided swap nibs with this one. It's a first for me, and it's also one of the few semi-flex nibs in my collection. It basically behaves like a normal nib with noticeable softness as long as you don't put pressure on it. Put some more weight on it, and the tines will open up a decent amount. I did a little writing sample to show the flexibility below, and you can clearly see (hopefully) that you can squeeze out a decent amount of line variation. I played safe and went for a medium, but if you want to get some more line variation, you can also opt for an EF or F nib.
Apart from the line variation, the titanium nib also offers an overall pleasant writing experience. It has a bit more feedback than an equivalent steel nib, but I found this medium to be relatively smooth nevertheless. The feed delivers a good amount of ink (in general Bock nibs seem to be on the wet side), which is good, especially if you want to squeeze out some line variation.
The Namisu Orion strikes a fine balance between minimal design and usability. The copper version is very heavy, and might not be for everyone, but I personally find it quite a comfortable pen to use. If a heavy pen is nothing for you, Namisu also offers the Orion in aluminium or Titanium, which might prove to be a more comfortable alternative.
Same as the brass Nova, the copper Orion retails at a very reasonable price of 70 GBP (86 USD), and they are currently offered on sale for only 60 GBP (74 USD). Prices include a steel nib, titanium nibs can be bought as an add-on.
Note: This product was sent to me by Namisu, free of charge, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affilate links.