Monday, November 27, 2017

QUICK LOOK: NAMISU NOVA COPPER FOUNTAIN PEN REVIEW

Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
Namisu has been on a roll in the last year, with tons of new products. In July, they did another Kickstarter -their most succesful campaign as of yet- for the Ixion (which is bound to arrive fairly soon!). And at the same time they released two new iterations of the popular Nova fountain pen. Earlier, around June, they came up with the stonewashed titanium Nova (that I reviewed HERE), and two months later they released the Nova in the long-awaited solid copper finish!

Well, I say long-awaited because I was pretty confident that, after the copper orion earlier this year, a Nova in the same finish would eventually follow... And here it is!
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
Copper, brass, titanium, titanium stonewashed, ebonite,... Yeah ok, I'm a hoarder!
As you may know, I've been very much into machined metal pens lately. There's something about them that makes me reach for these pens over all others. The craftsmanship, industrial machined look and robustness of an all-metal pen... It just really works for me.

On top of that, a lot of metal pen makers also incorporate a very distinct minimal aesthetic into their products. Which is a clear win in my book.
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
The copper nova may be one of the most minimalist pens out there. Namisu sticks loyally to their clean, clipless designs (to the frustration of those that would like to finally see a more pocket-friendly design with clip in their product lineup). It may not be the most practical design, but I'd call that determination. They have their mind set on an aesthetic theme, and they strictly hold on to it.
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
I, for one, am still partial to the clean cigar shaped design of the Nova. The bulkyness and gently curved line, the flattop design with the gently pointed finials... I like everything about the design, and I definitely think a clip would mess with the aesthetic (but then again, I don't really use the clip on any of my pens, so it's not a real loss for me).

The copper finish is pretty amazing. It's cool when it arrives all polished and shiny, but it gets a million times cooler after a few days of use. The patina on this pen is honestly some of the best I've ever seen. It's much stronger than with brass (presumably because the patina is oxidized copper, and brass is only partially made up of copper, but I could be wrong on that). And it shows a wide range of colors, from dark brown to red and even blue when you look closely!

PS: yes, this pen makes your hands smell like pennies! 
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
That patina though!
Comfort-wise, I like to hold this pen at a lower angle. Sort of in a more cradled position than I usually hold my pen. I think that's a way to support the weight of the pen, as it balances on the web of my hand between my thumb and index, instead of focusing all the weight in my grip. Make no mistake, this is a heavy pen (95g total, 69g uncapped!), so regardless of how you hold it, it weighs down considerably.
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
Yet because of the way I hold the pen, I do find that I have a more relaxed grip (which is a bit counterintuive with a heavy pen like this). I just guide the nib across the page with my grip, while the pen rests in the web of my hand...if that makes any sense. Perhaps with longer writing sessions the weigh could start to become a problem, but then again this is not a pen I'd recommend solely for extensive writing sessions. For full details on measurements, you can go back to my review of the stonewashed titanium, or brass Nova.
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
L to R: Kaweco Brass Sport, TWSBI Diamond 580Al, Namisu Nova Copper, Lamy Al-Star, Lamy 2000
Talking about writing... Of course the Nova Copper utilises the same #6 Bock nibs as all other Namisu pens. I've used and reviewed almost every steel and titanium Bock nib. I've had very good experiences with most, if not all of these nibs. They are smooth, wet and consistent writers straight out of the box. 

But there's no use in reviewing the same nib over and over again, so I thought I'd change it up a little this time: I ground the medium steel nib into a cursive italic. Of course a custom grind won't come with the pen, but it's a fast and affordable way to upgrade the writing experience and make the pen even more fun to use. There are a lot of really skilled nibmeisters out there who can do a much better job than I (Mike MasuyamaNibsmithNibgrinder,...) so I'd suggest checking them out if you want to spice up one of your pens!
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
Closeup of the medium Cursive Italic grind
The medium curisve Italic grind is a step up from standard stub nibs. If you have some experience with stubs, but want more precise line variation at the trade-off of some smoothness. A cursive italic is sharper and less rounded off than a stub. This makes the line variation more pronounced and more consistent. Because of the sharper edges, you can't rotate the nib because the edges as it would make the edges of the nib dig into the paper. It's a nib with a learning curve, and it's not as smooth as a round or stub nib. But it's ideal for more advanced cursive writing or even calligraphy.
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review
Copper usually demands a pretty substantial premium with machined metal pens. But as usual, Namisu is pretty mild with their pricing: the Copper Namisu Nova retails for 69 GBP (90 USD), which is ten pounds less than the titanium version, and the same as the brass. Prices vary a bit, depending on the currency value, but at 75 GBP/ 85 EUR/ 99 USD they are about half the cost of similar machined pens made out of copper. If one thing, Namisu has their price point down, with excellent value for the price you pay.

Note: This product was provided 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.
Quick Look: Namisu Nova Copper fountain pen review

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