Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
Wancher left a very good first impression with me a couple months ago, when I reviewed the Dream Pen True Urushi (you can find this review HERE). But if you remember, I made a statement at the end of that review, with a very big IF: the pre-production prototype of the Dream Pen was fantastic, but of course that set the bar high for them, and I was curious to see if they could actually fulfill their promise of a premium quality Japanese pen at a reasonable price. I don't think I was being unreasonably skeptical back then. After all, the Dream Pen is probably Wancher's most ambitious project to date, and of course we want them to deliver what was promised.

The urushi side of the Dream Pen project encountered a few delays -let's be honest, that's to be expected with Kickstarters-, so we're still a few weeks away from the True Urushi Dream Pen. But  meanwhile, the True Ebonite version had a couple months head start, and Kickstarter rewards shipped out a while ago. Wancher sent me one to check out and compared to the True Urushi prototype, so big thanks to them.
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
Since the True Urushi was still a prototype, this was also the first time I saw the actual retail packaging, and it's absolutely sublime! The light wood box is very similar to those from Nakaya or Sailor, and inside you'll find your pen in a nice velvet-lined pouch. Granted, the box isn't as well-built as a Nakaya box, and the pouch is not actual Japanes silk (just silk-screened fabric). Nevertheless, for the price of the Ebonite Dream, Pen I don't think you can find better packaging!
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
Which is which?
The Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite is almost impossible to tell apart from the True Urushi Dream Pen (at least the black urushi version I reviewed a while ago. You can find that review HERE). Put them side by side, and on photos you'll be hard-pressed to spot a difference. Even in real life, I occasionally had trouble keeping track of which is which. I suppose you could say that's a testimony to the high level of finishing of the Japanese ebonite. It's so well-polished that it almost has the same luster as the Urushi finish, although it lacks that liquid-like appearance that Urushi has.
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
The level of finishing on the ebonite is top-notch!
Wancher has limited the color options So I bet a lot of people -me included- stepped up to the True Urushi version to get a more inspiring finish. Perhaps they might do different ebonite colorways in the future? That would definitely be interesting to see.

The Dream Pen obviously retains the shape of the prototype I reviewed earlier. Which is a good thing in my opinion. The long and fat, tapered cigar shape is simple. And despite the imposing size it's still an elegant, minimal design.
 Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
L to R: Pelikan M805, Pilot 823, Pilot Justus 95, Wancher Dream Pen Ebonite, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000
For precise weight and measurements, you can check out my review of the Dream Pen True Urushi (read it HERE), as those measurements will also hold true for this pen. It's a chunky pen in the hand, and it's easily long enough to use without posting (luckily, as it doesn't post!). Comfort is aided by a grip section that is considerably less bulky compared to the rest of the pen. Of course that means there's a step from barrel to section, but the transition is fairly gradual, instead of a hard step. Despite some sharp corners, the shape of the section never felt obstructive to my grip. 
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
Prototype on the left, production model on the right
Compared to the prototype, the threads have gone from regular cut to block threads, which are a bit easier on the fingers. I did find the threads to have a bit more of a tendency to cross-thread when capping the pen, although it didn't occur very often (maybe 1 in 10 times).

Capping still requires a slight push because of the inner cap seal that prevents the nib from drying out. They did change it a little bit though, and it now doesn't require as much of a push compared to the prototype, making it a bit more intuitive to use.

The slip-seal inner cap also does its job, as I never experienced any issues with the nib drying out or having trouble starting.
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen
It has also been interesting to try out the steel JoWo nib paired with the Flexible Nib Factory ebonite feed. Where the Stock #6 JoWo nibs are are already excellent writers, the custom feed provides just that little bit extra. JoWo nibs maybe aren't THE most exciting nibs, but they definitely perform consistently, and the ebonite feed definitely helps pulling the writing experience to the next level. The fine nib is smooth and responsive, and the flow is consistent and rich. No complaints here!

The Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite really delivered on my expectations, and it's a fantastic pen all around. While the Dream Pen True Ebonite was an excellent deal at the Kickstarter price of 175$, it's definitely on the more expensive side at full retail (230$). 

I'd say the price is justified through the excellent build quality, attention to detail, and the reliable nib. But more than anything, seeing the quality they delivered here gives me confidence that they can also live up to the hype of the True Urushi... I'm looking forward to it!

This product was sent to me by Wancher 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.
Review: Wancher Dream Pen True Ebonite fountain pen

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