Chesterton Espresso Fountain Pen
Fundamental design flaw
I had the same problem that other reported regarding the drying in the nib over a short period of time. I believe the problem is the air-gap where the clip enters the cap. Basically, when capped the air entering around the clip/cap dries out the ink in the nib. As an experiment I tried capping the pen with a small plastic pill bag and rubber band--it worked perfectly the following day.
Using the cap, as designed is basically leaving the pen uncapped.
Hope that Levenger offers a replacement (working) cap soon. I truly love the color and design of the pen.
June 11, 2014
Ever since owning my replace Chesterton FP there have been issues with skipping. On almost every initial downstroke of a letter (W, L, P, T, N, etc) I get no ink. I have to go back and repeat that downstroke to get ink to flow. Then I can write the rest of the word with full ink flow. But then the first downstroke of the next word the same thing happens. Based on my writing style -- sort of a hybrid between printing and cursive -- I write lots of letters with initial downstrokes, so have LOTS of skips. This basically has made the pen unusable. I am only adding this review to see if any other users, or someone at Levenger, has a though on what might be done to remedy this. I used to use the pump to hold ink but it ran out of ink so quickly that I switched to Waterman long cartridges. I use the same cartridges in another fountain pen that NEVER skips, so I don't think the ink is the problem. I think it's the medium nib. Would appreciate any advice on how to make this pen usable.
April 17, 2014
They got it right!
Fantastic FP in size, weight, color, & most important nib feedback. I already hand this pen in fill able rollerball. Loved it so much decided to give the FP a try. Choose fine nib.
April 5, 2014
What a difference 6 years make
I now have two Levenger True Writer fountain pens. My first, from 2008, is a sapphire Metalist.
APPEARANCE: When I received the Chesterton I was pretty pleased with the looks of the pen overall. I had expected more depth in the colors of the barrel, but I did find them reminiscent of coffee. The nib is especially beautiful.
PERFORMANCE: Though writing quite smoothly at first, it was long before I saw it drying up, even after less than a day's hiatus (I leave my fountain pens well capped, nib pointing up.) Indeed, both with Levenger ink cartridges and with the ink converter, the pen continued to have problems with flow. At first I thought it might be the Fine nib. But after returning the pen in for an exchange*, the second Chesterton had the same flow problems. (Nothing drives me more crazy than having to go back over my writing because no ink came out, or worse, because random dots and dashes now litter my page.) But when it isn't behaving badly, it writes quite pleasantly.
* Even after cleaning the nib, the original pen just worsened. Levenger's staff was very pleasant and helpful to work with through the exchange.
FEEL: I am not fond of the resin barrels. The Metalist feels (and looks, and writes) so much better. This is a matter of taste, no doubt. I find resin barels too light, and not particularly balanced. Its not bad, but it doesn't have any personality. I wish Levenger would get some weighty metal back in their lineup.
This baby is a looker, that's for sure. It would be wonderful if it would live up to its promise.
Hope this helps!
March 22, 2014
Bought the pen without checking the reviews. Not a good idea as it turned out. The first pen had a faulty nib. I returned it and got a second one. Fabulous looking, however, I had the same writing issues that other reviewers noted. I thought perhaps it needed a new cartridge so I unscrewed the nib and the cartridge got stuck in the barrel. I tried to pry the cartridge out to no avail. As a result, I have ink all over my hands and on the mouse pad with the photo of my husband and I on a Rhine River cruise. Very upsetting. So number two is being replaced. Hopefully number 3 will be okay. And I'm taking the advise of the reviewer who bought cartridges elsewhere!
February 8, 2014
Never judge a book (or fountain pen) by its cover
Fantastic beauty and it's fabulous with the perfect weight. The only issue is when you put pen to paper. The nib is something that dries out not over ours but over seconds. It has a very difficult feeling upon writing. There's no flow to the words. You consistently have to hold it down for more than just a moment to get the ink to start the flow. Although beautiful I would pass, then again it might be the Levenger cartridge as I noticed it has been a more pronounced issue since I replaced the ink. I want to love this pen, but again it is the beauty and not function.
December 14, 2013
Favorite Pen - Needs better ink
I received this pen as an exchange for the convertible roller ball, which was a nightmare. I was having the same issues that some of the other reviewers were having. Every time I put the pen down the ink would clump up and the pen would be useless, looked nice on my desk, but that was about it.
On a whim, I went to a local store that stocks much more expensive pens, and bought some new ink. Since then this pen has not quit. To test it out, I left it capped on my desk for a week. When I went back to it, it worked perfectly from the first stroke. A much better writer than my $220 Aurora Ipsilon.
May 15, 2013
Beautiful, but flawed
I received this pen as a gift and it truly is an attractive pen. The resin is of very good quality and the fit and finish is good. Mine came engraved with my initials and the engraving job is perfect. I can vouch that they have resolved any issues with the threading.
The pen fills easily with the converted and the nib writes smoothly. I found no skipping or any other problems when writing (Mine is a medium). The one issue I have had is that the nib seems to dry out at a fantastic rate. While there is no problem during writing, if left for a few hours the nib will be completely dry and it will take some effort to restore flow. A filled converter lasts maybe a week if you do no writing at all.
At the end a pen is about writing. While this pen is beautiful, I need a pen the writes when the cap is removed. Having to restart the ink flow every time I remove the cap makes this pen not worth the effort.
January 14, 2013
Levenger customer service is the best. They have made every attempt (always) to make it right. I have nothing but praise for them!
That said, I am disappointed in this pen. The first one I received was not at all worth mentioning. The replacement has, as others noted, an issue with the cap (as did the first.) It does not screw down evenly and easily. It will go, but it takes fiddling and when you are constantly writing, and capping and uncapping, it is not pleasant...
I have numerous fountain pens and I am VERY happy with my Cafe Au Lait fountain pen, so perhaps I am comparing everything else to it (along with my Namiki!) But even my much less expensive, grab and go pen-- my Lamy-- writes more smoothly... This pen has a bit of drag to it. The replacement is far better than the first, but this one does seem to have trouble settling in. The weight and the beauty of the pen are outstanding and I truly wish the nib matched the rest of the design. If you are not terribly fussy-- and I admit, I am-- this pen might do. For those who write a lot, who are very particular and pay attention to detail, who want to twist the cap on and off without thought while doing something else, I would steer clear of this pen, sadly.
April 22, 2012
The fountain pen is very attractive and writes smoothly. But the barrel and cap are poorly engineered. This is lots of play between barrel and cap when screwing or unscrewing the cap, and it screws roughly. I have to write with the pen daily to keep the nib web. Even then it takes several strokes to get the ink flowing. When it does flow, however, it writes smoothly. The pen has a nice heft in the hand. You cannot store an extra Levenger (short) ink cartridge in the barrel since the nib won't screw on all the way with an extra installed. Appearance is better than function in this pen's case.
January 9, 2012