Reappraising my reviews… did the love last?

Any review is a snapshot: a perspective after a certain amount of time spent with a product… a pen, for example.

And that perspective can change, as you spend more time with the product, and as you encounter new products to compare it against.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the nature of things. Anyone who reviews products does their best — I know I do — but we have to accept that our reviews are never going to be definitive. They’re never even going to be perfect reflections of our opinions in a year’s time, let alone any objective truth.

So, after that rather overblown preamble… I thought I’d go back to some of my reviews from a few months back and see how my opinions have changed.

Pilot Myu

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Everything I said about the Myu back in September is true. But I sold it, and now I think of it much as a wonderful holiday that I went on — a fond memory, not a place to live every day. Looking at the trends in my purchases towards larger, more Germanic pens, it was always unlikely to make the leap to being a daily user. And I just couldn’t afford to have that much cash tied up in a souvenir.

Pelikan M805

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My review of the M805 was a rollercoaster: lots of good stuff, but a bit of a wobble about the medium nib. I swapped it for a fine nib in the end — and had a wobble about that, too. Fortunately, I persevered, and four months later my M805 is in daily use (it’s inked right now with Montblanc Lavender Purple). I absolutely love it. It is comfortable, reliable, and gets out of the way so I can focus on my writing. Hilariously, I said in the review that the M805 felt like a really big pen, and that I couldn’t conceive of stepping up to the bigger M1000. Then I bought one. Now the M805 feels like a midsized pen to me next to the M1000 and Homo Sapiens!

Sailor Pro Gear

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I still haven’t made my heart up about the Pro Gear. My mind is completely convinced: beautiful nib, great design, great construction. But I don’t find myself using it that much. What’s holding me back? Maybe deep down I’m not such a fan of the Sailor nib feel as I thought. Or maybe I just haven’t found the right ink to go with it yet.

Pilot 92 and Pilot 91

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I have extremely fond memories of both of these pens, but I sold them both. My tastes changed a little bit, I guess I like larger nibs, larger pens, and wetter writers. In truth most Pilot nibs I’ve encountered run a bit dry out of the box, too.

Pilot 912

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My review was simply titled “I’m in love with the Pilot 912”. And I still am. It wasn’t the biggest or flashiest pen in my collection when I first reviewed it back in June (or when I got it, months earlier), and now I’ve got some truly large and premium pens to compete with it. And yet I do still use it very regularly. It’s inked with Sailor Kin Mokusei right now.

I do wish the nib was bigger, and that it didn’t have a converter filling mechanism, particularly the impossible-to-flush CON-70. So, I have high hopes for the 823 that I have on the way, with its vac filler and #15 nib. In which case maybe my 912 will get retired…

Jinhao 992

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Let’s face it — as great as they are, these little Jinhaos were never going to become daily users for me, not with so many nicer pens in the queue. But my daughter still loves them, they’re holding up great, and I had a chat with someone at the LWES about what brilliant value they are. No regrets.

Platinum 3776

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I was effusive in my praise of the 3776 when I finally got around to reviewing it. And yet my love grows stronger still. Every time I uncap one of my 3776s I feel like I’m coming home. It’s as simple as that. It’s quite weird: they’re clearly not the biggest, plushest or best made pens, and visually they’re not that beautiful either (that gorgeous nib aside). But in the hand they’re great, and both my SF and UEF nibs are just smashing. I still maintain that they’re the best gold-nib pens you can buy at the price.

Six months ago I wrote that I liked the 3776 as much as my Pilots. Well, I’ve sold two of my Pilots since, but the 3776s are here to stay. (Apart from the Music nib: that’s still for sale…)

Have your opinions changed?

Every purchase goes through a journey: anticipation, buyer’s remorse, the honeymoon period… and then it ends one of two fundamental ways. Gradual boredom, or long-term love. Sometimes, the pens that make the cut aren’t the ones you expect.

 

 

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