FIRST IMPRESSIONS. I like the Urban Expert. It is a nice pen. But the Carene is outstanding: I love everything about this pen. The size, design, weight, nib and build quality are superb. And of course the bottom line: it is pure joy to write with.
FILLING SYSTEM. The only thing that is simply normal about the pen is that it is a cartridge-converter fill.
Nothing wrong with that but not as much fun as a piston fill or vac fill. Honestly, all the other components on this pen are so pleasant, you can easily forget about a mundane fill. That being said, the Waterman converter is better than most with a nice snug fit and sturdy build. In fact, every aspect of the pen reveals build quality.
BUILD & QUALITY. The body is a luxurious black enamel over brass barrel, with metal fittings and smooth chrome appointments. Where the pen body screws on to the nib housing, Waterman set in two O-rings for a tight seal. If the converter leaked or came loose (which it wouldn't if properly installed) ink would not be able to escape until the barrel was unscrewed. The threading and fittings look like those on a piece of high grade equipment. Exquisite quality.
CAP & CLIP. The cap snaps firmly and securely in place over the nib and rests easily on the barrel when posted, but it doesn't snap. Due to the length and weight of the cap it stays in place without any problem. The pen is long enough to use comfortably without the cap posted. The clip is long and sleek and holds the pen securely without ripping your shirt pocket. (I have another pen that shreds the fibers of my pocket every time I remove the pen). Since the cap snaps securely, has a firm clip and the pen is long, it doesn't fall out of the cap like some screw caps do. (I've found my Pelikans and Truewriters to have unscrewed themselves and oozing ink into my pocket, more than once.)
DIMENSIONS. The size, for my taste, is perfect. The pen is long, weighty but not heavy and has a comfortable diameter. Length with cap is 5 3/4". Without cap it is 5 3/8". Posted 5 7/8". Diameter 1/2".
NIB. The best part is the inlaid nib: 18 kt gold and butter smooth. It writes first time and every time without hesitation. Mine is a medium nib and writes a true wet medium line. I am currently using J Herbin Pearle Noire.
Note: the photos are not mine.
That is b-b-beautiful. Actually, it is drool-worthy. I am happy for you and will resist all temptation to envy. Can I borrow it?
This has become one of my first choice pens - one of those that I most often pick up to write with. It is an outstanding pen. Of course you can borrow it. I hope to see Alexander soon, and I will pass it along to him.
I also have a Carene or two. I have the blue one and the purple one. I love the beauty of the Carene and would hesitate to sell them just for that reason.
On the other hand, they are not comfortable pens to hold for a five page letter and the inlaid nibs have all the flex of a railroad spike. Sad, because fit and finish are superb.
I love the looks of the Carene, but I am more likely to grab my Phileas or Laureate.
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