Review by Laura Cameron
When I first saw a picture of the 3952 Abalone Shell Fountain Pen ($148) with fine nib I was struck by how pretty it was. As I mentioned when I reviewed the Diplomat Excellence A, I am a big fan of pens that are elegant in their attention to detail. The choice of the Abalone shell body with the metal trim elements in rose gold finish made this a winner for me.
The 3952 Abalone pen is crafted from real abalone shells. Though the abalone portion appears faceted, the pen is actually a smooth round body. The grip is a beautiful rose gold, and the nib is a Bock stainless steel nib; I chose an extra fine nib, though I see that double-broad is still in stock as well. The cap is a metal cap with guilloche patterning on it. It has a clip, that is attached with screws. The cap posts and has threads at the end of the barrel for posting. I will say that I still can’t quite decide whether the cap or the body is my favorite part of the pen.
The 3952 is decently weighty. The body, full of ink but capless, weighs 23gms. Adding the cap brings it up to a hefty 39gms, and I have to say that the pen was too top-heavy for me when the cap was posted. The pen is 5″ even from the end of the barrel to nib tip and a full 5 5/8″ long capped.
Finally, the pen takes either standard international cartridges or a converter, which is included in the box with purchase.
When I received the pen I grabbed my Crossfield journal, and loaded it up with some Pilot Iroshizuku ink in Ajisai. I have to say I was really impressed with this pen. It inked up easily, and wrote smoothly from the get go. I love the weight of the pen in my hands. So far my only minor complaint is that the grip section between the nib and the threads for the cap is sort of small (about 1/2″) and I think I would prefer it to be just a smidge longer for how I hold my pen. Otherwise, the pen writes beautifully and I really enjoy using it. I appreciate the thought and craftsmanship that went into this pen, and I feel it’s a beautiful pen at a fair price.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Chalet for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.