I was curious about the Opus 88 Koloro fountain pen ($93) which combine ebonite body components with transparent resin as well as being eyedropper fillers. This combination of elements seemed very unusual in a streamlined design I found aesthetically appealing so I was willing to give it a try.
The pens ship in a fairly simple package with a cardboard shipping sleeve and a magnetic closure box containing the pen and a rubber eyedropper.
I ended up filling the pen using my regular syringe rather than the eyedropper included as I felt I could better control it and get around the plunger mechanism. I made sure to watch the video posted by Pen Chalet about how filling mechanism works and how to loosen the piston before using the pen to aid in ink flow. I’ve never used an eyedropper that required this so I’m glad I watched the video.
The nib looks to be a standard German nib unit with the Opus 88 branding added.
The cap can be posted and it looks pretty streamlined but it makes the pen pretty back heavy. Uncapped, the Koloro is 5″ long. Capped it measures 5.5″ and posted it measures a whopping 6.25″.
I worked with the pen over several days and it was definitely hard starting after sitting and required priming the feed by twisting the piston out a turn and then turning it back in and then out again a couple times to get ink flowing again. At least, that was my experience. While this was not the exact advice from Ron, it was the quickest way I found to get the ink going again.
Once the ink was flowing, the pen writes beautifully. The weight in the hand is nice and the grip and threads transition nicely so its easy to write with it for longer periods. I prefer using it unposted.
The combination of ebonite and translucent sections is really mesmerizing. I do wish that the ebonite has included an ebonite feed which I think would have helped with the ink flow.
I do like the beaded detailing around the clip as well.
The two clear sections on the pen align with where the nib section is and where the ink is so you can see the nib and your ink capacity which is both aesthetically appealing and functional. I tried to put somewhat coordinating ink in the pen using Monteverde California Teal (review coming soon). I wondered if a more lubricated ink might have also helped with overall ink flow.
The same pens listed above, posted.
The Koloro weighs 25gms capped and 15gms uncapped, filled with ink. The weights listed above are all for pens capped or posted so the Koloro is pretty consistent with many of the pens of similar size.
Overall, I find the combination of materials interesting and was intrigued by the filling mechanism but I am finding some issues with the tendency to need to prime it. I’m not sure how effective the Koloro would be as an everyday writer for meetings and being used on and off through out the course of a day. That is a test I did not get to put it through yet. But just in my weekend writing tests between one day and the next and needing a good while to prime it means this may be better suited to use for letter writing, journal writing or other longer writing sessions where you can sit and prime the pen prior to use.
There’s something about it, in its aesthetics that appeals to me, so I want to find a way to make it work for me. Does that ever happen to you? Beyond rational though, you like a pen despite its flaws?