I couldn’t resist styling the new Esterbrook Estie Lilac Slim (MSRP $185US) with my most matchy-matchy handbag. Can you blame me?
Seriously though, I was very excited to hear about the new Estie Lilac and to find out that they had introduced a smaller, slimmer version was an added bonus.
But first, let’s cover all the standard details:
The Estie ships in the same red textile box that all the other pens have shipped in.
Nestled inside the cushioned ivory interior is the lovely pen. The Estie Slim comes with both a converter and cartridge.
The downside of the Slim model is that it will not work with the MV-Adaptor that allows for the use of the vintage Esterbrook nibs that can be used with the standard sized Estie pens.
The Lilac is a brilliant violet with a crushed resin look. I think the silver hardware looks great with the purple color. I think the color choices keep getting better with the Estie. The new Esterbrook Estie started with some very classic colors but they have been slowly exploring more adventurous colors with each release.
The Schmidt #5 nib is very similar in size to the original vintage Esterbrook nibs so I was really hoping that they had developed a new converter that would work with the Slim model. Oh well. It’s still a gorgeous pen.
The Estie Lilac Slim features a #5 Schmidt nib rather than the #6 Jowo nib that is on the standard sizes Estie.
I liked the medium nib on my Estie Honeycomb so much I got a medium on the Lilac Slim as well. Of course, since the Honeycomb is a Jowo and the Lilac Slim is a Schmidt nib, it’s not really fair to compare.
The Schmidt nib has a little bit of bounce and writes pretty well out of the box. While not a flexible nib, the Schmidt nib is a pleasing writing experience. I know there are some that firmly prefer Jowo over Schmidt but I have not had issues with one over the other.
When compared with the original Blueberry Estie in standard size, it’s easy to see both the color and size difference. The Lilac Slim weighs in at a scant 21gms capped and filled compared to the full sized Estie at 26gms. Uncapped, the Slim is just 12gms compared to 17gms for the full-sized Estie.
Capped, the Slim is about 5.5″ to the full-size Estie’s 6″. And uncapped, its just 4.8″ to the full-sized Estie’s 5.25″ length. There’s a difference in overal width too which can be a comfort issue too. I prefer a slightly more slender pen because my hands are so small. (I was just complaining yesterday that my most recent travel coffee mug was too big for me to hold with one hand comfortably without fear of dropping it. I have to carry it with two hands like a toddler. So embarrassing!)
I wanted to compare the Estie Slim to other pens as well like the TWSBI Eco, a Lamy AL-Star and a Kaweco Sport for size. Above are the pens all capped. Below are the same pens posted, except for the Lilac Slim which doesn’t post.
Unposted, the Lilac Slim is shorter than a Kaweco Sport when its posted.
Overall, I think the Estie Slim will be a great addition in the new Esterbrook pen line-up. It’s beautiful and introduces a wider size range to the brand. It’s unfortunate that it does not continue to support the vintage nibs but I’m not sure how important that is to the pen community as a whole. For many, continuing the Esterbrook brand in a respectful way is more important than continuing to tie it to the older nib technology.
Included with my shipment were these lovely shaped paper clips and bookmarks which is a lovely addition. The bottom clip is the original Esterbrook factory building, in case you’re curious. I’m not sure if these will be available for purchase or if they are a special promotion. Ask your favorite retailer!
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 16 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Esterbrook Estie Lilac Slim ($148 at Pen Chalet or Vanness Pens)
- Ink: Sailor Studio 143 ($18 for 20ml bottle)