Once again, the new Esterbrook company, in the hands of Kenro Industries, is creating new and innovative pen designs. Esterbrook launched the Camden Classic at the end of 2019 in Graphite, Rose Gold and Brushed Silver with both fountain pen and rollerball models, and now they have released their limited edition Camden Composition (MSRP$195, Street Price $156). This release is limited to just 250 of each design and will be available in classic Back to School Black Composition and Spring Break Fluorescent Green Composition with both fountain pen and rollerball options. There will also be a Fall Leaves Burgundy Composition available as well (in the fall, of course).
The Esterbrook Camden Composition ships in the tweedy, academic-looking magnetic box. Tres apropos!
The inside of the packaging is the padded pen bed and includes the microfiber cloth, a standard international cartridge and a converter (in the pen at present).
The pen itself is a lovely with textural, spatter paint-over-metal. It has a simple, slightly cigar shape to it with a simple, tapered, spring-loaded clip. The simple pen shape lends itself to a busier paint/material. Around the base of the cap, where it meets the body of the pen, is a fine, white line and the Esterbrook logo monogram. On the end cap is the new Esterbrook X logo on the microfiber cloth.
The grip is a smooth molded plastic. The threads are noticeable if you grip low enough but the grip section seems long enough that it’s unlikely to be an issue. There is a slight step-up between the grip section and the barrel of the pen but it’s been rounded off a bit so it’s not particularly noticeable. The cap seal with a “cushion cap” mechanism that has a bit of a spring seal to it. It reminds me of the snap-and-seal of Platinum and Wancher.
The nib is a standard #6 Schmidt nib. I tested the medium nib. I seem to like the Schmidt medium nibs. There’s a crispness to them with a little bounce. Maybe I’ve gotten to the point where, depending on the nib manufacturer, I have a specific preference for a nib width but all the Schmidt mediums I’ve tried recently, I like. Usually, I avoid medium nibs like my life depended on it but I’m reconsidering that course of action.
When asked what color Camden Composition I wanted to review, it had to be the Lime. Of course it did. I mean, the photo above had to be taken, right? And this photo was just for size comparison. From left to right: Kaweco Sport, Lamy Safari, Esterbrook Camden Composition (5 7/8″ or 150mm), Pilot Metropolitan and Pilot Prera.
Same pens as the photo above but uncapped which brings me to the only point I haven’t raised yet about the Camden Composition: it does not post. So, in use, the CC is about the same length as a posted Kaweco Sport or Pilot Prera (5 1/8″ or 130mm).
In terms of weight, the Camden Composition weighs about 36gms capped, with a full converter, and about 19gms uncapped.
In writing, I found the weight of the pen and the bouncy nib to be a joy. It’s a really nice pen. The width of the pen is comfortable and easy to hold. The texture is interesting and different. I am a little curious if the paint will chip over time but I guess time will tell. The lime color is joyous and the Composition spatter coloring is very unique. It’s unlike any other pen that’s come across my desk.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 18 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Esterbrook Camden Composition in Lime with Medium Nib (MSRP$195, Street Price $156).
- Ink: Pen BBS No. 224 Tolstoy (No longer available, recommend Pen BBS No. 342 Matcha Ice Cream $16 as an alternative)