The latest Kickstarter from Ensso is a pair of Japanese Ebonite fountain pens. One is a mini pocket pen and the other is a full-sized, cigar-shaped (dirigible-shaped?) fountain pen. Ebonite is extremely lightweight which allows these pens to be of similar width and size to the earlier Ensso metal machined PIUMA pens but at a fraction of the weight.
The mini pen is so small that it can take either cartridges or be eye dropper filled. The front section is extremely short. I suppose the Kaweco squeeze converter might work but it doesn’t really hold more ink that a cartridge. The mini pen did come with a rubber gasket and pre-greased threads making the first eye dropper filling an easy task.
The pens feature a #6 Bock nib painted black for a matte black-on-black aesthetic. There is an option for a silver tone titanium nib rather than the black.
Clearly, the mini pen is too short to use without posting the cap but the full-sized can be posted or used unposted. It’s satisfactorily long enough to work either way.
I know a lot of people prefer JOWO nibs but I found these Bock nibs to be a joy to write with.
When compared with other pens, I lined the mini pen up along side a Kaweco AL Sport, Opus 88 Fantasia and a Sailor Pro Gear Pocket. The full-sized is compared to an Aurora Optima, an Opus 88 Koloro and a Lamy Al-Star. The mini is definitely smaller in length that any of the other pens shown while also being the widest. The full-sized is comparable in length, when capped, the the Koloro and AL-Star.
When posted, the mini is comparable in length while noticeably featuring a larger nib. The full-sized Ensso Ebonite is almost the same length as the Lamy when posted.
As for weight comparisons, the full-sized pen weighs 18gms posted or capped and 14gms unposted. The mini pen weighs 12gms posted/capped and 9gms unposted. This makes the full-sized pen comparable in weight to a Lamy Safari and the mini pocket pen comparable to a Kaweco Sport (approx. 10gms with cartridge).
There are 300 “early bird” backer pens available at $79. After that, the price goes up to $89 per pen. There is a $40 upcharge for a titanium nib.
I’m pleased that Ensso is trying new, lighter materials for their pens. I am hoping that this kickstarter will be successful so that they might introduce some other colors or material — though this pen will cement my place int he Black Pen Society.
- Paper: Elia Note with 8mm guide sheet
- Pens: Ensso Japanese Ebonite Regular & Pocket Sized Fountain Pen ($79 and up)
- Ink: Diamine Prussian Blue (18-pack of cartridges for $8.50) and Monteverde Sweet Life Blue Velvet Cake ($10 for 30ml bottle)