Ben Walsh is the serious mind behind Gravitas, but as you can see he has a sense of fun designing his Gravitas Skittles fountain pen. I mean, just look at it, it’s rainbow coloured and if that doesn’t inspire a smile and a feeling of joy, I genuinely don’t know what would.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Ben designs and makes all the pens on offer on his website – https://www.gravitaspens.com/ and his skill and ingenuity is immediately apparant.
Attention to detail and the perfect design are important to Ben, from the packaging, which in this case is a very attractive tube, which gives you a sense of the colours the pen has even before you open it, to the pen itself. Ben’s sense of fun carries through to the packaging because he infused it with the scent of skittles sweets and though I’ve had this pen a few months now the scent is still present and it smells lovely.
The pen is made from stainless steel with a precision machine finish, lightly brushed with a titanium nitride rainbow PVD. Until I looked it up I didn’t have a clue what PVD stood for but I’m happy to impart what I’ve learnt to you. It is a physical vapor deposition (PVD) coating, also known as thin-film coating. I could have bored you with a lot more info, which I found interesting, but I thought I’d be nice and not do that, but you’re welcome to look it up yourself.
Other info includes: length capped is 147.5mm, length uncapped is 134mm. The section is 28mm long X 12mm at widest point. The one very important thing to note is this is a weighty pen coming in at 74g capped and 49g uncapped, but Ben’s design has made it so the pen is beautifully balanced and surprisingly comfortable to write with even for long sessions. Amazing!
He’s thoughtfully made the step between the barrel and section 60 degrees, so they won’t interfere when writing with it. The threads themselves are triple start and unscrews with one twist, which is no mean feat. I chose a #6 Jowo broad nib, but you can get an extra fine, fine, medium, 1.1 stub or a 1.5 stub, so plenty of choice. When the pen arrived he had also included six ink cartridges, with the packet sporting his logo – nice touch, a great option to get you going if you don’t have a bottle of ink to hand, and a Schmidt K5 converter. If you’re an ink fanatic but also like to match the ink to the pen (yep, I’m guilty of that), then you literally have all the ink options available to you from the brightest to the darkest. Of course that means there’s a risk of decision paralysis, but if that’s the only problem this pen causes, and it is, then it’s not a bad one to have.
The pen costs €80 euros, plus delivery, which to my mind is a great price. However, he has just launched an entry level fountain pen for €55 euros with the same level of attention to its design but making it lightweight and therefore perfect for the new and/or inexperienced pen user. It also comes in three colours – teal, dark olive grey and black and I’m very tempted to get one.
Are they VFM? Oh yes and it is a stunningly beautiful pen and a delight to use, but be warned, if you are seen in public with it people will want to admire and hold it too, but I’m all about penenabling.
Ben is not one to sit on his laurels and no doubt will be coming up with other amazing designs and I can’t wait to see them.
NB: I’m not affiliated and this pen was purchased by me.
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