I'm writing about the "Original Black" pen from Narwhal. The cheap thing fell apart in my hands (piston broke), I never even had a chance to fill it with ink. I got in touch with Truphae to tell them about the problem (I had even included a photo) and they said that they got in touch with Narwhal to resolve the issue for me. That was over a week ago and I still haven't heard anything back from either Narwhal or Truphae. I think I'll stick to my regular pen makers and pen sellers from now on.
The nib is dry, even with otherwise wet flowing ink, but the piston broke. I spent $60 on garbage.
I bought this pen with a fine nib. I really like this pen, and am really frustrated with it. The pen looks great, and seems solidly made. I like its weight. It has a nice solid feel in the hand. I like the diameter and the length of it. It looks and feels like a pen that costs much more than it does. I would be inclined to buy another Narwhal pen, except....
This has to be the driest nib in history. Out of the box, when dipped in ink to test it, it wrote OK, but with a very fine line, as Japanese and other nibs do. That is to be expected. Then I inked it up, and it just scratched the paper. I applied more pressure than I usually use, and the pen wrote just a bit. I tried multiple inks, including inks that are too wet for some of my other pens. There was some improvement. I reread reviews from multiple sites. This seems to be a common complaint. One reviewer somewhere talked about buying a new #6 nib from another supplier and then liked the pen with the new -- not Narwhal -- nib. Once I knew that was a possibility, at the risk of damaging the nib, I flossed it with a brass sheet that is ultra thin. There was some improvement. And then I stumbled upon a Youtube site by Sbrebrown on how to "fix" a dry nib. With trepidation, and very gradually, I did what he recommended, and it has worked. It took multiple attempts. The nib now has a reasonable ink flow and writes smooth.
I now like this pen! But no buyer should have to do this much adjustment to a new nib, and many may not be up to the task.
My sister was visiting the store last week, and on a whim asked her to pick up one of these in Marlin Blue. Very nice package, beautiful pen body and cap, perfect weight for me, and I love the clear ink viewing ring. Filled right up on the first draw, and the nib is very cool. I put it on some Rhodia, a Clairfontaine, and a Tomoe River pad and the thing writes as well as pens costing a lot more. A sweet surprise. I am not crazy about some of the other colors but this is a real serious pen, and would take it over some of the TWSBI's I have based on the nib alone. Super smooth with a nice full wet line. Nib is a bit stiff but is still a pleasure to use. I am really very surprised and pleased at how nicely the pen performs.
Aesthetically it is a very attractive pen, appears to be well made. I liked the idea of the ink window but found inking the pen somewhat of a challenge and ink flow not what I prefer.