Piuma is Italian for feather and most of Ensso’s pens are beautifully machined from lightweight aluminium or titanium so naturally I opted for the heaviest version, the brass one.
The Piuma started life on Kickstarter and I missed out on it so when I found out they were having a sale, a few months back, offering 30% off and free international shipping I jumped at it and even with the customs charges it was still a bargain.
The pen arrived, and I dutifully paid my charges and it was delivered. Ensso say it is a minimalist pen and this definitely extends to the packaging; the pen arrives tightly set in a precision cut piece of foam in a simple black tray that is slotted into an equally simple black cover.
The packaging, like the pen itself, is engineered to the millimetre with zero tolerance, which makes extracting the tray portion of the packaging very interesting. After several attempts I got it free and faced part two of the challenge, extracting the pen from the foam insert. Once that was done, and needless to say it’s never going back in the original packaging, I got to marvel at what must be one of the most perfectly shaped cigar pens of all time.
As a piece of engineering it is impressive; you only need to look at it to know that the ‘compromise’ wasn’t part of the process; this was definitely a case of ‘do it once and do it right’ and with that in mind what Ensso have achieved is quite something.
When you look at the pen, fresh from the box, you need to look very hard to find Ensso engraved along the bottom edge of the cap in very small letters; it’s a really nice understated way for the company to sign their work.
After removing the cap you will find that it is secured with flat threads and it’s metal on metal with a very small step down from the barrel to the threads. The nib section is a shaped rather than just tapering and ends (at the nib) with a nice sized lip which is a comfortable place to rest your finger when writing.
Whilst at that end of the pen it is worth mentioning the size 6 Bock nib (a screw in unit); I wasn’t particularly hopeful as I have had a bad experience with Bock and I would normally opt for Jowo but the choice was Bock or Bock so what can you do.
However, I was very pleasantly surprised, when I dip tested it (mine is a medium nib) using KWZ Warsaw Dreaming, to find not only did the nib write very smoothly but I was also able to get a decent amount of line variation from it. Writing with a brass pen can be a bit of a chore, particularly if the balance isn’t right but this pen just sits in your hand and I found it very comfortable to write with, it’s worth noting that I don’t think this pen can be posted it’s just not designed that way.
When I had finished testing the nib I found that the pen disassembled very easily for cleaning so ultimately it was an easy job to clean the nib unit and because it is a standard nib unit it should be very easy to swap nibs and buy additional nibs for it. Ensso have continued the theme of standardisation to include the convertor; the Piuma takes a standard international convertor so should take the same in cartridge form which makes so much easier if you are travelling with the pen.
Finally, on our tour of the pen, the barrel. Like every other part of this pen it is extremely well made having more of a taper to it than the cap allowing it to rest comfortably in your hand and not displace the balance of the pen.
At $99 USD (brass version) this is not an inexpensive pen, but when you look at the work that has gone into this pen I think you would have to agree that $99 USD is not a lot to pay for pen of such high quality. And if, like me, you can get one on offer, whatever you do don’t pass it up.
In short, this is a pen I like a lot. It’s easy to use and easy to maintain and beautifully engineered and whether you pay list price, or you are lucky enough to get one on offer this is definitely one to add to your collection.
Disclaimer: The pen was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.