Until about a month ago the only Narwhal I’d heard of was the whale that lives in the arctic; so when I heard there was a pen with the same name I set out to find out more.
A little digging around and I found a review by Sarah Read on the The Pen Addict and one written by Anthony at UK Fountain Pens and after reading both of these reviews I decided to order one.
It turns out that Narwhal Pens have two standard ranges to choose from the Original and Schuylkill; I opted for the Original range as I wanted the clear Demonstrator model.
I have to say for some reason I was not expecting a great deal from the Narwhal; I think this was mainly because they are a relatively new company and at £40.00GBP they are competing in the same market as more established company’s such as TWSBI.
Anyway, I placed my order with Cult Pens and the next day it arrived.
Like I said I wasn’t expecting a lot so when I opened the envelope, I was very pleasantly surprised because in it was a very sturdy little white bearing the company logo, a Narwhal!
Inside the box is a User Guide and under this, set in a foam insert, is the pen and a small spanner. And that is that for the packaging, not that there is often much to say about pen boxes, but Narwhal have really gone for a minimalist approach, so nothing distracts you from your new pen.
On to the pen, starting with the cap.
The cap is a clear polished acrylic (like the rest of the pen) screw on cap that takes approximately two and a half turns to remove/replace. It is made in two parts; the body and the finial and these clamp the clip in place. The body of the cap is designed to work in two halves; the upper half provides the nib with an airtight chamber to prevent it from drying out whilst the lower half houses the section and the threads, and all of this works well, so far, I have not had any problems with the nib drying out. The finial is screwed on to the cap from within the main body of the cap and on the top of the finial is a polished silver button.
As for the clip, it is surprisingly strong and in its present state I would doubt if could be used as intended. However, this is not a problem for me as I only use clips as a roll stop but if you do use them properly then I imagine it will give a little over time.
Now, as this is a piston filler the barrel and the section are integrated with the barrel containing the piston and the knob that controls the piston. And the piston is where the little spanner comes into play; most of the time it is sufficient to flush a piston filler by simply using the piston, however, every once in a while it’s necessary to strip the pen down and give it a thorough clean.
Having never removed a piston before I asked Google what I should do and Google found a YouTube video posted by Goldspot Pens and if, like me, you have never done this before I’d thoroughly recommend watching this video.
Following the on screen instructions I had, in no time at all, removed and lubricated the piston, dried the inside of the barrel and re-assembled the Narwhal.
Next is the section, now between the section and the barrel there is a silver band with ‘Narwhal’ engraved on it and after the band are the threads for the cap which are very smooth, and I barely noticed they were there. The section is smooth round and tapers towards the nib ending in a small lip that stops your finger sliding on to the nib.
Speaking, of the nib. The nib is a size 6 and somewhat unusually Narwhal make their own nibs; which are engraved with the company logo and scrollwork and are available in Fine and Medium. I opted for Medium, and I have been very impressed with it; straight out of the box it was super smooth with a good steady flow of ink that kept up with my scribbling.
Furthermore, I’ve not experienced any skipping or hard starts even when I have left the pen uncapped for minutes at a time. Overall Narwhal have done an excellent job on the nib and feed.
So, is a Narwhal worth your pennies?
Definitely, it’s a great pen to use and after only a few weeks it’s the first pen I reach for all the time.
Narwhals are a great pen at a great price and if demonstrators are not your thing, then Narwhal do a nice range of colours you can choose from. So, if you are buying for yourself or as a gift for someone else this is a pen to put on your shopping list.
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.