This Just In: Nexus Minimal Fountain Pen (Kickstarter)

Nexus Minimal fountain pen with packaging

[Updated Feb 26th – see below]

I received my Kickstarter Nexus Minimal fountain pen today. I pledged at the early bird level (the lowest) and didn’t order any of the accessories, not even a converter. I was concerned about the quality of the project but I did want to support a fountain pen. By “concerned about the quality of the project” I mainly mean that their delivery date (Nov 2014) was far to aggressive considering they wouldn’t get the money until mid-September. Plus, I felt if they were successful and reached their stretch goals (they did) they would have a project that was complicated to complete with so many options.  So while it arrived several months late it wasn’t unexpected or unusual for Kickstarter.

They shipped it with the cartridge in the pen (not loaded, just in the barrel). My cartridge leaked in the pen so I had to clean it out and will let the barrel dry for a couple days so that there isn’t any moisture trapped in there. This isn’t the first pen I received with the cartridge stored in the barrel, but usually the top of the cartridge (the hard part) is near the feed, in other words it’s usually shipped upside down. Maybe the cold affected it (I’ve avoided ordering ink because it’s been so cold for so long) but there weren’t any signs of ice so it may have been punctured when being jostled in transit.

I picked the Matt Black version which doesn’t feel like cold aluminum and has a bit of a soft feel to it. The pen feels nice in my hand although I’ve yet to actually write with it. I like the feel of the material. It feels lighter than I expected although I then weighed it and found it’s 22 grams which is close to their pre-production spec of 24 grams. And I don’t trust my scale enough to say they’re wrong.

They used Bock nibs and the nib is stamped with the Bock name. I usually don’t judge a nib until I write with it, but since I couldn’t write with it yet I took a look with a loupe. The tines are just slightly misaligned. I did see one commenter complain about skipping. I don’t think they did any nib alignments so they’re at the mercy of Bock’s mass production quality control.

With the exchange rate at the time, foreign exchange fees, and shipping this fountain pen was less than $40. For that price this seems like a very nice pen, although I have to qualify that by saying I won’t be inking it up for a couple more days. Unfortunately those of you who picked the Titanium pen are still waiting for them to work out the manufacturing process.

[Feb 26th Update] I inked up the pen today before lunch. It wasn’t problem free but I haven’t heard of anyone else having similar problems and it’s not something that would go unnoticed.

Since the pen shipped with a Diamine ink cartridge, but mine was broken, I wanted to pick a Diamine ink to start with and I had a box of Diamine Prussian Blue ink cartridges. So I popped one in and set the pen nib down to allow the ink to reach the nib. A couple minutes later, when I checked the pen, I found that the cartridge had completely emptied into the cap. It appeared the ink had flowed through the feed, not leaked around the side. I inked another pen with a Diamine Prussian Blue cartridge at the same time. That one didn’t have the same problem and in fact the ink took about 10 minutes to even reach the tip of the nib.

I checked back and I found that this Prussian Blue cartridge did the same thing in another pen, but in that case I blamed the pen and put it aside for review (which I’ve yet to do) because I had just taken it apart for a thorough cleaning. Interestingly, but meaningless, that was a Faber-Castell Basic which this pen reminds me of.

But back on this pen – I unscrewed the nib unit and there wasn’t any trace of ink around the threads, further leading me to figure the ink flowed right through the nib. So with the nib unit still removed I inserted a Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire ink cartridge and waited for the ink to flow. No signs of leaking and the ink took over 5 minutes to reach the nib. It’s been a couple of hours and there’s no sign of ink in the cap, although the pen has only been nib down when I’m writing. It’s either flat on my desk or nib up in my pen stand.

I haven’t  done a lot of writing with the Nexus Minimal fountain pen but my first impression are:

The nib isn’t the smoothest but it is smooth enough. I’ve certainly paid more for a pen with a worse nib. There’s some tooth on courser paper. I haven’t had any skipping on Doane Paper except when I first uncap the pen. The first stroke sometimes skips if it’s a upstroke. This doesn’t happen every time. I have the same hard starts but I also had some skipping on the slicker Rhodia paper (No. 16 Dotpad). This is typically an upstroke when starting a new word and when I was taking notes where I write a bit fast. As I mentioned the tines are slightly misaligned which may contribute to the skipping. In my case, on the upstroke the leading tine is higher than the trailing tine. The tines don’t seem that much out of alignment, but if I used Rhodia or other slick paper most of the time the skipping would be annoying enough for me to align the tines and smooth the nib sooner rather than later. With slower, deliberate writing I have less skips on even Rhodia paper. And I really do need to slow down whenever I expect other people to read my writing. But on Doane the hard starts aren’t frequent enough for me to make changes. At least not yet.

Also, I did not order the converter but a standard sized Schmidt converter fits just fine so no reason why other converters won’t fit. Standard international long cartridges also fit fine, at least the Pelikans I have do.

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11 thoughts on “This Just In: Nexus Minimal Fountain Pen (Kickstarter)

  1. Thanks for posting this – I’m still waiting (im)patiently for my Nexus to arrive. It looks like a pretty decent pen – will you be updating us once you’ve had a go at writing with it? Cheers!

    • Hi Jamerelbe,
      I plan to ink the pen tonight so I can use it tomorrow. I’ll update this post with any initial thoughts sometime this weekend.

      Thanks for reading,
      Ray

  2. This is my first fountain pen! I came across your site trying to find out what others have thought about it, can’t wait to read your review.

    • Hi Jake,
      I’ll update this post with some initial comments once I’ve used the pen for a day or two. I usually like to use the pen for a month or so before I review it, so the review will probably take a while before a full review.

      I think you’ll enjoy the pen. If you want general fountain pen information I’d recommend the Fountain Pen 101 videos from Goulet Pens. I was a little surprised to see that the pen lacked any sort of instructions. While not difficult and second nature after a short time instructions would help.

      Thanks for reading,
      Ray

      • I am enjoying it so far, it is a very welcome addition to the rest of the pens I own.

        Thank you for the link.

  3. Are you finding this pen to be very wet? I think I should have ordered it with the fine nib, where is a good source to get a different nib?

    • Hi Jake,
      My fine nib is also a fairly wet writer. I see Namisu sells nib units on their site (namisu.com). With shipping from the UK it’s a bit pricey, but it will fit for sure. This site seems to have a compatible nib unit. I’ve never dealt with them but they are well known. Probably worth contacting them first to see if they think it will work or what their return policy would be if it doesn’t.

      Ray

      • Well glad to know it was not just me on this then. I found that same site and was wondering if they would work, I will contact them and see what they have to say. Hopefully it will be a better option then buying from Namisu. I really appreciate the information.

  4. Hi, I just received the Nexus as a gift. It was shipped with the cartridge in the barrel. Sadly, I can’t figure out how to get the cartridge out of the barrel to ink the pen. Any thoughts? Yes I have seen suggestions on using a long screw, but I have seen no suggestions related to this pen specifically so I thought I would ask. Wish there was a “startup” video for the pen as I feel quite stupid 🙂

    • Unfortunately I’ve got nothing you probably haven’t already tried. Taping the barrel lightly on a table (or against your hand) usually works for me. I don’t see anything in the barrel to actually catch on the cartridge so it must be just friction and pressure keeping it in there.

      Good luck,
      Ray

  5. New on Kickstarter: Infinity Fountain Pen by Metaxas & Sins.

    Infinity. A curvaceous, seductive, minimal, sinful writing experience. A beautiful sculpture with soul, character, personality. It allows you to unleash your inner Hemingway. To distill and liberate your most intimate thoughts. It teases and seduces you. It begs you to fondle it. You can’t stop caressing it. For those who enjoying the pure and sinful pleasure of writing.

    DESIGN
    The universal symbol for “Infinity” with voluptuous curves marries well into a shape that fits perfectly within the hand and is very comfortable to hold.
    MATERIALS
    A solid block of aircraft aluminium which is beautifully CNC machined with a sand-blasted finish. Logos are laser etched.
    Risks and challenges
    The risks and challenges have been minimised as sample pens have already been produced and extensively tested with the Schmidt Nibs [Fine and Medium] to make sure there is no leakage or nib drying. Our qualifications are 30 years of experience producing state-of-the-art Hi Fi products [www.metaxas.com] as well as designing luxury products for the most serious luxury groups [http://www.metaxas.com/Collection_2014-2015.pdf] allows us to be confident to offer and deliver this beautiful “sculpture”.

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