Think of a pocket fountain pen and you’ll probably think of the Kaweco Al Sport, or maybe the Liliput. Well, with the Milim pocket fountain pen you’ve now got another option.
Milim is a one-man-band based in Poland and selling on Etsy. Bartosz’s store showcases not only the pocket fountain pens in brass, black, aluminium and other special finishes, but also jewellery. And thanks to a chat on Instagram I know that he also makes turntable components and anything else that can be crafted from metal! My kinda guy.
I received a black chrome pen to review (for free). I was hoping to get one of Milim’s funky metal (glass-lined) inkwells in the package, but I can’t complain. While the inkwell is super cool, I can’t imagine many situations where I’d want to carry just a small pocket pen, but also need and have the space to take extra ink.
The pen comes packed in a glass tube, like a fitted test tube. It’s minimal and classy. Inside, the pen is smoothly polished metal, with only a subtle “MiliM” stamped on the barrel. It’s a bit reminiscent of Schon Design pens, but the cap is shorter on the Milim, and in my opinion better proportioned.
At rest the cap fits flush with the short body, and at each end is an indented section, with a nicely domed end. This gives visual symmetry while enabling the cap to screw-post to add length to the pen in use.
And posting is needed for anything more than a quick note. This is a very short pen.
The threads on the back of the barrel needed some breaking in for me. Those on the section worked great. The cap comes off in just a smidge over one full rotation. I’m a little concerned that the cap might come off in a pocket as a result.
The section itself is narrow, tapered and short. I noticed the step down from the barrel, but the threaded part is very narrow so didn’t bother me.
My example had a kind of chip or gouge at the end of the section, which spoiled the otherwise flawless machining.
As a pocket pen, I’d expect this pen to get some hard use, so I’m not bothered about the odd flaw, and my fingers don’t touch this one. If I had paid retail for this pen I would probably have emailed asking for a replacement section, though.
Unusually, the threads inside the cap go on forever — way longer than needed to attach to the pen. A design choice, perhaps?
The section unscrews to fit a cartridge or short converter. A black cartridge from an unknown manufacturer is included, and I chose to use that rather than load up with something more interesting. It somehow fit with the minimal aesthetic and purpose of the pen.
The nib is a small Schmidt steel unit with no breather hole. It’s a fine, I believe, although unmarked.
The Milim wrote straight out of the box, with no complaints, and a moderate flow. Just what you want from a pocket pen. I’ve complained about Schmidt nibs being boring before in my Ystudio reviews, but here I quite like it — this is a stripped-back functional pen with no claim to carrying “the weight of words” or other whimsy; a no-nonsense nib does the job.
For quick notes, the Milim pen is perfectly usable unposted.
Posted, the Milim is comfortable for half a page or so. I still found it quite narrow and short, as well as back-heavy. This is a note pen at heart.
I have a few issues with the Milim as a pocket pen, though. For a start, the black finish is an absolute fingerprint magnet, and I do wonder how the finish (over brass) is going to stand up to scratches from keys and the like. Time will tell..
While it is well machined, this is a block of metal with quite sharp edges, so will do as much damage to your pocket stuff as any knife or flashlight would. It`s a perfect cylinder, with no clip, roll-stop or facets, so if you put the pen or the cap down it will roll right off your desk. And yes, no clip or option of a clip, so you`ll have to think hard about how you carry it, too.
The Milim pens run to about 55 quid depending on material, and over 100 with the inkwell and converter. That is a bit cheaper than a Kaweco brass Sport, and the Milim is properly handmade. For that reason, I think it’s great value. It’s still early days for me, but I’m rather smitten with mine.