Eureka Pens is a one-man-band run by a guy called Dovidu from South Korea. He posted up a thread on FPN a couple of months back introducing two entirely new fountain pen designs, fabricated entirely in-house except for the ink converters.
The specs were interesting and Dovidu made bold claims about the quality and design of his pens. And what’s more, the pens were priced at about $150 each. I couldn’t resist. I got in touch to buy one, and Eureka sent me the second design for free too, to review. These are the pens.
I can almost guarantee that you haven’t seen this brand before, so this review will be a little more descriptive than usual, and photo-heavy. Bear with me.
These are clipless pens (clips and rollstops will be an option in the future, along with urushi, gold nibs and more). They’re both big, in all respects. Seen here compared to a Pelikan M1005.
But don’t worry: these pens are lighter than their size would suggest.
There are two designs: Symmetry, where the cap closes flush with the barrel, seen here in green, and Asymmetry, where the cap is wider than the barrel.
Both pens are made from Japanese ebonite in a range of colours. There are no trim rings or other metal adornment. There’s no reason you couldn’t use them as eyedroppers if you wanted to.
They’re both of quite familiar, even conventional designs. The caps unscrew, then the sections unscrew to reveal a cartridge/converter setup.
What’s clever about the Symmetry design is that there’s just one set of threads for both the cap and barrel to thread on to.
The section seats against a flat shelf inside the barrel, leaving a portion of threads sticking out for the cap to use.
The nibs are number-six sized, and they’re made out of solid silver. This is pretty unusual.
The silver apparently behaves very much like an 18k gold nib, but unlike gold, it will tarnish. Eureka includes a bottle of silver cleaner and a silver polishing cloth with each pen. The nibs are branded with the striking Eureka wordmark.
The nibs come in FM size by default, with fine and extra fine an option for additional charge.
Eureka makes its own feeds from ebonite, claiming a sophisticated design with lots of twists and turns to smooth out ink flow.
I haven’t investigated trying to remove the nibs and feeds from the pens, but there doesn’t appear to be any kind of unit, they’re just mounted directly into the section.
So those are the basics. Are these good pens?
Yes, they are.
I was struck by just how accomplished the execution of both designs was. The ebonite is thick, smooth, rounded and beautifully polished.
Edges are extremely well finished, internal surfaces too.
The threads are smooth and consistent (although a little tight on the Symmetry version), and not sharp under the fingers. The caps come off in about 1.5 turns, which is perfect. The threads are multi-start.
If you like big pens, these will suit you perfectly: long, long sections with plenty of space. In fact, the Symmetry reminded me a lot of a Nakaya Long Cigar.
There’s little to choose between the two designs, actually. The Asymmetry is a shorter, chunkier pen. It has a more rounded section. I prefer holding it.
The Asymmetry posts deeply if that matters to you. And of course it has no noticeable step down from barrel to section.
The Argentum nib and feed is extremely impressive, especially for a one-man-band operation. It’s a conventional design with circular breather hole and a normal-size blob of tipping. Both nibs wrote fairly well out of the box, with a degree of flex. Don’t overdo it though, because it will railroad.
I wasn’t expecting it, but the Symmetry wrote wetter, wider, smoother and with more flex than the Asymmetry nib — and I’m not sure why.
I’m not looking forward to trying to polish a silver nib, but it will certainly be a new experience for me. I’ve never owned a silver nib before, and I love trying new things.
Eureka has been extremely transparent about its development process. These pens actually have version numbers, as Dovidu evolves the designs. Mine are a v8.3 Symmetry and v8.2 Asymmetry. So what would I change for the next release? I can only muster three things:
- I found the lip at the end of the section on the Symmetry was a little sharp.
- Eureka includes no real packaging — the pens are just in one of those velvet sleeves, wrapped in bubble wrap. Included ebonite pen rests were a nice touch, but I’d like some kind of simple box.
- The nibs between the two pens were a little inconsistent.
At $150, these pens are a steal. Even though I got hit by a customs charge at import, I still feel like I bagged a bargain. Quality materials, innovative design, in-house manufacture and almost flawless execution. If you like what you see, you can order yours here.