Review: Gazing Far tmX pocket pen in dragon juniper

I’ve been using the Gazing Far tmX for a couple of weeks now and it impresses me every time I pick it up.

The tmX is a pocket pen of classical proportions. Capped and uncapped its silhouette is very similar to the market leader, the Kaweco Sport.

But this is no Sport clone. Gazing Far takes a very different approach to almost every design decision.

The barrel and cap of the tmX are made from wood: in the case of my review sample, dragon juniper, a tree native to Taiwan where Gazing Far is based. It’s a pale and fine-grained wood with hues almost pinkish in some lights. It’s been processed to a smooth finish but not overly varnished or coated.

The trim on my example is a gunmetal grey. I’m not totally convinced it’s the best match for this delicate wood, and it clashes too with the gold plating on the nib, but I like it anyway.

It’s a bit different. And it’s satin-finished, so it’s that bit more subdued say than polished ruthenium plate. But it would look great on a dark wood like walnut.

Branding is minimal, just the company’s cursive logo laser-engraved into the narrow, curving cap band. It’s a bit fuzzy but OK.

In the hand, the capped pen feels solid and smooth, very tactile, like a pebble. There are no sharp edges and everything fits together flush.

The cap threads are great: rock solid, square-cut, with a nice positive stop and just over one turn to uncap.

There are threads on the rear of the barrel so you don’t have to worry about friction-fit posting the cap on to a wooden barrel.

But the cap lip is a little sharp and I worry about that metal lip marring the wood over time anyway.

Unlike the Kaweco Sport, there’s no section to speak of. The wooden barrel runs almost all the way to the nib.

Posting the cap actually turns part of the barrel into a kind of section, but whether you use it capped or uncapped there’s no step or sharp edges to worry about.

Without a clip, rollstop or the Sport’s faceted cap, the tmX is prone to rolling away. Watch out.

Because the cap threads are right at the end of the section, there’s hardly anything to grip when you’re unscrewing to access the insides of the pen for filling or cleaning. No matter how careful I am I always get inky fingers.

But once inside, you’ll be pleased to see that Gazing Far actually provide a Kaweco mini converter, so you’re not limited to cartridges.

I filled up with Gazing Far’s own ink, Red Beans, and was treated to a truly joyful writing experience.

I’m becoming a bit of a fanboy for Schmidt’s #5 nibs, particularly in medium width like this. The nib here is smooth, bouncy and really wet. Exactly how I like it.

I left the tmX capped for nearly a week and had no problems with drying out, either.

Overall what I take away is a sense of thoughtfulness and creativity from this pen. Little innovations like moving the cap threads out of the way of your fingers, and touches like including a short converter. Even Gazing Far’s choice of offering pen cases in rather jaunty canvas, rather than leather, is motivated by avoiding the tendency for leather to overwhelm the aroma of the wood.

Gazing Far sent me this pen for free to review. Depending on the choice of wood, the tmX is listed at between 98 and 150 USD. In the EU, Scrittura Elegante has a few versions at 90 euros. I think that’s a very fair price. This is an attractive, well-built and comfortable pocket pen that also writes really well.

If you’re interested in trying out the tmX, it’s available in rosewood to hire from Pensharing in the UK, so you can see for yourself! Pensharing has also organised a discount code you can use.

5 thoughts on “Review: Gazing Far tmX pocket pen in dragon juniper

  1. Great review, as always. I appeciate that you bring to light so many wonderful pens that aren’t in the mainstream. I also very much enjoy both wood and pocket pens, so I doubly appreciate the review on this one.

    I’m a bit disappointed, though, in the choices of wood actually available — I just received your post by email, went immediately to the website, and there is no dragon juniper wood at all. The woods available tend to be finer grain with very little pattern or texture, unlike the sample you received. ;-( Still, the price is fairly reasonable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the range of woods changes all the time. I definitely picked dragon juniper from the live site about a month ago. I’d suggest either emailing them or just waiting to see what comes up!

      Like

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