First things first: this pen is not to my taste. I’m not a big fan of swathes of gold, I’m not a huge fan of demonstrators, and I’m not a huge fan of skeleton overlays.
But you might like those things, and this is where my job as a reviewer is to set aside my personal taste for a minute and evaluate the pen on its merits.
I posted this first impressions video a few weeks ago, and honestly my thoughts haven’t changed much since:
So here’s the lowdown:
It’s blingy. Especially in this Cult Pens exclusive gold. If you don’t like gold, you have rose gold, silver or gun metal finishes to choose from. It comes in a very pretty blue box.
This is an affordable way to get a skeletonised pen, at £140. And honestly it’s very well done. The metal overlay and inner plastic are mated well and there are no rough edges. But be aware that the combination of plated metal and clear recesses is a perfect storm of fingerprint magnet and lint-catcher. This is a pen that looks grubby fast.
Watch out: it’s CC only. The Skeleton looks like a piston filler with that knob on the back…
…and with the demonstrator barrel you may expect an eyedropper fill to be an option. But there are metal and joints in the barrel — you’re stuck with a very visible branded converter.
This is made doubly worse by the fact that the supplied converter isn’t even a colour match for the body. The interior metal trim is not matched either and is visible through the threads.
The proportions are good, but this is quite a small pen.
Since it’s a statement piece, you might expect the Skeleton to be big. Capped it’s about the same size as an Aurora 88 and smaller than a Montblanc 146, and uncapped it’s quite stubby. But definitely usable unposted.
It’s a practical pen to own. The cap comes off in two turns and seals well. The clip is strong.
The section is long and comfortable. The cap posts.
You can feel the skeleton when you’re writing. If you’re sensitive to patterns and textures in your writing hand this may bother you.
The nib is so-so. At this price it’s naturally steel, bicolour plated, plastic feed. #6 sized with quite generic decoration.
Mine wrote very badly out of the box, super dry and scratchy. I had to shim it and grind it to get an acceptable experience. But once tuned, it writes well and is pleasantly soft.
At £140 I struggle a little with the value proposition of the Laban Skeleton. There are in my opinion better built pens out there with better nibs for the money. It really all comes down to whether you like the distinctive skeleton design and bold, blingy gold colouring. From seeing the community reaction to this pen I know it has a huge fanbase. So I’ll end where I began: this is not the pen for me, but it may be perfect for you.
I was sent this pen to review by Cult Pens. You can get yours here.