At time of writing, Pen7 has just a couple of hundred followers on Instagram — so this is a great opportunity for me to do what I enjoy best, which is to put a new maker on your radar.
Pen7 is a chap local to me called Dominic. I spotted his work on Instagram before Christmas, and I was immediately drawn to the shine he manages to coax out of ebonite. I got in touch, a pen landed on my doormat, and here we are.
A cursory look around the Pen7 website or feed and the USP is immediately clear. Super simple pen designs, made from ebonite in innumerable colour combinations. I opted for one in a deep teal colour with a sand-and-teal cap and section, which together reminded me of the seaside. It’s pen #27 officially. All the pens are the same price, currently £135, and they all have blank Bock steel nibs and converter mechanisms (although there’s no reason you couldn’t eyedropper them).
The only design variation seems to be whether the cap closes flush with the barrel or overlaps. Mine overlaps. Otherwise all the pens are straight barrels, (almost) straight sections, straight caps, with domed ends. They’re clipless.
So, like I said: super simple. It’s all about the material, and letting it shine (literally and metaphorically).
Pen7 pens come wrapped in a cleaning cloth inside a bamboo tube — compact and sustainable packaging. Slide out the pen and, yep, that shine is there all right. I’ve had various ebonite pens over the years and none have had quite this lustre. It’s impressive.
Fit and finish is good too. Everything lines up straight, and the 1.5-turn cap threads feel good. They and the barrel step are sharp, but the section is long at 23mm, so they’re out of the way.
Comfort has ups and downs. Overall the Pen7 design is not small:
Uncapped it’s about the size of a Montblanc 146.
And like I said the section is long. But it’s narrow, at 10mm. The barrel is 13mm. Both of these dimensions are narrower than I’d like; a single millimetre can make such a difference. Length is good though — and that’s lucky, because the cap doesn’t post.
Weight is on the light side by my standards: 23g capped, 16g uncapped. But the pen doesn’t feel insubstantial. Overall it’s solid. The walls are decently thick.
The writing experience is good. The Bock nib arrived well tuned, and the cap seals well so there’s no drying out. Due to the relatively compact dimensions and light weight, the hand feel is pleasantly undemanding.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed by this pen. The design is stark and simple, and as a result actually stands out from a lot of the generic turned designs out there. But the use of ebonite in dazzling combinations is the true standout feature, and the exceptional polish makes that choice pay off.
For me, I’d love an XL version with 12mm section and 15mm barrel… maybe a #8 Bock nib? But if you’re OK with the 10mm section, you’ll be very pleased to add a Pen7 to your collection. The pricing is very fair at £135, for the premium materials and polishing time.
You can order direct from the website or contact Dominic for a custom pen.