I see plenty of tie-in pens, whether they’re sparkly Sailors in the colours of cocktails, or Montegrappas and Duponts shaped like spaceships or buildings. You can buy pens about Elvis, Queen, and of course David Bowie. But as far as I can recall this trio of Tibaldis is the first time I’ve seen a series of pens specifically inspired by classic rock songs.
And what a choice of songs. The white pen? Winter, inspired by Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’. The green one? Forest, after the song by The Cure. And the black and gold? Dust, from Kansas’s ‘Dust in the Wind’.
Brilliant, eh? All great songs, all a little off the beaten track, and more than 40 years old. I wonder how many of my younger readers know these tracks?
But you don’t need to be a fan of these artists to enjoy the pens. Unlike the Montegrappas and Montblancs you’ll find no explicit references such as engraved lyrics, symbols or the like. Even the packaging is standard: it’s just the choice of resin that is carrying the weight of the reference.
Luckily, all three of the resins are lovely. Winter and Forest are spaghetti resins, while Dust is a swirly marble.
I don’t think they’re exclusive to these pens, though: I’m sure I’ve seen the Bononia in the white as ‘Pearl Mist’ and the green as ‘Martini Olive’.
That might annoy you (echoes of Montblancgate here) but I’m cool with it.
This is my first time using the Bamboo model, and I think it’s a great canvas for the colourful resins. The flat ends of cap and barrel show off the grid arrangement of the spaghetti strands…
..while the undulating segments of the barrel reveal curves and layers.
There are a couple of silver-coloured trim rings separating the bamboo segments, and a stealthy flat-black rubber clip borrowed from the Perfecta.
It’s not my favourite clip, but actually on this pen and with this resin, it just disappears. In fact, these are very clean pens. The Tibaldi brand and Made in Italy are engraved around the cap lip, but very unobtrusively.
The Bamboo is a fairly short pen, and it doesn’t post. But it’s a chunky fellow, with an 11mm section and a significantly wider barrel (depending on where you measure it). It sits nicely in the hand.
The section raises some eyebrows. Uncap the pen and there’s a big barrel step, some threads, and then this tiny 11mm-long section with a steeply dished profile.
I expected it to be really uncomfortable, but actually it worked OK for me. My fingers cleared the threads and the barrel step is well rounded. If I wanted to change my grip, though, tough luck. You’re locked in.
Practically speaking, the Bamboo is typical Tibaldi. The cap spins off very quickly, and the nib doesn’t dry out.
The nib is steel, the feed is ebonite, and it’s fed by a screw-in converter.
You’ve heard this story before…
Including the three pens under discussion here, I’ve now had seven modern Tibaldis cross my desk, and every one of them I would describe as a solid buy. I can safely say that when you buy a Tibaldi you get a pretty, well built and well finished pen with a nib that’s spot on (if a little dry for my tastes), whether you choose an EF or a BB. The three I have here today are EF, F and M, and they write true to size, smoothly and with steady flow, straight out the box.
At between £150-165 each, the Bamboo Trios give decent value for money. The bamboo shape is interesting, and the resins are lovely — with or without the rock backstory. Comfort may be an issue, depending on your grip, but the writing experience will be no-nonsense and you won’t have to worry about build quality.
The Tibaldi Bamboo Trio pens are exclusive to Spain, and they were sent to me by Iguanasell on loan. You can get yours here.