I have a lot to say about this pen, some about how it performed, some about a mistake I made in ordering due to lack of reading, and a little about how it’s being marketed on some sites. I also talk a little about what a Soft (or previously “flex” nib is all about)
Some history on the name and how to not get taken: You see, once upon a time there was an iconic, very respectable pen called the Pilot Namiki. As I understand it from my reading and youtube watching, as Pilot restructured their luxury line a bit, they found they could no longer keep the Namiki name on a pen at the price point of $150 or so; rather than change the price, they rebranded (with slight design changes) the pen… that pen is now called the Pilot Falcon.
You may see some sites hawking a “Pilot Namiki Falcon”, but as I understand it, that’s not a thing and they are just, understandably, trying to make a buck off the more well known and more prestigious Namiki name while selling you what is (hopefully!) a Falcon. If your pen says PILOT on the ring (and it’s hard to see), you have a FALCON, not a NAMIKI….. If the word Falcon is anywhere in the name, it’s JUST a FALCON, not Namiki….. and it doesn’t matter one bit unless you’re a true collector, because the pens are so darn close in design anyway, so moving right along…
I decided to invest in this pen, not only because of it’s excellent reputation, but because it was the only pen I could find that both looked good and was affordable that happened to come with a Soft Broad. Now, I like a bold line, so I go for Broad nibs by force of habit and extensive my reading on the Falcon had never addressed, however, the impact that a broader nib would have on the effects I’d be able to achieve with a soft nib. And as it never occurred to me that there might be any impact, I’d done zero research on Broad Soft nibs.
With a soft nib, ON YOUR DOWNSTROKES ONLY, you are supposed to put a little pressure on the body of the pen (not downward directly on the nib!) which transfers into the nib causing the the tines part slightly and you get a much wetter (read DARKER) and very much WIDER line; it’s astounding how big a difference in width that flexed downstroke can make (with the right nib though, which I didn’t get)….Done correctly, as one rights, their letters will have a shaded and even slightly calligraphic effect.
However, I was to find out, wonderful flex effect gets less and less apparent the wider (broader) your nib gets… with my Broad nib ,you cannot see ANY width difference at all but the depth of color change from darker on a downstroke to lighter on an upstroke is quite evident even with the dark forest green I’m using now. So, I’ll keep the pen with the nib as it is because I love how it looks, but I had to get myself a second Soft nib pen, this time in Fine, so I can get the opportunity to really flex my ink!
I’ll make it really plain, for the people just skimming: If you get a Soft of Flex nib, make sure you get it in Fine or SuperFine for the flex effect to show properly!.
And, you ask, despite my gaffe, how did the pen preform? LIKE A DREAM!
It writes smoothly, with no skipping (skipping is where the ink stops and restarts) or railroading (when the tines get so far apart they make two distinct parallel lines of ink instead of one thicker one, caused by over-flexing). It’s very light, so light as to feel flimsy in fact, so I’m not taking any chances on this being some space age polymer and I’m going to treat it like it’s fragile JUST IN CASE it is. That cheap feeling is my only complaint, though, it LOOKS fancy-pants and writes like a dream for as long as I have the patience to practice flexing it (and practice it does take!! what a tutorial first, too!).
I’ve had this pen for less than two days and it’s already my go-to pen even though it’s not my only new pen!
Bonus, it comes with a nice big converter to ink jar people, you don’t need to buy one!
4.5 out of 5 Ink Jars from me!