BEXLEY POSEIDON MAGNUM II

There are still fountain pens being made in the USA, and one brand that comes to mind is Bexley. It’s a relatively new company that started in 1993, manufacturing pens out of Columbus, Ohio.  Many of their designs are inspired by classics from the so-called Golden Age  of Fountain Pens.

My new pen, the Bexley Poseidon Magnum II, is one of their current offerings.  It’s a piston-filler that comes in three colors: Bronze Sands, Green Seas and Blue Lagoon.  The Bronze Sands is made from a swirly, marbled, shimmery brown acrylic resin, with gold trim. It actually reminds me of that old Magnolia Ice Cream flavor from my childhood, Chocolate Marble (when you open the tub, you see these rich veins of chocolate in the ice cream).  I believe no two Poseidon Magnum II’s are alike, as the swirls are pretty random.  That makes it easy for me to identify my own pen at a pen meet – Bronze Sands is so popular that I must be the third or fourth member of Fountain Pen Network-Philippines to own one.

DSCN5830 (1024x768)DSCN5832 (1024x768)It’s 57/16” capped and 67/8” posted, according to Richard Binder – roughly the size of a Pelikan M600.  The barrel has a girth that makes it comfortable to hold, similar to that of a Montblanc 146. Definitely not a slim pen, but it’s lighter than it looks.

There was an earlier Poseidon model.  A larger Poseidon Magnum model later followed.  Both are cartridge/converter models. In fact, a couple of years earlier, I had seen the Poseidon Magnum in black, at one of our pen meets.  At the time I remember being attracted to the Poseidon Magnum because of its similarity to the classic Pelikan 100N.  The peaked cap, the cap rings, the general shape of it.  Alas, I had no budget for a pen at the time, so I tried to move on.  Earlier this year, I was asked by another friend which Bexley pen model to buy, this Poseidon Magnum II or the Corona? Both were piston-fillers.  As a matter of fact, I also own the Corona, in Lemon Meringue. The Corona is no slouch, but I steered him toward the Poseidon Magnum II, which I felt had a more luxe, premium feel.  A few months later I saw it again on someone’s Facebook wall, and asked myself why I didn’t own it yet. It’s a beautiful pen.  If I’d had a bigger budget I’d have gotten it with an 18k nib.  As it is, I’m happy with the stainless steel nib, which is a smooth, wet F.

If you are in the Manila, and want to get your own Bexley Poseidon Magnum II, join Fountain Pen Network-Philippines.  The members will happily put you in touch with the local Bexley distributor.

Advertisements

KEEPING IT REAL

We’ve all seen those ads or eBay postings for suspiciously low-priced Montblanc pens. Lots of people ask on the Fountain Pen Network if they’re possibly buying fakes. If the price is too good to be true, it’s always better to think twice.

I’m writing about this today, because I help moderate the Fountain Pen Network-Philippines Facebook page, and we’ve had several discussions about how to treat posts that deal with product clones/replicas, especially as there is buying and trading of pens among members.

We’ve had posts showing Lamy Safari knock-offs (Hero 359, Jinhao 599), and the low price and color selections look mighty tempting. We’ve been joking that it’s taken so long for Lamy to produce a purple Safari that the Chinese have beaten them to it! I’ve handled the Hero in person at a pen meet, and while it writes well enough, the plastic does not look very robust, and the finishing cannot compare with the Safari’s. You get the quality you pay for, I guess. Lamy does not seem to be pursuing any copyright infringement cases against the Chinese knock-offs at present.

One of our members received a takedown notice from Richemont (Montblanc’s parent company) about an old For Sale ad he had in a popular online marketplace. He is contesting it, because his items were original, previously-owned Montblancs. We’ve also had posts of fake Montblancs. In one post, the poster tried to skirt the obvious fact that his pen was a Chinese replica of a Montblanc Starwalker, by referring to it as an “homage” pen. If he had called it by its proper name “Baoer Skywalker”, it would have flown under the radar. But no matter how you glamorize it, it still copies a Montblanc too closely for comfort. With Richemont assiduously guarding its intellectual property rights, we don’t want any of that reflecting on our group page or membership, so we came up with this rule:

“Fountain Pen Network-Philippines would like to foster respect for intellectual property. We recommend that posts on fake fountain pens be limited to how to identify the real from the fake.

Also, please properly identify the pen in your post as identified by the manufacturer to avoid confusion with registered trademarks and tradenames. (Eg. If you post a photo of a Lamy or Montblanc knock-off, please identify them by their manufacturer names like Hero 359 or Jinhao 159, instead of the original branding.)

Posts on fakes or replicas reflect only the opinion of the poster, and in no way reflect the position of the group. Posts that do not meet the moderators’ requirements may be removed at their discretion.”

As soon as we posted this rule, the one who posted about the Chinese-made “homage” pen voluntarily deleted his post. In reality we can’t prevent people from knowingly buying fake products, but we can steer members’ attention more towards original, attractive and affordable products. As for aspirational brands, one can always save up for the real thing.