On Fire: The Delta Unica Red LE Fountain Pen (via Anderson Pens)

Delta Unica Red LE Fountain Pen

I rarely come away from watching the Anderson Pens video podcast without jotting yet another pen onto my wish list. Case in point— just before the DC Supershow, Brian and Lisa announced their Delta Unica Limited Edition Fountain Pen, in a gorgeous red acrylic that’s an Anderson Pens exclusive. Wowza.

Oh, that acrylic!!
[Oh, that acrylic!]

With just fifty pens in this color, I was intrigued. And when I heard the price— just $85 (a small premium over the regular Delta Unica colors)— I knew I wanted this pen. BUT, I was getting to the pen show for Sunday only, so I spent a lot of my road trip from New York to Virginia worrying that they’d be gone by the time I was able to shop. PEN ANXIETY!

They were gone. I didn’t get one. The End.

KIDDING.

I hit the Anderson Pens table(s) pretty quickly on Sunday morning and was relieved to find that there were still some left. I chose #34/50 (medium nib), got one of Lisa’s famous hugs, talked to Brian, and ran off to pinball my way around the rest of the show. (Why I can’t seem to do a pen show in an orderly fashion is beyond me. I think it’s adrenaline.)

AP 34/50 Limited Edition
[Limited Edition, Anderson Pens, 34/50]

Once home, the first pen I inked and spent time with was my Wahl-Eversharp Skyline Technik fountain pen (LOVE that thing), so I didn’t get around to inking the Delta until a couple of weeks ago. And that’s when I found a bit of a glitch. The pen would write, then stop, then write again. Sometimes it flooded the paper with ink, while other times it ran completely dry. Well, shoot.

Once I took a close look at the nib, the problem was obvious— the nib tines were simply too far apart. I contacted the Andersons by email, included a couple of photos to illustrate the problem, and had a speedy reply from Brian. At his recommendation, I mailed the pen to him, he fixed the nib, and returned it to me asap. Great service after the sale.

Delta Unica matte steel nib
[All better.]

NOW it writes as good as it looks.

Delta Unica LE Red Fountain Pen

It truly is a stunning pen. The red marble acrylic has amazing depth and sheen and looks like it’s on fire from within. Branding is VERY subdued. (You can just make out the “DELTA/ITALY” engraving at the bottom edge of the cap in the picture above.) The clip features a little roller that makes sliding the pen in and out of a pocket or case snag-free. I love the shape of the cap— how it subtly flares out— giving the pen a really clean and simple, but interesting, profile.

Delta Unica vs. Lamy AL-Star
[Size comparison: Delta Unica vs. Lamy AL-Star]

The size is perfect for me (4-3/4″ unposted, 6″ posted). The cap posts securely and doesn’t throw off the balance of the pen. The 0.46″ grip feels great in hand, and the threads and oh-so slight step-down do not interfere with my grip at all. It’s a joy to hold and use. The pen weighs 22g (15g body, 7g cap)— light enough for even an extended writing session.

Delta Unica Matte Steel nib

The nib is steel in a matte finish, and features branding that I find to be a little busy. The writing experience is a smooth and juicy one, with just a bit of feedback. The Unica is cartridge/converter pen, and a converter is included. I’ve filled mine with Sailor Jentle Grenade, a color that was MADE FOR this acrylic.

Delta Unica in LE Red Acrylic
[On fire!]

I’m very pleased with my Delta Unica LE fountain pen— my Anderson Pens Delta Unica. It’s hot looking, writes great, and feels terrific. Brian’s speedy response and quick nib fix proved why it’s important to deal with people you trust. Sometimes things aren’t exactly perfect— with pens as with life— and it’s great to know that there’s someone there should you need help.

Delta Unica LE Red Acrylic fountain pen

Or a hug. (Right, Lisa?!)

————–

Click HERE to watch Brian’s video overview of this pen.

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Hocus-Pocus: Delta Fusion 82

Outer box
Outer box

As I mentioned in last week’s post, after typhoons Haiyan and Yolanda devastated the Philippines, Leigh Reyes sprang into action and organized “Pens For Aid”, an online auction that raised funds for the Red Cross relief effort. New and vintage pens were donated by private folks and retailers, and pen lovers placed their bids and crossed their fingers. Leigh, herself a resident of the Philippines, used her passion for pens to help the Red Cross help those who were, and are, hurting. What a super idea.

I’ve wanted a Delta Fusion 82 for some time now— not because of the marketing mumbo-jumbo— but because every review I’ve read or watched makes particular note of the VERY SMOOTH nib. That’ll get me every time. So when a WHITE Delta Fusion 82 popped up in the auction, I settled in for the long haul. The white body isn’t available in the US which made me more determined to win that pen.

And win it, I did.

Hoo boy— what a pen!

Inner box (closed)

Even the packaging is very cool. Inside the outer cardboard box, is a slick inner box with a plastic lid that swivels open to reveal THE PEN.

Swivel lid
The reveal

Delta Fusion 82
The Delta Fusion 82

Let me say that none of my photos do this pen justice. It’s gotta be the whiteness. I just can’t get photos that convey the very cool, cracked ice, look of the body. The acrylic shimmers with depth and is just a little bit translucent. If I look hard, I can catch a hint of the Iroshizuku kon-peki that’s loaded up in the included converter. Because this pen is white does NOT mean that it’s boring. Quite the contrary.

Delta Fusion 82

The clip’s a pretty tight one, but has a lovely profile.

Fusion 82 clip

But where this pen REALLY SHINES is in the nib. Oh my, that nib.

Delta Fusion 82 nib

Here’s how this “Revolution nib” is described in the accompanying booklet:
Thanks to the production characteristics, the ink is made more fluid in the vicinity of the tip of the nib, because Fusion features a “plate” of precious material (gold, palladium, or other noble alloys), that due to its high thermal conductivity, will tend to heat the underlying metal (steel, titanium, or other) and the underlying metal, in turn, transfers heat to the ink in transit between the conductor and the tip of the nib. The higher temperature makes the ink flow more smoothly. At the same time, the nib has characteristics of strength and durability for long writing sessions, higher than those of nibs completely in gold.

Delta Fusion 82

Truth? Proven? Who knows. I DO know that this is one of the sweetest, smoothest nibs I’ve ever used. So maybe, just maybe, they’re onto something. I’ve been using this pen every night to write in my journal— a new habit for 2014, and one that I’m enjoying— and can’t seem to make myself use a different pen. It’s crazy good.

Is there anything I don’t particularly like? Well, as I said, the clip is quite tight, but since I’m storing the pen in its very distinctive box, not in a pocket or case, this isn’t an issue for me. Also, the cap doesn’t post, but it’s perfectly fine in my hand unposted, so no worries there (for me). The crackly cool look of the body and the juicy flow from this heavenly nib easily override what could be seen as “flaws” by some.

Is there hocus-pocus going on between the gold and steel and ink? Maybe. Maybe not. Does this pen write like a dream? Absolutely.

P1030331

I thank Leigh for organizing and handling all aspects of the “Pens For Aid” auction, and for throwing in the amazing goodies that I showed you in last week’s post. She is a generous soul, and an inspiration for pen lovers everywhere.

P1030318