Here’s a #noteworthyOFP post! There is a new and interesting Kickstarter up on the boards: the Wancher Dream Pen. Wancher Inc. is a company from Japan that specialises in writing products, since 1987. I have heard this name in the fountain pen world but have not really explored their pens, having been distracted by the big names of other Japanese pen makers.
When Wancher approached me to share about their products, I got quite interested. They offered me an urushi pen to review and provide my comments. I was excited to review it, but as I received it quite recently, I wanted a little more time to try it out before officially putting up a review here. Hence, I offered to put up this feature post in support of their Kickstarter campaign. I offered to do so not because of the sponsorship – I would have done the same feature post without any sponsorship – it was because I like the way they are taking pen-making very seriously, and the way they call their Kickstarter the Dream Pen. So that’s my little disclaimer there. Moving on back to the main focus…
When I said they are taking pen-making very seriously, it was in reference to the way they collected feedback before developing their product. Not only did they rely on expert pen artisans, they also gathered opinions from general fountain pen users like us. For instance, Azizah (Gourmet Pens) has commented about how she has taken part in their survey, and she has seen many of her responses incorporated into the design of the pen. I suppose, if you want to call your product a Dream Pen, it’d better fulfil the dreams of your potential customers!
Many types of nibs
The Wancher Dream Pen is customisable when you order it on Kickstarter. You’ll be able to choose the nib size (extra fine to broad) and even various nib types. Types include stainless steel, 14K or 18K gold, gold plated and rhodium plated nibs. That gives you a lot of possible permutations. As a fountain pen user, I suppose the nib is one of the most important part of the pen, so it’s just wonderful that you can select from that variety. The only options they don’t have are special nib types, such as oblique, italic, flex, etc. but it probably does not make sense from a practical point of view to offer that many options. Also, these special nib types are very subjective to the needs of an individual.
Pen material and design
Ebonite, urushi, and maki-e. That’s what Japanese pens should be about, shouldn’t they? In this Kickstarter campaign, Wancher offers pens in True Ebonite, True Urushi, and True Maki-e versions. Ebonite comes in natural back, while urushi comes in 4 different colours. In fact, they would release another colour if their stretch goal was achieved. Want to know which colour I received for my urushi pen? Stay tuned for my review post in the next couple of weeks…
As for maki-e, I think it’s important for maki-e design to really stand out and be colourful or bright. After all, you’ve paid so much for your pen, you might as well get something that is more eye-catching, no? In their Dream Pen, they will be using their Sakura design, which is very bright and attractive, and what I personally call a “top-to-toe” design (as it covers most of the pen from top to toe).
Other parts of note
There is also the option of adding a roll stopper, which is a cute little metal piece that you could add to the pen to stop it from rolling away. After playing with my urushi pen for a while, I’d say that the roll stopper would definitely be very useful. There’s also the possibility of getting a pen rest, or what they call a “pen pillow” if you don’t prefer to have the roll stopper attached to your pen.
I really think you should just head over to their Kickstarter page to have a look at all the options available, and their story. I think this is an exciting moment for Wancher, and for all of us. I’d also be curious to know what you all think of the pen, and if you’ve pledged to support them or not. Drop a comment below or drop me a note on email or social media!