I have long lusted after a Namiki Falcon. What lured me to this Japanese pen was the promise of a flexible nib attached to a modern writing instrument whose name combined the allure of Japan with the elegance and speed of a bird of prey. I knew that the Day of the Falcon has come when on a visit to the Fountain Pen Hospital in Manhattan I saw a Namiki peering out of a glass cabinet. The visit almost coincided with a significant birthday so it didn’t take me too long to become a proud owner of a Namiki Falcon.
The Namiki Falcon is not a fancy pen. With its polished jet black resin body and gold trim Namiki has a conservative design its only decoration being the chain link detail with Namiki Japan engraved on the cap band. The gold clip is modern and simple and the flat cap and shiny gold bands give the pen an understated elegance. It also feels quite light. Namiki is not a hefty pen so not one for those who like their writing instruments to possess some weight or a wide girth.
Uncap the pen and the Falcon’s hooded nib is revealed. It is something in the shape of this nib – reminiscent of the falcon’s powerful beak – that I find irresistible. The nib is 14K gold and it comes in fine, medium and broad (I went for the medium). It doesn’t flex like the fountain pen nibs of the first half of the 20th century. It is semi-flex you get with the Falcon and quite a noisy one at that. To one who has experienced the exquisite smoothness of a Montblanc Meisterstuck nib, the Namiki Falcon comes across as scratchy. And I mean this in the best possible way. Because I just love the Namiki’s noise. I prefer to think of it as singing.
The Namiki comes with a proprietary converter which doesn’t hold a lot of ink and I so far I found that I need to refill more frequently than is the case with other pens. Once inked, the Namiki started writing straight away, no skips, no buts. The writing is full of character with great line variations which show off the shading of the ink. It is comfortable to write with either posted or unposted. Writing with it is both a visual and auditory pleasure and I’m looking forward to enjoying the Namiki Falcon in many years to come.