BENU began in January 2016 when Alex Semanin and Kate Dmitrieva started a new creative concept “to make writing instruments and desk accessories for those who prefer bright colors and new designs that are playful, stylish, and fun.” The name BENU comes from the Egyptian deity linked to the Sun, creation, and rebirth, and is a symbol of constant change, recurrence, and renovations. Their fountain pens, ballpoints, and rollerballs are all designed and handcrafted in their Moscow workshop, and all fountain pens come with a Schmidt nib in Fine, Medium, or Broad.
I first heard about BENU pens last year from a few friends that had purchased the BENU Minima model in Classic Black with Skulls. They raved about the design and how it grabbed people’s attention every time they used them. When I saw that BENU was launching a new line of pens called Chameleon, I knew I had to get one to try out for myself. All the Chameleon pens have the same body design, but vary in colors and patterns. I reached out to BENU pens to learn more about the line, and Kate Dmitrieva agreed to send me a Benu Jolly Chameleon to review and test. There are nine models of the Chameleon: Charming, Bossy, Dreamy, Friendly, Graceful, Happy, Jolly, Lovely, and Lucky.
The packaging is simple and eye catching. The box has the word BENU in gold foil, as well as a fragment from “Novel in Letters” by A.S. Pushkin scrolling around the lid. Inside the box there is a bed of shredded filler cushioning a user/info sheet and a BENU branded paper sleeve containing the pen. I really like the simple but elegant packaging that seems to be a perfect fit for the pen.
The first thing I noticed after taking the pen out was the unique shape and stunning color pattern. The pen has six facets, which give the pen a triangular shape that tapers down to a point at the finials. There are three small relief cuts on one end which help the cap post. The center band is black with ribs and has the word “BENU” imprinted on it. The lack of a clip on the cap worried me that the pen might roll off my desk, but the facets keep it firmly in place. This is the first pen I have used that does not have a clip and I can honestly say I enjoyed the streamlined look and feel of the pen. Not having a clip no longer worries me.
There is a step-down from the body to the grip section that is not noticeable when you are holding the pen. The triangular body rests comfortably with the flat facet against your hand and feels perfectly balanced even when un-posted. There is no easy way to describe the body so I included multiple pictures to help me. The Benu Jolly Chameleon’s body has swirls of blue, black, and teal, with purple and red glitter swirled in. The colors “shift” as you change the angle the light hits the pen, and it is captivating. I found myself staring at the pen multiple times throughout the day, and I had one co-worker who tried to convince me to give him the pen every time he saw it.
The unbranded nib has engraved an “M” for medium followed by “Schmidt iridium point”. It would be nice to see the nib branded with the BENU logo, but that is not a deal breaker. How the nib performs is what it comes down to, and all I can say is wow. The nib wrote beautifully right out of the box and is buttery smooth, not overly polished, but just perfect. I had no hard starts or skipping, even when leaving the pen to sit for a few days.
Overall, I have to say that I am amazed by this pen. At first I had concerns with the shape and lack of clip, but those fears fell away as soon as I filled the pen and the nib touched paper. It has quickly become a favorite in my daily rotation and I can’t wait to try the rest of the pens that BENU has to offer. I would highly recommend this pen for everyone from a new fountain pen user to an experienced user looking for something different and eye catching.
Get yours today at https://www.benupen.com.
Hi I am Eric. I am 31 years old living near Baltimore. I became interested in typewriters and pens in high school and fell down the fountain pen rabbit hole in 2011. My knowledge and taste in pens, ink, and paper has grown and changed extensively over that time. I love to travel, read, write, collect things, and above all else…. learn. Even if it is something I have seen or read a hundred times, there is always something new to learn.