Namisu is a UK based pen manufacturer, and they design pens with minimalistic aesthetics. The Namisu Ixion was their fifth Kickstarter Project, launched in June 2017. There were a choice of three materials for the pen- aluminium, brass and titanium, in increasing order of prices. The pens feature #6 Bock nibs, and by default, they come with a steel nib. Titanium and gold nibs come as add-ons. The filling system is cartridge converter, and it is of the standard international variant. This pen features a faceted, clipless cap, and a cylindrical barrel.
I opted for the Blue Aluminium version, with stainless steel finials and grips, alongside with an Extra Fine steel nib.
Originally slated for delivery in October 2017, the project was met with many delays, much to the annoyance of many backers. It was only on 3rd March 2018 that I took delivery of my pen, making the wait almost 8 months long.
Unpacking the order, the picture below shows the items that I have received- the pen itself, alongside with an additional Extra Fine steel nib (that I intend to use on other pens), as well as a Schmidt K5 converter. The pen by default, does not come with a converter- the converter was an £2.50 add on.
Backers of the Kickstarter project would also find the instructional leaflet from Namisu, as seen below:
Opening the resalable plastic bag, the Namisu Ixion, is revealed, alongside with a Namisu branded nylon pen sleeve, which is a very nice touch as it enables the pen to be carried around and to be protected from scratches:
Features of the pen
The Namisu Ixion has a clean design and the only branding is the Namisu logo printed onto the faceted cap, as shown in the picture above. The cap is a screw type and it takes one and three quarters revolutions to unscrew it.
Here is the pen with its cap removed:
The Namisu Ixion comes with a choice of stainless steel or brass finials and grips. I opted for the stainless steel option as seen below:
Removing the cap, a close up of the #6 Bock Steel nib is shown below:
The pen can be posted as well, which I find slightly back heavy, but it is nothing too bad, though I don’t usually post my pens unless I really have to:
The pen weighs in 42g in total- 31g without the cap, and the cap weights 11g, as shown in the following three images:
The Bock nib that came with the pen had its tines slightly misaligned out of the box, so that reflects the lack of care Bock has placed into Quality Control (QC). Nevertheless, I was able to make the tines align together.
The nib and feed had been flushed and dried prior to me doing the writing sample shown below:
The nib writes on the wet side of an Extra Fine, bordering (and maybe perhaps comparable) to a Fine nib. This is another aspect where I wished Bock exercised more QC but nevertheless, the nib wrote very smoothly and without any skipping. Coupled with Pilot Blue Black on good quality paper, the writing experience was quite simply, a pleasure, though crisp and thin lines are not to be expected from this nib.
My thoughts and conclusion about the Namisu Ixion
The pen as a whole, is very well made, feels substantial, and of a pretty high quality. Namisu has definitely put in effort putting this pen together, and they definitely stuck to their minimalistic aesthetics.
This pen isn’t without its downsides- the biggest of it, in fact, comes from Namisu. As mentioned earlier in the introduction, this pen was severely behind schedule in terms of its delivery. Delays are inevitable and perfectly understandable in the case of a Kickstarter project in cases whereby parts coming from suppliers are delayed (in this project, the Bock nibs were delayed), and also in a case whereby the number of backers outnumber what Namisu has anticipated in the beginning (in this project, there were 2945 backers, and Namisu did not expect the project to exceed 2000 backers). The frustrating aspect came from the lack of communication. It was a case of nearing the deadline, Namisu would post a sudden update that the delivery date had to be pushed back due to some reason, and when it gets closer to the deadline, the backers request for an update, but Namisu will only update when it gets even closer to the deadline. More often than not, the update is another news of a delay. Furthermore, many backers, including me, commented on the Kickstarter Project thread to ask for updates, but they all fell on deaf ears. I had to personally write in to Namisu via their own website to get an update that my pens were being shipped.
It is understandable that Namisu is overwhelmed and busy with this project, but the lack of updates and timely communication can come across as being insincere. I hope that Namisu will learn from this Ixion project and improve on their communication for subsequent projects.
In addition, in the Kickstarter video, it shows that the pen will come in a box as shown below:
While I do accept the more practical pen sleeve that Namisu has provided, I really do prefer the presentation of a proper pen box. Having said that, during this project, tan leather sleeves were offered as an add-on for £10. It baffles me why this option is offered, since the provided pen sleeve would just suffice as a pouch to carry the pen in.
This pen doesn’t include a converter as a standard feature, which baffles me, especially considering the price point. While not a dealbreaker and the Schmidt K5 converter isn’t very expensive, it would have been a much nicer touch to include the converter.
Finally, Namisu has promised that the Ixion would come with a Diamine ink cartridge. This has not been the case for me (and other backers as well). While this isn’t a big issue for me since I intended to use bottled ink, it is disappointing that Namisu did not deliver what it promised to from the start.
Overall, the Namisu Ixion is a great addition to my collection, and I’m definitely thankful and elated that the pen has came to fruition. A job well done to Adrien Cols and Maria Millan for pulling off the Ixion successfully, though I hope Namisu will learn some valuable lessons from this project.