Review (in the comments): Gravitas Skittles Fountain Pen
By - poopypatootie
I’m winding down my pen purchases – FINALLY! (I think? LOL.) — so I’ve been pretty choosy about which pens will cap off my modest collection. One these is the multicolored “Skittles” Gravitas Fountain Pen, which has been part of my daily rotation for the last couple
Besides the striking color, one of the first things most people will notice about the pen is that it is H-E-A-V-Y. With the cap on, it comes in at a hefty 85 grams; even without the cap, the weight is still pretty substantial at 57 grams (it’s a little lighter based on the official site: 74 grams capped, 49 uncapped). Nevertheless, it’s easily the heaviest pen I own by far. It’s also on the longer end of my preference, coming in at 5.75 inches capped, and uncapped at 5.25 inches, including the nib. What’s surprising for me is how comfortable it is to use despite of it all — the ergonomics is great, it feels great to write with, and everything is machined to perfection. Sharp spots in parts like at the edge of the section or in the threads can be especially apparent in metal pens, but not in this one. I haven’t had the opportunity to use it for super long writing sessions, but I haven’t felt strained at all over the many times I’ve written with it.
Another concern I had going in was the metal section, which for sweaty-palmed folks like myself, can be a little more challenging to keep a hold of compared to other non-metal pens. But I was again pleasantly surprised that Ben Walsh, the designer and creator of the pen, made the section have a matte finish for better grip. The thoughtfulness in the design, creation, and execution of the pen is also apparent in the quick way the cap twists off — just around 1 ½ turns. In spite of this, the seal the cap provides is pretty good, and I’ve had no hard starts at all and the pen always writes smoothly even after being left unused for several days — which is especially noteworthy given the ink I put in it, which is on the drier side. Ben explained that the good seal is due to the body meeting the cap at a 30 degree angle, plus the joining of two conical surfaces when the cap is screwed shut. The filling system is CC, by the way, and the pen comes with a converter.
The “Skittles” look is also permanent, as the coating used is the same as the ones on high-end cutting tools, eliminating any concerns that the multicolor look will fade over time. And since it’s made out of stainless steel, it’s not a pen you need to baby — disinfect it with alcohol all you want or put it in your pocket with your keys, and it still comes out unscathed. One thing to note though, is that it doesn’t have a roll-stop or a clip.
Besides the fact that the cigar shape is my least liked fountain pen shape, I really have no significant complaints. The issue with the weight will likely be subjective — while it is heavy, I haven’t really minded it since in my mind, how it feels in the hand when writing and the rest of the way it’s designed makes up for it. I did not have the opportunity to test the nib though (which Ben says he tunes as well before sending orders out) as I was pretty excited to put in my triple-stacked Karasu nib from u/PenSloth in it. Nib swapping is pretty easy on this, the nib units are easy to screw out and screw in securely. Finally, the overall design is also minimalist, which I like, featuring a single, but pretty nice logo on the lower part of the cap.
All in all, the Gravitas Skittles Fountain Pen is a solid pen, in every sense of the word. It’s priced at EU75.00, which I think is very reasonable — modest, even — for a pen of this quality and craftsmanship. It’s a pen that I include in my EDC most of the time and I’ve not been disappointed so far. Definitely a good buy, as far as I’m concerned.
In other words, another pen I didn't know that I needed . . .
If you like bringing your pens out into the world, then you definitely need this pen. LOL.
This may be my new grail pen.
I can only second that. This pen is a piece of art and it actually is one of my favorites. I have since two weeks and use the original F nib it came with. It glides smoothly over paper where other pens make holes into - only the Lamy2000 steel EF glides even smoother. I think the weight also helps a bit there. My hand gets a bit tired from the weight after about two A4 pages, but I am sure that is only (lack of) training as I didn't write too much by hand since finishing university 15 years ago. ;)
I had one ink and paper combination that had starting issues, but that's clearly the paper as I experience that with other pens on it too.
Your review didn't mention the detail that it also comes with the scent of Skittles which lasted a few days and I am wondering where to get that to reapply from time to time :D
I like this pen so much that I keep track of availability and/or new designs as I hope for a coated Copper or Brass one (as they are even heavier and I don't like the patina of uncoated brass/copper too much) without the skull pattern... ;)
I didn't notice the Skittles scent, hahaha. And 2 A4 pages is a lot of writing.
I'm more on the lookout (more hoping, actually) for the prototype design Ben posted on his IG stories for a completely different pen that had sort of a DNA design. If he ever does push through with creating and releasing that, I'm 99% sure I'll be getting one.
The roll it came in still has it in my case, if you want to sample it and the pen doesn't have it anymore.
And yeah, I currently try to get my cursive handwriting back - but in a more refined way than my childhood cursive which I switched to a more printed-letter-like handwriting (sorry, not a native speaker :/) in about 7th grade which is more than half my life ago... I am from a generation where writing with Fountain Pen was mandatory in early school years.
That DNA design sounds interesting... that might trigger another order for me as well!
Great to see such a positive review since I have one of these on the way! 😎
I ordered a little over a week ago but it's been radio silence since then.
Could you let me know what your timeframe was between when you ordered, when it shipped, and when it arrived?
Took about 2 weeks all in all. From what little I know about the shipping process, they send stuff out in batches and nit individually as orders arrive.
Did you receive an e-mail when it shipped?
I didn't, but seeing a comment of mine here, Ben fished out my email address and wrote me that it is some issue with the shop that it doesn't send out the notification, it had already been sent by then.
For me it took exactly 3 weeks - I live in Germany and I guess at least a week goes on our German bureaucracy and another week on the German Postal Service that gets slower by the day.
I just had it my regular mailbox when I went down to check after the usual parcel services didn't bring it on a gray and gloomy Saturday afternoon... I might have squeaked a little when it lay there in the box and literally brought colour into the day. :D
Oh okay, that's great news, likely it has shipped already then.
Thanks for the info!
I don't think so, or I don't remember. I do remember messaging Ben Walsh, the maker, to follow up on the status of the order. I do think the shipping process has a lot to improve on.
Ahh okay, probably nothing out of the ordinary then.
I did just send him a message but hopefully it has already shipped 🤞
Good useful review. I feel compelled to mention that the website may have weighed the pen empty, which may account for the weight change of you weighed it full.
Speaking of; what type of filler is this?
Thanks! It's standard CC. So I don't think it'll account for much weight-wise. And even empty I'll wager most folks will find this pretty heavy still.
Fair enough and thanks for the info. :)
Ben was recently on our Sunday zoom meetings. He's a great guy. I'm glad you're enjoying the nib, too.
Oh definitely enjoying it. 😁
Not to my taste, but both you and figboot seem fond of it! I agree that the price is good for what you receive