In the world of fountain pen manufacturers, Conid is fairly new but they have made quite an impact in the fountain pen community.
At the 2017 London Pen Show, Conid were there and when I arrived at their table I was fascinated by the demonstration of the filling mechanism of one of their pens. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Filling systems are one thing but what really captivated me was the way they talked about the engineering process behind making a pen. They explained that they rarely have a supply of pens ready to go out in the post when a customer orders one. What normally happens is that when you place an order, they make your pen. The Conid team also talked about the materials and the machining needed in order to make a pen. It was impressive stuff.
I didn’t buy a Conid at that pen show but it did put the seed into my mind. Zoom forward to just after Christmas and I placed an order. The ordering process was like everything Conid do…very different. An email was received acknowledging my order and an estimated delivery time set, roughly 7 weeks. Then the waiting began. After just over 6 weeks I had not heard anything from Conid so I sent them an email. After a day or so, a very polite email came back giving me a new estimate for the following week. That week came and the tracking information came through. The pen…my pen was on the move.
Conid send their pens out super quick and I didn’t have to wait long. Before I knew it I was signing for the package and ripping it open. The pen came in a simple metal box with a hinged lid – similar to an ammo case. Inside the case was the pen.
It looked wonderful. If you like pens with a bit of bling, then pens by Conid might not be for you. The pen was substantial and I really liked all the titanium parts – including the nib (although you can go for gold and rhodium plated gold nibs if you wish).
Filling up the pen for the first time, although I knew how much ink it could take, it still surprised me at just how much ink it efficiently sucked up. I had ordered an extra-fine titanium nib and it did not disappoint. The line was wet and if anything more like a generous fine. I liked it a great deal!
After a few days of using it exclusively I wanted to change the ink colour. This gave me the opportunity to use the little tool that as an optional extra can be purchased allowing the user to dismantle the pen. This was very easy to do and I enjoyed being able to have a little bit of a fountain pen geek moment.
The materials used in the pen are obviously of high quality and I suspect that it will become an heirloom passed down the generations as it is that robust. Everything just works with an industrial efficiency. The attention to detail is high to the point where things have to absolutely perfect in every way.
To describe design influences you could come out with Bauhaus, Minimalist and even stretch to Brutalist. For me it is just a unique design that is clean, uncluttered and incredibly efficient.
Okay so what are the plus points? Well there are quite a few:
- Size – the pen is imposing and the #8 nib fits this large pen well
- Ink capacity – it’s huge
- Filling system – nothing quite like it and it is simple but so clever
- Looks – in my opinion it a striking design
- Attention to detail
- Customisation – within reason, Conid offers quite a lot of options
- The fact it is handmade to order just for you
- It may not be limited edition etc.., but they are rare. You will be in a very exclusive club
- It will outlive just about any other pen out there – unless it’s another Conid
What are the negatives?
- Price – ouch! Start saving up now
- The tool for dismantling the pen really should come with it rather than being an additional cost
- Time to arrive – (though perhaps understandable as Conid pens are made to order)
I really do like Conid as a company and I love their pens – especially the Kingsize. Despite being a relatively understated pen in terms of looks, it is a pen that attracts a great deal of attention. I am not sure why this is? It could: be the materials used; the amount of ink sloshing around; the huge titanium nib or the fact that it is a little bit like a unicorn and despite people having heard of Conid, they have rarely see one. In order to purchase this pen I did have to downsize the number of pens I owned and sell some of them off. Was it worth it? Definitely! I can honestly say that this pen is one that will stay as a permanent guest in my humble collection.