So it is the case with the latest offerings from Manuscript. I have a Manuscript pen from years ago, unremarkable but reliable would be how I best describe it, it doesn't form part of my every day carry because it's too light, and the nib doesn't flow the way I like, so it was with some interest that I agreed to review the new model, just to see if things have been improved.
I chose the Northern Lights colour scheme, with the 1.1 italic nib, which would not normally be my choice to use, but it was the only way to get an objective comparison with the existing Manuscript pen that I have.
The new pens are light, but solid, the description indicates that they're made out of Italian Resin, and I'm not enough of a materials specialist to speak of what that might be. In practical terms, it feels like thick Acrylic, the patterns are a little different every time due to the setting process, but as I don't have several on stand by, I can't speak for that either. What I can say is that it's a very attractive pen.
Solid in feel, but not heavy, coming in at 20g, but with the thickness of the barrel, it feels as if it should weigh more than it does. The cap is a screw top, as is the rear of the pen, and it's here that I have an issue, the screw is made from the same acrylic, and it doesn't always seat in the thread first time.
It's not a massive inconvenience, but whereas with a metal screw, you wouldn't worry about damaging the thread quite as much, with this, there's the concern that if you pushed a little too hard, you might crack or wedge it in. In comparison with the solid nature of the rest of the pen, this seemed out of place.
It takes standard international cartridges and comes with a convertor, the nib is a Jowo with the Manuscript logo etched on to it, so the flow is as good as you would expect.
It's a comfortable size for someone with larger hands to write with, the barrel is wide all the way along and while you can post it, it does effect the balance with some significance due to the overall lightness of the pen.
When it came to writing with the pen, I have no hand for italic writing, so I handed over to my wife, who was gracious enough to put this down.
It flows well, and while thirsty due to the size of the nib being used, it has a well controlled flow and doesn't blob on the page at any point, something very useful when I came to write the second sentence in my slower handwriting.
It comes in a good, solid box with a letter explaining all about the history of the pen and everything else to do with it, but the excellent quality of the box only had me thinking that they could have spent the time and effort on finishing the pen in the same way, and they'd have had a true contender.
The ML1856 retails at £125, which puts it in the same price point as Platinums #3776, Cross's Century II, Pilot's Capless, and Diplomat's Excellence. The feel of it is similar to that of the Namisu Nova, only half the weight (and almost twice the price), and as I'm many will have guessed, I don't feel this to be in the same league as the pens at the same price point. If you like large pens that don't feel like dumbbells when you pick them up, this is excellent, it's a good nib, and the distinctive colouring of it makes it stand out well from most other things, for me, it's a little style over substance.
As always, I didn't buy this pen, it was provided so I could provide a review for it.