P.J. Ford & Associates Ltd was founded in 1989 originally as a marketing consultancy for the international office products industry. Since their founding, they have evolved into a mail order business selling rubber stamps, batteries, wristwatches and pocket watches, as well as a variety of pen brands and inks. Their Mr. Pen division is the exclusive proprietor of the Italix pen line. This pen line, made exclusively for them, provides a wide variety of pen styles and is very well known for the 27 different nib options offered depending on the model, such as standard options, italic nibs, left and right oblique nibs, stub nibs, italic oblique nibs, cursive nibs, and even gold options. Peter Ford from Mr. Pen very generously sent me a Captain’s Commission in black with a medium nib for review.
The pen arrives in a simple black faux leather box with no markings on the outside. Inside, there is a white satin lining with “Mr. Pen” embossed on the inside of the lid. The pen rests under a small black ribbon with an introduction sheet and ink cartridge. The pen also comes with a standard international converter inside the pen.
This is a large pen made to grab your attention and take you for a ride. The sharp contrast between the very large chrome cap and black piano lacquered body is stunning on the white satin bed.
This is not a light pen by any means weighing in at 45 grams, but is solidly built and well balanced. The body of the pen is brass and covered with black piano lacquer, which has a nice glossy finish. The step down from the body to the grip is almost non-existent and the threads are smooth to the touch. The grip section is covered in the same black lacquer and slightly flairs out at the end, which acts as a finger stop. The screw on cap is chrome and has a large round black finial, which contrasts the chrome finial on the end of the body. There are alternating lines of chasing and plain chrome. The cap weighs nearly as much as the rest of the pen. The threads on the cap are buttery smooth, but I initially noticed an occasional cross threading, but that has since stopped with use. The clip is tight but slides on clothing easily and holds the pen in place perfectly. The name for this model fits the pen perfectly, and I feel like this is a pen that a Captain would purchase to show off his rank.
Mr. Pen offers a huge variety of nib options to choose from and all of their nibs are adjusted before being shipped to you. I received a medium nib on this model for review, which appears to be a #6 and is branded with the word “ITALIX” and “M” for medium and simple scroll work. I am not normally a fan of medium nibs, but this nib… this nib changed my opinions completely. This is one of the most amazing nibs I have ever experienced and has quickly moved into my daily rotation. So much so, that I recently used this nib to complete all of the hospital paperwork for my daughter’s birth. I filled the pen with one of my most temperamental inks and it performed like a dream. It is extremely smooth, but not so much that it has baby bottom. If every nib they adjust and sell is this perfect, they will make many customers very, very happy.
The pen fills via a standard international converter, which is included. However, you can also use the included cartridges if you prefer.
Based on the conversion rate at the time of writing, the pen retails at $55.29 USD and an additional $16.79 USD for shipping. That said I feel that $72.09 is a phenomenal price for this pen and could easily see it selling for well over double that amount based on its build and performance.
Overall, I can sum up my feelings for this pen very simply – I love this pen! I have shared this pen with a number of friends, both fountain pen users and non-fountain pen users, and they have all been enamored with it. In fact, they are requesting we do a group buy later this year so we can get a variety of models to sample. I think you get a great value with this pen, it is amazingly built, a wonderful writer, and it will surely outlast you.