ystudio Portable Brassing Fountain Pen Review
– Brass body with black paint
– Medium Schmidt German Nib
– Cartridge/Converter Filling System
– Includes carrying case and lanyards
– $199 MSRP, $159 on sale from Pen Chalet
Ystudio is a brand that’s been on my radar for a while now. I’ve owned one of their brassing ballpoint pens for some time, and always enjoy writing with it. Like the fountain pen being reviewed here, the ballpoint is a brass base with a black paint coating that’s meant to wear away as you use it. Sure, you could go to down on the paint with the included sand paper, but to me, it’s more fun to earn your scratches, dings, and dents the hard way. The overall look and feel of the brand is very cohesive and their product design is simply stunning. Based on simple shapes and flat sides, all of their writing instruments are clearly part of a set. Let’s take a closer look at their Portable Fountain Pen. Big thanks to my pals at Kenro (the new US distributor for ystudio) and especially to Cary for leaving it at my doorstep during “these uncertain times”. Anyway, let’s dig in…
Usually I’m not super pumped on packaging, but would you just look at the box that this pen comes in. It’s beautiful. Gold foil printing, subtle text, minimal branding. I would be thrilled to get one of these as a gift. Heck, I’m thrilled to get one to check out for review. Kudos to ystudio on the presentation, it goes a long way here. It’s not all about the box though, the pen inside is no slouch either.
Ystudio’s fountain pen is a hefty brass body with six flat sides. Each side’s edge is bare brass, while the main surface of each is painted black. Eventually, it’ll fade and chip away, showing the wear over time. I’m excited to see how the finish will wear on a larger pen. The fountain pen is considerably larger than the ballpoint, but it’s by no means huge or unwieldy. In hand, it’s comfortable to write with. The cap slips on and seats with a slight click, but due to the shape of the pen, it’s not able to post on the back.
If I had to nitpick one thing about the pen, it would be the grip section. This is personal preference, but I tend to favor a wider grip. The one on the ystudio is quite thin, tapering even further from the body to the nib. It’s not much wider than the housing of the nib itself. Fortunately, the brass body allows the pen to set itself comfortably in your hand, so you don’t have to use your kung-fu grip to keep the pen under control.
The nib itself is a #5 gold-toned steel nib from Schmidt. Right out of the box, it wrote smooth and had a nice medium flow. This nib is tried-and-true, and all of the examples I’ve used of the same model have been without issue. I tend to prefer a custom nib, or at least some custom engraving on the nib for a pen of this price though. Since the brand is on the smaller side, I can understand why, but it would still be cooler to have a more minimally designed nib to match the aesthetic of the rest of the pen. I think I would even prefer a completely plain, undecorated nib with this pen. Something about having another brand’s name on your beautifully-designed product is kind of like when a car dealership adds one of their stupid logos to your car. (Note to self: change the license plate frames on your car). Overall, the writing experience is nice. The cap is quick to come off, the nib is nice and smooth, and the cartridge/converter filling system is reliable and easy to use.
One thing that hasn’t been addressed yet is the “Portable” nature of the ystudio Portable Brassing Fountain Pen. By default, pens tend to be a pretty portable item. Throw em’ in your pocket or bag, and you’re good to go. Ystudio included a carrying case that the top of the pen threads through with a hole for a lanyard. You can put the pen in the case, attach the lanyard, and if you feel so inclined, wear this sucker as a necklace. While I will not be necklace-carrying the pen, it’s cool that it comes with the case, and I like the look of the lanyard and brass bead attached to the cap, even if I’m not securing to the outside of a bag. The carrying case also protects the pen, but this is a pen you want to knock around a little bit and show some wear on. Since the cap does not thread on, it makes sense to have a little more protection between you and an uncapped fountain pen floating around in your bag. The case isn’t entirely necessary, but it is a cool looking little addition that I’m sure some will find use in.
Ystudio’s Brassing Fountain Pen is a solid entry in ystudio’s lineup. It’s elegant, designed really well, and feels great in hand. While I would prefer a more custom (or even more plain) nib option, the pros outweigh the cons. I’m excited to get some wear on the pen and see how it looks after some use and carry. Big thanks to Cary and Ryan over at Kenro for sending the pen over for review.
If you’re interested in picking one up for yourself, hit up this Pen Chalet affiliate link. Use the code “JELLEY” at checkout for 10% off your order too!
Please note, if you decide to purchase this pen through the link, I will receive a small commission based on the sales. I try to keep all of my reviews as neutral as possible, but please use your own judgement and do your own research too.