Esterbrook x Accutron Fountain Pen Review

Esterbrook x Accutron Fountain Pen Review

Specs:

  • Description: A brushed green metal pen from two brands, both prominent in the 1960s, both of which who are back in action again.
  • Nib: Medium Gold Tone Schmidt Nib
  • Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter
  • Weight: 36.3g capped, 18.7g uncapped
  • Measurements: 5.875″ capped, 5.125″ uncapped
  • Color Options: Brushed Green Metal

Intro/About:

If you were to jump into a time machine, and head back to the 1960s, there’s a good chance you’d find two things. An Accutron watch on someone’s wrist, and an Esterbrook pen on their desk. After Accutron’s boom in the 60s and 70s, they more or less got crushed by the quartz watch revolution, got sold around to a few different companies, and ended up going dormant for a decade or two. Sound familiar? Esterbrook had that same fate. Thankfully, both brands have landed in the hands of people who care about the heritage and quality of the products, and both of whom have relaunched the brands. In 2019, we saw the re-introduction of Accutron watches (now ran by Citizen) with the Spaceview and DNA, both boasting a brand new type of movement. Somewhere between mechanical and quartz (just like the original tuning fork movement) lies the new and exciting electrostatic movement. Powered by the movement of your wrist, a rotor spins electrostatic generators, which in turn charge a capacitor, which then go on to power the watch. If you’re interested in learning more about the Accutron, you can read my lengthy review of the watch over at Worn and Wound. Today, we’re talking about the Esterbrook fountain pen that’s been decked out to match the Accutron, and boy did they do a good job. Let’s take a closer look at this stunning brushed green fountain pen that honors both of these prominent mid-century brands.

This pen was provided to me at no cost for evaluation. Please form your own opinions based on these facts.

Appearance:

Based on the Esterbrook Camden, the Accutron is similar in size and shape, but stands all on its own. The body and cap are rendered in a rich green metal that’s treated with a brushed pattern throughout. If you’re a watch fan, you’ve probably seen an original Accutron Spaceview model in your travels. This open-faced demonstrator watch showed off the mix of mechanical and electronic tech inside, surrounded by a signature green chapter ring. Complementing the new Accutron watch, this same brushed green finish can be seen on the watch. Again, I keep forgetting that we’re talking about a pen here. Starting at the business end, you’ll notice the gold-toned steel nib from Schmidt. Moving down the pen, there’s a grip section with a nice taper in the middle that promotes a secure grip. A set of threads are unobtrusive, and do an excellent job of holding on the cap, complete with it’s sealing mechanism. The body of the pen is pretty straightforward, with its widest point just behind the threads where the cap meets body. It tapers towards the tail, and it’s all made of a single piece of metal.

All of the branding is on the cap. Instead of an Esterbrook logo on the finial, you’ll see an Accutron tuning fork engraved into a gold-tone plate. Just above the bottom of the cap, there’s the Accutron logo printed in gold. A polished gold-tone metal spring clip secures the pen to your pocket or bag. The pen is a pretty standard shape and size, fitting nicely in my hands. One thing worth noting is that the cap doesn’t post securely. This is due to the spring loaded mechanism inside the cap that doesn’t quite fit over the tail of the pen. The star of the show is the finish. It’s intriguing to look at, feels great in hand, and it’s an excellent tribute to the Accutron design language.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Esterbrook has tapped Schmidt for the nib, feed, and filling system. The nib itself is gold in color, but steel in construction. I’ve never had a problem with a Schmidt nib, and the one featured in this pen is no exception. Filling it with ink is a straightforward affair, and it writes just as expected. Smooth and silky on the paper with a medium ink flow. The internal cap sealing mechanism does a great job of keeping the nib from drying out, so it’s ready to write as soon as you take off the cap. I’ve loaded mine up with Diamine’s Evergreen, and the green pen with green ink is a pleasure to write with.

Feel:

In hand, the Esterbrook x Accutron is nice and comfortable. A decent amount of the heft is taken up by the cap, which doesn’t post. So when you’re actually writing with the pen, the weight is less than when it’s capped. I like how the grip tapers just a little bit before the nib, keeping you from choking up too much on the grip and getting those dreaded inky fingers. The threads on the grip are low-profile, and do not get in the way of writing. I particularly like how the brushed finish on the pen gives it just the right amount of grip. If this thing was polished, it would be slippery as all get out. I’m glad to report that’s not the case here. Construction is quality, with all threads and parts fitting together with ease.

Pros:
– Unique brushed finish
– Cool collaboration between brands
– Comfortable weight, length, and finish

Cons:
– $100 above the standard Camden
– Limited availability (Accutron boutiques only)
– Cap does not post on the back of the pen

Conclusion:

This is a fun collaboration from two re-born brands. I’ve enjoyed using the pen, especially seeing it alongside the watch while I had it in for review. If you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, are a fan of watches, or simply just enjoy green, then the Esterbrook x Accutron Camden is the pen for you. At $275 with a steel nib, it doesn’t represent the best value in fountain pens out there, but sometimes it’s not about that. If a pen makes you feel something, or matches something you really happen to enjoy, then sometimes you can overlook the features. The bottom line is that this is a handsome, well-balanced pen that writes really well. If you want to learn more about the partnership between Esterbrook and Accutron, you can check it out right here. Again, a big thanks to Accutron for sending the pen over, Cary at Kenro/Esterbrook for the connection, and of course to you guys for reading this.


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