Namiki Falcon First Impression

Link to YouTube for more viewing options for the Falcon vid.

This video is my true first impression of the Namiki Falcon, the first time I’ve ever inked it up! 

A pen like the Namiki Falcon is one that I had heard much about but never seen for myself, until we become Namiki retailers. Of course, I wanted to see right away what all the fuss was about. It’s a pen that’s quite unique in its nib design, and is one of the few modern flex nib pens made today. It is classic in its design, but quite modern in its use.

Flex nib pens have been getting a lot of attention lately since the rise of the Noodler’s Flex Pen. Prior to the Noodler’s, the Falcon was really the only modern flex pen that I’d heard about with any consistency. Granted, the Falcon costs about 10 times the price of the Noodler’s Flex Pen, it is admittedly, a much nicer looking pen, with a 14k nib to boot.

It’s a fairly light pen, with good balance both posted and unposted. The degree of flex on it is not as great as the Noodler’s flex, or some vintage flex pens. But in my opinion, this isn’t such a bad thing. It’s a pen that can flex, but also writes incredibly well as a ‘normal’ pen. It writes nicely with normal use, and flexes when you want it to. Here’s a writing sample:

The coolest thing to me is the nib, it’s just such a unique design it really grabs my attention! As soon as I saw the nib, I knew why they named the pen the Falcon, the nib looks like a beak! It’s a 14k nib, which is the ideal metal for after-market nib grinding to add additional flex, should you choose to go that route.

So I hope you enjoy my first impression of the Falcon. My overall impression of the pen is positive. It’s not a ‘wet noodle’ pen, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. It’s a nice-feeling nib that writes smoother than I thought it would, and flexes more than I thought it would. I had set my expectations fairly low, and they were exceeded. If you’re on the market for a gold-nib sub $150 pen with some flex, the Falcon is worth a look.

How about you? What’s your take on the Falcon?

2017-10-11T03:06:17+00:00 April 25th, 2011|Pen Reviews|32 Comments
  • Hi Brian

    Nice review! Namiki Falcon is on my “to buy” list. I was waiting your review, but from the video I can’t answer to some questions of mine. What do you think, is Namiki Falcon just for artists or I can write a novel with it? From your video I would tell, because of flexibility, speed becomes an issue. I need new fountain pen for really long writing sessions, it has to be smooth, because I don’t like scratchy nibs. I like Lamy 2000 but hooded nib prevents me from realizing some characteristics of my writing. I love to hear your suggestion, regardless of Namiki Falcon. Thanks!

  • Marshall Massey

    I’ve had a Falcon for about five years ago. It’s a fun little pen, with a smooth, responsive nib, and while I find it a little tricky to write with (if I’m not careful with the pressure, it can skip on fast sweeping upstrokes), I find a lot of tactile pleasure in working with it. In fact, ever since I bought it, it has been *the* pen most likely to be in my shirt pocket. I keep it loaded with Pelikan Brilliant Black and use it for formal signatures and for notes that I am especially anxious to make easy to read.

  • With any flex pen, speed will be an issue when flexing the nib. If you are writing fast and you flex the nib quickly, you can break the flow of the ink and get what's called 'railroading', where the separated tines of the nib draw two separate lines. The way to combat this is to slow down.

    I wouldn't say the Falcon is just for artists, but many artists are drawn to it and other flexible nib pens because of what it can do. Now, what you should note is that here I'm reviewing the 'soft medium' Falcon. The 'soft' part means the nib is designed to flex, and if you're getting a non-soft nib Falcon, it will not flex (at least nearly this much) and you should not have to slow down at all. But, since what makes this pen special is the fact you can get it with a 'soft' nib, that's what I wanted to show.

    One thing to add, even though the pen does flex, you can still write with it quite easily without flexing it. It takes some intention to flex it, so as long as you are writing with moderate to light pressure, it won't flex much and you can write as fast as you want. To me, that's actually kind of a plus with this pen. I'm not sure if I'd want to choose this pen to write an entire novel, but you could with relative ease.

    One of my personal favorite pens lately has been the Pilot Custom 74, and that would do great for long writing sessions. I have a first impression of that too: http://www.inknouveau.com/2011/04/pilot-custom-74-first-impression.html It has a bit of 'spring' to the nib, which makes for a soft feel when you write but doesn't give any significant line variation, and doesn't slow you down at all.

    I'd also check out the Edison Nouveau pens. They are steel nibs and pretty stiff, but very smooth and comfortable for long writing sessions: http://www.inknouveau.com/2011/03/edison-nouveau-premiere-nib-comparison.html They are pens I worked to develop with Brian Gray, so it's easy for me to suggest 🙂

    There are a lot of other great pens out there, do you have a target price range you're looking to hit?

  • Yes, I've found the nib to be surprisingly smooth for it being a flex pen. I haven't noticed any skipping, but then I'm using Iroshizuku ink in it which writes pretty wet. Pelikan Brilliant Black is a fairly dry writing ink, which would be a little more prone to skipping than some other inks. It definitely does take some practice to get the hang of the pen, but like you've said here, you get tactile pleasure from it 🙂

  • Thanks for your detailed explanation. My primary fountain pen is Pelikan M400 NN (Vintage) with medium nib. I prefer vintage Pelikans over new ones because I really don’t like writing with new nibs. Vintage Pelikan M400 adds so much character to my writing, so I’m very pleased with it. But as I’m preparing for even longer writing sessions than now, I’m into quest for new, like Neil Gaiman would say for L2K, “novel writing pen”. I’m very into L2K, but I would like new one with medium nib, because I like wet pen and soft nib and think I could achieve that with L2K M nib. I’m also open for other solutions, with price range around 150-180$.
    I don’t like demonstrators because they look cheap to me, so Pilot Custom 74 is an option but only in black resin like Falcon or similar pens. I prefer native piston fillers because amount of ink they can store, but converter is also fine. Actually I can say I’m little disappointed in new fountain pens, because many of them look cheap, and you are giving money primarily for nib while the rest of the pen looks and feels cheap. I need long lasting and dependable fountain pen and among new ones “the one” is very hard to find.

  • Stonezebra

    Hey Brian, thanks for the review of the Falcon. However, I would leave my signature up on the web for anyone to copy and use, not safe practice.

  • Stonezebra

    Sorry, meant to say I would NOT post my signature on the web, not safe.

  • kirtar

    Brian: The converter that came with my Decimo was in a box that was in fact labeled CON-50. I'll see about getting a picture of it later

  • Karen

    Looking forward to seeing your video Brian – I will watch at home tonight.

    I got my Falcon a few years ago. I had it ground to an EF when I purchased it, with the intent to use for drawing. In my case, the fine point does sometimes catch on rough paper or snags and tears into really thin paper. But that's probably because of the modification, and because I can be heavy-handed with it when I want maximum line thickness. With normal to light pressure though, it is pretty smooth.

    For extended periods of flex writing, it would not be my first choice. But it is very comfortable to use with light pressure, and lays down a fairly wet line with the ink I prefer – Noodler's Bulletproof Black. Overall, it is a great pen for my purpose (drawing) and I've been thinking about picking up another, in a broader width. I also want to try it with Sailor Carbon Black ink.

    I do wish there were some different color/material choices for the pen body, but that's just me. It is a perfectly nice looking pen…just kind of boring to look at. (although the curvature of the nib is unique – like a raptor's beak)

  • Ryan

    I find my Falcon to be a joy to use. It's among my lightest pens, but I enjoy a light pen sometimes. I do not like the converter that comes with it, but I simply refill a cartridge instead. You mentioned that you believe it was about M400 size, which is (kinda) incorrect. In this photograph: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_50mNaYtQ4Q4/TbW7B-dx0oI/AAAAAAAAEgY/yzY17f6sBVo/s800/DSC_1956.jpg
    the red pen is an M400, black pen is a Falcon, blue pen is an M800 and matte black pen is a Lamy 2000. With the caps on, you can see that the Falcon is maybe 1/8 inch shorter than the M800.

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_50mNaYtQ4Q4/TbW7CHoYZZI/AAAAAAAAEgc/nBcZZAlL2cU/s800/DSC_1955.jpg
    In that photograph, you can see that the Falcon is similar in size unposted to the M400. However, the section is a good bit fatter than the M400. I'd say the section is similar in girth to the M800 except the fact that it is straight instead of tapered.

  • m.z.johansen

    I love the Falcon.It's a delightful pen to use…and was my favorite…. I had one with a John Mottishaw'ed CI nib. I am bereaved ,however, because it is currently 'hiding' – surely I would know if it was – dare I write it – l-o-s-t.

  • kirtar

    Here are pictures of each face of the CON-50 box that came with my Decimo

  • I'm sorry you've had such a hard search. I don't necessarily feel the same way as you do, that all new pens seem cheap, but then I only deal with new pens and not vintage ones. I get that you don't like demonstrators, they are a matter of preference. I personally love them, but that's me. Which new pens have you been looking at, that seem cheap? I'd like to understand your thinking a little better.

  • Jesser20

    This first impression turned out to be better than a normal review for really getting a better idea about this pen. I love all the little details that would normally never get mentioned in a shorter video – like the fuzz in the pen box 🙂

    I also liked how you were able to show off the Kon-Peki. It looks wet like Black Swan, the way it comes pouring out of the nib. Definitely worth the longer video. Great job Brian!

  • Ryan

    The Falcon is a very wet writer. It seems to be able to use any ink. You could put a cartridge of dust in it and it would be the wettest writing dust you've ever seen.

  • Point made. BAM! It's gone 😉 I didn't quite think that one through, thanks for pointing it out!

  • Interesting…I'll post more in the comment under your picture.

  • Thanks Karen. This is a popular choice for those looking to get custom work done. I agree, the moderate pressure the pen takes may not be suited for extended periods of flex writing. In my view though, it's kind of a plus, because the fact it takes a little pressure means that you aren't really flexing it unintentionally, so you can do 'normal' writing with it easier. That's just my thought though.

    As for the style, it's classic. Black with gold is pretty standard, and may be boring for some, or appealing for others. It's a pretty safe bet for a penmaker to make black with gold trim, it's probably the most universally appealing combo.

  • Awesome Ryan, thanks for those pics! Yeah, I wasn't being real scientific in my judgement here, it was more of a….well….first impression 😛 I have an m800 and use it quite frequently, and the Falcon definitely is smaller (in diameter) than it. It is also much, much lighter too. I must admit that I don't have an m200 or m400, so I was pretty much guessing on that. Sorry if I was way off. When I do a more thorough review of the Falcon, I'll be sure to get more detailed about the size and whatnot.

  • Oh no! It's not lost, it just has itself in a safe place! John Mottishaw is one of the best nibmeisters out there, and I'm sure that pen writes like a dream!

  • Awesome! Thanks so much for the pics! How long ago did you get your Decimo? Since we've been retailing Pilot/Namiki products in March, we've never seen any converter in a box, either on their own or with a pen. None of the SKU's we have refer to them as Con-20, 50, or 70, but that's what they're all commonly known to be so we just roll with it 😉

  • Thanks! When I'm shooting a first impression, I'm trying not to worry about time. Besides, who of you out there times yourself when you try out a pen for the first time?? 😉 I'm glad you liked it, longer vid and all. Kon-Peki is great, but I wouldn't quite say it's a Black Swan. The Black Swans are known for their wide range of color variation based on the pen and paper used, Kon-Peki is pretty consistent. It does shade like crazy though! It's quite wet, which I LOVE, and the color is perfect to me. Just like the cerulean crayon that was my favorite as a kid 🙂

  • Ryan

    It's not a big deal. In my hands, the Falcon feels about the same weight as the M400, even though the Pelikan is a far smaller pen. However, I like the thicker section of the Falcon much more than the M400.

    And yeah, the Falcon is very light. It's among the lightest pens of its size I've personally held. I do love that nib, though.

  • Haha! It is pretty wet, yes. I don't know about the dust though 😉

  • Thanks for your comparison. Next time I'll be sure to only mention pens I personally own and can compare them to 😛 The only pen that's as light as the Falcon is the Platinum 3776, another nice pen.

  • kirtar

    I bought it at a brick and mortar store in Taipei (Tylee pen shop http://xn--9wzo99b.tw/index.php) about a month ago. It could be a regional designation that carried over, but I'm guessing you've tried looking at that already

  • kirtar

    Ok just a note, the url got messed up due to the truncation mechanism (just get rid of the ending parenthesis that got tacked on)

  • Huh, interesting! Well, the converters in the US don't come in boxes like that. C'est la vie!

  • New Pelikans really can’t compare to vintage ones. Build quality is way better on vintage ones. So even new Pelikans with that uniquely stripes and no character at all look cheap. I had one M400 and exchange it for vintage one. Build quality is really disappointing these days and only fountain pen (imho) that is well built, and has other necessary qualities all fountain pens should have, is Lamy 2000. Many fountain pen brands think no one will write with FP or will write just a little bit, but not enough to comprehend pour quality and main focus on nib.

    I like the looks of Namiki Falcon and just from looking at pictures I can say it’s a quality pen, but CC fountain pens are generally less worthy in my opinion that any built in filling system like e.g. piston-fill. Times are different and people, if they buy FP, write just a little bit or put them on some visible place so everybody can see they have FP. Not to mention their handwriting. Think you get my point. We need more workhorse fountain pens not the ones that look like children toys.

  • I've always been fascinated by the nib of the Falcon, but just can't get past the cheapness of the pen body….or at least the feather light weight of the plastics used in the body. I just like a heavy pen that feels like I actually have something in my hand, but again,….this is simply my personal taste. A late model pen with a flex nib that has a heftiness to it? NOW THAT'S a pen! For now,….only a vintage can fill the bill. Wait,….maybe I can retro fit the Falcon nib to a vintage pen body????!!!!

  • I love the Falcon! I had a Mottishawed CI crafted on mine. Love at first write! Not sure if the new line with Rhodium trim is worth the difference in price. Am curious if the new Falcon is heavier than the black? Any thoughts?

  • kirtar

    If you're talking about the Pilot Falcon (i.e. the one using Pilot brand instead of Namiki), it's a metal body pen which may account for some of the price difference