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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Taccia Introduction



Link to YouTube for more viewing options.

Since we announced we'd be carrying Taccia a few weeks back, we've been receiving a lot of questions about the pens. How do they write? What are the nibs like? What's the balance, weight, size, etc....

I put together this basic overview of the 5 different models of Taccia pens we've gotten in: Overture, Merit, Nightlife, Premier, and Palatial Pearl. I'll go over my impressions of each, for more detailed pictures and measurements, you can visit our website where we have them all listed.




These are the least expensive Taccia pens, and they have smaller nibs than all the others. They're medium-size pens. What impresses me about them is the fit of the cap and body, they're all perfectly flush, which I know is not easy to do. These aren't my favorites, but for the price ($79.00 list) they're not too bad. The size is very comfortable and they have a 'throwback' look to them. The only complaint I really have is that you have to really make sure the cap is seated on the back when you post, otherwise it wants to loosen up. Not a dealbreaker, but something I just wanted to point out.


The Overtures have a smaller nib than all the other Taccia pens, and they don't have the Taccia logo on them like the others (at least not right now). They say 'Made in Germany' and give the nib size indication with an F, M, or B.





I think these are going to be Taccia's bread and butter. They're generously sized, attractive, and have an ink window, which is a really handy feature. They are somewhat large pens, but not heavy given their size (only 22g, the same as a Pilot Custom 74). They list for $95, which I think is fair given their quality.


The neat thing about all the Taccia pens is that their nibs are interchangeable, which helps us to offer you the best nib selection possible for your pens. Taccia nibs used to be available separately, but that's no longer the case (unfortunately!). Still, it's nice for taking the pen apart for thorough cleaning, at least.




This is the first Taccia pen I ever saw at the DC pen show in 2009, and it left an impression on me that carried over until now! The patterned metal looks almost like a Magic Eye, remember those? 60 coats of lacquer over the pattern give it a smooth, glossy finish. It's quite a heavy pen at 41g, but if you're one who feels like the weight of a pen is proportional to it's quality, then you'll really like these.


They are beautiful pens, but sadly they have been discontinued, so which I discovered about a week after we began carrying them. So if you're serious about getting one, I recommend you look into it sooner than later. They list for $229, which isn't bad for a pen this unique, in my opinion. One interesting point, the cap on this pen threads when it posts, none of the other Taccias here do that.




Not to be confused with the Edison Nouveau Premiere! The 'e' makes all the difference ;) Seriously, these are giant pens. It's 149mm long (capped) and the cap is 18mm in diameter, not counting the clip! That's big. It's a big pen, but surprisingly well-balanced and easy to hold, at least for a large-handed individual like myself. It's 33g weight is actually a bit less than the Nightlife, even though it's a much bigger pen.


These are really nice looking pens, with intricate details that you don't see a lot in pens in this price range ($229.00 list). Alas, these pens are also discontinued like the Nightlife, so you won't see them much longer.




These are the really fancy ones! Even at the $299.00 list price, they look like much more expensive pens. The fit and finish is superb, and they're the kind of pens that look good just sitting on your desk. You won't even have to write with them to appreciate them (though you definitely will want to). They are heavy at 41g, so they may be best for shorter writing stints instead of long sessions, but that is up to your individual taste.


Each of the three pen colors have a different mother-of-pearl/abalone inlay pattern, all of them quite stunning. The depth of the swirl pattern in the resin is also quite impressive, these are just all-around beautiful pens.




Taccia Converters


One of the only real negative things I read about Taccia pens before we began carrying them was that the converters were cheap and not reliable. They are standard international converters, and there are actually two different types that we noticed on the Taccia pens we received. They're the same dimensions, but the quality is a little different, it's obvious that one is a little nicer than the other. The top one with the hazy plastic is the 'cheap' one, the clear one on the bottom is the nice one:





Both converters fit, but the clear one is better. The Taccia pens we got in were mixed as to which pens had which converters, it's evident to me that they're in the process of switching from the hazy ones to the clear ones. To avoid confusion, at GPC we're just replacing all of the hazy ones with clear ones, so any Taccia pen we sell will come with the better, clear converter.

All Taccia pens accept Standard International Short cartridges, which are offered by a lot of different companies (Diamine, Private Reserve, J. Herbin, Montegrappa, Omas, and many, many more). The Standard International converter is easily the most popular and accessible converter you can find. All Taccia pens come with converters.

Taccia Nibs

The nibs on the Taccias come from Germany, and they're very smooth writing. The only thing that's been pretty confusing for us to figure out as retailers is that the pens come with nibs that are randomly colored. What I mean by that is that some pens come with polished steel nibs, and some come with two-tone steel/gold nibs (they're all steel, just gold-plated). This means that if we didn't check the pen before we sent it out, it could very well have either nib when it comes to you!


So what we're doing at GouletPens.com is we're offering you any of the nibs on any of the pens, since the nibs are in fact swappable (on everything except the Overture). This means that if one type of nib sells faster than another, we will try to restock but can't guarantee what we'll get in. The nibs aren't available separately from Taccia, so we'll be somewhat limited in what we're able to offer ongoing, but doing it this way will give you the best options possible.

The nibs you see here are the 'new' Taccia nibs, which are actually the exact same as what Taccia's been using for a while, but now they are engraved with the Taccia logo. The old nibs are the exact same, but with 'Iridium Point Germany' (known as IPG) on them instead of the logo. Here's a great article from Brian Gray about IPG nibs.


Only two of the Taccias we got in had these 'old' nibs on them, so I think they're pretty much phased out at this point, but they are out there on Taccia's older stock. Just know that they're out there. At GPC I haven't decided what we're doing with these two nibs with the IPG marking, we'll likely offer them at a discount of some kind since it's just two nibs like this.

So how do they write? Freaking awesome, that's how. They're large nibs with good flow, and they are very, very smooth. I was impressed, and it's not often that I'm truly impressed. I did a writing test to show the size of the fine, medium, and broad nibs compared to each other. I should note, these nibs are the same for all of the pens except the Overture, I'll have to do a separate writing test later for those. But here it is:


The fine and medium aren't too drastically different from each other, but the broad is quite a jump in width from the medium. The flow was generous (not gushing) in all three sizes, and I didn't have any skipping or starting issues with Noodler's Black.

All of the Taccia nibs that come on the pens are steel, but an 18k gold nib upgrade is available for everything but the Overture. However, at a list price of $180 for an 18k nib (that's not including the pen!) I don't think too many people will spring for it. But know that it's an option.

Summary

Taccia is a pen brand that's quite new in the grand scheme of fountain pen companies, and it's still very unknown across the writing world. I'm hoping that by showing you more what these pens are all about, you'll begin to see what I see, some really nice pens at some very fair prices.

Taccia has recently undergone a change in distributorship, and I believe this has prompted some of the changes to their products. They're making several changes like adding the logos on the nibs, upgrading the converters, and they are dropping several pen models (Nightlife, Premier, and Staccato). This has made it pretty hard for us to get a solid grip on the brand as a whole and to convey that information to you. I'm sensing that there will continue to be lots of changes with these pens, so I will do my best to keep you all up to date.

I'm optimistic about the brand because of the excellent craftsmanship and writability of their pens. I think it's a brand that's seriously worth consideration, that's why we started carrying them! I'm eager to see some reviews of these pens pop up as more people get them in their hands.

I'm sure there's still a lot of confusion around some aspects of these pens, and I'm happy to elaborate if you want to post anything in the comments.

6 comments:

  1. Hmm the Merit looks like it could be converted to an eyedropper. The ink window might be useful in showing the amount of ink left in the pen, though burping might occurs before that.

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  2. Brian, I believe you'll find that the top of the Premiere box is made to hold a watch. Many travel watch boxes look exactly like that.

    Great video.

    Thanks.

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  3. Thanks for the review Brian. It's good to see these in perspective.

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  4. You're welcome. I was actually planning to do a comparison of these pens with some other popular ones like the Lamy Safari, Pelikan m800, Sailor 1911....but the video went so long as it was. I think I'll have to do more size comparisons on future videos broken out to specific model. Then I can also show all the colors for each model, too.

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  5. This is what I'm coming to believe! I'm not a watch guy, so this wasn't my first thought, but it does make sense. I know a lot of watch folks are also into pens, and vice versa. I'm wondering if perhaps Taccia actually purchased this case and adapted it from the watch community!

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  6. It might, but I'll have to test that. I can't tell just by looking at it if it would work or not. The threads aren't craaaazy tight, there's a little play in them between the body and grip section where ink could escape. I think silicone grease and an o-ring would both be necessary. I'll have to play around with it.

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