If you recall a few years ago on Kickstarter a campaign called The Pen Project, this pen will seem familiar to you (as you may actually own one). If not, this should be fun.
If you hadn't seen my previous reviews, for introductions to the pen, it is the brainchild of an engineer out of Massachusetts named Ian Schon. Ian set out to make a pen that was compact, reliable in all conditions, and durable. If you have a minute, take some time to review his original Kickstarter.
The original version of the pen was machined from aluminum, but when I found out that Ian had made a limited run of them in titanium, I was intrigued. Did I buy right away? No I did not, but I took the leap just a few months ago and am excited to give my thoughts on it.
From a feature standpoint, when closed the pen is small when compared to other "normal" sized pens. At about the size of a roll of dimes it is probably one of the best perfectly portable writing instruments I own. It fits in my pocket alongside my phone or keys without me even noticing it most of the time.
With the pen being so small, for writing the cap comes off and threads onto the tail end of the pen extending its length considerably. This makes it long enough to fit into even large hands.
The refill that Ian chose for the pen is the Fisher Space Pen which, for many people, is the pinnacle of an all purpose pen. Rain, snow, heat...the Fisher can handle it. The refill is not the most amazing writer when compared to gels or fountain pens, but fits the purpose perfectly. Personally, I find the refill to be great for jotting down lists and taking notes while on the go and I love it coupled with the size of the pen.
The refill is exchanged by removing a set screw from the end of the pen. (tools not included)
The first noticeable thing that compares the titanium to the aluminum is the weight. There is an added heft that is awesome as the pen comes in at almost 2 oz. I feel the aluminum version will be durable enough over time, but my main draw to the Ti was that I literally want this pen to last forever.
The aluminum version is slightly shiny as it has received a clear anodized finish, but the Ti is raw giving it a bit more of a fresh machined tactile feel which I really enjoy. The Ti is a darker silver color closer to stainless steel.
Now, no bones about it, the "gulp" factor of the titanium version is the price. The aluminum pen runs around $50, but the Ti has a retail of $180. Yes, gulp. That being said, these pens are machined locally for Ian by a small machine shop and was a very small batch. And, grade 5 titanium is expensive and difficult to machine, so I can understand the cost factor.
Is it worth it? To me it is. I think I love everything about this pen. The practicality, the story (small business) and how I know I'll have this pen to use forever. When I need a pen to toss in my jeans pocket, the Schon pen is usually the first to be grabbed.
Is the Ti version right for you this minute? Maybe. Or, your journey may be like mine: buy the Al version, love it, upgrade to Ti. Either way, check out Ian's work as his pen is one of my favorites. It hasn't gotten a lot of press lately, but I've been excited to share this post to try and give it some exposure. Perfectly portable and pocketable.