When I learned of the Namiki Falcon, my first thought was that I knew I wanted one. Actually, my first-first thought was, "that nib looks weird". Alas, I was still smitten enough to go forward and purchase one.
I picked up this Falcon from my friends over at Pen Chalet who are definitely becoming a household name in the community. Although a bit newer to the pen retail game, these guys deliver excellent customer service and a great selection of writing instruments. They actually have a great deal going on right now for the Namiki Falcon (this exact model) for about 25% off of retail. Couple that with an extra 10% if using the promo code CLICKYPOST and you'll end up with a pretty sweet deal on one of these.
Upon choosing which Falcon to buy I went with the shiny black resin barrel and the rhodium accents. I must say, this is a smart looking pen and it feels great. Being resin it is pretty lightweight, but feels quality and very sturdy. There is also a metal barreled version (which I was highly tempted by), but at $100 more I thought I'd stick with this one to see what I felt about it.
I've never owned a flex nib fountain pen and I'm not certain that the Falcon is a "true" flex, but all I know is that it feels like it has considerable give which creates a very fluid and enjoyable writing experience. The nib is quite springy which is a different experience for me as nearly all of my other pens are quite stiff and sharp in their lines. I like it.
The Falcon comes fitted with a 14k gold nib which, at the price, is pretty excellent. I'm finding that Pilot/Namiki is slowly becoming one of my favorite fountain pen brands. My experience with my Falcon and two Vanishing Points (still need reviewing) has been superb and I know that I will likely further my collection with more of their models. Not to discredit the European brands like Pelikan or Lamy, but I'm finding the overall quality control of the Japanese pens to be a slight bit higher overall, meaning the writing experience out of the box has never left me wanting. (See M205 review for the opposite...)
I opted for the M nib as I was figuring standard Japanese sizing, but in using the pen I think I would enjoy an F nib more. The medium writes rather broad, and by so doing doesn't quite provide the same line variation I was hoping for with the nib. I'll have to do some research to see if the nibs are swappable (very likely) as I'd like to try out a fine at some point.
All broadness aside (not a complaint, but preference), the Falcon writes beautifully and is like silk on the Tomoe River paper I've been using it with. Of course, going for the really good stuff doesn't really provide a great everyday look at how it's going to perform, right? Well, I can safely say it performs equally as well on Rhodia, although I found the dry times for the M to be a bit long.
I did find that on rare occasion of maybe 5 times within a page the nib had a little trouble on some of the vertical letters like "I", "T", "L", and the like. It wasn't happening on every word so not a complete bother and I'm willing to give the nib a bit more time to break in to my writing style.
The Falcon can take either the Namiki cartridges or a converter. Mine came with a blue cartridge so I popped it in and have enjoyed the ink color. Not anything mind blowing, but a nice, rich blue with some great shading. For convenience, I may pick up more of them to use instead of a converter, but we'll see.
Overall I'm extremely pleased with the Falcon and look forward to continuing my experience with it. If an F nib finds it's way to me there will likely be a follow up comparison review.
Again, check out Pen Chalet's current offer on the Falcon as it is a great price.