I've been a long time fan of the Fisher Space Pen in all of its various forms. Some people find them very un-special, but I love them.
One of my very first "nice" pens was when I splurged (about $35 come to think of it) early on and bought myself the true astronaut pen, the AG-7. This is the pen the Apollo astronauts flew with so it has some pedigree and story, and the construction quality on it is awesome. And it has this double knock mechanism which is neat to fidget with.
Since then I've tried other versions of the space pen like the Shuttle Series, the matte black Zero Gravity series, a vintage space pen called the Futura, and a couple of others. They all work off of the same replaceable Fisher cartridge that is an all-weather, all-condition ballpoint that stands up to almost anything.
Fisher came out with a pen called the Infinium which seemed pretty fancy and turns out to be the highest priced (short of some commemorative sets) pen in their lineup. Coming in at $150 retail, whoa, what a price jump! This, my friends, is a curiosity post at its finest and I want to thank Pen Chalet for working with me to acquire one at a reasonable price. They have a good selection of various bullet space pens at great prices, so check them out.
So, what is the Infinium pen? Well, it is a pen that has no removable refill, but claims to have enough writing juice to last its user a lifetime. If you ran it dry, Fisher says they would replace it for free. If you buy one of these you should be able to write nearly into Infinium...
Fisher refills themselves are pressurized which forces the ink through the ball which makes it possible to write in all directions and even without gravity. My thoughts are, but I'm not certain, is that there is a pressurized reservoir inside the Infinium pen that acts similarly to the refills, but at a much larger capacity.
The Infinium comes in a few different finishes from a flashy gold plated version, black titanium nitride, or standard chrome finish. I went with the titanium nitride which is a shiny, black/grey finish and looks pretty cool. In retrospect, I probably should have gone with the chrome finish version as it would match all of my other space pens... oh well. Like any shiny pen, this one is a fingerprint magnet.
I would consider the Infinium to be a "bullet" shaped pen inasmuch as the standard Fisher Bullet Pen could be considered one. All brass construction, small and pocketable, elongated rounded cap posts on the back to extend the length for normal writing. It is a bit wider than the standard bullet pen... probably to accommodate all of that ink! The pen is sturdy and well put together overall.
The pen comes with its own "Infinium" etched clip but, frankly, it is pretty disappointing for a $150 pen. If you've ever used the purchase-seperate, slip-on clip that Fisher sells for their regular Bullet Pen, that is pretty much what to expect here. They work, but leave something to be desired...
Albeit a nicer quality and finish than those add-on ones, but it still moves about freely, is removable, and is a pretty flimsy bendable metal. I had it clipped in my jeans pocket one day recently and the seat belt of my car caught it and bent it out slightly. Easy fix by slipping it off the pen and bending it back, but for a pen that is supposed to last me into Infinium (this may be a running theme...probably not), I certainly hope the clip holds up to normal use.
When you buy a standard space pen brand new it usually comes with the Fisher cartridge in a black, medium tip. Personally I prefer the blue, fine tip which is what I've always swapped into my other space pens. Unfortunately, the Infinium can only be ordered in medium of either blue or black and, again, is not replaceable via refill. Choose wisely... I got blue.
The section of the pen is interesting. It is made of two parts: a cone shaped front section where the tip lives that connects to the barrel where there is a tightly engraved spiral grip section similar to Fisher's other pens. The grip section is toothy and effectively does the job.
I don't really enjoy how the cone piece connects aesthetically. It seems a bit unfinished and smashed together which leaves a strange lip right where you hold it. Overall I think (unsure though) I'm cool with the aesthetic and shape of the pen. It is very "spacey" and kind of looks like a rocket or space ship of some kind.
The end of the pen is adorned with what appears to be a little rubber/acrylic sticker type of insert that has the Fisher Space Pen logo on it. Honestly, this looks super cheap. I would have much preferred another piece of titanium nitride coated metal to fill that space instead, or at least I nicely engraved metal logo. This is the piece that sticks out of your pocket for the world to see for goodness sake. Around the barrel of the pen there is a tasteful engraving that says 2010 Space Pen by Fisher - USA. This could have easily been enough branding that wouldn't start drifting into unnecessary.
I may be on a bit of a rant here but, again, this pen is $150 and provides no more functionality than the standard bullet pen which can be had for $17 apiece. Yes, it is supposed to last me forever, but I could buy 22 more independent refills (in a fine tip no less) which would surely last me forever as well. For the price I would expect nailing it on the "luxury" side of the design elements. Perhaps something Fisher could remedy moving forward?
I will no doubt use this pen, but I would be reluctant to recommend it to people I think. You know I usually find the good in most pens, and while the Infinium is a nice enough pen, doesn't blow me away like I feel it should.
Now, if you are familiar with and a huge fan of the space pen series and find the Infinium to be breathtaking, I don't think you'd be displeased with it. Personally, I would recommend an AG-7 any day (or three of them at this price) if someone is looking for a unique piece from Fisher.