Gravitas Skittles Review
Back in February, I purchased the Gravitas Skittles pen, in the brushed finish with a Fine nib, and was rather smitten. I’ll confess that now, so you are under no illusions as to how this review is going to go. You may want to read on to know more about the pen and its maker though.
The pen comes in a colourful and sturdy cardboard tube. When you open this, it does actually smell like fruity sweets! Ben has stated that this is to avoid any kind of machined metal smell and it does this admirably. It’s just in the packaging and really quite pleasant.
The minimalist, torpedo-shaped Gravitas Skittles itself is a rainbow delight. Made from 304 Stainless Steel, it is quite heavy, weighing in at 74g capped. Now, you may be aware that I don’t usually get on too well with very heavy pens as I find then rather a strain to use*. The good news is that, uncapped, the weight drops to a much more manageable 49g. It is still quite weighty, but it is very well balanced and so somehow it doesn’t seem to matter. For me, this is the mark of a good and well thought out design.
The cap has a triple start thread, making it quick to open and close, but the finish between cap and barrel is likely to be misaligned. This is fine by me as it means you get to see all the colours at once. What stunning colours they are too! The bright and vibrant palette changes hue as you move the pen in the light. An awesome rainbow effect in metal.
the writing experience
Too many pens these days are style over substance. They look lovely or are made of pretty materials, but just aren’t much fun to use, which rather defeats the purpose of a pen. This is most definitely not one of those.
The Gravitas Skittles is a wonderfully tactile, as well as beautiful and stylish pen. It is a genuine pleasure to hold and use, not least because of its balance. The weight is mainly in the barrel and thus is supported in the crook of your hand rather than by your fingers*. Consequently, it doesn’t strain your finger joints in the same way that many heavy pens often do. In truth, I probably wouldn’t be able to write an entire essay with it, but I have certainly managed to dash off a couple of sides of A4 without finding it too strenuous.
*I have a slightly dodgy thumb joint so can find lengthy writing sessions a strain with heavier pens.
The Fine nib is a German made Jowo No.6 unit and glides across the paper like Torvill and Dean. Ink flow is just perfect and I haven’t had any issues with it at all. It starts every time, even with shimmer ink and I can’t fault it. The Skilttles just does the job, which is, after all, exactly what you want from a fountain pen.
Since I have had the Skittles since February, I have had plenty of time to play with it. I’ve written letters, scribbled notes, written in my journal/planner and found myself happily reaching for it far more readily than for many of my pens, and I do have quite a few inked at any one time. This surprises me a little as, although I like pens with a bit of substance to them, this one would normally be heavier than I’d choose normally. I think that, in itself, is the measure of a good pen.
I love this pen. It’s stylish, tactile, well-designed and a delight to use. Despite being on the heavy side, it is so well-balanced that this doesn’t seem to matter. I should like to try one of the Gravitas aluminium version of this design for comparison, and will be buying one if I can get it in my preferred nib size.
Gravitas Pens is based in Ireland and the brainchild of Ben Walsh, whose background in design is clearly evident in his products.
The Gravitas Skittles is available with (Jowo #6) EF, F, M and B nibs, and comes with a converter, as well as a pack of 6 cartridges. Prices are in Euros and, if you are in the UK, you can expect to pay VAT on top of the headline price of around EU95, plus shipping. For a finely crafted pen of this quality, I think this is very reasonable.
This design of pen is also available in different finishes, including some stunning etched patterns. There are also versions in aluminium, which weigh in at 28g uncapped (39g capped).
Who is it for:
- Stylish and minimalist Bauhausians
- Rainbow people
- …and Goths (check out the skull designs!)
- Lovers of heavier pens