Rainy day finds

Some pens follow you home. This one dropped me off and got invited to stay for a while.

After a rainy August pen meet, Leigh and I hitched a ride with Peter to avoid getting drenched. Leigh saw a box in the back seat and asked Peter if she could peruse the merch that had just arrived from Ohio. She found a nice looking Bexley that wore an orange barrel mated to a black cap.

Peter mentioned that it was the 20th Anniversary model and Leigh clearly liked it.  I queried Peter if it came in other colors and he said there was a black version or two in the pile. I asked almost rhetorically if it was a C/C feeder.

“It’s a piston, ” he replied.

One block later,  Peter’s car was two passengers and two pens lighter. After our grocery run, we parked our butts at a nearby café to scrutinize out impulse buys. I inked my copy with Diamine Twilight and gave her a spin.


As a Bexley piston filler, it is inevitably compared to its elder sibling, the Corona. They share the same long section that accommodates a host of hands and grips. The XX lacks an ink window but unlike its straight-walled predecessor, the Anniversary model has a contoured shape that I find more comfortable to use. Its silhouette reminds me a lot of an Aurora Optima.

If you like posting, the barrel sits deep enough into the cap to keep length and weight on an even keel. And unlike Bexley’s first piston model, fiddling with a posted cap does not unexpectedly actuate the piston knob.

The jet black resin betrays no hint of thinness or translucency. The rhodium plating appears to be evenly applied. I would have preferred a ball end clip but that would have painted too busy a picture, given the wide, stamped cap band. I also would have appreciated a white monotone nib to match the trim but that’s asking a lot from a pen in this price range.

Bexley’s steel nibs are decent. The ones on the BX802 and America the Beautiful that I once had were trouble-free, and the Fine on this pen is no different. Nothing dramatic about the lines, just smooth and steady scripts. The line is about as wide as a Japanese Medium, which makes it a usable daily driver.

Plain black flattops may look so ordinary but I’ll take one that works over a high-dollar tortoise reissue that required lengthy fiddling before it penned a single line.


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