The reintroduction of a previously prominent name in the fountain pen business of yesteryear seems to be a trend as of late.I guess with enough money, those famous names that fell by the roadside can be brought back to life. 🙂 One of those names is Conklin. It was started by Roy Conklin in 1898 after the invention of the Crescent Filler fountain pen a year earlier. The company survived until it folded in 1949. The current incarnation is owned by the Yafa Pen Company. They are the company behind Monteverde pens.
The Duragraph was originally introduced in 1923 and a year later was renamed to the Endura. The original Duragraph was a response to the newly introduced Parker Duofold. When you look at the pictures of old Duragraph/Endura pens, the resemblance to the Parker Duofold is obvious. This modern version seems to be a redesign from a version that was released in the late 2000’s, at least I think that is what I have found from looking at pictures. The older version looked more true to the original Endura. Link to first modern Duragraph
I decided to get my Duragraph in the Marbled Amber acrylic that I find very attractive. I chose the 1.1 mm stub/italic just because I prefer stubs/italics over round nibs. On first write, I used one of the included cartridges. You get one of each in blue and black with the pen. You also get a cartridge converter. The nib is obviously the same type that is put on Monteverde pens. If you have a Monteverde with a #6 nib, you already know what this pen feels like when hitting the page. I have an Invincia Stealth with a 1.1 mm nib and it is exactly the same nib and feed less the markings and black coating. One thing about this nib, I was a little disappointed with it when I got it because I was expecting the duo tone nib with the crescent breather hole. The 1.1 nib is a single tone nib (steel) with a standard breather hole and marked “Conklin Toledo, USA 1.1”. I have used a vintage Conklin Crescent filler before and this new Duragraph nib is no comparison to the original. It is a Monteverde nib with Conklin markings. I notice that the feed starts running lean while writing for longer sessions. When I let the pen sit, the ink concentrates in the feed making the initial writing much darker. This may be due to the cartridge I am using but I have to test the converter later.
As mentioned earlier, a cartridge converter is included and in true Monteverde style, it is a screw in converter. Please remember that because you might accidentally damage the converter or section if you try to pull the converter out of the section. The pen itself is very lightweight and while you could probably post the cap, I do not believe you should. The walls of the cap seem thin enough that posting the cap could damage it. It is not very stable anyway.
The clip is very tight and will grab a shirt pocket very firmly. The cap band has The words “Conklin” and “Duragraph” within some stylized arrows. Here are the dimensions of the pen:
Length Closed: 140 mm
Length Open: 125 mm
Thinnest Section Diameter: 9.8 mm
Barrel Diameter: 12.8 mm
This is a pen that may be a bit more fragile, the cap especially. I feel that significant damage might happen if dropped. Make no mistake, the pen is very nice for the price point it is in. For less than $50 USD you get a pen that not only looks good, but is a good writer. I have seen reports that say the nib is bit scratchy, mine has been smooth but thought I would mention it. I have noticed an occasional miss when first starting to write. It might be due to a slight baby’s bottom which is not too uncommon, unfortunately. It is easily fixed but maybe calculate in the price of having the pen tuned if you cannot tune it yourself. It may also be that I did not flush this pen before inking.
Thank you for reading.
Fountain Pen Sith Lord
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*I purchased the pen in this review with my own money. Purchasing via my Amazon links helps me get more review pens.