I would like to thank Ian Schon of Schon DSGN for sending this pen for review. I received this pen at no cost to me and my opinions are my own.
When I received the pen in the mail, the first thing I noticed was the weight. This pen has some heft! Weighing in at 2.9 ounces or 81.8 grams, this is the heaviest pen in my collection. Up to this point, the heaviest pen was the Lamy Studio that weighs a little over 50 grams if memory serves me right. At another time I would have balked at the weight. I sold my Lamy Studio because I could not write with it for extended periods of time. A lot of this is due to the way I grip my pens. Fortunately, with time, I have learned to grip my pens in a way that does not make my hand hurt with extended writing time. While I still struggle a little bit, I have been able to use The Schon DSGN stainless pen for extended writing periods without fatigue. The trick is to allow the pens weight to rest on the page and keep a tripod grip just strong enough to move the pen across the page. Don’t press too hard. If you are going to use the pen for signing documents or the occasional credit card slip, it should not be an issue. Just be forewarned.
This pen is what I would call minimal in design. Ian designed this pen around the Fisher Space Pen refill. Instead of having a section that unscrews or moving parts like a knock, he wanted the pen to have a simple design. The barrel is one solid piece of stainless steel. A set screw at the top of the barrel allows to replace the refill and keeps the refill secure. I like that it is a slotted screw. This makes replacing the refill even without tools a bit easier as you could use a coin to undo the set screw in a pinch. Try that with pens that use allen screws or hex screws and you are going to fail if you do not have the right tool around. An American Dime fits the slot perfectly. Ironically, I have my Gerber Dime with me most of the time and the slot screw driver also works fine to undo the setscrew.
There is a very large step down from the barrel to the section, so far it has not proved to be an issue for me. The step sits just above my thumb while holding the pen and I can feel it, just slightly, but it is not bothersome even if it is a little bit sharp.
The 1:1 ratio of cap to body length not only make the pen compact when closed (101.4 mm) it also fills the need of following the Golden Ratio of design when the pen is posted. I am not clear if this was done purposefully but I noticed it almost immediately when I posted the cap and it makes for an attractive looking pen.
There is no clip. Some like this, others insist on it and still others will not like it. I thought this was a conscious design decision mentioned on Ian’s site but I cannot find the reference now. The pen is made completely in the US with materials sourced in Massachusetts.
As far as refill replacements, I tried 2 of my favorite substitutes and they don’t fit it in the pen. Ian is in the prototype stage to have more refill choices. Check his Instagram @schon_dsgn . It’s good to know Ian is working on more ink options for his pen. I am not totally in love with the Fisher Space Pen refill.
The pen is also made in aluminum, bronze, brass, and titanium. Plenty of options to choose from. If you are scared about the weight, I would look into the aluminum versions.
Dimensions and weight:
- Pen Weight: 81.8 grams
- Cap Weight: 19.5 grams
- Barrel Weight: 62.3 grams
- Without refill: 78.8 grams
- Refill weight: 3.2 grams
- Pen Closed 101.4 mm
- Pen Body: 96.1 mm
- Cap: 49.2 mm
- Posted: 142.2 mm
Price: $100 USD
A great pen that is simple in design if a bit heavy in the stainless options. I inadvertently tested the pens durability by dropping it on a concrete parking lot. The pen hit hard and skidded under my vehicle to the opposite side. If it were any of my acrylic or ebonite fountain pens, I would be looking at a severely damaged and possibly unusable pen. The Schon DSGN stainless pen came out the other side with barely anything noticeable. There is a tiny scratch you have to look for to see. It is a testament to the ruggedness and durability of this pen.