The most overachieving fountain pen ever…
Nemosine Neutrino Fountain Pen
Nib: Extra Fine
Filling System: Cartridge/Converter (International Standard)
About the Pen:
I can’t say that the Nemosine Neutrino really surprised me, as I had high hopes for it before I even had it in my grubby little hands. It looked nice in all the pictures I had seen, and the one or two reviews I saw for it were favorable. What did surprise me, though, was just how fine and smoothly it writes. The EF nib is touted as “Made in Germany,” so I expected a broader line (I seriously need to stop doing that). But this nib is beautiful! It’s maybe two or three molecule-widths broader than my Sailor 1911 EF & Pelikan M200 EF, and definitely finer than my Lamy 2000 EF.
And in addition to how fine it is, it’s also extremely smooth. The nib just glides across the paper – no catch, no scratch, no real feedback, and barely any noise.
This is the second Nemosine pen I’ve used, and I’m very, very happy with both of them. While the Singularity is, by all counts, a “cheap” pen (i.e., not the best materials or build quality), the Neutrino is definitely a pen that looks and feels premium, and it performs far above its modest $20 price tag.
Of the three Nemosine pens, the Neutrino is easily the nicest looking. It’s also the smallest. It kind of has a cigar shape, although the pen’s barrel has a more drastic taper than a typical cigar-shaped pen. Maybe “torpedo” would be a more fitting analogy.
The model I got has a gorgeous, highly reflective gunmetal finish and chrome furniture (it’s so reflective that it’s nearly impossible to take pictures without also capturing myself taking the pictures). The gunmetal and chrome compliment each other perfectly. It is a really classy-looking pen.
The pen is made of metal (probably brass or aluminum), so it has some heft. The barrel has a wide, grooved chrome center band. The barrel itself tapers slightly away from the center band for about 3/4 of an inch, then the taper becomes more pronounced as it slopes down to a narrow, rounded end.
The cap also has a fairly wide chrome band with Nemosine engraved in it. Much like the barrel, the cap tapers fairly sharply toward the chrome clip band and simple, rounded finial that matches the end of the barrel.
The clip is simple and sturdy, but handsome, too. It’s a really tight clip, but not so tight that it will peel your fingernail off if you lift it away from the cap. The end of the clip is upturned, allowing the pen to easily and securely slip into your pocket. I would feel comfortable putting this pen in my shirt pocket at the gym, although it’s a pretty heavy pen, so if you do any jumping jacks, it probably won’t fly out of your pocket, but you’ll feel it flopping around (and possibly bruise your pectoral).
The entire section is made of metal. It has an hourglass shape to it where the surface tapers down away from the barrel, then gently flares out again toward the nib. And I love the smooth, industrial feel of the barrel and section threads as they screw together and apart.
And then there’s the nib. Oh, this wonderful, steel #5 nib! Except for the stamped design, it’s otherwise pretty nondescript. Just below the breather hole, it has an N (for Nemosine), their abstract “butterfly” design, and Made in Germany stamped into the surface of the nib. It also has the grade (EF in my case) laser etched just below the butterfly design.
This pen is simply gorgeous. I’m not sure if the design is that wonderful on its own, or if it’s a combination of the design and the gunmetal finish, but I’m entranced every time I use it.
Build Quality (5/5):
Given the general “iffy-ness” of the Singularity, I wasn’t sure what to expect of the Neutrino. But for a mere $5 more than the Singularity, the Neutrino was just a nice, pleasant surprise. The pen feels solid, all the threads are machined well, and all the parts fit together snugly. No rattles. No wobbles. No loosey-goosey anywhere to be found. The fit and finish are perfect.
The Neutrino comes with a pretty basic International Standard converter. It’s unbranded, but it seems to have a relatively large ink capacity. When you pair that with the EF nib, you can get a lot of writing out of a single fill. I think I used this one for almost two weeks at work before it had to be filled.
I guess if I was forced at gunpoint to identify items worth complaining about, I could mention two things:
- The finish does get little nicks, scratches, and scuffs…although I think that’s to be expected from such a reflective surface.
- There is a plastic insert inside the cap that houses the threads that attach to the barrel. Although this insert does wonders for preventing the nib from drying out, I’m not crazy about the plastic threads marrying to the metal threads of the barrel. I’m afraid of cracking the plastic by over-tightening the cap.
When I saw how fine a line the Neutrino puts down, I thought, “I’m taking this baby to work!” And I’ve been using it at work for several weeks with no problems. The Neutrino writes every time, all the time. Even if I leave it uncapped for a minute, it starts laying down ink immediately.
I have yet to see a single skip or hard start, and it can even keep up with fast note-taking without being scratchy or skippy. The Nemosine Neutrino is easily one of the most dependable pens I own.
I have two small gripes here…both with the section. First, the section has a small diameter, which always makes me grip a pen tighter…which, in turn, leads to minor hand cramps. During long writing sessions, I have to periodically and intentionally relax my grip. The second issue is that because the section is smooth and metal, it can get slippery. It doesn’t happen all the time, mostly just when it’s warm humid wherever I’m using it (sweaty hands, maybe?).
What does NOT bother me at all are the threads where the barrel and section connect. As I write, my thumb and finger rest right on these threads. But they’re flat, wide, and not at all uncomfortable. If anything, they provide a bit of a grippy surface to offset the slippery section.
Writing Experience (4.5/5):
The Nemosine Neutrino exemplifies just about everything I look for in a pen: it’s a smooth writer with a very fine line that never skips. It lets me write small and fast, has a great ink capacity, and has no problem keeping up with me. If I had one wish, it would be for the pen to be a little larger. If it was slightly longer and the section was a little fatter, it would be nearly perfect.
With the Nemosine Neutrino, you get a LOT of pen for $20. The nib alone on this pen is fantastic, and once you factor in the great build quality and the beautiful finish, the Neutrino looks and performs far beyond what it’s price might imply.
I think the Neutrino would make a great Everyday Carry (EDC) or knock-about pen. It’s rugged and durable, the ink lasts a long time (at least with the EF), and if you lose it or wreck it, the replacement cost is pretty reasonable. The only drawback in this regard is the screw cap. A snap cap might be better for EDC, but at least you don’t have to worry about the cap coming off in your pocket.
The Nutshell: Overall Score: 24/25
|Best Qualities||Worst Qualities|
|Very smooth, true EF nib||Metal section can be slippery|
|Great build quality||Small diameter section can cause cramps|
|Beautiful and durable|
|Writes every time, all the time|
If you want a sexy yet affordable pen, and you don’t mind a few extra grams of weight, then do yourself a favor and pick up a Neutrino. I wish they either made stub nibs in the #5 nib or put their #6 nib in it so we could use one of their awesome 0.6 mm stubs. But this EF is a treat to use as it glides along the page, putting a super fine line of ink down as it goes.
I’m very pleased with this pen, and would recommend it to beginners or to anyone who wants to have a classy pen with good “wow” factor and a small price tag.