Namiki Impressions Ruby

The first time I even read about these, my jaw absolutely hit the floor. I saw a post on The Unroyal Warrant and I knew I had to get one somehow! Many months later I was contacted by a kind soul on Reddit and here we go:

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Incredible.

I was speechless when it finally arrived in my hands.

Made in the 90s by Namiki, they were inspired by the old celluloids on vintage pens, and came in five colours. This is the Ruby; the other colours are Sapphire, Emerald, Amber and Medley — that last one an incredible mix of teal and pink. Unlike vintage pens, however, they are made of cellulose acetate, a far less flammable material.

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Closeup of the barrel and cap. Look at the depth of colour!

There is real shimmer and shine in the material used. The barrel and cap almost glow under strong light, and the way the lighter chunks reflect and refract light is mesmerising to watch. The colour fades from black to red to light pink, and it’s no wonder these pens are in high demand…

The design may be familiar to some: indeed, it is modelled on the Custom line of pens, and in fact is a little smaller than the 74 — something I only found out long after buying this pen, because I don’t own one! I had assumed they were the same size because this uses a Namiki #5 nib which is identical in size and shape to the Pilot #5s found on the Custom 74 and the Custom Heritage 91/92

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Top row: nib assembly, cap, barrel; bottom: Pilot CON-70 converter.

Like its similarly-shaped cousins in the Custom line, the Namiki Impressions is a cartridge/converter pen, and is just large enough to take Pilot’s CON-70, lending it an impressive ink capacity. All the better to feed the juicy nib on this beauty:

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Such a pleasure to know it writes as well as it looks…

The writing experience was flawless: my only previous experience with a Namiki was the pre-rebranding Falcon, and this easily surpasses that in terms of smoothness of line, consistency of feedback, and just the sheer enjoyment of feeling not that I didn’t make an erroneous $300 gamble on a second-hand pen, but that it felt like a pen worth many times that price!

As for pens with that beautiful chunky red celluloid look…

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