I first heard about and became interested in the Ateleia Craft brass pen when I read a review of it by Mike Dudek of The Clicky Post. The pen Mike reviewed didn’t have a name at the time so he called it the Chris Williams after the creator who designed the pen to fit a custom leather notebook cover he made. When Chris launched the pen on Kickstarter, I was an instant backer.
The pen is made of brass, (BIG surprise I know!) but isn’t overly heavy. It is lighter than other brass machines pens that I have used. The diameter is smaller than I was expecting but this helps reduce the overall weight and after using the pen, I think Chris got the diameter right. The pen is really well balanced and is really comfortable to write with, even for extended periods of time.
Chris originally designed the pen around the Pilot Hi-Tec-C but with the help of a spring and a spacer the pen will also accept any Pilot G2 size refill as well as the Fisher Space Pen refill. Chris designed a different tip insert that accepts the Pentel EnerGel and Uni-Ball Signo DX and the Signo 207 refills. By swapping the inserts, the refill possibilities of the pen are practically endless and this is what makes the design of the pen really shine. I’m using a Pentel EnerGel .5mm Blue and am really liking the combination.
As much as I love the pen, there are some things about it that could be a deal breaker for some people. The cap on the pen is small and doesn’t post, which can make it easy to misplace. There isn’t a clip on the pen, and while I don’t find it an issue, I know some may. The biggest issue with the pen, and is a result of the design, is that a wrench or a pair of pliers is required to change the refill. There are flat sides on the inserts so you can grip the insert without damaging the threads but to prevent marring the brass you should also use a cloth, rag, piece of leather, or something to help protect the brass. This doesn’t bother me because unless you’re doing a lot of writing every day it shouldn’t have to be done that often. Another reason it doesn’t bother me is because in order to make it easier to change the refill, Chris would have to had changed the design of the pen, which I think would take away from the asthetics of the pen. I don’t consider any of these issues to be oversights on Chris’ part but simply results of the design Even though they are not issues for me, I know that others may find them to be and wanted to point them out.
Chris also hand-makes a leather sleeve for the pen that compliments the pen really well. After more than a month in my pocket, the sleeve is holding up and is getting that worn look that we all like about leather products.
The pen and sleeve have become something that I carry with me everywhere I go. Even with the fact that a wrench is needed to change the refill, which again isn’t something that’s going to be done often I still highly recommend the pen. If you do decide to pick one up, I recommend getting both inserts to open up your refill options.