This A.G. Spalding & Bros. fountain pen was sent over to me from Lily, at JetPens (Thank you!). I've looked at these pens for the last few years, always contemplating adding one to my basket, but I had never heard much buzz about these pens, and I was afraid of getting stuck with a $37 pen that I didn't enjoy. After having the opportunity to sample this one, I think I will pick up the A.G Spalding & Bros Mini Fountain Pen, too, primarily because that one is available with a fine point nib.
As I noted in the written review, I like how this pen is not merely metal, plastic, acrylic, etc., but that is utilizes wood in the design. This is a very logic design choice for A.G. Spalding & Bros., given that they have been the source of innovative in sports equipment (primarily baseball) for well over a century.
The clip is very sturdy and firm, which is unlike some other manufacture's aluminum clips that may easily bend and thus become unattached.
You can get this pen with beige maple wood, as shown above, or you can get it with black maple wood, orange maple wood, or in all metal. I like this color the best as it feels the most organic.
The end of the pen is a rounded metal knob. It's more interesting then just a flat end, and I like how it is a bit whimsical. If the end were coated in plastic or rubber, it could almost double as a stylus.
The nib is a steel nib, which, as far as a I know, is only available in a medium nib. Anything beyond a fine is typically outside of my comfort zone, but this is a true medium and did not meander into the bold line width as some tend to do.
Initially I thought that this pen was manufactured in the U.S. as the cap provides the New York address of A.G. Spalding & Bros., but this pen is actually produced in Japan. More often than not, this is a very good thing in the fountain pen world.
Take note that the symbol before 'JAPAN' has a little 'RF' in front of it. Upon further investigation, I found out that this is the symbol for RayMay, a company in Japan that is licensed to produce the A.G. Spalding & Bros. stationary items.
"RayMay Fujii Corporation was founded in 1890 in Kyushu, Japan. After World War II, the company branched out to Osaka and Tokyo to start its stationery business. RayMay (Rei Mei 黎明 means "daybreak") the name is meant to express the company's vision for a "new spirit in daybreak".
RayMay has the license the produce the famed A.G. Spalding branded stationery items."
So, I popped in the included black ink cartridge (not sure who actually makes the ink), but the writing experience was delightful.
Above you can see that the line width of the medium nib is not arbitrary, though I was surprised to find that the line width of TWSBI Extra Fine was about the same as the Pilot Cavalier Fine, but I digress.
My next step is to get a converter for this pen as I have a stronger need to use up my bottled ink than buying additional short international cartridges. You can apparently use the Pelikan C499 converter in here, or you can stick with the cartridges if that is more convenient.
Again, this pen is currently available at JetPens for $37: A.G. Spalding & Bros. Fountain Pen