You may be wondering what is Bexley. I did too when I first came across Bexley pens at Nibs.com and then Vanness Pens. A quick research and then I realized that Bexley is a reputable company and the pens are the real deal. I hummed and hawed a bit and before I decided to take the plunge. I'm glad I did.
What is Bexley Pen Company? It is a pen company founded in 1993 by a group of vintage fountain pen enthusiasts. The company makes classically designed pens in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
What is Bexley Gaston's Special Reserve? It's this honking beauty.
This pen is no longer in production but limited numbers are available from some retailers including Vanness Pens. This was an exclusive limited edition pen commissioned by Jim Gaston in 2000.
Appearance and Packaging
The packaging for this NOS (new old stock) find is understandably shop worn. I don't mind so much since (1) I got the pen at a great discount and (2) I generally my stuff pen boxes into the closet.
The pen box is quite large and covered in blue velvet material. The top of the box has a small black metal plaque engraved with the words:
Opening the clam shell lid reveals an ivory white interior. Nestled in the velvet bed is the Gaston's Special Reserve.
The Gaston's Special Reserve is a big beefy pen. It is the biggest pen I own by girth and just shy of the Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Deskpen in terms of length.
The pen is made of a beautiful burgundy pearl resin. Brilliant chatoyance is displayed through the depth and shine of the material. I love to turn the pen around in my hands to admire the lights dancing on the body.
The Special Reserve is a traditional cigar shaped pen. For some reason the pen reminds me of Winston Churchill and his cigars.
The cap pushes to post, is quite hefty, and feature a stiff 10K white gold clip mounted with a small red stone.
The red stone is reportedly a ruby.
The clip is engraved with 10K then vertically down the clip:
There is a wide, silver-coloured cap band. The colour of the cap band is a touch different from that of the white gold clip but is not too obvious or eye-jarring.
The grip section is short and stubby. As it is the biggest pen I own, the grip feels noticeable larger than what I'm used to. It does not, however, cross the border to uncomfortable territory. The grip tapers gently and then flares out slightly at the nib end. There are a few shallow but smooth threads to hold the cap. I can grip the threads comfortably.
The body is a torpedo cigar. Towards the tail end of the pen is a narrow silver band.
The nib a large (my guess is No. 6 size) 14K bicolour gold nib. The flourishes on the nib are simple and tasteful. Engraved on the nib are the words:
Although the nib is large, I think this pen could handle an even larger one.
This is a large pen that feels quite substantial but not heavy. The pen feels well-balanced up my hand. Although the cap pushes to post, I find that makes the pen way too long and back heavy for my liking. However, it may be suitable for someone with larger hands.
I'm really enjoying this medium gold nib. It's fairly stiff but I can press down slightly for some line variation. The nib has been very smooth and really a pleasant surprise. Several Bexley fans have reached out to me and commented in how much they love the Bexley nib.
I don't have many medium nibs but they are starting to grow on me. The stiffness of this nib feels precise. But being a gold nib, there is some softness which makes the writing smooth.
I've written pages and pages with nary a hard start or the nib running dry. The feed keeps up admirably. Of the medium gold nibs I have, I find the it smoother than that of the Platinum 3773 Century Sai. The Sai writes smooth but has a hint more feedback from paper.
I love both pens but for different uses. I think if I had to go to a meeting I would grab the Sai as the pen size is a touch more comfortable. If I was writing a letter or journaling, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up the Bexley.
Since I discovered Bexley at Vanness Pens, I've also noticed them at a few other retailers. Nibs.com, in particular, is currently running a sale on some limited edition pens. I got this pen on sale for US$125 at Vanness and it's well worth it for a huge gold nib. The pen feels well made and the materials are of high quality. In fact, this is the first time I got a pen with gold clip and a jewel (albeit a small one).
Bexley Gaston's Special Reserve is a large beautiful pearl resin pen with a buttery smooth 14K nib. It has been a worthy addition to my lineup.