Fountain Pen Review: Italix Captain’s Commission

If you’ve read my review of the Italix Parson’s Essential, you’ll know that I’m really impressed with their work. They have so many different options available, and I was eager to test out another model.

Design (4/5):

The Italix Captain’s Commission is widest at the top near the cap and tapers down toward the end (some might call this a “torch-shaped” design). The barrel is lacquered metal, and the cap and section band are finished with polished chrome. On the section band, there’s an engraving with the company name. In my opinion, the black and silver coloring gives it a classic aesthetic, while the torch design gives it more flair than your typical cigar/torpedo-shaped pen.

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While the threads on the section are made of metal, the cap has an inner plastic lining that allows for a secure fit (oftentimes, pens that have metal on metal threads don’t feel as secure when capped, so when metal is used, I typically prefer the cap to have a plastic liner). The section—which looks like it’s made of a combination of resin and metal—tapers toward the middle but then flairs out near the nib, allowing for a comfortable grip (reminiscent of the Parker Duofold sections). The barrel unscrews from the section on metal threads (about 3.25 rotations to uncap), and the pen fills via standard international converter (it comes with a Schmidt-branded converter). The nib is #6 stainless steel and branded with Italix, and I believe it’s made by JoWo in Germany.

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In all, a really interesting design–classic aesthetic but with a touch of flair.

Fit & Finish (4/5):

The Italix Captain’s Commission is well built and feels robust. It has quite a bit of heft and feels like it’ll hold up to heavy use. My only concern is with the cap threads. Although I typically like when a company uses plastic cap threads on metal section threads, in use, these threads feel a bit choppier than the threads on my Parson’s Essential. In particular, I find there to be some rough areas in the capping motion—tighter in some places than others—as well as a chance for cross-threading during the initial turn. Additionally, when unscrewing cap, the initial turn will sometimes loosen the connection between the section and barrel, forcing me to re-tighten that connection before writing. A bit difficult to explain, but in general, the capping mechanism on this particular pen is a bit finicky. And as mentioned earlier, it takes about 3.25 complete rotations to uncap the pen—way more than I prefer—so when you do uncap the pen, you definitely notice it.

Nib (5/5):

As I mentioned in my review of the Italix Parson’s Essential, mrpen.co.uk offers a ton of different nib grinds that you can get on their pens. I opted for a medium cursive stub, and as expected, the nib wrote flawlessly—incredibly smooth with beautiful line variation. You can’t go wrong with any nib option from mrpen, and I’d argue that it’s these free nib grinds that make Italix such a unique option in the fountain pen world.

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Writing Experience (4/5):

Overall, the writing experience was great. Comfortable section, well-balanced, and a pleasure to use. Since a lot of the weight is in the cap, it’s best used un-posted and is still long enough to be used this way for long writing sessions. My only complaint is with the capping issues mentioned earlier. Sometimes it can be frustrating to uncap/cap the pen when you hit a few snags or get some cross-threading, but once the cap is off, it writes beautifully and feels great in the hand. That being said, the pen is on the heavier side, so may not be great for those that prefer a lighter writing experience.

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Overal Impression (17/20):

Pros:

  • classic aesthetic but with a more interesting barrel design
  • tons of different nib options, with free nib-grinding from the manufacturer
  • relatively affordable for what you get
  • robust and well-made (for the most part—see cons)

Cons:

  • capping mechanism in my particular pen was a bit finicky. It also takes about 3.25 rotations to uncap the pen, which can be a lot of turns for many.
  • ships only from the UK (which didn’t affect me much, but could add to the cost for those in certain countries).

You can purchase it here:
http://www.mrpen.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d193.html

*Photos shot and edited on iPhone 6

*****
Measurements:
Length Uncapped (nib tip to end of barrel): 131 mm
Length Capped: 145 mm
Section Diameter: 9.5 mm
Barrel Diameter: 11 mm
Total Weight: 50 g
*****

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