Review: Conid Minimalistica, Delrin, EF Titanium Nib

Hand Over That Pen, please!

Katherine: This Conid is… minimalist. Surprise! It’s a sleek, subtle black pen with a couple of nice touches. It’s beautifully made and very clean to look at. You can see faint horizontal marks on the delrin, I assume a remnant of the machining — I like it, it adds a handmade feel to the pen. Additionally the clip is a solid piece — no seams, how cool is that?

Pam:  I can’t help but compare the Conid to my favorite minimalistic pen, the Lamy 2000.  The sharp lines of the clip and the shape is very similar.  Although, the Conid is longer in hand and wider in girth.  The quality of the pen can be felt in hand and has a good heft to it.

Franz: Conid pens have been a brand that I’ve always wanted to try out and write with. Thankfully, Katherine was able to obtain one. The Minimalistica model feels fantastic in the hand because of the Delrin material. And the tidiness of the design is what makes this simple pen pleasing to the eyes.

The feature that Conid pens are well known for is their bulkfiller system that utilizes the full barrel as its ink reservoir. According to their website, the Minimalistica can hold up to 2.5ml of ink and that’s some serious ink supply! My Pelikan M805 that I use at work daily have a capacity of about 1.2ml and lasts about a week for me. With the extra fine nib grade of this specific pen, a full inking will probably last me a month!

In the Hand: Conid Minimalistica (posted) — from left to right: Katherine, Pam, and Franz
In the Hand: Conid Minimalistica (unposted) — from left to right: Katherine, Pam, and Franz

The Business End

Katherine: The nib on this particular one is a Bock Titanium EF. It’s a smidge more wet than I’d prefer, but still lots of fun. I like the unique feel that titanium nibs have — an interesting sort of feedback (perhaps vibration is the better term?) that isn’t quite the pencil-like feedback of a Japanese EF, but isn’t the buttery smoothness of many German nibs. In addition to being a nib that feels very much alive as you write with it, the titanium nib is quite soft. The softness isn’t the same as one experiences with a soft gold nib, but the line variation can be similar (though the spring back is quite different). All in all, it’s an interesting nib and I would consider getting a Bock Ti nib in the future!

Pam:  I really enjoy the titanium EF nib which surprised me.  It felt smoother and more consistent in line than the nib in my Gist (prior to the needlepoint grind).  Maybe the line consistency is due to my practice of not bearing down on my pens.  (The iron grip is still a work in progress….)

The nib itself was pretty wet, smooth and wonderful on Tomoe River paper in my Hobonichi.  I would be happy to consider another pen with the EF titanium nib again.

Franz: I generally prefer medium, and broad nibs but this extra fine titanium nib was a nice experience for me. The ink flow was just right for my light writing pressure and the springiness added a bit of flair to my writing if I press a little more. Additionally, the color of the titanium nib complemented the titanium clip very well.

Bock Titanium nib ground to an extra fine
The Delrin Black tapers nicely towards the Bock nib

Write It Up

Katherine: I hate to say it, but unfortunately, this is where the pen fell apart for me. I found that as I wrote it felt like my fingers were slipping. Initially I thought it was because the section was too wide for me, but after writing a couple pages more, I noticed that the slippery delrin and the smooth section were causing my fingers to slowly slide down the section, and I’d unintentionally wiggle my fingers back up to maintain a comfortable writing angle. Have you ever worn jeans that were just a smiiidge too big and you have to pull them up as you walk around? It’s a lot like that. Except that’s pretty tiring for my fingers.

All in alll, the nib is lots of fun, it’s well suited to long writing sessions due to the monstrous ink capacity, but the smooth section and material just don’t work for me. It’s worth noting that it’s been cold lately, which makes my normally dry skin even drier… so ymmv.

Pam:  The width of the pen makes longer writing instances very comfortable, even in the unusual tripod grip (for me).  I did find the pen to be too long to post for balance.  It is much better unposted.  I found the quality of the pen to be very evident in pen. The overall writing experience is great and I had alot of fun.  Given the size, though, I prefer the length of the Lamy 2000 or the Gist by Tactile Turn.

Franz: Contrary to Katherine’s writing experience, I had such a fun time writing with the Minimalistica. The Delrin material made the pen just stay within my grip and the girth was just right for my hand. I wrote with the pen unposted for the first ten minutes and it was very comfortable. It was most comfortable for me with the cap posted because my grip went further up and the pen fit snugly between my thumb and index finger. This can be seen in the In The Hand photo above.

The comfortable grip, and the extra fine titanium nib made an enjoyable journaling session that lasted a little over twenty minutes.


Katherine: I carried this pen at work for a few days. It was great when I was sitting at my desk, the slip cap makes uncapping to take notes very easy. The downside is that the slip cap doesn’t have a clear point at which it’s firmly on — so if I’m running around between conference rooms and meetings, I was worried that I hadn’t capped it securely enough and that I might drop the pen or the cap (I didn’t, but I worried anyway). In using this pen I’ve realized that I prefer snap caps or fast screw-caps for EDCs. Slip caps sound convenient, but I’m often left worrying that I haven’t capped the pen snugly.

Pam:  The clip was very sturdy and great for EDC.  However, I didn’t feel that the cap was as secure as other slip cap pens. The large ink volume of this pen makes it a great candidate for long business trips, especially if your travel plans include aviation.  The extra reservoir with the EF nib almost ensures that you will have enough ink to get through the day if necessary.

Franz: I got to use the Minimalistica at work for two days and it was a great experience. No need to screw off the cap to deploy quickly and the clip was secure in my shirt pocket. I can see myself using this pen as a daily writer especially since the ink capacity beats any piston-filled pen.

Here are photos of the Minimalistica with the filler rod extended. This mechanism ensures that the barrel gets a full fill after 1 or 2 operations.

Final Grip-ping Impressions

Katherine: I expected to love this pen, but unfortunately I really don’t. I love the way it looks and the filling system is really cool (it took me like five tries to figure out… but once I did, it’s magical), but the slippery section just doesn’t work for me. For science, I tried wrapping a thin strip of washi tape around the section and that small amount of texture made it a much more comfortable writer for me — but at the price point of this pen (over $300, even buying one used) I can’t justify a pen that isn’t comfortable to hold. If this pen was cheaper I might keep it and rough up the section with sandpaper… but I’m not willing to risk that.

Pam:  I really enjoyed my experience with the pen, however, I don’t find the pen compelling enough to recommend due to the price. The Conid does have the unique filling mechanism, but I didn’t even try to experiment with it.  For the price of the Conid,  you could easily get the Lamy 2000 AND a Gist with the Bock EF titanium nib.  So unless you are greatly interested or compelled the bulk filler system, I would recommend getting two pens for the price of this one.

Franz: The Conid Minimalistica is a very nice looking pen (as long as you like black pens). My bear paw is definitely impressed by the size and material of it. This is a well made pen and their bulkfiller system sets them apart from other similarly priced pens.

To summarize my experience with the Minimalistica in one sentence, it is a beefed-up version of the Lamy 2000! You can see the similarities and size difference of these two pens below. For a person who loves the feel in the hand of the Lamy 2000, it’s safe to say that I love the Conid pen as well. It was unfortunate that Katherine traded the Minimalistica shortly after the three of us used it. But I consider myself lucky to have tried out the Minimalisitica so much so that it is now on my list of pens to acquire. Thanks Katherine! =)


Pen Comparisons

Closed pens from left to right: Parker 75, Montblanc 146, TWSBI Eco, Lamy 2000, *Conid Minimalistica*, Pelikan M805, Lamy Safari, and Classic Pens LB5
Posted pens from left to right: Parker 75, Montblanc 146, TWSBI Eco, Lamy 2000, *Conid Minimalistica*, Pelikan M805, Lamy Safari, and Classic Pens LB5
Unposted pens from left to right: Parker 75, Montblanc 146, TWSBI Eco, Lamy 2000, *Conid Minimalistica*, Pelikan M805, Lamy Safari, and Classic Pens LB5

Pen Photos (click to enlarge)