It was the beginning of June and I was having a lazy Sunday afternoon with some friends. The sun was just coming through the clouds, warming up the room that already was filled with the warm love for stationary. A gorgeous looking lady I just met came to me, a little hesitating and with a peculiar glint in her eyes. She spoke soft, almost passionately whispering “so, you’re the pen guy”. I felt a cold shiver, something that made my skin crawl. But she ignored my reaction and looked me deep in the eyes. Then she asked with a warm depth in her voice “would you like to try my pen …”. She started to reach for het fountain pen “… and wright a review about it?”. She stroked my palm with her pen. I gently closed my hand. Feeling the warmth of a mutual passion.
Who am I not to give in?
So I was asked to make a real review of a pen I knew nothing about; form a brand I never heard about. A quick search on the internet gave me, besides the website and YouTube video of the brand itself, just one real hit. And even that one was not helpful.
(note Sept 2020 – meanwhile the brand is better known and is old by several respected stores)
So how did I have to start? I took a closer look at the pen, tossed it a few times around in my hand and inked it up. This time I had no suitable basic ink available so I used the ink cartridge that came with the pen. And then I started to write. Just writing down what I was thinking and feeling in relation to the fountain pen. Four pages later I had a good first impression that I could share.
- Length closed: 138 mm (5.47”)
- Length uncapped: 132 mm (5.19”)
- Diameter: 10 mm (0.39”)
- Weight: 26/18 g (0.91/0.63 ounce – capped/uncapped)
- Nib: Schmidt 7 mm, steel with iridium point, F
- Feed: Schmidt FH241
- Filling system: international standard cartridge or converter
- Barrel: stainless steel inner barrel and wood overlay, protected with a clear lacquer
Brand characteristic aspects
- Square thread almost half way the cap and at front of the grip range of the section
- Red accents on the inside of the clip and at the front of the section symbolling luck
My first thoughts were simple. Oh, another Asian brand with a wooden pen, nothing spectacular that makes my heart beating faster. An almost minimalistic design with shiny metal for the cap, grip section and end of the barrel. Shiny metal gives in my hands always al lot of finger prints, and the people of Gazing Far know that. Therefore a micro-fibre lens cleaning cloth is included in the box.
I find the most repulsive design aspect of wooden pens often the great difference between the diameters of the section and the barrel. Many of these pens have a rather small section and an almost bulging barrel with in-between some sharp metal thread. This is not the case with the tm2. Because a steel barrel is used with a wooden overlay. In this way they managed to reduce the diameter of the barrel, while keeping it strong enough.
There is no sharp thread between the section and the barrel because the thread is placed at the front side of the section. Also a square thread is used. This kind of thread is broader and looks less deep, so it doesn’t feel sharp. A minus could be that the section is rather short so chances are great that your index will make contact with the thread. In my case it is less of an issue because I have limited feeling in my index.
The Schmidt nib is preforming well. I’ve heard people not being crazy about these nibs but so far I never had any issues with them. The F nib writes like a F should write, that’s about 0,5 – 0,6 mm. With some pressure you can get a line up to 1mm. So normal line variation for this kind of steel nib. The nib wrote smooth from the start and the ink flows without any hesitation. It feels like a decent nib and even better than the nibs on some of my more expensive pens.
Big minus for me is that the pen is rather small. Not lengthwise, because it has uncapped almost the same length as my EDC pens like Conid Regular, Visconti HS oversize, Montegrappa Blazer, Parker Duofold…. Only the diameter of 10 mm gives me an uncomfortable feeling when writing. It is also a relative light pen, whereas I love a heavy pen with a bigger diameter.
After a few days taking the pen with me as EDC it became less awkward and I started to get fond of the pen. Especially the (un)screwing of the cap is marvelous. Just a little more than half a turn and always so smooth. And it screws on from the first time, every time.
In comparison to other wooden pens with the same kind of look, I think this Gazing Far can have it’s place between them. With an expected price around €60, it will be just more expensive than a wooden version of the Online Vision, but cheaper than similar pens form Faber Castell or Staedtler.
This Gazing Far® tm2 seems to be a descent pen with a minimalistic kind of design. Its feels and looks like a good first or second upgrade pen if you like the wooden finish.
Disclaimer: I’ve not had the chance to write months or years with this pen so I can’t say anything about the durability and effects of wear and tear on the shiny metal parts or the lacquer on the wooden barrel.