Thanks to Goldspot pens for sending me a Narwhal pen to review!
I haven’t used a fountain pen since I was at school. Back then, I experimented with Parker pens and Lamy fountain pens. They were smooth to write with, turning daily note taking into an experience, rather than a chore.
But it’s easy to take that for granted when you’re using a pen like that every day.
Plus, when you’re rushing around at college or uni, changing an ink cartridge halfway through your teacher talking at lightening speed isn’t ideal, nor is the risk of smudging.
So, when Kiran from Goldspot pens asked me to write a review for a Narwhal fountain pen, the nostalgia in my brain kicked in.
Unlike other fountain pens I’ve used, this one is a piston fill pen. I’d never tried that before.
And when it arrived, I was a little terrified of it. I thought it would be super complicated to fill up and I risked breaking my shiny new pen.
But I needn’t have worried. It took some effort to fill up, but that’s probably more user error than anything else, since I haven’t used this kind before. The trick is to fill it slowly; that way, you’ll get more ink come through.
Since the pen arrived at the end of June, I’ve been using that and a pencil for all my writing. I use the Narwhal for my daily planner, and my pencil for my monthly planner in case I need to change anything. (I like to be adaptive and not have a page full of scribbles!)
Writing with it
The Narwhal is gorgeous to write with. It glides across the page, and even as a left-hander, I didn’t have any issues with smudging. The only time I did was my own fault, because I caught the page during the second the (fast-drying) ink was still wet.
When I first filled it up, I only needed it to write a couple of short sentences. I found myself writing things by hand just as an excuse to use the pen more.
I filled it up at the start of July, and I still haven’t needed to refill it. Even though I use it on a daily basis, it looks like I’ve barely used any ink.
Being able to see the ink levels from the outside is both an attractive design feature, and a useful one. It allows you to work out if it’s worth topping up your ink cartridge before you need to write long passages so that you don’t break up the flow.
There’s also the additional benefit of it being more eco-friendly. There’s less waste, as the ink isn’t inside little cartridges. You need to buy a pot of ink to go with it instead. I felt super old school doing this, but I found an ink that I totally love in a blue/black colour, which also dries really quickly.
I was worried a pot of ink would be expensive, but I found my new favourite one for less than £4. And, judging from how little I’ve had to refill my pen so far, it’s going to last me a looooong time.
Plastic pens can sometimes feel cheap and not be very nice to hold or write with, but I’ve yet to have any issues with this. While I haven’t written for hours with it like I would at school, it doesn’t strike me as the kind of pen that would start to hurt your hand/fingers. It’s comfortable to hold and looks great sitting on your desk when you’re not using it.
One thing I was apprehensive about before receiving my pen, was that some of the reviews suggested the lid didn’t fit on the end 😱 I’d totally lose it if I didn’t put it on the end of it, or the dog would see it as her new favourite toy, so I’m pleased to report the lid does go on the end of the Narwhal pen. (Or at least the hippocampus purple, like I have.)
I used it at the weekend to plan the fifth Afterlife Calls book, and even though I was writing with it for at least an hour, it felt comfortable to use the whole time (even though I don’t usually write by hand for this long anymore).
I’m pretty clumsy. Which is why I was afraid of this pen at first. But it’s sturdy, I have to say.
Even though I dropped it a couple of times with the lid off (accidentally), it didn’t leak. No ink came out of the pen on to my rug, clothes, or desk.
Dropping it also didn’t damage the pen or the stainless steel nib—both were still fine when I carried on using it.
I have quite a fluffy carpet under my desk, so that probably helped. I wouldn’t recommend dropping anything on purpose, of course, but it’s nice to know it can handle some levels of clumsiness.
The pen also survived being shipped all the way from Goldspot Pens in the US to where I live in the UK, and arrived in pretty good time.
The Narwhal fountain pen also comes with a mini spanner to help you remove the piston fill mechanism when you need to clean it.
If you’re intrigued, this handy video will explain more about how to clean a Narwhal fountain pen:
The Narwhal fountain pen is an experience pen. It’s the kind of pen you might take for granted if you used nice pens all the time, but when you don’t write much or you haven’t used a great pen in a while, you’re reminded of just how much of a difference writing with a high-quality pen can make.
Writing by hand stops feeling like a chore and starts feeling fun again. You look for excuses to write instead of reasons not to.
Which is actually good for your creativity. It’s also nice to give your eyes a screen break sometimes, too.
I’d recommend this pen for someone who loves a fountain pen, but hates the faff of changing ink cartridges all the time.
I’d also recommend it for someone who wants an attractive pen that looks as good on their desk as it does in their hand.
It’s the kind of pen that gets compliments and turns heads—my mum was visiting when mine arrived, and, as a pen lover herself, I could see how much she wanted to try it! My friends were all drooling over it in the group chat, too.
That tells you the difference an attractive pen can make. They turn heads, just like a great outfit or a snazzy book cover. And this pen deserves to be used like your favourite outfit deserves to be worn, and on display like your favourite book cover on your shelf.
If you want to explore some other fountain pens before making your decision, Goldspot pens has helpful guides on their blog, including a comparison between Lamy Safari and Pilot Metropolitan pens. They also ship worldwide.
About Narwhal fountain pens
From the depths of imagination surface a new breed of writing instrument tapping into the stream of consciousness with artistic beauty and elegance. Yes, the Narwhal fountain pen is a real pen! The swirling, translucent acrylic has a mystical aquatic quality. The Narwhal drinks deep of fountain pen ink with an internal piston-filling mechanism. The stainless steel fine writing nib has a consistent flow to keep up with an ocean of thoughts.
They say that the Narwhal is the ‘unicorn of the sea.’ The Hippocampus is the mythical ‘horse of the sea’ depicted as a half-horse, half-fish animal of ancient lore. Hippocampi are said to have pulled the royal chariot of Poseidon. The swirling curls and ribbons of purple and white are inspired by the graceful cavorting of the aquatic Hippocampus.
I won’t lie—the unicorn connection is one of the things that convinced me to check this pen out, and made my friends want to find out more, too!
About Goldspot pens
Goldspot Pens is an online retailer of fountain pens, journals, and ink. Goldspot began in 1999 as one of the first online destinations for premium quality fountain pens. Since then, they have expanded to selling the best fountain pen ink online as well as a premium selection of journals, bullet journals, and fountain pen paper.