I will begin by describing my experience with the pen when I first opened it from the packaging, and conclude with my experiences and thoughts of using this pen for a few days.
The Pierre Cardin Merlot was packaged in a lovely Pierre Cardin box. I opened the box, and sitting there in the middle of this beautiful black box, was the Pierre Cardin Merlot. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. The body of the pen has a marbled texture made using a triple-coated lacquering method, giving an illusion of depth as the different shades of blue intermingled with the black. It is so stunningly beautiful and very mesmerising to the eyes. I could not stop staring at the details of the marbled texture (in fact, even after several days, I’m still mesmerised by the marbled texture). It’s amazing! And to top it all off, the beautiful body of the pen is complemented with silver trimmings at the top, middle, and bottom.
Overall, this pen looks very professional and stylish, yet it does not scream for attention. This is what I like most about this pen. Many other pens I’ve seen are too attention grabbing, either because it’s too shiny or overly glossy, or because the colours are so strong that it summons the attention of everyone in the room. I don’t like those kinds of flashy pens. In fact, I once had a professional-looking yet overly flashy and attention-grabbing pen. When I took it out in a meeting, everyone’s head turned to stare. It was awkward drawing so much unwanted attention. I don’t like flashy pens.
Yet, flashiness is a quality that is common to most professional-looking pens. If I wanted a pen that wasn’t flashy, I’d have to settle for one that doesn’t look professional or is lacking in design. It’s been a problem I’ve struggled with for a long time.
The Pierre Cardin Merlot strikes a balance between beauty, style, and professionalism, without all that flashiness. This is a pen that does not boast of its own beauty. I can take this pen out in any situation, without drawing unwanted attention.
I picked up the pen from the box and was quite surprised by its weight. It looks heavy, but it actually wasn’t. (It’s still heavier than plastic pens) Initially, I was disappointed as the pen did not have the same premium weight as it looks. But a few days later, I realised the merits of its weight. The light weight of the pen allows me to write for very long periods without tiring my hand. This is great for anyone who has to write a lot. Moreover, I’ve come to love the weight as I can put this in my shirt pocket without feeling its weight pulling down on my shirt. In short, a premium-looking pen, without the heavy burden of a premium weight.
As I unscrewed the cap, I was once very pleasantly surprised at the nib. It was largely silver with gold at the edges. The engraving on the nib was simple yet very elegant. It turns out that nib had a certain degree of softness to it. It’s not a flex nib, but you can achieve a certain amount of line variation without springing the nib.
So, while you can’t practice Copperplate calligraphy with this, you could at least craft beautiful capital letters at the start of every paragraph or sentence. This allows me to write normally most of the time, while occasionally adorning the page with some beautiful lettering.
However, the nib is not as smooth as I would like it to be. This is perhaps a problem on my side. I’ve become too accustomed with having pens so smooth it feels like I’m writing on glass. Anything with a little more friction than glass-like smoothness wouldn’t satisfy me. The Pierre Cardin Merlot’s nib is comparable to a gel ink pen in terms of smoothness – smooth with a bit of feedback, but not like you’re writing on glass. In essence, this isn’t much of a problem. People who demand glass-like smoothness should know how to make the nib smoother (or at least know people who can do it). So this is not a big issue.
I’ve been using this pen as my daily pen for writing notes (and that’s a lot of writing), and it has been great. Few pens have made it on my list of favourite pens for daily use, but the Pierre Cardin Merlot has found its way onto my list. What ranks this pen high on the list is its professional look and beauty (that does not draw unwanted attention). It is the most beautiful pen on my list of favourite pens. While this pen writes pretty well, I will admit that I have other pens that write more smoothly than this (like writing on glass). But as I said earlier, this is a minor issue, easy to rectify. But I guess what I love most about this pen is that the soft nib allows me to flex it a little from time to time, to create beautiful capital letters at the start of paragraphs. It’s a very versatile pen.
It’s priced at USD$47 (about SGD$64). I’ve got a pen of comparable price. That pen writes better than the Pierre Cardin Merlot, but pales in comparison to the Merlot in terms of looks. If I could turn back the clock, I would actually purchase the Merlot because of the design and versatility of the nib.
One more point before I conclude. Lately, several friends have asked me to recommend a pen to buy as a gift. I definitely recommend this pen because the look of the pen is more stylish than other pens that I know belonging to this price range. It’s a great pen to get for people who have never used fountain pens before.
All in all, this is a beautiful and versatile pen, and I cannot stop emphasizing just how beautiful it is! It’s great as a gift, but most of all, it’s great for professionals who write a lot.