Monday, March 1, 2021

Fountain Pen Review: Esterbrook Estie Rocky Top Oversize

For most of us, 2020 was such a challenging year. The pandemic has put a lot of things on hold, but not for the Esterbrook Pen Company. While the world fought the coronavirus, Esterbrook launched new pens, worked with US makers, and introduced a number of pen accessories. One such collaboration with US maker McKenzie Penworks produced unique, stunning, and limited edition fountain pens using an exclusive DiamondCast™ material. Two new limited edition pens from this collaboration were launched in December last year, the Peacock and Rocky Top Esties, both available as a rollerball, and standard or oversize fountain pens. Here is the Rocky Top Estie Oversize (OS), this blog's first fountain pen review for March. 

The Rocky Top Estie got its inspiration from the Thunderhead Mountain located in the Southeastern United States. Rising along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, Thunderhead Mountain is crossed by the Appalachian Trail. On the western part of the summit is the Rocky Top knob, a popular hiking destination. Tennessee orange daisies dot the landscape and the striations of the rocks glisten in stripes of gold, silver, and orange ochres. These are the colors and textures that find their way into this limited edition Estie.

But did you know how special the Rocky Top is? McKenzie Penworks who made the Rocky Top pen blanks added real diamonds to the mix! The sparkly, glittery, shimmering shine you see on the Rocky Top is from the diamond dust particles in the DiamondCast™. Now when I write with my Rocky Top OS, I know I'm writing with diamonds!

The Rocky Top is inspired by a popular hiking destination in Thunderhead Mountain. 
The Rocky Top Estie includes a DiamondCast™ certificate of authenticity.

The Rocky Top Estie Oversize fountain pen has the same design and style as a standard size Estie Lilac that I reviewed in September last year. It's the same clean, precise, and minimalist design that we have enjoyed since the Estie model was launched, but the Oversize model is bigger and longer. However, it's still comfortable to use and the size gives a solid feel in the hand. 

Esterbrook Estie Rocky Top Oversize

The Estie Rocky Top Oversize has the following measurements and specifications:
  • Length, capped: 6.1 in | 15.5 cm
  • Length, uncapped: 5.3 in | 13.4 cm
  • Length, cap posted: 7.3 in | 18.5 cm
  • Length, barrel only: 3.6 in | 8.9 cm
  • Length, section to nib: 2.25 in | 5.7 cm
  • Length, cap: 2.8 inches | 7.1 cm
  • Full pen weight: 33 g | 1.1 oz
  • Body material: Exclusive Diamondcast Alumilite
  • Color: Gold, silver, and orange with diamond shimmer/glitter
  • Trim: Gold
  • Cap: Screw-on with cushion cap closure; could be posted but not a perfect fit
  • Clip material: Gold-plated steel 
  • Nib: Gold-plated No. 6 JoWo German steel in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, 1.1 Stub, or the Esterbrook Journaler available as a US$50 upcharge
  • Filling mechanism: Standard international cartridge or converter (supplied with purchase)
The Rocky Top's gold, silver, and orange pattern with diamond dust is truly mesmerizing.
The Oversize Estie does not have a ring in the barrel found in the standard Estie, but they use the same section and cartridge/converter size.
The Rocky Top Estie OS is fitted with gold-plated steel No. 6 JoWo nib. My pen has a smooth and wet broad nib, but I swapped it with the 1.1 stub from my Estie Lilac so I can use it for italic calligraphy. The stub nib writes well every time I use it as the cushion cap closure ensures it writes wet all the time.
The Estie Rocky Top OS has a cushion cap closure that provides a secondary seal to ensure that the nib is always wet. The cap is also engraved with the Esterbrook logo. The Estie's narrow clip complements the clean design of the pen. 
The Rocky Top barrel up close. Love the sparkle! The first time I saw this pen, I rubbed my fingers on the barrel to check if the diamond dust will fall off. It didn't. It won't.
The metal threads in the barrel and section of the Rocky Top ensure durability and longevity. The barrel and section will stay in place and won't unscrew unnecessarily.  

When I received the Rocky Top, the size of the Estie Oversize surprised me. When I opened the box, I knew it's a big pen as it almost filled the standard Esterbrook pen box. It is a huge pen! I thought the standard Estie is already big, but the Oversize is huge! It is also thicker in diameter than the standard pen. Side by side, the Estie Lilac looks small, but the Oversize dwarfs the JR even more. 

The Rocky Top Oversize is a huge pen, but still comfortable to use.

Before the Rocky Top Oversize, the Edison Collier was my big pen. It was longer and thicker than most of my pens. The Oversize changed that, as it is now the longest and thickest pen in my collection. 

From Top: Leonardo Officina Italiana Furore Arancio, Bexley Intrepid Yellow, Rocky Top OS, Edison Collier Antique Marble, and Lamy Al-Star.
Uncapped, the Rocky Top is almost the same length as the Bexley Intrepid.

My Rocky Top came with a broad nib, and it wrote wet and smooth out of the box. I filled it with my favorite orange ink, Rober Oster Orange Zest for a perfect pen and ink match. I wanted to do italic calligraphy for this review so I swapped the broad nib with the stub from my Estie Lilac and wrote this beautiful, moving poem by American author and poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The Rocky Top OS is a comfortable pen to use, it is well balanced and feels extra solid in the hand.  

The Rocky Top Estie OS is an excellent pen for regular and long periods of writing. Does well for italic writing, too! Also in this photo is the Ester Book holder, designed to hold the pages of journals, based on the shape of a vintage Esterbrook nib with a modern purpose. 

I am very happy with the Estie Rocky Top Oversize fountain pen it makes me giddy whenever I hold it to write. I recommend it to anyone who wants to experience this excellent pen brand and the DiamondCast™ material. It's a gorgeous pen, and it's designed well for long-term use. Do you want to write with diamonds? Get an Estie Rocky Top!

Rants of The Archer thanks the Esterbrook Pen Company and Kenro Industries for providing the Rocky Top Estie for review purposes. The entire Esterbrook collection including the Rocky Top and Peacock Estie fountain pens are available at where each retails for around US$395. Aside from the Estie collection, the following collections are also available: JR Pocket Pen, Camden, Sparkle, Phaeton, and Popeye.

In the Philippines, Esterbrook pens are available at

To learn more about the Esterbrook Pen Company, where to buy their pens, and for other details on purchasing their pens, visit their website at or follow them on social media:

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