Saturday, July 10, 2021

Fountain Pen Review: BENU Talisman Foxglove

Since its launch in 2017, Russian pen maker BENU has kept its goal of making writing instruments for those who prefer bright colors and new designs that are playful, stylish, and fun. The Moscow-based group has made amazing pens with multiple glossy facets, color-changing materials, mosaic art-inspired tesserae, and shiny, glittery, colorful bodies. Each pen from their collections is meticulously planned with bold, unique, and eye-catching designs. 

Last month, BENU launched Talisman, a new fountain pen series inspired by great legends and mystical beliefs that surround talismans, amulets, and other magical items used to bring luck, protection, money, love, or special abilities. I'm a big fan of folklore, magic, crystals, and charms and I love the mystery and appeal of this fascinating series!

BENU Talisman Foxglove

Each of the five pens in the Talisman series is inspired by a substance that is added to the pen's material. Each of the five substances has magical attribution ascribed from myths. Foxglove,  inspired by the extraordinary little bell-shaped foxglove flowers from Western Europe is actually infused with dried foxglove flowers. See BENU's video here. Folk myths suggest that mischievous fairies gave these flowers to foxes to wear on their paws, enabling them to sneak silently into rural villages. The Talisman Foxglove fountain pen's inspiration of foxglove is said to bring good luck and fairy's magic. 

Dragon's Blood is inspired by Dragon's Blood and infused with the bright red resin from Dracaena draco, the Dragon Tree, said to bring strength and invulnerability. Edelweiss gets its inspiration from the flower that grows in the Alps and is infused with the flower's dried petals. This famous flower is said to bring true love and bravery. Mandrake gets its inspiration and colors from the plant with purple flowers and green leaves, it is also the only glow-in-the-dark pen in this series. Mandrake roots are said to be potent and mandrake root powder is infused into this pen to enhance sexuality and bring wealth. Lastly, Peacock Ore derives its inspiration from the mineral Peacock Ore or Bornite, a stone with iridescent colors similar to the bird it is named after. This pen is infused with Peacock Ore powder, thought to bring happiness and creativity.

This fountain pen is inspired by the foxglove and infused with the plant's dried flowers. 

The Talisman fountain pen has the following measurements and specifications:
  • Length, capped: 5.5 in | 14 cm
  • Length, uncapped: 5.3 in | 13.4 cm
  • Length, cap posted: 6.7 in | 17 cm
  • Weight: 21.9 g | 0.8 oz
  • Body material: Acrylic
  • Cap: Screw-on, postable
  • Clip material: Stainless steel
  • Nib: #6 Schmidt, stainless steel in Fine, Medium, or Broad
  • Filling mechanism: Standard international size cartridge or converter included in each purchase

Talisman fountain pens are made from high-quality acrylic which is weatherproof and durable. Capped, this pen weighs 21.9 grams, and approximately 20 grams when uncapped, which is just right in the hand. The Talisman is slightly shorter than the Euphoria, but still allows for inking with standard international long cartridges or converter. The screw-on cap can be posted and the multi-faceted barrel end is slightly tapered for this. 

BENU's Euphoria fountain pens can be filled with ink using cartridges or converters.

The Talisman has a multi-faceted body with a tapered barrel that helps in posting the pen. See the alternating facets in the Foxglove's cap and in the barrel below. And like the other BENU pens before, the Talisman fountain pens have exceptional gloss and shine.

BENU has kept their clip design consistent from the Supreme model to the newer pens Tessera, Tattoo, and Euphoria. Their standard clip is stainless steel, which adds gloss and shine to the pens. Stainless steel is also durable, and the clip's top can be pressed so it can be easily posted to a shirt pocket or pen loop.

Talisman fountain pens have the standard BENU stainless steel clip. BENU's logo is also pressed onto the cap band.
The multi-faceted and tapered barrel of this pen is not only beautiful but also very cool! It's also an identifying feature of BENU pens. The material has exceptional gloss and shine, and the combination of orange, black, and gold is fascinating. I just love watching it!
BENU has continuously used Schmidt nibs on their pens. I love that they are consistently smooth, wet, and trouble-free. They write so well out the box!
I have always noticed the long sections of BENU fountain pens. I like this feature because it helps a lot in comfortable writing.

My first BENU fountain pen was the Classic Ghost White Silver, a short, clipless pocket pen. They are now called the Minima. Through the years, BENU released several pens, and I am very fortunate to have some of these pens that are crafted well by their design team led by the Chief Designer and BENU Co-Founder Alex Semanin.

BENU fountain pens through the years. From top: Classic Ghost White (now Minima), Sublime 019 (now Supreme), Tattoo, Tessera, Euphoria, and Talisman.

Although it is shorter than the Euphoria and Tattoo the Talisman is still a full-length fountain pen, sharing the same length as a Lamy Al-star. Capped, it is shorter than the Leonardo Furore and Esterbrook Estie Oversized, but longer than the Faber Castell Ondoro. Uncapped, it shares the same length with Lamy and Leonardo, and only a little shorter than the Estie.

Top to bottom: Faber Castell Ondoro, Leonardo Furore, Talisman Foxglove, Lamy Al-star, and Esterbrook Estie Rocky Top Oversize.

To test how the Talisman fountain pen writes, I filled it with Robert Oster Red Orange, a matching orange ink with excellent flow and consistency. The medium Schmidt nib wrote smoothly out of the box, without the need for any adjustments or tuning. I did not experience any hard starts and the pen wrote instantly. It wrote very well, without skips or inky blobs. The Talisman is an excellent and enjoyable pen, and it is comfortable to use even for long periods of writing.

Robert Oster Red Orange is a good match for Foxglove and I love how wet and smooth this medium nib writes.
Each pen in the Talisman collection is accompanied by a beautifully designed flyer with a lot of interesting information about the inspiration material and the myth behind it.

I am very happy with the BENU Talisman Foxglove and I am recommending it to anyone who wants to know the brand and explore its colorful and fun designs. It's a beautiful pen full of meaning and I'm glad to have one in my collection. BENU is an excellent pen maker who uses only the best materials and takes great care in manufacturing their pens. Get one for your collection now!

Rants of The Archer thanks BENU for providing the Foxglove fountain pen in this review. The Talisman series is available in BENU's online shop where the pens retail for US$118-US$132. BENU pens are also available in international retailers in the US, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. See the retailers list here

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

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