Monday, November 8, 2021

Fountain Pen Review: Laban Gloria Ruby Red


It's amazing how fountain pen brands come up with new pen models. Each month, a new fountain pen model is introduced to us, and we get a wide variety of fountain pens with different designs and materials. Last month, Laban introduced Gloria, a brand new line of brass fountain pens with a highly detailed endless diamond guilloche pattern. Gloria is available in two color finishes, Sapphire Blue and Ruby Red, and I chose the red pen for Rants of the Archer.

Ruby Red is a standard-sized fountain pen with a guilloche engraving pattern on lacquer with a shiny finish. I love turning the pen in light and seeing the engraving pattern at different angles. I also feel the pen's lines and pattern as I hold it to write.

Laban Gloria Ruby Red in the blue gift box including converter and warranty booklet, Laban's special bookmark accessory, and a nib sticker of Gloria's nib.

Gloria is my first brass fountain pen from Laban. The three 325 (Wisteria, Snow, and Lagoon) fountain pens that I reviewed before are all made from precious resin. While Laban's more popular pen models (325, Rosa, Taroko) are made from resin, the company also offers a number of brass fountain pens (Antique, Antique II, Gloria)  and I'm glad that I can review one.

Gloria Ruby Red, one of two fountain pens in Laban's newest series.

Laban's Gloria fountain pen has the following measurements and specifications:
  • Length, capped: 5.28 in | 13.4 cm
  • Length, uncapped: 4.70 in | 11.9 cm
  • Length, cap posted: 5.96 in | 15.1 cm
  • Full pen weight without cartridge or converter: 41 g | 1.45 oz
  • Weight, cap only: 18 g | 0.63 oz
  • Weight, barrel and section: 23 g | 0.81 oz
  • Body material: Brass
  • Trim: Gold
  • Cap: Brass, screw-on, postable
  • Clip material: Metal 
  • Nib: Gold-plated stainless steel in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, or Broad
  • Filling mechanism: Converter or standard international cartridge included in the pen package

Gloria is a heavy pen especially with the cap on. It can be used with the cap posted, but the pen will be top-heavy, affecting one's writing comfort. Usually, posting makes pens uncomfortably long and top-heavy. Thankfully, this fountain pen can be used comfortably without the need to post the cap.

The Gloria Ruby Red can be filled with ink using cartridges or converters. A Laban converter is included in each pen purchase.

Gloria's brass cap bears the Laban branding. The wide cap band is engraved with the Laban logo and the gold-plated clip is firm, sturdy, and holds the pen securely in place. Unlike the 325's finial which is the Laban logo, the Gloria only has a semi-pointed gold-plated disc as its finial.

Gloria's brass cap has a wide band engraved with Laban's logo.
The finial (left) and barrel end of Gloria Ruby Red are simple, gold-plated discs.

Gloria's two-toned nib is made from rhodium and stainless steel. The German-made nib is engraved with Laban logos, Iridium, and Germany. The nib width marker (B) is on the right shoulder of the nib. Laban offers the Gloria fountain pen with a size 5 nib. The nib widths available are the following: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, or Broad. My fountain pen has a Broad nib and it wrote smoothly out of the box. It didn't need any priming before I wrote with it.

The Gloria's section is gold-plated brass with a metal coupler. An O-ring is installed around the coupler to provide an airtight seal inside the barrel and prevent ink leaks.

The No.5 nib on the Gloria Ruby Red wrote smoothly out of the box.

The 325 is a larger pen, but the Gloria is heavier because it is made of brass. Both pens are sturdy and comfortable to use, with nibs that write smoothly.

Beautiful Laban fountain pens: Gloria Ruby Red and 325 Snow.

The Ruby Red is a full-sized fountain pen, but it is shorter than a Lamy Safari, Leonardo Momento Magico, or Tibaldi Bononia. It is heavier than the three pens, but it's a well-balanced pen that is comfortable to use.

From top: Tibaldi Bononia Seashell Mist, Leonardo Momento Magico Millefiori, Gloria Ruby Red, Lamy Safari Special Edition China, and Kaweco Classic Sport Red.

Laban has also recently launched the Greek Mythology 2 fountain pen inks and kindly sent Ares Red to match Ruby Red. It's a match made in heaven! Watch out for my review of these amazing Laban inks!

Laban has made a perfect pen and ink match: Ares Red and Ruby Red.

To test how this beautiful red fountain pen writes, I filled it with Ares Red from Laban's Greek Mythology II Fountain Pen Inks series, a matching red ink. The pen wrote well out of the box and I did not experience any hard starts or skipping. The steel Broad nib wrote smoothly, I had no trouble writing at all. The Laban Gloria Ruby Red is such an enjoyable pen. It's elegant, beautiful, sturdy, and one that can be used for long periods of writing without any discomfort.

The Broad nib writes smooth and wet, there are some feathering in my writing, but no bleed at all.

I am very happy with the Laban Gloria Ruby Red fountain pen and its Broad nib, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to explore and know this excellent pen brand from Taiwan. It's a beautiful and sturdy pen and truly well-built for long-term use as Laban is dedicated to crafting excellent pens using only the best materials. Get one for your collection!


The Laban Gloria Ruby Red fountain pen is available at Laban.com where it retails for US$240. Aside from the Gloria series, Laban also offers the following collections: 325, Abalone, Antique, Antique'II, Canyon, Flora, Galileo, Mento, Mother of Pearl, Pocket Pen, Rosa, Skeleton, Solar, and Taroko. Laban offers pens in different materials including aluminum, brass, abalone, mother of pearl, resin, and silver.

To learn more about Laban, where to buy their pens, and for other details on purchasing their pens, visit their website at https://www.laban.com/ or follow them on social media:

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