Pocket Size Review 38: Narwhal Yellow Tang, Monteverde DC Supershow 2019 Teal

[Update 1/18/2020: Spoke to Narwhal and clarified that the entire pen is made in-house, including the feed. Post below has been updated to reflect this fact.]

One of the best things about pen shows is just walking around the floor and stopping to look at things that you might have completely glossed over on the Internet, or even in a pen shop where the inventory is back in a case, not out on a table. This Narwhal pen was one of those moments for me, in the small room at the DC pen show in 2019. With the 2020 Pen Show season kicking off, and Narwhal announced as a vendor for the Philly Pen Show this coming weekend, I thought this was a great time to show you why this is a pen worth stopping to stare at, or maybe even pick up and try.

The first design element that strikes me whenever I pick up this pen is the gold band on the barrel, just below the section. When this pen is capped it looks almost like a cap band. When I think of other pens with a similar faux-cap band the first to come to mind is the Visconti Homo Sapiens, which isn’t the first pen that you’d think to compare to a $45 piston filler that just came into the market. All this to say, Narwhal has really impressed me by designing pens that have their own unique look right out of the gate.

I was additionally impressed when I was told that the pens were made entirely in-house. This is part of the reason why the pens are only available with Fine nibs (another part being that Narwhal is based out of Guandong, China, and finer nibs are much more popular for writing in Eastern scripts), because they are producing their own nibs instead of buying them from another nib-house. Normally I’d like a wider nib on a self-filling pen, out of fear that I’ll never actually use up the ink otherwise, but I really do enjoy this Fine nib, which is a testament to their production.

I’ve been happy with the Monteverde DC Super Show 2019 Teal ink as well. The ink was a giveaway at last year’s DC show (which is how it wound up paired with the Narwhal pen I picked up there), and it’s a little more green than I personally tend to use in the real/turquoise/aqua world of ink colors, but it pairs nicely with the yellow of the pen.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Narwhal has in store for the future. Between their elegant designs, fun color names, and the whimsical crab pen holders that they’ve helped to popularize, I definitely think they are a brand worth keeping an eye on.

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