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Big Dropper Skull Review

Posted in Fountain Pens

When Ben introduced his polycarbonate, laser-engraved pens, I knew I had to have one. While I adore the appearance of my metal Gravitas pen, there is just enough of the metal-on-metal scraping sound that, over time, I’ve decided to let it go. Now that I have the polycarbonate pen, I don’t feel as bad about that decision.

For the time being, the polycarbonate pens are only available in the “Member’s Area” — available to those who have already purchased from Gravitas Pens. Hopefully they will be available to everyone at some point in the future.


The “Not-As-Good”

Per usual, I’m starting with the with the “bad” — although in this case, it’s the “not-as-good” — so that I can end my post on a high note.

My biggest issue is that the pattern doesn’t have a seamless pattern from cap finial to barrel finial like the metal one has.

comparing the pattern on the polycarbonate pen to the one on the metal pen
When the pattern is aligned, you can see how a full section is missing between the cap and barrel.

This dovetails into my second issue: I’d love for the Gravitas patterned pens to have a single start to make it easier to align the pattern. Then I wouldn’t have to memorize where to align the pen when I start to close it.

As a truly nitpicky side note, the placement of the Gravitas Pens logo made me think there was a significant engraving issue for a while. It wasn’t until I was taking photos that I realized what I was actually looking at. There probably isn’t a better place to put the logo, but I wonder if there is a way to actually engrave it into the polycarbonate so it doesn’t interact as much with the pattern.

showing the logo overlap

My last issue may be a case of getting an early edition of this pen. I noticed several engraving issues in the pattern. I’m not entirely sure what caused them, as my knowledge of laser engraving on polycarbonate is nonexistent. It’s entirely possible that it’s just something you deal with when using lasers on polycarbonate.

The Surprising

I was expecting the pen to be smooth. Instead, there is a significant texture to all engraved portions, although, thankfully, it isn’t uncomfortable when writing. I find it interesting that there is a raised texture when the polycarbonate was laser engraved.

The Good

And now for the good. To begin with, this pen looks pretty awesome. Who doesn’t like skulls?

The Big Dropper Skull

The metal section gives the pen a good weight, compensating for the lightness of the polycarbonate. And, with the section as the heaviest component, it’s well-balanced for comfortable writing.

Finally, still on the section, the micro ridges will help those who have difficulty with metal sections. The ridges are comfortable to hold. I’d compare them to the rides on the TWSBI 580 ALR, but slightly more pronounced.

showing the ridges on the section

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m happy with the Big Dropper Skull. I can have the skull pattern without the metal scrape, for which I’m thankful. I definitely recommend picking one up if you like it. Or, wait until the colored polycarbonate models are more readily available with engraving.


Thanks for reading this far, I hope you enjoyed my post. What do you think of the Big Dropper Skull? Do you have one? If not, do you want one? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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