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Customized Custom 74 Review

Posted in Fountain Pens, and Reviews

As I mentioned in my Elabo review, I got two pens from Penwing Stationery. This time, I’m reviewing the second, the Custom 74.

Again, I’m not reviewing the pen itself. I already know I love that. I’m focusing on the aftermarket customization work done on the pen. As with my Elabo review, I’m judging the work based on the price difference. In this case, a Custom 74 sells for $200 MSRP ($160 retail). The Penwing Stationery customized version has a $205.99 list price, but seems to be on perpetual sale for $165. So, I’m judging the work on a $5 difference.

The Meh

Per usual, I’m going to cover the “bad” first. Like the Elabo, the finish at the threads is a bit rough.

However, unlike the Elabo, the Custom 74 has glitter particles in the base color. I’m assuming that some of these particles are too large, resulting in bumpy bits. If it’s not that, then grains of dust and sand got in the sealing coats of lacquer.

Being Nitpicky

While I appreciate that the Custom 74 has décor on the cap and barrel, it’s a bit lopsided. the stickers are all on one side of the pen, rather than dotted around equally. I think it would look better with even distribution. Granted, I acknowledge this is a matter of personal preference.

Also a matter of personal preference, I would have preferred there not be any glitter in the background color.

The Good

Like the Elabo, the Custom 74 has a great final polish. Unlike the Elabo, the sticker edges are difficult to see. It looks a bit like there is a smaller space between the edge of the “urushi” design and the edge of the sticker. Either that, or there are more sealing layers of lacquer on the Custom 74. Regardless of the reason, it’s nice, and makes it less obvious that the design is “sticker urushi.”

Final Thoughts

Overall, I like this one. For a $5 difference, I think it’s worth it. I would definitely buy this pen again; and I would recommend it —as long as you aren’t in a hurry. See my Elabo review for information about our shipping experience.


There’s my much more positive review. What do you think of this pen? Would you buy one? Let me know in the comments.

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