Moleskine broadened their range beyond their basic notebook range a while ago and this Classic Roller pen was one of their first in the writing range. I picked mine up when our department store had a massive sale a few years ago, because I have always been curious about their pens and this one in particular seemed to get some decent reviews in the pen world.
This model is one of their first rollerball pens that was available and initially they released only a few colours, black and silver. Both, I believe, are made out of aluminium, but the range now has a wider variety of colours available, along with retractable ball pens. I bought the plain aluminium one, which was the only one available during the sale at the time.
The pen is substantial without being too heavy. At 48 grams, its about the weight of my brass Ajoto (55 grams, reviewed here), but as the cap is removable, it takes 21 grams off the pen when using it unposted. The cap is much heavier in comparison to the rest of the body, which may be due to the clip mechanism that’s on the pen. The clip is designed to clip onto a Moleskine hardcover notebook, although it doesn’t have a catch or spring tension, so if you try and fix it onto anything that’s thinner than what the clip can take, it will just fall off. Its also been rubberised, possibly for grip, but as the pen is a bit older, the finish has sort of disintegrated and feels unpleasant, like old sticky tape.
The pen is quite long and given the length and the weight of the cap, I can’t use this posted. Its comfortable for me posted and whilst my hands are on the smaller side, I think it won’t be a problem for most – it’s about the same length as a TWSBI. I was surprised that the rectangular shape of the pen isn’t uncomfortable, it fits reasonably well in my hand when I’m writing, but it does take some getting used to and I don’t think I would actively choose a rectangular shaped pen, given the choice.
Although the pen is called a “roller”, suggesting it’s a rollerball, it is in fact a gel pen. The older version uses a gel refill in the format of a Parker G2 refill but the newer ones seem to use something akin to the Pilot G2 refill. This is a shame because the original Moleskine refill was a reasonably priced gel refill that you could use in any retractable pen requiring a Parker G2 sized refill, which back in the day was like gold dust. Now there are more options available, but its still a shame that they changed it.
Overall, the pen is decent – reasonably good looking and functional and performing decently. I don’t think the clip has been well thought out – its not practical in real life as it slips off most notebooks, and the rubberized finish did not age well. However, for its price point, it’s a decent starter pen to get you into higher end writing products.
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