I'm a big fan of hooded nibs and the variations they allow for in fountain pen design. I acquired this Scrikss 17 pen from a 'Bay seller that grinds his own custom nibs. He's located in Turkey, so a lot of the pens he has for sale are from companies with which I'm not remotely familiar. I definitely was not aware that Scrikss is a Turkish fountain pen company around since 1966, but I knew that this pen looked pretty cool. In fact, it reminded me of both the Pelikan MK20 and Montblanc 32, which I've been casually interested in for a while.
I read through its properties: hooded nib, large ink window, piston filler, slip cap. It sounded like a very convenient pen, especially for the workplace. It was also billed as having a "fine italic" grind, something I frequently implement on my own low-tier pens. I figured it would be a good opportunity to examine how someone else 'gets there,' in addition to simply getting an interesting new pen.
I imagine the Scrikss 17 was billed as user-grade, whether for students or general economy writing; it lacks the embellishments you might see on a higher tier. Steel nib rather than gold; minimal trim; a simple friction-fit slip cap, rather than screw-on; small size; and it feels like relatively cheap plastic.
None of that detracts from my experiences with this pen. In fact, I've grown quite find of the Scrikss 17.
I mention that the plastic feels cheap - what I really mean is that I assume the plastic isn't anything exotic or particularly durable. It does indeed scratch, and there's a significant crack in the cap (that thankfully doesn't go all the way through). However, the feel of the pen overall is quite solid. I reckon this is due to the internal piston-filling mechanism. Comparing it to something like the cartridge-filling Platinum 3776, this actually feels better to me.
The conservative styling of the pen is a big plus for me. Aside from not looking gaudy , it also does an excellent job not being a conversation piece at work. Sometimes you just want to slide under the radar. I also much prefer the black and silver to anything + gold. Maybe it's generational or geographical or arbitrary...-ical, but I'm simply not a fan of gold, visually.
I appreciate the arrow on the section, it's an unobtrusive way of helping me line up the hooded nib without actually paying attention. Yay for being compatible with casual use!
The ink window looks really cool, the internal columns break up the view and give me a faceted impression. Especially when inked up, the blue acrylic blends in with the black body, leaving just a hint of transparency.
Again, there's a subtle functionality that really pleases me.
Looking to the clip, you'll find the Scrikss shield near the cap end. The small rounded triangle is significantly more tasteful than the adornments you'll find on most modern Jinhao/Duke/Baoer/Bulow Chinese pens.
The only other time you'll see the Scrikss name is faintly engraved on the cap band.
So it's a user-grade pen (we're saying), so how well does it...use?
The piston has smooth action and seems to achieve an excellent fill. I haven't measured the capacity, but it seems to last a good duration for me. Maybe I'll come back and update this area if I bother to science out the facts.
The clip is functional but not a Lamy-esque workhorse. Since the pen is lightweight, the clip is fine for holding the pen up in a pocket. What I wouldn't expect it to do is hold papers closed within a notebook or keep the pen in your pocket while doing gymnastics.
The friction-fit cap closes the pen quite securely, I'm never in fear that it will come loose in my pocket. The cap also posts very securely on the pen. Again due to the pen's weight, posting is very balanced. The Scrikss 17 comes in at 12.5cm open, 15.4cm posted (nearly identical to the Parker 51). The section diameter is 7mm at the point where I (and many other humans) grip; that diameter is just on the small side for me, though it's actually wider than the Parker 75's section. It's comfortable enough for moderate writing sessions, but the lack of texture or contour are what eventually wear me down.
This brings me to the nib. The nib! I purchased this pen pre-ground by its last owner. Labeled as a "Fine Italic," it's relatively in-line with my tastes. The vertical strokes are equivalent to a western Medium, while the cross strokes are more akin to a Japanese Fine. As long as I stay in the sweet spot, there's only moderate tooth. The corners are rather sharp, however, so I find it very easy to catch (especially when writing hastily). When I take the time to slow down and write more neatly, I can certainly notice the extra flourish it contributes to my script. I'm pleased with this nib, it's enjoyable to use.
[Immodest confession: I'd be happier with this nib, but several of my self-ground nibs have a smoother & more satisfying experience while still yielding the same line variation]
All in all, I really like the Scrikss 17. It's a pen that performs so much better than I expected, and certainly offers far, far more value than the price I paid. It convinced me that a previously unknown brand was quite worth watching.
Now will I keep the custom grind with which it came? Doubtful. The pen design isn't quite geared for long writing sessions where I could put the stub to use. I'm thinking of grinding it to a much finer point and using it as an excellent sketcher. But that's my fault, not the nib's.