Firstly, I must thank Style of Zug and Nick for arranging for this pen to be reviewed. It was a most generous thought and I am indeed humbled by the kindness of the community! And in full disclosure, the pen has been gifted. Still, I will give a fair assessment of the pen as it is my belief that if there is something that is fundamentally wrong with the pen, people should know.
Otto Hutt has an interesting history and one that shares a common story with those based in the idyllic location of Pforzheim, Germany. This region of Germany is best known for their Jewellery manufacturing and as such is revered.
When Otto Hutt started manufacturing at the start of the 20th Century, Karl Hutt was making silver pens along with other accessories. Like most success stories, he did start with a humble team of 20 employees. Which, to be honest, was small for that time period. Although I must proclaim, I have not come across a vintage Otto Hutt, so whether they traded under a different name? I am not entirely sure. If you have any other historic information, please leave a comment in the section below!
Over time the company grew and as such so did demand. In the 60’s Karl’s son, Otto took over control and ran the business.
In the modern-day, I am under the impression that Otto Hutt has produced pieces and parts for other well-known brands and in recent years started making pens for themselves. This origin story is not too different from that of TWSBI.
Much like Otto Hutt’s original Bauhaus inspiration, the packaging that you are presented with is very clean and minimalist. For some, this will be a breath of fresh air, for others, they may prefer the more traditional approach with a clamshell box. Still, the pen is well secured and the box functions well for its intended purpose.
Lifting the pen bed up is a bit of a mission I must add! There is a tab to help, but because it’s made from cardboard and due to the hollow nature of the cardboard construction, lifting can be problematic, a few times I thought I’d tear the packaging. I guess they opted for card, to be more eco-conscious. But, the reality is that it does make it somewhat more challenging to get to the parts below.
Once you get to the compartment underneath, you’re presented with a whole slew of items, ranging from a smart leatherette pen case, polishing cloth, instruction and spare ink cartridges.
When I received my pen I was presented with an Otto Hutt bag, magazine and ink. I can’t comment on if this is something everyone receives, or if this is something you get as review samples. Still, it was a nice presentation and gave me the feeling I had something a class above.
From a practical point of view, the pen overall functions well. However, there are a few points of consideration to be had.
First, we will take a look at the material, this is made up of brass and solid Stirling Silver so this does make the pen rather heavy and as such, I would not suggest posting the cap as in doing so upsets the balance. Now I realise some people have mixed opinions on posting, some absolutely must post and others are against it.
The section tapers quite swiftly down from the collar of the pen and is finished in a very smooth texture. I know some people hate metal sections, but the way the section has been ergonomically designed, I never really felt my fingers slipping.
Taking a look at the length and girth of the pen, it’s well suited to mid to large size hands. I found that this pen did particularly suit for longer writing sessions as it is nicely balanced.
Looking at the clip, it’s very easy to slip this into a shirt pocket should you wish to do so. This is in part thanks to the spring-loaded design.
Lastly, one test I like to do is leave the pen standing capped for a week to see if the pen dries out. The pen started up straight away with no issues. Although I did notice on longer writing sessions, the pen did seem to skip a beat with drier inks, which have not had issues in other pens.
Now onto the fun part! Otto Hutt is certainly exhibiting their very ‘German’ DNA when it comes to the design language, with the Bauhaus principle being very evident. Very sleek curves, minimal trim and married up with a barleycorn guilloche pattern makes this one smart looking pen. Definitely a pen I could see for boardroom meetings or wedding signings.
Trim options are available in duotone as you see here and plain silver. I think the plain silver would be more of my cup of ink if I were to go ahead and buy one! There is something that’s just very sleek about all silver pens.
Speaking of the guilloche patterning, it is wonderfully machined and I love the fact the patterning goes all the way down to the end of the pen. This was one remark I had with the Onoto Magna Classic pens, where the technique stops abruptly 2 cm away from the finial! It’s small things like this that can upset my OCD.
I feel that the nib is a work of art and the 2 tone finish really makes this a statement piece. Honestly, this is one of the nicer nib designs on the market.
Now personally, silver pens are not really my cup of ink and for myself, it’s not the kind of pen I’d go out to buy. If you have read or watched my previous articles I am much more of an urushi and Maki-e fan. Still, I am glad that there are these pens out there as they really do offer a wonderful appeal to a certain target audience. As I remark on this, it’s strange because at the start of my fountain pen journey I was all about black pens and silver!
I must also mention this pen has been released prior in America under a timed exclusive. This is now up for general release.
Writing and Drawing Experience
Now, for those of you out there that know I am a fan of a good writing experience irrespective of the material. For me gold is nice, but only when it’s super soft and bouncy. Otherwise, you might as well stick with a steel nib! Of course, some people find this very controversial and insist that all pens of a certain price point should come with gold. Now, I respect everyone’s opinion, but unless the experience is night and day better, quite often you’re buying into material for the sake of its rarity.
Of course, there are gold nibs out there that will always outperform steel and I usually use this as a benchmark. Taking a look at the King of Pen or the Emperor, they both have fantastic nibs that offer a sublime writing experience. But, equally, there are nibs within both of their ranges that perform only as good as some of Leonardo’s steel nibs.
Now you may ask, why am I mentioning this? Simple. Because when I contemplate a pen’s worth, I have to factor in performance as a criteria.
Writing with this pen is a bit more unique, I have found the 18k nib to be very smooth and certainly, the flow is very generous. There is spring to be had and certainly acts as a fantastic shock absorber when writing. Although at times with some drier inks, I did notice it skipping a beat. Loaded with Sailor Ink Studio 223, was problematic at times, but then when I changed to a more lubricated ink, it sang with high precision. My only complaint is that I found the lubricated ink, which made my writing appear a tad too broad!
Now I realise I may seem a little dismissive, but please trust me when I say that I enjoyed writing with the pen. My only actual complaint is that the medium nib that was supplied wrote a tad too broad for my liking.
Lastly, I’d like to remark that offering a steel nib variant would give users that are more interested in the aesthetics of the pen a slight chapter option.
Overall, I have really enjoyed writing with this pen, there are certainly endearing factors to the aesthetic choices of the guilloche patterning and the general presentation is fantastic.
In this price segment there are other Sterling silver pens you can opt for, Waldmann, Pilot and Yard o Led are but a few names that come to mind. Yard O Led possibly is the stiffest competition in terms of household names. These pens come with hand-finished patterning and certainly charge a premium price.
However, I feel this pen is priced competitively and as such offers the user a decent package. Especially when you consider all you get.
Now, there is nothing wrong with the 18K nib, but not everyone desires gold nibs and If I were to improve anything, it would be to offer a range of steel nibs to those that wish to have them.
Lastly, I want to thank Sam, Nick and Otto Hutt for arranging this for review.