Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm Being Followed By A...

Pen Review: Danitrio Moon Shadow


I bought this pen a few months ago from Kevin Cheng, who uses the monikers Winedoc on FPN and Operadoc on eBay. (From this I infer he likes wine and opera, and is a doctor. She’s so bright!) I must admit that it was an impulse buy, though I don’t often spend this much money on impulse. I’m glad that I did.
Kevin was great to work with. The first pen I received had a flaw in the urushi on the cap, towards the end. It looked like a small bubble, which I can’t imagine was really the case given how well the pens are made; perhaps someone dropped it? At any rate, Kevin  cheerfully exchanged the pen for another he had, and absorbed all the shipping cost as well.   

The writing experience with this pen is – I guess I could call it peaceful. The shape of the pen and the feel of the material are rather different than any other pen I own (and I have a few!); the feel of the urushi is unique. It is extraordinarily smooth without being cold, and quickly warms to the touch. It feels rather as if the pen is a hybrid of Eastern technique and Western engineering. I suppose that’s exactly what it is!


The pen was a bit difficult at first. I initially inked it with Private Reserve Black Cherry (to match the pen of course!), and the pen proved rather recalcitrant; it displayed a fair amount of skipping and, if left to its own devices for a day, would be hard to start again. I changed inks a couple of times; same result. I did a megaflush of the feed system with a mixture of water/dish detergent/Windex; still skipped.

I was just about to email Kevin and ask what the deal was, when it straightened up and started behaving itself. This took about four converters’ worth of ink, a little more than I am accustomed to use to break in a pen. It now writes a smooth, uneventful, unvarying line, about a Western fine. It’s probably a 5 or 6 in terms of wetness, laying down enough ink to be clear without gushing.


And, consistent with how I seem to operate, it’s always had some variant of red ink in it! We Must Match at all times!

The pen does not post. I don’t see this as a disadvantage, because I don’t post any of my pens, other than a Waterman 0552 ½ V which is so short that it’s unusable for me if not posted.

I wish the pen did not have a clip on it. To me, the clip detracts from the beauty of the pen. I have the same feeling that I sometimes did when I wore glasses: if I got all dressed up to go out, did the hair and makeup, and then put the glasses on, it always felt the same as if I was going to a photo shoot and I had a big pimple on my nose. Ecch, everything looks so nice except That One Thing that is so large it’s impossible to miss. This, of course, is a matter of opinion, as others (who may or may not wear glasses) may tell you. The downside of no clip is that one must chase the pen across the desk lest it leap to oblivion off the edge.
I would love to see one of these pens in the making. I’m sure it’s not the case, but the layers of urushi over the gold and silver foil make it look like some of the foil is a good half inch into the pen.


This is a beautiful, and now well-behaved, pen that is a joy to own and to write with. I am very glad I purchased the pen, and look forward to years of enjoyment of it.


  1. I can tell this is when you got your D3100! Nice pics ;) Nice pics make a good blog awesome!

  2. That is a beautiful pen. I wish I could afford something like that. The Kanji on the section is an elegant touch. I'm experiencing similar issues with my Parker Vector... it skips like crazy, and fairly randomly but only on the first letter of a word. I've gone through about 1-1.5 converters full of ink, flushed it very thoroughly, and I'm hoping it will go away eventually. My Jotter that I received at the same time took only a day or so to break-in.

  3. That is an absolutely gorgeous DaniTrio. Hope you have many great years of service with it. The urushi is unusual, and beautiful. Is the body ebonite, though?

  4. @Hirsute - my first reaction to your question was, yes, of course it's ebonite. I went looking online and couldn't find any confirmation...hmm. So I conducted my own highly scientific test - I stuck my little finger in the cap and twisted it back and forth several times, quickly, to create a bit of friction. Now my hand smells like burning rubber. Yep, I'd say it's ebonite all right!

    Thanks for the comment! I do enjoy the pen very much!