I've had a mixed history with Edison. Several years ago I purchased a Mina (regular length) that I really loved, at least aesthetically. The trouble was that I could never get the nib to write consistently enough for me: it was periodically dry and skippy. This continued through two different replacement fine nibs, and then with a broad replacement nib that I purchased from Goulet Pens. Needless to say, I grew frustrated with that pen and sold it.
Over the years, I kept hearing great things about the brand, and I really admired their design. Past experience, however, kept me from trying again, until I read a review on one of the forums written by a user discussing how he had similar difficulties with the Edison nibs until he purchased one set up by Richard Binder. So I decided to take the plunge, and try again.
Confession: I actually purchased two Edisons from Richard at the D.C. Pen Show. I picked up a Pearlette in Deep Indigo Flake, which is a very dark blue acrylic (pictured and reviewed here), and an Edison Herald in Crushed Shell Acrylic. I thought about going for a Menlo direct from Edison (and I very well may in the future), but I wanted to purchase through Richard first to see if he could resolve the nib issues.
The Nib. I won't keep you all in suspense. The nib writes superbly, but did not do so out of the box. Howard Levy (of Bexley Pens) was sharing a table with Richard and inspecting all newly purchased pens to see if they needed tweaking prior to purchase. He determined that both of mine needed to have the tines aligned and the flow increased. Once Richard worked on it, however, the pen wrote perfectly. Honestly, I'm wishing that I had not sold the Mina but rather just bought a replacement nib from Richard.
Build: Brian Gray of Edison designs and makes all of his own pens. The build quality and machining is superb. The threads are perfect: tight, and the cap closes flush with the body of the pen without leaving a gap or an ugly misalignment you sometimes see on pens of lesser quality.
I will note that this pen is from Edison's "production" line. Edison makes two lines of pens: the "production line" is mass produced (by Edison) and comes in a set range of colors, while the "signature" line is customizable--the buyer can work with Brian to design and build his or her own pen from a variety of materials, using one of several very cool filling mechanisms ranging from the traditional cartridge converter to the "pump filler" featured on the Menlo. The difference is price: the production line pens run at approximately $150 for a pen with a steel nib, while custom pens start at $250 and go up from there, depending on what features you want. (Edison sometimes offers "group buy" discounts on the custom pens, and I believe they have one running right now.) Anyone interested should check out their website, available here.
Material: The production line Pearlette comes in three acrylic options: Aztec Gold, Deep Indigo Flake, and Violet Flake. All of them were gorgeous, but I feel in love with the color of the Indigo pen. Of course, you can purchase a signature line Pearlette as well and get it in any of the countless colors and/or materials Edison offers.
The Verdict: Great pen, and one I've been using nearly every day since I bought it earlier this month. Edisons are exceptionally built, and the nibs are quality, though it's worth the few extra dollars to have them set up by Richard or another nibmeister if you are extremely finicky about how your nibs write, like me. To buy one from Richard, follow this link here.