The Nova is Namisu's follow up to their first successful Kickstarter fountain pen, the Namisu Nexus. The Nova launched on Kickstarter in September 2015 and shipped in early 2016. Namisu is an interesting company. Based in the UK, they've run five successful Kickstarter projects, three of which are pens (The Nexus, the Nova, and the Nova Rollerball).
Overall, the Namisu Nova is a very nice pen, but I no longer have it in my collection. Most metal pens (even Titanium ones) tend to be too heavy for me, and since I like to post my pens the added weight becomes a problem. Even though I decided to pass this pen along to a new owner, I went ahead and reviewed it here because if you like this style of writing implement, it's a good option!
I've heard people compare the design of the Nova to the Nakaya Piccolo and the Edison Pearl, which isn't a bad comparison because all three pens generally use a variation of the classic "torpedo" shape. The pen is well-machined, and the one that I received did not have any visible flaws on the body or cap. There also weren't any issues with the threading on the cap, something that other machined pens have struggled with (like the Tactile Turn Gist).
Perhaps the biggest difference between the Namisu Nova and its predecessor, the Nexus, is the smooth grip section. The Nexus, which I didn't back on Kickstarter, had a textured grip section, which many people found sharp and uncomfortable to use for long writing sessions. I won't necessarily say that the Nova's grip section is an "improvement" - many people like knurled or textured grips - but the Nova generally has been much more popular.
The Nova is a relatively heavy pen, but it's well-balanced. After carrying and writing with this pen for a bit, it's plainly intended to be used without posting the cap. You CAN post the Nova, and it actually works pretty well, but the threading from the inside of the metal cap will scratch the body of the pen. (It will also make some pretty nasty metal-on-metal scraping sounds, so if you're sensitive to that and it gives you that nails-on-a-chalkboard sensation, consider yourself warned.)
Overall Writing Experience
The Namisu Nova offers a quality writing experience at a very attractive price. Kickstarter backers had the choice of steel, titanium, and gold nibs, all manufactured by Bock. I prefer titanium Bock nibs over steel, and they're the same nibs used on the Conid Bulkfiller and the Tactile Turn Gist. I have not tried the gold. For a writing sample and some more detailed thoughts on how these nibs write, check out my Conid Bulkfiller review.
The pen sits in the hand well and is comfortable to write with for long stretches. However, what ultimately made me realize that this pen wouldn't work for me long-term is the lack of a clip and the fact that heavy metal pens don't sit that well in a shirt-pocket. At least four days each week I'm in a dress shirt, if not a suit and tie, and if I'm going to carry a pen on a regular basis I'm going to need to clip it. Thus, this pen had to find a new home.
Where to Buy
If you're drawn to the design of pens like the $1000 Nakaya Titanium Piccolo, but can't or won't shell out that much, the Namisu Nova should be on your list. The Nova can only be purchased directly from Namisu. The titanium version starts at just under $100 US (depending on the pounds to dollars exchange rate), with the black or "comet grey" aluminum versions starting at around $70. Upgrading from the basic steel nib will increase the price.
Unfortunately, as of the time of writing all models of the Namisu Nova are out of stock. If you prefer the design of the Namisu Nexus (now called the "Orion"), it's currently available directly from Namisu for $50-70, depending on the exchange rate and whether you choose titanium or aluminum.
For those of you interested in non-fountain pens, Namisu recently ran another successful Kickstarter to create a rollerball version of the Nova. Look for the rollerball Nova to appear in the Namisu store soon.
Check out these other reviews of the Namisu Nova if you're interested in reading other people's reactions to the pen:
Disclaimer: I purchased this pen with my own funds for my own use. I was not compensated in any way for this review by the manufacturer or any retailer.