However, hope springs eternal, and I keep buying and trying these types of pens. I want to like them, but somehow they never seemed quite right. Until now.
A week or so ago, I bought a pack of Bic Cristal pens in all different colors, and part of the reason these caught my eye was that they were 1.6 mm pens. (I believe these are called the Bic Cristal "Bold" pens. I should have saved the packaging, but I didn't expect to be writing this review!) This was a little bit of a turn-off due to my past experience with this size nib, but I really liked some of the colors in the pack, so I thought they were worth taking a chance.
Here's my verdict after writing with them for several days: I don't know if it's the ink in the pens (just typical Bic ballpoint ink, as far as I can tell -- someone correct me if I'm wrong), or the 1.6 mm nibs, or some magical pen fairy dust they have sprinkled in these pens, but MAN are they SMOOTH. The pens literally glide across the page, and although they have a tendency to be a little "blobby" as many of these types of pens do, a little blobbiness is never a deal breaker for me.
Stylewise, these are typical Bic Cristal pens, with all the classic design features that we all know and love (OK, that I know and love -- you might hate Bic pens but I for one associate them with my childhood; they were one of my top go-to pens as a kid). Caps, barrels, stamped logo -- it all screams "Bic!!"
And even the ballpoint looks typical -- except for that seemingly impossibly huge ballpoint. But I think that is definitely the secret of this pen's success. The ballpoint comes with a small blob of wax affixed, to keep the pen from drying out before a writer gets to it. That is not something I associate with Bic pens -- and it's certainly something associated more with gel pens than with regular ballpoint ink -- but I suppose it's necessary for keeping the ink from drying out on such a broad point.
In addition to the smoothness of these pens, the ink itself also seems to be more vibrant and intense than other Bic pens I have tried. While this certainly could be due to the simple fact that the 1.6 mm tip is laying down more ink pigment on the page, it does make me wonder if this is a new or special formulation of ink.
At any rate, these pens are fantastic and I highly recommend them. And they give me hope for the 1.6 mm nib!