Ok, the Markus Herber HMW has had a couple of uses now and is starting to bloom nicely.
The aluminium handle is not only beautiful to look at, but also to touch with a fantastic 'cool feel' which gradually warms as you hold it. The knot itself is as good a knot as I have ever experienced - just a little backbone, almost zero scritchiness and with the most delightful gel tips - that fantastic feeling when, even though the knot is dry, it feels gel-like, almost damp to the touch.
If you've ordered one of these, you are in for a special treat...
126 at a rough count with several more ace brushes on their way - and two for refurb. Not counting a Romero I've paid for but doesn't arrive. Not as many as I had thought. Space is the problem which I am choosing to ignore for now.
Mine arrived yesterday and I lathered with it this morning - blue with a white band, mine. Lots of backbone but soft. The difference between these and the Rubberset 400 is the weight - these have heft and the RS 400 doesn't. I prefer the feel of these. And a non-oxidising surface.