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Visionnaire Fountain Pen


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352 replies to this topic

#1 millerb7

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:38

http://www.kickstart...g-instruments-0

 

No affiliation. 

 

Looks neat. I was a big TWSBI fan and this seems like another inexpensive alternative for folks looking to get into fountain pens. 

 

I will probably back (haven't yet). I'm a big kickstarter fan, use it almost daily. 



#2 MisterBoll

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:23

Looks like a nice well designed pen.

 

My favorite bit - the first question of the FAQ -

 

I'm left handed, can I use the Visionnaire.

 



#3 Centigonal

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:27

I know I'm being a cynic here, but I feel as if Mr. Combes is kind of aiming his product at a niche that doesn't exist.

 

The description seems to present the pen as a kind of "prestige" pen, something you use for signing important things like birth certificates. I think the whole high price and "price of the brand" thing that's mentioned about other pens in the industry actually contributes to creating that idea of an important pen. So it would be a moderately nice pen for looking important, but nothing special.
 

On the other hand, the no-name nib (which may actually be good, who knows?), the all-metal section, and the big cap don't bode well for making this pen a comfortable everyday writer.

 

It is because of these reasons that I feel like the pen is stuck between being a mediocre prestige pen and a mediocre everyday companion.

 

EDIT: Be aware that I am biased by my dislike of metal sections and heavy pens.


Edited by Centigonal, 01 July 2013 - 03:29.


#4 UK Mike

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:55

I am sort of stuck in "Centigonal"'s world. The Visionnaire pen would be an interesting addition to the market and I wish them well with their enterprise, but at present the design brings nothing new to the party and is really just another cartridge/converter pen with a German nib.

 

The key to the success of the pen therefore lies not in the pen itself, which is a little generic, but in marketing and advertising. It will be plunged into a sector that is not lacking in strong competition and where dealer discounting can bring even more expensive pens into it's chosen price bracket.

 

I hope it becomes a success because it is a nice looking pen.


Edited by UK Mike, 01 July 2013 - 10:55.

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#5 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:48

Now everyone who don't know much about fountain pens will try to learn to hold a pen weird like that picture...and find it too difficult and be cured of fountain pens.


Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#6 iamchum

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:57

I'm a bit concerned about its positioning as a cut price alternative to established brands (which are, lets be honest, not as good as they used to be). I am entirely supportive of new makers of FPs, the more the merrier. I just hope it reaches a level where it, say, can compete with TWSBI, because that is where it is being situated at the moment. It may have difficulty breaching the truly premium level, which it seems to be aimed at, later, without something unique (e.g. twsbi has modularity and filling mechanisms going for it).

 

:) If a sleeker model was designed that would be funsies hehe

 

ooooo I genuinely am intrigued by the original body. reminds me of YoL :P


Edited by iamchum, 01 July 2013 - 11:57.

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#7 warblerick

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:24

Deleted by me


Edited by warblerick, 01 July 2013 - 14:45.


#8 iamchum

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:58

whether a product is made in china or not is irrelevant (I think i have made my views clear about the negative portrayal of chinese manufacturing on this forum). it's deceptive advertising that is the issue, and I am skeptical whether it is deceptive or not at this stage, seeing as its not in production yet. 

 

Who knows, a $37 pen could end up being an heirloom. Monetary value is never the essence of those things, it's about the familial or other social capital invested within it (you should know that, or do you not have any heirlooms, or perhaps, you value things in dollar terms only). Only time can tell.

 

I am surprised by how scathing your criticism is. Let's not judge the project before it's begun. I for one, want to see how it pans out, if it is meant to be, it is meant to be :)

 

The whole idea of kickstart is to "sell your idea", because you don't have the funds otherwise. There have been plenty a successful project that have started with advertising just like this, because that is what it is. Advertising for small scale investment capital. 


Edited by iamchum, 01 July 2013 - 12:59.

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#9 millerb7

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 14:28

An interesting pen indeed.  I'm a big TWSBI fan, so I was kind of pitting this against a TWSBI, which I'm not sure if it will hold up or not.

 

That being said, for those who have never used Kickstarter in general, it is VERY safe to use, and has some FANTASTIC projects on there.  Your card is actually never charged until the VERY end, IF and ONLY IF the entire project funds.  If they get within a single $1 but don't reach their goal, the project is a failure and nobody's cards are charged.  

 

If it reaches it's goal, your card is charged.  If you pledge, you have until the very end (before the funding date) to remove your bid and it's like you've never placed it... no charges at all etc.

 

Anyways, that's how Kickstarter itself works... this project specifically has my interest (obviously, since it's a fountain pen)... but again, I'm just not sure.  To me the price range $37 means nothing... I'm a big fan of the TWSBI and that's a relatively inexpensive pen as well.  Also, the Safari's are pretty inexpensive, and I like those a lot too.  I have my fair share of really expensive pens, but getting some of these more "economical" ones are nice as well.

 

I still have not bid... but the early adopters black ones are almost out (I would get the chrome one anyways if I did bid).



#10 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 14:41

Some pens made in China are good, Duke, Cross and Parker and few others whose name I forget not being into Chinese pens....it's the nib not the country where the pen is made. I'm semi-flex snob.

.

Others are vastly over priced slave labor made made in dangerous deadly factories, like Levies and many other 'market' jeans.

Wrangler are now made in Mexico, Poland and Turkey where the worker makes a living wage.

 

In you have very little choice of where the product is made or out sourced to you just have to check your local consumer reports to see if you can find quality.


Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#11 tanalasta

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 14:45

I shop through Kickstarter quite a bit ... mostly in the fashion section.

 

This pen interested me. It's a nice looking pen. But not enough to drop money on it. It looks like a metal pen with the generic iridium point nib - the latter itself is fine but isn't to my personal taste. The style somewhat classic but reminded me of those lower end Parker/Shaeffer pens.

 

I found however, the attempt to market it as a special 'hand it down the generation' heirloom type pen turned me right off. TWSBI at least market their pens as no nonsense, designed for the user.

 

This is just an all-metal pen being sold at steel nibbed pen prices.

 

And having just purchased a Lamy al-star (new black) ... for not much more, I'd pick the Lamy.

 

I also own a TWSBI 540 ... amongst other pens.


Edited by tanalasta, 02 July 2013 - 14:47.

In Rotation: MB 146 (EF), Noodler's Ahab bumblebee, Edison Pearl (F), Sailor ProGear (N-MF)
In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (B), ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)

#12 SimonOW

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 15:13

Aren't there enough bland pen designs around? It doesn't seem to differentiate itself in any way.



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#13 jar

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 15:38

I cannot imagine buying anything from anyone that would stick a pen in their jeans pocket.


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#14 Wolverine1

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 17:52

The guy needs to familiarize himself with fountain-pens and the fp culture a bit, before he goes out and raises  funds for manufacture of his pens. Learning a bit more about pens would allow him to design a much better pen instead of the pen he has designed so far.



#15 tomkeb

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 18:17

I don't see how a nameless stainless stell nib from Germany could be passed to another generation… If it was at least compatible with some nibs to interchange, I'd think about giving it a try.


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#16 inkstainedruth

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:06

It would be interesting to see this guy go on some show like "Shark Tank" and pitch this to the folks who have deeper pockets than people on Kickstarter.  Of course, I wouldn't be holding my breath as to them giving him a whole lot of money....

I was hoping that it would be some sort of unique fill system, given that the seller claims to be an engineer. 

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#17 rudyhou

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 04:40

this looks like a must-have fp.  nice and simple  :thumbup:


Edited by rudyhou, 11 July 2013 - 04:40.

-rudy-

#18 Ruinz

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 03:23

I emailed to ask what size the nib is.  He says that it is a #5, which is what I guessed.  I am not sure how hard it will be to remove the nib.  I am tempted to buy one and order a few #5 sized nibs to find out.



#19 whitedot

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:28

 

Looks like a nice well designed pen.

 

My favorite bit - the first question of the FAQ -

 

I'm left handed, can I use the Visionnaire.

 

 

 

This is my favourite bit.

 

What types of ink can I use to refill my Visionnaire?

 

Visionnaire is compatible with most inks on the market. You can purchase a Parker bottle of ink at a local art supply store or amazon for about $9. A bottle will last most people 10 years.

 

:lticaptd: 

 

It's obvious that the creator knows next to nothing about fountain pens. I am surprised that it has done so well on Kickstarter.



#20 tenney

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 05:59

I asked what nib he was using.  The response was "No specific Brand name on the nib. Even though the company I have chosen for the built is making pens for the top brands."

 

Didn't make me want to pledge for it.


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#21 Cartooner

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 15:55

I'm all for new fountain pen companies and I love innovation. However, after watching the promo video, I have huge skepticism about this new pen company.  My skepticism began with the intro footage of a pen being filled with Quink (I do use Quink daily, but there are so many better options to choose from especially for video footage). Any notion of my support disappeared a second later when the "designer" is shown marking up drawings with a cheap blue BIC pen.

 

http://www.kickstart...g-instruments-0

 

The video does mention things like 'connections to instruments' but fails to convey anything about the nib design, the barrel material, weight or anything else about the details of the pen. It is in these details that draw me toward fountain pens.

 

I am also confused about who this pen is marketed for. 

 

I may be wrong, but these pens seem similar to a few Jintao or Hero pens that I've tried. They were fine a first (actually, quite scratchy nibs), but are no longer part of my daily use set.



#22 edelgul

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:36

I asked what nib he was using.  The response was "No specific Brand name on the nib. Even though the company I have chosen for the built is making pens for the top brands."

 

Didn't make me want to pledge for it.

I've contacted Elsbeth Reemtsma of Bock and after providing pictures of the nib have asked her, whether the nib is Bock made an whether it could be German made.

Her responce was - no definitly not Bock made, and coudn't be German made.

She also added, that "Those lousy nibs should have been made by Chinese or Indian manufacturers."


Edited by edelgul, 19 July 2013 - 13:18.


#23 CAG_1787

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 14:04

I've contacted Elsbeth Reemtsma of Bock and after providing pictures of the nib have asked her, whether the nib is Bock made an whether it could be German made.

Her responce was - no definitly not Bock made, and coudn't be German made.

She also added, that "Those lousy nibs should have been made by Chinese or Indian manufacturers."

 

Sounds like there's at least one definitive judgment on their quality. I really don't know what the motivation for making another pen is.


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#24 Cyanite

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 16:41

I'm debating if I made the right choice in backing this now... Any thoughts?


Edited by Cyanite, 19 July 2013 - 16:46.


#25 Raskolnikov

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 17:01

I'd never want to damage anyone's image but if I have to be sincere, this pen looks to me like another generic looking, cheap pen out there. The guy doesn't know much of fp culture (like someone else already pointed out) and it looks to me like he's just luring other people who are not in the field.

Also, I'm using euphemisms here.


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#26 edelgul

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 17:11

I'm debating if I made the right choice in backing this now... Any thoughts?

As a person, who involonturaly created all this hype with the questions i have to say, that it is really your choice.

 

The worst case scenario (the one that i tend to consider as the most plausible now) is that you'll receive the pen, and it will be some Hero or other Chinese pen with custom engraving.

Perhaps you'd be albe to get it (without custom engraving) or very simmilar on for a few dollars in China.

So worst case scenario is you beeing ripped off for some 35 Dollars (not something big to make a tragedy about). There even might be a chance, that you might put a (allegedly designed) barrel on some of your existing pens.

 

So really, that is your call.


Edited by edelgul, 19 July 2013 - 17:21.


#27 bigd

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:48

Well, if any good has come from this ks campaign is that it got me turned on to the FP culture. I bought my lamy safari i love it. I still really miss my thick dark lines and super smooth writing from my gel ink pens but It will only be a matter of time beore I find a pen and ink combo that will fit me perfect!



#28 RMN

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 09:35

As with many cheap brands, the product you get in hand may write okay.

The pen looks attractive enough.

 

However as others have stated, I feel not assured by the presentation.

 

Pen in trouser

Grip of pen in hand

Handcrafted iridium German precision nib (hand crafted????? in Germany??? for that price??? and is the whole nib made of iridium??)

A specially designed round nib for lefthanders....

 

the remark about the bottle of ink is plausible, if you, as many people, write about one letter and a few wishing cards a month a bottle could last 10 years.

 

 

D.ick


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#29 edelgul

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 23:48

After 5 days of campaing in the comments the project starter has finally admitted in FAQ, that the pen is actually Chinese.

 

Now we know for sure, that we have a Chinese pen. The quality controll is to be done by a person, who has self confessed, that he knows next to nothing about them.

Even if he is happy about the prototype (that would be of better quality, then mass produced pens) he has no way of conducting the controll.

The only way that in his opinion assuers the QC is that "The contractor I have partnered with has more than 20 years of experience in making high quality pens.
So the fit and finish as well as the materials, and the "savoir-faire" are excellent."

 

Really?  Hero has 80 years of experience, but the QC is still a gamble.

 

 

 

Btw, he already stated before, that "Our manufacturer have spent the past 25 years perfecting fine writing instruments for the top high end industry leaders."

So the company probobly was established somewhere in 1988-1992. Any ideas, what pen company could it be?



#30 Wheatflower

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 22:40

I'm not sure how I missed this thread, but I only learned of the kickstarter today after someone on FB posted the link to my wall.   My first reaction after reading through the Visionnaire's page was, "the person writing the FAQ knows nothing of fountain pens." 

 

My second was, "What does this pen do that the Pilot Metropolitan doesn't already do for less money?"  Did anyone else have this reaction?


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