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Visionnaire Fountain Pen


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#221 cyranodb

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 19:45

Thank you Inkysloth. I have sent Kickstarter the post. Let's see what they respond with. It was also not fair to report this earlier, because you couldn't be sure it was the same pen. Now there's little doubt.

 

Although this was a bad experience, I've since moved on to quality pens  :)

 

Vossad01, the point about EXIF data is not about proving something in court, it's still within KS's rights to question Mr. Combes. It is unlikely Leyica would intentionally alter photo EXIF data. It could be argued a crappy camera throws out bad data, but these things still stack up on one side with hardly any real clarification to strengthen the other side.

 



#222 stopher

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 19:46

the expense of at most a few thousand dollars to go to Shenzen and take a tour of the facility in order to calm the doubters. Hey, he probably got a few nice days in Hongkong out of it besides.

Been there and done that! HK is beautiful. Even Shenzhen is awesome. Some phenomenal food to be had! I have stayed at the factories during the week to work out the bugs of product with the production floor and even the food on site has been great :D. Maybe i need to eat? LOL


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#223 holgate

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 06:18

 

my overall thoughts on this pen is that its a lot like an audio enthusiast's attitude towards the Beats headphones. They both look refined and have a quality (bass/smoothness) that will typically wow consumers with no reference point on first use. 

 

There are similar issues with watch projects on KS: good photography, good copy, and lots of backers for watches that have cheap mechanisms if they ever make it into people's hands, and many don't. The practice has migrated from discussion forums and newsgroups and mailing lists and print magazines into a new venue. Like wristwatches, FPs are mature technology: there's a certain amount of cosmetic innovation, but nibs and feeds and converters and caps and clips are going to come from a set of well-defined manufacturers depending on price point. But they also have a certain amount of mystique that allows clever marketing to sway newbies.

 

I'm very wary about kneejerk reactions and the idea that one group of self-appointed gatekeepers get to declare which new FP makers/designers pass muster. Given what we know the big Chinese manufacturers can produce, I can well imagine a custom run with decent components and good QC producing a high quality pen at that price with sufficient margin to make the project worthwhile, but this doesn't appear to be that kind of project.


Edited by holgate, 30 November 2013 - 06:18.


#224 maksim

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 08:30

 

There are similar issues with watch projects on KS: good photography, good copy, and lots of backers for watches that have cheap mechanisms if they ever make it into people's hands, and many don't. The practice has migrated from discussion forums and newsgroups and mailing lists and print magazines into a new venue. Like wristwatches, FPs are mature technology: there's a certain amount of cosmetic innovation, but nibs and feeds and converters and caps and clips are going to come from a set of well-defined manufacturers depending on price point. But they also have a certain amount of mystique that allows clever marketing to sway newbies.

 

I'm very wary about kneejerk reactions and the idea that one group of self-appointed gatekeepers get to declare which new FP makers/designers pass muster. Given what we know the big Chinese manufacturers can produce, I can well imagine a custom run with decent components and good QC producing a high quality pen at that price with sufficient margin to make the project worthwhile, but this doesn't appear to be that kind of project.

 

And this is exactly my take on it. =) When I read it first, I really had no issues of a guy selling a slightly customized pen. 

Look at the handgun world.  Springfield Armory, one of the big ones, found a Croatian company that produced a decent gun.  They slapped on their label, printed their name, and called it their own, the Springfield XD line.  Raised the price quite a bit too.

 

All the major manufacturers do it.  For all products.  

 

With this pen, I really hoped the guy really had a story and a design, then went out to see it getting done and it turned out he could of gotten what he wanted, nearly, say 95% product at 50% the cost, and that is why he did.  In that case, I was ok with it.

 

After doing some investigation, it really looks like it was just one big story, and that is what peeves me off.

 

Honestly, if he got a Jinhao pen, and all 3 Jinaho's I have write beautifully a pretty good build quality.  The Kaigelu and Bauer pens... leave a bit desired.  It is a shame that the products he got are hit or miss.

 

End result? Price wise... it is just a shame that we know how much those are... but once again... just some examples from my days as Marketing Director for local office supply stores for HP.

 

USB Cables - $20 retail, cost to Staples $2.

Monster Cables DVI - $80 retail, cost to best buy $20.

 

There are obscene profits in a lot of items.

 

Most pens are already marked up 100%, from distributor to retail/list price.  We are lucky that online places mark down... but there is plenty of room to do it.

 

Ink, etc.  Heck, even paper.

 

Only items with lower mark ups are technology... where after a few weeks, they are sold at a loss.  

 

IE... HP, we gave away the printers at a loss, even computers had a $25 markup, in order to make 400% or more on ink.

 

So... $37 on a fountain pen that is decent quality?  (I have not played with one).... it could be far worse.  Look, Mont Blanc, Visconti, Parker, Nakoya? (or that stupid expensive Japanese pen company), how much money are they making?

 

Knowing the community, yeah, we feel it is over priced, especially since it is likely no better than a $5 shipped Jinaho off of ebay, but is it on par to a $40 Lamy?  Maybe.

 

As far as the warranty... Lifetime warranty does not mean there is a ton of money, it means quality product, and a cost benefit of new buyers who will buy just because of it.

 

Many gun companies offer lifetime warranties, Smith Wesson, Taurus, Springfield Armory.  I doubt anyone can say Smith Wesson or Springfield put out a shoddy product.  

 

The limited warranty is one part that really bothers me.  We all know Mont Blanc, Visconti and others CAN offer a lifetime warranty, more people will buy them, and they will make obscene money.  Why don't they?  Because they don't have to as no one as far as I know does.  The day one of the big companies offers a lifetime warranty, they all will.  They are already laughing their way to the bank for having someone spend over $500 on a pen that costs no more than $50 to make.

 

One final example... Joseph A Banks... they can offer suits all day long for 80% off and still make money, pay commissions and all.  Why?  Because they just jack up their prices.  The cost on each of those suits is right about $17 dollars.  

 

Edit... my numbers are slightly off, but here is an article.

 

http://www.businessi...s-model-2012-11

 

Offering 70% off suits, or buy 1 get 7 free (suits, shirts, ties).... their profit margins are still over 60%. 

 

Humn, isn't Mont Blanc a public company?  Time to go dig their reports.


Edited by maksim, 30 November 2013 - 08:33.


#225 Inkysloth

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 09:24

As far as the warranty... Lifetime warranty does not mean there is a ton of money, it means quality product, and a cost benefit of new buyers who will buy just because of it.
 
...
 
The limited warranty is one part that really bothers me.  We all know Mont Blanc, Visconti and others CAN offer a lifetime warranty, more people will buy them, and they will make obscene money.  Why don't they?  Because they don't have to as no one as far as I know does.  The day one of the big companies offers a lifetime warranty, they all will.  They are already laughing their way to the bank for having someone spend over $500 on a pen that costs no more than $50 to make.
 


Companies did offer lifetime warranties - the Parker Blue Diamond & Sheaffer White Dot were symbols of these, until a court case determined a lifetime warranty couldn't be offered if a fee was charged for the return.

Seems fair enough, but I guess having to take all offered pens back for repair / replacement without a handling fee *may* have ended up costing the company more than they could handle.

#226 heymatthew

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 21:02

My Chrome Visionnaire was waiting for me at work when I returned from the Thanksgiving break today. It's awful. I mean... Way worse than I expected. I'll do a video of it when I get home tonight and post a link here, but all of my suspicions were reinforced by the shoddy quality of this pen. I defended him early on, then just couldn't deny the evidence of the Alibaba stuff, among other things. This is the nail in the coffin for me, though. My pen actually didn't even survive an uncapping before it was rendered useless. I'll update you guys shortly.


No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

#227 AnnieB123

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 23:08

My Chrome Visionnaire was waiting for me at work when I returned from the Thanksgiving break today. It's awful. I mean... Way worse than I expected. I'll do a video of it when I get home tonight and post a link here, but all of my suspicions were reinforced by the shoddy quality of this pen. I defended him early on, then just couldn't deny the evidence of the Alibaba stuff, among other things. This is the nail in the coffin for me, though. My pen actually didn't even survive an uncapping before it was rendered useless. I'll update you guys shortly.

 

I'm so sorry that it was an even more unpleasant experience than you were expecting.  :(   I have read through every word of this thread and followed along on the KS page as well and I have admired your honesty and tenacity and... class? is that the right word?  You defended the KS project and did your own research until you were convinced of the moral skeeziness (that SHOULD be a word) of the KS originator.  (And I'm sorry, using your KID'S BIRTH to sell cheap Chinese pens is pretty skeezy). 

 

Anyhow, even then you didn't resort to ad hominem attacks or troll the other backers or anything else.... so, well done, you.

 

/salute.

 

PS. Sorry again that it turned out to be a lemon.  :wacko:



#228 Centopar

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 00:03

My Chrome Visionnaire was waiting for me at work when I returned from the Thanksgiving break today. It's awful. I mean... Way worse than I expected. I'll do a video of it when I get home tonight and post a link here, but all of my suspicions were reinforced by the shoddy quality of this pen. I defended him early on, then just couldn't deny the evidence of the Alibaba stuff, among other things. This is the nail in the coffin for me, though. My pen actually didn't even survive an uncapping before it was rendered useless. I'll update you guys shortly.

 

Wow - that sounds worse than the experience I was expecting people might have. (I thought the quality might well be poor, but not as bad as you suggest.) Watching with interest for your video.



#229 heymatthew

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 05:33


No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

#230 maksim

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 06:56

good view.  Wow, sorry about the defect in your pen. At least you should of gotten a working pen. =)



#231 Centopar

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:51

:o

 

Wow. Thanks Matthew. That's incredibly damning.



#232 heymatthew

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 14:19

good view.  Wow, sorry about the defect in your pen. At least you should of gotten a working pen. =)

 

:o

 

Wow. Thanks Matthew. That's incredibly damning.

 

I agree guys... I really did give this guy the benefit of the doubt early on, but after reading all of the responses, hearing the podcasts and then actually getting the pen in-hand, I can't recommend it. Not even for a first fountain pen. A few people have said that they are just happy that a lot of people have discovered fountain pens because of this pen. But that's sort of like saying people discovered a good shoe cleaner because they stepped in dog poo. This pen is absolutely abysmal and not a good entry for fountain pen owners. In fact, for every one person it got interested in fountain pens, I bet 10 will never touch one again.

 

Morgan is a marketing genius (read: scam artist). I can't believe Kickstarter has just sat on its laurels throughout this thing. 


Edited by heymatthew, 03 December 2013 - 14:20.

No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

#233 J Jordan

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 14:37

I don't have time to browse through eight pages of comments here, but I'll toss in my opinion to the mix. I saw this Kickstarter project while it was still being funded, but the info that was given just didn't make me feel comfortable that this would turn out as a quality fountain pen. Now, if you browse Kickstarter much it won't take you long to see that pens and wallets are plentiful on there, and a lot of them get funding. I saw the Visionnaire as someone filling a niche market on Kickstarter because a lot of people don't know how big the market is for quality fountain pens.


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#234 stopher

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 18:31

Great video Matthew.  I cant believe they didn't get you a working pen!!!

Perhaps you will make video this weekend with your AR-15 meets Visionnaire. :D


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#235 heymatthew

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 18:33

Great video Matthew.  I cant believe they didn't get you a working pen!!!

Perhaps you will make video this weekend with your AR-15 meets Visionnaire. :D

 

I assumed that he was rifling through them to find me a really good sample as he knew I'd be reviewing it AND I was so vocal about the project. If I get out to the farm this weekend, the Visionnaire will go with me and I'll make a video if I can. :)


No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

#236 stopher

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 18:36

Mythbusters meets the Visionnaire !!!


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#237 heymatthew

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 18:38

Mythbusters meets the Visionnaire !!!

 

There's a myth that a guy who knows nothing about fountain pens can design and manufacture an heirloom-quality fountain pen able to withstand a direct hit from a 5.56 NATO round traveling at a muzzle velocity of a little over 3,000 FPS. 

 

I aim to bust that myth. :D


No, that's not blood. That's Noodler's Antietam.

#238 stopher

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 18:40

:lticaptd:  :lticaptd:  :lticaptd:  :lticaptd:  :lticaptd:


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#239 benjitzu

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:50

I SO wish I would have done a little more research about Fountain Pens before supporting Visionaire on Kickstarter. It was my first FP, and since I had absolutely NOTHING to compare it to, I was elated when it arrived a couple of weeks ago. I emptied all the ink cartridges that came with the pen within a week and started doing a TON more research onilne about pens and ink. I caught the FP bug :)

 

I ordered some Noodler's Black and a Lamy Safari F because of the great reviews on FPN and other sites...

 

My Lamy Safari arrived two days ago and I haven't picked up the Visionnaire since. It's not that I dislike the Visionaire pen - I have hardly anything else to compare it to - I just like the Safari better. After spending hours the past several days watching videos, researching pens and inks, and reading hundreds of posts on FPN, I am 100% certain there are MUCH better pens available for $37 or less. Put in an order last night for a Pilot Metropolitan and a Noodlers Ahab, both I'm certain to be at the same level as the Visionaire, if not higher.

 

Ignorance is bliss - but wisdom tastes (and writes) even better...


Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. For what the world needs is people who have come alive.

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#240 stopher

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:55

Ignorance is bliss - but wisdom tastes (and writes) even better...

well said Benjitzu

 

I was bit with the FP bug with a Lamy Safari 13 years ago!

 

:W2FPN:


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