Please, forgive my bad English - thank you!
I've always been hesitant to buy a Visconti. I usually don't like "bling-bling" (or only when it's "hardcore" bling-bling) and highly marketed brands, and in my eyes, Visconit is all of that, an Italian Montblanc. And all the stories about QC problems were not helping of course. And. I hate the banner-clip. Really.
But I've been totally amazed by the Homo Sapiens, a pen I would have kept if not for the grip, a feature I still don't understand.
In the Visconti Stable, I've always liked the Voyager model, a soft design with a beautiful clip (a sail on a wave).
This is a very sober pen; sober but not annoying or sad. There is something very sensuous and warm about the general design of the pen.
Several weeks ago, I came across a e-bay sale (I was just cleaning my computer, and e-bay just happend...) of a bright orange Voyager, made by Visconti for Rebecca Moss store in New York (now closed I understand). There were several models fr sale and the ending prices seemed more than reasonnable. So I got lucky and ended with this beauty...
Now, to the pen.
I already talked about the design. Let me add a few points. The pen is rather long, a bit longer than a Safari, which is nice since I can use it posted or not. The balance of the pen is excellent in both cases. Posted, the pen is 17,5cm (about 7 in.) and unposted about 13,5cm (5 3/8in.), a size I do find comfortable. This is a long pen, but not a fat one though. The flat top, cilindrical design gives a slender look to the pen, although it is in the Waterman Man 100 category. Not oversize by today's standards, but a big pen nonetheless. The max. diameter is 13mm (about 1/2in.). The section have a nice, soft curve that makes the pen very comfortable to hold and use. Diameter here is about 11mm (7/16in.) Due to the filling mecanism, the pen is on the heavy side (I don't have a scale, sorry), which is one of the reason I bought it.
The color is a very bright orange, and today, as I was grading (catastrophic!!) exams with Noodler's Dragon Napalm, I realized it was almost the exact color of the Voyager. I love it.
The quality is amazing, and I wasn't expecting that. The Visconti plastic used for the Voyager made me realize that there are different qualities in modern platics. This feels warm and welcoming to the hand, making the writing experience very pleasant indeed.
What I really love is the section. I am a hudge fan of the Lamy 2K because Lamy made a slip cap that can sustain the test of time, giving a section without threads or steps. The Voyager has a screw on cap. But there are a few details worth mentioning: first, the threads are not too deep (and time will tell if this was indeed a good idea or not) and they are perfectly leveled with the surface of the barrel. Plus, as you can see, there is a small (silver?) ring, kind of protecting the fingers from the threads while writing. This is one of the most comfortable grip section I've ever used. Excellent design I think - and I just wich this one was on the HS (sorry, I do find this to be the worst grip ever. Seriously.)
The filling mecanism is Visconti Power filler with Double chamber. This means it's a vacuum filling system, close to the one used by the Pilot 823 or the TWSBI 700. Not so practical but llowing for a big ink capacity. The Double chamber means that there is a small space separated from the full barrel. When this chaber is empty, you unscew the knob to let some ink going from the barrel to the chamber. I am not sure how useful this is, but it works. The second chamber holds enough ink for about five pages.
There is no ink window, and I understand this is unusual for this mecanism. I must say I don't miss it at all. But then, my main writer is a Lamy 2000m, a piston filler without ink window. The truth is once you know how many pages you can write with a full load, you never get surprised, plus you can feel when the pen is about to be missing ink. In the case of the Voyager, since you do have a full barrel with you...
The nib is beautiful, probably the best looking nib I have, Visconti style. It's a M 14k gold, writing a very wet and smooth line. The nib to be very rigid, almost a nail - not my first choice. The fact it's a 14k gold will allow for some nibmeiser work someday, and the Visconti nib unit may allow me to buy a palladium nib to use with the pen.
Some complain that the filling mecanism makes the pen a pain to emply and clean. This is true, unless you unscrew the nib unit to clean your pen. Since I am using a problem free ink that I know well, and since I think the pen will stay in rotation for a long time, I don't plan to go crazy about cleaning the Voyager, so this solution is ok for now.
Value? I don't know what was the price of this pen, but I won it for 125$, and I am feeling very lucky.
Thank you for reading!
PS: for more info about the Voyager, see this thread. Thank you for everyone who took time to answer me!!
Edited by Namo, 04 September 2013 - 21:36.