(Marketing release Photo)
MANUFACTURER: S.T. Dupont
MODEL NUMBER 481471
MODEL NAME: Olympio (Orpheo) Medici Limited Edition Fountain Pen
MARKETING DESCRIPTION: The Medici features precise side-by-side application of dark green and white marble Chinese lacquers, and the spectacular use of guilloche and platinum. The incrusted red jasper pieces on the cap and band brings this masterpiece to life. Only 2,420 pieces of the writing instruments are available worldwide.
CLOSED LENGTH: 146.4mm
POSTED LENGTH: 146.0mm
UNPOSTED LENGTH: 131.7mm
CLOSED WEIGHT: 62.0g
UNPOSTED WEIGHT: 38.5g
Caveat Lector: I am a big fan of ST Dupont.
I must admit that the first time I saw pictures of the Medici I was not overly impressed. After my first trip to Florence, however, and accidentally stumbling upon the "Duomo" (pictured above), I immediately understood the pen's design and I knew I would be purchasing it to commemorate the trip. The pen beautifully captures the spirit of The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) and with it the Renaissance and the Medici family.
The pen arrived in the typical ST Dupont ornate packaging used for most of their Limited Editions. It was impressive enough to make me wonder how much I would have saved if it was supplied with a normal gift box like my favorite, the ST Dupont Shaman.
The build quality of the pen, as with all Dupont pens, is far superior to most and second to none. It is obviously engineered to unbelievably tight tolerances and very generous coatings of platinum and Chinese lacquer have been applied. The white, marble-finish Chinese lacquer is particularly amazing as it actually looks like real marble. (Although my wife says that it just looks like white that got dirty. She seems unimpressed by anything after the ST Dupont Shaman). The base construction of the pen is brass so it is a heavy pen. It is well balanced and can be used posted or unposted but for long writing sessions I prefer to use it posted because I seem to have more control over the pen (see explanation below). Of course, it also has the requisite "Dupont Click" when closed.
The nib is where Dupont really excels. It is big, beautiful and typical of the Olympio line. After all is said and done performance is what counts and Duponts always deliver. The nib is 18K gold with Rhodium plating. It was originally delivered with a Medium but I had it exchanged for Fine. Unfortunately, the Limited Editions are only available in Fine, Medium and Broad so no Extra Fine or Stub options like the normal Olympio line (as a side note the Obliques are now no longer manufactured). The nib, like all Duponts, is very smooth but this one has just a little bit of flex. I usually use my Duponts posted because I tend to lose control of the pen when it is unposted due to the extreme smoothness of the nib but they can be used either way. A lot has been said about Duponts, both good and bad, but what I appreciate most is that all I need to do is decide if I like how the pen looks because I can bank on the fact that the pen will be a great writer straight out of the box.
One of the major complaints most pen aficionados have with the Duponts is that they do not have piston fillers. The Medici Fountain Pen is the same and uses either cartridges or converter (universal). I personally prefer this method because I hate to get my nibs covered in ink so I fill the converter from the bottle and then insert it into the pen.
The retail price of the Medici is usually around USD$1,500 and I believe that it is worth that price given the generous use of platinum. Fortunately however, Duponts do not enjoy the popularity of the other major brands here in the US and there are usually good deals to be had. I purchased mine at less than half the retail price at an authorized dealer. At that price, it is excellent value for money.
This pen far exceeded my expectations, it was much more visually stunning than the pictures suggested, I got great value for money and it came with the unexpected surprise of a little flex in the nib. I can, without hesitation, recommend this pen.
Hope you enjoy this review as much as I enjoy my pen.
Edited by MYU, 09 June 2009 - 18:01.