Appearance and Design
- Ragtime (original version) in Black and Pearl, 1991.
- Accademia Italiana a special commission for the Italian Pen Academy in Blue, Green and Black, 1990. 130 made.
- Caravel – Santa Maria in Plum/Red, 1992. 500 made.
- Ragtime II in Brown and Black, 1994.
- 20th LE in Caramel, Pearl and Brown swirl, 2008. 1988 made. (The 20th anniversary honors the founding of Visconti, not the 1st Ragtime.)
The 20th LE is made of acryloid. My 20th LE is rather pale in appearance. The luck of the draw when you don’t buy this pen in person but via mail order.
While the 20th LE sports a metal section, the vintage Ragtimes have black plastic sections.
The earliest Ragtimes have a rounded cap. Subsequent versions have a flat-top cap. What makes the Ragtime a Ragtime is the clip:
In photo left to right: Accademia Italiana, Ragtime, Caravel, Ragtime II, 20th LE
The Ragtime (bought used), Accademia and 20th LE all performed without flaw upon first inking. The Ragtime II and the Caravel (both NOS purchases) did not write properly until after Deb Kinney tweaked the nibs, something I was not brave enough to attempt myself. The vintage Ragtimes all perform quite well under regular rotation. The 20th LE finds use at my desk as a signature pen as I find it too heavy for long writing periods. (For an alternate 20th LE view read GoodGuy’s review.)
The Ragtimes are all about the same length and size.
Ragtime, Accademia and Ragtime II
Length - 5.5” / 14.20cm
Uncapped – 5” / 12.60cm
Posted – 6.5” / 16.40cm
Caravel and 20th LE
Length – 5.4” / 13.80cm
Uncapped – 4.9” / 12.50cm
Posted – 6.4” / 16.30cm
Pen diameter: .4” / 1cm
Weight Inked (approximate - YMMV)
The Vintage Ragtimes are wonderfully lightweight pens!
Vintage Ragtimes: 12g unposted / 20g posted
20th LE: 20g unposted / 29g posted
Ragtime and Ragtime II: 18K single-tone
Accademia, Caravel and 20th LE: 14K two-tone (vintage) single-tone (20th LE)
Visconti nibs are smooth writers. All my pens came with the appropriate nib. Out in the wild you don’t always find the pen with the original nib. Some vintage Ragtimes can be found with glass nibs, and some with steel.
The Caravel came with a Fine nib, and the other vintage Ragtimes came with Medium nibs. The Ragtime II was modified into a fine stub by Deb Kinney when I set it to her to get the pen up and writing. The 20th LE sports a Broad Kinney stub.
These are all piston-filling pens. With the exception of the Ragtime II, all sport a removable blind cap.
Cost and Value
For “user pens” cost and value are as subjective as a pen’s likability. Two of my pens I bought via FPN, always my first choice but not always possible. Two came off ebay (one via a friend), and one from a dealer. For some pens I paid more than I expected to because Ragtimes were in high demand earlier this year. I do not regret any of these four vintage purchases. (“Vintage” in relation to these pens is how Visconti refers to the older Ragtimes.) For the original Ragtime and Ragtime II expect to pay $200 or more. If you can find one for less--hey, let me know! Rarer Ragtimes can go for a lot more.
The 20th LE I bought when the pen was going for close-out pricing. The Kinney stub keeps this pen in my stable.
Very purposely I have a small collection of 20 pens. My Ragtimes make up ¼ of that collection. There are more colors and variants of Ragtimes out there than my lil' 5 pen sampling. Except for the heavy 20th LE, all my pens are favorites as daily writers. The Ragtimes especially are nice, easy pens to hold and write with for extended periods of time. The cap alone makes me smile for its happy countenance.
Hope they don't mind, but I have to call out eric47 and girlieg33k for their guidance and help in my hunt for “vintage” Ragtimes. They gladly fed me their impressions, experience, information and encouragement to stay the course until I found one. And then I had more than one! It’s because of Eric I have my beautiful Caravel. Thank you my wonderful pen pals!
Edited by jde, 23 September 2009 - 01:11.