In the early 70s ST Dupont decided to get into fountain pens.
As usual, they carried over their experience in precision manufacture, precious metal and Chinese Lacquer techniques into the pens they built.
In this post we will deal with one model, the Olympio.
The history of the model gets a little complicated as they used different names for the series in different markets and also in their descriptions of the sizes.
In some areas the line was called Orpheo while in the US market it was called Olympio, so you will often find the terms used interchangeably. Initially there were two sizes, and they were described as Large and Extra Large. Later a third smaller pen was added that was called Fidelio and the size of the former changed from Large to Medium and Extra Large to Standard.
The pen we will look at here is the Large size (medium) Olympio, in particular one in the lined gold finish.
Like all of the ST Dupont pens it is a cartridge filled pen or can use regular ink with an included converter. The Olympio series uses a standard sized international cartridge or converter so there is a broad selection of inks available.
The sizes of the pens capped as shown are:
The machining is absolutely amazing. Each engraved line is slightly undercut and the undercut part faceted. This produces a wonderful effect. The lines directly in line of sight show only the flat top, as the angle changes you see the faceted effect and as you see beyond the depth of the engraving the lines appear smooth again. The look changes constantly; playing with light, shadow and viewing angle.
The Large and Extra Large Olympios both use the 18K nib while the slightly smaller Fidelio uses a 14K nib. The nib on this pen is an Extra Fine 18K gold wrap around nib that is super smooth and puts down a moderately wet line.
As mentioned above, the highlight of any ST Dupont product is their attention to detail and that is true here as well. The clip is spring loaded so it slides on smoothly and holds securely on thin fabrics or thick. The cap slides on or off nearly effortlessly but when you are putting it on, the last few millimeters allow it to center and then there is a reassuring "Click" as it seats in place.
Another feature I love about the ST Duponts is that when the cap is posted, the pen is only slightly longer than when capped. The cap remains in place securely, the balance is great and once again everything simply feels just as it should.
This is quite different from other large sized pens that are often considerably longer when the cap is posted than when the pen is capped.
Here is the Olympio and a Montblanc 146 posted as an example.
There are quite a few pens out there in the same relative size as the ST Dupont Olympio ...
From left to right: Conway Stewart 100, Montblanc LeGrand 146, OMAS Ogiva (D-Day), OMAS old style Paragon, Olympio Large, Pelikan 800, Sheaffer Legacy, Levenger Sheaffer Connoisseur, Waterman Expert.
... but there are few that provide the complete package, that address aesthetics, performance, feel and sound.
ST Dupont. Luxury defined as the attention to detail in even the most mundane of things.