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ST Dupont Olympio


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67 replies to this topic

#1 jar

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 20:33

ST Dupont has a long history of producing luxury goods. They began with luggage, combining craftsmanship and the absolutely best materials to produce luggage that looked great but also would stand up to the hardest use. Later they got into lighters producing what have always been the very best ones available anywhere.

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.

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The sizes of the pens capped as shown are:

5 1/4"
5 1/2"
5 3/4"

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.

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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.

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There are quite a few pens out there in the same relative size as the ST Dupont Olympio ...

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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.

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#2 kaisede

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 20:43

nice review

#3 BerneseMtDogEatsArco

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 21:45

Thanks for your review! I've been looking at Duponts lately, and was unable to find much on them - thanks especially for your comparison shots!
I'll take an Aurora, please. Aurora black.

#4 jar

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 22:13

Thanks for your review! I've been looking at Duponts lately, and was unable to find much on them - thanks especially for your comparison shots!


Glad it helped. I'm going to try to do the same with the smaller Fidelio and the larger Extra-Large (or Standard) sized versions.

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#5 humblescribbler

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 22:14

Good review, thank you jar. It's especially nice to see the compare/contrast in size to the other pens, as you've excellently laid out. Even was inspired to do the posting test. Never actually realized it before!

I've got the black and gold, the themed blue Olympio (both large) and the Vertigo II (larger than large.) Every one of them has that same fantastic self-adjusting "click" when recapping the pens. They write beautifully, all wet medium nibbed, smooth line on most any paper (identical, really) and perfect balance. The black and gold -- along with my MB145 Chopin -- are my "go to's" when I've got the serious extended writing ahead of me. They sit together in my twin case. (Switching the pens during a writing session with the different weights and balance helps me write longer.)

In a former life I sold the lighters and they always sold themselves. All I had to do was open it and close it, and hand it to the customer to do the same. And the lacquer, the lacquer, the lacquer! Nothing like it.

Thanks again!

Michael
Viva la Dupont! (or is it "le"?)Posted Image

#6 jar

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 22:59

In a former life I sold the lighters and they always sold themselves. All I had to do was open it and close it, and hand it to the customer to do the same. And the lacquer, the lacquer, the lacquer! Nothing like it.

Thanks again!

Michael
Viva la Dupont! (or is it "le"?)Posted Image



Ah. A Dupont lighter, crystal ashtray, Partagas Maduro, glass of vintage Port. Near heaven.

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#7 bugmd

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 01:05

What a great pen. I carried my silver barley corn version with a fine nib at work today and what a joy to use it is. One of the best made pens that I have with nibs like butta'. Bottom one is palladium. Also got a black lacquer one with gold trim that missed the family reunion.

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A. Don's Axiom "It's gonna be used when I sell it, might as well be used when I buy it."

#8 RCC

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 02:03

Nice review. I really appreciate the photos you guys have put up. These really help and are better than the ones in any of the catalogues. J

#9 indyshaq

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 03:20

Nice review! How do you like the smoothness of the nib? I also have an Extra Fine nib on my midnight blue XL Olympio and it is by far the smoothest nib that I have ever tired. I agree about the attention to detail, all top notch.

#10 jar

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 03:24

Nice review! How do you like the smoothness of the nib? I also have an Extra Fine nib on my midnight blue XL Olympio and it is by far the smoothest nib that I have ever tired. I agree about the attention to detail, all top notch.


Usually I prefer mediums, broads, cursive italics...BUT...

the XF nib is fantastic, wet, smooth, responsive, forgiving, another Classic ST Dupont nib. In fact when I bought this pen I had set up a trade with another Dupont owner to swap the nib for one of his mediums. Then I dipped it and had to tell him the deal was off. :(

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#11 jar

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 16:27

As I mentioned in the Opening Post, the Olympio/Orpheo/Fidelio family consists of three similar pens in different sizes.

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We looked at the Large (Medium) sized, so now let's turn our attention to the smaller Fidelio.

The Fidelio is still a fairly large pen, 5 1/4" long closed and about 5 1/2" posted. It is similar in size to many other popular pens...

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From left to right: Parker Sonnet, Waterman Phineas, Pelikan 600, ST Dupont Fidelio, Pilot/Namaki VP, Sheaffer Prelude and OMAS old style Milord.

...but has all the characteristics of a ST Dupont product.

Fit and finish are perfect and the sound when capping is classic Dupont. The nibs are 14K, a rhodium plated medium one on the silver one and a single tone gold fine hard one on the black Lacquer version.

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I find that my Fidelios get more pocket time than either the large or extra-large versions simply because they fit my hand perfectly. They put down a moderately wet line, with no signs of skip or hesitation and the fine nib in particular always amazes me.

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#12 jar

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 17:25

Now let's examine the last of the Olympios, Goldilocks BIG bed.

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As mentioned above this was originally called the Standard size and later the X-Large. It is 5 3/4" long capped.

This really is a big pen, right in there with some of the largest made.

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From left to right: Pelikan 1050, Montblanc 149, the Olympio, OMAS new style Milord and 360.

Just as with all the others, the attention to fit, finish and detail is pure perfection. The hand done Chinese Lacquer work is amazing.

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The pen posted is only about 1/4" longer than when capped and the balance is perfect.

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If you are looking for a pen that is in the medium to large size, and want a pen that will please ALL of your senses, the ST Dupont Olympio series should be on your list.

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#13 BerneseMtDogEatsArco

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 20:58

Thank you again for this review - and the extension for the large size. I'm really strongly considering picking one of these up, and your review might just be the straw that broke the bank! Oh, wait, I mean...!
I'll take an Aurora, please. Aurora black.

#14 jar

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 21:18

Thank you again for this review - and the extension for the large size. I'm really strongly considering picking one of these up, and your review might just be the straw that broke the bank! Oh, wait, I mean...!



Fortunately right now I think the ST Duponts are under priced. Fortunately they still haven't caught the cachet of some better known brands. Let us know what you do get and how you like it.

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#15 Brian

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 22:39

Nice comparative review. ST Dupont is the "undiscovered country" of pens. There are few reviews of them and yet what you have is an outstanding example of fine metalworking. Some points I think are:

-Solid brass construction and meticulous plating and finishing.
-One of the better iterations of the classic slip cap fountain pen. The feeling of use is all quality.
-A heavy pen with metal section on the majority of them.
-A pen that could double as a weapon - really.
-Very fine attention to finishing of the nibs. All the ones I have tried have been perfection.
-Underpriced when compared to the metal competition (e.g., Montblanc, Dunhill, and some others that do not come to mind at the moment). I don't understand this as here is a nearly perfect metal pen. Maybe it is that they are so understated and classic in design that the less knowledgable move on to the more glamorous brands.

If you can live with a heavyweight fountain pen and do not mind that they are often too heavy to sit in one's shirt pocket, then I think this is a real contender. Just remember to store it in a two or three pen case that can fit in your pants pocket.

#16 humblescribbler

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 22:49

Shhhh, this is our secret. ST Dupont doesn't need this forum to start making it think it needs to raise prices!! Posted Image

I avoided the Vertigo for years. Was proud of my fiduciary responsibility. Vertigo II hit the market and I had one within a month! They had me at hello.....

#17 offbase

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 11:22

I've been hoping the prices of the inlaid black MOP version would come down ... beautiful pens.

#18 FrankB

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 13:19

Thank you for an excellent review and great photography. I love size comparison shots.

My Olympio is one of the plain black/gold trim models. I have a factory stub nib on mine. I don't really remember how long I have had it, but I think it has been close to 15 years. Does that (time frame) sound possible? The pen wrote well out of the box and has continued to perform flawlessly. The lacquer finish still looks like new, though the plastic section is well scratched, which does not bother me. I can say nothing bad about the pen, and I hope Dupont has retained their pen quality.

#19 jar

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 14:11

Thank you for an excellent review and great photography. I love size comparison shots.

My Olympio is one of the plain black/gold trim models. I have a factory stub nib on mine. I don't really remember how long I have had it, but I think it has been close to 15 years. Does that (time frame) sound possible? The pen wrote well out of the box and has continued to perform flawlessly. The lacquer finish still looks like new, though the plastic section is well scratched, which does not bother me. I can say nothing bad about the pen, and I hope Dupont has retained their pen quality.


I could be 15 years. The Orpheo/Olympio came out in the early to mid nineties.

I bet that the cap on it still goes on as smoothly as the day you got it and still has that satisfying click.

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#20 Shalori

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 19:34

In fact when I bought this pen I had set up a trade with another Dupont owner to swap the nib for one of his mediums. Then I dipped it and had to tell him the deal was off. :(


Yeah, you nib tease! LOL.






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