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Delta Dolce Vita Review


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#1 rfranca

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 00:33

This is my first review, so please be gentle...

Introduction
This has been my dream pen for a while. When I finally found the opportunity to buy it, I took it.
The pen became a Christmas present to myself and after a long trip with many stops along the way, it finally found its' way home.
Since the beginning I wanted to have the piston fill variation but didn't know quite what to expect in terms of size (since I've never had written with such a thick pen) and writing experience.
The price was a bit over US$400, in my case I consider this to be on the expensive side. So I can say it my first “high end” pen, and probably the last one I will buy for so much... or won't it?
I was worried with some reports about debris or liquid silicone bringing problem to the ink flow so I asked to seller (Bryant Greer) to kindly test it for me.

First impressions:
I hope you don't think I'm exaggerating but there is no way to describe the beauty of this pen. I couldn't find any pictures (even my own) that are able to show the real color and texture of the orange barrel. Even those who don't like orange pens might change their minds in this case.
The balance between the black and orange gives this pen a sort of classic elegance. It attracts a lot of attention in the office and just looking at it, you can guess it's Italian...
As you can see in the pictures the set comes in an orange carton box. It's nice, but for some reason I cant explain, I expected something nicer. Maybe its just the quality of the print.
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Opening this box you discover a black case (sort of a jewelry case) and a bottle of black Delta Ink. Also included is a Dolcevita booklet/catalog, certificate, a nice letter from the seller (some of you might recognize...) and a little paper stating “14kt/585‰ solid gold nib”.
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Design – size - weigh
As I've already said, this baby is a beauty. And has elegance all over. One thing you notice is the attention to details: serial, Delta logo on the cap, the small wheel at the end of the clip and of course, the engraving of the ring inspired on the patterns found in Pompey.

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I must add I went with the silver model and I'm glad I did. In my opinion the golden vermeil would be a bit too much and would steal away some of the pen's elegance. But this is a very subjective mater it would depend on your taste.
It's also interesting to notice the shape of the cap (as well as the shape of the pen itself). The cap starts slightly thinner on the top and grows fatter towards the ring. The barrel itself starts thin next to the nib an gets thicker at the junction to the blind cap that hides the piston knob.

Contrary to some other reviewers, I loved the looks of the ink window. I think it goes very well with the rest of the pen. I cant find the right words to explain but the “walls” of the ink window are think so the ink forms a “column” within the window which brings an interesting effect. I guess it's easier to understand with the pictures.

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(piston in motion):
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For comparison, I took a shot of the Dolcevita next to my Pelicans (M215 and M205). When the pen arrived, I didn't have my Pelicans around, so I started to play with it and didn't notice how larger the Dolcevita was. Only latter, when I put them side by side I noticed the difference. No that I got used to writing with the Dolcevita, these Pelicans seem to disappear in my hands.

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Balance:
The pen is heavier at the end, probably because of the metal Piston knob. It's ok, but if you like to write with you fingers closer to the nib, I feel you would have to use more pressure to write correctly. If you post the pen, the whole set gets heavier which eliminates the problem, but then it's like writing with a cigar...it just gets huge !!!

Nib and writing:
So far, I have only used the black Delta Ink that came with the pen. In general, writing with this pen is very nice and effortless. The balance issue I've just mention is not enough to jeopardize the experience.
One problem I feel is that the nib tends to skip at the beginning of the sentence, specially at the beginning of letters such as “c,g..”. this is quite annoying and I hope it gets better with time. It's still only the second time I filled the pen so I hope it will adapt to my hand (or the other way around).
Also, I feel the it doesn't write as smooth and wet as my Pelican M215. I use Montblanc ink on the Pelicans, so I don't know if that's the reason for the difference or if it's the nib itself. The nib has what I believe is called feedback. It doesn't scratch, but as I got used to the smoothness of Pelicans, I kind of miss it.
This pen has a medium nib that looks very classy.

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Conclusion:
Although I might sound a little rough along this review, I really love this pen. It has become my daily writer and suddenly, during some boring meeting, I find myself lost and admiring the fine design and details of the pen.
Writing is a pleasure but the skipping is a bit annoying and I wish it wrote a bit smoother.
The size is perfect, even for my small hand
It was a high investment for me but I don't regret it at all

If anyone as questions, I'll be glad to help

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Edited by rfranca, 21 February 2010 - 00:38.


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#2 cxcxx

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 00:43

Thanks for the review ,and the nice pictures.
I used to have a Delta with F nib , it wrot wet and smooth.
enjoy your pen

:thumbup:

#3 bugmd

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 01:10

Congrtats on the wonderful pen. I also bought a Dolce Vita piston filler from Bryant, mine is a fine. I am a dyed in the wool Italian pen lover with a deep affection for all things Visconti. Having said that, the Dolce Vita has made me turn my back on some of my favorites. It is a beautiful pen, perfect size for me, high quality with a great nib. Mine does not have any skipping issues and I find the balance, unposted to be great. I love the "clutch" mechanism built into the filler system to prevent damage by overzealous filling. Mine also has the silver furniture and I do not regret that choice. This pen garners comments from non-pen individuals, more than any other pen I have.

I really cannot tell you how strongly I endorse this one. I have many pens in my stable that cost more than this one but frankly none come to mind as being head and shoulders better. I have 2 other Deltas, the original Pompeii and the Citta Reale but the DV get much more use.

Can you tell that I like this one.

Thanks for the great review and images. And a special thanks to my pusher Bryant for making this one possible.

Edited by bugmd, 21 February 2010 - 01:12.

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#4 Alphabet

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 03:49

Thanks for the great review and photographs. I have a Delta Cossack, from the Indigenous Peoples series, that I picked up from Bryant. If the Cossack is any indication of the Dolce Vita, I will certainly place that Dolce Vita on my wish list. I have yet to have a problem with skipping on certain initial strokes with the Cossack. I would expect that as you write the issue will go away. The one I picked up from Bryant has a medium oblique nib and is nice and wet. Enjoy your new pen!

#5 ArchiMark

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 05:53

Handsome pen and great review!

As for skipping, FWIW, whenever I get a new pen first thing I do is fill and expel water to test filler system. Also, I find that in doing that it's often good to put a drop or two of a very mild liquid soap in the water. This helps clean out pen as sometimes, there's some residue left from pen manufacturing process that can hinder ink flow.

So, I'd flush out pen per above and then refill with ink and see if it helps. If not then I'd also try a different ink, such as Parker Quink and see if that helps. If that doesn't make a difference, then you can try clean/flush with water/ammonia combo (80% water/20% ammonia). And if that doesn't do it, then you may need nib/feed adjustment from nibmeister.....

Hope this helps....

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#6 Abhik

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 11:08

Hi rfranca!
Wonderful presentation of pictures. Good review. Enjoy your pen!
Thax.
Abhik

#7 buffalowings

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 13:45

wow, the width of the barrel is frighteningly large :blink:
beautiful pics though, great review! :thumbup:
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#8 greencobra

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 16:05

Nice review, thanks. A favored pen in my collection.
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#9 Ed Ronax

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 14:51

Excellent review, nice pen, thanks.
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#10 dizzypen

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 15:45

I just love this pen I mean I really just do. I've been admiring it for quite some time. It's on the list of pens I'd like to own before I croak. :thumbup:
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#11 ArPharazon

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 00:16

Very nice review, and that is one sweet pen. I would love to own one . . . particularly an Oversize model. I think the orange and black is a great color combo, and it looks good with the silver furniture.

Of course, I'm partial to orange and black . . . here's a picture of the car I drive, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions . . .

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BTW, great use of the Rhodia notebooks!!


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#12 PenFisher

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:41

Thank you for a wonderful, concise review ... and a splendid photo essay to go along with your text. Very nicely done...too well done in fact as now I feel compelled to start saving for my on DV Posted Image

#13 rfranca

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:05



Of course, I'm partial to orange and black . . . here's a picture of the car I drive, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions . . .


Yes !!
Orange Rules !!!


Thanks to all of you for your kind words.
This pen is really a must have !

Edited by rfranca, 23 February 2010 - 02:06.


#14 Silvermink

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 02:48

Very nice - been waiting for someone to do a review of the piston-fill DV. I've been thinking of getting a Soirée myself, which alas only comes in C/C (though I prefer the balance toward the nib end anyway, so given your comments maybe that's the better choice for me).

Edited by Silvermink, 23 February 2010 - 02:50.

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#15 rfranca

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:49

Very nice - been waiting for someone to do a review of the piston-fill DV. I've been thinking of getting a Soirée myself, which alas only comes in C/C (though I prefer the balance toward the nib end anyway, so given your comments maybe that's the better choice for me).


I confess I don’t like c/c very much.
About the balance issue, it’s mostly a detail; I hope I haven’t overstated its importance.
Anyway, I think it depends on a number of issues inclining how one holds the pen to write. I tend to hold the pen about 45° to the paper. Those who hold it more upright might have a different feeling.
The best is to get your hands on a real one to try it out before you buy.

one more picture of the piston mechanism
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#16 dandelion

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 22:31

Great photos and colour combinations! How does it post?
Delta nibs shall be smooth and with a nice flow, so you shouldn't experience trouble. If it stays that way - consider getting the nib exchanged by Delta.


ArPharazon, that is a great looking Mustang!

Very nice review, and that is one sweet pen. I would love to own one . . . particularly an Oversize model. I think the orange and black is a great color combo, and it looks good with the silver furniture.

Of course, I'm partial to orange and black . . . here's a picture of the car I drive, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions . . .

Posted Image

BTW, great use of the Rhodia notebooks!!



*****the dandelion blog is right here*****
*****the dandelion flickr is right here*****

#17 goodguy

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 15:21

I used to own the same pen but the CC/ED version.
It is indeed a stunning pen and mine was a smooth and wet writer.
I would try Aurora black ink to try and help the skipping problem.

Thank you for the review and enjoy your pen :)
Respect to all

#18 Dr Lopez

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 17:18

This has long been one of my favourites FPs regarding visual appeal. I look forward to getting one myself. For now I have a Delta Passion with a similar type of nib, 14K medium. It is pretty dry as compared with other pens in my collection, so ink becomes an important issue. Skipping might be partially solved by using an ink with better flowing and lubricating properties like Waterman Florida Blue or in general pretty much any other Waterman inks. Anyway, it is frustrating because a pen at that price range must not skip. I somehow noticed some modern brands tend to produce flashy pens that write bad (or at least not guaranteed). It is like if pens were to museum pieces to store and look at, instead of everyday writing instruments. On the other hand you find brands like Sailor that makes pretty simple looking and classy pens that have the best nibs ever made with strong quality control.
In my current rotation:
Pelikan 400 Brown Tortoise/14K Fine/J. Herbin Cafe des Iles
Lamy 2000/14K Medium/Lamy Blue-Black
Sailor 1911 Large burgundy/21K Naginata Togi Medium/Diamine Oxblood
Montblanc 146/14K Fine/Montblanc Racing Green
Rosetta blue/Steel Pendelton cursive italic/Pelikan Royal Blue
Delta Passion/18K Broad/Diamine Syrah

#19 TMac

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 23:53

Really good review.

I continually look at this pen but just can't commit to the price. I guess at this point it has become my grail pen and one day I find a way to buy one.

Enjoy.

#20 Alphabet

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 02:36

That does it...I need to call Bryant when my budget permits! I love orange pens too. The only one in my collection is my OMAS Mezzo 360 in Mandarin Orange.






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