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Review: Stipula, Suprema Nuda, Le, 1.1

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#1 dnb



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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:22

Got my first Stipula a month ago. It is a Suprema Nuda, LE, 1.1

I apologize I cannot get the photo to post, but you can see one here at the Stipula website: http://www.penempori...odotto=70726182

My likes:

  • The basic finish of the pen is good.
  • The material is crystal clear and perfectly finished.
  • Cap goes on and off perfectly.
  • Cap threads are at the very end of the barrel not where your fingers rest.
  • I have large hands an it feels very good. My preference is for larger pens, but this is not one, it feels larger than it is and is very nicely sized. – 5 5/16th in. capped, 6 1/2 in. posted, 5" nib to end, 7/16ths close to the end of the barrel, and 5/8th at the widest point. I don't know the weight, but it is not too light, not too heavy and perfectly balanced unposted, not too top heavy posted.
  • The Toricelli vacuum fill holds a camel load of ink and has a smooth travel.
  • 14k nib is large and well proportioned.
  • Vicely designed shape with slight and comfortable bulge above the barrel as you can see in the photo.
My disappointments and problems:

  • The vermeil looks chintzy for a pen this expensive (appx. $500). It detracts from the Wow factor that I expected.
  • The clip looks and seems as if it will break in a couple of months. It moves from side to side, close to 1/8th inch of movement without the slightest provocation, in one direction only.
  • I'd read by another owner here on FPN, the ink doesn't always flow down beneath the plunger and into the feed. A couple of other members said theirs were fine. This one isn't. It is an easy 2 step work around. But one should not have to have a work around anything. First hold the nib pointing upwards and draw the plunger back 1/4 inch or so. Then slowly push the plunger back in. You can see the ink fill the small compartment just beneath the plunger to fill the feed. If the pen were not a demonstrator and you weren't able to see the ink, you would not know how to correct the problem. I'm not sure what it is, but my guess is air is not getting past the plunger. I believe another member said to turn the plunger counter clockwise, and that even though there is no lock/unlock, that twist will all the ink to flow. It worked once for me, but not again.
  • My biggest disappointment was the nib: The 1.1 is the same width as a 1.5 Lamy using Herbin's Eclat de Saphir and PR's Cosmic Cobalt which are wet inks. It is about a 1.2 or 1.3 with Omas Sepia, a dryer ink. I wanted a 1.1. It looks like a 1.1. (Available widths: EF, F, M, B, Italic .9, and Italic 1.1)
  • They call it an Italic, but it is more like a stub with very wet inks that I typically use. There is some variation of line with these inks, but it is not particularly crisp. With the Omas Sepia it is greatly improved since the ink is not as wet. This is the way it wrote before I adjusted it.
  • The feed and the nib were not aligned properly. This caused the tines to be misaligned. I tried aligning the tines several times without success. When I discovered the nib/feed misalignment and corrected that, the tines moved right into place and stayed there – except for the fact that every so often it misaligns again.
  • It was also hard starting. (Yes, I flushed it several times. I flossed the tines.) Spreading the tines did not work. I corrected the hard start by flossing several times with the finest mylar sheet (the white one from Richard Binder). That corrected about 75% of the problem.
  • The bottom of one tine was flat and the other only partially so. Then, I had to get that unevenly smoothed tine a bit better. This corrected the other 25%.
The flow and start characteristics arevery good now and the nib exceptionally smooth. But when you spend $500 on apen, part of that money should have gone into QC of the single most important part of the thing, the nib. Not a good first impression. Especially on a $500LE. You would think they'd want to be proud of what they make. There was no evidence of that here.
In that first week, if you had asked, I would have said that If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't. That it would likely be my first and last Stipula. And, that I didn't realize I might be buying an assembled but unfinished kit. Or, perhaps I should look at it like an Italian car? FIAT – FixIt Again, Tony.

The fact is, though I don't think it issupposed to be, it is an Italian car. Every once and a while you need to tweak it but once you get it running right, you love it. And that's what happened. I got it running right and it is a really nice pen. It has low bling factor, so it can taken anywhere, anytime. Since it holds 3-4 times the ink of my Omas 360 pistons, I can take it on a trip for a week and not worry about refilling.

Finishing up, if you don't like being your own mechanic, buy one from a pen seller who can work out the potential bugs for you so you don't have to wait in line for months to get work done.

Cost to Value = 3. Enjoyment = 4.5 (Scale of 5).

Edited by dnb, 14 July 2010 - 08:30.

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#2 opus7600



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Posted 14 July 2010 - 12:58

I'm that other owner, and I'd encourage you to do the same thing others encouraged me to do - send the pen in to Stipula for repairs. Mine came back working much better, and though I didn't take notes on it, my recollection is that the turnaround time wasn't too bad. They didn't offer much information, but if I asked, they responded in a reasonable amount of time.

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