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Stipula Sunset (Levenger)

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#1 tutelman



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Posted 23 September 2006 - 03:23

I originally posted this review in response to a question by another correspondent. I hope you enjoy my first review.

The Stipula Sunset from Levenger has arrived and here are my first impressions:

Size: The Sunset is a large pen. It is 6 Ĺ inches posted. In both length and girth it resembles another of my Italian pens, the Visconti Voyager Kaleido.

Appearance: If you are expecting a pen with Stipula imprints, you will be disappointed. Both the rhodium-plated 14K nib and the barrel are imprinted with the Levenger name. The barrel is also imprinted with the Sunset name, model number, and Italian origin.

The photos on Levengerís website do not do justice to the Sunsetís bright cerulean blue resin. The color is deep and vibrant, with eye-catching highlights.

The Sunsetís trim is, like the Kaleido, silverplated. It arrived with just the slightest tarnish. There is a silverplated tassie and trim ring above the clip.

The clip assembly is the most distinctive feature. While the clip itself is simple and utilitarian, the gridded clip band to which it attaches is 5/8 inch wide and striking. Engraved on the band directly above the clip is a blazing sun. Is it exquisite Italian styling or garish excess? I leave that aesthetic judgment to you!

A similar, narrower version of the grid band adorns the lower portion of the barrel. This band is covered when the Sunset is posted and I find myself wondering how the plating will stand up to repeated postings.

Writing: With the deep blue resin, it was tough deciding on an ink. I ultimately chose Watermanís Florida Blue over Herbinís Eclat de Saphir.

The nib was as smooth and Ďtoothlessí as you expect from a fine Italian pen. The medium nib laid down a nice smooth line, a true medium. The Sunset accepts either cartridges or the enclosed standard convertor.

When posted, the extra metalwork shifts the balance away from the nib. I find a similar shift with many large pens and didn't find it uncomfortable or annoying.

Overview: Another similarity between Viscontiís Kaleido and Levengerís Stipula Sunset are their original MSRPs, $375 for the Kaleido and $380 for the Sunset. That is too steep a price for a bargain hunter like me. (Does anyone still pay retail?)

Levengerís discounted price of $109.95, discounted another 15% through the judicious use of a premium Mastercard, brought the cost down to $93.45. At that price, it is an excellent value for a large pen with Italian styling and performance and a welcome addition to my rotation. :D

John T.

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#2 ipse dixit

ipse dixit


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Posted 23 September 2006 - 03:50

Excellent review. I received my Levenger Sunset [Stipula does not appear anywhere on the pen] earlier this week along with the matching roller ball. They are striking pens.

I filled the pen with Levenger Cobalt Ink and found it to be a very nice writing pen. It maybe the smoothest medium nib I have on any of my pens.

Got the roller ball because I have been looking for a RB/BP to carry at work so I donít have to explain my policy on letting the uninitiated use my fountain pens. Thought I might be able to carry the roller ball as a compliment to my Sailor Lapis pen. The silver bright work is a to overpowering to carry with the more subtle Sailor.

However the two make a fine addition to my collection and the fountain pen is a pleasure to write with.
One ink to find them, One ink to bring them all One ink to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them..

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