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Chatterley Delta Marmo Venato


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#1 AltecGreen

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:10

The seasons change and the late summer 2010 limited edition offering from Chatterley pens is the Delta Marmo Venato. This pen is the second pen produced in partnership between Chatterley Pens and Delta, the first being the Stantuffo Meraviglia Turchese piston filler. The Turchese was the spring 2010 offering. I think Bryant needs a pen of the month club for his LE pens. This pen started as a discussion in the Italian forum about a new LE pen in celluloid first from Montegrappa, then Omas. Neither of the two companies seemed flexible in what they were willing to do. So Delta comes to the rescue. As a company that is not that well known for making celluloid pens (most are LEs), Delta seem to have a fairly broad selection of celluloid stock to work with. So the Marmo Venato is the result.

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1. Appearance and Design


The Delta Marmo Venato (Marmo from now on) is based on the body style of the Delta Peace LE pen and made from the same marble green celluloid as used the Montegrappa Extra 1930. This pen like the 1KS version of the Peace pen comes as a lever filler. The overall design of the Marmo is classic Italian and evokes the style of 1930's Italian pens. The pen has a single ornate cap band, the same style as the Turchese, with two thin trim rings on the cap and at the end of the barrel. The clip is Delta's roller clip, another Italian staple. The cap has a subtle curve that seems to be a Delta trademark since it can be found on many of their pens.

The size of the Marmo is modern and belies the classic styling. The pen is slightly shorter and a tad narrower than the Turchese which is based on Delta's Dolve Vita piston filler. The Marmo is comparable in size to a MB 146 or Pelikan M800. Compared to senior sized Italian pen from the 1930's, the Marmo is a wider pen and more in line with current fashion. The celluloid is slightly translucent and one can 'see' though the barrel under a strong light. Delta used two pieces of brass near the section and at the end cap, and one see the outlines in good light. Delta uses a silicone sac in this pen so the sac does not create shadow. I believe Delta uses silicone sacs on all of their sacced pens.

The cap is heavier than one would expect since celluloid is generally pretty light. The walls of the cap is thick to allow for the subtle curve in the profile. There is also a thin metal cylinder that lines the cap. The end result is a fairly substantial but heavy cap. The Marmo can post but the weight of the cap makes the balance kind of off when posted. The unposted pen is quite balanced and easy to use. The length is sufficient for comfortable unposted use.

From a distance, this pen looks like one of the many beautiful Italian pens from the golden age of celluloid. The green marble celluloid is a pattern that one can find on many vintage pens. This is different than the Turchese which has a classic pattern but the bright blue is all modern. The lever filler reinforces the retro look. An interesting comparison would be the Marmo and the Montegrappa Extra 1930 in the same material. The profile of both pens gives each a different effect. I find the Marmo shape to be closer to a vintage pen. The one big difference between the two is that the Marmo has a celluloid section while the Montegrappa has a metal section which is a modern design element.


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2 Weight and Dimensions

The Marmo is 136 mm long capped, 127 mm from nib to end of barrel, and 155 mm posted. The barrel is 15 mm wide at the widest point on the barrel. The widest point on the cap is 17 mm. The pen is wide but not as wide as the Turchese or Visconti Ripple. This pen is not a light but not overly heavy. It is lighter than the Turchese and similar to pens like a Tibaldi Impero but heaver than an old style Omas Paragon.



3. Construction and Quality

The fit and finish is first rate. The cap band is hallmarked. The trim rings fit tightly and smoothly with no sharp corners. The lever mechanism has a metal box and the edition year is stamped on the lever. The pen imprint is sharp and crisp but fairly discreet. The polish on the celluloid is very good. The fit and finish seems a bit better than on the Turchese. One thing I will say about modern pens is that the fit and finish can be heads and shoulders above even first tier vintage pens.

4. Nib and Performance

My Marmo Venato came with an EF nib. Like my other 5 Deltas, this one was perfect out of the box. (YMMV). The nib is smooth and wet. The EF is a western EF and simialr to a OMAS EF. The nib itself is 18k and has a slight give but there is no mistaking this for flex. The nib reminds me of a Sailor nib in that it is smooth but perhaps lacking in character. The flip side of this is that pen makes a perfect everyday workhorse. I've used this pen for about a week and it works reliably without any hassles.

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5. Filling and Maintenance


The lever filler works as expected. Lever fillers have been used like since forever. Nothing unexpected here. The action works fine without any problems. It is not the smoothest but not the worse. There is no problem with the silicone sac in filling and the silicone should prevent ambering of the celluloid if you wait oh say 50 years. One thing about lever fillers is that they are easy to fix if anything goes wrong.


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6. Cost and Value

This is a modern self-filling celluloid pen and the price for this pen is well in line for a comparable modern Italian celluloid pen. Considering a vintage first tier lever filler from the 1930's can be well over $1k, this pen's price is not unreasonable. This pen really does pay hommage to the Italian pens of the 1930's. Of modern Italian pens, the Marmo as well as the 90's Tibaldis and the two Nettuno pens in the mid 90's really honor the look of vintage Italian pens.

Edited by AltecGreen, 23 August 2010 - 06:02.

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#2 MidnightBlue

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:38

For my money, and if I liked the colour of this material, I would get an Extra..this has many similarities apart from the filling mehanisms which I don't get neurotic about. Thanks

#3 PatientType

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:42

An impressive pen and a nicely written review. It's interesting that in this instance the user's themselves became designers. Not just ordering an existing model in a unique color but marrying characteristics, materials and colors from various inspirations.

(BTW, on my pc the first two photos aren't displaying.)

I was slow to warm to the Italian pens but I'm afraid that I've also caught the bug to some extent. The Italian pens don't seem regal like the Conway Stewarts but they have a romantic excess that is appealing. They seem to offer warm bright colors, innovative styling, and the better models come heavy with silver trim.

#4 AltecGreen

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:00

For my money, and if I liked the colour of this material, I would get an Extra..this has many similarities apart from the filling mehanisms which I don't get neurotic about. Thanks



This pen might have been a Montegrappa had they not been so difficult to work with.

In my opinion, the Montegrappa Extra has two key weaknesses. (I own one). I might die of old age before I can get the cap unscrewed from the barrel and the sterling section kills the look of the celluloid.

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#5 Brian

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:35

Nice review Altec with great photos. Looks like a very nice pen. One small design element changes how this pen looks quite a bit. On many Deltas the clip is straight. On this one its very slightly curved making it flow much more into the overall classic flat top design. Beautiful vintage looks and great filler system.

#6 jandrese

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 13:36

Nice review, thanks. I'm drooling.

#7 ethernautrix

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 19:01

I'm not particularly fond of this kind of finish, the marbelized or veiny design, but this pen is sublimely beautiful. The pen is beautiful to look at, feels beautiful in the hand, and that perfect Delta nib! If I weren't transfixed by my Nakaya greed, I would be very, very tempted to own this pen. (Own and use, of course.)

Thanks for the thorough review, Ricky!

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#8 reprieve

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 15:02

Great review! I agree with everything you've said about this lovely pen. Mine has seen use every single day for about two weeks now. It has become one of my go-to daily users--a beautiful and reliable workhorse.






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