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Visconti Homo Sapiens With Ef Nib


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29 replies to this topic

#1 xuan87

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 07:20

I apologize for the poor photo quality but you can get much better photos elsewhere. My photos pertain more to what i wanted to show through my review.

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INTRODUCTION When this pen was first announced, I didnít take much notice because the price tag ($595) was way out of my budget and I couldnít see why I should pay so much just for a pen made from lava basalt rocks. Just a few months ago, I just happened to come across a thread on this pen and I saw that the nib is actually made of 23K Palladium! So after taking a closer look at the specs, I realized that if I can get this pen a little cheaper, Iím definitely buying it.
Appearance & Design (10/10) Ė The pen body is made from basaltic lava from the Etna Volcano. Itís supposedly unbreakable, flameproof and hygroscopic but I have no desire to test them out. Itís a dark matte gun metal gray with small white dots. . The pen may be made from rocks but for some reason, it feels like hard rubber to my hands. It comes with a bronze trim instead of the usual silver or gold trim. And to clarify, the trimmings are made from SOLID bronze From what Iíve seen, the bronze is supposed to tarnish over time to give a nice matt look but this hasnít happened to my pen yet. More on this to come.

The top of the pen has Viscontiís My Pen system incorporated and I have my initials YX put in it. Thereís a huge variety of tops you can change to and I feel that this is a nice touch.

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The clip is spring loaded and has a nice resistance. However, the bottom of the clip is flushed flat against the cap so you need to use a finger to lift the clip before clipping on the pen.

Visconti designed this pen with the Human civilization theme in mind (hence the bronze trim) and I have to say that they succeeded somewhat.

The pen has a twist cap but itís not your normal twist cap. It has a cleverly designed thread that only requires a quarter of a turn to uncap the pen. For someone like me who frequently cap and uncap my pens to prevent the nib from drying out, this is a godsend.

1. Construction & Quality (9.5/10) Ė I have nothing bad to say about the quality and workmanship except for one small detail: One corner of the black background of the Visconti words on the clip is not colored in properly. This is only visible on very close inspection ( not sure if my camera can convey that properly ) but if I have to pay more than $300 for a pen, it better be perfect!

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2. Weight & Dimensions (9.5/10) Ė This is a pretty big pen and since itís made from rocks, you can expect it to be heavy. Add to the fact that it can hold a lot of ink, this pen is pretty heavy when fully filled with ink. However, the pen is well-balanced so it felt more like a hefty pen rather than a heavy and unwieldy pen. It canít be written posted as the cap itself is pretty heavy. However, I donít post my pens at all so this doesnít affect me.

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3. Nib & Performance (19/20) Ė The nib is the main reason why I got this pen. 23K Palladium, Visconti called it Dreamtouch, because the nib is supposed to write with almost no pressure. After trying it out, I can say that this is true. The Palladium material is also supposed to provide a bit of flex but to be honest, Iíve used more gold nibs that have more flex. However, this nib has a springy feel to it that I look for in the perfect nib. The nib has a small amount of feedback too which I love because it helps to control my handwriting.

The nib comes in the usual Fine, Medium and Broad, along with the less common Extra Fine as well as a 1.3mm Stub. Iím a huge fan of italic nibs and when italic nibs arenít available, I will get a Fine nib. In this case, I read that the HS nib runs abit wide and is a wet writer so I bought the EF nib instead. I will say that the nib writes half a size wider, and if written on absorbent paper, the nib will write a full size wider. A point is taken off for the inaccurate size.
The nib looks gorgeous with the characteristic Visconti design and the crescent moon shaped vent hole. Three lines of texts are engraved at the bottom of the nib: 23k Pd 950, Firenze, EF, letting everyone knows that this is an EF nib made out of 95% Palladium. The nib is huge too, abit too long for the pen but to me, bigger is always better! The only qualm that I have is that Visconti should change the tones on the nib to differentiate the Palladium nib from the other gold nibs. Maybe instead of gold and silver, how about bronze and ruthenium to go with the black body and bronze trim on the pen body?

4. Filling System & Maintenance (9/10) Ė The pen is a power-filler, or a vacuum-filler as I prefer to call it. For those who have filled a power filler before, youíll know that you wonít have a perfect fill on the 1st fill, probably about 30% to 50%. My other vacuum filler is a smoke-colored Pilot Custom 823 which is semi-transparent. Iíll need 2 or more fills to get about 80% to 90% fill. However, the basaltic rock pen body, despite its many wondrous properties, isnít transparent so thereís no way to tell how filled the pen is. Just to be on the safe side, I do a couple of fillings to ensure that the pen is as filled as it possibly can. If youíre really anal about this, filling with a Visconti travelling inkwell might help.

5. Cost & Value (9/10) Ė The MSRP for this pen is $595 or you can get it from Italy for about $420 shipped. I bought this from italianpen on ebay where I won it in an auction for only $350. Thatís almost 50% of the original price. To be honest, I have cheaper pens that perform just as well as this pen and cost less ( for example, my Pelikan M600 which comes closest), but this pen is unique in its own way. Where else are you going to find a pen made from lava basaltic rocks, or comes with solid bronze trimmings or fitted with a Palladium nib?

6. Conclusion (Final score, 66/70) Ė This pen is the most expensive pen in my entire collection but I feel that I paid a fair price for it. Itís a pen that can last long enough to be a heirloom and unique enough to be one too. I honestly cannot find any major flaw with one ( well the only one being no transparent window to view, but that will detract from the design of the pen ). If you ever come across the chance to try out the pen, please write a few lines with it to feel for yourself how extraordinary the Palladium nib is.
Please check out my blogshop for fountain pens and inks at http://inkoholicanonymous.blogspot.com/ Reviews of my pens can be found there too!

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#2 Sidestreaker

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 09:24

Thank you for the nice review, Xuan. Seems like the Palladium nib has proven itself again. I've been eying on mostly because of the nib. Perhaps one day.
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#3 elderberry

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 10:05

Nice review! Makes the waiting until mine is back from repair (it had ink flow issues) even less bearable. *sign* And it had that beautiful stub nib. :cloud9:
Read more about me, my pens, photography & so on my little blog

#4 whichwatch

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 14:41

Great review! I enjoyed it.

#5 Claver

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 15:52

Excellent review!
Enough of this chocolaty goodness, we've got work to do.

#6 pen2paper

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 16:05

Very good review Xuan.
Glad to see you found the pen at a reasonable price too.
I'll admit, at first glance thought HS in lava was Pendom's gimicky sales stretch of the new year.
..Then I held the pen - interesting feel, Not too heavy, though the lava has a substantial feel, Not too heavy, (for me Carene Is), This pen has great balance for its size.
Honestly, I'm not sure what nib material I testdrove, but that nib was among the best I testdriven to date.
Were this pen within my price range, and dicipline, I'm sold.

Ps.. regarding the issue on your clip, Is this a part of the patinization the bronze is expected to achieve?
If not, since this pen must still be within warranty time period, you might discuss this with Visconti Reps servicing your locale.



emoticon-animal-007.gif~Hi! fountain pen enthusiast here~


#7 xuan87

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 16:57

Very good review Xuan.
Glad to see you found the pen at a reasonable price too.
I'll admit, at first glance thought HS in lava was Pendom's gimicky sales stretch of the new year.
..Then I held the pen - interesting feel, Not too heavy, though the lava has a substantial feel, Not too heavy, (for me Carene Is), This pen has great balance for its size.
Honestly, I'm not sure what nib material I testdrove, but that nib was among the best I testdriven to date.
Were this pen within my price range, and dicipline, I'm sold.

Ps.. regarding the issue on your clip, Is this a part of the patinization the bronze is expected to achieve?
If not, since this pen must still be within warranty time period, you might discuss this with Visconti Reps servicing your locale.


As for the issue on the clip, no, its not part of the patinization of the bronze. if you look at the right side of the black coloring you'll notice that it's rounded while on the left side, it's flat whereas it's supposed to be rounded too. it's a very small issue that i felt do not warrant returning the pen. instead i feel that it gives my pen a certain kind of character, if it makes any sense.
Please check out my blogshop for fountain pens and inks at http://inkoholicanonymous.blogspot.com/ Reviews of my pens can be found there too!

#8 canucklehaed

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 00:52

Outstanding review. I have the same pen but with an F nib. As with you, it's my most expensive pen but also my favourite. Enjoy!!

#9 saltypete

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:02

Thanks for an excellent review. The HS is a wonderful pen, I love mine dearly.

Pete
My Pens: Visconti Homo Sapiens M, Pelikan M800 F, Sailor 1911 Realo B, Lamy 2000 M,Conway Stewart 28 M,1946 Parker Duofold M,Waterman Carene F, Waterman Expert F, Parker IM F
My Inks: Iroshizuku Tsuki Yo, Iroshizuku Ku Jaku, Iroshizuku Shin Ryoku, Iroshizuku Tsyu Kusa, Visconti Blue, Stipula Calamo, Pelikan Black

#10 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 00:02

Great review!

I just bought one with 1.3mm stub nib. I'm a Pelikan guy, but I'm in love with this pen. My first Visconti!
I also love the solid bronze trim, the hygroscopic lava body (scratch free!), the solid almost pure Pd nib and the power filler. :cloud9:

Awesome pen!!

#11 piscator

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:06

Xuan, I also have a Homo Sapiens with the EF nib. It is my first Visconti and I am quite pleased. I did not expect the lava to have the texture it does but I consider it a huge plus. It is quickly becoming my favorite pen - and probably will be all the way up until my next purchase. Posted Image

#12 Rubicon

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:17

I'm lusting after this pen. Its the next pen I'm going to get, the first chance I get. It's got everything: great writer, rugged, simple but elegant design... volcanic rock... Holy (bleep).

#13 xuan87

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 19:05

i won't exactly say that the design is simple haha.
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#14 gregamckinney

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 22:51

Have the "bleeding" (for lack of a better term) problems with these pens been sorted out?
If not, is there an accepted way to keep the ink from seeping through the barrel material?

Regards, greg
Don't feel bad. I'm old; I'm meh about most things.

#15 Ghost Plane

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 23:58

It has. Simply ship the pen in to Visconti and they fix it. Or there's a do it yourself discussed elsewhere in the Italian Pen forum.

#16 Miranda

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 00:40

Great review, Xuan, thanks.

Gets more tempting by the minute. But I'm already up to May's pen budget!
Warm Regards, Miranda


#17 michelim

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:47

Thanks for the review !!
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#18 xuan87

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 16:04

Great review, Xuan, thanks.

Gets more tempting by the minute. But I'm already up to May's pen budget!


Use up June's budget. I'm already up to Aug :headsmack:
Please check out my blogshop for fountain pens and inks at http://inkoholicanonymous.blogspot.com/ Reviews of my pens can be found there too!

#19 drgoretex

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 19:08

Great review. I have to admit, I have been eyeing these pens 'suspiciously' for some time. Love the look, but keep hearing of 'problems with the Homo Sapiens' (pen, that is). You're making me want to save a few $$ aside for one of these beauties...

One question: I don't quite get the Palladium nib thing. 23k, but palladium? Is the nib made entirely of palladium, or just the tipping? If the whole nib, is '23k' being used as a descriptor of the palladium alloy, as it is with gold?

Thanks

Ken

#20 alvarez57

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 22:34

The nib is huge too, abit too long for the pen but to me, bigger is always better!



And I find it rather small for the design of the pen!.
I joined the club and I like how it feels AND the nib! I know you're enjoying it.

sonia alvarez

 

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