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St Dupont Quality - What's Your Experience?


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Poll: Quality of ST Dupont Fountain Pens and Lighters (68 member(s) have cast votes)

What's your experienced opinion of ST Dupont quality? (choose as many as needed)

  1. The fountain pens are smooth, wet, reliable writers (54 votes [37.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 37.50%

  2. The fountain pens are a bit finicky - annoying (2 votes [1.39%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.39%

  3. The quality of construction is exceptional (50 votes [34.72%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 34.72%

  4. Dupont uses premium materials, but the construction quality is marginal (1 votes [0.69%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.69%

  5. The Dupont Line 2 Lighter works well and looks great - a legacy piece (4 votes [2.78%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.78%

  6. The Dupont Line 2 Lighter is just an average lighter made of expensive materials and overpriced (1 votes [0.69%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 0.69%

  7. The pens and lighters are overpriced trinkets of a dandy (8 votes [5.56%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.56%

  8. The pens and lighters are worth every franc - they'll last forever (24 votes [16.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

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#1 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:32

I'm considering my first ST Dupont fountain pen, and wanted feedback from Dupont users - fans and detractors.

The pen I'm considering is from Dupont's Olympio line. It's cartridge/converter like all Duponts. I think it uses the same nib as all Duponts, just engraved differently. Is the cap snap-on or a screw-on (I think it's snap-on)?

What's the writing experience like? Ultrasmooth, wet, and reliable? Dry and finicky?

What's the quality of construction? Clearly, ST Dupont uses premium materials - gold (yellow, white, and pink), palladium, urushi, alligator, crocodile, semiprecious and precious jewels - but what is the quality of the construction and assembly? Has anyone used one of these pens as a daily writer and developed an opinion of its sturdiness and longevity?

There is a Line 2 Lighter with a similar design to the pen I'm considering. Do our cigar smokers have an opinion on the ST Dupont Line 2 Lighter? I think these are single torch butane lighters, but I'm not certain.
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
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#2 camoandconcrete

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:43

I love my Olympio! I bought it in Paris and it is one of the placed lacquer models with palladium barrel. It is exceptional in every aspect. The nib is a gem, glass smooth, wet and with a touch of flex. It never hesitates or skips. I use it everyday as my daily writer and it never fails.
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#3 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 05:50

... The nib is a gem, glass smooth, wet and with a touch of flex. It never hesitates or skips. I use it everyday as my daily writer and it never fails.


Just the kind of experienced opinion I was hoping to find. Thanks Miami.
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#4 kaisede

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 06:43

Hi Ray,

I would not hesitate on getting a Dupont unless you don't like ultra smooth nib and heavy body.

The only complaint I have is the converter filler. Does not hold that much ink consider the nib is pretty wet.

I have two right now and they are my "to go" pens. A quick fill and ready to go to classes with them.

thanks,

Andy

#5 geoduc

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 06:50

I have a newer version Olympio XL (metal section) with a fine nib. It writes wonderfully; it is smooth and reliable, and the nib has never skipped or hesitated on me. The cap is a snap on with a very solid and satisfying 'click' as it locks into place. There's no fear that the cap will come off inadvertently. Fit and finish are impeccable.

The construction quality is excellent, although my pen had a loose section that had to be sent in for replacement immediately after purchase. I know of at least one other pen that had a similar issue, so perhaps Dupont had a bad batch of sections. In any event, the repair service was quick and easy. I had the pen back in my hands within two weeks of mailing it off and there have been no issues since.

There are a couple of things you should consider. The pen is heavy and I find that the metal section gets uncomfortable during long periods of writing. That's a preference rather than a flaw, though. I would just encourage you to try before you buy. It also takes a lot of flushing to clean the old ink out of my pen; probably twice as much as any of my other pens. No big deal if you're going to use the same ink and only need to clean the pen out occasionally, but it gets tedious if you're changing ink colors often.

Good luck with your decision. Overall, I think that Duponts are among the best pens made today.

#6 sirksael

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 07:45

I have a newer version Olympio XL (metal section) with a fine nib. It writes wonderfully; it is smooth and reliable, and the nib has never skipped or hesitated on me. The cap is a snap on with a very solid and satisfying 'click' as it locks into place. There's no fear that the cap will come off inadvertently. Fit and finish are impeccable.

The construction quality is excellent, although my pen had a loose section that had to be sent in for replacement immediately after purchase. I know of at least one other pen that had a similar issue, so perhaps Dupont had a bad batch of sections. In any event, the repair service was quick and easy. I had the pen back in my hands within two weeks of mailing it off and there have been no issues since.

There are a couple of things you should consider. The pen is heavy and I find that the metal section gets uncomfortable during long periods of writing. That's a preference rather than a flaw, though. I would just encourage you to try before you buy. It also takes a lot of flushing to clean the old ink out of my pen; probably twice as much as any of my other pens. No big deal if you're going to use the same ink and only need to clean the pen out occasionally, but it gets tedious if you're changing ink colors often.

Good luck with your decision. Overall, I think that Duponts are among the best pens made today.


My opinion is identical, I have the same pen but didn't have the loose section. My olympio XL was the first pen I bought as an adult, some years ago, it started my passion for fountain pens.
However, I must say that I find retail on ST Dupont a little steep. But for example on their own E-business site, you can find better prices.
Help? Why am I buying so many fountain pens?

#7 elderberry

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:10

I can only repeat what geoduc and others have said, the pens are of supreme quality and if you like heavy pens with smooth nibs they are definitely worth taking a look at. The only thing I don't like about them is their generous use of palladium-plated surfaces (I have to polish... polish... polish! :wacko:)

I can however most strongly recommend to stay away from their own web shop. I tried to make an order there once, they never sent me any confirmation, let alone the pen, but charged my credit card nevertheless. I spent what felt like years on the phone trying to put this right since e-mails were generally ignored. After I had found someone who spoke English (the shop is run by the French Dupont headquarter or something) the support was nice but equally fruitless. If I hadn't had my credit card company make a chargeback I wouldn't have my money back to this day.
So... support your local or trusted online dealer! :D
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#8 bugmd

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 09:54

Very high quality, excellent writers. I have a black with gold trim, palladium and a silver barley corn. Highly recommended. Nibs smooth as butta.


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#9 RemyF

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 10:09

I had two Olympio XL.

The construction quality is among the best I have seen so far.
The nib is very pleasant to write with.

But I finaly sold them because they were too heavy, and I didn't liked the metal section and because I changed my mind, I am now into small lightweight pens.

I think they are wonderful pieces of jewelry that are actually functional but maybe not your best friend to write with all day long.

#10 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:18

...The only thing I don't like about them is their generous use of palladium-plated surfaces (I have to polish... polish... polish!


Interesting. Palladium should not tarnish as quickly as sterling silver, but over time palladium develops the same dull appearance as platinum.

How do you polish? Do the pre-treated jewelers' silver cloths do the job?
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#11 elderberry

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 12:59

@Ray: Okay, maybe I've phrased this wrong. The material itself doesn't tarnish or something but it's so shiny that you will see every fingerprint or tiny flock of dust on it (and I will feel the obsession to keep it immaculate). ;-)
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#12 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 13:10

@Ray: Okay, maybe I've phrased this wrong. The material itself doesn't tarnish or something but it's so shiny that you will see every fingerprint or tiny flock of dust on it (and I will feel the obsession to keep it immaculate). ;-)



Ahh, understood. I like my pens pristine and shiny too. Obsession in the service of a worthy principal is no sin. (Burton's Fifth Rule)

Palladium is in the same chemical group as Rhodium, which is used to overplate sterling silver to prevent the need for polishing. Over many years, Palladium, like Platinum, loses its bright luster, but polishes up again nicely.
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#13 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 13:22

Such a wealth of informed and experienced replies. Thanks everyone - keep them coming.

I'm actually a fan of a heavy pen. Words should carry weight, and a heavy pen reminds me of my obligation to choose my words carefully.

I'm also a fan of metal sections on metal pens. Montblanc has an annoying habit of producing beautiful precious metal pens with black resin sections. That combination looks cheap to me - like a white car with black plastic side view mirrors and black plastic door handles.

Thanks again everyone - keep those comments coming.
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#14 camoandconcrete

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 15:16

...The only thing I don't like about them is their generous use of palladium-plated surfaces (I have to polish... polish... polish!


Interesting. Palladium should not tarnish as quickly as sterling silver, but over time palladium develops the same dull appearance as platinum.

How do you polish? Do the pre-treated jewelers' silver cloths do the job?


I have found that the finishes do dull slightly and show every finger print. I find that the non treated sides of the jewelers' silver cloths like the ones Montegrappa provides with their pens work great for shining the pens up.


What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#15 Ron Sabbagh

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 15:42

Hi Ray...

I hope you are well....

I own multiple Olympios. They are all wonderful.

I can say that out of all the brands I've owned the Duponts have been the most consistent excellent writers out of the box. In fact...I've never had to have a Dupont nib adjusted.

Their fit & finish is meticulous and I think you would enjoy an XL version of the olympio. They also make their own nibs...which are typically on the wet side & ultra smooth...There is a LOT of handwork that goes into making a Dupont pen....

Check out some of their Limited Editions...I am fond of their Medici (which I own) as well as others. Their Pharoah is also gorgeous!

I guess what's synonymous with the Dupont brand is the distinctive "feel" you get when capping/uncapping a Dupont olympio. Almost like winding a fine swiss watch....just a precise and smooth "feel" that no other pen has.

Given the pens you have in your wonderful collection I think an XL Olympio is a must. I think they are neglected here on FPN because they are C/C fillers...but don't let that stop you. They are among the finest pens I own....

I know you like your nibs on the B side.....I have to add that finding a Dupont B might be a bit of a challenge....but not impossible. Some of their older pens even had a factory stub!

Good luck!!
Ron

Edited by Ron Sabbagh, 23 March 2011 - 15:44.

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#16 jar

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 16:06

First, gotta ask...which pen and lighter combination are you looking at?

Here is a link to my review of a couple of my Ligne 2 lighters. I'm working on adding a section on the small Ligne 1 lighter but haven't gotten pictures done yet. The lighters are IMHO simply the finest Cigar, Pipe and Cigarette lighters made. Period. Today I'm using my extra large Vertigo pen and my Vertigo Ligne 2 lighter.

There are also quite a few reviews of the various Olympio/Orpheo pens up.

One of the things I imagine you will like is that ST Dupont tends to pay consummate attention to the most mundane features, even the inside of their pens is as well finished as the outside. The Olympio/Orpheo are all slide on caps, they self center during the last quarter inch or so of travel and snap closed with a distinctive click. Just capping the pen will give you an indication of how smoothly they write.

I have just about every nib size they offer and all are moderately wet, very tolerant of different inks, and very, very smooth. Even the extra fine nib was perfect right out of the box.

If you are a Cigar smoker, here is my review of the 2006 version of the Opus X. There are two other versions that were done for Fuente IIRC, 2004 and 2005, but the 2004 had no pens and the 2005 only a roller ball I believe.

I love the look of some of the jeweled models, for example the Medici but dislike the cabochons. They just seem to be in the wrong place when I hold either the pen or the lighter.

AbE: When ordering the lighter you can specify whether you want a large angle flame for a pipe, the normal multipurpose flame or a wide double flame for cigars.

Edited by jar, 23 March 2011 - 17:41.

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#17 humblescribbler

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 17:27

Proud owner of a med. O/O Charcoal squares (grey guilloche) a Midnight Blue palladium large, an XL Vertigo II (the diamond pattern), and a large O/O black w/ gold. I can only echo what jar and others have implied -- this is a class act.

Pick your style. All mine have the hinge clip, so it fits in case or any size/material shirt pocket. As noted, it's in the details. :thumbup:

Thanks,

Michael



#18 John Cullen

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 18:16

I have several and they are my favorites. I agree with what everyone else has said: heavy, expensive, very smooth nibs.

I would add a couple of personal observations;

I think the older script D nibs are a shade smoother and more tolerant of nib turning than the newer nibs. It may be my imagination, and I admit I have only written with two of the newer ones and five of the older ones.

Service from Dupont has been very good. I bought my first one several years ago. It was an XF and it was so-so but ok, so I figured that was the way Duponts wrote. I kept hearing how great they were and so I sent the pen in and told them I had owned it for almost a year but wondered if they would test it to see if it was as good as it could be. They sent me a new nib, no charge, and it was way way way better.

The nibs do run a bit on the wide and wet side, not horribly so but a bit. An XF or a F will certainly not be a spider web thin line. But, again, very smooth. The nibs are also firm and so not much bounce, but not quite the nail of a Waterman Edson or Parker Duofold.

I have tried both the XL and the L models, and I found the XL a bit smoother. Again, this may purely be chance at work given the small number of these pens that I have tried. None were bad, but again the XL Olympios seemed a little better. Probably just my imagination.

If I lost my Duofold or my MB 149 or my Bexley Americana or my Waterman Exception, I would be very sad. But if I lost my Dupont Olympio I would sincerely be upset!

It is the kind of pen that many people will really love. You have to test one to see if you would like it, but if you do you will probably be very very happy.

Good luck. They are expensive!

#19 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 19:18

My Dupont is superb, except for the steel 18 K nib.

I'd hoped for one of those once in a life time flea market buys. Great box, great counterfeit.

For $35 it sure looks pretty as a display on one of my double black inkwells.
I had thought it a counterfeit, and hoped against it.I could not believe a fake could be that good.

They can be.
Thanks to Jar's I found out it was a fake.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#20 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 20:49

My Dupont is superb, except for the steel 18 K nib...


Yikes!

Sorry to hear you were bitten by the ChiComs. They're everywhere.

I'm ordering through Bryant here on FPN - he's an authorized ST Dupont Dealer, so I'm not worried about a fake. (Who knew Bryant repped the French?!)
Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib






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