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Visconti Homo Sapiens


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54 replies to this topic

#1 professionaldilettante

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:11

This is my first shot at a review, so please excuse me if there's something wrong. I have not included pictures because this pen can be found all over FPN, well photographed at levels that I could never attain.

So here goes:

First Impressions:
I had purchased this pen, with high hopes that this would be a well made, durable pen that would last me a while. I really hope that, since it does cost at least $400. After sitting on the fence, and finally ordering it online, I was greeted with a rather dissapointing pen. The box held my hopes up high, but upon unboxing and close inspection, my heart dropped because there were several spots where quality is seemingly lacking:

The milled section on the pen that has the cap latching mechanism is rather rough. The machining marks are all still present, and there are still bits of material that has not been completely removed. Solution: I had to pick the bits out myself, leaving a cleaner catch mechanism. I would suppose that some of the bits would also wear off with use, so I suppose that is not too worrysome.

Second, the masking for the gold plating on the palladium nib was off, resulting in misaligned gold accents.
Posted Image Posted Image
This was unacceptable, so off my pen went on a 3 week trip to Coles of London, where they swapped my nib out for $25.

Also, the pen's name, one would think, would be displayed proudly on the pen. Mine was not however. When the nib unit was completely seated in the body, the engraved Homo Sapiens was on the opposite side compared to the top surface of the nib. You would think that a company would want to display that proudly as in all the HS stock photos online depict it as. Nope
When the pen came back from its repairs, I just found that the nib was not fully seated, and just left 1/2 a rotation unscrewed, putting the nib and pen in line with each other. What? That's not a solution. It's like trying to drive a too tall of a truck under a bridge, solving the solution by cutting the top of the truck off. That was very disappointing in how they handled it.

Also, while the Homo Sapiens on the band is engraved, it seems that Visconti decided not to do the same with its logo on the clip. It is just merely screen printed on, and inconsistently at that. The solid black print is marked by consistently varying bare spots. They look as if the printing screen was low on ink and missing "pixels". If Visconti wasn't proud of the Homo Sapiens name, they certainly aren't proud of their company name. I might just want to buff it off or use a solvent to wipe it away, if I ever decide to keep this pen just because it wasn't done in a way that I could see as being proud.

Nib: The nib is very wet. The wettest of my pens, it bleeds through my common printer paper with no problem. I thought it was because the feed was loaded, and it is, but even with fins emptied of ink, it still writes too wet. I am still contemplating having the pen sent to a nib meister to be adjusted.

Weight: This is a very heavy pen. Heavy is usually a good thing, especially when this is made of bronze and basaltic lava, but the ergonomics are off. With the pen posted, it feels too short. However, with the cap posted, the center of gravity shifts up towards the nonwriting end of the pen, just to the point where the metal band is on the plunger system. If the weight was in the same position on the opposite end, that would have been amazing. However, I am now divided between holding the pen outrageously high,(my thumb rests right at the metric center of the pen) or having the uncanny feeling that the pen is too short.

Conclusion:
Would I buy this pen again? Probably not. Would I buy another Visconti without seeing it in person? Probably not. I've only owned Pilots and Pelikans, but I can say that these two companies can be classified by precision and exactness. Visconti's HS seems to be lacking in this, but I would really like to see this pen grow on me. Maybe I am spoiled with pens that arrive on my door step looking like they do online, as perfect as they can be, without all of these issues.

Edited by professionaldilettante, 29 April 2011 - 03:13.

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#2 langere

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:17

Too bad you don't like your Homo Sapiens. I am overall very pleased with my pen, with the caveat that Visconti pens in general do not have a good balance, with the exception of the Van Gogh line (especially the Midi is great). The rest, especially the Opera line, to my mind do not have good balance.

Erick

Visconti Giardino dell'Eden "F" nib running J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre 

PENBBS 500 "F" nib running Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu

Platinum Tiger and Pine 3776 "F" nib running J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

 

 


#3 thebanker

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:19

Thank you for sharing your experience. I feel as disappointed as you have been.

Regards!

#4 akrishna59

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:46

truly unfortunate, i had seen your earlier post about the nib issues. i cant understand why you had to pay for that nib swap. anyway the pen is so distinct that even with the name on the underside most people will recognize it.

hopefully it will grow on you over a period of time, after all all fps become better as time passes. cheers.

rgds.

krishna.
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#5 jandrese

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 13:39

Thanks for sharing your experiences. These negatives are why I have not picked up the Homo Sapiens pen. I have seen, and written, with several different Homo Sapiens pens and they have all had different levels of fit and finish. Aside from the poor balance and the overly wet nib the inconsistent fit and finish is totally unacceptable. You have also confirmed what I have always heard, that Visconti's service is quite arrogant. I like my Van Gough, and generally enjoy my Wall Street (of course I tried ~10 at a Visconti show to find a good one) but I have turned down so many Visconti's over the years I can't remember them all. At least the Homo Sapiens does not have a slippery metal grip section.

#6 steve6245

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 17:19

I totally agree with your experience with your HS. I have sent mine off to have the ink sweating problem fixed twice now and each time it comes back I have to same problem. The last time it came back it seemed like someone at the factory buffed out the bronze pieces to make it look nicer, well they also buffed off most of the "Visconti" on the clip. I am very dissapointed in their company especially for a pen that costs so much. I wish I could just return it and get my money back to invest in something different.

#7 Brian

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 17:26

Thanks for this very informative review. I've had similar experiences with the lack of quality control, however, not just with Visconti, but with Italian pens in general which is a little hard to take because the pens themselves are beautiful. Having said this the concept for Homo Sapiens looks very good and your experience really reinforces the difference between buying on-line vs. buying at a bricks and mortar shop.

#8 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 00:11

Thanks for your honesty, I'm sure the whole thing has been painful.
"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#9 JefferyS

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:00

I'm blessed in that I've been very pleased with both of my Homo sapiens pens. Both were purchased from the same vendor, and one of them doesn't have the name on the band lined up with the top of the pen. I'm not certain that it is supposed to, or should be (there is a subtle difference there). For me, it allows me to quickly identify which pen I have (the medium has the name lined up, the fine doesn't). At the price they are asking, they should have more attention to detail on the other issues you state. That can be the difference between a good company and a truly great company, that attention to detail
Jeffery
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#10 Namo

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:17

Very informative - I am very happy I had the chance to try the pen before NOT buying it. I think the pen is poorly designed, or designed to look pretty instead to be a writer.

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#11 JefferyS

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 01:27

Very informative - I am very happy I had the chance to try the pen before NOT buying it. I think the pen is poorly designed, or designed to look pretty instead to be a writer.


[MUST.....CONTROL......TEMPER........] Posted Image

Now I know what those MB lovers are always feeling on this forum ........



Jeffery
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#12 langere

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:31

I don't think it's that bad. It's a great and unique pen. Not everyone will like it, but I do think it's worth the price.

Erick

Visconti Giardino dell'Eden "F" nib running J. Herbin 1670 Caroube de Chypre 

PENBBS 500 "F" nib running Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu

Platinum Tiger and Pine 3776 "F" nib running J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage

 

 


#13 JefferyS

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:40

<br />I don't think it's that bad.  It's a great and unique pen.  Not everyone will like it, but I do think it's worth the price.<br /><br />Erick<br />

<br /><br /><br />

Hear hear!

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#14 Namo

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 05:05

Very informative - I am very happy I had the chance to try the pen before NOT buying it. I think the pen is poorly designed, or designed to look pretty instead to be a writer.


[MUST.....CONTROL......TEMPER........] Posted Image

Now I know what those MB lovers are always feeling on this forum ........




I am sorry, this was maybe a bit harsh. Let me explain: the pen looks stunning, and feel great. The material is unique and the nib, as far as I can tell, is a real dream. But. But the ring and the screw are awfull. If you don't hold your pen right on the section, which is not very big, it is impossible to write with the pen. I can't understand why a pen designer would design a pen with that kind of limitation.

I must confess I have mixed feelings about Viscontis: I do find them very attractive, very attractive, but I can't help noticing they are not "writer" oriented.

So once again, my apologies, but I think you get the meaning.

Edited by Namo, 30 April 2011 - 05:07.

amonjak.com

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#15 mbradley

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 07:32

The nibs don't look like they came from the same manufacturer. The medium nib looks like the genuine article ??? The EF looks completely wrong to me.

#16 JefferyS

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 13:23




Very informative - I am very happy I had the chance to try the pen before NOT buying it. I think the pen is poorly designed, or designed to look pretty instead to be a writer.



[MUST.....CONTROL......TEMPER........]

Now I know what those MB lovers are always feeling on this forum ........





I am sorry, this was maybe a bit harsh. Let me explain: the pen looks stunning, and feel great. The material is unique and the nib, as far as I can tell, is a real dream. But. But the ring and the screw are awfull. If you don't hold your pen right on the section, which is not very big, it is impossible to write with the pen. I can't understand why a pen designer would design a pen with that kind of limitation.

I must confess I have mixed feelings about Viscontis: I do find them very attractive, very attractive, but I can't help noticing they are not &quot;writer&quot; oriented.

So once again, my apologies, but I think you get the meaning.






No offense taken. Tongue in cheek. But this did come to mind for an instant.........

Posted Image

Edited by Jeffery Smith, 30 April 2011 - 13:51.

Jeffery
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#17 rogerico

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 13:54

Some months ago, when I went to purchase what I call my definitive fountain pen, the best writer, I had in mind two Visconti pens with a palladium nib: Divina Desert Springs and Homo Sapiens. The first one was stunning in the shop window, but in my hand I found it poorly and inaccurately built. Then I took the Homo Sapiens FP: I liked its weight and size but It didn't seem to me to much nice and I saw several imperfections all over the pen. As the seller saw me indecisive, he tried to be clear and direct: Visconti was not the best option; it's all about design, but these pens are not made just to be good writers. He added that this pen made of lava often stains due to the sweat.

I decided to follow his recommendation and I turned my attention to a Sailor FP. Finally I bought a King of Pens, and I still think this is the best pen I could have bought and, maybe, the best pen I'll ever have.

Your words confirm that I acted wisely. Thanks for your testimony.
Roger

#18 greencobra

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 14:25

I'm sorry your pen is not up to the Visconti standard. You cannot return it or have it exchanged for another? It is not a cheap pen and Visconti or the vendor should make it right for you hopefully.

I bought the HS with a 1.3 stub. There were several posts here saying the feed could not keep up with the nib on the stubs but I bought anyway. And mine did have flow problems. I contacted my vendor, we sent it for warranty service, pen was gone about a week, and it came back perfect. Pretty much all my desk pens are put away and the HS is my primary go to pen. Not to aggravate you but this is one great pen. The nib, weight, and the look.

Everything looks right on my pen but the trim ring that says Homo Sapiens is on the back side of the pen. Meaning when I write the lettering is on the underside. This is no big deal and doesn't bother me. I can remove the nib and remount it later a 1/2 turn. It's got a stealh look to it now but for sure the best writing stub I have.
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#19 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 14:32

Tried one with a f, m and ef nib, all were disappointments. It didn't glide and didn't offer flex on paper unlike my 149s, my 146s, my m1000s, my omas or my stips. Plus the problem that the section could be damaged by inks was also another reason why I have not bought the pen.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#20 Namo

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 14:48

<br />

<br />

<br />Very informative - I am very happy I had the chance to try the pen before NOT buying it. I think the pen is poorly designed, or designed to look pretty instead to be a writer.<br />

<br /><br />[MUST.....CONTROL......TEMPER........] <img src="http://www.fountainp...efault/mad.gif" /> <br /><br />Now I know what those MB lovers are always feeling on this forum ........<br /><br /><br /><br />

<br /><br />I am sorry, this was maybe a bit harsh. Let me explain: the pen looks stunning, and feel great. The material is unique and the nib, as far as I can tell, is a real dream. But. But the ring and the screw are awfull. If you don't hold your pen right on the section, which is not very big, it is impossible to write with the pen. I can't understand why a pen designer would design a pen with that kind of limitation.<br /><br />I must confess I have mixed feelings about Viscontis: I do find them very attractive, very attractive, but I can't help noticing they are not &quot;writer&quot; oriented. <br /><br />So once again, my apologies, but I think you get the meaning.<br />

<br /><br /><br />

No offense taken. Tongue in cheek. But this did come to mind for an instant.........

Posted Image


You'll have to catch me first...:ninja:

amonjak.com

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