Appearance & Design - 10/10
The first impression of this pen when I pulled it out of the box was "wow!". It is a seriously stunning pen. I'm definitely a fan of demonstrators, but this one is in a league of it's own. The silver, when shined, almost glows, and makes the contrast with the semi-visible clear barrel that much more beautiful. The silver overlay on the clear barrel allows you to see the ink slosh around inside, but it also veils it slightly, making the demonstrator aspect of this pen appealingly subtler than, for example, my Pilot Custom 823. Also, those who don't like metal grip sections, be warned - this pen has a silver grip.
Construction & Quality - 10/10
There is nothing bad to say about the construction and quality of this pen. It is solid, no visible seams, nothing out of sorts. Flawless.
Weight & Dimensions - 9/10 This pen is the same size as other Visconti Ripples, which to my mind, is large. It is about 1/2" longer than a TWSBI when capped, and is clearly larger in terms of girth. I only took a mark off in this category because the Ripple is HEAVY, and personally, I don't adore heavy pens. Having said that, when writing with this pen unposted, the balance is so well done that it isn't a struggle to use. In my estimation, writing with this pen posted really throws off the balance. People who are used to writing with something larger than m600 Pelikans will probably have no problems at all with this pen.
Nib & Performance - 10/10
This is Visconti's palladium, "dream-touch" nib, and it is amazing. It's smooth as silk, like writing with one of the ribbons that I used to put in my hair when I was younger - soft, smooth, and silky all at once.
Because I got this pen on the secondhand market, I only had two choices for nib - broad and fine. I went with broad, since the medium on my LE Wall Street was about as small as I'd like to go. Now that I've tried the broad, I'm not sure how I'm adjusting to it. I find that the writing angle works best being more vertical than I tend to write, and it's a bit wider than I'd like also. I suspect I'll take it to the DC Pen Show and have a nibmeister grind it down just a tiny smidgen, and also work with me on the required writing angle. Having said that, these are just my personal preferences, and the nib itself is perfect and work perfectly.
Tsuki-yo and MB Gandhi:
Line width close up:
Filling System & Maintenance - 9/10
I am a fan of vac/plunger/piston fillers or all types. This pen work just like my Pilot Custom 823, with the shut off valve and everything. I like this system a lot and find it a pleasure to fiddle with. However, it can be a pain to get the pen entirely clean and will require a lot of pumping, so people who do not appreciate the care and maintenance aspect of fountain pen ownership might considering sticking to using the same coloured ink inside it all the time.
I took one point off because it is difficult to let this pen dry out completely, so there always seems to be droplets of water in the barrel. This can be a problem with the Custom 823 also, but the nib on the 823 pulls right out, facilitating complete air drying. Not so with the Visconti, where a special tool (that I don't have) is required to remove the nib.
Cost & Value - 10/10
I ended up paying more for this pen second hand than I would have new. That irks me a tad because it came with some purple staining in the clear threads under the ink window that I can't get out (which can be seen in the below picture if you enlarge it).
I have asked Bryant to keep an eye out for one without staining, but I doubt I'll see another one on the secondary market. And having said that, I'm still glad I bought this pen. I use it all the time and very much enjoy it.
Conclusion (Final score, 58/60)
I pretty much adore this pen. This is the pen that gets the most comments, and even today in the elevator someone who didn't know anything about fountain pens saw it in my hand and said, "WOW! Now *that's* a pen!" and even whistled appreciatively. I personally don't care what people think of me or my pens, but the sheer joy that comes with writing from this pen makes the pen worth it. I use it extremely frequently, and I don't regret buying it at all. Even if I can never end up selling the gold/ivory one.
Edited by simonerodrigue, 16 June 2011 - 22:07.