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Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel Age


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Braindrain

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:28

Ok, I decided to get a less flashy and more stealth pen. My Omas Bologna and Montegrappa Extra 1930 are great pens but can be a little flashy for some of the fairly conservative meetings I'm usually attending. I do have a MB and, while the colours don't pop, it makes a statement that I don't really want.

Having spent quite a bit of time looking around and getting side-tracked by almost purchasing the Delta Gallery, I decided to re-focus my efforts. I wanted an Italian pen and was looking at the Aurora Ipsilon and Tu. Hmm... while nice pens, it just didn't pique my interest. I finally landed on the Visconti Homo Sapiens. Personally, I didn't like the bronze accents of the original (personal preference) so thought the Steel Age was something that was adequately stealth while exuding an aura of a "quality pen". And, with a great conversation factoid about the cap and barrel being made "out of the lava from Mt Etna", how could I say no?

Personally, I really just buy rollerballs. I use all of my pens and work pretty much demands it to be a ballpoint or rollerball.

First impressions - This came in the standard Visconti pleather brown case with white pleather inside. It wasn't as distinctive as my other pen boxes but it did the job.

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Appearance and design - 8.5/10 - This is a solidly built pen. The body is black with little white bits. The white bits aren't noticeable unless you hold it close but gives the pen a grayish colour rather than a solid black colour. The design is fairly straightforward with the ends being fairly flat. I'm not sure what this is called but like this design more than the rounded ends. The steel accents are a nice counterpoint to the dark body. The reason for not giving a higher score is the clip. The clip is the standard spring loaded design but isn't really easy to just clip on your shirt pocket. I've got to pull it out a bit as I hang it on the pocket or else it won't work properly. A bit of a let-down. The way the cap screws on the body is really great. A spring loaded design in the cap added with a partial twist on the body secures the cap. It makes it very easy to get the cap off but I still have confidence it won't come off accidentally. Lastly, it uses the standard Schmidt 888 rollerball refills - which is a huge plus.

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Construction and quality - 10/10 - The body is made of a rubber compound and the lava (ash?) from Mt Etna. This makes a really distinctive matte look without seeming cheap. As others have mentioned, the barrel feels "warm" and being hygroscopic, there are no marks leftover even if your fingers aren't clean. Visconti claims the body is unbreakable but I don't want to give that a try. I will say that it feels solid. Really solid.

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Weight and dimensions - 8.5/10 - The dimensions are a standard 145 mm long capped. The body is 130 mm long and the cap is 60 mm. It's also not a light pen weighing in at 40 g. I took off a point and a half because the pen didn't feel balanced posted. Rather, it felt top-heavy.


Nib and performance - n/a - Since it's not a FP, I can't comment on this.


Filling System and Maintenance - n/a - Again, not a FP.


Cost and value - 9/10 - This isn't a cheap rollerball at MSRP. In fact, at MSRP, I probably wouldn't buy it. However, I got it for a great price from Bry. At this reduced price, the cost/value ratio went up. Way up. It's not a perfect 10 because, well, I always want a better deal. However, 9/10 is still a great score.


Conclusion (Final score - 5.5/6) - Overall, I really like this pen. I've been using it for a few days and it feels like a solid pen with good balance (as long as the cap is off). The cap mechanism is one of the best and it really is a pleasure to use. I showed it to my EA and asked her what she thought. Since she knew nothing about pens, she said it looks like a normal pen but "different". Different in the sense that it didn't look cheap but wasn't flashy. Bingo! That's exactly what I was looking for and thus the really high final score.

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#2 Miadhawk

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 08:16

Nice review, but I have to ask, if you don't mind, what makes you have to use a rollerball or ballpoint at work? Are fountain pens too much work? Nothing wrong with your choice of course, to each his own. :thumbup:
The little things really count.

#3 breaker

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:30

nice review and pics!
thanks!
Cogito ergo sum

#4 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:23

Very nice good looking pen.I generaly don't like rubber pens but this one seems good.Congratulations
A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#5 Braindrain

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 14:38

Nice review, but I have to ask, if you don't mind, what makes you have to use a rollerball or ballpoint at work? Are fountain pens too much work? Nothing wrong with your choice of course, to each his own. :thumbup:


Like many workplaces, I do the vast majority of my work on a computer. The only times where I do use my pens are for taking notes at meetings or for signing (a lot) of forms. For the latter, waiting for the ink to dry before signing the next document gets really cumbersome and impractical, especially when I insist my EA be beside me explaining what each document is for.


nice review and pics!
thanks!



Very nice good looking pen.I generaly don't like rubber pens but this one seems good.Congratulations



Thanks guys. I never thought of a "rubber" pen before but the feel of the pen is quite unique.

#6 Filipson

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 16:19

I'm thinking about getting one. I saw some review complain about the fit of the refills and the pen shaft. Have you had any problems with fit of refills? It uses standard Schmidt 5888?


Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava (F), Visconti Crystal Demonstrator (F), Visconti Metropolis Gun Metal (M), MB PoA Ludovico Sforza (F), Lamy 2K (XF), Pelikan M205 (M).


#7 Parispens

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 00:23

Nice review, but a rollerball? Really? Isn't this the FOUNTAIN PEN network? Get with the program.



#8 mirosc

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 06:52

Nice review, but a rollerball? Really? Isn't this the FOUNTAIN PEN network? Get with the program.

a broad view and a wide horizon is always good in life.

 

Thanks guys. I never thought of a "rubber" pen before but the feel of the pen is quite unique.

hehe, I like the description - it was the first thing that came to my mind, too. It has the feeling of a rubber pen... Not unpleasant, but that's what it feels like (to me).

 

Thank you for your insights. I'm looking for a nice rollerball, too, for the same reasons as you - often there's no use for a fountain pen.

But as I have the fountain pen version, I might look elsewhere for a change.


Greetings,
Michael






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