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My Quest: To Seek The Holy Grail!

visconti homo sapiens grail pen spend money either way

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32 replies to this topic

#1 Goldmund

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:47

I may not have been sent on my quest for new pens by God, but I will still purchase them anyway! A throwaway Monty Python reference is always a great way to start off a thread...

At the beginning of the school year, I made myself a promise to not buy another pen until 2014 (excluding my birthday and Christmas, of course). Since then, I have saved up money in hopes of pampering myself once I finally reach that time. 

The pen I originally had in mind (and have been working towards being able to afford) is a Visconti Homo Sapiens. This pen has been on my wish list since I started lurking on FPN in mid-July. The price tag is a hefty $560 from Fountain Pen Hospital (NYC .875% Sales Tax included, since I will be purchasing my pen in person), and I cannot conjure up this money lightly. Therefore, I want to be very careful how I spend it.

 

As I mentioned, I've wanted this pen for a long time. I would consider this a true Grail Pen, save a few Omas and Conway Stewart pens that I am by no means able of acquiring at this moment. If I were to purchase this pen, I would be purchasing something that would be with me for the rest of my life... but there are some issues with that. 

Around a week ago, I started looking on the Fountain Pen Hospital website for more pens to drool over, an activity that has become a regular pastime  :D This trip down wow-I-want-that lane caused me to think of other ways I could spend that $560. It also stirred up a lot of doubts in my mind. 

 

Do I really want a nib spewing ink all over the page? As as student, I have to use crappy paper on a fairly consistent basis.

Do I really want to spend all this money on one pen... when I could buy THREE PENS? 

My friends are d*cks (the missing vowel is not a u), and they take my pens all the time. What if it was damaged?

 

Of course, these thoughts are combated by the Visconti fan-boy inside of me. 

 

You're a Junior in High School, you're going to be saving up scratch money for college from this summer on. Are you ever going to put together this much money for a pen in the next 5 years again? This is your only opportunity to buy this for a very long time.
Do you really need more pens? They're in a more realistic price range and could be bought easily in the future.

Your pen will be made of lava. LAVA! And it's a vacuum filler... and it will last until the sun explodes... and Visconti makes the best nibs you've ever written with... 

 

You get where I'm coming from here. 

 

And so, as my fingers weaken from typing this novella, and your eyes undoubtedly flutter and become heavy from making it through such an arduous tale (unless you didn't read it all, you cheater  :P ), I must pose the ultimate question that could have easily been asked in 200 words or less...

 

TL;DR VERSION

Should I spend my money on my muse, flame, and Grail, the Visconti Homo Sapiens, a pen I will most likely never have the chance to purchase again (until several years from now :D )? Or should I take a different route and purchase three other pens that would be easily obtainable in the future, but somewhat arguably a better use of the cash? 

(Note: The other pens I have in mind are the Pelikan M600, the Namiki Falcon, and another Kaweco Sport Classic. These will be complemented nicely by a dash of ink. At the FPH discounted prices, these pens fit the allotted budget I have made for the Homo Sapiens) 


“I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”-Calvin 


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#2 GClef

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:39

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(Repost,from another thread)

#3 Edwaroth

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 13:46

Buy the Visconti. If you don't you will forever be buying lesser pens and always be wanting the V.H.S. Doubt is a hard lesson I have learned.



#4 Sblakers

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 13:55

Way I see things. If you settle for less you're only going to regret. If you're worried about the pen being a gusher buy an EF or F and use dryer inks. I use organic studios Aristotle in mine. (Writes on any paper and is water resistant). If you're worried about your friends damaging the pen then maybe you aren't ready for it yet. Part of growing up is not letting things like that happen.

Please tell us what you decide. The anticipation of such a buy is an amazing experience. Enjoy it!

#5 UK Mike

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 14:18

The Homo Sapien is fortunately not my grail pen - it isn't even on my list because I tried one out at my local pen store and didn't like it, BUT - just because you own your grail pen does not necessarily mean you will stop spending.

 

Curiosity will drive you to seek out new challenges and boldly go where no-one has boldly gone before.

 

If you can truly afford it without hardship, then buy it because you can enjoy it for longer than if you bought it in say two years time. Just don't assume that it will satisfy your hunger to try other pens.


Pens and paper everywhere, yet all our hearts did sink,

Pens and paper everywhere, but not a drop of ink.


"Cursive writing does not mean what I think it does"

#6 Paddler

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 14:45

You are a crummy kid. Buy the pen now; the neighbors may not let you live long enough to buy it later.


Edited by Paddler, 29 November 2013 - 14:47.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

#7 AnnieB123

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 15:06

I'm a mum myself.  The advice I'd give my own minions (2 of whom are your age) is: do your research, make up your mind and move forward without regret.  

 

Regarding other students breaking your pen.  I really might recommend not using it at school until you can be sure your peers won't wreck (or steal) your belongings.  It's something I worry about from time to time myself, honestly.  I tend to take my more subtle pens to the lab with me and only let the ones out of my hands which I could stand to lose.  

 

Good luck!  Post pics :)  One of my professors bought one not too long ago  :puddle:

 

PS I meant to add that I :wub:  the movie reference!  But which one to buy??!  Mazzi!  No wait!! Lava Black!  AIEEEEEEE *flings off bridge*


Edited by AnnieB123, 29 November 2013 - 16:18.


#8 usk15

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 15:22

I think you should buy the Holy Grail pen. But don't use it at school, just home or wherever feel safe to use. For school just buy a Pilot Metropolitan or Lamy Safari, pens that are not expensive and truly workhorse.



#9 basterma

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 15:30

I am just waiting for a pen turner to make a pen in the shape of a goblet and call it the grail...

 

I have never really pined for any one pen, and I don't know I'd want to buy something so expensive that I'd be worried about using it. However I do have manufacturers whose pens I want to add to my collection.



#10 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:10

The Homo Sapiens is nothing special in terms of nib, get an Omas Paragon Arco or a M1000 or a Montegrappa Extra


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

#11 YeOlCaptain

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:31

The Homo Sapiens is nothing special in terms of nib, get an Omas Paragon Arco or a M1000 or a Montegrappa Extra

But those cost more than a Visconti Homo Sapiens. 



#12 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:35

I bought a P-75 set in about 1970-71, in a BX while in the AF one day when I had more money than good sense. It was terribly expensive....just the Fountain pen alone cost @ $23-25 silver dollars and the ball point/mechanical pen cost $18-20. Twice as much as the thin matt black and gold Cross ball point I'd gone in to buy.
That Cross was the 'Status' ball point at the time. Whee!! That cross hatched silver ball point sure was better than that Cross. ((Minimum wage was $1.00 an hour and a silver dollar could be bought for a dollar at a bank..)
I was sober...I had not written with a fountain pen in 6-7 years.
 
My mother told me when I came home from the service and went off to collage...not to take my sterling silver pen set...in it would get stolen.
Yep, we had pen collectors back then, and even before. No pen I had in grade school, Jr. HS or HS made it to Christmas.
 
If folks at your school, don't have their own horse, yacht and chauffeur. Don't take that Lava pen to school.
Envy will steal it, take it from you and break it in half or a a bully circle will toss it around over your head to see if you can dunk yet.
Hell you could have that problem with a Safari or a Pelikan 200.
 
Back in the old days of one man, one pen, it was a mark of class to have your name engraved in gold on a pen.
Today in the time of going to sell that pen...and your name on it mea's it's worth 15% or more less....folks are against it.
 
I'd suggest a pen that  you can engrave your name on it...until you get out of collage and in a job where you have a desk so you can have a desk set. Lots of folks here find those pen thieves from school, now have jobs....which don't mean they will buy a pen. :angry:
 
Don't buy that Visconti pen...in you will want to show it off and some one will steal or break it.
 
The trick is to buy cheap Chinese or Japanese pens....take them to school....then slowly sneak a better pen into use with out telling Any One about it.
Sort of takes the joy out of a fancy pen....but the chances of it being stole or broken are less.
 
What a geek, he spent a whole $6.00 on a fountain pen...
He spent the price an I-pod VIII on a WHAT?
 
Besides which, you want to buy that Homo Sapien pen used....for half price.
 
Do chase the nib... you need an assortment of them. If Georges says the nib's not world shaking...he you can believe.
 
 
Work your way up to a grail pen...


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 29 November 2013 - 18:21.

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.

 

 

 


#13 MisterBoll

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:38

If your quest is in the seeking why buy anything?



#14 leeowens337

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:51

I believe that once you've found your "Grail" pen, for whatever reason you choose that pen, then nothing else will be quite so satisfying.  Yes, you could buy 3 other pens and maybe like them very much.  But you will still want that "Grail" pen.  I would recommend you go for it.

 

However, as many have noted, it may not be the best idea to take it to school or other environments where damage/loss/theft/etc might be a likely risk.

 

I hope you achieve your quest, and that it is all you wanted it to be!   :thumbup:

 

BTW, I recently was in NY and picked up a few things at FPH myself.  Awesome store, and really nice people there...

 

-Lee


Edited by leeowens337, 29 November 2013 - 16:51.


#15 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 16:52

But those cost more than a Visconti Homo Sapiens. 

He can buy them in second hand


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

#16 Moshe ben David

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 17:13

I applaud your self-discipline and drive to (a) hold back from buying pens for such a duration in order to (B) save money for your grail pen.  You're not being impulsive; you've been (extensively!) thinking this through.  Buy the pen -- besides, some pens eventually go out of production and pricing really becomes collector pricing then!

 

BUT.  I agree with most of the posts.  DO NOT carry the VHS to school; not even to classes when you get to college.  At college in your dorm don't just leave it out on your desk.  Some things should be kept secure.  Carry your Kaweco Sport to school and classes; the risk there is small.  In other words, use your grail pen, but keep it safe as well.

 

Best,


Moshe ben David

 

"Behold, He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!"


#17 WilsonCQB1911

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 17:28

The Homo Sapiens is nothing special in terms of nib, get an Omas Paragon Arco or a M1000 or a Montegrappa Extra


Now nibs are very subjective and personal, but I have to disagree with that. Mine is a fine and writes a very crisp, dark, well behaved line so incredibly smoothly. The sweet spot is amazingly generous and I've never had it skip. I don't know what more I could ask for.

#18 kpyeoman

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 17:36

Personally, I shudder everytime I read of someone in high school (even university for that matter) buying a $500 + pen.  You've got so many variables on the go that the probability of loss is very high.  I would have been crushed back then had I lost something so valuable...even today I would be!  I even hesitate now when I have the opportunity to buy a MB 146 at half price -- a pen I've wanted for quite some time, and I now have the money to buy it.

 

I know what you're saying about this being the only time for a long time that you'll be able to afford it -- responsibilities will creep in as you go forward.  The thing you have to remember is that you're still young and just starting out in the hobby; you have many, many, many years ahead to acquire supremo pens.  The thing is, once you buy the HS at this stage, where do you go from here?  I dunno...I don't want to (bleep) over the idea...I think your pause is good, though.

 

My suggestion would be to go with the Pelikan.  That's an awesome pen, and I'm sure it'll satisfy your desire to hit a bit above the belt from pens you may have right now. 



#19 Laura N

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 18:23

You are 16.  Spend your money on experiences.  Buy concert tickets with your friends.  Take a group backpacking trip to Peru or somewhere unusual.  Buy a significant other a nice dinner, or take someone to the next dance.  Join the skiing club for the winter.  Buy a guitar and learn to play.  Etc.  Or just save it for college, when you'll have all those opportunities and more.

 

There is no grail pen.  A $150 pen from FPH would be much better than the ones you have now.  And the ones you have now are fine.  I have plenty of pens in the Homo Sapiens category, but I still use a Safari.

 

Sorry to be blunt.



#20 Goldmund

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 19:34

Hmm... A lot of interesting replies here. To be honest, I figured there would be a lot of mixed feedback. 

 

I should really clarify the whole school thing. I only made that comment because my friends ask to try out my pens a lot, and a nice one would probably pique interest. My school is not the place where kids steal things (the caliber of people and education makes no one stupid enough to try something like that, trust me), and I don't actually fear a lot along the lines of having it break because I don't think I'll let other people even use this pen ;) I also recognise that no human is perfect, but the level of care I put towards keeping track of my pens is directly proportional to how much I pay for them. They are either in my pen pouch or in my hand. No exceptions. I don't consider losing the pen to be something I have to fear very much, though I have certainly taken it into account. 

 

I'm still pouring over reviews and, since I haven't reached my goal yet, still have time to change my mind if I really do end up disliking the idea of spending the money on the pen. I will certainly keep the advice of those with more skeptical replies in my head as I go forward. Thanks all :) 


“I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.”-Calvin 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: visconti homo sapiens, grail pen, spend, money, either, way



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