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Next Pen Advice, Visconti Van Gogh Or Pelikan M800?

visconti van gogh pelikan m800

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43 replies to this topic

#1 dezzick3

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 14:24

Good afternoon

 

Currently a Mont Blanc 146 and a Waterman Carene reside in my collection.  I love both these pens, but their standard black and gold finishes sometimes have me pining for something a bit more colourful.  I have been eyeing up the Pelikan m800 in green for a while, having read innumerous outstanding reviews of it, but recently I saw the Visconti Van Gogh 'self portrait' model which I thought was absolutely stunning.  Obviously the Pelikan is seen as a brilliant pen, a modern 'classic' but the Van Gogh is about £100 cheaper and looks simply incredible.  The Pelikan is closer in size and dimension to my current two pens and it would seem the more sensible buy but I cannot ignore the looks of the Visconti.  Any advice?


Edited by dezzick3, 09 January 2014 - 14:29.

For in all things the woman is full of fear, not able to look upon battle or cold steel. But when she is wounded over love no heart is more murderous. Medea 263-266

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#2 Wolverine1

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 15:04

Well, if I were you, I would go with the Pelikan. It isnt as flashy looking as the Visconti, but you get an iconic pen, and more importantly, a very reliable pen. A pen that is going to work with you for years and years. It is a very well engineered pen. I am a bit biased, perhaps. :)

Best of luck with which ever pen you choose.



#3 Tas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 15:08

I very nearly pushed the button on an M800 after seeing and reading so many wondrous reviews here but with a little guidance (you know who you are) I ended up with this fella and can happily say I've found my Grail pen a Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze.  :rolleyes:

 

visconti_homo_sapiens.jpg



#4 dezzick3

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 15:21

I have been looking at the Homo Sapiens but sadly I think it is out of my price range, but it is tempting...


For in all things the woman is full of fear, not able to look upon battle or cold steel. But when she is wounded over love no heart is more murderous. Medea 263-266

#5 Tas

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 16:28

dezzick3 - have a good look. I found it for around the same price as an M800.

 

Sad thing is, I know that one day I will own an M800 as well. They're just too gorgeous. Please let us know what you end up with.  :)



#6 WOBentley

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 20:22

Pelikan, by a longshot for me...just (to me) a better pen. I have both and the difference is substantial. I love both but the Pelikan, especially once you get to the M800 level with the brass piston is just such a substantial feeling pen. Pelikan inkflow is generous (to say the least) so plan for it when purchasing (I buy a size smaller than usual), or if an option buy with a modified nib to suit your taste. My M800 came with a Richard Binder stub and it is really a nice smooth writing experience with nice variation. At the Pel 600 level it is closer and at the 400, I would likely say choose on style. Just my opinion and worth everything you paid for it :)


Edited by WOBentley, 09 January 2014 - 20:23.

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#7 Raskolnikov

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 21:50

We're talking of very different pens here, so it's hard to give an answer. If I was to judge only upon the looks, I'd prefer a Van Gogh as I like more "particular" pens in terms of colors and design. The M800 though for many people is *the* pen, with its sober but evergreen looks and basically flawless mechanism. Not to mention it has a gold nib while the VG is steel nibbed and is a cartridge converter pen (if that matters to you).

All in all I think they belong to different market layers, just follow your feelings :)



#8 Ghost Plane

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 22:17

You'll be able to find additional nibs for your Pel quite easily while the newer Van Gogh are generally one size fits all M unless you find a dealer who will swap.

I adored the old Van Gogh Maxis as the 14k B nibs could take on a higher end pen no problem. These days, I'd get the Pel & aim for one of the discontinued nib sizes before they're gone.

#9 harrietthespy

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 22:20

Go try out both pens. I can't tell you how many times I"ve walked into a store to buy a specific pen and after holding and trying out the "pen of my dreams", I decided it wasn't for me. Example....the Visconti Homo Sapiens pen...drop dead gorgeous but in my hand, not so good! It was a bit disappointing but the sales guy at the Fountain Pen Hospital worked with me until I found a pen that I really liked. I walked out with a Visconti Rembrandt that I really love. Go figure. For Christmas I was given a Mont Blanc Jonathan Swift pen...it did not fit well in my hand (and I was expected to keep the pen in the box as an "investment" a big no no for me as I use my pens!). I took it back to the store and traded it for a Yard-O-Led Barleycorn. OMG, what a beautiful pen! I would have never picked this pen without having tried it out in the store. 

 

Good luck with your pen hunt!



#10 UK Mike

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 23:19

I love Visconti pens, and the van Gogh and Salvador Dali versions have the delightful magnetic cap closure which you can't help but play with.  I don't like the Homo Sapiens because I am not fond of the lava-filled resin material and I don't like the characteristics of the DreamTouch nibs.

 

However, the van Gogh does only have a steel nib, supplied I understand by Bock, whereas the Pelikan M800 has a Gold nib and piston filling, which may be important to you and certainly justifies the difference in cost. The Pelikan nib is quite firm so don't buy it expecting it to flex, but both it and the Visconti are very smooth and reliable pens. The Pelikan might make you wonder why you are keeping the 146 and the Carene - the Visconti you can always justify on its style.

 

The Pelikan is likely to cost you around £265 in 7 nib sizes if you are in the UK, whereas the Visconti van Gogh can still be purchased from Europe at £125 in 4 nib widths. EF, F, M, B.

 

I suspect that one day you will own both - or maybe even all of them!   :)


Edited by UK Mike, 09 January 2014 - 23:32.

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"

#11 Baric

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 23:27

While I know many people like the Visconti Homo Sapiens, it's just not for me.  I truly detest the arched clip, i think it's one of the ugliest production clips around.  And the notches for the cap retention... no.

 

Now the Pelikan M800, what a gorgeous and well made pen.  But not in boring green stripe, this is more the thing:

souveraen-m-800-normal.png

My very favorite pen, with a fine left oblique 18k nib, it's a joy to use and look at.


Edited by Baric, 09 January 2014 - 23:33.


#12 legume

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 23:56

The only Visconti pen I knew of before I looked up the van Gough just now was the homo sapiens, and wow! I should really look into Visconti pens! As ga ga as I am about the M800 (the Souveran series are THE pens IMO) the green stripe will be available forever. If the van Gough is a limited edition of any kind, I say get that.

#13 andreamcantu

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 23:57

I would go for the M800. I've tried both and the pelikan IMO is just a better writer. I had to many problems with the Van Gogh nib. It was too dry and it skipped no matter what I did to it. However this could have been a problem specific to my pen. One thing that I really did like though was the magnetic closure. Anyways I think the Pelikan is the better pen and is worth the price difference.



#14 dirk_peeters

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 00:24

Hi ,

 

my opinion :

 

The Pelikan is a classic pen, a no risk choice .

The design and colors of the Visconti Van Gogh, the blue self portrait,  is less conventional.  

 

I have a Pelikan Soverän M800 Tortoise Shell Brown. No complaints , very good pen, excellent writer, great looking pen.  

And I have a Visconti : the Divine Dessert Spring . That is something else , that's passion.

 

With your MB you have already a classic fp 

 

So , my advice : go for the passion , go for the Visconti Van Gogh. 

But ask for the 23K palladium dreamtouch nib, not the steel nib.  

 

( The palladium dreamtouch nib is approx 100 euro more expensive than the steel nib )  

 

Good luck ,

But be carefull : getting used to (celluloid) Italian fountain pens, can have serious consequences  



#15 Sham69

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 00:29

If you get an m800 get it off Richard or nibs.com, I am very happy with mine except it cost more then my homo sapiens

 

have a look a pen time at the homo sapiens they are going for 445, Bry will probably do a deal for you.

 

I wouldn't go for the new van gogh's. Either get a homo or the m800. 



#16 Sham69

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 00:56

I feel Visconti is calling you my friend. 

 

IMG_1716.jpg



#17 UK Mike

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:26

In the UK I do not believe the DreamTouch nib is available as standard on the van Gogh although you can buy it separately (around £119 for the van Gogh size).

 

Personally I do not like the DreamTouch nibs at all, finding them too soft and "soggy" feeling, with a reputation for being easily sprung. I believe they were introduced to be different from the competition and because they are cheaper to produce than equivalent 18k gold nibs. Not to my taste I'm afraid.


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"

#18 Sham69

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:13

In the UK I do not believe the DreamTouch nib is available as standard on the van Gogh although you can buy it separately (around £119 for the van Gogh size).

 

Personally I do not like the DreamTouch nibs at all, finding them too soft and "soggy" feeling, with a reputation for being easily sprung. I believe they were introduced to be different from the competition and because they are cheaper to produce than equivalent 18k gold nibs. Not to my taste I'm afraid.

 

 

Palladium is definitely not cheaper to produce then 18k.. But cost of materials do not necessarily make a nib perform better (14k is superior to 18k despite the latter costing more). Palladium is a superior material then gold as far as regular nib materials are concerned, it resists corrosion better and lets the ink travel easier, hence "dreamtouch" read Richard Binder's nib material article about palladium Visconti are not the first to use it as they claim. 

 

also 18k is more expensive then 14k, but is inferior. 18k nibs are no where near as good as 14k. Palladium 23k Visconti nibs have been sprung in the past because idiots think they are flex nibs, they were never meant to be flex nibs and have not been marketed as such. They are very soft being 23k yes, but that is even more reason not to flex them because they will not return to their shape. (just like 18k was never meant to be flexed) when gold is flexed it does not return to its shape particularly the more pure it is. They write with no pressure and you are not meant to put any pressure on a dream touch nib. Biro convertees thinking they are flex masters spring palladium nibs because they have no idea what they are doing. 

 

Gold is superior to palladium where flex nibs are concerned, palladium does not flex and return to shape well. Notice that 23k palladium dream touch nibs come with a sticker on them Do Not Press! 14k gold can be made to flex, 18k gold and palladium can not. However the majority of modern gold nibs are not meant to flex anyway so palladium would be a better choice of nib material. 

 

Richard Binder

Most high-quality nibs are made of gold. But pure gold (24K, or 1000 by European measure) is no good; it is too soft, malleable, and ductile. But when it is alloyed in appropriate proportions with suitable combinations of other elements (silver, copper, nickel, etc.) it becomes harder and exhibits other desirable properties such as the ability to be tempered.

 

It happens that there is a gray zone in the range of alloys when measured by gold content. That zone falls around 14K (585). Alloys containing significantly more gold tend to lack some desirable qualities, most especially flexibility (the resilience to bend significantly and return to the original shape over and over again). Many 18K (750) nibs, for instance, are springy (“soft”), but that’s not true flexibility. People who believe the sales hype frequently end up sending their 18K nibs out for repair after they’ve sprung them by applying more pressure than the nibs could handle. As a rule, 18K alloys are too soft — bending too easily and staying bent — or too hard, resisting until the point of catastrophic failure. This is why responsible nib technicians refuse to add flexibility to 18K nibs.

 

Alloys containing less gold, such as 9K (375), can be made to exhibit even better flexibility than 14K alloys. But these low-karat alloys suffer from a greater potential for corrosion, so there is a balance. That balance falls at about 14K; 14K nibs can combine both superb writing characteristics and good corrosion resistance.

 

Why, if 14K is better than 18K, do pen makers insist on using nibs made of 18K or even 21K gold? Beginning with a centuries-old antifraud law in France, there are now laws in many countries that restrict what can, or cannot, be labeled as gold, and 18K is the break point. It is illegal in these countries to sell an object as gold if it is made with less gold than 18K. The result is that a higher gold content has unfortunately become associated with quality and, because gold is precious, with luxury. Manufacturers market it that way, and we’re stuck with inferior nibs that cost more than better ones would.

 

http://www.richardsp...ge=pens/nam.htm


Edited by Sham69, 10 January 2014 - 02:25.


#19 Inkheart

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:39

I haven't yet had the pleasure of trying any Pelikan, but my Van Gogh portrait pen is flawless. I was able to buy it with a Fine nib from my local Paradise Pen shop and am still agog every time I pull it out. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I couldn't be more impressed with its performance. Even when it has sat for a couple of weeks or a month, it starts immediately. I have Diamine ink in it; perhaps that makes a difference. While I haven't found the Visconti Rembrandts to perform as reliably, the Van Gogh has never let me down. So I'm guessing not all steel nibs are created equally. (Yes, I realize how naive that sounds but I'm still figuring this stuff out lol!) The Van Goghs feel more like the Dream Touch nib in my Michelangelos than I could've thought.

I was so taken with the Portrait pen, I returned and eventually bought the Bedroom in Arles pen as well. It so far performs as admirably so I am thankfully two for two on pen perfection. They've really been a blissful combination of form and function for me.

I do pause on the Pelikan page in the Fahrney catalog though. The classic lines and terrific reputation are very tempting. :)
~April


One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem,
see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

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#20 Sham69

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:29

mm i have the bedroom in arles with a broad dreamtouch nib so nice 

 

I haven't yet had the pleasure of trying any Pelikan, but my Van Gogh portrait pen is flawless. I was able to buy it with a Fine nib from my local Paradise Pen shop and am still agog every time I pull it out. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I couldn't be more impressed with its performance. Even when it has sat for a couple of weeks or a month, it starts immediately. I have Diamine ink in it; perhaps that makes a difference. While I haven't found the Visconti Rembrandts to perform as reliably, the Van Gogh has never let me down. So I'm guessing not all steel nibs are created equally. (Yes, I realize how naive that sounds but I'm still figuring this stuff out lol!) The Van Goghs feel more like the Dream Touch nib in my Michelangelos than I could've thought.

I was so taken with the Portrait pen, I returned and eventually bought the Bedroom in Arles pen as well. It so far performs as admirably so I am thankfully two for two on pen perfection. They've really been a blissful combination of form and function for me.

I do pause on the Pelikan page in the Fahrney catalog though. The classic lines and terrific reputation are very tempting. :)

i have a bedroom in arles with a broad dreamtouch! a beautiful pen! 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: visconti, van gogh, pelikan, m800



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