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A Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze (Maxi) Review

visconti homo sapiens bronze maxi palladium oversize 23k dreamtouch m805 c823

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#1 sannidh

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:07

Dear FPNers,

Here is my take on a Visconti Homo Sapiens maxi with an 23k Pd EF nib. I hope you find the review fun and enjoyable. Wish you a prosperous and fun-filled new year with loads of new pens and paraphernalia.

 

In case there are any problems with pictures you can also view the same review in my blog:

http://iwonder-theca...axi-review.html

 
Main Motivation
 
Somewhere in late 2009, Florence-based luxury pen maker Visconti announced a nib made out of a 95% Palladium (23k) alloy, in a press-release. Most of the nibs that were commonly available were 18k/21k Gold with a few exceptions (Sailor, Danitrio among others), and this was the first of its kind. And the other side of the snippet showcased a pen christened with the name of ‘Homo Sapiens’ (HS), forged from an almost equal mix of basaltic lava and resin, adorned with bronze and protected from competitors with a patented formulae. The lava came from Mt. Etna (an active volcano) on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. I came to know of this pen three years later while watching an ebay sale though :eureka: .  Visconti (estd. 1988) promised the HS lava to be unbreakable, flameproof (upto 100°C), with a slightly hygroscopic body, fitted with bronze parts with a highly-corrosion resistant titanium power filler. The versions available these days are  HS-lava/bronze or steel, a lava/bronze (by Mazzi) 388-limited edition (LE) and a 1000-LE crystal swirl (made up of Acroloid/Sterling Silver). Besides, fountain pens there are also roller-balls and ball-point pens in the HS range, but those are of course not our primary interest.
 
An Italian Job
 
DSC_1752.jpg
 
  Visconti does pay a gentle homage to the evolution of mankind by attaching significance to the Bronze Age, predating by around five thousand years. That’s the period when humans began smelting and mixing of metals like copper and tin to produce alloys like bronze. Also during this period, a system of writing had evolved, however it was majorly through symbols, to convey information. The trim-fittings including the clip are all made out of bronze, for this version of the pen. The variants are steel or sterling silver trims for the other HS pens. 
 
DSC_1753.jpg
 
Out of the well-protected box, this pen comes out with a spring-loaded clip made of bronze, holding a paper-flyer, which tells you the nib specification on one side (23K Pd – 950) and expresses ‘dreamtouch’ as – ‘Do not press! The nib will follow your dreams’. The name of the company VISCONTI is embossed on both sides of the clip on a black background. The bronze in my case has a slight patina developed over the rose-gold sheen, and I am happy with the dated-look. Alternately, there is a deep yellow bronze polishing cloth provided along with the pen to clean the surface-oxidation.  The complete capped piece is a bit heavy weighing around 45 grams and is 14.4 cm long. For carrying it in your shirt pocket, you might have to lift the spring loaded clip by a bit, as the clip end does not slip easily. There is a bronze ring at the power filler end and two in the cap itself. Other reviews would tell you that the HS-Steel comes with a piston filler instead of a power-filler (vacuum-plunger). There is a large bronze centre-band at the start of the grip section which says HOMO SAPIENS.

                                            The next thing one would notice is the unique locking system of the cap. The quick-locking grooves enable (un)locking  with a slight twist (counter) clockwise (fourth of a complete turn).  A little twist will reveal the fantastic 23 karat Palladium nib and an inherently earthly grip section.  A click sound is heard once you correctly twist-lock the cap.
 
DSC_1756.jpg
 
The finial mentions‘Visconti’ with the company logo. This can be customized using their My Pen System to customize a finial with either your initials, zodiac sign or even a gemstone.
 
DSC_1757.jpg
 
HOMO SAPIENS can be seen imprinted on the thick bronze centre-band which starts the cap-locking threads and subsequently the grip section of the pen.  I would rather say that the pen is very intelligently designed apart from wielding materials hard to master. 
 
DSC_1760.jpg
 

The filling system is a vacuum plunger power-filler system with a titanium rod making it highly resistant to ink corrosion. You can unscrew the blind-cap counter-clockwise to the end-stop and then pull out the vacuum plunger if you wish to fill it with ink.

 

The length of an uncapped pen reads a comfortable 13.2 cm with a 25-26 g weight.

 

DSC_1763.jpg

 

The nib has a leverage of around 2.6 cm and is a size#6 nib. There are many reports that these dreamtouch nibs being manufactured by Bock, but I am not certain of that. Made up of palladium and adorned with gold, the nib of HS-bronze makes a distinctive statement. Embossed is the company name VISCONTI near the lunarly-eclipsed breather hole :D . Below around the tail end of the nib, imprinted is the nib width above which lies the mesmerizing specifications ‘23k Pd 950’ and FIRENZE. Firenze refers to Florence, Italy which is the birthplace of both Italian Renaissance and Visconti Pens, thereby, the tagline ‘The Writing Renaissance’.

Nib is screw-fit into the grip section but I did not try to take that out. The nib has a bit of flex although there is not much difference for an EF nib when it comes to line variation due to pressure. My nib being an EF was a QC-victim and needed some smoothening with a 12000 Grit buff-stick and 0.3 µm lapping film to get to its true dreamtouch :happycloud9: state.

 

DSC_1767.jpg

 

And now it’s truly one dreamtouch pen.

Comparison – m805 & c823 (PS-It’s a m805 not a m800, quoted as a dimensional reference only, felt very lazy to correct it :lol: )

 

DSC_1771.jpg

 

 

 

Capped the VHS maxi seems to be longer than a m800/5 but shorter than a pilot custom 823.

 

DSC_1775.jpg

 

 

Uncapped all of them roughly have a similar length.

Writing

 

Post nib-adjustment – butter-smooth, wet-flow and ‘dreamtouch’.

Sometimes, it dries up and has somewhat of a hard-start if cap is left open for sometime.

 

DSC_1783.jpg

 

The writing is super-smooth with a wet and free-flow. The EF nib lays a line tad thinner than a pilot 14k medium nib. So, if you want an M you might go for a F nib.

 

Ratings

 

VHS_rating.jpg

Overall, the cost of the pen defines the value you place on this unique piece. Though it retails at USD 595 it’s easily available at heavy discounts in both online and offline markets. I also guess the problem of sweating of ink at the edge of the grip section has been fixed and there is no need to grease the nib-threads anymore. I did not notice any sweating of ink at all.

 

Thanks, Sonik.


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#2 Suji

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 03:51

Great review. I just got one last month, and I am very happy with mine. I also got an EF nib and use it with Visconti Blue!


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#3 sannidh

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 05:02

Great review. I just got one last month, and I am very happy with mine. I also got an EF nib and use it with Visconti Blue!

 

Thank you, Suji. Couldn't agree more on using visconti blue ink. Initially had loaded Pilot Blue-black, got a hunch that visconti's ink might be perfect for it and it was :).

 

Sonik


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#4 visvamitra

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 07:23

Great Review of the pen that is way too tempting to resist. One day I'll order it :)



#5 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 07:59

I have been reluctant to the homosapiens for many reasons but I will have to go check in some months what Bry or Mottishaw have in stock then I will probably buy a celluloid model or limited edition with a palladium nib


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#6 sannidh

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 15:13

Great Review of the pen that is way too tempting to resist. One day I'll order it :)

 

Thanks visvamitra :P. I hope you order this one or another Pd-nibbed one. (I went with the HS-bronze ed. for the dual-tone nib)


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#7 sannidh

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 15:20

I have been reluctant to the homosapiens for many reasons but I will have to go check in some months what Bry or Mottishaw have in stock then I will probably buy a celluloid model or limited edition with a palladium nib

 

I do find HS-Crystal Swirl LE quite an attractive piece, Georges.  Also found the wall street celluloid quite interesting but celluloid ones might have their own set of limitations.


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#8 Tas

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 15:29

I love seeing reviews of The VHS. I've had mine and been absolutely delighted with it for over a year. 

 

I see you've compared it in size to the 823. Dare I ask how the 823's writing experience compares to the VHS?

 

A recent FPGeeks Pilot 823 review has set my sights on one but don't want to double up on two expensive, similarly behaved pens.

 

Thanks.

Tas.



#9 sannidh

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 16:35

I love seeing reviews of The VHS. I've had mine and been absolutely delighted with it for over a year. 

 

I see you've compared it in size to the 823. Dare I ask how the 823's writing experience compares to the VHS?

 

A recent FPGeeks Pilot 823 review has set my sights on one but don't want to double up on two expensive, similarly behaved pens.

 

Thanks.

Tas.

 

My experience with VHS is similar. Writes like a Dream & is Delightful.

 

Regarding comparison with a 823, I don't think it's fair to compare these two pens on anything except for their sizes & filling systems :P.

 

Having said all this, for a raw comparison : I do feel that the writing experience is simply superlative on high/good quality paper with the little flexible VHS 23k Pd nib which unfortunately is a tough match for the 823-14k. I am not saying that 823 performs poorly or something, it just performs as well as any other good gold nib, but it does not simply outperform any other gold nib (be it a c74, 92 or 912). However, on a rather medium quality paper (say copy paper), 14k-823 does perform with a better grip than VHS. VHS puts down a very thin line and skips a bit.  The nib of 823 is an inflexible nib but is a delight to use in its own sense. 

 

I have a feeling that you shall be extremely happy with both these pens :)

 

If you are interested to buy the 823, Check this. Some additional discounts are available on > Yen 20K orders. FPN member maverink has conveyed the same today. (No personal affiliation to rakuten)

 

Best,

Sonik


Edited by soniknitr, 11 January 2015 - 16:54.

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#10 oshizemi

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 17:25

Definitely a pen I hope to own one day.
"Do you know the legend about cicadas? They say they are the souls of poets who cannot keep quiet because, when they were alive, they never wrote the poems they wanted to."

#11 Tas

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Posted 11 January 2015 - 17:37

Sonik, you're a star. Thank you for helping the seedling of desire take root a little more.

#12 sannidh

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 06:52

Definitely a pen I hope to own one day.

 

great to hear that oshizemi, hope this review helps :)


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#13 sannidh

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 06:56

Sonik, you're a star. Thank you for helping the seedling of desire take root a little more.

 

Tas - Thanks for the compliment. The associated 'sins' of all this desire would be yours however   :lol:


Edited by soniknitr, 12 January 2015 - 06:56.

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#14 perfaddict

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Posted 12 January 2015 - 18:58

Great review. One of the most informative re the Visconti HS  have read. Now i need to RESIST the urge to acquire (okay, for a little while).



#15 jameswatts

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 03:26

Love my Visconti HS. It was my 25th anniversary present and it has been a joy to use.

#16 sannidh

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 04:47

Great review. One of the most informative re the Visconti HS  have read. Now i need to RESIST the urge to acquire (okay, for a little while).

Hope you get one soon. Thank you for finding it useful & entertaining :)


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#17 sannidh

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 04:49

Love my Visconti HS. It was my 25th anniversary present and it has been a joy to use.

James Watts - Congratulations! Nice to hear that. A priceless present, it is :)

Best,

Sonik


Edited by soniknitr, 13 January 2015 - 04:50.

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#18 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 04:24

Mine is an EF as well. Lovely writing experience.
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#19 sannidh

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 01:19

Mine is an EF as well. Lovely writing experience.

Glad to hear that Joe :)


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#20 breaker

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 12:57

excellent review and pics!

tnx!


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: visconti, homo sapiens, bronze, maxi, palladium, oversize, 23k, dreamtouch, m805, c823



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