Stipula Passaporto - The 2015 special edition for Massdrop
Massdrop recently closed a drop for a custom-manufactured Stipula Passaporto. I have one of the FPN LE Passaporto's from a couple years ago, and I have been thinking that a Passaporto would make a nice gift for a couple of my FP-using relatives. I had some concerns about changes in the pen design since the FPN LE's, especially the elimination of threading on the end of the barrel, making posting difficult. Massdrop's agreement with Stipula included specifications for threading and for metal connections between the section and barrel. This was encouraging. I ordered one, then ordered two more when the price became even more attractive. I received my first order a couple days ago. Here is a first look:
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There has been some concern regarding QA since before the recent Stipula reorganization, and some apparent problems with some of the Massdrop Passaportos reported on FPN. Mine showed no defects on visual inspection. I flushed the nib/feed well with a bulb syringe and installed a small standard cartridge of J. Herbin Perle Noire. Getting ink flow initially was a bit difficult, but with persistent cartridge squeezing, pen shaking, nib blotting, etc. flow commenced. Once started, flow was quite dry but consistent and satisfactory. With the J. Herbin ink and either Tomoe River or Rhodia paper, the pen writes quite smoothly. It is smooth enough to use for American cursive, but the ink flow is too restricted for rapid writing. For italic script, flow is adequate, and there is quite respectable thick/thin line differentiation, especially for such a narrow nib. (The photograph, as displayed on a computer screen, shows the difference as less than it is in reality.)
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For those unfamiliar with the Passaporto, it is very compact "pocket pen." It must be used posted to have sufficient length, I think, even for the smallest adult hands. Here, for comparison is the new Passaporto and the FPN LE Passaporto next to a more familiar Kaweco Al Sport:
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I ordered the Massdrop Passaporto with a 0.9 mm italic nib. My FPN LE Passaporto has a 1.1 mm italic nib. This may seem like a small difference, but the difference in height of minuscule letters would be 4.5 mm versus 5.5 mm, which is significant. The narrower nib will be better suited for the uses to which I intend to put this Passoporto, for example quick note taking, "to do list" editing, and the like.
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I plan to use this pen as an eye dropper filler. I do have some concern about corrosion of the metal connection between barrel and section. Advice about that would be appreciated.