ArchiMark produced a great thread on the ST Dupont Montparnasse line and so I am starting a similar examination of the Olympio/Orpheo/Fidelio (now called the small size) pens.
ST Dupont has a long history of producing luxury goods. They began with luggage, combining craftsmanship and the absolutely best materials to produce luggage that looked great but also would stand up to the hardest use. Later they got into lighters producing what have always been the very best ones available anywhere.
In the early 70s ST Dupont decided to get into fountain pens.
As usual, they carried over their experience in precision manufacture, precious metal and Chinese Lacquer techniques into the pens they built.
In this post we will deal with one model, the Olympio.
The history of the model gets a little complicated as they used different names for the series in different markets and also in their descriptions of the sizes.
In some areas the line was called Orpheo while in the US market it was called Olympio, so you will often find the terms used interchangeably. Initially there were two sizes, and they were described as Large and Extra Large. Later a third smaller pen was added that was called Fidelio.
The sizes of the pens capped as shown are:
The pen we will look at here is the Large size (medium) Olympio, in particular one in the lined gold finish.
Like all of the ST Dupont pens it is a cartridge filled pen or can use regular ink with an included converter. The Olympio series uses a standard sized international cartridge or converter so there is a broad selection of inks available.
The machining is absolutely amazing. Each engraved line is slightly undercut and the undercut part faceted. This produces a wonderful effect. The lines directly in line of sight show only the flat top, as the angle changes you see the faceted effect and as you see beyond the depth of the engraving the lines appear smooth again. The look changes constantly; playing with light, shadow and viewing angle.
The Large and Extra Large Olympios both use the 18K nib while the slightly smaller Fidelio uses a 14K nib. The nib on this pen is an Extra Fine 18K gold wrap around nib that is super smooth and puts down a moderately wet line.
As mentioned above, the highlight of any ST Dupont product is their attention to detail and that is true here as well. The clip is spring loaded so it slides on smoothly and holds securely on thin fabrics or thick. The cap slides on or off nearly effortlessly but when you are putting it on, the last few millimeters allow it to center and then there is a reassuring "Click" as it seats in place.
Another feature I love about the ST Duponts is that when the cap is posted, the pen is only slightly longer than when capped. The cap remains in place securely, the balance is great and once again everything simply feels just as it should.
This is quite different from other large sized pens that are often considerably longer when the cap is posted than when the pen is capped.
Here is the Olympio and a Montblanc 146 posted as an example.
There are quite a few pens out there in the same relative size as the ST Dupont Olympio ...
From left to right: Conway Stewart 100, Montblanc LeGrand 146, OMAS Ogiva (D-Day), OMAS old style Paragon, Olympio Large, Pelikan 800, Sheaffer Legacy, Levenger Sheaffer Connoisseur, Waterman Expert.
... but there are few that provide the complete package, that address aesthetics, performance, feel and sound.
ST Dupont. Luxury defined as the attention to detail in even the most mundane of things.
As I mentioned above, the Olympio/Orpheo/Fidelio family consists of three similar pens in different sizes.
We looked at the Large (Medium) sized, so now let's turn our attention to the smaller Fidelio.
The Fidelio is still a fairly large pen, 5 1/4" long closed and about 5 1/2" posted. It is similar in size to many other popular pens...
From left to right: Parker Sonnet, Waterman Phineas, Pelikan 600, ST Dupont Fidelio, Older style Pilot/Namaki VP, Sheaffer Prelude and OMAS old style Milord.
...but has all the characteristics of a ST Dupont product.
Fit and finish are perfect and the sound when capping is classic Dupont. The nibs are 14K, a rhodium plated medium one on the silver pen and a single tone gold fine hard one on the black Lacquer version.
I find that my Fidelios get more pocket time than either the large or extra-large versions simply because they fit my hand perfectly. They put down a moderately wet line, with no signs of skip or hesitation and the fine nib in particular always amazes me.
Now let's examine the last of the Olympios, Goldilocks BIG bed.
It is 5 3/4" long capped.
This really is a big pen, right in there with some of the larger made.
From left to right: Pelikan 1050, Montblanc 149, the Olympio, OMAS new style Milord and 360.
Just as with all the others, the attention to fit, finish and detail is pure perfection. The hand done Chinese Lacquer work is amazing.
The pen posted is only about 1/4" longer than when capped and the balance is perfect.