Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Visconti Wall Street LE


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 Spongebob

Spongebob

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 12 May 2007 - 17:58

This is my first fountain pen review. I bought the Visconti Wall Street Limited Edition back in February, after admiring the regular Wall Street models for quite some time. This is the most expensive pen in my collection and it has proven to be the most problematic. As I write this, I’m waiting on word for a replacement. More on that in a moment.

First Impressions:
As shown in the picture below, the pen is packaged in a simulated leather case, which includes a bottle of Visconti black ink. I do not particularly care about packaging materials; therefore, there is not much more to say. The package included a fine instruction manual and warranty card. Score = 4/5.



Appearance & Finish:
I have admired the Visconti pens for years. They always seemed a little out of my price range so it wasn't until recently that I had an opportunity to purchase one. The finish on the limited-edition model appears to be identical to that of the regular Wall Street models. The only noticeable difference is the size of the pen and a unique filling system. The pen is a work of art, that is all I can say. I am very happy with the fit and finish of the pen. The clip takes a little getting used to since it is not the traditional style that I am used to; it can take an extra finger motion to get it to catch on to your shirt pocket margin. The appearance and finish exceeds my expectations. Score = 5/5

Design, Size, Weight:
This is the biggest pen in my small collection. As the picture below indicates, it is noticeably larger than a Pelikan M800, Sailor 1911 and "51". While I have tiny hands for a man, I prefer larger pens and a more relaxed grip. As such, the pen fits comfortably in my hand. The weight seems just about right for a pen of this length. It is well balanced with the cap off. I tend not to write with the cap in the posted positions; therefore, I cannot speak to the balance with it posted. The pen is just a little longer than I like, making it a tad difficult to fit comfortably in an ordinary dress shirt pocket. Score = 5/5


Nib:
This is where the story gets ugly! The pen comes equipped with an 18k, wonderfully decorated nib. Mine is a medium and it originally laid down a lovely wet line. I would say that it is a true medium line. When I was selecting the pen, the salesperson suggested that I not use any form of Pelikan ink because it is too thick and would clog the feed. I do not know if that is true; however, it should have been my first warning of things to come. I never did use my Pelikan ink in it.



Pretty early on, I experienced some skipping of the nib and unequal application of the ink, particularly on the first strokes of letters. I tried the usual at home remedies such as changing inks, changing papers and giving the feed a good flush with cold water and a little bit of detergent. None of this improved the situation. I took the pen back to the shop where I purchased it, whereupon the salesperson told me that I was welcome to send it back to Visconti on my own or wait until an upcoming visit from the regional representative. I waited and met with the representative who was more than happy to have me send it to him in New Jersey for a tune up. At this point, the salesperson told me that a pen exchange was out of the question since the pen was more than a month old.

The pen returned to me in just under a month. I eagerly unpacked it and loaded it with the Visconti ink. Almost immediately, I noticed that it made a terrible scratchy sound, particularly if the nib was even slightly rotated away from the sweet spot. On closer inspection it was quite clear that the feed was not properly aligned to the nib. See the picture below. I cannot even tell whether the flow issues have been resolved since the scratchiness and misaligned feed essentially foreclosed that this pan is going right back. I e-mailed the Visconti rep and he has indicated that he will be replacing the pen. Nevertheless, I'm sorely disappointed by having such troubles with such an expensive instrument. Score = 2.5/5


Filling Mechanism:
The filling mechanism is what attracted me to this pen over the standard Wall Street models which are c/c fill. This pen has a double action plunger filling system which holds quite a volume of ink. To fill the pen, you unscrew the rear cap pull out the plunger, dip the nib and press the plunger. As an added benefit, screwing in the rear cap seals all but a small volume of ink away from the main feed system thereby eliminating the possibility of a catastrophic leak. When the front chamber empties, you can turn the rear cap and release more ink into the front chamber. I really thought this mechanism was cool but it really isn't. Cleaning this pen is a major undertaking. You must operate the plunger several dozen times to even approach the point where the water coming out is clear. Once you clear out most of the ink, however, it is nearly impossible to get rid of all of the water from the front chamber. It can be done but it is time consuming and I found it frustrating. Additionally, I found that ink flow would become retarded once the front chamber began to empty. The instruction book says not to refill the front chamber until it is empty. I found that I got the best performance by making sure the front chamber was continually full; in other words, I would refill it earlier than the instruction book indicated. I would not buy another pen with this filling mechanism. I think the aggravation of cleaning outweighs the potential benefit of being able to carry more ink. Score: 2/5

Cost/ Value:
I chose to buy this pen from a brick-and-mortar shop near where I live and, going into the purchase, I understood that I would probably pay more than I would have over the Internet. Ironically I was worried about getting a bad specimen over the Internet and the exact opposite happened: I got a bad specimen from a brick-and-mortar shop! I paid over $500 for the pen which is probably a fair price for a pen of this size and quality. Value begins to drop off when you consider the fact that it has not met my expectations and that I have had to return it to the regional representative twice. Score = 3/5.

Overall Impression:
This is a nice pen, do not get me wrong. It meets my expectations in terms of fit, finish and overall appearance. It has the capability of being a wonderful pen. I am certainly disappointed with the performance of the nib and the fact that it came back from the repair facility worse off than when it left. I take the company at its word when it says that it will replace the pen for me. As such, I have no real complaints about customer service since they responded to my inquiries very quickly and offered to make the situation right. I am troubled, however, that their repair facility would send the pen back to me in such awful condition. So all in all, I would call customer service a “wash.” I suspect that if I had a properly working pen my score would be perfect but given the fact that it is not I can only give 2/5 for my overall impression of the instrument.


Sponsored Content

#2 Keng

Keng

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 441 posts

Posted 12 May 2007 - 18:17

For the price you paid and for a company of high reputation, the after sales service is pretty crappy IMHO. You are right in not accepting anything less than a new replacement or failing which,a full refund. But I do hope that with the replacement that all will be well cool.gif
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
- Cree Indian Proverb

#3 Ghost Plane

Ghost Plane

    Indescribable

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28,424 posts
  • Location:USA
  • Flag:

Posted 12 May 2007 - 19:09

Woof! I've got assorted Viscontis [none in that range] with the gold nibs [broad] and I'm totally addicted to the feel of them on paper. I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience as my Skeleton [similar size] is total perfection to write with.

I'd be extra torqued that they give you the choice of waiting for the rep, THEN tell you it's out of the frame for replacement. BAD service.

#4 Spongebob

Spongebob

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 02:03

I'm not so peeved at the dealer. A month had gone by before I got back to the store and trying to make it right was a reasonable approach. I'm just shocked that it came back worse. Based on the return address label, it was sent from the rep to a local (to him) repair service and then sent back to me. The minute I put it on paper I thought: "Wow, they made it worse." Then I looked at the nib and feed.

It's almost laughable. On the one hand it's just a pen, albeit an expensive one and it will eventually work out. But I have a parker that I bought on the Marketplace here for $70 that is 100 times smoother. What I've learned from this is that there is NO advantage (at least for me) in buying from a B&M shop. I dipped the pen in the shop but that told me nothing about the feed, or how involved cleaning would be. I could have accomplished the same thing buying on the net and saved some money.

Bob

#5 SMG

SMG

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,064 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 02:40

Last weekend I had a chance to hit my favorite brick and mortar store for a trial run on a few really high priced pens. Actually none of them are even in the realm of my affordability, but it is nice to window shop as it were.

I tried pens from many major manufacturers, Visconti (Wall street in Red, same as the one reviewed here), Conway Stewart, and Omas. Of those I tried at least two of each brand, and of all the pens I looked at, only the Omas had the nibs set correctly. All of the CS and Visconti were tilted off to the same side of the feed as yours.

I tried a Churchill and Duro from CS. Both were misaligned. I also tried the Wall street and an Opera Master, again both were misaligned. The Omas pens (Paragon and 360 piston fill) were perfect. Nibs were dead straight and smooth as butter.

I totally fell in love with the 360, now I just have to figure out how to afford one. smile.gif

One would think that the manufacturers would catch this totally preventable fault prior to sending the pens out. It was on so many of the pens that I looked at, that it was more than a coincidence. QC would seem to be lacking to say the least from those manufacturers. Too bad, but it might lend some credence to the issues that I have heard of people having issues with their CS pens until they have been looked at by a nib meister. For what you are spending, this should be unheard of.

Cheers,
SG
PenRx is no longer in business.

#6 Mike S.

Mike S.

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 423 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 04:47

I have had a similar experience with my Wall Street. The original pen had a nib that was scratchy and skipped a lot and was misaligned on the feed. I sent it to Richard Binder for repair but it was not much better. Then the seal in the filling unit failed and I had to send it back to Visconti in Italy for repair. While it was in Italy, I had them replace the nib, and when I got the pen back, it was absolutely wonderful -- one of the best writing nibs I've got. Then one day, not long after I'd received the pen back from Italy, I dropped it on the floor and it broke in half. I was extremely disappointed. I called the U.S. rep. (Ken Jones) and he said to send the pen back and he would replace the pen, but put my nib into the new pen.

Now, after nearly 1 year of back and forth between Minneapolis, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Italy, I have a wonderful writing pen that's beautiful to look at, well-made, with a very unique filling system. I can't say that the quality of the pen out-of-the-box was all that impressive, but the lengths Visconti went to to get my pen working right are very impressive. I am quite confident they will take care of you and get your pen working.

Mike

P.S. What a nice pen collection you have going there -- all wonderful writers (your Visconti will probably be one too).

Edited by Mike S., 13 May 2007 - 04:50.


#7 georges zaslavsky

georges zaslavsky

    vintageandmodernpenslover

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,033 posts
  • Location:France
  • Flag:

Posted 13 May 2007 - 05:08

I tried a visconti opera and a visconti opera a month ago but I wasn't enamored by their nib smoothness. The two best italian pen brands are OMAS and Montegrappa. SMG, the 360 is a pen I highly recommend, I own one 360 magnum in midnight blue black and it is a delight to write with same comment with the Arte Italiana Paragon.
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

#8 MicheleB

MicheleB

    A pen a day.....

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,065 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 13 May 2007 - 05:26

I had the LE when Worldux was doing a major sale. I couldn't get the hang of the filler and the nib skipped and I tried several solutions suggested by forums. I finally turned it in and got the mid size and it is one of my FAVORITE pens. I love the nib and the filler is a normal c/c. To get the LE clear I used the thermometer shake into a paper towel method and it worked pretty well. There just seemed to be some sort of vacuum in the LE which prevented my lower chamber from filling fully and I couldn't get a consistent flow. I never could figure it out and it was too expensive to be so difficult in my opinion. The mid size Wall St is one of the most beautiful pens and best writing pens I have.
We can trust the heart of a man by his treatment of animals. - Immanual Kant

#9 Sharkle

Sharkle

    BPillar

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 661 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 07:55


Superb review, thank you! But I am truly sorry you had to experience so much disappointment with such a beautiful and promising pen. I think the Wall Street is gorgeous. In light of yours and others' experiences, I'm tempted to make a trip to Bertram's and compare an Omas, a Visconti and a Montegrappa if possible. I've only tested an Omas in the past--silky-smooth writer to say the least. Good luck with your pen; I do hope it will eventually fulfill all of your original expectations. smile.gif


#10 greencobra

greencobra

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,654 posts
  • Location:Boston

Posted 13 May 2007 - 12:59

Sorry about your experience with Visconti. I own 4 Operas and a Van Gogh and while not in the Wall Street LE price range, all wrote out of the box exceeding my expectations. Don't give up on Visconti yet!
JELL-O, IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER!

#11 Spongebob

Spongebob

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 16:09

QUOTE(SMG @ May 13 2007, 02:40 AM) View Post
I tried pens from many major manufacturers, Visconti (Wall street in Red, same as the one reviewed here), Conway Stewart, and Omas. Of those I tried at least two of each brand, and of all the pens I looked at, only the Omas had the nibs set correctly. All of the CS and Visconti were tilted off to the same side of the feed as yours.

I tried a Churchill and Duro from CS. Both were misaligned. I also tried the Wall street and an Opera Master, again both were misaligned. The Omas pens (Paragon and 360 piston fill) were perfect. Nibs were dead straight and smooth as butter.

Cheers,
SG


The odd thing is the nib was set correctly when I first purchased it. It came back from repair crooked. I'm packing it up now to send it for an exchange.

Bob

#12 MYU

MYU

    ... The key to it all is Capillary Action! ...

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,647 posts
  • Location:On a cliff, looking at NYC
  • Flag:

Posted 13 May 2007 - 17:55

QUOTE(Mike S. @ May 13 2007, 12:47 AM) View Post
Then one day, not long after I'd received the pen back from Italy, I dropped it on the floor and it broke in half. I was extremely disappointed. I called the U.S. rep. (Ken Jones) and he said to send the pen back and he would replace the pen, but put my nib into the new pen.

What the... "broke in half"?? How far a drop was it and onto what kind of flooring? I once dropped a Parker vacumatic onto a hard wood floor. The pen just bounced a bit and acquired a scuffing. Maybe I just got lucky with how the pen hit.

Someone else here on FPN had reported dropping a pen cap and it shattered into many pieces. Talk about brittle resin/celluloid!

[MYU's Pen Review Corner]   |   "The Common Ground" -- Jeffrey Small


#13 Freeloader

Freeloader

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 220 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 23:56

Your story is terribly distressing. I've got the exact same pen, and it's been wonderful right out of the box. It's one of my favorites. Hopefully, someone will exorcise the voodoo curse on yours, and it will become one of your favorites too. Good luck!

#14 David Shafer

David Shafer

    Near Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPip
  • 42 posts

Posted 13 May 2007 - 23:59

QUOTE(SMG @ May 12 2007, 10:40 PM) View Post
Last weekend I had a chance to hit my favorite brick and mortar store for a trial run on a few really high priced pens. Actually none of them are even in the realm of my affordability, but it is nice to window shop as it were.

I tried pens from many major manufacturers, Visconti (Wall street in Red, same as the one reviewed here), Conway Stewart, and Omas. Of those I tried at least two of each brand, and of all the pens I looked at, only the Omas had the nibs set correctly. All of the CS and Visconti were tilted off to the same side of the feed as yours.

I tried a Churchill and Duro from CS. Both were misaligned. I also tried the Wall street and an Opera Master, again both were misaligned. The Omas pens (Paragon and 360 piston fill) were perfect. Nibs were dead straight and smooth as butter.

I totally fell in love with the 360, now I just have to figure out how to afford one. smile.gif

One would think that the manufacturers would catch this totally preventable fault prior to sending the pens out. It was on so many of the pens that I looked at, that it was more than a coincidence. QC would seem to be lacking to say the least from those manufacturers. Too bad, but it might lend some credence to the issues that I have heard of people having issues with their CS pens until they have been looked at by a nib meister. For what you are spending, this should be unheard of.

Cheers,
SG



Hi SMG, may I offer a suggestion on how to afford one. I happen to get paid every week, I take 20.00 and put it in my secret place. when I have enough I make my purchase. I pay all my bills on time, I work hard, and every now and then I buy something nice for myself. 3 watches, 4 cheap pens, a new dishwasher, fridge for the wife. It takes a while to save up but that makes it more enjoyable. try it

David
Be without fear in the face of your enemies... Be brave and upright that God may love thee... Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death... Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong - that is your oath.

-The Knight's Oath (Kingdom of Heaven)

#15 Mike S.

Mike S.

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 423 posts

Posted 15 May 2007 - 12:17

QUOTE(MYU @ May 13 2007, 05:55 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Mike S. @ May 13 2007, 12:47 AM) View Post
Then one day, not long after I'd received the pen back from Italy, I dropped it on the floor and it broke in half. I was extremely disappointed. I called the U.S. rep. (Ken Jones) and he said to send the pen back and he would replace the pen, but put my nib into the new pen.

What the... "broke in half"?? How far a drop was it and onto what kind of flooring? I once dropped a Parker vacumatic onto a hard wood floor. The pen just bounced a bit and acquired a scuffing. Maybe I just got lucky with how the pen hit.

Someone else here on FPN had reported dropping a pen cap and it shattered into many pieces. Talk about brittle resin/celluloid!



I had the pen on top of a stack of papers as I was walking back to my office after a meeting. When I stopped to hold the security door open for someone, I must have leaned over a bit because the pile of papers shifted and the pen slid off and landed on the carpeted floor. The clear ink view window is threaded in on both ends and the threads broke off on impact. When I picked it up off the floor, it was in two pieces -- the cap (with the nib and section still screwed in) and the barrel (still full of ink). From the look of it, if you had the replacement parts, it might have been easy to repair -- screw out the broken clear piece and screw in a new one. Unfortunately, I didn't have a box full of spare Visconti parts in my desk drawer. The good news is that Visconti replaced the pen for me at no charge (other than the cost of shipping the package to New Jersey).

Now I always carry my pen in my hand or under my thumb (or in my shirt pocket). Live and learn.

#16 JRodriguez

JRodriguez

    Anthropologist at large

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,245 posts

Posted 15 May 2007 - 14:52

I had one of these Viscontis and ended up selling it to another FPNer because I preferred my other two Viscontís. I've never had any problems with ink flow in the three Visconti pens I've owned, and I would take this unfortunate hassle as an indication of something that was discussed a few months back. These days pens receive no attention from a nibmeister once they reach the store. In the past, when FPs were what people used, most of them were tuned at the store before the purchaser left. Unfortunately most brick and mortar stores no longer have such a staff member on hand. In any case, I think a lot of the problems people have had with modern pens (note the issues with Pelikans that come up just about every week on the boards here) is mostly a result of these pens not receiving adjustments. Of course, I'm still not convinced that it's too much to ask that the manufacture ensure that every pen sent out is up to par. Anyway, I hope the pen comes back working without any hitches.

#17 errantmarginalia

errantmarginalia

    Généalogue

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,464 posts

Posted 16 May 2007 - 02:46

I'm sorry for the trouble you've been having with your pen. However, I also wanted to point out that Visconti nibs and feeds, like all Bock nib units, can be pulled right out of the sleeve and easily realigned upon reinsertion. There may be something else wrong with the pen, but these types of problems, at least, can easily be fixed without having to send ther pen back for service. Hope everything works out,
David

#18 Spongebob

Spongebob

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 129 posts

Posted 17 May 2007 - 02:20

Just an update. A box arrived-presumably with a replacement-- today. More info to follow after I've had a chance to test this one out

Bob

#19 Freeloader

Freeloader

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 220 posts

Posted 17 May 2007 - 02:22

QUOTE(Spongebob @ May 17 2007, 02:20 AM) View Post
Just an update. A box arrived-presumably with a replacement-- today. More info to follow after I've had a chance to test this one out

Bob

Good luck!

#20 SMG

SMG

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,064 posts

Posted 17 May 2007 - 12:25

Thanks for the hint David Shafer. Glad that works for you.

I think that you might have made some assumptions about my financial status from my statement which are incorrect. Can I afford a $600 pen (retail) yes, not that it is anyones business. Do I want to pay retail for this pen, no. Personally I would rather bide my time and pick up a used one here at a resonable price when one comes available.

My previous statement was slightly in jest as evidenced by the emoticon at the end of the sentence.

I think that you might want to reread the post and see what the intent was, to point out the apparent lack of quality control at the various manufacturers which I referenced. I do not feel that I need a lesson in economics from anyone here.

SG




PenRx is no longer in business.






Sponsored Content




|