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Why Buy Italian At All?

martmeodena delta and aurora and visconti?

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50 replies to this topic

#21 OMASsimo

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 22:32

:thumbup:  I think that's a statement everybody can agree on. And for sure there are issues with certain manufacturers and dealers. My worst experience is with a Montblanc pen which I finally gave up on. Yet, I'm far away from trashing MB in general.

 

Peace and love:)



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#22 agent_orange

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 20:15

Why buy Italian?

 

Because sexy. 

 

I so second this. I hate the fact that the stub nib on my Visconti Watermark is a dud. But would I part with the Pen? No way! German or Japanese Pen manufacturers will never be able to make such a pen, because somehow they will always prefer functionality over form. And the fact that they will mostly put form over functionality is exactly why we love the Italians, no? Especially if it creates some flashes of brilliance, such as Visconti's double power reservoir filler.



#23 Drawing61

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 00:35

Pizza is better than Sushi, and Japanese pens are better than Italian, and Italian pens are usually sexier than Japanese. I love Japanese pens, but I am not above spending an illicit weekend with my Viscontis.


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#24 kestrel

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:47

Visconti has some beautiful pens that write wonderfully.  When you can get one that works.
 

I heartily concur.  In the first 12 months I owned my Visconti Art Nouveau it spent far more time in Italy than in my study.  It also earned more frequent flier miles than I did.  But when it was finally "right" it was a delight to use.  My first Kaleido Voyager had serious nib issues only cured when I sent it to Mike Masuyama.  It, too, is now a wonderful pen.  I own three other Viscontis and all had their little quirks but nothing major except for exfoliation corrosion on the spacer rings on another Voyager.  The designs are gorgeous to look at, though, and it all worked out in the end and all are frequently used.


Dave Campbell
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#25 Mech-for-i

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 11:49

I do own several Italian pieces, but in general, other than specific models ( and a very limited number of them ) ; Italian pens are more like fashion items combined with some craftsmanship thrown in. In the end if you are looking for that fancy show piece, they are quite able to provide, but as far as the actual pen part ... they are not bad but there are just equally good or even better one at ( most likely ) lesser price. And those others are not bad lookers either ... IMHO this is a problem the Italian pen Mfrs put themselves in; namely they have try to amend their business volume ( revenue ) by ramming up the price disregarding. To a point that only those top end models / limited edition made a decent market sense ( and yet ) ... And in recent years their quality of dealing with the pen parts seems to be going down.

 

without a deeper understanding of where the Italian Mfr place their product and market share alike its hard to vision whether their business strategy is good or bad. But to me a layman consumer outside of that country ( and outside of EU ) it made little sense to consider buying Italian when the pens is more expensive and not giving much ( and in many cases giving less ). Those top dollar models and limited editions present a different market and I myself generally had little interest there. And I would consider those a totally different sector since people are buying those more for the novelty value.



#26 Tinjapan

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 12:28

I do own several Italian pieces, but in general, other than specific models ( and a very limited number of them ) ; Italian pens are more like fashion items combined with some craftsmanship thrown in. In the end if you are looking for that fancy show piece, they are quite able to provide, but as far as the actual pen part ... they are not bad but there are just equally good or even better one at ( most likely ) lesser price. And those others are not bad lookers either ... IMHO this is a problem the Italian pen Mfrs put themselves in; namely they have try to amend their business volume ( revenue ) by ramming up the price disregarding. To a point that only those top end models / limited edition made a decent market sense ( and yet ) ... And in recent years their quality of dealing with the pen parts seems to be going down.
 
without a deeper understanding of where the Italian Mfr place their product and market share alike its hard to vision whether their business strategy is good or bad. But to me a layman consumer outside of that country ( and outside of EU ) it made little sense to consider buying Italian when the pens is more expensive and not giving much ( and in many cases giving less ). Those top dollar models and limited editions present a different market and I myself generally had little interest there. And I would consider those a totally different sector since people are buying those more for the novelty value.


And so I thought until I finally tried them out. They are the pens I reach for more than all others and refill the most. I love mine.

#27 OMASsimo

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 19:00

And so I thought until I finally tried them out. They are the pens I reach for more than all others and refill the most. I love mine.

 

Absolutely right! I wonder how many people think that Italian pens are all pretty design and crappy performers with QC issues because they never tried one. This is probably aggravated by internet shopping where you can't try a pen before buying. The pens I'm interested in are not mass produced and thus hard to find to try out. You can find a Montblanc 149 at every airport and probably most cities worldwide. 

 

I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for a stunning Italian pen I bought many years ago. Here's the story: My Montblanc, which I bought while at grad school, finally broke down after 10 years even after MB fixed it once. I was quite disappointed with MB and looked for something different. We had a fantastic store in town with great knowledgeable and helpful sales people who singled out the models which would suite my taste and writing habits. The two finalists where a Waterman and an OMAS, a brand I had never heard of before. The Waterman was a great pen but the OMAS was fascinating. I didn't buy it in the end because it was three times the price. I had several quality issues with the Waterman and the people in the shop were very helpful to fix them more or less. Life moved on and many years later I moved for job reasons. While exploring the new city, I stumbled over a store selling off it's last few OMAS pens because they didn't sell well. There were two pens which knocked me out of my socks, a 360 Burkina and a Paragon Arco brown (both are celluloid). The people in the store were unbelievably kind and allowed me to fill the pen and write with it as long as I wanted. I filled 10 pages because I couldn't put down the pen before it was empty! I knew this was my pen for life and it still is. 

 

And here is the downside of the story: Ever since I'm fascinated by high quality fountain pens and particularly by OMAS and other Italian top makers. This cost me a pretty penny! I have many pens by Ancora, Aurora, Delta, OMAS, and Stipula and every single one is an outstanding writer. Out of all these pens I had ONE baby bottom nib which I fixed and two semi-vintage pens where I had to replace the nib collars. Note that I don't own any Visconti and thus cannot speak for them. 

 

Yes, the chance to get a lemon may be bigger with certain Italian pen makers compared to others but I didn't have any more trouble than with the rest of the flock.



#28 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 14:05

Quality of nibs, celluloid, details even though with some firms quality control can be problematic and erratic but once you go through a specialized dealer who knows how to deal with these issues and who insures a total back up with the factory warranty, you can be sure you will get a positive experience.


Edited by georges zaslavsky, 08 November 2017 - 14:06.

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

#29 DanceOfLight

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 16:07

Well, my experience with the Italian origin pens (experience only with Delta, Omas and Visconti BTW)  has been less than stellar, All these companies seem to have redirected all my e-mails to /null . That said, every Omas (a dozen or so) that I bought was absolutely perfect out the box, the writing experience sublime, the Design drool worthy. The Visconti s and Delta s were rather different affair WRT hit rates. Out of the three Viscontis 2 of them were DOA, sent em back as they were irreparable, the other, I had to open the Channel in the feed, align the tines, smooth'en the nib and grease the piston before it started working decently. Out of the 6 Deltas, 3 were DOA :angry: ! well long story short, I now buy, if and only if the design is exceptional (and I have the confidence of repairing them myself if something is wrong) or just stick to stuff that are well engineered (looks lovingly at currently inked Caran D ache and GVFC :wub: ) 

 

--edited for --- Espelling mistiks---


Edited by DanceOfLight, 08 November 2017 - 16:11.


#30 Ed_Usinowicz

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 14:45

I only have Auroras, but like my decades old Ducati I can gaze at them for hours on end. The Italians do some things better than all the rest.



#31 Doug C

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 18:08

Dante left visconti a while back which might explain his indifference. Btw good to see you are still on the forum, o.r.r.
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#32 gary

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 13:16

With the blight effecting the spaghetti crop pens are the only export propping up the Italian economy.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=tVo_wkxH9dU

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Edited by gary, 19 November 2017 - 13:16.


#33 fabri00

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 13:46

I don't think so.
But of course everyone can have his conviction.....!

#34 OMASsimo

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 14:25

I know it's meant in a funny way but it shows how ignorant most people are of the Italian economy. Nevertheless, I'm very fond of my home-grown pasta.:)



#35 Feanaaro

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 15:37

With the blight effecting the spaghetti crop pens are the only export propping up the Italian economy.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=tVo_wkxH9dU

gary

PS-film from vintage harvest

 

 

"The country is also well known for its influential and innovative business economic sector, an industrious (Italy is the second largest manufacturer in Europe[22] behind Germany) and competitive agricultural sector (Italy is the world's largest wine producer),[23] and for its creative and high-quality automobile, naval, industrial, appliance and fashion design. Italy is the largest market for luxury goods in Europe (third in the world) and the country's private wealth is one of the largest in the world."

 

https://en.wikipedia...conomy_of_Italy



#36 RUGMAN

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 17:10

Perhaps I'm blind but I recently purchased (from someone on this forum) a Visconti Rembrandt with a F nib. It's not enough of a line and ordered a M nib from Coles of London. They couldn't be nicer to talk to and complete the order. If you were satisfied with the pens when you bought them, then why did you sell them after the alleged problems with the manufacturer or distributor. Is this to show your disappointment with them? If it is, your hard choices and searches for these pens you wanted was a waste of time and your attitude is detrimental to your mental health. I'm just saying.....

 

 

 

 

Like others, I have had difficult experiences with Martmeodena, which I have previously chronicled. When they were just selling Delta pens, I found them to be as attractive as ever, but of less than perfect quality. I am not aware of any involvement by Aurora, and, as to Visconti, their customer issues stand on their own. If Martmodena has compounded their problems, yet another reason to avoid these people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have long admired the beauty of many Italian pen makers and am certain that most manufacturers and dealers are completely reputable. There are, it seems, some who are not.

 

My reaction has been to avoid Martemodena, Delta and Visconti completely. It is ironic, because, some while back, I wrote a very favorable article about Visconti. Issues with things like getting the desired nib drove me, first, to email Dante del Vecchio - whose reaction was why was I bothering him. Then, I sold off my Viscontis, save one very early ballpoint. BTW, Signor del Vecchio is now designing  another line (too?) - see the Fahrney's catalogue. I have also sold all my Deltas, save one ballpoint.

 

My reactions reflect my mistrust, and I would not suggest that anyone copy them. I would strongly suggest, however, that before making any purchases from these people that you are securely backstopped so that you can withdraw easily and quickly.

 

Fultz used to wish us "good hunting." Especially true here, I think.


Lee Rappeport

#37 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 20:15

I held off from buying Italian pens becuase of their prices. They are generally much more expensive than the pens I can get easily in Japan, Japanese pens. 

 

God, Same. For example, Aurora's least expensive pen retails for 40-45€. Yeah, how about no.  :glare:

 

By the way OP, yours seems to be an issue with a vendor, not with the overall quality of fountain pens by Italian manufacturers (so /phew/), but I'm still sorry about your negative experience.


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#38 jmccarty3

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 21:00

If the issue is the beauty of Italian products vs their utility, I repeat that they are beautiful. Ease of operation, not so much. [Reminds me of my first two wives. The current keeper is an example of what happens if you kiss enough frogs].

 

You, too, eh?


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#39 sdbruder

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 02:05

I do not own any Italian pens (only Chinese, Indian, some American, one English and one from Taiwan: Im cheap, only buy the cheapest pens), but I very much like what I see as Italian pens: they are sexy indeed.

 

If I step up the price point where I buy pens I very much see myself buying Italian Pens (after a trust-over-form Sailor enter my collection).



#40 langere

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:34

Italian pens love me.  :D  Never had a problem with my Viscontis, Omas, Signum, Aurora and Delta.  Either I'm lucky or the QC problem isn't as big as it sometimes appears on this site...

 

Erick


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