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The Newest Pen From Venvstas--The T Noire

venvstas fiberglass

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#1 writerstephen

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 19:47

A few weeks back I reviewed the Venvstas 78, a unique carbon fiber fountain pen from French designer Lucio Rossi. Read it here: http://www.fountainp...small-designer/

 

Now, I've got a new Venvstas to review: The T Noire. This is a pre-production model, not yet available in the US, and Mr. Rossi was kind enough to let me purchase one in favor of a Carbon T. In fact, I am the only person in the US with this particular pen. Hopefully, this will change soon, because Venvstas is looking to mass-produce the T-Noire and distribute it in the US, among other markets, and if this pre-production model is any indication, it should be a rousing success.

 

First of all, I am a huge fan of the Venvstas aesthetic. Simple and clean without being boring, the T-Noire has a nearly seamless black fiberglass body. It's shiny without being slick, nor is it a fingerprint magnet. The fiberglass is light and pleasant to hold, and while it is the same circumference as a 78, it somehow feels thicker. As with the 78, the entire barrel is the grip, so you can hold the pen virtually anywhere you like and not harm the balance. And it is well-balanced; the fiberglass and steel cap can be posted to add a little length to the pen (I like to post), but it isn't necessary.

 

noire-4.jpg

 

The nib is decidedly different from the 78--Rossi calls it a "Rotring style" nib; to me, it looks like the nib on the new Caran d'Ache 849. While I didn't like that pen, I did like the nib, and I like this one too. In fact, it's rapidly becoming my favorite nib. In medium, it's smooth without being glassy, lays down a wet line without pooling ink on the page, and always starts on demand. It's a standard cartridge/converter pen, and the refill is held in place by steel fins that come up about halfway on a standard short cartridge. I like this because you often find pens whose refills wobble about and even detach with normal use; that won't happen with the T.

 

noire-2.jpg

 

The thing I like best about the T-Noire, I think, is the way everything fits together. The section is friction fit to the body, so no unscrewing needed. Just pull it out. The nib and feed are friction fit inside the section, so pull them out when you need to clean the pen. When you're finished, just fit everything back together so the seams disappear. Lovely. When the pen is capped, it looks seamless and slim; uncapped the nib is the focal point. In your hand it feels solid yet light, perfect for extended writing sessions. Too often, it seems to me, small pen designers make pens that focus too much on exotic barrel and cap materials and too little on the actual writing components--not so with Venvstas. These are writers' pens, pens you'll be happy and proud to use every day at work, or at school, or anywhere.

 

noire-3.jpg

 

The T-Noire is featured as part of a new Indiegogo campaign, so you can pre-order now if you wish, here: https://www.indiegog...by-lr-drawing#/. Mr. Rossi is serious about his customer service, so you don't have to worry about getting a quality product. If something happens, he'll make it right.

 

Reading over this review, I know I sound like a bit of a cheerleader. But with the current state of the pen world today, I believe we need more designers like Rossi and Venvstas. For instance, Esterbrook pens are made in India (and marked up 1000%). Monteverde and Conklin are made in China, and priced like they're made in Ohio. Their nibs are hit or miss. Stipula Splash pens are rebadged Dollar Pens (also marked up 1000% or more). We need a pen designer who makes what he sells, and makes it with care and passion. Rossi fits that bill. And the T-Noire is a fantastic pen as a result.

 

noire-1.jpg


Edited by writerstephen, 27 October 2017 - 01:33.


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#2 Feanaaro

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 20:01

Is the pen truly 125mm long, uncapped? For some reason, both pens that I got from Venvstas were about 1-1.5 centimeters longer than declared in their descriptions, and from the pictures this looks very long as well.



#3 LanceSaintPaul

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 20:35

Thanks for your review. I read your other one as well. This company's pens are of increasing interest to me. I like their aesthetic.

 

Your statement about the current state of the pen world make sense to me. There are some few manufacturers whose current productions interest me. For the most part I look for vintage pens. It's a fine thing to see more interesting choices available in contemporary pens & at rational price points.

 

In that vein Conid is another company I've got my eye on. I've seen one of their pens in person, but have yet to see & hold a Venvstas.

 

I hope this trend in the market continues. I think it has every reason to.



#4 writerstephen

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 22:50

Is the pen truly 125mm long, uncapped? For some reason, both pens that I got from Venvstas were about 1-1.5 centimeters longer than declared in their descriptions, and from the pictures this looks very long as well.

 

My pen is 133 mm uncapped; but this is a pre-production model and I don't think you could take final measurements from it. Also, all of my pictures are of the pen posted. Posted, my pen is 160 mm long or about 6.25 inches.



#5 VENVSTAS

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 07:46

Is the pen truly 125mm long, uncapped? For some reason, both pens that I got from Venvstas were about 1-1.5 centimeters longer than declared in their descriptions, and from the pictures this looks very long as well.

I have corrected that, as the 125 is for the roller, which is shorter. The FP is a full 1cm longer. I remember your case, and the fact of the first pen was that when we were making them to make it exactly of the size declared was very complicated, it turned out that a longer pen by 1cm was easier to make, and the difference was not so much noticeable as it was mainly the cap which got longer. . This had to do with two components. In the case of the carbonmeister you have, the first ones were Bock, it was a different nib, we changed definitely to Jowo and also aspects of the construction of the pen. Also the carbonmeister (we don't do it anymore and both pens you mention, they are out of the catalog and I'll explain why) I wrote now aprox, because differences in mm can happen as the pen is in a pre-series stage. The pen in any case will be big enough to get 2 short cartridges inside or a long one, a feature many makers are just ignoring. Many pens out there can only use a converter (most of them are 3mm shorter than a regular full size cartridge) and full disclose here, the pen is in a crowdfunding campaign, therefore is a project that may happen or not depending if it gets found or not, have you asked yourself why there are so many metal tuned pens on kickstarter, indiegogo and those places? Well, behind is the same factory in china which specializes in tunning aluminium, titan, steel and soft metals. Except for a few americans that are looking like cowboys tuning pens somewhere in montana or in the catskills, which is more than good, the rest is all made by this factory. How do I know? Because they call me and showed me everything, they wanted me to do a pen for them so they can keep filling these platforms with those pens, which its not my thing, Im doing this for other reasons. And I'll write a bit more about that, I have nothing against producing in asia, or if anybody else wants to do it. Currently Im working on a project for HiFi headphones, and the true is, little can I buy in USA or in the EU or Japan, I have to buy all in china, just because nobody makes those components here, the thing is, that seems if you wanna make stuff you should go east, and to some extend, I wanna do stuff here, so what should I do? I want to have control of what I design and know the guy who's doing it, know that working conditions are fine, that people its not being exploited, Im not an artisan, Im a different type of creature and I have made consultations for companies of the size of H&M so I know what's going on, its literally slave work, big margins, and as I red up there you are paying in this business for things as if they had been made with the conditions that we expect to have in the west, many people have fought for better conditions, that's why we have them, its very cynic to go and look into where I can keep polluting or I can exploit people, at the end is one planet, one humanity. John Burns once said. Don't do Social Housing. Just pay decent wadges... so the pen maybe longer but not shorter, never, ever shorter. Hands grow with age. 


VENVSTAS ITALY

www.venvstas.com

info@venvstas.com

 

 


#6 VENVSTAS

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 08:49

I want to just post something on the making overseas, which is fine. Im Lucio Rossi, so I have designed this pen and all the venvstas pens except one that I have co-designed and will be out by the end of the year and I promise it will be a mind blower. Im an architect and this explain one thing, I have made quite a long academic career teaching in Europe and South america. but mainly in Germany (that's why some names are in German as the idea at the beginning was to make the venvstas thing German, as I was living between Hamburg and Paris) some names stayed as most of the pens were already registered in Germany for this german company that never happened. But, regarding the production in asia and the x1000 price a product gets marked up, As Im not an artisan (they have a different mindset), I have studied this very in deep, each brand, where they produce, what they do, and this and that. I don't care on what they do, but I see what they do to learn, small, medium and big. The thing is, that one day if, as makers, we do not get a certain control on our production, its not going to be a problem that you get copied or not. Im sure all of you have seen the Lamy clones out there, and I have been asked from one of the major chinese companies to design for them, and at the end they decided not to hire me or anybody for an external design (they can copy you anyway and little can you do about it so better get anything rather than nothing) at the end, and to launch a new safari clone. This is true, but this could change. So, this is something that happens from the tiny arena of writing instruments to cars. its happening. As architect I have worked extensively in China, I have done projects there, and I have been in talking with colleagues like Wilkinson for example (the guy who did the London Eye and the funny garden in Singapour,big guy in architecture, specially commercially successful architecture, im in the non successful side) so he knows, and we agreed that there were maybe less than 10 years left of our go and do projects in china and cash them up, (actually I haven't done anything there since 5 years) why, because there's a young generation pushing with their own ideas and they are doing good stuff, they are competent. Same thing happened in america, And that's fine, very. Why? Well, I have been teaching to many chinese students exclusively for years, so they go back to china, and they teach, and at the end, (the same history you can tell about young american (south and north) architects learning in europe and going back to the states for instance, and this was something Jefferson was very much telling the young to do, and its good for building a nation) a country that only could manufacture things that somebody was thinking in the US or the EU, now is designing them, so I wonder when is that they will finally understand that they can sell quality stuff that's also quality designed by them? At the end you'll get the x1000 marked up pen, look at it and ask yourself why should you pay the extra buck, if the no brand one is actually made in the same factory, and eventually they will take on the design as well. But Im doing this just because I think things can be done different and that I started doing my own writing (mainly drawing)    instruments as I didn't liked whats in the market, I had an old rothring tintenkuli, an interesting brand now somehow ruined by a big corporation, a Lamy safari I was always loosing and I didn't care as I didn't liked the pen, I had a 2000 that was always leaking and one day I said why not to make something for me? Honestly, if looking for something modern, there was not much choice for me as a the type of customer I am,  so I did my own, and now I'm working really hard into perfecting them, introducing vacumatics w/pistons and piston fillers because I want to use stuff that can load more ink for me to keep drawing, and maybe venvstas wont go long, maybe yes, this depends on me in a way and in another way it does not, or depends on you, but I think this is how good companies are born, born out passion about something, or just curiosity, doing it different, better, get to places you have not been yet. I have never believed in making yet another MB 149 looking like pen, although  Im fine with the army of sailors and those things, which even have a golden ring where its supposed to be a knob, but, I can do something else, so, Im doing it. Lets see where it goes. I also dont like sections, I like freedom so do I like that on the pen. That's why I have developed the type of cap you see here, to have freedom. Freedom to draw, get the pen how you want, write in English or in Cantonese. I have also introduced rollers that can be filled up with FP ink, use a converter or just regular cartriges, this was a fter a guy in a pen show that wanted to buy a venvstas, but said, Im left handed, don't you have a regular pen for me? Well, now yes. I have worked a lot to make  really good looking rollers, I don't know you guys, but the set FP + Roller I always look at the roller, like, well, I wish they could have spent a few more minutes in making you not beautiful, but at least cheerful. 

 

it seemed natural for me to make them in europe in small series. I know pens are taking a loong time sometimes, and Im very sorry for that, that's why I have eliminated quite some pens to speed up things, and there's a lot of work ahead, but, will see, its very tough I can tell, it has to be way easier to call the metal tuner guys in Wangdong, but, I have chosen a complicated path,  hard, but richer. The guys in Wangdong Im sure are very busy anyway...you're welcome to take a look on the pen, its the same as the Carbon T except for the material, the carbon in the T is really hard to work with, so I have been looking on alternatives, its been hard as customers really like the thing....but I think this one is a very nice alternative, and it will be possible to make it in bigger quantities, therefore, less time to wait. 
Thanks. 


VENVSTAS ITALY

www.venvstas.com

info@venvstas.com

 

 


#7 Feanaaro

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 13:14

I have corrected that, as the 125 is for the roller, which is shorter. The FP is a full 1cm longer... so the pen maybe longer but not shorter, never, ever shorter. Hands grow with age. 

 

Ok... for me the pens are too long, they would have been better at the declared length. Also, old big hands would probably want pens much thicker than the ones you tend to produce anyway.



#8 VENVSTAS

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 13:30

 

Ok... for me the pens are too long, they would have been better at the declared length. Also, old big hands would probably want pens much thicker than the ones you tend to produce anyway.

Guido, that's why I did the Magna and the Parisienne. 


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#9 Feanaaro

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 15:06

Guido, that's why I did the Magna and the Parisienne. 

 

Well, if those are the pens for "old hands", why are all the pens so long?

I guess what I'm saying is just this, I'd like to use those pens, but asides from recurring problems with nib drying with the two I tried, they are all disproportionally long to my eyes (and hands).



#10 VENVSTAS

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 17:37

 

Well, if those are the pens for "old hands", why are all the pens so long?

I guess what I'm saying is just this, I'd like to use those pens, but asides from recurring problems with nib drying with the two I tried, they are all disproportionally long to my eyes (and hands).

No Guido, not for old hands, hand aging have noting to do with that. They are thicker that's what I meant. Some people like thicker pens, so that's why I did the Magna and the Parisienne. To give you an idea of the Magna and Parisienne they are the same length of a safari,  Iguess we all know how big are those, (with an ink capacity of 2.0ml when many bigger piston pens do not make more than 1.4) the other pens you have tried, they are out of the catalog, they are old designs, much has been improved since. The Noire the pen  of the review, is just 5mm longer than the safari, if that's long, then I don't know....Actually the noire is shorter than the original design in carbon fiber it comes from, as the end of the pen is semi hollow, difficult to explain, but it has a lot of work to make the pen the size it is. Which I found optimal. I do a pen called Schreibmeister https://www.venvstas.../schreibmeister that one is veeeeeeeeery loooooooooooong and just 9mm, so probably you wont like it, but I do it because I like it. So I did it, besides it has a hybrid filling mechanism, this is, it has a converter but action is from outside, and if you wanna you can switch to cartridges. but the pens you mention, no we dont do them anymore, the pen here in the review has a very tight cap with double contact........so, I use one myself and it has been loaded since a month now, and it keeps working....I like long pens. I really do. 


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#11 writerstephen

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 01:57

 

Ok... for me the pens are too long, they would have been better at the declared length. Also, old big hands would probably want pens much thicker than the ones you tend to produce anyway.

Well, I don't find my T too long; for reference, my TWSBI Classic, when posted, is longer than the T Noire by a quarter inch or so. Unposted, the T is longer, but again, only by a quarter inch or so. And the grip sections are comparably thick between the pens as well. My point is, I don't feel like the thickness or length are out of bounds for this pen.



#12 Feanaaro

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 14:14

Everyone has different preferences, and different hands.







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