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