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Leonardo Officina Italiana Momento Zero Ebonite

leonardo officina italiana ebonite stub italian pen

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#1 dms525

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 22:54

1-Leonardo-OI-1.jpg

 

I first heard about Leonardo Officina Italiana pens from an Instagram posting by Glenn Marcus. His pen looked gorgeous, and he spoke very highly of it. Looking into this “new” company, I find it has been around for several decades, but, while they have made pens for a number of other well-known Italian pen companies, they only recently began making pens with their own branding. They call the first of their models “Momento Zero,” meaning for them “a new beginning.”

 

Given the recent demise of several highly esteemed Italian pen makers and the rumored distress of some others, it is wonderful to see new Italian pen makers appearing, especially ones producing writing instruments of such high quality. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

 

Leonardo Officina Italiana is making two lines of Momento Zero pens.  One line has resin bodies, captive converter inking systems and steel nibs. It is priced in what I would regard as the middle range for a pen with these features. The other line is produced in very limited numbers. It has bodies either of celluloid or ebonite, a true piston filling system and 14 Ct gold nibs. It is priced in the lower range of top quality Italian pens - still rather expensive. 

 

The pen I chose was the Ebonite model. This was a limited edition of 10 pens. I found one at Stilograph Corsani in Rome. I had a lovely email exchange with the owner, Stefano Senatore. He had one ebonite pen left, but I wanted one with an italic nib. Stefano determined that he could obtain one from the manufacturer, but it would be outside of the limited edition. It would be numbered “00/10.” That was fine with me. The pen arrived today, and I inked it with OMAS sepia.

 

General appearance/aesthetics

The pen is made of a dark, reddish “Rosewood” ebonite. both the cap and barrel have a subtle taper. The ends of both the cap and barrel have slight points. There are two thin gold cap bands, another band between the barrel and the section and another between the barrel and the piston cap.

 

1-Leonardo-OI-2.jpg

 

1-Leonardo-OI-uncapped.jpg

 

Size/Ergonomics

The Momento Zero is about the length of a Pelikan M800 or an old-style OMAS Paragon. Its barrel is significantly bigger around than the Paragon and just a bit bigger than the M800. There is a slight step off to the section, so the sections diameter is probably about 14 mm (my estimate). The ebonite pen is quite light, and it feels well balanced both posted and un-posted.  

 

1-size-compare.jpg

Left to right: Leonardo Officina Italiana, OMAS Paragon, Pelikan M620, Pelikan M800

 

The gold clip has a roller at the end. It goes into and out of a dress shirt pocket smoothly and seems to keep securely in the pocket.

 

Piston/filling

The pen fills with 4 turns of the piston. The piston turns smoothly with a solid, positive feel. I have not measured the ink capacity. Stefano told me that the piston mechanism was modeled after the one used by OMAS. 

 

The nib, feed and writing experience

The nib is a 14Ct gold, “semi-flexible” stub. I believe I read somewhere that the stub was 1.3 mm. However, it writes a line that is 0.8 mm wide. This is well within the practical range for my everyday italic handwriting. The nib is buttery smooth, but, with smooth Rhodia R paper and OMAS ink, it has very respectable thick/thin line variation. Together with the pen’s excellent balance, this makes for a very comfortable, fluid writing experience.

 

1-stub-nib.jpg

 

When I looked at the feed, I remarked that it appeared identical to that on my OMAS pens. The nib itself is about the size of a vintage Paragon or 360 nib. Its shape is a bit different, with more flare in the shoulders.

 

1-nib-compare.jpg

Top to bottom: OMAS Ogiva, Leonardo Officina Italiana, OMAS Paragon, OMAS old-style Milord

 

General quality/fit and finish

The fit and finish of this pen is flawless. It impresses me as being of very high quality but in no way flashy. This is clearly a pen to use, not one to merely display. That suits me fine!

 

As a rather unique and certainly unanticipated bonus, the pen came with a little package of the swarf from it's turning. A cute touch!

 

1-swarf.jpg

 

Last, a writing sample - my "thank you" note to Sr. Senatore.

 

1-writing-sample.jpg

 

Happy writing!

 

David


Edited by dms525, 27 March 2018 - 23:31.


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#2 linearM

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 01:28

That is one beautiful pen!!!  Thanks for bringing it to our attention.



#3 Bobje

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:10

This pen reminds me of the lines on a well-designed sailboat, with an elegant arc from end to end.

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#4 _InkyFingers

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:32

Dios mio, es muy aesthetico.

Gracias Snr David por sus presentaciones más útiles.

#5 liston

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:16

What a beautiful pen and review.



#6 FriendAmos

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 14:20

   Is it multi-sided (like the Paragon), or is that just the photography?



#7 dms525

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 16:05

   Is it multi-sided (like the Paragon), or is that just the photography?

 

The pen is not facetted.

 

David



#8 FriendAmos

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 17:13

 

The pen is not facetted.

 

David

 

Thanks.   When you get a chance, I'd be interested to know the ink capacity in comparison with the M800.   Four turns seems awfully small.



#9 amberleadavis

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 23:06

Wonderful review!


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#10 jmccarty3

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 01:50

Very nice pen. I like the celluloid version. I understand that other finishes are to come.


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#11 marcelo

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:31

1-size-compare.jpg
Left to right: Leonardo Officina Italiana, OMAS Paragon, Pelikan M620, Pelikan M800


I got crazy about the M620 Series when I first became interested in fountain pens. Which city is this one? 😉

#12 dms525

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 05:09

I got crazy about the M620 Series when I first became interested in fountain pens. Which city is this one?

 

Technically, that pen belongs to the "Famous Places" series which followed the City series. This one is "La Grande Place," symbolizing the main square in the old town of Brussels.

 

David



#13 dms525

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 05:13

Very nice pen. I like the celluloid version. I understand that other finishes are to come.

 

I like the celluloid version too, especially the light blue one. I've ordered one of the resin models with a steel stub. The resin looks a lot like the one Montegrappa used in the Modigliani LE.

 

Where did you get information about future products/other finishes?  There is precious little posted on the internet.

 

David



#14 da vinci

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:01

I saw these on Instagram, and liked them - particularly this model in ebonite. Tracked one down a Fontopluma and ordered it!

I agree there is not much out there - but the idea of a new Italian artisanal pen maker is good news.

I am glad to hear the nib performs well.

@David - any idea who made the nib? I thought I saw somewhere Leonardo made their own nibs but I cannot now find that reference.

#15 jmccarty3

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:43

I found these pens on ItalianPens.com.


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#16 dms525

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 17:03


@David - any idea who made the nib? I thought I saw somewhere Leonardo made their own nibs but I cannot now find that reference.

I don't know who made the nibs. I am just struck that the feed is identical to the one OMAS used. I wonder if Leonardo Officina Italiana acquired their unused stock of feeds. One of the vendors might know. 

 

David



#17 dms525

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 17:07

I found these pens on ItalianPens.com.

 

The materials/colors listed by ItalianPens dot com are the same I've seen on other vendors' web sites. 

 

Two of the LE materials had only 10 pens made. I assume (but do not know) these will be issued in additional materials at some time. At least I hope so.

 

David



#18 dms525

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 02:51

 

Thanks.   When you get a chance, I'd be interested to know the ink capacity in comparison with the M800.   Four turns seems awfully small.

 

Your concern is well-founded. The pen seemed to run out of ink sooner that I expected. I flushed it out and then filled it with water and measured in a graduated 5 ml tube. Three fills measured to the same volume. For comparison, I measured the ink capacity of a Pelikan M800 and also that of an vintage OMAS Paragon. The later was of interest in that the shop from which I bought the Leonardo O.I. told me its piston was modeled after that in the OMAS pens.

 

Results

Leonardo O.I. - 0.9-1.0 ml

OMAS Paragon - 2.0 ml 

M800 - 1.5 ml.

 

I will check with the shop from which I bought the pen to see if the ink capacity I measured is proper. 

 

Thanks for asking about this!

 

David



#19 da vinci

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 21:28

I don't know who made the nibs. I am just struck that the feed is identical to the one OMAS used. I wonder if Leonardo Officina Italiana acquired their unused stock of feeds. One of the vendors might know. 
 
David


I have had it confirmed by Leonardo pens that the rosewood Edomite model uses a bock nib.

#20 Gloucesterman

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 21:26

Thoroughly enjoyed your review. You alluded somewhat to a price so... Now I would ask a more mundane question.

 

How much would it cost to purchase one like the one you purchased?


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