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Delta Fantasia Vintage Review - Celluloid Beauty!

delta celluloid limited edition

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3 replies to this topic

#1 Jonr1971

Jonr1971

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Posted 23 November 2018 - 22:43

This is my own pen. I did not receive any compensation for this review. This pen is available to hire through pensharing.com.

 

Looks, description, build quality, dimensions

 

This is my limited edition (number 14 of 25) Delta Fantasia Vintage. It's made completely from turquoise blue celluloid, has a fine number 6 rhodium plated steel nib (there is an option to have a gold nib, at additional cost), and rhodium plated clip and cap band.

 

20181118_105505362_iOS.jpg

 

The cap band is fairly slim and carries a "Greek key" pattern. The clip has a little scroll work and a rollerball and is firm but not overly stiff.

 

20181118_105758394_iOS.jpg

 

There are chrome rings just behind the threads and below the blind cap at the end of the barrel. The finial is in a cone shape whilst the end of the blind cap is rounded off. The nib carries the simple Delta logo, name and nib size, with no other markings or engraving.

 

20181118_105543456_iOS.jpg

 

The celluloid is absolutely sensational, the turquoise colour is gorgeous. As you rotate the pen in your hand there appears to be four distinct sections to the celluloid - on two of those, the celluloid has a deep 3-D stripey effect; on the other two it's more muted but still lovely. You can spend hours just rotating the pen in hand, waiting for it to catch the light in a certain way.

 

20181118_105928358_iOS.jpg

 

The pen comes in a variety of celluloids, all limited to 25 pieces:

  • Brown (the only pen which comes with gold trim
  • Green (with black marbling - verde variegato)
  • Bordeaux
  • Turquoise (now sold out)
  • Red (with blue marbling)
  • Green (verde scuro)

20181123_223504000_iOS.jpg

 

L-R, the colours described above, from the cover of the accompanying booklet.

 

The build quality is fabulous, it feels beautifully made. The only minor disappointment is the clip: from the front it's a nice shape, with the roller ball and scroll work, but side on it looks rather thin and flimsy, compared to say a Montegrappa clip.

 

Dimensions are:

  • Capped 135mm, 28g (Lamy Safari 139mm, 18g)
  • Uncappped 123mm, 18g (Lamy Safari 128mm, 10g)
  • Posted 148mm (Lamy Safari 164mm)
  • Other: barrel width 14mm (at its widest point just behind the threads), section width 11mm (at its narrowest concave point), section length 21mm (including threads), nib length 23mm

Story behind the pen

 

I first saw this on Instagram, on Edwin PG's feed (@fountain.gem). He had just purchased 3 different ones: the turquoise, the brown and the marbled red.

 

20181118_142440000_iOS.jpg

 

Photo credit: @fountain.gem on Instagram

 

I instantly fell in love and knew that I had to have one..

 

I didn't realise this before purchasing but the pens are made by Salvatore Matrone in collaboration with Stefano Senatore (owner of Stilograph Corsani, retailer of fine writing instruments since 1924, in Rome). Salvatore is, of course, the founder of the sensational new pen company Leonardo, and is the son of Ciro Matrone, one of the founders of Delta. So the pedigree of the pen is impeccable!

 

I emailed Stefano to enquire about the pen and he responded to all of my questions quickly and with great enthusiasm and we established a great rapport. Once I placed the order it arrived extremely quickly. Awesome customer service all round!

 

Feel in the hand

 

Celluloid is a beautiful, silky smooth material which is warm to the touch so naturally the pen feels great in the hand. And because the section is also celluloid it means that you benefit from that same feeling whilst you are actually writing.

 

The circumference of the section is slightly larger than I prefer (and the same with the nib size at number 6, I find number 5 is my sweet spot) however I knew this before purchasing the pen is not in any way a hindrance to getting a comfortable grip.

 

It's quite a light pen unposted so no fatigue from long writing sessions.

 

Filling / refilling

 

I believe the term for the filling system on this pen is "captive converter". It's essentially a cartridge converter except that the twister is longer than on a traditional cartridge converter, is metal rather than plastic, and can be accessed by unscrewing the blind cap at the bottom of the barrel.

 

20181118_105121943_iOS.jpg

 

The barrel also unscrews so you can fill it as you would a normal CC if you prefer.

 

So you have the look and feel of a piston filler and the convenience of a cartridge converter. Clever!

 

20181123_223938000_iOS.jpg

 

The one minor downside is that because the "piston knob" is not an integral part of the barrel, it does have a slight rattle if you tap the pen in that area.

 

Nib feel on the paper / ink flow

 

The steel nib is absolutely superb and wrote beautifully straight out of the box. It's got enough feedback that you can feel you're actually writing but does feel lovely and smooth.

 

Flow is on the wet side, in fact perfectly so.

 

Line width / variation

 

The steel nib is firm and doesn't offer anything in the way of line variation.

 

It's a genuine fine line. Here's the comparison to the Lamy Safari F. They're pretty much identical:

 

20181119_214616913_iOS.jpg

 

Top: Lamy Safari F; Bottom: Delta Fantasia Vintage

 

How does it make your handwriting look

 

I love the slightly wetter flow. Maybe this contributes to me slowing down my writing pace a touch, which means a bit more care. Whilst I don't have particularly "nice" writing, it does contribute to it looking its best.

 

20181119_214449315_iOS.jpg

 

Value for money

 

At the €300 mark, the choice is almost limitless: Pelikan, Montegrappa, Visconti, Sailor, Aurora, Pilot - all the great names have lots to offer in this price bracket. Many will be gold nibbed piston fillers but I haven't seen any other celluloid pens out there (you might be lucky and pick up a used celluloid Montegrappa from eBay at that price).

 

The really hot celluloids to have right now are:

  • Leonardo Momento Zero (piston filler, gold nib)
  • Montegrappa Colori Del Mare (based on the Extra 1930, piston filler, gold nib)

But both these pens command a much higher price: the Leonardo at around €700, the Montegrappa at around $800.

 

So if you just want the material but not the piston filler or gold nib then this really is the only choice.

 

Conclusion / recommendation

 

The celluloid on this pen is the undoubted star of the show. It is stunningly beautiful. It is hand made by one of the leading lights in the fountain pen community, Salvatore Matrone. It was also amazing value for money at €300 and the buying experience from Stefano was smooth and handled with care and charm. For that price though, you have to sacrifice the gold nib, sterling silver trim and genuine piston filler, but they are sacrifices well worth making.

 

Overall, I love this pen - I'm delighted to have been able to have obtained one of such a limited run of pens and I would buy them all if I could!



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#2 sansenri

sansenri

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 21:30

thank you very much for your review of this lovely pen, I wonder how I missed it until now.

 

Corsani is a very nice shop and although I do not live in Rome I have bought several pens from them.

They are particularly active in teaming up with some of the most well known Italian pen manufactures to have their LE editions specially made for them, and I do like their styling choices, some of their LE pens are real beauties and as you mentioned not dramatically expensive in comparison to other upper end pens.

 

I bought a Corsani Fantasia too, some time ago, and I am very happy with it, I followed the shop's advise to go for the steel nib, which suits the pen nicely, and also writes nice and smooth and is somewhat springy. My version is the verde variegato.

 

Thank you also for the nice photos, which almost do the pen justice, but as you mentioned it's impossible to describe and photograph the celluloid which is mesmerizing.

I did not go for the turquoise although I was tempted because I already have a Montegrappa in the same celluloid (and a Delta LE from Chatterley).

You are right though, the depth is incredible, and it's difficult to stop looking at it.

The next choice was the verde variegato, a celluloid which Montegrappa has also used in its recent Nazionale flex. Montegrappa actually states that this same celluloid was used for a vintage model of theirs.
At any rate, it's a really nice colour, and the Corsani also has the section and finial in the same celluloid:

 

As far as the pen is concerned the model is essentially a Delta The Journal, one of my favourite Deltas (after the Dolce Vita).

 

You are also right in saying that the production of this pen follows the original spirit of Delta, which was at risk of disappearing after Delta's financial trouble, but fortunately rising again with Leonardo.

 

here is my Fantasia, thank you for showing yours
fpn_1545341243__p1110990-3_corsani_fanta


Edited by sansenri, 20 December 2018 - 21:34.


#3 Jonr1971

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 14:13

Thank you @sansenri for taking time to read my review and for your kind response! Many thanks for sharign the picture of yours - I adore the green marble celluloid!



#4 sansenri

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 00:17

all the celluloids Corsani has used are really nice, it was a tough choice, I was not able to see the dark green and the dark red versions in real life but I suspect that although they look less attractive in photo they must be nice too,

both have a sort of deep ripple in them that reminds me of the Esterbrooks (photo from the Corsani site)

fpn_1545437690__img_0254-2b_corsani_fant


Edited by sansenri, 22 December 2018 - 00:18.






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