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Leonardo, Delta -What Am I Missing?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Doug C

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 22:33

Years ago I had a fleet of Delta pens, and got rid of them mostly due to substandard build or writing qualities.

Then I started to see a noticeable uptick in the Deltas I started purchasing. They were by and large, all good writers, were true to nib size (what I perceived as a fine actually wrote like a fine, etc) and they were nicely constructed.

Most people know that the company Delta went under a few years ago.

 

I had a chance to try out a Leonardo recently and I was duly impressed. It seemed to be a really nice pen-then it hit me.  This was a Delta; It had all of the hallmarks of the recent Deltas. The body shape, clip design, and other design elements like the ratcheting piston, and the converter that could be accessed by either the section or the blind cap all were reminiscent of the Dolce Vita, Seawood, and some of the Delta made Chatterleys. 

So my friends, what am I missing? Why did a company that couldn't make it a few years ago suddenly become the darling of the pen community with a lot (not all I'lll grant you) of the same designs and with some of the same leadership?

 

Splain it to me....


Edited by Doug C, 11 August 2020 - 22:24.

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#2 mauckcg

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 22:53

Leonardo was started by the son of the Delta founder or designer or something.  So there are Delta roots in Leonardo plus some Omas too.



#3 ingolf

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 07:29

Why did a company that couldn't make it a few years ago suddenly become the darling of the pen community with a lot (not all I'lll grant you) of the same designs and with some of the same leadership?

 

Splain it to me....

 

 

 

As for me the prize-quality-performance-relationship of most Leonardo pens is outstanding.

I also got some Delta pens. Fortunately (for me) I could benefit from big discount rates. Don't understand me wrong, the Delta pens I bought are beautiful pens. But paying more than 500 Euro for a pen ... that's a point when you ask yourself buying a pen or not.

 

As I went to buy my first Leonardo pen, I was impressed. A beautiful and perfect writing pen for under 150 Euro? Yes ... Leonard did their job very well. The most expensive Leonardos are two Moments Zero Grande (Sand and Hawaii). Beautiful and fantastic writing pens even with a steel nib. I tend to say that they are much better than my Montblanc Meisterstück 149 (with a 18c gold nib).

Big pens, perfectly balanced, much ink capacity, wonderful nib and the "Italian" beauty I like ... and all that for less than 300 Euro.

 

These are the reasons for me(!) why Leonardo is one of my favourites (maybe my favourite at all).

 

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#4 Doug C

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 22:25

 

As for me the prize-quality-performance-relationship of most Leonardo pens is outstanding.

I also got some Delta pens. Fortunately (for me) I could benefit from big discount rates. Don't understand me wrong, the Delta pens I bought are beautiful pens. But paying more than 500 Euro for a pen ... that's a point when you ask yourself buying a pen or not.

 

As I went to buy my first Leonardo pen, I was impressed. A beautiful and perfect writing pen for under 150 Euro? Yes ... Leonard did their job very well. The most expensive Leonardos are two Moments Zero Grande (Sand and Hawaii). Beautiful and fantastic writing pens even with a steel nib. I tend to say that they are much better than my Montblanc Meisterstück 149 (with a 18c gold nib).

Big pens, perfectly balanced, much ink capacity, wonderful nib and the "Italian" beauty I like ... and all that for less than 300 Euro.

 

These are the reasons for me(!) why Leonardo is one of my favourites (maybe my favourite at all).

 

Best regards, Ingolf.

So you think it was strictly an issue of pricing?


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#5 ingolf

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 10:26

So you think it was strictly an issue of pricing?

 

Not only but also.

 

When you like Italian design you might find pens that are well-made, good looking and good writing pens. But if you find a pen maker that offers all your wishes at reasonable prizes then I think this strategy works.

I know there a lot of pen enthusiasts that buy pens regardless of the costs.

And I agree that an ASC Arco pen might be nice.

But if your budget is not only assigned for pens then you look for pens satisfying most of your requirements. A famous example is "Pen Habit" where Matt stated that he spent too much money for pens and sometimes money he hadn't.

So for me Leonardo offers excellent pens for prizes "normal" people are able to pay.


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#6 Doug C

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 20:23

I'm surprised that other people are as flummoxed by this as I am. I do agree that pricing might enter into it, but if so, why haven't  used Deltas been hot sellers?


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#7 mauckcg

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 12:58

I'm surprised that other people are as flummoxed by this as I am. I do agree that pricing might enter into it, but if so, why haven't  used Deltas been hot sellers?

Right at the end QC took a nose dive from what i remember.  Delta never really made anything i was interested in but they did have some very neat materials that Leonardo has been using.



#8 Calabria

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 22:37

I think the rise of internet sellers has changed the market. I remember, I never really knew Delta pens and only encountered them infrequently in pen shops in Italy. With internet shops proliferating, word can get out quickly and even a small company such as Leonardo can have high visibility - especially if they make dozens of differently colored models which take up a lot of room on websites.
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#9 fpupulin

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 23:12

I think the rise of internet sellers has changed the market. I remember, I never really knew Delta pens and only encountered them infrequently in pen shops in Italy. With internet shops proliferating, word can get out quickly and even a small company such as Leonardo can have high visibility - especially if they make dozens of differently colored models which take up a lot of room on websites.

 

 

You make two strong points here, in my opinion.

 

First, and unless you are a multi-product luxury brand like for example Montblanc, thanks to the Internet sellers you do not need more a true, complex, and expensive distribution system, with a managing Director, distributors, local representatives, and stock materials all over the planet. Via the net, people can buy directly from you at the factory, or the intermediate sellers on the net will be your distributors, actually selling for you. This can be a quite serious reduction of costs.

 

Second, it seems a better strategy to produce dozens of new models to continue making room for your brand in the specialized websites. I really do not know if the products by Scribo and that by Leonardo are comparable in terms of quality, etc., but what it is sure is that there is a lot less traffic and discussion around Scribo, simply because they have just a few models... and they have been discusses already.

 

The times when a brand had its standard line, remaining grossly the same for decades, and introduced a new model each other year or even over longer periods, are probably gone forever. But this represents a new opportunity for small and dynamic new brands.



#10 Storch

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 14:20


Second, it seems a better strategy to produce dozens of new models to continue making room for your brand in the specialized websites. I really do not know if the products by Scribo and that by Leonardo are comparable in terms of quality, etc., but what it is sure is that there is a lot less traffic and discussion around Scribo, simply because they have just a few models... and they have been discusses already.

While I agree with your assessment, I would point out that Leonardo only has 3 models (Furore, Momento Zero, and Grande).  I do not believe it the number of models so much as the variety of materials within those model.

 

Where I think Leonardo has excelled is using a variety of materials to quickly get a feel for the market and, as you correctly pointed out, to generate a lot of buzz.  I will admit that I have not had the pleasure of holding a Scribo but the combination of the much higher price point and the relatively less exciting materials (at least from the pictures) makes it a much more risky purchase.  Whereas with Leonardo, the materials are comparatively more exciting and the pens are priced such that, if I didn't like them, I wouldn't be out that much and, due to their popularity, I could easily get most of my money back.



#11 como

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 14:58

I had a Scribo, Feel in grey blue and 14k EF Flex nib. I have since sold it to fund other purchases but I really miss it. The Scribo pens are of high build quality, To me, it feels higher quality than the Leonardo Furore/MZ base models, though Leonardo’s higher end models are pretty good. It feels similar to the Omas new style Paragon and Milord model, and feels solid yet not heavy in hand. The Scribo nibs have the same specs as Omas so in this aspect I feel that Leonardo’s Bock nibs cannot match that, even though Omas also used Bock nibs but Omas has its own specs that Bock follows. Scribo’s material is usually solid or some colorful resin, of course they cannot compare with celluloid, but they are very tastefully done, very classy.

Some don’t like Scribo design, but for me it’s very unique and surprisingly comfortable to hold. I also respect that Scribo was brave to go after a new design instead of just making the classic Omas. ASC might have the body of Omas, but the soul lies in Scribo.

I sincerely wish them well. I will probably buy another one: it would be the first time that I ever buy back a model that I sold. Next time it will be an 18k broad, my favorite Omas nib.

#12 fpupulin

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 15:52

I had a Scribo, Feel in grey blue and 14k EF Flex nib. I have since sold it to fund other purchases but I really miss it. The Scribo pens are of high build quality, To me, it feels higher quality than the Leonardo Furore/MZ base models, though Leonardo’s higher end models are pretty good. It feels similar to the Omas new style Paragon and Milord model, and feels solid yet not heavy in hand. The Scribo nibs have the same specs as Omas so in this aspect I feel that Leonardo’s Bock nibs cannot match that, even though Omas also used Bock nibs but Omas has its own specs that Bock follows. Scribo’s material is usually solid or some colorful resin, of course they cannot compare with celluloid, but they are very tastefully done, very classy.

Some don’t like Scribo design, but for me it’s very unique and surprisingly comfortable to hold. I also respect that Scribo was brave to go after a new design instead of just making the classic Omas. ASC might have the body of Omas, but the soul lies in Scribo.

I sincerely wish them well. I will probably buy another one: it would be the first time that I ever buy back a model that I sold. Next time it will be an 18k broad, my favorite Omas nib.

 

 

Please do not misunderstand me. Even though I have not a Scribo pen, I really admire the brand, and I also feel their pens are of a great quality and classy materials.

 

I was just suggesting that the fuss about other recently born brands is more due, in my opinion, to the continued proposal of new colors and materials, which produce a lot of discussion on the net. A brand like Scribo (but it is not my intention to speak specifically of this brand, which I like nonetheless) seems too be more conservative from this point of view, with less - and may be more coherent - new introductions, but the collateral result is that this approach generates less discussion and less visibility in pen forums.



#13 como

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 19:32

fpupulin: You were not misunderstood at all. You have a very good point here. Indeed Scribo is the more quiet brand. Scribo is more focused on writing experience and their product design launch strategy is conservative/cautious compared to Leonardo. Leonardo pushes more for material and colors and is less focused on the nibs. In my opinion, this has to do with: 1. Legacy company resources (Omas vs. Delta, and also Scribo has less legacy materials to work with than Leonardo, the availability of resins etc); 2. Company philosophy (focus on writing experience vs. design/material variety); 3. A question of marketing and product launch budget. So all of the above have worked into the personality of the two very different companies. Currently market seems to favor large size pens, lots of different design, material and color offerings, and price range lower mid-tier. It’s interesting to see how long this trend will last. Sometimes I wonder how many different colors would one want for the same model and the same nib.  Or how often should one wait in between launching a new design. I am observing with great curiosity. 

 

 

Please do not misunderstand me. Even though I have not a Scribo pen, I really admire the brand, and I also feel their pens are of a great quality and classy materials.

 

I was just suggesting that the fuss about other recently born brands is more due, in my opinion, to the continued proposal of new colors and materials, which produce a lot of discussion on the net. A brand like Scribo (but it is not my intention to speak specifically of this brand, which I like nonetheless) seems too be more conservative from this point of view, with less - and may be more coherent - new introductions, but the collateral result is that this approach generates less discussion and less visibility in pen forums.



#14 Discombobulate

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 01:29

I guess the benefit of having a small model range but large options within that range is that you can capitalise on the production process and reduce cost with a lot of similar elements to the finished product - much like vehicle manufacturers will have a common chassis/drive train/engine/ interior components and then have different body styles

The Leonardo model seems to (very cleverly) to borrow from the Japanese manufacturers. Have a range of pens if different colours - so consumers can buy the one or two that resonate with them; but are at a low enough price point to allow collectors to buy the lot; and then have some high end/grail pens for people to splurge on

#15 Calabria

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Posted 07 September 2020 - 03:31

I will say that the MZ I just got is much more enjoyable than the clunky Delta I once had.
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#16 sansenri

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 19:31

fpupulin: You were not misunderstood at all. You have a very good point here. Indeed Scribo is the more quiet brand. Scribo is more focused on writing experience and their product design launch strategy is conservative/cautious compared to Leonardo. Leonardo pushes more for material and colors and is less focused on the nibs. In my opinion, this has to do with: 1. Legacy company resources (Omas vs. Delta, and also Scribo has less legacy materials to work with than Leonardo, the availability of resins etc); 2. Company philosophy (focus on writing experience vs. design/material variety); 3. A question of marketing and product launch budget. So all of the above have worked into the personality of the two very different companies. Currently market seems to favor large size pens, lots of different design, material and color offerings, and price range lower mid-tier. It’s interesting to see how long this trend will last. Sometimes I wonder how many different colors would one want for the same model and the same nib.  Or how often should one wait in between launching a new design. I am observing with great curiosity. 

In fact the quantity of different Momento Zero colour variants that have been launched in a very short time is incredible. I'm not sure any other maker has achieved this so far that I recall in such a short time. On another thread I was joking saying that they change so quickly so Moonman cannot catch up with the copies... :D



#17 como

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 18:05

Absolutely. I watch with fascination how the fountain pen companies have evolved and adapted to the current trend. Oversize, lots of pattern variations, affordable and variety of nib options... I am curious where the trend will settle.

In fact the quantity of different Momento Zero colour variants that have been launched in a very short time is incredible. I'm not sure any other maker has achieved this so far that I recall in such a short time. On another thread I was joking saying that they change so quickly so Moonman cannot catch up with the copies... :D



#18 langere

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 23:37

Well, the problem is that Scribo has gone with very, very expensive pens.  Leonardo has not a single pen that is as expensive as the "Feel" pen, which is apparently their only model. 

 

When your fountain pen costs more than $500, it really has to be special.  I am not willing to find out how special.  I prefer to buy three Leonardo MZ pens and have money left over.

 

Erick


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#19 fpupulin

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 14:37

In fact the quantity of different Momento Zero colour variants that have been launched in a very short time is incredible. I'm not sure any other maker has achieved this so far that I recall in such a short time. On another thread I was joking saying that they change so quickly so Moonman cannot catch up with the copies... :D

  

Absolutely. I watch with fascination how the fountain pen companies have evolved and adapted to the current trend. Oversize, lots of pattern variations, affordable and variety of nib options... I am curious where the trend will settle.

You both have reason, and I also may see a trend in the proliferation of different colors/patterns/nib choices that several brands, both new and not so new, are offering. The rediscovery of celluloid and, at the same time, its unavailability, have certainly had a role in defining the trend.

I do not like the swirled plastics of many new offers, which I find a bit hysterical and somewhat childish, so I am not taking part to the renaissance of colored pens, but I am glad that the availability of new materials is pushing the pen market toward diversification.

On the other side, the accurate choice of a few flagship colors, materials, and finishes, was in the past a key factor to establish and maintain the identity of a brand, but this factor seems today much less important. Also very traditional and conservative brands have in the last years multiplied the colors, materials and trims of some of their classic lines, and the trend give no signs to be close to an end. I would say that brand identity, however, will be soon or later recovered as a fundamental asset, and this will affect the variety of the offer, mainly in the high end lines.

#20 Michael R.

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 16:59

Leonardo has a few pens in the 700-1500 € range when it comes to some specialty material models like the Cuspede Bespoke Arco ;-)

 

But with a different material and steel nib option you can get a very similar pen for much less.

 

Cheers

 

Michael








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