These Ducati pens are produced by the Aquila Group of Italy who also produce Lalex pens as well as Jaguar pens. More info on these pens can be found at Giardino Italiano
The Ducati pens feature all lacquered aluminium bodies which account for the pen’s heft. It’s not uncomfortable to write with, but it’s not for those who prefer lightweight pens. As far as the pen’s looks are concerned, it’s…different. The cap is made to mimic the petrol tanks of vintage Ducati motorcycles and thus give the pen an unconventional look. Unfortunately, the cap is what makes the pen very top heavy, making posting out of the question.
The cap unscrews to reveal a stiff steel nib available in fine or medium. My sample has a medium nib simply marked “Ducati” which to my surprise, writes more like a fine nib which I though unusual for an Italian-made pen. This makes me suspect the nib to be of Japanese origin. In fact, it writes very similar to the nib on my Pilot Knight. It writes very well, but with no flex whatsoever.
One of the interesting features of the pen is its so-called foldaway clip designed to give the cap a more linear look. While the clip completes the pen’s overall look, I feel that it adds more to an already bulky cap. Another downside is that it is virtually impossible to clip the pen to a shirt or jacket pocket with one hand. You have to press the back of the clip in order to allow the end to rise enough to slip into a pocket.
Pic courtesy of Giardino Italiano
When capped, the pen is roughly the size of many full sized pens, but with the cap removed, it's actually the same size as my Sailor M1911.
The pen’s construction is nearly bomb proof as I discovered when getting out of my car yesterday, but it also revealed a weakness. I clipped the pen to the collar of a long sleeved T-shirt I was wearing and drove to the local market. When I got out of the car, I heard the dreadful sound of a pen hitting the asphalt. Yeah, that's what I get for not tucking in my shirt. As I looked down to see the Ducati on the parking lot floor, I noticed the cap was still clipped to my collar. It seems the pen had unscrewed itself. Surprisingly, there was very little damage to the pen. Only a tiny nick on the lacquer finish on bottom side of the pen. It was sheer luck that the nib didn’t take a hit.
This morning at home, the same thing happened while I had the pen clipped to my shirt pocket. This time it was the section coming unscrewed from the barrel. Now, I don’t know about you, but if you sell pens with the Ducati name, you’d hope they’d sell well with Ducati motorcycle riders, right? Well, a pen that will come easily unscrewed from movement or say the vibrations associated with riding a motorcycle just doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. What would make sense is adding a small o-ring to the threads or redesigning the threads so that the cap and section stay in place. I had to use a little strip of silicone tape to keep the section in place on my sample.
Aside, from the cap and section coming unscrewed, I'd say it's an okay performer when it comes to writing. Nothing that an inexpensive Lamy or Pilot pen can't do at a fraction of the cost. Also, the Ducati is a little on the heavy side which means it's not the ideal pen to write with for an extended period of time, but the thick lacquer finish over the aluminium body can take it's share of knocks and bumps. It's certainly not worth the $195 price tag, in my opinion, but for the $40 I paid for it, I can't complain. It makes for an interesting conversation piece. I just think the design could use some refinement to make it more user friendly.
Edited by MYU, 14 November 2008 - 23:07.