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Ducati Writing Machine


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#1 Apollo

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 23:22

Hi folks, I got a chance to pick up a Ducati “Writing Machine” Friday morning and wanted to share my review of the pen. I’m not a motorcycle enthusiast, but the pen was on clearance and I figured $40 bucks wasn’t a bad deal for a pen that I’ve seen selling in the States for $195. Yep, at $40 bucks I just had to try one.

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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
http://www.pens.it/p...ati/_ducati.htm

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.

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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.

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Pic courtesy of Giardino Italiano

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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.
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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.

Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

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#2 davyr

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 04:03

thanks for the great review apollo.

it's certainly a conversation piece.

wow, i've had a couple of pens unscrew themselves from their caps and cause ink spot while wearing jeans, but the same pen twice in the same day? it's these real life experiences with the tested pens that i love reading about - that's a big reason these reviews (and your review) are so great.
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#3 Maja

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 08:45

Wow, I hope their motorcycles are safer than their pens! :lol: You sure dodged a bullet in that the nib wasn't damaged, Apollo. It seems to be the most common part of a pen to get damaged (like the buttered side of a piece of toast falling on the floor).

Thanks for a great review!
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#4 emrecan

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:39

Thanks Apollo,
For your great review and moto-looking :huh: pen :D

Emrecan
Greetings from İstanbul
the pen is in my avatar is LAMY Studio Palladium 14K

#5 southpaw

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 21:13

Thanks for the review Apollo. Sounds like a very . . . interesting pen targeted at a very specific market.
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#6 Apollo

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 22:21

Thanks Davyr. Like Maja said, I did dodge a bullet in that the nib wasn't damaged. It is a neat pen if you like to collect unusual looking pens. Still, it would have been better if the pen were made from a polymer material like the Lamy 2000. You would still have a variety of colour options and the pen would be much lighter.
Posted Image Bendita mi tierra guanche.

#7 Ann Finley

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 02:01

Having never heard of a Ducati, I'll have to admit that I wondered what the "writing machine" review could be about! Definitely an interesting piece to have in your collection, but it sounds like a pen you'll not want to carry. Thanks for giving us a peek at it.

Best, Ann






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