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Viscoti Opera Club Typhoon Blue


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16 replies to this topic

#1 asexton

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 17:27

Hello everyone,
I am happy to be doing my very first fountain pen review. I have been wanting to do one for a while, but I did not have a pen that really struck my fancy to devote the time to do a review on. I finally received one of the pens that I have been desperately wanting for some time: Visconti Opera Club in Typhoon Blue. (There should be a picture from the Forzieri website; I apologize that I do not have a digital camera).

http://dynamic.forzi...585-011-2?scl=1

1. First Impressions
This pen is absolutely stunning! I first noticed this pen, and the Visconti brand, in a catalogue from an online retailer. I loved the shape (squared circle) from the very beginning, but I also loved the blue color. In general, I like any pens that are not black. I have my one obligatory black pen (a Levenger True Writer Obsidian with gold trim and fine nib), but I was looking for something different. I first saw this pen at a store in Maryland, and the pictures do not do it justice (more on that later). The pen is also gloriously presented in a faux croc clamshell case with a bottle of Visconti black ink. The case is heavy and durable, and perfect for this jewel of a pen.

2. Appearance & Finish
As I was saying, this pen is stunning and no picture can do it justice. The swirled "Typhoon Blue" resin has a polish and depth of color that I have only seen in celluloid pens. I sometimes catch myself playing with the pen in the sunlight just to see the wonderful finish and depth. Everything about the pen is perfect and consistent, with one small exception. I tend to be a perfectionist and over-inspect my pens. In doing that process, I noticed that there are very small scratches (about three of them) on the edges of the clip. They are, however, barely noticeable to even someone who may be looking for them. Overall, if for no other reason, a person should buy this pen just to look at it and have others look at it.

3. Design/Size/Weight
The design of this pen is Visconti's famed squaring the circle. If you do not like the feel of faceted, or semi-faceted pens, the pen has a fully founded grip, so you do not even have to grip the facets while writing. Apart from the color and shape, the clip has to be the most striking and interesting part of the pen. It is Visconti's arch clip, and it is truly a work of art in itself. Very few pens have a clip to write home about. The overall design is wonderful! The size and weight of the pen is also what drew me to this model. The pen is about 5 7/8 inches capped, 5 1/4 inches uncapped, and 6 5/8 inches posted. These dimensions are not huge, but when writing with the pen (I always post the cap), it feels like the pen is much longer than it actually is. The pen is also on the heavy side of moderate weight. I love heavier pens because I like to know that there is a pen in my hand (I hate having to write with some featherweight Bic ballpoint). Like I said, when I write with the posted cap, the pen feels balanced, and I feel that I could write for hours.

4. Nib Design & Performance
The nib is a two-tone 14K gold medium point. I know that Visconti has changed the nibs on the Opera Club pens to single tone gold, but I, gladly, found one that still had the two-tone nib. The nib also has Visconti's crescent breather hole that adds a feeling of elegance that is lost with circular holes. The width of the line compares to the medium nib on my Pelikan M250 Demonstrator. The line, however, seems to be somewhat dryer than the Pelikan. I can write with the Pelikan pen and I end up using only one side of the paper due to the ink bleeding through. I have discovered no bleed through with the Visconti. The Visconti pen, though, holds the place of being the smoothest nib in my collection. It starts every time I put the nib on the paper. This pen has instantly become my workhorse pen due to the wonderful pen.

5. The Filling System
This is the only area where I am disappointed with the pen. I wish that the pen had a piston filler or even one of Visconti's specialized filling systems, like the Double Reservoir Power Filler. Alas, the pen has a standard cartridge/converter filler, but I do not plan on using cartridges in it. I have also read that the converter in these pens tends to get bubbles in, and I have had the same experience. The ink capacity, though, seems greater than some of the other converters that I own.

6. Cost/Value
This category was of vital importance to me. As a poor college student, I do not have tons of money. Although the MSRP of $425 is not huge, it is still somewhat high for me. I also do not have any nice pen stores located in my immediate area (Roanoke, VA) so I was not looking forward to paying shipping costs. One day, however, I experienced the best feeling I have felt since I started collecting pens: an obscure Visconti dealer five minutes from my house! I discovered the dealer on Visconti USA's website. The place is called "Off the Beaten Path." The woman sells out of her home and has sold the brand for a number of years. She only sells Visconti, but she is happy to order any Visconti pen available (she even has Divine Proportion LE in stock). I was able to buy my Opera Club pen from her at around $330, and I got the added benefit of dealing with a human being instead of a website. (Disclaimer: I have no relation other than seller to buyer to the aforementioned dealer)

7. Overall Opinion
As if it is not apparent, I absolutely love this pen! If I had plenty of money, I would be all of the Opera Club pens. It is truly a work of art and will continue to be one of the first pens I grab when I need to do any writing. I have noticed, though, that when I write with this pen or any other fountain pen, no one seems to notice. I get so much joy out of my pens, but I guess other people just overlook them. That is a testament to how fast our society moves. I hope that you would slow down enough to notice the simple things in life, and if you get a chance, take a look at Visconti's Opera Club collection.

Thanks,

Cody

Edited by asexton, 29 February 2008 - 17:28.

Acme The Simpsons Rollerballs
Chatterly Pens Romulus - Stub
Classic Pens LM1 - Flame Red - Stub
Krone Boulder - Thunderbird - B
Levenger True Writer - Gold Obsidian - F
Namiki/Pilot VP - Yellow - M
Omas Paragon - Arco old style
Pelikan M250 - Demonstrator - M
Stipula Etruria - Cracked Ice Gaudi - 1.1 Italic
Visconti Divine Proportion - Silver trim - M
Visconti Opera Club - Typhoon Blue - M
Visconti Ripple - Blue Silver - M

Grail pen:
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#2 Deirdre

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 20:38

Welcome! It's a beautiful, beautiful blue.

I've been a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I bought an Opera Club by accident (truly) the other day (I'd forgotten to cancel a snipe on eBay). I'll probably put it in the marketplace when it arrives.
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#3 Ghost Plane

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:12

What size nib, Dierdre?

Great review. I got a chance to drool over these pens and fondle a few this week and the pictures just don't do the colors justice.

#4 sandeep108

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 05:56

Great review of a nice pen. You have conveyed the pros and cons in a very balanced manner. I also love my Visconti VG with its huge nib (single tone but I am ok with it) with crescent breather hole and celluloid looking unique resin pattern (I have it in sandal BTW). Lovely smooth wet writer. I can leave it uncapped for a minute or two even and it starts instantly.

Only issue is filling the converter. Though by now I simply re-dunk it and re-do the filling as often as required after turning it nib upwards to expel the air to get a full converter.

#5 Deirdre

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:43

QUOTE(Ghost Plane @ Feb 29 2008, 07:12 PM) View Post
What size nib, Dierdre?

Great review. I got a chance to drool over these pens and fondle a few this week and the pictures just don't do the colors justice.

Not broad enough for your taste, probably.

The one I intended to get had a broad nib (though I'd have preferred a fine); the other one has a medium.



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#6 CharlieB

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 13:25

The Opera Clubs are great pens, and the Typhoon Blue is the prettiest color. I have one, and like it a lot. My only wish is that it had gold trim instead of silver trim.... but that's just my standard preference.

One thing I don't understand. If the Van Gogh and the Opera Club have the exact same nib and filling system, and the Opera Club has a cheaper looking section, what is it about the Opera Club that makes it so much more expensive than the Van Gogh? I can't believe that it costs any more to manufacture.
CharlieB

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#7 Opus104

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 16:03

I am willing to bet the dry writing is the fault of the converter. They seem to suffer from ink adhesion. You can try the glass beads supplied by FPN member Dillo. You can also run a cartridge through it to double check.

Stunning pen!

#8 goodguy

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 16:34

Congratulation Cody for a wonderful pen.

After MB Visconti is my favorite pen maker.
I have 1 Visconti right now (Copernicus) and next month I will get my second Visconti.

I always had a soft spot for the Opera and I will get one sooner or later.
Its obvious you enjoy the pen a lot and I hope for you to get many more years of joy from it.

How about some pictures of you pen in the box ?

Edited by goodguy, 01 March 2008 - 16:35.

Respect to all

#9 asexton

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 05:07

QUOTE(Opus104 @ Mar 1 2008, 11:03 AM) View Post
I am willing to bet the dry writing is the fault of the converter. They seem to suffer from ink adhesion. You can try the glass beads supplied by FPN member Dillo. You can also run a cartridge through it to double check.

Stunning pen!



Thank you for the tip about the dry writing. I plan on using the pen as a daily writer, so the dryness is not that bad. I would not want the ink to constantly soak through the paper. I also wanted to say, though, that it does have some trouble starting at times. I have no determined the problem. In order to get the pen to start writing again, I just have to twist the converter to push ink into the nib.

Thanks again for the tip,

Cody

QUOTE(goodguy @ Mar 1 2008, 11:34 AM) View Post
How about some pictures of you pen in the box ?



I would love to provide pictures, but sadly, I do not have a digital camera at my disposal. If I acquire one, I will happily add some pictures.

-Cody
Acme The Simpsons Rollerballs
Chatterly Pens Romulus - Stub
Classic Pens LM1 - Flame Red - Stub
Krone Boulder - Thunderbird - B
Levenger True Writer - Gold Obsidian - F
Namiki/Pilot VP - Yellow - M
Omas Paragon - Arco old style
Pelikan M250 - Demonstrator - M
Stipula Etruria - Cracked Ice Gaudi - 1.1 Italic
Visconti Divine Proportion - Silver trim - M
Visconti Opera Club - Typhoon Blue - M
Visconti Ripple - Blue Silver - M

Grail pen:
Dragon Studios - Jules

#10 chuancao

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 13:59

http://www.fountainp...showtopic=51959

Give it a little time and that problem should go away. See my review of the typhoon blue. I had a similar issue. But I didn't have trouble starting. After a few pages it would stop writing and I see that there's no flow in the converter.

Give it time.

#11 asexton

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 22:17

QUOTE(chuancao @ Mar 2 2008, 08:59 AM) View Post
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=51959

Give it a little time and that problem should go away. See my review of the typhoon blue. I had a similar issue. But I didn't have trouble starting. After a few pages it would stop writing and I see that there's no flow in the converter.

Give it time.



Thank you so much! I actually remember reading your review in preparation for buying my pen. I did not completely understand what you meant when I first read the review, but now, as a proud owner, I understand. I may try switching the ink in it also. I usually use Levenger's Raven Black, but I just wanted to try the Visconti ink that came with the pen.

Thanks again,

Cody
Acme The Simpsons Rollerballs
Chatterly Pens Romulus - Stub
Classic Pens LM1 - Flame Red - Stub
Krone Boulder - Thunderbird - B
Levenger True Writer - Gold Obsidian - F
Namiki/Pilot VP - Yellow - M
Omas Paragon - Arco old style
Pelikan M250 - Demonstrator - M
Stipula Etruria - Cracked Ice Gaudi - 1.1 Italic
Visconti Divine Proportion - Silver trim - M
Visconti Opera Club - Typhoon Blue - M
Visconti Ripple - Blue Silver - M

Grail pen:
Dragon Studios - Jules

#12 Ghost Plane

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 23:27

Don't. I have a Voyager that writes BEAUTIFULLY until I put Visconti black in it.

#13 chuancao

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 23:58

QUOTE(Ghost Plane @ Mar 2 2008, 06:27 PM) View Post
Don't. I have a Voyager that writes BEAUTIFULLY until I put Visconti black in it.


Yeah. Although the Visconti black seems to be VERY black when used w/ the opera club! Weird. I am too lazy to try that out in my opera club. Too much flushing/washing of the pen. I used it briefly in my MB and it was alright.

I recently bought the Visconti sepia. Boy, that ink has some excellent ink flow!

#14 Alphabet

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 03:44

Beautiful pen...and nice review. I have three Visconti pens, two of them Opera Club and I love them all. I have never seen that color at Paradise Pen where I normally do my shopping. Is this new? Currently I'm waiting for Visconti to ship me a stub nib for one of my Opera Club pens. One of the nice features about this pen is the replaceable nibs.

Enjoy the pen!

#15 asexton

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 01:58

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to give you an update about the ink and dry writing of this pen. I switched to Levenger Raven Black yesterday, and I have had no problems with the pen. Unfortunately, the Levenger ink seems to wetter in general. I do most of my writing on notebook paper (I am a student so it can't be avoided), and the Levenger ink bleeds through with any pen that I use (except my Levenger True Writer with Fine nib (strange, huh?)). I somewhat miss the relative dryness of the Visconti ink. I may just grin and bare the hassle of forcing the ink to the nib just so I can use the pen everyday in class.

-Cody
Acme The Simpsons Rollerballs
Chatterly Pens Romulus - Stub
Classic Pens LM1 - Flame Red - Stub
Krone Boulder - Thunderbird - B
Levenger True Writer - Gold Obsidian - F
Namiki/Pilot VP - Yellow - M
Omas Paragon - Arco old style
Pelikan M250 - Demonstrator - M
Stipula Etruria - Cracked Ice Gaudi - 1.1 Italic
Visconti Divine Proportion - Silver trim - M
Visconti Opera Club - Typhoon Blue - M
Visconti Ripple - Blue Silver - M

Grail pen:
Dragon Studios - Jules

#16 chuancao

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 02:06

QUOTE(asexton @ Mar 8 2008, 08:58 PM) View Post
Hello everyone,
I just wanted to give you an update about the ink and dry writing of this pen. I switched to Levenger Raven Black yesterday, and I have had no problems with the pen. Unfortunately, the Levenger ink seems to wetter in general. I do most of my writing on notebook paper (I am a student so it can't be avoided), and the Levenger ink bleeds through with any pen that I use (except my Levenger True Writer with Fine nib (strange, huh?)). I somewhat miss the relative dryness of the Visconti ink. I may just grin and bare the hassle of forcing the ink to the nib just so I can use the pen everyday in class.

-Cody


Try Aurora blue. The flow is liberal but in the visconti it's been perfect with no bleed through.

#17 asexton

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 02:21

QUOTE(chuancao @ Mar 8 2008, 09:06 PM) View Post
QUOTE(asexton @ Mar 8 2008, 08:58 PM) View Post
Hello everyone,
I just wanted to give you an update about the ink and dry writing of this pen. I switched to Levenger Raven Black yesterday, and I have had no problems with the pen. Unfortunately, the Levenger ink seems to wetter in general. I do most of my writing on notebook paper (I am a student so it can't be avoided), and the Levenger ink bleeds through with any pen that I use (except my Levenger True Writer with Fine nib (strange, huh?)). I somewhat miss the relative dryness of the Visconti ink. I may just grin and bare the hassle of forcing the ink to the nib just so I can use the pen everyday in class.

-Cody


Try Aurora blue. The flow is liberal but in the visconti it's been perfect with no bleed through.


Thanks for the tip. Anything is nice that lets me write legibly on both sides of a piece of notebook paper.
Acme The Simpsons Rollerballs
Chatterly Pens Romulus - Stub
Classic Pens LM1 - Flame Red - Stub
Krone Boulder - Thunderbird - B
Levenger True Writer - Gold Obsidian - F
Namiki/Pilot VP - Yellow - M
Omas Paragon - Arco old style
Pelikan M250 - Demonstrator - M
Stipula Etruria - Cracked Ice Gaudi - 1.1 Italic
Visconti Divine Proportion - Silver trim - M
Visconti Opera Club - Typhoon Blue - M
Visconti Ripple - Blue Silver - M

Grail pen:
Dragon Studios - Jules






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