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FILCAO Libra


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#1 Apollo

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 23:45

Hi again folks. Yet another pen has made it's way into my posession and this time it's a Filcao Libra which I purchased from master Richard and wanted to give this nice pen a review. Having never owned a Filcao pen before, this was to be my very first just to test the waters if you will. At the same time I received a Filcao Atlantica Oro courtesy of RyanL27, so I ended up with two fine Italian writing instruments on the same day. :)

Filcao Atlantica Oro & Filcao Libra
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Atlantica & Libra uncapped
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For those interested, KendallJ did a superb review of the Atlantica Oro a while back:

http://www.fountainp...owtopic=427&hl=

The Libra by Fabbrica Italiana Lavorazione Cappucci Alluminio Ottone, otherwise know on these shores as FILCAO. It's a very attractive and wonderfully crafted fountain pen made of pearlized acrylic resin and is available in a variety of colours: Pini di Roma (pine green), Caramello (caramel), Mar Tirreno (aqua), Rosa Turbinata (rose pink), Cielo Ligurian (sky blue), and finally: Perla Azurrata (dark blue) which is the one I chose.

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As I understand, these are NOS pens that Giovanni Abrate found in the vaults at the FILCAO factory and after examining and using the Libra, I have to thank him for bringing these fine pens across the pond and into the States. They share the same crenellated trim section as the original Filcao Leader and the FINE gold plated nib made by Bock is extremely smooth. The pen is filled via converter which is included with the pen. After filling it with ink, I decided to give it a go for the weekend and have found it to be a very reliable writer. I can gladly say, this pen is as trouble free as one can get and did I mention the nib was smooth? Yes, very smooth. Then again, what pen coming by way of Richard Binder isn't?

Here's a shot of "La Famiglia" for a size comparison (left to right: Aurora Ipsilon, Filcao Atlantica Oro, Filcao Libra, Signum Orione, Ducati 1000)
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While capped, the Libra is probably one of the longest pens I own, but don't let it's length fool you. Despite it measuring at 5 7/8" (6 7/8" posted), it's by no means heavy. In fact, it's lightweight and very well balanced. I don't post when writing, but I did try it with the Libra and still found it to be comfortable to write with. Unlike the Atlantica with a twist on cap, the Libra's cap snaps on for a secure fit. The gold plated trim on the section may be an issue with those concerned about corrosion, but frankly, it's doesn't bother me. Properly maintained, it shouldn't be a problem unless the pen is left neglected. I'll admit, I'm one of those types who polishes his pens, wipes them down with a flannel silicone impregnated gun & reel cloth for added corossion resistance and periodically checks stored pens for condensation under the cap. Yeah, I'm weird like that. :blink:

Close up shot at the Libra's nib
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Writing sample
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Using the Libra non-stop for the past two days has been a pleasure. It starts everytime without hesitation and without any skipping. It's a large pen for sure, but I've experienced no fatigue even after long writing sessions. Overall, I'm impressed and extremely pleased with the Libra (and even more with the Atlantica Oro for that matter). It's a great writer that's perfect for everyday use. Reliable, smooth, and with a charm that's unmistakably Italian; the Filcao Libra will make an attractive and trustworthy writing companion.

Edited by Apollo, 30 January 2006 - 01:03.

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#2 RyanL27

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 00:01

Wowza - I had no idea how big the Libra was - it makes the Atlantica look like a small pen, which it decidedly is not!

Great review, Apollo! I'm so happy you're liking the Filcao pens; they are superb writers and some of the most beautiful pens I've owned. I'm getting very excited these days because I expect my Italifine nib from Richard Binder to arrive relatively soon for my Pentrace LE. I've been dreaming about this nib for months :drool: .

I love the nib on the Libra - reminds me of a Pel 200 nib, which has always been a favorite of mine for its simplicity and form.

Thanks for a great review!
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#3 Apollo

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 00:06

Thanks for the kind words Ryan. You're right about the nib. Simple, clean and designed to write. Like the Pelikan 200

Gotta thank Richard Binder. I've got my eye on a few more Filcao pens thanks to his site. :drool:

Edited by Apollo, 30 January 2006 - 00:18.

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#4 Kelly

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:44

Super review as usual, Apollo. Thank you for taking the time to take those fantastic pictures and give a writing sample from nibs I've been curious about. Your reviews have really been an asset to me on this site - danke! :D
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#5 Ann Finley

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 06:00

Gosh, Apollo, ANOTHER TWO new pens? Guess that's OK though--since we get the benefit of your reviews!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Best, Ann

#6 Maja

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:34

Great review, Apollo! I, too, was surprised at the size of the Libra when I saw your photos; I knew the Oro wasn't a small pen.... Those comparison shots showing the relative sizes of some of your pens are extremely helpful.

Thanks again, and please keep up those super pen reviews!!! :D
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#7 southpaw

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 15:32

Great review Apollo. Thanks - also didn't realize it was THAT large a pen. I have yet to acquire a Filcao pen, but I do emphasize YET. This doesn't help my already blown pen budget either - thanks a lot :P :P .
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#8 Apollo

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 16:15

Thanks everyone. I too was surprised at how large the pen is. Richard does states on his site that the Libra is a long pen and gives measurements, but I guess it doesn't really hit you until you see it in person. Like I mentioned in the review, it's a large pen, but lightweight and comfortable to use.
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#9 davyr

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 19:41

super review, apollo. seeing all these great reviews of filcaos is making me want one badly. it's nice to see simple, single color nib designs once in a while. tibaldi nibs also look basic but beautiful.
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#10 Apollo

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 22:51

Thanks for the kind word, Davyr. I do like the Libra's simple nib. It may not look fancy, but it writes flawlessly. It's definitely one of my favourite everyday writing pens.
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#11 KCat

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 01:31

i really like the material and the nib is nice.

But for some reason that tongue-and-grove section ring drives me to distraction.

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#12 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:11

Very nice looking pen!! I too have Filcao Atlantica Oro with the 18kt gold nib, well I liked it so much I bought another one. Filcao makes fantastic pens at very affordable prices.

Enjoy your pens


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#13 Richard

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 03:27

Filcao makes fantastic pens at very affordable prices.

All but one. As much as I wanted this pen, the price set by Barbara (my right to continue living) was too high. :D

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On the other hand...

Remember the mindblowing array of Giovanni's Leaders that Antonios posted? This is my personal Leader:

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Giovanni has the only other one Filcao made in this color. B)
Click to send email: richard@richardspens.com
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#14 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 17:20

What the price on that Prohibited item, Richard? It sure is nice looking!!
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#15 Richard

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 17:31

What the price on that Prohibited item, Richard?  It sure is nice looking!!

It's a Silvia LE, and it's not available anymore. Exactly ten were made in the Horn and Ivory color, and ten with red where this one has ivory. They sold out very quickly. Your only chance of getting one is to watch places like the FPN Marketplace and the Pentrace Green Board in hopes that one of them will show up for sale.
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