Filcao Atlantica Oro & Filcao Libra
Atlantica & Libra uncapped
For those interested, KendallJ did a superb review of the Atlantica Oro a while back:
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.
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)
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.
Close up shot at the Libra's nib
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.