Before I am talking about the pen I want to tell you it comes in the most beautiful, big and impressive pen box I have ever seen. Its a heavy wooden box covered in lacquer and is a feast to the eyes (I love pen boxes).
Ok, now back to the pen:
Yes every pen should be judged by these 2 criteria's but this is a pen that was designed to look unique and impressive more then the average pen or even other LE pens. After all the retail price of this pen is high (no I didn't paid retail or even close to that).
So let me start with the thing you see first
This pen is the most impressive and beautiful pen in my collection, more then that this is one of the most beautiful pens I have ever seen in real life.
I was walking around the building and showing my new pen to few of my friends and fountain pen fans and they were all amazed, they simply couldn't stop telling me how beautiful this pen is.
The attention to detail on this pen is nothing short then amazing, its ivory resin is awesome, milky white and works so great with the Vermeil overlay.
The Romanica is design to commemorate the Roman building style and it indeed looks like a little fortress. Both the cap and barrel overlays have windows.
In the upper part of both the barrel and cap right bellow the blue enamel you have what looks like the top of the old cities walls where archers would shoots their arrows but have a good cover at the same time.
The blue enamel looks wonderful with the yellow gold and ivory colour of the body.
The overlay is simply a work of art and the effect is breath taking.
The clip is a typical Visconti arched clip but in the case of this pen is spring loaded (really nice touch).
The total quality of this pen is simply the highest I have seen on any pen (I seen a lot but not all pens of course), touching the pen is at itself a pleasure and it is very impressive. The pen is a heavy beast, when the pen has the cap on or when it is posted it is simply heavy. Once you take the cap of the pen gets much lighter as the cap is a heavy cap with all the Vermeil covering it.
I feel as if I don't have enough words to describe exactly what this pen looks like and how excited I am about this pen so simply I will say I am in love with this pen and I deeply admire the craftsmanship and design of Visconti people.
So you want to know how does the pen do what it supposed to do and that is write.
Well Lets start with the weight and balance of the pen, this as I mention not a light weight pen so when posted I find it to be way to heavy and unbalanced, also the cap will not sit secured on the bottom part of the pen and clearly the pen wasn't designed to work posted. Unposted the weight changes for the best, it is still not a light weight pen but now it is nice and balance in the hand and unless you are planning on writing with it all day long in school or university then this pen is good in the hand.
The pen has a feature that I love and that's an ink view, its both a great indicator that tells you its time for a fill up and also simply looks cool.
The pen is using Visconti's famous double reservoir filling mechanism. Well to be honest I still didn't get how this exactly works but to fill the pen I simply unscrewed the bottom stuck the ink into the ink bottle and pulled and pushed the button in and out few times. This reminds me a bit Sheaffer Vac-Fill system. It shows a bit of a resistant to fill it but all together worked well and fast.
I can hear you all shouting enough with the foreplay how is the nib ?
Well if you are so impatient then I will tell you. The nib on this pen is a nib Visconti is using on few of its LE models including the Divina Desert or Divina Proportions and many others. It's an 18K medium nib and the first thing I was thinking when I saw it was "Hmmm I wish it was a little bigger". Don't get me wrong this isn't a small nib but this pen is as big as a Mont Blanc 149 so I wanted to see a BIG nib on it. Oh well not a biggy.
This is a two tone medium nib and I love its design even though next to MB's nibs it is a bit plain.
I put the nib on the paper and I must tell you this nib is one of the smoothest nibs I ever had (and I had my share of smooth nibs). This nib is S M O O T H really really smooth I would say it reminds me of a Pilot 823 nib I tried few months ago only it was smoother. For me this isn't such good news as I don't like super smooth nibs so much. I need some feedback and in this category this nib could improve a bit. Don't think for a moment this nib is boring because it is not, it does have feedback but I wish there was more of that stuff. The nib just touched the paper and started to write with no skipping. The line it leaves is wet even though I wish it was just a wee bit wetter but I am a sucker for very wet nibs. Putting some pressure on the nib and the tines opened up a bit, goody I love springy nibs but I wish it was a bit springier.
So to sum up the nib I would say this is one of the best nibs I have but it still lacks the stuff to be as good as my Omas Paragon nib.
So what do we have here ?
This is a pen that clearly is a work of art. It is much more then any other pen I own in the design department, I feel excited just from holding this pen in the hand while looking at it and of course while using it and this is really what a pen should make us feel. I was never a guy that bought his pens to impress other people but I would lie if I'd say I didn't care what other people think and seeing peoples look when I hold this pen is really nice-lets call it an added bonus.
As a pure writing instrument I think the filling mechanism is a bit complicated but I believe once I will figure out how it works this will not be an issue any more.
The pen is a bit heavy and if I wasn't clear I will repeat this is a VERY big pen so for those among us that like small pens or very light weight pen this pen aint for you but if you like a big pen with a little bit of heft to it and has an artsy farty design this pen is perfect for you.
The nib is wonderfully smooth and wet so I really like it and believe unless you have an Omas Paragon (old style) you will probably rank this nib as the BEST nib you have.
This pen is a double winner both as a beautiful pen and as a writing instrument but you must be ready to confront a big pen that will attract some attention to you.
Edited by MYU, 26 June 2009 - 16:47.