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Visconti Romanica Vermeil LE-review


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18 replies to this topic

#1 goodguy1

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 21:55

This is going to be the hardest review I ever wrote as this is a very unique and special pen. It isn't a pen I can judge only on how it writes but must look at 2 aspects of the pen:

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:

1. Design
2. Performance

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

Design

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.

Performance

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.

Summary

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.

Attached Images

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Edited by MYU, 26 June 2009 - 16:47.


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#2 Hoarder68

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 22:01

Great looking pen, and one I would love to own. I like sterling, I like heavy and I like Visconti. Vermeil is even better.

#3 PigRatAndGoat

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 23:58

Nice review as usual, but no cat sm_cat.gif . Not my style, but still a nice pen by all standards. If you want to understand the filling mech a little better, go to Visconti's site, and look up your pen. There should be a link that shows you how the pen fills.

PRAG

Montblanc 145, F nib
Faber Castell E-Motion in Pearwood, F nib
Montblanc 149, F nib
Visconti Divina Proporzione 1618, S nib
Montblanc Cool Blue Starwalker, EF nib
Montblanc Solitaire Silver Barley BP
Montblanc Rouge et Noir Coral, M nib


#4 JFT

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 00:15

WOW that pen is stunning! wub.gif
Congratulation and thanks for the review!


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Pelikan M620 Grand Place - Binder XF/XXF Flex (Noodler's Navajo Turquoise)
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#5 Ghost Plane

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 00:47

You've got #80 and I've got 83 cool.gif Does this mean we're related? laugh.gif

Pull the plunger all the way out, then submerging the pen in the ink and HOLDING it there, depress the plunger and KEEP holding it in the ink until it has a chance to soak up a full load of ink.

#6 Bryant

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:13

Wow, Very nice! I'm very happy for you!
I might have to get my silver one a partner... But it would be really cool to get the matching number... (Probably an impossible feat...)
Cheers!
Bry

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#7 PenTieRun

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:30

Another wonderfully comprehensive review, goodguy! Your pictures show all the glamor of the pen. I'd almost be afraid to take that thing out of the house. Enjoy. thumbup.gif

#8 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 17:32

More a hangar queen and a work of Art than a daily user but big kudos to your passion and your dedication to Visconti wink.gif I would be afraid to use a Visconti as a daily user because myself I like formal and very discrete pens. I either use my 146, my149 or my ad 2000 at work. And at home, my daily user is the 1925 Parker Big Red Senior which has one the best extra fine nib I have ever written with. It is also the pen that is the best suited to my left hand ( I can use my other pens with no problems with my left hand but the flat top form is the best if you want to write ambidextrously). Like Visconti motto says: "Art for Art's sake" that is indeed the case here.

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 08 August 2008 - 17:34.

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#9 Ghost Plane

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 19:17

These ARE my daily users. Have the black and silver, as well as the vermeil. Along with my Ripple, they form the triumvirate of my desk pens.

#10 Ghost Plane

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:11

Just an update on the Romanica. Ken Jones and the nice folks at Visconti are working their magic on the feed issue and #83 is now on its way back to Italy for a vacation and spa treatment. I'm looking forward to getting it back with a luscious wet stub instead of a scratchy, ink starved experience that is SO not Visconti.

They worked their magic on my ink well and it's home again with the lid tightly on again. Dunno what was going on with the glue situation as it lived on my desk filled with Private Reserve and wasn't used that often.

I can't say enough good things about the US customer service people. Knowing they're there to back up their pens and the fast responses has me buying more and fancier pens than I'd otherwise dare to splash out on. I'll report back on the trip to the mother country when the Romanica gets home. It's soooooo beautiful. Can't wait to have it write like a Maserati instead of a rusty Fiat.

Edited by Ghost Plane, 19 August 2008 - 13:47.


#11 Beechwood

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:19

As an (un)rusty Fiat owner can we have the simile of Aston Martin and Morris Minor 1000 please?

One minute you are driving down the road, every window open, singing along to 'I dont want to miss a thing' at top volume, the next you are driving and turning down the volume on the radio to help you see better.


#12 JRodriguez

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 18:45

Great review Goodguy. I hope they're able to get your pen back to you soon Ghost Plane.

#13 Wildoaklane

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 21:57


Thanks for the thoughtful review. I've been trying to follow up since your original post to see how you liked this pen. But, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop....what did your wife say?
Think only of the past as its remembrance brings you pleasure. J. Austen

#14 goodguy

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 22:59

QUOTE (Wildoaklane @ Aug 29 2008, 09:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the thoughtful review. I've been trying to follow up since your original post to see how you liked this pen. But, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop....what did your wife say?

Actualy nothing much,we are so busy in the move to the new house she really doesnt worry about my pens biggrin.gif
Respect to all

#15 Ghost Plane

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 12:50

I'm not expecting the Italian contingent to overhaul the Romanica until September when they get home from vacation refreshed, relaxed and ready to give my baby the attention it deserves.

#16 goodguy

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 23:27

Must add how much this minds me of my new pen the MB Pope Julias II
Respect to all

#17 QM2

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 08:30

QUOTE (goodguy @ Nov 30 2008, 12:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Must add how much this minds me of my new pen the MB Pope Julias II


Clearly you need both in your collection for a cohesive look!
Buy the Romanica back : )

Edited by QM2, 01 December 2008 - 08:34.


#18 Ghost Plane

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 14:31

Mine's still going strong - wiping that ivory section with damp tissues after filling seems to be working for me. But then I'm not as bothered by a little ink residue as others on this board.

#19 goodguy

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 14:54

QUOTE (Ghost Plane @ Dec 1 2008, 03:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mine's still going strong - wiping that ivory section with damp tissues after filling seems to be working for me. But then I'm not as bothered by a little ink residue as others on this board.

Maybe I was just unlucky with mine.
Other then the slight ink toning this pen was AMAZING.
Sadly I am very anal when it comes to the pens I like to keep and the higher quality the pens are the more anal I get.
Bu then I have the Divina Proportions and thats more up my alley.

I love Visconti pens cloud9.gif
Respect to all






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