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REVIEW: Delta Via Veneto


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#1 QM2

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 03:48

DELTA VIA VENETO
Black Dome-top, with White Casein Insets

When I saw this pen advertised for sale by an FPN member, I was taken aback by two things.
First, how beautiful and finely crafted the pen looked in the images. And second, that despite
liking Deltas and already owning two of them, I had never seen or heard of this model before.
Is this an under-the-radar pen? An under-appreciated pen? Or simply a pen that no one but
me finds attractive? Well, no matter: I had to have it.



Packaging

The pen comes in an interesting high-gloss black box. The lid is attached with a large gold-colour
hinge and opens via pivoting. It is held in place by a Moleskine-like rubber-band. When the lid is
pivoted open, the pen is revealed nestled inside, as pictured above. This is an interesting and
entertaining design -- though there is something coffin-like about it.



Looks and Design

The pen itself was everything I had hoped for and more -- it almost seems tailor-made for my tastes.
The shape is a "Dome-top": straight-sided like a flat-top, with a dome-like endcap. This design was
popular in the 1920s, especially when you look at early Conway Stewart and Montblanc. But this
form is almost entirely unseen in modern pens.

The material is black resin, with gold trim and -- here is the unbelievable part -- white casein insets.
Pens made with casein are quite rare and expensive nowadays, and it happens to be one of my favourite
materials. I should note that this pen is also manufactured in a red version with silver trim.



The dome-shaped endcap and the inset over the cap band are made of a beautiful casein that is best
described as white with cream stripes -- giving the illusion of having a ribbed texture.

The gold clip is a vintage-style fixed clip with a ball tip. It is quite wide.

The Delta logo is inset in the center of the casein dome. The overall look is extremely elegant, yet
understated. Here are my attempts at close-ups of the dome and band:





Size, Weight and Feel

The pen is 5 1/4" closed; 4 7/8" uncapped and 6" posted. It is light to medium in weight. I consider
it extremely well-balanced, but keep in mind that I am a flat-top fan.

Nib and Writing Performance

Unlike the other Deltas I own, the Via Veneto has a single-tone gold nib. Here you can see a comparison
of this nib to other Deltas.


The nib is a Fine, and amazed me by writing true to size. In my experience, Deltas tend to run wide,
but this one is on the narrow side of Fine. This is good news to an XXF-XF user such as myself, as it
means no extra regrinding fees.



The nib writes smoothly, and the pen has no problems with flow or drying out in between uses. It is
tolerant of saturated inks: I currently have it filled with Noodler's Dragon Napalm, and I have also
tried Hunter's Green. The nib is on the stiffer side and puts down a precise line. I like this feature,
but those who prefer flex -- take note.

Filling System

The filling system is CC. On such an elegant penthat is so evocative of the 1920s, I would really
loved to have seen a lever. But then I have the same complaint with the chased Conway Stewart
Duro Heritage and many other period recreations. I do realise that one can't have everything. The
converter works well, so no complaints there.

Cost and Value

The Delta Via Veneto has an MSRP of $320, but it is available at Fahrneys for $260. I purchased
mine second hand but mint, for a great deal less than that, and consider this a wonderful bargain.
The Fahrney's price I consider well worth it, and would have bought the pen retail had that been
my only option.



Conclusions

After owning this pen for just under a week, I can't let it out of my hands. I find its looks breath-
taking and its performance superb. For the life of me, I do not know why the Delta Via Veneto
has remained out of the spotlight. If you dislike black pens, take a look at the red one on some
retailers' websites. Highly recommended.

If interested, you can view more photos here, together with other Deltas:
http://www.fountainp...showtopic=78681

Hope this was useful,
QM2

Edited by QM2, 13 October 2008 - 03:49.


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#2 Brian

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 22:44

Nice review and photos. This pen seems to put atttention into the little details that at first causes one to not be drawn to it. When I look at the photos the implementation of those details look very well done, i.e., the casein inserts have some texture and ribbing to them besides making a nice counterpoint of color; the cap lip meets the barrel at a very well considered shallow step highlighted with a gold trim ring; and the overall shape of the section flows well toward the threading so that it looks like it would feel pretty seamless.

Appreciate this review.

#3 FrankB

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 23:27

Your usual high quality, thoughtful review. Thank you.

I have to admit I was unfamiliar with the Via Veneto until I saw your comparison photo on the Italian forum the other day. I have and love a Soiree, and this pen seems to have a similar size and girth. The nib is a bit smaller (than the Soiree's). I do think the design is stunning. Again, like the Soiree it is understated.

I thought the Via Veneto was a European market pen only and that it was something you brought back from Austria. I guess it really is a model that has remained under the radar. Now that I know it is available in the U.S. I am going to have to consider it.

#4 MYU

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 23:30

Beautiful looking pen, QM2. Funny--my perception from the photos is that it is a large pen, but the measurements speak otherwise. Maybe it's the cap to barrel ratio. But really, what a wonderful choice. I think its a stunning example of a fine writing instrument. Btw, how does the cap post and how is the balance of the pen posted?

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#5 QM2

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 00:01

Thanks for the comments, everyone.
I am adding some writing samples:





#6 QM2

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 00:04

Brian: The casein is actually smooth, but gives the illusion of texture with the monotone stripes.
It's a pretty neat effect!

MYU: Here is a photo of the pen posted. It posts with no problems. I like the balance better posted,
but that my simply be because I post all my pens. In the photo, you can also get a better idea of the
size, because the pen is placed next to the Delta Dolce Vita Soiree.


Edited by QM2, 14 October 2008 - 22:45.


#7 n4souls

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 14:17

Great review and fantastic pen. As I have been looking around for my next pen, this is one that I have not seen-great choice and thank you for sharing it with us!

Edited by n4souls, 14 October 2008 - 14:19.

Norman Heath

#8 Empacherguy

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:52

Well for my own part, I too fell under the spell of this pen - only, in my case, the red one. As it happened, it sat in the case at one of my favorite pen shops in Berkeley, literally for eons. Seems no one noticed it. Or didn't bite. Me, I bit immediately but decided not to swallow for probably a year or more. Finally, on one trip for breakfast at a nearby diner ... well, let's just say I was in a foul mood; the Better Half says, "OK, enough is enough. I think you need to have that thing once and for all." So, well, the rest is history.

For the most part, I totally echo all of QM2's comments above - with one exception: mine was quite balky out of the box. I can't remember any more what ink(s) I tried first. Eventually, though, I decided the poor thing had merely sat in the cabinet with ink-dip remnants all stuck in the feed. So I soaked it for a long while in simple water, re-loaded with some Delta Blue and have never looked back. It's utterly fabulous! Not quite as much toothy feedback as my beloved Talentum, but it's smooth and oh-so-Italian -- which is to say, I still feel the nib but it glides effortlessly.

Quality of construction? An understatement! It's beautiful. If I ever get 'round to figuring out the foibles of posting pix, I'll be sure to provide some of the red version (in fine nib too).

Scott

#9 Titivillus

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 01:54

I forgot about the ribbed illusion! I wish they'd have done the entire cap in it!

Kurt

#10 QM2

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 18:33

Scott, thanks for your post! It is nice to know that others out there enjoy this pen. I haven't been able to find date of production info on this pen, but I'm curious just how long it's been out there.

Does anybody know whether the ribbed-effect casein is the same material that Conway Stewart uses for their ivory casein pens? I had always assumed that the CS casein was ribbed based on the way it looked in photos, but now I am wondering! Modern casein supply is extremely limited, so they might very well be the same material.

#11 rroossinck

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 18:49

I've written with one of the red/silver ones, and they're really very nice. Great review QM2!

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#12 offbase

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 19:41

QUOTE (QM2 @ Oct 17 2008, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Scott, thanks for your post! It is nice to know that others out there enjoy this pen. I haven't been able to find date of production info on this pen, but I'm curious just how long it's been out there.

Does anybody know whether the ribbed-effect casein is the same material that Conway Stewart uses for their ivory casein pens? I had always assumed that the CS casein was ribbed based on the way it looked in photos, but now I am wondering! Modern casein supply is extremely limited, so they might very well be the same material.


IIRC, I got it from Suzanne at pens.it the first week of release, I believe in the first half of 2006.

#13 wil

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 14:29

QM2, after reading your review a few weeks ago, I ended up ordering one from Pam Braun.

Thanks to your review, I am now writing with a pen that I would have never considered or even discovered.

#14 QM2

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 14:34

QUOTE (wil @ Oct 31 2008, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QM2, after reading your review a few weeks ago, I ended up ordering one from Pam Braun.

Thanks to your review, I am now writing with a pen that I would have never considered or even discovered.


Oooh cool! Did you get the black or the red version?

#15 Titivillus

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 14:42

QUOTE (QM2 @ Oct 31 2008, 09:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (wil @ Oct 31 2008, 03:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QM2, after reading your review a few weeks ago, I ended up ordering one from Pam Braun.

Thanks to your review, I am now writing with a pen that I would have never considered or even discovered.


Oooh cool! Did you get the black or the red version?


here's a picture of the Hans C. ANderson pen which the Vis is based on




#16 QM2

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Posted 31 October 2008 - 14:45

QUOTE ((bleep) @ Oct 31 2008, 03:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
here's a picture of the Hans C. ANderson pen which the Vis is based on


Yeah. My first thought was "Oh! Lever!!" -- and almost at the same time, "Are those, um, diamonds? : ( "


I want the lever fill mechanism from the HCA, but the dome and clip from the Via Veneto!
You think Delta would make a custom Frankenpen?...

Edited by QM2, 31 October 2008 - 14:49.


#17 wil

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 20:50

QUOTE (QM2 @ Oct 31 2008, 09:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oooh cool! Did you get the black or the red version?


Black version with gold hardware. I asked for a medium but got a fine instead which writes like a true fine.

Hint of a slow start that I am hoping will go away after a few ink refills. I think the smaller size makes it a bit more usable for me compared to other delta dolce vita.

Once again, thanks for pointing me to this wonderful find.






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