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Visconti Divina Proportions LE-review


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67 replies to this topic

#1 goodguy

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 03:43

I was walking quietly minding my own business at the Toronto Pen Show when on one of the tables I saw this pen.
Right away it was like somebody cast a spell on me.I had to feel it.The seller was a nice guy from Montreal and he was happy to let me feel it.I loved the weight and feel of the pen and I knew I must have it.

To my luck one of our own "Bryant" is selling Visconti pens and I knew his price will make this pen a reality.The retail price of this pen is 1600$ so there was no way I would pay that much on this pen.
I contacted Bryant and to my joy the price was amazing and the next day the pen was ordered for me.

Well I got the pen today.I was sitting looking at the box for few minutes containing the urge to rip the box apart.
I opened it slowly and the first thing that hit you is how big the box is and how shiny and smooth it feels.
Well I opened the box and there is one of the most detailed beautiful pen box I ever seen.I love the tool that measures the Devine Proportions and the attantion to details on this box is simply amazing.

With shaky hands I took the pen and it is indeed as good as I remembered it.
I love the way the lines swirl around the pen and they match perfectly to the cap.The silver lines make the pen look great.The pen has a dark browny colour and the silver lines make the pen looks softer and classy.
The weight of the pen is somewhere in the middle.It feels like a MB Writers Edition pen,maybe a wee bit lighter.

The first time I took the cap off was a bit of a weird experiance.First you press on cap down then turn it a bit to the left and pull on it.Like most of you guy know all ready there are no threads on this pen.Instead there are hooks that grab on the cap.This system works good and very secure but I must admit I didnt fall in love with this system.Its nice smart and good but I am a bit old fasioned and still like threaded caps better.

To my joy this pen has an inkview window a nice bonus and gives the pen a nice feel that it wasnt just designed to look pretty but also to be used.
The nib is a standard Visconti LE nib.I had the exact same nib on my Visconti Romanica but this one is a F nib and not an M nib like on the Romanica.
I do love the filling mechanism on this pen.You press on the metal piece at the pens buttom and it pops out just a bit then you put it all out and on the metal rod there are nicly carved numbers in the pens Divine Proportions motif (very nice touch).
Then dunk the nib in the ink bottle and press once on the rod.It gets back into the barrel and locks itself back in place.At the same time vacum is creaded in the barrel and ink is sucked into the pen.

Once you get the cap off the pen is much lighter in the hand and the thinner section makes the pen feel almost perfect between my fingers.Yet again a proof Visconti designed this pen to be used and not just look beautiful.
I never post my pens but I tried only once for the review sake and I must say the whole pen felt unbalanced and I dont think you will want to post it.

The nib was the biggest surprise.As mentioned I had the exact same nib on the Romanica and on the Romanica the nib felt very very smooth and wet but with very little feedback.
Well this F nib is to my amazment and surprise felt exactly the oposite.
It is still very smooth but with a TON of feedback.It is the finest F nib I have.Almost EX to my taste.It reminds me of an Aurora nib.It has a toothy feeling to it even though its a very smooth nib.It is wet and to me feels like a sport car rather then a luxury car.Well done Visconti!!!

Summery

The pen has it all.Its stunningly beautiful,smartly designed but is also a superb user.You can buy it to sit in the cabinet or use it everyday.In any case this pen will bring you a lot of joy.
As you would expect with me it will be mosly cabinet time but I promis to take it out for a spin every so often as this pen well desrves it.Even thoug this pen aint cheap it is sold right now for a relativly very resonable price so if you want it this is the time to get it before they will run out of it.


PS-My cat just stood there for a while looking at the pen and it was obvious even he was amazed of how beautiful the pen really is.He loves it!!!

I am adding this to the review a day after I wrote the full review

The pen is buttom heavy so it feels a bit like a pen with a brass piston filler (like a MB or a Pelikan pens).It is not a negative thing for me but I felt I needed to add this.
Another thing I forgot to mention and I dont know how I could is how smooth the pen feels in the hand.
The first thing that hits you when you hold the pen is how smooth and refined the resin feels in your hand.Just by holding this pen it feels as if the material and workmanship of the pen is of the highest grade.
I also forgot to add that the clip (like many other Visconti pens) is spring loaded and is very comfortable to use and adds to the overall feel of the pen.

Edited by goodguy, 14 November 2008 - 01:05.

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#2 jakespeed

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 04:01

Gorgeous pen. Great review. You must be very happy.
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#3 BerneseMtDogEatsArco

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 04:18

Super review!

Thanks!
I'll take an Aurora, please. Aurora black.

#4 AKAGodSent

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 04:18

Nice review Amir, took you long enough to get one smile.gif
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"'The French Soldier,' pronounced Rostopchin, 'has to be incited to battle by high-sounding phrases; the German must have it logically proved to him that it is more dangerous to run away than to advance; but the Russian soldier has to be held back, and urged to go slowly!'" War and Peace

#5 Bismuth

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 05:02

I want one so bad... oh and nice review headsmack.gif

wonder if I'll ever get one, is 1618 pieces considered a lot?

#6 dandelion

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:53

Gorgeous pen and a very inspiring review! Thanks for sharing!!!
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#7 Taboo

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 09:57

Visconti really does make some amazing pens. This one is right up there with the best of them.

So goodguy, if you had to choose just one, would it be the beloved M-149 or the Visconti?

#8 sph33r

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 16:37

Great review of an absolutely gorgeous pen. I will never own one, but if by some odd twist of fate I end up with a lot of expendable cash, I would be grabbing one of these immediately. biggrin.gif

Enjoy that beautiful pen!
- Brad -


#9 wspohn

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:03

Nice review. I got a fine nib as well and it is a good writer.

My only qualm about this pen is that it has a fairly hefty price even at the usualy Ebay ~50% discount (I see one seller on ebay asking full retail - wonder how many idiots fall for that....?) and you are paying a big chunk of that for the fancy box.

I can't help thinking that if the pen is this nice, what could it have been like if they'd charged the same price but sold it in a plain brown box....

Yes, the box is very nice. Am I happy having paid, in essence, $200 for it? Not bloody likely. I am not a box collector, I'm afraid.
Bill Spohn
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#10 thibaulthalpern

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:09

What is that caliper contraption thing? What is it used for?
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#11 stevlight

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:39

QUOTE
What is that caliper contraption thing? What is it used for?


I second that!! Very curious about the calipers.
I am glad you cat likes it!! You have been waiting for this pen--Congratulations!
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#12 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:42

QUOTE (thibaulthalpern @ Nov 13 2008, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is that caliper contraption thing? What is it used for?


It's part of the LE presentation for the Divina Proporzione.

The pen was designed on the theme of Phi, the golden ratio of 1.618 (not Pi = 3.14...). Phi occurs with startling frequency in nature, and seems to be encoded in evolutionary biology. Phi also seems to be part of how humans subjectively interpret beauty.

So the caliper is an adjustable Phi ratio, set to demonstrate that the ratio of the cap to the barrel in the DP is equal to Phi.

You can also use the caliper to amuse and annoy your friends by objectively measuring their adherence to Phi standards of beauty.

Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#13 diplomat

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 20:42

Thank you goodguy for the usual nice, detailed and picture heavy review. I especially appreciated the comparaison with MB149 (thanks for that). One thing I don't like very much from the pen - i must say - is the inkview that remains visible when the pen is capped... otherwise is one hell of a design.

QUOTE (thibaulthalpern @ Nov 13 2008, 09:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is that caliper contraption thing? What is it used for?


It's a tool that always keep the divine proportions... if you like math: http://en.wikipedia....vine_proportion

Ciao,

Andre



#14 SMG

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 21:01

Amir, glad you finally got the pen you wanted. Is there not a second version of this pen, non LE in black resin?? It might be a nice alternative to those who do not want the box, and can live without the wood.

Either way, nice looking pen. Can't wait to see it in person some day.

Cheers,
Sean
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#15 MYU

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 21:02

Very nice review as usual, Amir. I like your photos, including the cat poser ones. I got to hold one of these first hand and they're quite hefty. I'm not so sure I'd find it comfortable to write with for long periods. But wow, is the design impressive! smile.gif

Edited by MYU, 13 November 2008 - 21:02.

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#16 wspohn

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 22:22

QUOTE (thibaulthalpern @ Nov 13 2008, 12:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is that caliper contraption thing? What is it used for?



That is more garbage you are forced to buy if you want this pen - see yachtsilverswan's explanation elsewhere in the thread. So you get the pen, and unpack it, then stash the expensive caliper in the expensive box and probably never look at it again until you sell the pen. Golden ratio my left ***!!

They also have a version of this with gold instead of sterling inlay, at a huge price, as well as the mentioned version with no inlay, no box and just the pen that sells for less. Prices below are current at Worldlux and are probably a fairly representative list.

Wood look plastic, sterling inlay with all the claptrap - $1618 (the Golden Ratio, of course).

Black plastic with sterling inlay (called the Divina Black) $875

Black plastic with sterling inlay in mid size $695

Wood look plastic, no inlay (Divina LE) $1100

Wood look plastic, 18K gold inlay $4,250

What would have pleased me would be:

Wood look plastic, sterling inlay, no claptrap - $1200 or so.

I have half a mind to post a poll asking people to vote for whether they'd rather buy this with or without, if given the choice.

* (Remember that street prices are 60% or so of these prices)

Edited by wspohn, 13 November 2008 - 22:23.

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#17 goodguy

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 00:59

lticaptd.gif Oh Bill you are really not a box guy ha ? roflmho.gif
I understand you and something inside of me support what you say but the other side (the collector obsessed side) hushes this side very fast.

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#18 SMG

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 01:25

Amir it is not "collector obsessed" but possibly "compulsively obsessed":)

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#19 goodguy

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 02:01

QUOTE (SMG @ Nov 14 2008, 02:25 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Amir it is not "collector obsessed" but possibly "compulsively obsessed":)

Cheers,
Sean

Cute Sean very cute lticaptd.gif
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#20 thibaulthalpern

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 03:29

QUOTE (yachtsilverswan @ Nov 13 2008, 12:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (thibaulthalpern @ Nov 13 2008, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is that caliper contraption thing? What is it used for?


It's part of the LE presentation for the Divina Proporzione.

The pen was designed on the theme of Phi, the golden ratio of 1.618 (not Pi = 3.14...). Phi occurs with startling frequency in nature, and seems to be encoded in evolutionary biology. Phi also seems to be part of how humans subjectively interpret beauty.

So the caliper is an adjustable Phi ratio, set to demonstrate that the ratio of the cap to the barrel in the DP is equal to Phi.

You can also use the caliper to amuse and annoy your friends by objectively measuring their adherence to Phi standards of beauty.


Oh, that's what the caliper is for? It's pretty interesting!

Now, for some missive and it's not directed personally to anyone but rather me thinking about what I tentatively call the prison house of concepts. This Phi thing, which I'm not sure I believe in is really that related to beauty brings this up for me.

So supposedly somebody or some group of people "discover" (I would actually use he word "conceptualise" as it is bringing into being something) this Phi thing and now they turn it around to "objectively" measure people's "adherence" to beauty? It's supposed to be the other way around. The idea was trying to quantify beauty and using whatever people found beautiful and figure out if they could define it right? It's not as if the definition of Phi is the standard of beauty.

Anyway, let me roll my eyes one more time ;-) rolleyes.gif

Anyhow, I'm reading a book by a phenomenological anthropologist (Michael D. Jackson) and he writes beautifully about prison house of concepts:
Nowadays, one must have recourse to art and literature if one is to keep alive a sense of what hard science, with its passion for definitive concepts and systematic knowledge, often forgoes or forgets. The painter who dispenses with framing in order to reunite the field of artistic vision with the space of the world, or the composer who breaks down the boundaries between what is deemed music and noise..., find a natural ally in the philosopher who, aware that concepts never cover the fullness of human experience, sees the task of description as more compelling than that of explanation.

John Berger writes: "If every event which occurred could be given a name, there would be no need for stories. As things are here, life outstrips our vocabulary."

Theodor Adorno called this the untruth of identity, by which he meant that concepts plunder but never exhaust the wealth of experience. Life cannot be pressed into the service of language. Concepts represent experience at the cost of leaving a lot unsaid. So long as we use concepts to cut up experience, giving value to some things at the expense of others, we inhibit our sense of the plenitude of Being. We gain some purchase on the world, to be sure, but claiming that our concepts contain all that can be usefully said about experience, we close off the possibility of critique. It is only when we cease trying to control the world that we can overcome our fixation on the autarchy of concepts.

Michael D. Jackson, At Home in the World (4-5).



Isn't what he said beautiful? At least to me :-)

I think perhaps the Phi thing is more of something that was taught in European classical arts and probably not as applicable to arts in other parts of the world?

Edited by thibaulthalpern, 14 November 2008 - 14:30.

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