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REVIEW: Visconti Skeleton Ag925


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20 replies to this topic

#1 QM2

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 21:00



VISCONTI SKELETON AG925
Orange Lucite


The Visconti Skeleton Ag925 was released in 2002 as a sterling silver alternative to the titanium Skeleton LE. Although no
longer in production, it is still possible to purchase this model NOS from several retailers. Mine was a present from MDI
and came from the PensInAsia Christmas Clearance. It arrived in a modest, small Visconti box. When the box was opened,
the pen absolutely lit up the room with its luminous, unusual shade of orange. It has continued to captivate me since.




Appearance and Design

This Visconti Skeleton Ag925 has a lucite body, and a silver overlay that is treated with a titanium finish. It is a classic flat-top,
and features the distinct old-style Visconti clip, that was such a characteristic feature of the older Visconti LEs.

For those who are interested in the subtleties of colour, the specific shade of the orange lucite is difficult to describe. As you
can see in the photo it is darker and more subdued than an orange. While it is lighter and brighter than amber, it does have
some of amber's properties: the lucite looks like a viscous matter that has been frozen in motion; honeyed, caramelised.

The tinanium plating gives the silver overlay a "brushed" appearance. It does not resemble sterling silver either in colour or
in texture. If not for the "Ag925" in the name, I would have guessed that the overlay material was some sort of reinforced
aluminum.

In addition to the orange body reviewed here, the Ag925 Skeleton was also available in a black and transparent versions.
Personally, I think that the orange lucite model is by far the most successful. What makes it special, is that it harmoniously
combines industrial and organic elements. The brushed titanium-plated overlay has a cold, high-tech feel, while the orange
lucite is incredibly warm, alive, and inviting. The combination is stunning, captivating, and tactile: the pattern of the overlay
cutouts, with the orange peeking out underneath, is reminiscent of an ear of wheat or rye. The black and transparent versions
of this pen lack the organic component and look rather cold and clinical as a result.

Size, Weight, Comfort

I do not have the exact sizing specs at the moment, but the Ag925 Skeleton is a medium-sized pen by modern standards. It
is considerably smaller than the all-titanium LE version.

The overlay is amazingly light, which makes the pen very manageable to use both posted and unposted. I would classify this
as a light to medium pen in terms of weight.

The lucite section has all the elements I like: a "waist" by which to hold it, and a "lip" to keep the fingers from slipping down
to the nib unit. These design features are important to me, as I have a very low grip.

It should also be noted, that the brushed titanium finish makes this pen extremely durable and scratch-resistant.



Filling System

Alas, the filling system here is cartridge/converter. Only the all-titanium LE pens were fitted with the pump filling system.


Nib and Writing Performance

Out of the choices available, I asked for a Broad nib, with intent to have it reground to a nice italic. This is my first
experience with a Visconti Broad, and to be honest I am not that impressed: It puts down a somewhat blobby (as opposed
to precise) line that I find difficult to control, and had a scratchy spot which I had to smooth prior to being able to use the
pen. This is not a big deal, since I am not a Broad user anyway, and only got this size for regrinding purposes. I was just
hoping to be wowed by the Visconti B, given how happy GhostPlane has been with these nibs.




Cost and Value

I am not sure about the original MSRP of the Visconti Skeleton Ag925, but I have seen them offered for sale NOS by several
retailers and private individuals in the $400-500 range. PensInAsia had the best deal (in the $300's) during their holiday
clearance in December, but this price is no longer available.

Conclusions

The Visconti Skeleton Ag925 is one of the more unusual silver overlays you are likely to see. From the "caramelised" quality of
the orange lucite, to the unexpected brushed titanium treatment of the metal, it is a striking design that harmoniously brings
together the classic and the modern, the organic and the industrial, the warm and the cold. The classic shape and durable finish
make it not only stunning, but also practical. I would go so far as to say that the orange lucite Skeleton is one of the most
successful and intriguing designs among modern pens. Only the C/C filling system detracts from this status.




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#2 Strang

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 21:04

Such a Beauty!!! crybaby.gif
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#3 Doug C

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 21:42

I have the matching convertable (in the orange as well), which contained a BP/GEL/ and Mechanical Pencil. I use it exclusively as a pencil, and it has been a favorite. One of the nice things about that finish is how well it has held up since I got it. There is no sign of wear, and it doesnt really show fingerprints.

I had planned to get the matching FP, but things rarely work out as planned...

After the regrind you are going to love this pen.
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#4 QM2

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 22:09

QUOTE (Doug C @ Feb 6 2009, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have the matching convertable (in the orange as well), which contained a BP/GEL/ and Mechanical Pencil. I use it exclusively as a pencil, and it has been a favorite. One of the nice things about that finish is how well it has held up since I got it. There is no sign of wear, and it doesnt really show fingerprints.

I had planned to get the matching FP, but things rarely work out as planned...

After the regrind you are going to love this pen.



Hang on, "a BP/GEL/ and Mechanical Pencil" -- in one writing instrument? That sounds awesome. Does it come with different attachments, or do you have to buy each attachment separately, or?... I am really curious now!

You may still have a change to get the FP. Pentiques are selling one right now for $400. See here!



#5 MDI

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 23:32

Lovely.

By the way, Doug C, would you please post photographs of your convertible skeleton? I am particularly curious whether it has a cap. If so, it's a rare MP with a cap. Let us know if that's the case if you cannot post pictures, if you don't mind.
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#6 Doug C

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 02:06

I tried to tonight, but Photobucket is down.

It basically looks likie a BP version of QM2's FP.


They provided one of the first gel refills, a BP refill, and a Mechanical Pencil insert in a leather (or vinyl) package.

I will try and post later on. I had a Post with my new knife that included this pencil/pen, but cannot load due to technical difficulties.

Maybe tomorrow.


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#7 QM2

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 04:40

Thanks Doug, it will be interesting to see. I am guessing that it does not have a cap, which makes me wonder how it manages to accommodate a gel refill without drying out!

#8 Doug C

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 17:33

QUOTE (QM2 @ Feb 6 2009, 09:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Doug, it will be interesting to see. I am guessing that it does not have a cap, which makes me wonder how it manages to accommodate a gel refill without drying out!



Here it is QM2, along with one of my recent acquisitions, a Lone Wolf Paul Perfecto Knife in red abalone:




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#9 wspohn

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 21:54

I have the black liner version. Nice writers (as most Viscontis seem to be) but I never reconciled myself to the idea that covering up lovely sterling silver with matte titanium coating was a plus. I wish they'd made a plain sterling version! Perhaps I am just too traditional.
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#10 goodguy

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 01:24

What a lovely pen,it really looks nice and I too like the orange body.
I know how much you go for flat top pens and this one really fits the bll.
What a shame its a C/C filler,maybe that will give you the right motivation to buy the LE model with the pump filler.I saw one for sale on eBay thumbup.gif
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#11 QM2

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 16:38

Thanks Doug C. So it is the capless instrument; interesting. Nice MOP on the knife, and beautiful Montegrappa Harmony (right?) you have there!

Bill, I agree with you that in general sterling silver is much better off without a titanium plating! But in my particular pen, I feel that the juxtaposition of the warm, organic orange and the industrial-looking brushed metal creates an intriguing "conversation" between the different aspects of the pen. This does not happen in either the black or the transparent versions though.

Goodguy, thanks for your comments. I love the Visconti pump mechanism, and would of course prefer to have it in this pen. However, I have never seen the orange one offered in any version other than C/C. The only titanium LEs I have seen are transparent skeletons, which don't appeal to me as much and remind me of syringes. Was the one you saw on ebay orange? I haven't been able to find it.

Also, for those who are not so particular about internal vs C/C filling systems, the Ag925 version of the Skeleton is of course much less expensive than the Titanium LE version : )

#12 Bryant

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 16:47

Very nice review, thank you! I love this pen, I just wish it was a little thicker sad.gif

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#13 Doug C

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:41

I don't know if you've noticed but (at least on mine), the beautiful (and classic-this is probably my favorite clip of all time) boat hull clip is propportioned differently than it is on other Viscontis of the same time period.
The top of the clip (near the top of the cap) is much thinner than on my Copernicus, while the bulge at the bottom of the clip is much more pronounced.

I don't know if this just due to normal variation, or if it was done intentionally for this pen.

A great design, nevertheless.


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#14 QM2

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:48

QUOTE (Doug C @ Feb 8 2009, 07:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know if you've noticed but (at least on mine), the beautiful (and classic-this is probably my favorite clip of all time) boat hull clip is propportioned differently than it is on other Viscontis of the same time period.
The top of the clip (near the top of the cap) is much thinner than on my Copernicus, while the bulge at the bottom of the clip is much more pronounced.

I don't know if this just due to normal variation, or if it was done intentionally for this pen.


Interesting. The only other Visconti I have with this style clip, is the 1998 Alhambra I've just received for my birthday (!!!!!) . The form of the clip is 100% identical to the Skeleton: the top is tapered and the bottom is exaggerated. I will find some photos of other pens on the web to take a look at the difference you describe.



Edited by QM2, 08 February 2009 - 17:51.


#15 Doug C

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:53

They used this clip on a number of pens, including what I consider the definitive Visconti, the Voyager.

I would love to have a Voyager in the coral celluloid..


Beautiful Alhambra, by the way..

Edited by Doug C, 08 February 2009 - 17:54.

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#16 QM2

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 22:05

QUOTE (Doug C @ Feb 6 2009, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have the matching convertable (in the orange as well), which contained a BP/GEL/ and Mechanical Pencil. I use it exclusively as a pencil, and it has been a favorite.


Update: I have it under good authority that the convertible thingie will be coming my way shortly to join the FP!

However, I have not seen any sellers of this item actually describe it as accepting MP leds. So how do you do it? Did it come with a converter of some sort? I mean, otherwise, different kinds of space are required to hold gel/bp refills than led. Also, does anybody know whether this will accept a fineliner refill?



#17 breaker

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 20:56

very nice review
Cogito ergo sum

#18 Apotheosis

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:18

Your review was the inspiration to get myself one and since I already had a Skeleton Ti, I decided to go for a Ag925 Clear Demonstrator !!

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Now I'm just waiting for the convertable to come back from Bryant and I'll have a SET !!
YAY me !! :bunny01:
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#19 mholve

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 13:35

I've always liked the Ti version... I hope one comes around in the classifieds some day. I'm a sucker for titanium. :P

@Apotheosis, I'm curious - which black ink is that? It looks seriously black. I like it!

#20 Apotheosis

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 14:10

@Apotheosis, I'm curious - which black ink is that? It looks seriously black. I like it!


Hi mhlove, Its Aurora Black - my favourite black ink and one of the few inks I trust completely in all of my demonstrators.



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