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Stipula daVinci


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#1 Kurtz

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 14:14

Last Christmas I got this pen. I had been looking forward to owing one since I first put my eyes on it. For some reason, I am fond of capless pens and I found this one after some research in the net about this uncommon type. I also like pens with plenty of character, and the daVinci appeared to emanate loads of it.







I also knew about the cons reported by some (many) owners of this pen concerning (big) size, (heavy) weight and (guest star) hard starting tendency. Anyway, I succumbed to temptation and threw myself into the void.
So, there was me with the Stipula in my hands for the first time. Admiring its beauty and wondering if I would get accustomed to it.
It is definitely heavy, but I like it. Specially after dismantling it to discover the sturdy, neat, stainless steel core. Hard as nails, but extremely easy to handle/fit. In a sense, it resembles a gun more than a pen.





The size frightened me a bit at the beginning, but only because it was the first time I used a pen of that diameter. After a couple of days, I found it even more comfortable than most of my pens. In any case, I should point out that I have long fingers.
Finally, about the hard starting issue, I must admit that it definitely is. One day is OK. Two days you need a short reanimation. Three days you must beg its pardon for having abandoned it for such a long time before it condescends to start writing again. I also noticed that, worse than days without use, are minutes with the nib out without use. If you are not going to write with it immediatly (within one minute or so), you better close it in order not to get the nib dry.















Anyway, I found this issue a good reason to use my pen on a daily basis with no remorse. This is a pen to use; not to be kept in a drawer and write for a while from time to time. And I love to use it at work. To feel its smooth nib when writing and its solid weight when closed (in meetings, when not taking notes; for instance).
Nib is F size. Wider than Pilot F size, as expected. Perfect for my handwriting. It is incredibly smooth; with the appropriate amount of ink flowing out. I love it.


Well. I tried to transmit what my feelings towards this pen are. It is my favourite despite its peculiarities/issues. This must mean something.



There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.


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#2 Ondina

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 14:32

The pen, the pictures and the review are great. Really an outstanding design and nib mechanism. Thanks.

#3 BerneseMtDogEatsArco

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 15:52

That is the best, most detailed pictorial overview of the pen I've seen. Just looking at the internals piqued my interest! Like a mix between a Vanishing point and a Boheme!
Very, very, cool.
I'll take an Aurora, please. Aurora black.

#4 MYU

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 16:09

Super photography, Kurtz--you really capture the nib operation beautifully. smile.gif I had no idea that it has a nib assembly unit like the Pilot VP, and almost the same converter (same ink capacity?). It's a very interesting design. How well does it hold up to drying out?

~Gary

Edited by MYU, 08 February 2009 - 16:10.

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#5 diplomat

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 16:15

First time ever I feel tempted by a Stipula.
Thanks, Kurtz.

The photo sequence of the opening of the nib unit is terrific. How quick is doing it in real time? Is it decouraging if you only need to put down an entry in your Agenda?

Thank you again for the outstanding pictures (and nice table too).

Ciao,

#6 QM2

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 16:21

Thanks for the review and for the photos! Absolutely gorgeous pen, and you've captured its design wonderfully.

For some time now, I have been looking at the Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa (same design, with a bit of silver overlay and enamel), but the drying up issues prevent me from putting them on my wishlist. What I really want to know, is whether this problem is something that could be fixed by a nibmeister/repairperson, or whether it is an inherent flaw in the design that cannot be fixed aftermarket at all. Have you considered having the pen looked at by a professional?

#7 Kurtz

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:06

Thank you all smile.gif

QUOTE (MYU @ Feb 8 2009, 05:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Super photography, Kurtz--you really capture the nib operation beautifully. smile.gif I had no idea that it has a nib assembly unit like the Pilot VP, and almost the same converter (same ink capacity?). It's a very interesting design. How well does it hold up to drying out?


It's a bit difficult to say since I take short notes more than continuous writing. One of these days day I'll perform a specific test and post my impression here.


There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.


#8 Kurtz

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:11

QUOTE (diplomat @ Feb 8 2009, 05:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The photo sequence of the opening of the nib unit is terrific. How quick is doing it in real time? Is it decouraging if you only need to put down an entry in your Agenda?


It needs 3 complete turns to get it opened. I don't find it specially decouraging, but this is probably because I like the feeling of doing it (it is on the ritual side) rolleyes.gif



There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.


#9 Kurtz

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:28

QUOTE (QM2 @ Feb 8 2009, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For some time now, I have been looking at the Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa (same design, with a bit of silver overlay and enamel), but the drying up issues prevent me from putting them on my wishlist. What I really want to know, is whether this problem is something that could be fixed by a nibmeister/repairperson, or whether it is an inherent flaw in the design that cannot be fixed aftermarket at all. Have you considered having the pen looked at by a professional?

I really have not. Actually, I guess (I could be wrong, though) it is sort of collateral issue related with such a special design. So I take it as a (tolerated) negative characteristic. The pen demands attention and I'm willing to give. When using it each one or two days, the pen is pure silk. As an engineer, I'm accustomed not to have the whole range of virtues in the same machine. Unfortunately, sometimes you must sacrifice some aspects in favour of others (which you appreciate more). And this pen is perfect for someone (like me) who can be faithful to a short bunch of pens wub.gif



There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.


#10 QM2

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:55

QUOTE (Kurtz @ Feb 8 2009, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (QM2 @ Feb 8 2009, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For some time now, I have been looking at the Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa (same design, with a bit of silver overlay and enamel), but the drying up issues prevent me from putting them on my wishlist. What I really want to know, is whether this problem is something that could be fixed by a nibmeister/repairperson, or whether it is an inherent flaw in the design that cannot be fixed aftermarket at all. Have you considered having the pen looked at by a professional?

I really have not. Actually, I guess (I could be wrong, though) it is sort of collateral issue related with such a special design. So I take it as a (tolerated) negative characteristic. The pen demands attention and I'm willing to give. When using it each one or two days, the pen is pure silk. As an engineer, I'm accustomed not to have the whole range of virtues in the same machine. Unfortunately, sometimes you must sacrifice some aspects in favour of others (which you appreciate more). And this pen is perfect for someone (like me) who can be faithful to a short bunch of pens wub.gif


Now that sounds like true love! : )

#11 RedRob

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:04

Thanks for the review of the Da Vinci Kurtz. I am also one of those who would've bought this pen if it weren't for the drying up - hard starting reputation of the nib.

While reading your review, a thought came to my mind. I have had quite a few pens serviced by John Mottishaw with (among other issues) skipping or starting problems. One of the obvious ways that Mr Mottishaw addresses this problem, is by advancing the feed under the nib or setting the nib deeper into the section, so that the tip and shoulders of the feed are much closer to the tip and shoulders of the nib, sometimes within 1mm. If I were you I would try this on the Da Vinci. Good luck.

Edited by RedRob, 10 February 2009 - 03:05.


#12 pankajwillis

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 14:47

That is a very beautiful pen indeed!

A merciful heart is the greatest of all possessions.

#13 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 20:44

Such a great looking pen. Such a great design concept.

The commonly dry nib reported by multiple users would seem to come from one of two sources:

a. the flow is poorly calibrated at the factory - that should be fixable by your favorite Nibmeister

b. a poor seal at the rotating trap door allows air to circulate around the retracted nib. That design flaw would be tough to address.

Seems to me that letting a Nibmeister have a crack at improving flow would be worthwhile.

If you decide to have the flow adjusted, PLEASE report back. If this common dry nib problem proves to be fixable, I would love to have one of these beauties.

Oh - and these are hands down the best photos I have even seen (magazine or web) of the nib operation and anatomy. Thanks.
Ray
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#14 RedRob

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 03:02

QUOTE (yachtsilverswan @ Feb 10 2009, 03:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
b. a poor seal at the rotating trap door allows air to circulate around the retracted nib.


I wonder if there is ANY seal around that trap door.


#15 Tony the Tiger

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 14:37

I only thought I wanted one before. Now, I REALLY want one. Fantastic pics. Thanks for the review.
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#16 Shelley

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 03:50

Great pictures, nice review, could you possibly say how big this pen is, could you take a shot next to some of your other pens for a size comparison?
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#17 Brian

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 22:47

I wonder how much different this design is from the early 1940-50s Italian retractable nibbed pens? The (Aurora?) Aesterope had a sliding mechanism and a trap door that is similar to this Stipula. I wonder how good were those pens to write with and carry on a daily basis (maybe no one knows so this may be just a rhetorical thought).

Nice pen BTW and yes, it is heavy. Thanks for the great review and intelligence into how it performs. The Italians have history with making retractable nib pens and it would be good to see more of them!

#18 Kurtz

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 17:38

QUOTE (Shelley @ Feb 12 2009, 04:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great pictures, nice review, could you possibly say how big this pen is, could you take a shot next to some of your other pens for a size comparison?


Of course. Here is a family portrait with her sisters (Waterman Sérénité, Parker Sonnet, Pilot VP and Laban Ring):



It is big, as you can see, but when it comes to stick the nib out... it is reaaally big:




Someone sometime asked for a pen able to draw the attention when being held by its owner in front of a small audience Well, this could be a good contender cool.gif




There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.


#19 Peter from Sherwood Park

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 23:57

A great pen and a wonderful series of photographs -- thank you for the review!

#20 Kurtz

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 15:01

QUOTE (RedRob @ Feb 11 2009, 04:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (yachtsilverswan @ Feb 10 2009, 03:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
b. a poor seal at the rotating trap door allows air to circulate around the retracted nib.


I wonder if there is ANY seal around that trap door.


Actually, I don't think so. I guess it's only what it appears to be: a sliding trap door without additional sealing.

There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.







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