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Found 5 results

  1. I have not yet posted a review on FPN, and I am a bit skeptical about reviews of recently acquired pens. I received this pen on 11 March 2021 and nevertheless decided to write a quick review for two reasons. First, I want to join in the praise that several other FPN members have heaped on the company for their stellar customer service and - communication. Second, I’d like to share my (initial) experience with their EF-tipped “superflexy” nib, since there appears to be some confusion as to the availability and characteristics of that nib. I will skip the customary “first impressions” section of the review template since this review is a first impression in its entirety. I bought a Libra Ebonite pen (in the “Lava” design), at the (then discounted) price of €359 (including shipping). Appearance and design: I have enclosed a few pictures. This is an oversize pen (see below for dimensions). As noted in other FPN posts, Santini's color schemes sometimes come across as rather baroque (not to use the term gaudy), however the “Lava” version seems inspired by the vintage “woodgrain” design that was popular with Waterman, Conway Stewart and other brands in the 1920s-1930s. The vintage aspect of the Libra is reinforced by its flat-top design (it reminds me of Conway Stewart’s 55 Duro model). The cap ring is perhaps a bit massive for my taste and the same goes for the “Santini Italia” inscription. The ebonite versions of the Libra (25 of them, when I checked their website, but they may be adding more) are all “limited editions” - i.e. limited to 33 pieces each. The serial number is etched on the top of the cap. In summary, perhaps not a pen to uncap in a meeting where you intend to keep a low profile (but then most meetings are videoconferences nowadays). Construction & quality: Santini advertises their pens as "100% made in Italy". I have no reason to doubt that claim, and my initial impression is one of high quality materials, genuine craftsmanship and careful finishing. No loose or wiggly parts, the ebonite has been polished to high gloss, the cap engages perfectly with the threads. And their nib is something special (see below). Weight and dimensions: The Libra measures 14.6 centimetres capped, 13.5 centimetres uncapped, and sports a hefty barrel that comes to 1.5 centimetres at its widest spot. The section is exceptionally long. Like I wrote, a truly oversized pen. It is slightly longer and significantly heftier than the Pelikan M1000, generally recognised as oversized (see enclosed picture). The ebonite barrel and cap help to keep the weight down (31 grams capped), in spite of the built-in piston component (see below). I have big hands and welcome pens of this size. You could post it but that would make the pen really too large for my taste. Nib & writing performance: This is why I am posting this review. Santini is one of the very few remaining fountain pen companies that manufacture their own nibs. Their website (https://www.santini-italia.com/nib-size-guide.html) gives the impression (perhaps deliberately) that the “superflexy” nib is not available in EF size, and states that the EF tip puts down a line with a width of 0.5mm. I had a (web-) chat with Katrina, one of the family owners and deservedly famous on FPN (and elsewhere) for being exceptionally responsive and flexible (in a commercial sense of course). She confirmed that they would be happy to prepare a superflexy nib with an extra fine tip - without surcharge by the way. The Santini superflexy nib comes with an ebonite feed which is claimed to improve ink flow. It’s difficult to verify such a claim (I do not have a Libra with a plastic feed) but I can confirm that my Libra yields a decent ink flow, in spite of its EF tip. My Libra does have noticeable feedback (as you can expect from any EF sized tip), but that helps to control the nib and does not result in a “draggy” feel. And what about the “superflexy” feature? My Santini nib is flexible, a bit less than the Pilot 912 #10 FA and the Montblanc Calligraphy nib, a bit more than the Jowo “soft” 14K nib (the one with the sideways cut-outs). When used at what I consider to be normal pressure, for writing cursive with a 55° right slant, Santini's superflexy nib does not produce significant line variation - but then almost no contemporary nib does that (the Pilot #10 FA being the exception in my limited experience). You certainly can squeeze line variation out of this nib, when writing vertical script and applying an amount of pressure that (in my view) is hard to sustain for more than a few lines (yes, I am one of those who believe that fountain pens are best used with a very light hand). I hasten to add that the superflexy nib has immediately become one of my favourite writers (and like many FPN members I do write with a rather large number of pens). It has a very pleasant bounce that helps to put down a nicely rounded, flowing script. And - other than what the Santini website states - my extra fine tip actually is an extra fine, and perfectly suited for cursive writing with an x-height of 2.5 mm or even less (see enclosed picture with ruler). In other words, Santini seems to have overdelivered - something I have not yet experienced when purchasing a fountain pen. Once again, this is a first impression after just four weeks of use, but I expect that this nib will remain one of my favourite writers in the longer term. Filling system and maintenance: Santini advertises the Libra as having a “piston filling system” and from the outside it does look exactly like a piston filling pen (without an ink window though). As other FPN members have noticed (see https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/348301-santini-italia-libra/?do=findComment&comment=4388621), the pen encapsulates a Schmidt piston component. That makes it a pen with a “built-in converter”. Compared to a standard converter, the Libra can be filled (and flushed) without having to first unscrew the barrel. However, its capacity is that of a converter, ergo a (bit) less than the capacity of a typical (think Pelikan) piston filler. A standard converter can be taken out of a pen (like a cartridge), which allows for easier flushing/cleaning of the pen. And if a standard converter fails, it can simply be replaced by another one (which usually costs less than €10). That being said, I have been using converters for many years, and have not yet been confronted with one that stopped working. Also, Schmidt is a well-known German quality brand and I have no reason to believe that their piston component is less reliable or sturdy than a classic piston filling system. And if worse comes to worst, Santini has a repair service. If that service is on par with the finishing of their pens, and with their customer service, I would not lose sleep over the continuing functioning of the Libra’s piston filling system. Cost, value and conclusion: at a price of €359 (VAT excl; at a VAT rate of 21% the price would be 434€, and I believe they regularly offer discounts) this is a proposition that is hard to beat. Santini may not (yet) have the reputation and prestige of brands such as Visconti, ASC, Leonardo and Scribo. They do not appear to invest in marketing and I think that they sell most of their products directly to the end customer. But my initial impression is that their pens are of the same (or perhaps superior) material and quality as/than the better known Italian brands. I suspect that this pen will remain one of my better purchases. YMMV of course.
  2. Aditkamath26

    Deccan Advocate (revisited)

    I have talked about the Deccan Advocate before. I’ve also talked about how great of an experience I had buying my first Deccan Advocate. Here’s a much more critical review, having bought 2 more Advocates since my first. The brown one was bought in 2017, olive in 2018, and the teal in 2020. Design and Appearance: The Brown and Olive rippled ebonite Advocates are pretty much the same. Slight variations have crept in, but that’s understandable since they’re hand turned, likely without any calipers. The olive one also has a cap band, which was later scraped in the next editions. But the teal ebonite one has been redesigned. Why, I don’t know. Maybe a new penmaker? Anyway, this one is slightly bigger, and without most of the subtle curves that make up the previous Advocate. They’ve also moved the section flare up by a few millimeters, and that does bother my grip. I consider the previous Advocate one of the best Indian pen designs, but the new one is trash, in my opinion. It’s lost its almost perfect design. YMMV. Quality and Construction: No complaints here, all three pens feel solid. The teal one does feel more substantial because of the larger and girthier size. Quality of the materials used is decent. Indian ebonite feels solid, but it definitely lacks the refinement of Nikko and SEM ebonite. You can see random pits, discolorations and flecks of other colors. Some like this sort of inorganic trait. To me, its okay. You get what you pay for, is the best way I can put it. Finishing: Ah, here’s where things go for a ride. The brown one was decently finished, had a few lathe marks and unpolished spots. The olive was beautifully finished. I’ve sanded and polished both these pens, so the finish you see in the photos isn’t what you’re likely gonna get. The teal one was horrible though. Heavy lathe marks, irregular finishing, and just terrible overall. To get it to a smooth polished finish would be too time consuming, considering I have to sand these by hand without any power tools and my buffing wheels are back in India. So I just gave it a brushed finish. So this is something you’ve got to keep in mind if you’re considering getting an Advocate now. Writing and Writing Comfort: All three of my Advocates have Kanwrite nibs paired with Indian ebonite feeds. Kudos to Kanwrite, these nibs are stellar. I’ve faced some inconsistency issues with Kanwrite nibs before, but the ones on these pens are great. All three are decently smooth with some tactile feedback. They also have good flow. I’ve inked the brown Advocate (M) with Daytone Extra Fine Scarlet, olive Advocate (EF) with Camlin Blue old batch, and the teal with Dayton EF Bottle Green. All three pens are eyedropper only. Takeaways: The price one pays for these pens is acceptable. The old ones were really inexpensive. The ones sold now are almost twice the price, but the design change is a bummer for me. But what’s total BS is you never really know if you could get these pens. Unless you visit their store in person, or get someone in Hyderabad to get one for you (there’s still no guarantee you’d get the pen you wanted), there’s really no way you would get one like you’d get a Ranga, ASA or Lotus. They don’t take commissioned pieces (not that I know off) and have a non-existent online presence. Would I buy any more of these? The old ones, yes. They’re well balanced for me, kind of the perfect girth and proportions for a pen with a #6 nib. The new ones, no. But they’ve got a few made in this woodgrain ebonite that isn’t in production anymore, so I’m eyeing one of those, though it’s the redesigned version.
  3. Pen_Padawan

    Wancher Dream Pen On Kickstarter

    Hi All, Has anyone tried this fountain pen called Wancher Dream Pen on Kickstarter? Looks interesting, good value but ebonite and urushi is never cheap. Japanese Ebonite with Urushi options. I am more interested in the quality of the ebonite and urushi work. Is this available at any brick and morter stores or just internet? Pen_Padawan
  4. TaizoOkagaki

    Greeting From Japan, Taizo Okagaki

    Hello everyone, I am Taizo Okagaki. I am from Japan. It’s nice to meet all fountain pen lovers like me in Fountain Pen Network. I used fountain pens since I was in middle high school. The more I use fountain pen, the more I love this amazing writing instrument. I have a brand named Wancher. With Wancher, I want to make my dream come true which is: Making a fountain pen which can make people happy and with this pen I want to bring people together. I have not fulfilled my dream yet and I am working hard to make it come true. Along with Wancher, I also have an online store named Engeika. By Engeika, I want to connect with many more customers in the world, to know more about their life, their dream and their desired pen. And today, with my friend’s recommendation, I joined Fountain Pen Network. I am very glad to meet all of you. Sincerely, Taizo Okagaki
  5. Delivered

    Asa Genuis Pen

    I received an ASA Genuis fountain pen. I filled the pen with ink and dipped the nib to assist in initiating ink flow. Pen worked great until the dipped ink ran out. I realized no ink was flowing from the barrel through the section to the nib. I soaked the section in a little soapy water and flushed it well. Still no change. Last night I laid the pen on my desk at a slight angel with the nib downward. When I awoke this morning I tried the pen and dry as a bone. My next step is to remove the nib and feed. Question is I do not know whether the stock factory nib is a friction fit or screw in nib? I am assuming it is friction fit but like to verify that before attempting to disengage it from the section. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. David Z.





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