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  1. Hi all, These two models have already been reviewed in the forum, much better than I would be able to do. However, after having acquired the Ensso Italia Aluminum recently I’ve realized that both are veeery similar and I wanted to make a short shootout (I’m borrowing the term from Stephen Brown, thanks sbrebrown for your great reviews, by the way”). I'll show you some pictures side by side: Which one is the “original” and which one is the “copy” is something I do not know, although I believe that the Leonardo was issued (2018?) before the Ensso (2019?). May be this answer the question? 😏 However, we all know that Salvatore Matrone did a kind of mix of the shape of a Delta The Journal plus the characteristic Omas clip and pointy barrel/cap ends to design the MZ. So I guess it makes no sense to use the words “original” and “copy” if there are so many fountain pens with this shape since a long time ago. Both pens share the exact shape, sizeand nib (steel Bock nibs, F in my MZ, M in my Ensso). Apart from the material (acrylic in the MZ, aluminum in the Ensso) and the corresponding weight, the main differences are: - The end of the MZ barrel unscrews to access the end of the converter while the barrel of the Italia is made in one piece. - The clip of the MZ is more elaborated and has a wheel and the clip of the Italia is simpler. - The MZ has metal rings and the Italia has two bands with Greek motives. - The MZ has Leonardo Officina Italiana and the number of the pen engraved in the barrel. - The cap of the MZ screws flawlessly while the Italia suffers from crossing threads and you must be very careful not to damage the pen when you close it. - I bought my MZ new for 120 Euro and the Italia used for 25 Euro (I think the price of a new Ensso Italia was about 65 Euro, now it is out of stock). My writing experience has been also different: the nib in my MZ worked perfectly from the beginning while my Ensso is very dry. Nothing too difficult to solve, but still. Is the MZ worth the price difference? Well, the material is nicer, and it feels more solid and pleasant. It writes better than the Italia, but I’ve heard of bad experiences with other MZs so it may depend on your specific pen. Bottomline, I really like the Leonardo Momento Zero so I’m very comfortable using the Ensso Italia and it can become a similar good writer at a lower cost, or a better alternative if you prefer metal pens (the aluminum has texture, so it is not slipery). My recommendation: try yourself both and make your own opinion… you will hardly be disappointed.
  2. In yesterday's mail, I received my long awaited XS Pocket Pen from @Enssodesign - a Kickstarter project from much earlier this year. Product fulfilment was delayed by several months due to a hold-up with Bock nibs (who've been giving some of their customers a horror run in the past 12 months or so) - but I finally received notice about a week ago that the pen was on its way, and... a week later, on the other side of the Pacific (and/or the Atlantic?), here it is! [Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this review - I joined the Kickstarter campaign early on, paid 'full price', and waited in the queue for my pen to arrive like everyone else!] First Impressions The pen arrived in a simple black box - which had unfortunately gotten a little crunched in the mail (I'm looking at you, Australia Post!). Thankfully, the contents of the box were undamaged - as also were the two optional clips that came with the pen (I only ordered one?!). The pen itself is tiny elegance - less than 10cm long, roughly 10mm diameter, with 12 facets - and the most discreet branding on the barrel. I'm not going to follow my usual format - haven't got time to do a full-on review - but wanted to get some pictures out there ASAP. That said, let me start with some tech specs: Length of pen capped = 95mm Length of pen uncapped = 93mm Length of pen posted = 133cm Weight of pen (incl cap) = 28.9g Diameter of barrel = 10.5mm Diameter of grip section = 9mm I opted for the brass version of the pen - though it's also available in raw or anodised aluminium (black and silver). The aluminium pens would (I *think*) be a bit lighter, but at 28.9g the pen feels comfortable in my hands. Ensso sell these pens with the Bock 060 nib unit (essentially the same configuration as for a Kaweco Sport pen) - but I opted to order a Titanium nib (at extra cost), which only comes in the longer 076 size. Carlo (the designer and proprietor of Ensso) felt that the shorter nib looked better on these pens, but I'm happy with the sleeker lines of the longer nib. My measurements tell me that the tip of the longer nib will only *just* fit within the cap (with maybe a 0.5-1mm clearance) - but it *does* fit. The cap of the XS is designed to slip on and off - and is held securely in place by a rubber o-ring (or washer) at the base of the grip section. A matching washer is fitted into a groove on the end of the barrel to allow the cap to post for more comfortable writing. I'd usually say a 9mm diameter grip is a little on the thin side for me (not *too* thin, just on the limit) - but this feels great in my hands. The generous length of the posted pen (133cm is pretty good, especially for a pocket pen!) means I can hold it back a little further, so that my fingers straddle the 'step' between grip section and barrel. So far, this seems the most comfortable position for me - though others may prefer to hold it closer to the nib. I can't offer much commentary on the writing experience at the moment - I'm using a Kaweco squeeze converter, which *just* fits the barrel, and filled the pen with Diamine (Cult Pens) Deep Dark Orange. The nib was a little dry at first, but is getting wetter as I continue to write. There's no skipping or hard starting, though, and the nib feels smooth on the paper - I'll give the pen some time to "settle in" before I try making any adjustments to increase the flow. Full marks to Ensso - I understand they manually tested (and if necessary adjusted) each nib before sending out the pens. The clip, as I mentioned earlier, was an optional extra - and had to be installed by the buyer. I opted for the chrome version (on the advice of Carlo), and it looks good on the pen. Given the small size of the pen, I'm not sure how well this will clip into my pockets anyway - but at least it serves as an effective roll stopper! I'll give myself some time to decide whether I want to keep using it, or whether to ditch it. One final photo - a comparison with some of my other pocket pens. Top is the (now discontinued) Karas Pen Co Fountain K Mini; then the original TiScribe from Urban Survival Gear (another Kickstarter pen); and at bottom, an acrylic Moonman Wancai. I like all of these pens - but the top two are only really serviceable as "jotters" for taking quick notes. They don't post, and are too short to use comfortably for long writing sessions. The Moonman Wancai is more functional in that regard - but there's a fairly big step up from grip section to barrel, and the need to unthread and rethread the cap to use it posted is a downside compared to the XS. On the other hand, it's an eyedropper fill pen, which means it holds an impressive amount of ink. Final thoughts There *are* some obvious downsides to this pen - and I want to be up-front about them: small ink capacity (cartridge or Kaweco squeeze converter only), the thinness of the grip section (if you're accustomed to a wider girth) - and the o-ring at the end of the barrel looks like it'll need to be replaced periodically. I'm finding that when I push the cap over the o-ring, it tends to shave a little bit off the top. Hopefully this will settle down before the entire O-ring disappears! (Ensso provide two spares, and tech specs in case owners need to source their own.) That said, in the *very* short time I've had with this pen, I'm really impressed. It feels lightweight but substantial, and very easy to deploy. The design and manufacture of the pen are first-rate. It's a great size for carrying in a pocket, and a *really* decent size for writing (when posted). I think this is going to edge out my other pocket pens for the time being, as the convenient carry pen of choice. Thanks to Ensso for making this happen - I was a fan of the Piuma when it came out (though it was a larger pen that filled a different niche), and I'm an even *bigger* fan of the XS!
  3. Theroc

    Ensso Italia On Kickstarter

    Ensso is launching the Italia on Kickstarter. Similar in size to the Piuma and available in aluminum, brass and titanium. Also available are titanium and 18kt gold nib upgrades. Unlike the Piuma, the Italia has a clip. I personally think it's their best looking pen yet. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2072772343/italia-fountain-pen
  4. I just got my Ensso Piuma in the mail today so Im excited! Heres my small titanium collection. Theres a Namisu Nova and new Ensso Piuma both with Ti Bock nibs. The Namisu in broad (slightly re ground) and a medium on the Ensso. Also an Omas DLC bronze titanium Paragon in fine breathed on to write like a wet medium and an Inka titanium body survival ballpoint. I think the Inka has a space pen refill. Oddly enough the cap and section threads on the Namisu and Ensso are the same. The cap from the Ensso will thread to the Namisu but the cap diameter is a little smaller. The Ensso section will thread to the Namisu as well but the converter hits the end of the body leaving a very small gap section to body. The Ensso section only works with the Ensso cap due to the larger diameter near the nib. Kind of interesting. Anyway, lets see some titanium pens! Love this material!
  5. Just over a weekend ago I received an update from Ensso pens, advising me that they'd just launched a new Kickstarter project. Having backed (and very much enjoyed) their Piuma last year, I was right on top of this project too: a very reasonable 'start-up' price for what looks like a great EDC pocket pen. I have no financial interest in Ensso (other than as a backer), but one of his collaborators on the latest project (username caiello) has posted something about it on the "USA - North America" forum. As a new member of the forum, he's not able to post in Market Watch - so I've agreed to do so for him. The project is already well over the minimum level for funding (nearly US$50,000 for a $5,000 goal), but for the price/discount I'd say it's well worth checking out! Link to the project is below - to comment on the original post go to https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/333317-xs-pocket-fountain-pen-by-ensso. ================ Hello FPN friends, I am an architect and product designer and recently designed a pocket fountain pen for Ensso- a Los Angeles-based writing instruments brand. This pen was conceived with mobility in mind. It is one of the smallest fountain pens in the world, but it grows into a regular size pen when posted- making it ideal for everyday carry. In addition, the cap is secured by o-rings, allowing a fast uncapping. The XS has twelve facets that prevent it from rolling down your desk and it is available in several aluminum and brass finishes. It is equipped with #5 Peter Bock nibs made in Germany and it uses standard international ink cartridges or small aerometric converters. The XS is available to pre-order on Kickstarter at 50% off from the future retail price. I hope this is a good place to inform the FPN community about the design if not, I would appreciate if you could point me in the right place. I am looking forward to hearing your comments.
  6. Massdrop is offering the titanium version of the Ensso Piuma with a titanium nib. The pen is available in both stone-washed and polished titanium. The titanium nibs available are medium and extra-fine. Its a fantastic deal, see for yourself.





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