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  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. I ordered this pen with much anticipation, but during the wait, noticed a few negative experiences with the omniflex nib expressed online. I must admit I was dreading what my experience would be when the pen turned up and hoped I hadn't wasted my money. Anyhow, the pen arrived and I fell in love with it the first moment I saw it. The Cracked Ice finish is so very attractive. The packaging was gorgeous too, I'm not a packaging kind of person, and would normally much rather a quality product as I throw the packaging away but in this case I will definitely keep the box. I feel like I've really treated myself to something special. My Falcon was more expensive granted but the looks, feel and presentation paled in comparison. Onto the writing experience. To avoid any hard starts etc and then some overflexing by myself as a result, my shiny nib was pulled straight out of it's housing and doused in boiling water to clean off any residue. I lined it up with the feed and put it back into the pen and loaded it up with Noodler's Apache Sunset. I thought if I'm going to test out a flex pen I may as well use a shading ink. I picked this pen up at 7am and have been writing non stop with it for 3 1/2 hours and am glad to say, I'm so impressed with it. The other flexi nibs I own are on the Ahab, Nib Creaper and Pilot Falcon and this has definitely gone to the top of the list. It has to be the easiest to flex by a fair bit and I find it returns to it's thinner state quicker than the Noodlers Pens, meaning the line width within one stroke is so much more variable. I was mindful to not overflex it, so didn't push it further than I thought it could go, and that made for some serious variation anyway so I'm really pleased with the nib as it is. No hard starts, no rail roading. The feed kept up with everything I threw at it. I can't compare it to any vintage nibs, as I haven't tried any as yet, but as a modern alternative and albeit relatively affordable, surely this has got to be a good way of doing it. I'm really impressed with Conklin, and the pen itself. My next purchase will be the same pen in another colour with a different nib. For balance in this review, the only negative I have is that where my fingers hold the grip, I unfortunately seem to untighten the section and barrel while writing. This may not be the case for everyone, and could very well be unique to my hand shape and pen hold. If I have any issues later on down the line I will update this thread.
  3. putteringpenman

    Desiderata Pens

    I'm thinking about buying a Desiderata Pen for Copperplate calligraphy. Most of the time, I use a proper pointed dip pen and calligraphy ink for Copperplate, but sometimes I'm lazy and use a Noodler's Ahab for practicing so I don't have to clean my nibs. Plus it's a good way to use all this fountain pen ink I have! I'd like to find a flex nib pen that gets a closer feel to a true pointed pen. If you have experience with a Desiderata Pen, can you do Copperplate with it? How is the experience of using the pen? Will the feed be able to keep up with the flexible nib ink flow? Thanks so much to anyone who can help!
  4. Simulacrum

    Help With Some New Pens

    Hi, I recently purchased the following (my first vintage pens) 1. A Waterman- 'Skywriter', 1930's Made in Canada, green marbled celluloid, lever filler. 14k nib marked 'R' (inside a diamond) Canada 2. A Waterman Ideal No.32 Lever Filler, 1930's, Made in Canada. 14k 'Waterman's Ideal England 2' Nib Apart from anything else anyone wants to pipe in about - as I know nothing about these pens or vintage pens in general - what I'm specifically wondering is: 1.would there be something metal in these pens other than the nibs (which are gold) that would be affected by Iron Gall inks, or should they be very safe to use Iron gall inks with ? I have read that IG inks can create other issues like particulate coming out of solution, and I've also read that they are perfectly fine except for their interactions with metal-so I don't know what to make of that and am probably stearing clear of them for the time being as a result of that. Is there anything specific about these pens that I should be aware of that is unusual and warrants some unusual or specific care or something that I would be unaware of - other than what would apply to most any 'vintage' pen. My thought is I'll clean them out more often than I do my 'regular pens' with soapy water ? Inks - The only non pigment inks I own are Diamine 1864 Blue Black - any reason not to use this in these pens ? (I'm not planning on putting the pigment inks in these-yet anyways) Also I'm hoping for any advice or possible warnings with the following ink considerations. Ideally they would be permanent, eternal, neutral ph, fade resistant etc. , but I already know that I won't be able to check all those boxes so I'm expecting to have to flex somewhere - water resistant is ok, but a neutral-ish ph and fade resistant are my goals, as I feel I have control over keeping the paper safe from water (mostly). So here goes : Black--love black - my main ink. (I usually use Plat.Carbon Black - it's awesome, if you didn't know lol) J. Herbin Perle Noire, or Pelikan 4001 Brown - Cacao du bresil, or Lie de The - (leaning towards Cacao - grey brown from what I can tell) Green - J. Herbin's Vert Empire , or Diamine Evergreen. Red Brown/Black - (something kind of dried, darkened blood-looking) Diamine Oxblood, or Diamine Rustic Brown, (Noodlers Red Black, or Black Swan/English Rose would be nice but I'm reluctant to put those in these pens) Thanks.
  5. I'm looking to "invest" in a nice vintage flex fountain pen. Having not a lot of experience, I'm hesitant to try eBay. There are a few on vintagepen.net I'm looking at - all Lady Patricia's, all superflexes. The other I'm looking at is a Waterman 12 with a #2 nib. I received a nice bonus at work this year, so I'm willing to spend a bit of money (under $500). Do you have any advice or suggestions, on a specific pen or a place to look? I've gravitated towards Watermans, for some reason, but I'm not married to it. I'd appreciate your opinions! Thank you.
  6. miggy62783

    Vintage Flex Hunting

    Hey guys! I'm particularly new to this world of fountain pens. I just want to ask some of you especially the experts if i have a good percentage of finding vintage pens on antique shops here in Manila. I was hoping to at least find a Parker Vacumatic.
  7. So...there are Spencerian dip nibs. And then there's Spencerian nibs, modern modified beauties via the likes of John Mottishaw on the Namiki Falcon and Richard Binder on Edison Pens. I have no experience with any of these four: Edison pens, Falcon nibs, mods by Mr. Mottishaw or Mr. Binder, and I'm curious as to how these modifications compare. Judging from reviews and pictures alone, they look and write great! Lots of line variation, which suits my likes exactly. But how does it feel like to write with one? Is there anything that sticks out? Is the scratchiness very noticeable when compared to, say, a vintage wet noodle nib like a Waterman 52 1/2? Are Falcon nibs more fragile after the modification? What about modified Edison nibs? I would love to hear your input. The only "flex nibs" I have now are a Danitrio EEF and a Noodler's Ahab. But I'm interested in going full-flex-----without the hassle of staking out eBay for those once-in-a-lifetime vintage wet noodles that everyone seems to bid on. A Mottishaw'ed Falcon or a Binderized Edison seems the best bet, so everything else aside, how do the nibs compare? Is there a significant difference? I don't think writing pressure will be an issue here, since I write with a very light touch---people used to have trouble reading my pencil lines! Thanks in advance!
  8. This may be a very stupid question but I have no idea what the answer is. It would seem like the hood on the nib would not allow a nib to flex/bend. Is this right? Are there ways around this? Thanks, Plumon
  9. I have several Wahl Eversharps, but I had never seen one in which the nib said "flexible". Is this a common nib that I just hadn't seen? BTW, it is flexible and a good writer. Any info is very welcome.





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