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  1. Just saw this on Instagram, posted by Visconti_Italy: https://www.instagram.com/p/CEUQ8P_KwLg/ "We are proud to present Visconti's new creation: the Homo Sapiens Lava Color pen. This vibrant and colourful writing instrument is a re-interpretation of our iconic Homo Sapiens collection. An absolute must-have for colour and nature lovers. The Homo Sapiens Lava Color is the first 2020 Visconti collection fitted with an entirely in-house produced 14kt gold nib." The things I gathered from the comments so far: - New magnetic closure for the cap, a departure from the previous Homo Sapiens models - New nib. I wish they didn't cost so much, because I do like these--didn't care for the twist lock mechanism of the original Homo Sapiens. But I don't care for the plating on the hardware--doesn't go with the rugged lava look and might not last well. I would have gone for some sandblasted steel look or oil rubbed bronze or something to that extent.
  2. I ordered an Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance today from Cult pens off clearance. They only have it in B but for $246 shipped I could not pass it up. They did not say if it was midi or maxi but from the few measurements they list I am expecting midi. I am fine with the midi. It seems like that should be about the size of my Pelikan M600 and I am happy with that. Actually with my hands even if it was Pelikan M400 size I could use it fine but would rather it be m600. If it for some reason turns out to be maxi I am also fine. It should not be too big for me. I was a little worried about bin QC but I have read from people here that with the Elegance models they seem to be doing much better on that. Also a bit worried that with a really wet nib the B might be a little to wide a line for me. I don't mind a nice 0.8-1.0mm nib if it is more stub or CI like, but for the money I saved off what other people want as a street price (~$360) for the midi I have more then enough money to have it reground and tuned how ever I would like it to be. Reality check Budget model HS I like piston fillers and this is C/C Ordering a pen from England to USA from a brand that can have QC issues Nib may be wider then I like Saving more then $100 off buying in the US with a M or B nib.... Maybe I am crazy... but don't think I would have bought it otherwise.
  3. Following the discussion if someone's best pens are also their favourite pens I decided to compare my highest-pricepoint* pens: -Montblanc 146 EF ('90s pen and feed with a much earlier 14C EF nib); retails for appr. 550 euros -Pelikan M800 F ('80s pen with 18C nib); retails for appr. 500 euros -Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava Steel Midi F (23k Pd dreamtouch nib); retails for appr. 450 euros -Pilot Justus 95 M (14k nib); retails for appr. 300 euros I bought the MB146 from a local collector at a very attractive price. The M800 was a gracious gift from a friend who bought it new in the '80s and who stopped using the pen some years ago. The Homo Sapiens and the Justus were bought new in local brick and mortar stores, but with appreciable discounts. As a "challenger pen" that retails for 1/3rd to 1/2 of these pens, I added the Sailor Pro Gear Slim 'Ocean' 14k H-MF to the comparison. ^--From large to small: Justus, 146, M800, Homo Sapiens, Pro Gear Slim. Totally different design philosophies. The 146, the M800 and the Homo Sapiens are staples of pen design, the 146 and the M800 being established classics, each with its own legacy, and the Homo Sapiens already being a modern classic. The Justus and the Pro Gear Slim are more utilitarian pens where the focus is on the nib, feed and quality of writing and not so much on eye-catching design or high-end materials. ^--Uncapped size comparison. ^--Posted size comparison. The different philosophies behind these pens are also reflected in their business ends: the nibs and feeds. The 146 and the Pro Gear Slim are relatively rigid (but certainly not nails), the Homo Sapiens and the Justus are soft (but certainly not flex) and the M800 is somewhere in between. ^--Writing sample (apologies for darkness of image). A 1cm scale is included for reference. The 146 downstrokes are 0.25mm wide. Distinguishing factors As writing instruments, obviously these five pens are objectively of very high quality. All five are top-notch pens and I'd be lucky to own just one of them. Each pen does have certain positive aspects that make it unique compared to the others: -the Justus has a soft nib with variable softness control which also controls its wetness; the Justus is the largest pen in this group and it houses the much-liked CON70 converter. -the 146 EF is an architect, which was common for MB 146 EF nibs during a certain period of time. -like most Pelikan pens, the M800 has a removable nib/feed unit making it super easy to change nibs or to clean the pen. -the Homo Sapiens is made of the unique basaltic lava material from Mount Etna, which feels fantastic, and the soft 23k Palladium nib is also a distinctive element of this pen. I deliberately chose the Midi version which is still a fair-sized pen which can be used posted or unposted and fits in shirt pockets. -the Pro Gear Slim offers the unique Sailor feedback and outstanding nib/feed quality. If I were to look for objective negatives, then the following comes to mind: -my Justus had a nib that needed serious after-care, but to be fair I knew that beforehand, it explains the discount and it allowed me to tune the nib exactly to my liking; -the architect nib of the 146 isn't for everyone, nor for every style of writing: with cursive italic, the result is far, far removed from an EF line and is actually on the B-side of M. -my M800 suffers from slight baby's bottom which sometimes leads to skipping, especially on the lower half of the page (due to hand oils); -my Homo Sapiens Midi is quite sensitive to which inks it likes (and it dislikes some very common and well-behaved inks); you cannot unscrew the nib unit, nor the piston unit (at least not easily) so cleaning the pen can be cumbersome. Last but not least the ridges of the cap lock mechanism rub against my fingers sometimes. -the smallish Pro Gear Slim needs to be posted. Personal (subjective) pros and cons The M800 is my least-favourite pen in this group. There is no objective reason for this; I simply do not feel any emotion with this pen (apart that it was graciously given to me by a friend). The striped Pelikan design is not something that revs my engine, it's not my cup of tea. The nib is very smooth but devoid of character and the writing experience strikes me as somewhat clinical and sterile. Next-up is the 146 EF, which is delightful under controlled circumstances (such as journaling or correspondence) but unsuited to circumstances where you might change the writing angle (such as quick notes at work). That's how it is with architects. I like the 146 much more than the M800, I admire it as a quality pen with a timeless design and I adore the old 14C nib. But I do not grab it all that often. Next-up is the Pro Gear Slim. It was perfect out of the box and it is still perfect to this day. Spot-on, constant flow. Consistent, spot-on performance. No fuss, no maintenance. I don't care much for how it looks and the MF writes a very fine line by western standards, which makes it less suitable for quick jots at work - I need to concentrate a bit, slow down a bit, to prevent wavering and sloppiness. Fantastic pen that puts a smile on my face every time I use it. The Visconti and the Justus are so close that it's hard to pick a favourite. If you put a gun to my head then I'd pick the Visconti because its design and materials are totally unique, it writes like a dream and offers almost the same softness and line variation as the Justus. If the house burned down, the Visconti is the one I'd save. Having said that, the Justus is much lighter and fits into the hand much better. Best vs favourite The M800 is top-tier pen that I just don't care for as a writing instrument (apart from how it came to me; I'll always cherish it for that). The Visconti has some drawbacks, as mentioned, but I'm extremely attached to it. And given its price point, it's hard not to declare the Sailor as the "winner". *I have about 20 pens, the remaining 15 being in lower price brackets. Some of those I love as well, such as my Leonardos or trusty Kaweco AL Sport. I restricted myself to the five most high-end pens that I own, realizing full well that I do not own "real" high-end pens like Scribo, Nakaya, Namiki, etc.)
  4. Why now? I'm several years late to the party, because until now I did not dare to join the party. I've been in love with the design of the HS Lava pens since I first laid eyes on them, but there were too many horror stories about overpolished nibs, overly wet pens, ink seeping through the pen, parts coming off of pens and a plethora of other faults. And the ones that I tried thus far were too smooth, too wet and too devoid of control for me. Based on helpful comments in this discussion, I felt like giving them another shot so I walked over to Appelboom today and tried three pens: a Midi F, a full-size bronze F and a full-size bronze EF (M and B are not my cup of tea). I bought the Midi, for reasons explained below. Evolving long-term review I'll try to turn this into an evolving review, from first impressions to long-haul user experiences. In most cases, my initial feelings towards a pen changed over time. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. We'll see how the HS fares. Choosing the size and the nib My eyes lusted after the full-size bronze pens. The HS Lava Bronze is the most beautiful fountain pen I've seen thus far, by far, ever. My hands told a different story. Surprisingly, the significantly smaller nib of the Midi was _way_ softer and bouncier than the full-size nibs. The difference wasn't subtle, it was really really noticeable. The full-size EF really was an EF: narrow. It was also feedbacky to the point of being somewhat scratchy and it didn't feel bouncy at all. The full-size F seemed excellent, until I changed to the Midi F. In comparison, the full-sized F was much more rigid and less refined than the Midi F. To their credit, all three nibs wrote problem-free: no skipping, no hard starting, no baby's bottom, and no rivers of ink. In terms of size, the Midi fits my hand a little better than the full-sized pens. The Midi is one of the few pens that allow me to write with a totally relaxed hand and wrist. I have many pens that I adore in terms of feedback and writing sensation, but very often my hand and wrist get tired after a while. Not so with the HS Midi. It's a perfect pen for me in terms of ergonomics. Last but not least, I got a really good deal on this pen, so I took the plunge. Construction My pen seems to be well built, no flaws, no issues, first impression after careful inspection is that the pen is immaculately built. Its colour is much more grey-ish than most Lava pens. This put me off initially, but it's growing on me fast. It's a unique colour and a pleasant deviation from all-black. Filling and writing No instructions whatsoever come with the pen. None. You're on your own with this one. As expected, the filial unscrews and it does so in a confident and well-engineerd way. The rising filial hints at a plunger filler and even though own all the common filling systems to be found in fountain pens, I was fooled for a minute in trying to pull out the plunger. I silently wonder if somewhere, someone damaged his pen this way for lack of instructions. The pen contains about 1.0 mL of ink, which is comparable with most converters found in C/C pens. As first ink, I chose Waterman Mysterious Blue, a well-behaved, medium-wet ink that can show nice shading in the right pen. After a couple of lines of writing, the feed emptied of excess ink and the pen reached equilibrium. Its wetness is, well, ideal. It's certainly not the gusher that so many reviews warn of. There is nice shading and drying time is manageable for most writing purposes. The nib is fantastic. It's soft and bouncy and responsive. And it's _not_ overly smooth. There is feedback, very subtle, the right kind in the right amount. The only other pen that I have that rivals the feel of this Visconti is an old 1957 Montblanc 342 with semi-flex nib. As many before me have said: if you get a good one, the HS is perfection. Very true. Let's see how I feel about it after a solid week of writing!
  5. Hi all, I received my Visconti Midnight in Florence yesterday and I am facing some difficulties with the flow. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Attached a writing sample for reference, as you can see the flow is very low and also irregular. I have tried flushing the pen atleast 20-30 times and also with multiple inks. Appreciate any inputs! Cheers, Sidd
  6. It is not that strange for me to find myself to be irrationally attracted by what I tried firstly, even after recognized that the first choice actually does not fit perfectly to my taste. My first serious fountain pen was Visconti Opera Master Black Guilloche with 14k gold fine nib. I thought it was a great pen, but it did not took so much time to feel that the pen was a bit heavy for me. So I tried Montblanc, Aurora, etc., but.. I kept attracted by Visconti, irrationally. I tried Visconti Black Divina almost without any investigation, And.. that irrationality gave me a huge chance to find a pen that fits perfectly to my taste. So I decided to try all current production-line Visconti pens as much as possible. Even though I missed some of them, such as Michelangelo and Pininfarina, I want to share my experience with five pens; Opera Elements, Opera Master, Homo Sapiens, Medici, and Divina. I will cover their nibs in separate review because five of them basically use the same nibs, and fortunately, they have all different nibs from EF to BB. Appearance & Design (10/10) From left to right, longer to shorter. Opera Master Black Guilloche, Divina Desert Spring, Homo Sapiens Bronze Age, Medici, and Opera Element Dark Amber. The right-most one is Montblanc 146 as a reference. Visconti is famous for its fascinating design. The Opera Master Black Guilloche is the most classic one among five of them, even though the black guilloche finish gives a bit of fanciness. The other four pens do definitely have unique designs and materials. Divina Desert Spring is made of beautiful brown-based celluloid with a bit of white marble and blue- and white- accents. Most regular Divinas such as imperial blue and green have silverly or gold-colored metal lines along five facets turning around the pen, but this version does not have that. The pen body tapers towards the bottom and the grip section. Homo Sapiens Bronze Age is probably the most well-known and recognizable model of Visconti. It is made of resin mixed with lava, so it gives unique texture and feeling. Besides the body material, clip, finial, and cap band are made of bronze. The photo did not capture them correctly, but it is being aged so they have a hint of pink color. Medici is, I think, the most underrated and out-of-interest pen among five of them. But its acrosilk body has astonishing depth and feels very solidly. It is facetted, so it reflects lights in a beautiful way. The last, Opera Elements Air, is my favorite among these pens aesthetically. The resin body is a bit translucent so you can see the grip section and converter in it through cap and body. I am really sorry that my iPhone camera cannot capture this pen's beauty. Construction & Quality (5/10) Starting from the Opera Master, the facets are not perfectly aligned when it is capped. Actually it is the only pen that does not use the "Hook-and-Safe" mechanism, but that can't be a reason for the misalignment. Furthermore, the cap thread is not well-built so you can keep turn it feeling it is capped already. The Divina Desert Spring, which is the most expensive pen out of these, is neither free of the construction quality issue. Even though the facets are perfectly aligned by virtue of the capping mechanism, but the captured converter is a problem of it. The captured converter is not well captured. It actually moves a bit when you write with it. It really makes hearable sound and unpleasant feeling to your hand. The capping mechanism also has an issue. In the case of Homo Sapiens, for example, the cap starts to be "Hooked" when you try to close the cap without any pressure. It means the "Hook-and-Safe" thread is so crisp that the cap can be pushed in by its own weight. However, it doesn't work properly in the case of Divina. It is made of celluloid as I mentioned, so it's lighter than Homo Sapiens' cap. However, in spite of the weight, it is not understandable that you need to really push the cap to make it hooked. Because it is celluloid pen, and there's no metal cap band on it, it feels me uncomfortable to push the cap till the cap finds its proper position. The Homo Sapiens Bronze Age is actually the only one that makes me feel the pen is really well built. It feels extremely solid. I think this pen is the single most adequate pen for the word "Solid Pen". In the case of Medici, the filling mechanism has a bit of issue. It uses the Visconti's power filler, so you have to turn the end knob to make the vacuum plunger work. When closing back the knob after filling the pen, I need to push one corner of the knob to make it turned. It means that the knob is slightly out of alignment with the main body. The Opera Element Air has two issue: one with its converter, and the other with its capping mechanism. It comes with a screw-in-type Visconti converter. But the screw-in is not perfect, so there's a little bit of space between the grip section and the converter even when it's maximally screwed in. Thus, the converter hits the body when you write with the pen. For the capping mechanism, it's "Hook-and-Safe" thread is a bit longer than the others'. It's not obvious because the others are oversized pens, but this one is not. I guess the spring is not working properly to make the capping smoothly with the long thread of it. It feels somewhat stuck a bit when I open and close the cap. Overall, construction quality of these pens are disappointing especially considering their prices. It seems like five capping mechanisms are made by two or three different manufacturers. The clips are too. The springs in the clips give all different feelings and have all different working-angle range. Clip on the Divina widens up to 15 degrees easily, but that on the Medici is a lot stiffer, and that on Homo Sapiens widens only up to 7 or 8 degrees. Engraving of their brand name on the clip mostly have some defects. I can't say that the construction qualities of these pens are superb. Weight & Dimensions (8/10) The Opera Master and Homo Sapiens are quite heavy pens, due to the metal parts. But they are not off-balance in any sense. I would say the Opera Master is a bit too heavy for me, but it is just matter of my taste. The other two oversized pens, Divina and Medici, are quite lighter than Opera Master and Homo.Sapiens considering their sizes. But they are not as light as Montblanc 149 due to the metal parts of the filling mechanism, I guess. Opera Element, which is the only non-oversize pen in this list, has actually similar weight to the others because of the metal grip section. All five pens are well balanced unless they are posted. Regarding to posting the cap, I don't feel comfortable to post most of Visconti pens because of three following reasons. Firstly, magnets for "Visconti My Pen System" at the end of the cap makes the pens back-heavy when posted. Secondly, they cannot be posted deeply because of the spring inside the cap for the capping mechanism. Finally, faceted bodies cannot make enough friction to rounded inner wall of the cap. Surely, caps are also faceted but the inner walls are always rounded because of the capping mechanism. Overall, weight and dimensions almost perfectly fit to my taste, but they may not fit to whom need to post their pens. Nib & Performance (1-10) I posted a separate review on their palladium nibs. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/329814-visconti-23kt-palladium-nib-comparison-ef-bb/?p=3953651 To summarize, you should be ready for writing an e-mail to your favorite nib meister before buying broader nibs, if you are not comfortable fo adjust the nibs by yourself. Filling System & Maintenance (9/10) Visconti is famous for their Power Filler filling mechanism, which is basically a vacuum filler. Among five of them in this review, Medici and Homo Sapiens use the Power Filler. They have massive ink capacity. The only short point of this filling mechanism is that it is hard to clean the pen, but I feel cleaning these two pens are not that uncomfortable as you may guess. Yes, it is annoying to clean them compared with cleaning cartridge/converter pens. But compared with the piston filler pens such as Montblanc 146, Power Filler is better in my opinion because I don't have to continuously turn the piston turning knob to fill/empty the pen with water. For me, just pulling and pushing is easier than turning left and right. Divina uses so-called captured converter system, and I think it's one of the worst filling mechanism for this oversize pen. It does not have huge ink capacity, and it is not easy to clean. Opera Element is a conventional c/c filler pen with screw-in converter. I prefer screw-in converters rather than push-in types because it feels secure. Opera Master Black Guilloche has a bit unusual filling mechanism even among Visconti pens. It is basically a c/c filler, but the converter uses vacuum filling mechanism, not piston mechanism. So it holds more inks than conventional c/c filler pens. Originally the vacuum converter is glued to the grip section, but I could detach it to make the cleaning procedure easier, without any loss of its performance. Overall, filling systems of all these five pens have somewhat unique features. Except for the captured converter of Divina, I would say they are all great. Cost & Value (8/10) I bought Opera Master, Homo Sapiens, and Medici from local retailer. The Opera Master Black Guilloche, especially, was such a bargain. I remember it was around USD 400.00, while its MSRP is around USD 800.00. Divina is pre-owned one from a user here in FPN, and Opera Element is from Ebay. Visconti is not making the most practical and economical pens in the world. But considering their unique designs, nib materials, and filling systems, I would say most of their pens worth their price especially if you get them with a bit of discount. Conclusion (40/50) An IT youtuber that I've subscribed often says that, it is more important not to have a critical defect, than to have something like 10GB RAM or world's best 8k display, for a flagship smartphone. Even though I'm a crazy fanboy of Visconti pens, I have to admit that their pens sometimes have defects, even except for their nibs. But I think their adorable design and unique features may overwhelm the quality control issue.
  7. I am debating between the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age and Dark Age. I won't lie, the Dark Age has always caught my eye but as my collections have flourished the bronze has become a more an interest for me. I'm not usually a lover of the black on gold look. I much prefer the black out or silver trim but the aged patina I've seen on random pictures of the bronze is something thats been slowly growing on me. Does anyone have any pics of their patina'd bronze ages they could share with me? Pros and cons of the patina? Does anyone with a dark age have issues with the black wearing off the trim and/or nib? I'd love to have both but as of right now only one is an option so do your best to convince me!
  8. Dear all, I have a question about fully disassembling a Homo Sapiens pens. I am specifically interested in removing the packing unit of their power filler mechanism. I have not found one that has attempted it yet, and there seems to be no resource for any potential complications online. The pen is made so that the only thing you can take off is the nib unit. Even the blind cap has no notches to help you unthread it, should you need to. They like their pens sealed. Nevertheless, this can be problematic and challenging for us fountain pen folks, and we love a challenge. So I have some questions. Notice that my main concern really is with the material as I have not worked with their resins before and don't want to badly affect this pen that I'm working on. Like its glass transition temperature or its reaction to any chemicals. Has a full disassembly ever been attempted? This mainly refers to removing the rear packing unit. If so, what is the best method for removing it. I suspect the threads in the barrel might be glued. If so, what is the best method for weakening the glue without affecting the barrel resin? and what does Visconti use to glue it in the first place? (for when I put it back). My second question is regarding cleaning staining ink off the inside of a clear barrel. If there is anything you suggest I totally avoid on this resin please let me know now. any ideas welcome. Thank you for passing by. I'm looking forward to hearing any input on this. Best regards KR
  9. I've found (and bought) the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Oversize for 400€ on the german Ebay (the same seller also has the Dark Age for 429€). Link: https://www.ebay.de/itm/VISCONTI-Homo-Sapiens-F%C3%BCllhalter-Bronze-OVERSIZE/ Within Germany, it arrived within 24 hours after ordering it - and you are able to return it within 30 days (if Viscontis QA failed on the pen you received for example).
  10. PRELUDE I was looking to gift my dad with a Montblanc pen for a long time. And it had to be a new one. Personally, I had bought a pre-owned MB 146 (the only pre-owned in my small collection), and I am more or less happy with it. It’s kind of ineffable but the right shape with the right balance, encompassed within a classical look seemed missing in some luxury pens, which I own. Personally, I feel that any pen above $ 100 is never a VFM and it’s rather a self-indulgence in fooling myself when I order one more expensive pen. May be it’s just applying theory of brand relativity when I try to convince myself that a Pilot 823 or a m800 is a VFM pen. You are invited to read the review live on my blog (linked below), where you can find reviews of my other pens: A Montblanc Meisterstück 149 in Red Gold Back to the pen and it’s acquisition, the phenomenon was popularly known as the Apshankar hand wave within our small fountain pen group on the Telegram app. Actually, Kapil & Pradeep are the two main agents for urban poverty for many people including Vaibhav and me. Jokes apart, both are really fine people who are passionate about pens & paraphernalia and real good friends. Pradeep was kind enough to place an order for me from LCC & the pen travelled across the Atlantic Ocean with Kapil to finally land in my hand. While I was a bit unsure of the Red Gold trim, aesthetic opinions from both Kapil & Dennis (of LCC) helped me finalise on my choice. HISTORICALLY SPEAKING As most of you would know, Montblanc was started as Simplizissimus-Füllhalter in 1906 by a Hamburg banker, Alfred Nehemias, and a Berlin engineer, August Eberstein. Simplizissimus-Füllhalter means Simplistic Fountain pens and the founders had learnt about fountain pens with ink tanks from the US. By 1908, three other people by the name of Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen and later Claus Johannes Voss had taken over the business and the company took the name “Simplo Filler Pen Co.” which referred to a fountain pen design with a built-in ink-tank. In 1909, a safety fountain pen made up of hard rubber called “Rouge et Noir” was launched, which actually translates into Red and Black. The pen consisted of a red cap and a black body, perhaps inspired from the card-game. You can also find a limited edition of the same. In 1910, the company became Mont Blanc, inspired by the highest peak of the Alps (4810 m) and a pen called Montblanc was introduced with a white tip (which would later evolve into the classical white star in 1913). In 1926, the Meisterstück was launched. By 1929, the nibs were engraved with 4810, the official height of Mont Blanc peak, as an allusion to superior quality and craftsmanship. The flagship Meisterstück 149 was launched in 1952, evolving from celluloid & brass mechanism to resin & plastic mechanism over the years. The 149 was reintroduced with a triple tone 18k nib (they are 2 colours really) somewhere around 1995. For the conventions of MB, as far as the model numbers XYZ (149) are concerned, it did traditionally follow a naming convention, albeit in a rather loose manner X or 1: Tier of pen, 1 - Top class or Meisterstück 2 - Medium range & 3 - EconomyY or 4: 0 - Safety filler, 2 - Button Filler, 3/4 - Piston FillerZ or 9: Nib size, 9 being the largestMB has eventually stopped production of all economy pens in 1992. PRESENTATION (6/6) The pen came inside a luxury gift box, with an user manual cum warranty card and a 60 mL bottle of Montblanc Mystery Black Ink. I hope that the pictures below will be able to do a justice, especially when you are gifting the pen to someone dear. I am someway bound to appreciate this presentation with a full rating. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ILer5LGc6Fk/VlbWZ_KW1MI/AAAAAAAAFm0/btdPkChRufE/s1600/DSC_6563.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7Pfr15tN7mM/VlbWhoj_LaI/AAAAAAAAFnM/LRzbJEWeA7U/s1600/DSC_6581.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TLj6oKpSMgM/VlbWbNloW3I/AAAAAAAAFm4/L80AC4al4ZQ/s1600/DSC_6597.jpg DESIGN - THE CLASSIC CIGAR (6/6) Glistening with red gold with a non pretentious shine of black preserves a culture, while simultaneously adding a touch of modern luxury. While Red gold, Rose Gold & Pink Gold are often used interchangeably, 18k Red Gold is actually made of 75% gold and 25% copper, Rose & Pink gold add up 2.5% to 5% of silver which balances out the copper. The 149 is available in three delightful trims - Gold, Red-Gold and Platinum. The pen along resting against the shoe shaped ink bottle looks awesome to me. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OO0Flnfv644/VlbWsfFJiGI/AAAAAAAAFng/sUm98vzYaS8/s1600/DSC_6603.jpg While the pen does not look or feel hefty, it has the semblance of an oversized pen. The clip starts with a tiny piece of elevated ramp preserving tradition. The thin and thick cap bands along with the piston rings complete the minimalistic design of the pen with grace. The clip is tension fit and carries a serial number and GERMANY along the ring. On its underside carries multiple engravings this day, however the engravings could be completely dependant upon the year of manufacture. There are a lot of Chinese fakes flooding both online and offline channels, which is why Montblanc has to come up with newer and innovative hallmarks with every model. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aaAG0DFBxvY/VlbW0dX4hUI/AAAAAAAAFn4/52mXlVMyESA/s1600/DSC_6604.jpg A quick pose with its smaller cousin 146 in gold trims. Red Gold vs Gold. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HFdgO8sHgSk/VlbW0BakqmI/AAAAAAAAFn0/CW8eBma91ms/s1600/DSC_6607.jpg It is oversize but I almost never feel the heft while I hold the pen. The cap unscrews with a single turn revealing a red gold nib with a rhodium inlay. It also reveals the beautiful striped ink windows just above the section threads. The attention to details is kind of amazing. The section ends up with a little bump with a rougher loop of resin, before the mind delves into the dazzle of the rhodium inlaid red-gold nib. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mQpOklcxwfQ/VlbW3bo2McI/AAAAAAAAFoM/gGWGNuZOKc0/s1600/DSC_6609.jpg The cap does mention MONTBLANC - MEISTERSTÜCK No 149 etched across the broader of the parallel cap bands in cross-hatched characters, while two thinner bands subtly play along with it. The finial of course carries the white-star. There is a tiny hole in the cap meant to equalise the ambient pressure and avoid inking of the cap. I think it could be a very recent modification. Some of the earlier 149s don't have it. There are some hallmarks including metal written on the underside of the clip to preserve MB’s product authenticity. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-thyYhUwt278/VlbWhmWSrwI/AAAAAAAAFnI/teMm2XlYIaM/s1600/cap.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) The piston is distinguished by a red gold band and is very convenient to operate. The piston end unscrews with less than three rotations and as the white piston head moves along the ink-windows. Once screwed back inside the bottle, ink gushes inside the barrel. The brass connector renders some weight to the barrel. The feeder hole assists in efficient ink intake for an oversize nib. The manual carries graphical steps for filling the pen in case your are using a piston filler for the first time. The ink windows still rule my thoughts. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jsnUzfWCyUs/VlbW327fG4I/AAAAAAAAFoU/JMwK28JAZGI/s1600/DSC_6613.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The dazzling triple-tone nib is tested by hand, and comes in eight different widths including EF, F, M, OM, OB, OBB, B & BB and a signature replacement width of O3B. And of course it looks awesome given its size and glamor content. The size and spread of the nib are just gorgeous. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gwKtkYQvubs/VlbW3PUqihI/AAAAAAAAFoI/mdyR1ldQdKE/s1600/DSC_6615.jpg A bounded layer of spiral galaxies rest within the rhodium inlay while red gold defines the decors in the outer tines as well as the inner body. Then, there is a dazzling red gold M logo resting inside the encircled star, above which rest the height of Mont Blanc peak, 4810 (m). This one is a fine nib and lays a smooth wet line. The tail end specifies the composition Au750 of the gold-alloy and the brandname of MONTBLANC rests above the tail. Between those there is a hallmark of StOD inside a crossed ellipse. There is no mention of width on the nib per se, while a sticker at the piston end of the barrel says it all. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--FAGKaOnLSg/VlbW4q8VLtI/AAAAAAAAFoY/4KYxjHgQB2A/s1600/DSC_6622.jpg A black plastic feed (earlier ones had ebonite feeds) with a feeder hole improves ink suction while closely spaced horizontal fins ensure a good ink buffer and promise wet and smooth starts. Even with a dipped nib section, it can a few paragraphs. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VjDqzClHuT0/VlbW7JURE0I/AAAAAAAAFog/MbEnimU7NdQ/s1600/DSC_6657.jpg PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The overall capped length is around 14.8 cm. I would prefer to use the pen unposted as both weight and balancing seem perfect with an awesome nib leverage. The section has a comfortable grip of around 1.3 cm. I feel it’s a very comfortable from an overall perspective balancing amazingly well for an oversized nib. Uncapped Length ~ 13.3 cmPosted Length ~ 16.8 cmExposed Nib Leverage ~ 2.8 cm Overall Weight ~ 32 g (without ink, cap weight~10 g)Below are the pictures along with a MB146, Visconti HS Maxi and a Pelikan m805 for your reference. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SoYa2kCUFqs/VlbW8ygEEII/AAAAAAAAFoo/KJScsu0hVXg/s1600/DSC_6661.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KwFTSxJvUME/VlbW_B55utI/AAAAAAAAFo4/bH3TcB2_DwE/s1600/DSC_6669.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (3/6) An expensive retail price of above USD 900 puts off people, while getting a pre-owned does save some money, while you keep the charm of writing with a 149. When it comes to the internet, one has to be careful regarding the abundance of fakes in the online marketplaces and the best fakes are costly and are quite difficult to identify without experience. I am not going to discuss the pricing, but I had more than a reasonable discount, thanks to Kapil. And for me it’s a gift (although I could end up using it ) and the price didn’t matter. Although personally speaking, I would have preferred a pre-owned 149 in a great shape. OVERALL (5.5/6) The writing experience is as amazing as the nib looks, with just the kind of control which you would require from a superb nib. Both Kapil & Dennis had tested it before packing. There is spring and softness in the nib and an absence of any line variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The lines dry in 30 seconds with a MB Mystery Black ink running on MD Paper. With other inks the width is good enough to reflect some shading too. The best part perhaps is the balance that Montblanc could find with an oversize nib, so that it does not feel unwieldy. I initially had my own doubts regarding the size but I did try the 149 in a MB boutique then Pradeep’s 149, to be certain. The nib never skips and always lays a wet line, and seems to be one of the best oversized nibs in my small collection. I am sorry I couldn't gather the courage to put some pressure and try flexing some characters out from this one. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8jcp0ekeOKA/VlbW_Lcs50I/AAAAAAAAFo0/etpyrbHZrzo/s1600/DSC_6645.jpg REFERENCES Montblanc Website Gentleman's Gazette Model Numbers StOD Hallmark Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.
  11. My Homo Sapiens Bronze Age has always been a little problematic - prone to hard starts, skipping, and also ironically gushing and burping into the cap - but now it's developed a new problem that renders it all but unusable: It's got a slow leak at the center band on the body. Ink seeps from the bottom of the band, under the letter H in Homo Sapiens, spreads all the way around the bottom of the band, and then starts to spread slowly down the body of the pen. I can clean the body and the band thoroughly, but holding any kind of absorbent material to the band shows new ink seeping from under the H, and in a matter of minutes enough ink spreads around the bottom of the band to stain fingers when handling the pen. It's become a pen that cannot be uncapped without staining the fingers. Couple of questions: Is this a "known problem" that others have experienced? Is there really a seam of some sort at the band on the body that ink could be coming through? Any ideas for investigating/fixing the problem?
  12. Hello Everyone, I recently purchased a Visconti Homo Sapiens Steel (Midi) Fountain pen in Broad. The Homo Sapiens (Steel) fountain pens come in two sizes: Midi and Maxi. I chose midi, because it fits my hands better, and there's no reason to hold a heavier pen if I don't need it. I chose the Broad nib because I tend to write in a larger font, and I love wet pens. This pen delivers on all fronts, and then some! I highly recommend it. Below I will support my enthusiasm. Unboxing I'm going to give a quick review of my thoughts concerning the pen. Before I do, I'd like to share my unboxing video: http://youtu.be/i_AoUKQiZyk The pen comes in a relatively large leather-covered box. There's a small sliding shelf in the side of the box. It contains a mini catalog of their other fountain pens. There's nothing else in the box other than the pen, itself. The pen came covered in a plastic sleeve. Personally, I didn't like that Visconti covered this piece of art in plastic, but it's not a big deal. Metrics The pen is about average size for a medium sized pen. Below I have a lineup of my black pens. It's about the same length as the Pilot Falcon. The pen is reasonably heavy. It's not as heavy as a fully metal pen like the Lamy Dialog 3 or Monteverde Regatta, but shares the same weight class as the Lamy 2000. Overall, the size and weight are near perfect for me. I can write comfortably with the pen without posting. The Body This pen is beautiful! The body, section, and cap are all made of a special resin containing lava rock. This material is very smooth; it feels like hard rubber. It's a matte color, but still glitters in the light. It's also a water-absorbant material, so with sweaty hands, I don't feel uncomfortable writing with this pen for an extended time. This pen is in the Homo Sapiens 'Steel' family, so the trim is made of steel. The piston turning nob, the center band, two smaller bands on the cap, the clip, and the finial (top of the pen) are all made of steel. I think the black and steel elements give the pen a very classy look. The Cap The cap is fastened to the pen in a unique way. This pen is neither a screw-on, nor a snap on. It's a sort of hybrid. In the above photo you can see what appears to be gaelic knot symbols right below the section, and rectangular hooks in the cap. To remove the cap, push the cap in, and then turn the cap about 90 degrees counter-clockwise ( from the prospective of looking directly at the finial). The hooks in the cap will disengage from the grooves, and release the cap! This is a great system. Not only do you get the quick deployment of a snap cap, but you get the security of a screw-on. There is no way this cap will come off (under normal use) without intentional disengagement. Honestly, wonderful cap! The Clip The clip is the typical Visconti 'bridge clip'. It is spring-loaded, and has very little lateral give (like the Lamy 2000). It is designed to allow the pen to be held deeply in your pocket, regardless of the thickness of your pants. One of my complaints with the Lamy Dialog 3 is that there is very little clip stand-off, meaning the clip won't slide very deeply in your pocket if the pocket is made of thick material. This is not a problem with the Visconti. I have no complaints with the clip. The Nib Honestly, my favorite part of this pen is the nib. What a beauty! The nib is made of 23k Palladium. Sure, it looks like a steel nib, but it has the semi-flex that you'd expect with a Gold nib. The nib is a broad, and it puts down an incredibly wet, broad line. Push the nib a bit, and I can easily double the line thickness. This gives my handwriting some personality, while not requiring me to cut into the paper fibers (see Noodler's steel nibs, Pilot Falcon F or smaller). This pen REALLY dumps the ink on your paper. In its current state, there's no way I'm going to write on cheap copier paper with it. It'll soak throat at least the first sheet, might leave some marks on the next. Honestly, this does not bother me. Visconti Blue dries in a reasonable amount of time, and I appreciate the dark line it puts down. I'm willing to wait the 2 or so minutes until my puddle of blue dries. **One important note** The pen came to me with the nib not fully balanced on the feed; the feed was slightly off-centered The nib also had fingerprints on the nib, which leads me to believe that my eBay purchase was a store demo pen. I pulled the nib and feed from the section, aligned them and reinserted the pair before inking the pen. I cannot give any comments about how it would have written with the misalignment. **Note** Gmax correctly pointed out that this nib is a stub! The picture below shows the line variations when writing in various configurations. The nib says 'B' on it, so either Visconti uses stubs instead of broads, or this was a returned pen. In either case, I'm a happy camper. I appreciate the line variation. The Feed If there was one part of the pen that I had to complain about, its the feed. Not because of its functionality; this feed keeps up with the fastest writing I can throw at it. I just don't like the plastic look. These plastic feeds are made using an injection mold, and you can still see the taps where the hot plastic was pushed in. Honestly, I would have expected Visconti to clean the nib up a bit, or make it from ebonite. These are minor gripes. Filling Upon removing the pen, I inked it up; I have a short video of me doing that here: http://youtu.be/rgWku8e5-f8 The Homo Sapiens Steel fountain pen is a piston filler. Because the barrel is made of an absorbent material, I read that the designers used a captured-converter nested in the barrel. I don't think this feature subtracts from the quality of the pen. The converter is _incredibly_ smooth. Twisting the cap of the pen moves the piston up and down, allowing the pen to pull up ink. For my review, I chose to use Visconti's own Blue ink. It's a fairly wet ink that is easy to clean and looks great. It's a dark, saturated blue with a red sheen. I highly recommend this ink. My only complaint with Visconti Inks is concerning the bottle. The bottle design is great, but they are made of plastic. Personally, bringing back the glass would be much appreciated. Writing On to the writing. I chose a lineup of pens for easy comparison. The video and writing samples have been recorded in my video: http://youtu.be/JPVTGvOtvNs What should be apparent from the video is that the Homo Sapiens pen is _incredibly_ wet and a smooth writer. Although the audio might pick up a scratching sound, there is no feedback whatsoever from this pen. I can honestly say that this pen stands out above the rest. Of course, it also costs more than the rest, but I would consider this pen to have a high bang/buck ratio. The Cost In terms of cost, this pen MSRPs for around $450, but it's not uncommon to run into it for around $350. If you're looking for a first-class pen in the ~$350 range, I highly recommend this pen. Conclusion I would like to conclude my review with two simple questions that I usually ask myself before I purchase a pen: Where would I use this pen? Is it a reasonable EDC? For the first question: I would use this pen at my desk at work or at home. I will store it in a safe place, and never let anyone I do not trust borrow this pen. This pen delivers a writing experience like none of my other pens can, but I cannot afford to have this one walking away from me. For the second question: This pen is far too wet to be my EDC pen. I need to write on receipts, write my signature on cheap paper, and take notes quickly with no time to wait between page flips. The Lamy Dialog 3 or Lamy 2000 will remain my EDCs. This pen will rule my desk.
  13. Review of the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze 1.3mm stub Note: Higher-res photos available here This week I finally gave in and purchased a Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze with a 1.3mm stub nib. Ever since I first saw photos of this stunning pen, I've been wanting to own one. Lava, bronze, palladium and titanium? Yes, please! This is my second fountain pen. This January I got myself a Waterman Carène with a fine nib, followed by a stub nib about two months later. While it is a very nice pen, I just couldn't resist the even wider nib, the unusual look and materials, and the supposedly very smooth and wet Dreamtouch nib of the HS. So a few days ago I finally went to a very nice store called La Couronne du Comte here in the Netherlands to get the pen, along with a metal traveling inkwell by Visconti. What I noticed when testing it out in the shop was that it took some effort to initiate the inkflow to the paper. Once it got going it wouldn't stop until the pen was lifted from the paper, but I found I had to push a little to get it to write. Not being sure if this was due to dipping the pen rather than actually filling it, I decided to go ahead and take it with me anyway. When I got home and filled the pen I got roughly the same results. It didn't take long to diagnose the nib with a mild case of baby-bottom, as applying no pressure when writing showed two ink trails from each of the tines. A small push down and the (copious) flow started and stayed intact for as long as the pen touched the paper. After tracing some figure eights on a fine nail file, the problem is virtually non-existent and the nib has retained its deliciously smooth operation. I am now truly delighted with the way it writes! ______________________________________________________________________ Appearance & Design (9) - Just plain awesome! This is about 90% of why I bought it. I absolutely loved the way it looked on photos and it does not disappoint in real life. The lava mixture is a very nice matte black, with many small pores and some even smaller reflective flakes. This contrasts in a very nice manner with the bronze parts of the pen. The two rings around the cap are significantly less shiny than the other parts and I guess that these also will look like that eventually. I like the font Visconti used for the text on the center band. The clip has a nice spring to it, but it will have to be lifted if you intend to use it as it runs flush with the barrel and there is no rounding going on to allow it to slip on by itself. The nib looks gorgeous! The two tones and the decorations match nicely. It says Visconti, 23k Pd 950, Firenze and 1.3 on the nib. The breather hole is crescent-shaped, with the tips pointing towards the barrel. This pen uses the Visconti My Pen system, which means that the Visconti logo shown above can be removed and replaced by two initials or gemstones for instance. I may at some point replace the logo but for the moment I'm happy with how it looks. The final aesthetic aspect I would like to point out are the indents between the grip and the section. These are part of the locking mechanism: you're supposed to push and twist simultaneously to uncap, but in practice you can simply twist without pushing and the cap will still come off. This doesn't bother me but it's something you should be aware of. Don't expect it to uncap by itself though, I can't see that happening at all. Visually, I really like the grooves as I find they resemble some kind of Greek pattern which fits right in with the general theme of the pen in my opinion. Construction & Quality (9) - Very good, but... Quality of construction is excellent for the most part, but I do have three issues I want to mention. Firstly, the fact that this nib required pressure to start writing is something that really bothered me and absolutely had to be remedied before I could enjoy using this pen. I applaud Visconti for wanting to give their users the smoothest experience possible, but having to deal with baby-bottom is not my idea of Dreamtouch. Fortunately I was able to resolve it but I think this should simply not happen to such a high-end pen. I have read that Visconti's stub nib is more prone to this defect than their other nibs. Secondly, and thirdly, Visconti needs to work on their printing/painting process as this leaves something to be desired: the black on the clip looks like it is printed using some kind of dot matrix, but on one side the entire printing is very slightly misaligned with where it's supposed to be, whereas on the other side some dots have not printed. Also some of the letters look a bit jagged because of this process when looked at closely. This should be clearly visible in the high-res photos on Flickr. Moreover, on the band that reads 'HOMO SAPIENS' the text is colored black, but the m is not entirely colored. This is also visible in this photo. Fortunately however, none of these issues affect my daily enjoyment of the pen: the nib problem has been cured, and the paint anomalies are too minor to notice without really inspecting the pen or looking for it. As a side note, I should add that the traveling inkwell I was first shown featured quite ugly misprintings and even some scratches, almost like it was a secondhand prototype or something. The seller said that this was the way the newer, plastic inkwells all looked and then offered me the metal one from a display case for the same price, an offer I gladly accepted! Weight & Dimensions (10) - Perfect! The size of the pen is perfect as far as I'm concerned. Capped it is as long as my Carène, uncapped it is slightly longer. The big difference is in the circumference of the pen. It is a much fatter pen, which I really appreciate. The section has a very comfortable shape and the fact that it is also fairly wide means it is a pleasure hold. This together with the smoothness and wetness of the nib are what constitutes the Dreamtouch I think. Nib & Performance (9) - Wet, smooth, some feedback Over the last few months I have learned that I like my nibs wet and smooth. The HS delivers in both respects, and when looking at the current performance it is all I hoped it would be! The wetness is there not just after filling the pen, it remains virtually constant afterwards contrary to my Carène which alternatively writes wetter and drier as I wait for for the feed to draw more ink from the converter. However, when considering only stock performance, I would give the nib about a 6: it would write, but only if I apply some pressure first. This would be a major issue for me, but perhaps you don't mind or wouldn't even notice. Filling System & Maintenance (8) - Power filler! The HS bronze uses a power filler mechanism to suck up ink. I love using it and think it's much cooler than a converter. Just unscrew the blind cap, pull the titanium rod back, submerge the pen up to the section and push the rod back in. Near the end of the travel, the vacuum will be released and the pen will suck up quite some ink. For optimal filling you should use the traveling inkwell as that allows for a full fill by inverting the pen whilst filling. The big downside of this mechanism is the fact that cleaning can not be carried out by using a bulb syringe, and thus is much slower than usual. This is especially annoying when using e.g. Rouge Hématite as all you can do is repeatedly suck up water and expel it again which can take ages! Given the fact that the pen is just so nice in virtually all other aspects, I can definitely live with this but you should consider it when buying this pen. The nib can only be removed using a special tool that I saw the seller use, I wouldn't risk trying to remove it without this tool. Cost & Value (8) - Alright, I guess.... Going for about €450 in the Netherlands, this is not a cheap pen. Whether or not it is worth it is as always a very subjective matter. For me it clearly was or I would have returned it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were other cheaper pens that write (almost) equally smooth and wet. As for looks, you really don't have much of a choice but to pay up, or pay even more for the limited edition Mazzi version of the pen. Since I will be using this pen for just about any writing I will do, which, being a college student, can include quite a bit of note taking, I simply consider getting a pen that writes awesomely the same as any other time you buy a quality tool for something you do on a regular basis. The fact that I can couple this with the visual appeal of something like a wrist watch in one object and stand out from the herd of cheap ballpoint users just adds to my personal enjoyment! Conclusion (Final score [53/6]: 8.8) - Not perfect, but excellent The few issue that my specimen of this pen has have either been resolved or are too insignificant in the grand scheme to significantly affect my appreciation for it. When a pen can couple stunning looks and writing performance, that is a winning combination for me and I do not regret the purchase at all. I look forward to lots of writing with it and feel no desire to purchase any other pen after this one. Overall, I would definitely recommend the Homo Sapiens as well as the brand Visconti to anyone looking for a good looking, smooth writing pen. Do make sure to test it out at a shop though so you know what you're getting, especially in terms of nib performance.
  14. Apart from being vacuum filled pens, these two are quite different pens. I feel like the Homo Sapiens, though a very cool and unique pen, has more drawbacks than the Custom 823. Here's what I currently like and don't like about each of them: Visconti Homo Sapiens Like Cool design with the unique basaltic lava composite materialPalladium nib that many rave about. I like soft nibs like the OMAS 18K nibs. No, I don't plan on even semi-flexing the nib, I just want to enjoy the cushioning these nibs provide.Vacuum fillerLarge size and heftyThere's nothing currently out there that compares directly to the Homo SapiensDislike Material absorbs ink and the section can stain after dipping in a bottle of ink if not diligently cleaned (this could drive me crazy)No ink window (kind of important to me)Power filler difficult to maintain, clean outnot user serviceableexpensive (double the price of the Custom 823)Generally more cumbersome to maintainThe Homo Sapiens limited editions take care of many of things I dislike about the original but the those are waaayyy out of my meager budget. Even the HS is a bit of a stretch. I'm selling a few pens to raise funds for it. Pilot Custom 823 Like Legendary Pilot reliabilityVacuum fillerLarge size and balancedLarge soft 14K nibSubtle demonstrator (smoke and amber versions) that looks cool without looking too cheapReasonable pricedDislike Very generic design, nothing too fancyHaving to open the blind cap before writing is very annoying to me, though I'm aware of the trick to work around this problemPower filler difficult to maintain and clean out but since the pen can be disassembled easily, it makes life much betterOnly available in gold trimI have used the Custom 823 before but never ever used or held the HS. What are your thoughts on these two pens? Which one would you choose and why? Are there any modern alternatives to these pens?
  15. So. I have had the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Oversize with EF nib (Yes, I checked the forums here before deciding on the nib size, as the consensus seems to run that the HS is generous in its ink flow) for a while - actually a few years, but haven't used it much. Beautiful piece of work, by the way. But. Now that I decided to start using it again, it writes really poorly (out of box it wrote rather fine, but nowhere near what I would expect with all the hullabaloo around the DreamTouch nib). Before starting to use it again I emptied the pen and thoroughly rinsed the nib. Carefully and gently, oh so gently... um... anyway, I dried it by softly soaking up the water with a paper towel, being careful not to get any paper filaments on the nib, filled the much-touted "power filler" system or whatever it is called... TWICE... using Diamine Jet Black ink in a Visconti travel inkwell (yes, I am such a freak) and... ...disappointment. The pen writes with very low ink flow, the more I try the worse it gets. I frequently have to go back and try to re-write the invisible letters, push down ever harder on the nib, write much more slowly than I would want... and when it does write, the ink flow is irregular and, frankly, quite insufficient. When I keep the pen uncapped and do not write with it for even a few seconds, it is an even bigger chore trying to coax the ink out onto the paper. Overall, a really bad writing experience. Also, when filling, the piston/titanium rod that extends from the back of the pen seems to be covered with ink (a small amount but still, is that supposed to happen?). I don't want to rinse/flush the whole pen but it seems that this is the only avenue of DYI attempts left for me... or is it? Help, please? Thank you most kindly for your insights!
  16. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon here and the rains have finally arrived. I had reviewed the HS Bronze on a similar afternoon. If you are looking for the HS Bronze review, here it is: HS Bronze Review The Blogger view runs below for the HS Florentine Hills review: The Visconti Homo Sapiens Florentine Hills Review So here goes the review. THE HOMO SAPIENS In late 2009, Florence-based luxury pen maker Visconti announced in a press-release covering a nib made of 95% Palladium (23k) alloy. Commonly available nibs are 14k/18k/21k Gold alloy (Sailor), with a few exceptions (Danitrio & the Japanese karat warriors), and this was the first of its kind perhaps after the Esterbrook or Sheaffer PdAg nibs. The other side of the snippet showcased a pen christened with a name of HomoSapiens(HS), which was forged from an equal mix of basaltic lava and resin, adorned with bronze and protected from competitors by a patent. The lava came from Mt. Etna (one of the active volcanoes) on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. I came to know of the HS a few years later. Visconti (estd. 1988) promised the HS lava to be unbreakable, flameproof (upto 100°C), albeit with a slightly hygroscopic body, oxidation prone bronze trims, but with a corrosion-resistant titanium power filler. The available designs now range from lava plus bronze/steel/black PVD to a 388-limited edition (bronze LE) or some 1000-LEs Crystal Swirls or Florentine Hills or 888-limited-London Fog (made up of Acroloid/Sterling Silver). Besides, fountain pens there are also roller-balls and ball-point pens in the HS range, but those, of course do not concern our primary interest. Initially after getting a HS in bronze, I was always on the lookout for one of these beauties in silver trims. DESIGN (6/6) AN ITALIAN JOB Visconti started the Homo Sapiens in Bronze & Lava as an homage to the evolution of mankind. Bronze Ages predates us by around five thousand years is the period, when humans began smelting and mixing of metals like copper and tin, to produce alloys like bronze. Also during that particular period, a system of writing/recording had evolved, mostly through the use of symbols. The trim-fittings including the HS Bronze clip are all made of bronze. The Florentine Hills carries the same design but is an acrylicdemonstrator fused with ribbons of coloured celluloid suspended within - thereby the nomenclature acryloid. The ribbons range from light green to vivid tinges of yellow and reddish brown. These colours remind of meanderings through vineyards and olive groves, from the beechwood forests to the grassy groves of the countryside. The splendid works of Tuscany art and those picturesque landscapes somehow seem to share quite a common inspiration in spirit. A large silver centre-band at the start of the grip section with a HOMO SAPIENS imprint is followed by the particular LE number of the piece. So it’s typicallyXXX/1000 unless you ended up with the thousandth piece. The overall shape tapers towards the ends where you can enjoy the translucency of vivid green. Looks almost photosynthetic! The cap & blind cap might carry some of those celluloid ribbons, in a more subtle manner. The taper is more pronounced at the plunger end/blind cap rather than in the cap itself. A sterling silver loop embellishes the design at the start of the blind cap. It’s actually the filler collar. You can perhaps see a drop of Yama Budo The unique locking system of the cap is nothing new if you have tried a HS. The quick hook safe lock threads (six) enable disengaging the cap, with a quarter of counter-clockwise twist. That little twist will of course reveal the dazzle of 23 karat Palladium nib and another photosynthetic grip section! A click is heard, once you correctly twist-lock the cap. A view of the inner cap locks..The cap has a spring inside to assist the locking mechanism. The section starts with the upraised locking threads with a faint resemblance to the Greek Key, and then tapers comfortably before ending up with a slightly raised stop. The finial mentions VISCONTI with the company trademark of the mirrored V. As always, the medal is customizable via Visconti's My Pen System with your initials or zodiac sign or gemstone (available from $15 onwards). You can pull out the visconti medallion from the finial by using any magnet and replace it with a gemstone of your choice. VISCONTI is embossed within a dark enamel background on both sides of the Ponte Vecchio clip which is made of sterling silver. The cap itself has a subtle taper towards the finial. Two spaced silver rings adorn the middle of the cap, dazzling within the greener pastures. The clip is spring loaded and you have to lift it to put it in your shirt pocket. The HS Bronze cap seems to have its own allure. FILLING SYSTEM (5/6) A silver loop logically separates the blind-cap, from rest of the barrel. On rotating the blind cap till its end-stop, you will be able to pull out a plunger, much like a tethered sword pulled from its sheath. The inside of the blind cap carries a silver insert to run the threads and so that the acrylic is protected from any damage. The plunger rod is made of Titanium, a metal which has proved to be phenomenally resistant to most corrosive of fluids. Titanium rods are often placed as support inserts by dentists, in order to rebuild broken tooth structures! However, the shining filler collar made of sterling silver shines down condescendingly on the rather dull rod. The filler collar in the HS bronze is made of titanium with a graphite like dull lustre. Once you push in the knob with the nib dipped inside an ink bottle, you can feel a surge of ink inside the pen. An ink capacity of around 2.2 mL doesn't allow your favourite ink to last that long, given a generous flow of even for a fine nib! Here you can observe the secondary ink chamber (double walled), which can be loaded/drained into the main chamber, once you pull back the piston seal. My flight experience has been pleasant with a fully filled secondary chamber. So unless one is taking the HS FH to Mars/ISS, one doesn't have to worry about it. The small chamber lasts quite a few pages with the Fine nib and can be filled once the wetness reflects a paucity of fuel! During longer writing sessions or broad nibs, I keep the piston seal open. NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (3/6) The giant two-tone nib with an usual iridium tip comes in four main sizes – EF, F, M & B along two special widths – BB (double-broad) & Stub (S). The nib has an leverage of around 2.6 cm and it is a #6 Visconti nib. These dreamtouch nibs are manufactured by Bock. Half of them are probably out of touch due to a tine issue or the other! At the tail end of the nib, lies the nib width, above which embossed are the specifications of 23k Pd 950 and a word FIRENZE. Firenze refers to Florence in Italy which is the birthplace of both Italian Renaissance and Visconti Pens, thereby its borrowed tagline - The Writing Renaissance. Palladium is the dazzling silvery and matches well with the overall trims. Personally though, I prefer the two-tone gold adornment. The silvery finish diverges from the lunar-eclipse breather hole across the inside of the tines and over to the tail. The name VISCONTI lies below the moony breather hole, with splashes of shapes of diamonds, droplets and half-moons to ornament the nib. This one is a fine nib and came with misaligned tines. Now it writes smoothly after adjusting the tines, thankfully I didn't have to send it to Visconti again. The feed is a standard visconti feed with closely spaced fins, carrying the V logo at the delta region. The nib is screw-fit onto the grip section and can be swapped with ease, provided you take care of the tines. It has a bit of flex (which increases with use), although there is not much difference for an EF & F nib, when it comes to line variation with mild pressure. Be careful with over-flexing the palladium nib, it might result in a permanent damage. This nib initially ran wet, though it gave a strong feedback at certain angles due to the right tine, which was misaligned. The right tine stood lower than the left. And the width it lay was close to a true EF. That’s was what bewildered me, how come a Visconti Fine write so thin! I bet it was still better than some of my bad sailor nibs! Post alignment of the tines, the width of the lines increased to a true European fine or a Japanese medium and it now runs with heavy juice. PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING With a cylindrical body forged out of acrylic and celluloid & adorned with silver rings, it does give an earthly greenish repose. The overall weight has got a significant contribution from the cap due to the silver clip. A girth of around 1 cm is quite comfortable and it’s one of the most comfortable pens for me. As an analogy, the cap itself could be as heavy as a Pelikan m400 fountain pen. The HS bronze is heavier compared to the FH. Capped Length ~ 14.4 cm Non-posted Length ~ 13.2 cm Non-posted Weight ~ g Nib Leverage ~ 2.6 cm Overall Weight ~ 37.8 g (HS Bronze ~ 43.7 g) Overall Weight (inked) ~ 40.1 g Weight Without Cap ~ 22.8 g (HS Bronze ~ 26.6 g) Comparing capped lengths, the HS (Since HS LEs are Oversize/Maxi) does seem similar to a Pilot Custom 823 (which is not as hefty), a m1000 is there to reference a comparison with the Size#8 nib (its heft is on the higher of HS). ECONOMIC VALUE (4/6) Though the Homo Sapiens Florentine Hills sells around USD 800, it is available for lower street prices. I was able to get the pen at a pretty good price, and I don't want your decision to be coloured by this price, apart from discussing it. Still, I do fail to find a great economic value for a piece of acrylic with some silver(@50 cents/gram), even though it does feel great to hold, write and a pleasure to see. I feel the bronze edition is a rather memorable pen to keep. OVERALL (4.8/6) One thing regarding the misaligned tines, it was an easy fix for me and did not require specialised services. It’s the most common problem across many luxury brands and sometimes it does run worse. Had it been something worse where I would have had to send the nib back, my rating would have been 1/6 on the nib, 1-for the design. I am used to a few large pens, I like the balance and do not find any problem with either the heft or balance of HS. Personally I like the Lava model more, since the materials and workmanship seem much more elegant. There is some line variation as the #6 nib does render springy softness to cushion mild writing pressures. No hard starts, no skips! The Fine nib lays a line which runs true to its European standards and for a cross-reference it runs more like a Japanese Medium nib. The pen feels well balanced for my hands though it does seem to have a short section for gripping. The hook-safe threads might interfere with your grip, if you tend to hold a pen higher. I have used multiple fills of Iroshizuku Yama Budo & GvFC Moss Green inks, and the pen runs rather nicely with Iro. Which pen doesn't Being a wet writer out of the box, the Fine nib lays a nice juice but thinner line, which takes around 35 seconds to dry a GvFC Moss Green (I find Moss Green to dry quicker) on MD Paper. The flex is evident due to the springy nib, which with a gentle pressure delivers thicker strokes, though the range of strokes run broader with increasing nib-width. Personally, I would have saved up for a Conid in acrylic, but the lure or Palladium/Silver/Acryloid vs a Titanium/Acrylic marched right ahead in my head. Perhaps some day else, since titan is already there. REFERENCES HS Bronze ReviewPress Release - 23kt Pd nibTine Adjustment Video (8:00 onwards)- Brian Goulet Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here. Comments are welcome
  17. Was at my favorite brick and mortar pen store this Friday looking for candy for the weekend, and what did I spy? The new Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance! They also had the Brunelleschi, which I have to say, was very underwhelmed by the material. I understand the approach to the material science, but it looked like the really cheap brick red plastic material they used to make temporary pots with at the plant nursery. Did not feel like parting with the vast sum of money Visconti wanted. The Elegance on the other hand looked absolutely stunning in this new get up. Looks like it took some lessons from a long forgotten Teutonic cousin? I have to say the hand feel of this new version is very much on par with other Germans a few cases down. Much tighter tolerances, much nicer finish. All the furnishings are laser etched this time, so no quirky missing filled letters on the band or dropping decals from the clip. Clip is super tight now. Also the nib is now super firm, and actually a true fine. Not a medium dressed as a fine. Finally the most surprising change is the filling system, which is cartridge converter, which is what I prefer. The power filler, although nice, is a pain in the butt for me when it comes to swapping out ink and maintenance and cleaning. Really like the pen, and would be a very nice EDC at a price that is on the higher side of decent. This is the sign of things to come? Edit: Sorry for the blurry picts:( This is the oversized version, in case you were wondering. The smaller version is also a cartridge converter, but has the smaller No 5 nib. I filled it with Robert Oster Melon Tea and used the pen to write the characters on the left side of the note pad. So it's a true fine.
  18. http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/999018175359fb2c6f0fb295d1bf095a.jpg Visconti came out with the Homo Sapiens back in 2009, when I was starting to get into this hobby. The lava-resin with the bronze accessories was haunting me ever since, but things were not going in that direction what could lead me to get one. With the new editions coming out, the temptation got stronger. The Crystal Swirls came out in 2014 which was limited to 1000 pieces and it’s still a favorite for many! Lovely deep blue patterns and rhodium trim! Then came the Florentine Hills. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the colors on that pen, it’s still a lovely addition to the line. This year (2016) I made a decision that I need an Italian pen in my life. I was about to pull the trigger on the bigger Bronze HS, but I’ve been told that a grey-blue LE is on the way! There were some good signs that I might like this new family member in the Homo Sapiens line. Grey and blue are among my favorite colors, it’s a demonstrator, and it has a rhodium trim. Even though I would choose the bronze age over the steel age with the regular HS, I generally prefer the rhodium trim. Then I saw the first photos of the LONDON FOG Limited Edition and I pretty much fell in love. There was no turning back form there. Filippo in the „Fountain Pen Group Buying” group on Facebook could get a pretty sweet deal on it, so I couldn’t be happier! Placed my order on my most expensive pen so far! I did have a few concerns though. With the previous two editions some people received pens with less than satisfying patterns on their pens even though these were meant to have nice busy swirls over the barrel. It’s hard to foresee, so it’s a risk unless the seller is willing to send you photos of the pen. The other thing was the nib. The dream touch nibs are not always a dream out of the box (based on some reviews and user experiences), and they mostly run wide and wet, so you need to take that into consideration when choosing the nib size. I won’t save the punchline for the end of this, so all I need to say is that it didn’t disappoint in either of those areas! And after this long prelude, here it is! 537/888 http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/619388e8daab978273be8b3e8485e36e.jpg The body is made of a mixture of acrylic and celluloid = 'arcyloid’ . This is how they got the swirls on the body. This material was used on the Florentine Hills as well, just like the sterling silver rings on the cap and barrel. The cap has some transparency, but that’s not the main feature. I love the twist-lock action of the cap! The play of blue-grey-white colors of the material on the cap, end cap and grip section is really interesting and has some chatoyance which is fun to watch in the light! http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/4c3b453c553a2f7484bc075cc2d6bad3.jpg http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/44ea72cd9b93b9499d22c9d03395f3bc.jpg The London Fog also has Visconti’s power filler with the double reservoir. Some love it, some don’t. Especially cleaning is said to be more time consuming, but I’m yet to see that. Filling the pen is not a big hassle, buti f it’s your first pen with such filling system, it can take a little getting used to. It’s more about how to hold the pen (and depending on the ink, the bottle as well) to fill it though. Aside from the fancy name it’s basically a vacuum filler, but you don’t need to unscrew the endcap after a short while to keep writing, because the smaller reservoir holds a good amount of ink too! It can last a few pages with a fine nib. The other, more advertised advantage is that you can empty the smaller ink reservoir to avoid ink from leaking during air travel. After Sheaffer years ago, it’s Visconti who rediscovered the Palladium nibs and added the catchy ’Deam Touch’ name to them. This pen has a 23k Palladium EF nib on it. Actually, a surprisingly true EF with great flow and smoothness to it! I was expecting a F/M line to be honest, but never a better surprise! Finer than the EF on my Pelikan M805, but those run pretty wide too anyway. What people love about the Dream touch nibs is that they are springy! This nib is really responsive to general writing pressure differences, but I don’t really feel comfortable „flexing” it. It has a really nice softness to it, but I wouldn’t go further than that. I love the overall writing experience! http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/de96e054a00a9027d9aa864f1d486680.jpg http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/9dc8e603f835d287f6c48b5e27eeb722.jpg http://kephost.com/images/2016/07/02/624792ac8b0846171bf28e3b26ef9f20.jpg It is my most expensive pen, also my first Italian pen, and I have to say it really lived up to my expectations! The Bronze age HS is still on my list though! Maybe even got higher!
  19. Hello Everyone, I know this is not a fountian pen but I have seen other visconti questions on here and cant seem to find any other resources. I recently bought a Visconti Homo Saipan through eBay and have a suspicion that it is a fake. The pen felt lighter than I remembered my friends being and the logo on the cap is a version I have never seen.(the logo makes me the most supicious) It did however come in what seems to be real Visconti packaging. Thank you for any help you can provide. The copy on the crest ready "Visconti Made in Italy"
  20. Leon_Extint

    Question About The Visconti Hs

    Hello people =) this is my first post and sadly a not pleasant one, and here it comes, i just bought my visconti homo sapiens dark age, last week, first day worked (or it seem to) properly, afterwards when i uncaped it i got ink leak, cleaned the nib, cleaned the pen, the feed and everything and tried to use it again, but it again got some leak, ive read post about people getting leak issues with this fountain pen, however most of them (not to say all ive read) have leak from the union of the nib unit to the pen, my leakage is from the feed.. i clean the feed again and i get more leak just after writing a little bit, wonder if theres a way to fix it instead of sending it back to warranty, thanks in advance and great forum !
  21. Visconti Homo Sapiens Corsani 90 limited edition, broad nib Stylograph Corsani is an Italian shop selling pens, watches, leather goods and accessories since 1924. For their 90th anniversary in 2014, they commissioned Visconti to make a limited edition of 79 fountain pens (corresponding to the shop's street number) and 11 rollerballs (to make 90 pens in total). These pens are based on the Homo Sapiens, using the grey stacked celluloid as used in the Wall Street (and others). The Visconti Homo Sapiens probably needs no introduction for many people here, and if it does there are many reviews in this forum alone, so I will try to focus on things particular to my pen and gloss over things that are common to other Homo Sapiens models. I purchased this pen in June 2016. I had certainly seen it before and contemplated buying one, but given its rarity and the time since it was first offered for sale, I just presumed that it would have long since sold out. To my surprise, an email from Stefano Senatore at Stylograph Corsani revealed that this was not the case! 1. Appearance & Design (10/10) I am a massive sucker for the Visconti stacked celluloid, and it goes beautifully with the Homo Sapiens design. A functional bonus of using this material is that it is partially transparent, so you get a very subtle ink window through which you can inspect the remaining ink level (unlike the lava Homo Sapiens, which doesn't have an ink window). The trim ring just above the section has "Corsani 1924-2014" instead of the usual "Homo Sapiens", which is a nice touch. Instead of the normal Visconti logo, Stefano personalised the pen with my initials on the end of the cap (at no charge, using the Visconti MyPen system). He also included the normal Visconti logo with the pen; this can be easily swapped in or out using a magnet. This is a nice additional personal touch. 2. Construction & Quality (10/10) Not much to say here, everything works as expected and the cap latch system ensures that the reflective surfaces in the celluloid all line up when you cap the pen in a particular orientation. This is excellent attention to detail and is certainly not always the case with pens made from these stacked celluloids. 3. Weight & Dimensions (10/10) Like the Homo Sapiens, this is not a tiny pen but it's not ridiculously big and heavy either. For a size comparison, from top to bottom: Homo Sapiens Corsani 90 LE, Wall Street LE, Opera Master LE, Skeleton (titanium). 4. Nib & Performance (6/10) This pen comes with Visconti's 23 K Pd "Dreamtouch" nib. It's a dual tone nib, which is fine, but I think an all-rhodium nib might have suited this pen better asthetically. Not a massive deal either way though. Nibs are where Visconti falls down far too often IMO. I asked Stefano if he had this pen with a broad nib that didn't have a case of baby's bottom (as I have had on other Visconti B and BB nibs). He tested 3 (!) for me, and reported that he had found one that didn't hard start. Fantastic customer service, but says a bit about Visconti's QC! When the pen arrived, it indeed did not hard start, but it was quite scratchy. A quick investigation revealed that the tines were misaligned. I am confident enough with adjusting tine alignment, so I sorted the problem out myself (took me about an hour all up, over a couple of days). It now writes very well, but at this price point I don't think that's really good enough. The other thing I didn't expect about this nib is that for a broad Visconti nib it's actually very stubby (in the writing sample below, compare the figure 8s against the WSLE 18K B nib). I like writing with stubs so don't mind this but if I was expecting a rounded broad nib (and I was) then it's something a bit unexpected and potentially undesirable. Again, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in Visconti's nib QC procedures. 5. Filling System & Maintenance (9/10) Visconti's Double Reservoir Power Filler has been discussed at length elsewhere; I like it overall. It certainly allows a lot of ink to be taken up in one fill (especially if you push out the air remaining in the barrel after the first fill and fill a second time), but it can be a bit of a pain to clean out. Great if you need to cut the ink supply off from the nib (e.g. if you're flying). 6. Cost & Value (9/10) As mentioned, Stefano included my initials on the cap using the Visconti MyPen system for no charge; he also included a Markiaro leather pen case as a gift (unbeknownst to me). Added to the excellent customer service already mentioned, I think these add some value to the experience. As a non-EU customer, I paid € 483.61 for this pen. This is certainly not a cheap pen by any stretch of the imagination, but for a rare and attractive pen I think it's fair, especially considering the normal cost of Homo Sapiens LEs. Shipping to Australia was by DHL Express and cost € 45. Again this is certainly not cheap, but I finalised payment on Tuesday night Australian time and had the pen in my hands on Friday afternoon, which is seriously impressive. 7. Conclusion The Homo Sapiens line includes quite a few different limited edition materials, including the Crystal, Florentine Hills and London Fog. Pairing up the Homo Sapiens body with the beautiful stacked celluloid is genius. If this pen also came in the blue, green and red celluloids I would be seriously tempted to buy all of them! After a bit of work the nib is now to my liking, so there's now nothing I don't like about this pen. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
  22. I was vacationing in the Caribbean and came across a Visconti dealer. The Homo Sapiens has always been one of my "grail pens." I didn't get a "screaming deal" but decided to get the Steel Age in Maxi size. Shame on me for not doing my research but I just assumed that the pen was a vac filler. I got it home and realized that it was a piston fill. I should have realized since the Bronze Age had a $695 MSRP and the Steel Age was $621 MSRP, Researching FPN, I found posts from 2013 indicating that the Steel Age is only available as a piston fill. Can someone tell me if this is still the case? (or did I buy a NOS pen?) I found a few websites offering the Steel Age as vac fill - is this a recent development? Thanks in advance! FYI - I love the pen. I see on the site that there may be some QC issues at Visconti - but my nib worked like a dream (pardon the pun) out of the box. (I filled with Waterman Florida Blue which is my go-to initial fill to test a new pen.)
  23. Dear FPNers, Here is my take on a Visconti Homo Sapiens maxi with an 23k Pd EF nib. I hope you find the review fun and enjoyable. Wish you a prosperous and fun-filled new year with loads of new pens and paraphernalia. In case there are any problems with pictures you can also view the same review in my blog: http://iwonder-thecartographer.blogspot.in/2015/01/visconti-homo-sapiens-bronze-maxi-review.html Main Motivation Somewhere in late 2009, Florence-based luxury pen maker Visconti announced a nib made out of a 95% Palladium (23k) alloy, in a press-release. Most of the nibs that were commonly available were 18k/21k Gold with a few exceptions (Sailor, Danitrio among others), and this was the first of its kind. And the other side of the snippet showcased a pen christened with the name of ‘Homo Sapiens’ (HS), forged from an almost equal mix of basaltic lava and resin, adorned with bronze and protected from competitors with a patented formulae. The lava came from Mt. Etna (an active volcano) on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. I came to know of this pen three years later while watching an ebay sale though . Visconti (estd. 1988) promised the HS lava to be unbreakable, flameproof (upto 100°C), with a slightly hygroscopic body, fitted with bronze parts with a highly-corrosion resistant titanium power filler. The versions available these days are HS-lava/bronze or steel, a lava/bronze (by Mazzi) 388-limited edition (LE) and a 1000-LE crystal swirl (made up of Acroloid/Sterling Silver). Besides, fountain pens there are also roller-balls and ball-point pens in the HS range, but those are of course not our primary interest. An Italian Job http://s25.postimg.org/4e5nas59r/DSC_1752.jpg Visconti does pay a gentle homage to the evolution of mankind by attaching significance to the Bronze Age, predating by around five thousand years. That’s the period when humans began smelting and mixing of metals like copper and tin to produce alloys like bronze. Also during this period, a system of writing had evolved, however it was majorly through symbols, to convey information. The trim-fittings including the clip are all made out of bronze, for this version of the pen. The variants are steel or sterling silver trims for the other HS pens. http://s25.postimg.org/ghayycgbz/DSC_1753.jpg Out of the well-protected box, this pen comes out with a spring-loaded clip made of bronze, holding a paper-flyer, which tells you the nib specification on one side (23K Pd – 950) and expresses ‘dreamtouch’ as – ‘Do not press! The nib will follow your dreams’. The name of the company VISCONTI is embossed on both sides of the clip on a black background. The bronze in my case has a slight patina developed over the rose-gold sheen, and I am happy with the dated-look. Alternately, there is a deep yellow bronze polishing cloth provided along with the pen to clean the surface-oxidation. The complete capped piece is a bit heavy weighing around 45 grams and is 14.4 cm long. For carrying it in your shirt pocket, you might have to lift the spring loaded clip by a bit, as the clip end does not slip easily. There is a bronze ring at the power filler end and two in the cap itself. Other reviews would tell you that the HS-Steel comes with a piston filler instead of a power-filler (vacuum-plunger). There is a large bronze centre-band at the start of the grip section which says HOMO SAPIENS. The next thing one would notice is the unique locking system of the cap. The quick-locking grooves enable (un)locking with a slight twist (counter) clockwise (fourth of a complete turn). A little twist will reveal the fantastic 23 karat Palladium nib and an inherently earthly grip section. A click sound is heard once you correctly twist-lock the cap. http://s25.postimg.org/ao0wxs4of/DSC_1756.jpg The finial mentions‘Visconti’ with the company logo. This can be customized using their My Pen System to customize a finial with either your initials, zodiac sign or even a gemstone. http://s25.postimg.org/pzapye20f/DSC_1757.jpg HOMO SAPIENS can be seen imprinted on the thick bronze centre-band which starts the cap-locking threads and subsequently the grip section of the pen. I would rather say that the pen is very intelligently designed apart from wielding materials hard to master. http://s25.postimg.org/mxfcaozhr/DSC_1760.jpg The filling system is a vacuum plunger power-filler system with a titanium rod making it highly resistant to ink corrosion. You can unscrew the blind-cap counter-clockwise to the end-stop and then pull out the vacuum plunger if you wish to fill it with ink. The length of an uncapped pen reads a comfortable 13.2 cm with a 25-26 g weight. http://s25.postimg.org/jruqkhgvj/DSC_1763.jpg The nib has a leverage of around 2.6 cm and is a size#6 nib. There are many reports that these dreamtouch nibs being manufactured by Bock, but I am not certain of that. Made up of palladium and adorned with gold, the nib of HS-bronze makes a distinctive statement. Embossed is the company name VISCONTI near the lunarly-eclipsed breather hole . Below around the tail end of the nib, imprinted is the nib width above which lies the mesmerizing specifications ‘23k Pd 950’ and FIRENZE. Firenze refers to Florence, Italy which is the birthplace of both Italian Renaissance and Visconti Pens, thereby, the tagline ‘The Writing Renaissance’. Nib is screw-fit into the grip section but I did not try to take that out. The nib has a bit of flex although there is not much difference for an EF nib when it comes to line variation due to pressure. My nib being an EF was a QC-victim and needed some smoothening with a 12000 Grit buff-stick and 0.3 µm lapping film to get to its true dreamtouch state. http://s25.postimg.org/4x656b7an/DSC_1767.jpg And now it’s truly one dreamtouch pen. Comparison – m805 & c823 (PS-It’s a m805 not a m800, quoted as a dimensional reference only, felt very lazy to correct it ) http://s25.postimg.org/xytbi227j/DSC_1771.jpg Capped the VHS maxi seems to be longer than a m800/5 but shorter than a pilot custom 823. http://s25.postimg.org/hd2v020mn/DSC_1775.jpg Uncapped all of them roughly have a similar length. Writing Post nib-adjustment – butter-smooth, wet-flow and ‘dreamtouch’. Sometimes, it dries up and has somewhat of a hard-start if cap is left open for sometime. http://s25.postimg.org/kzd9qfwdr/DSC_1783.jpg The writing is super-smooth with a wet and free-flow. The EF nib lays a line tad thinner than a pilot 14k medium nib. So, if you want an M you might go for a F nib. Ratings http://s25.postimg.org/tqyj9b0rz/VHS_rating.jpg Overall, the cost of the pen defines the value you place on this unique piece. Though it retails at USD 595 it’s easily available at heavy discounts in both online and offline markets. I also guess the problem of sweating of ink at the edge of the grip section has been fixed and there is no need to grease the nib-threads anymore. I did not notice any sweating of ink at all. Thanks, Sonik.
  24. First things first: mods, if this is in the wrong place, please pardon the mistake and move it as necessary. I'm writing to gush some praise at Dan Smith (of FP Geeks fame) and his nib services. About six months ago, I bought a Visconti Homo Sapiens 25th Anniversary (variant on the steel age oversize), with the 1.3mm stub nib, from somebody here on the forums. I got a great deal on one of my grails, and the pen was in beautiful condition when it arrived. This was a huge investment for me as a new hobbyist, far and away my most high-end pen. I was nervous about it given the legendarily unreliable Visconti QC, and boy, this nib sure was true to Visconti form. It was like ticking off a checklist of all the problems I'd read about with the Dreamtouch nibs. Hard starts, check; skipping, check; crazy flow issues, check. I mean I like a wet line, but this thing was pouring ink. None of the typical quick remedies helped (flushes, try a different ink, etc - not even good ol' Waterman Blue helped any). I could never use it for more than a few seconds without wanting to fling it across the room. Well, I finally decided to send it off to somebody who knew what they were doing. I chose Dan, and, wow, am I glad I did. I asked him to do what he could about the skips and starts, reverse a bit of tine spread (don't ask), try and get the flow under control if he could, and narrow it from a 1.3 to a 1.1mm. I got the pen back earlier today and all I can say is *wordless noise of delight*. I finally, finally get what all the fuss is about with these pens. I inked up some Iroshizuku kon-peki (an ink I know very well and trust to be a stellar performer), put nib to page, and hoooo boy. It's still a nice wet writer but the flow is dialed in to "manageable"; the slightly narrower line makes it much more versatile (to me anyway); the nib looks sensational and writes even better. This pen simply dances now. What a treat. Best of all, Dan was a pleasure to work with - great communication, super fast turnaround, excellent customer service all around. I could not be more pleased...and, for the first time ever, I actually have a Visconti Homo Sapiens to write with instead of just stare at glumly! Any nib work I need in the future, Dan's my man. You can find his nib services list and contact info here on FP Geeks. Highly highly highly recommended. (sorry for the mediocre photo quality; just a quick scribble-and-snap with my phone. Mulling doing a longer video review of my experiences with this pen - and Dan's repair job - so stay tuned!)
  25. Hello all, I'm relatively new to fountain pens and have been browsing the forums for some time. I recently acquired a Visconti Homo Sapiens Crystals which at first look appeared in perfect condition. However, when looking closer, it appears as though one of the tines is slightly bent. The pen seems to have no problem writing smoothly, but if there is indeed a defect with the nib, I would prefer to have it fixed (especially while still under warranty), rather than let it go. Could anyone chime in to let me know whether it appears as though the nib needs work, or if this is just me being paranoid? Thank you all for your help, - Andrew

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