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Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance - Return To Quality?


gerigo
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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.

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Edited by gerigo
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Thanks for a first look at this pen. It's reassuring to hear that their weren't and QC issues.

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You're very welcome. I have stayed away from Visconti for over a year, just because I have had never ending problems with their nibs, and was just not enamored with spending so much money on a pen so poorly put together. I was just curious how this version of the ever popular Homo Sapiens felt. Surprised at how tight and well put together it felt so naturally it came home with me!

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Thank you for this. I immediately dismissed this "precious resin" version based on the the previous QC issues, the cost and the C/C filling system. After reading your review and re-thinking it all, it may finally be the proper Visconti ticket. For me, it would be perfect if it had the power filler though I understand why people prefer the C/C system.

I sure hope that this is indicative of the QC direction that Visconti is headed in.

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While it's entirely possible Visconti has worked out their QC problems, I wouldn't put too much stock into a single experience. I bought a London Fog last year that was perfect but a recent Brunelleschi nib was very problematic. Fortunately I never intended to keep the nib as is and it went to a nibmeister.

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To Mulrich. Your comment about receiving a pen with a nib that did not preform as expected is unfortunately more the norm than the exception these days. At least based on the comments from others on this site. The days of QC people inspecting all aspects of a pen, including whether the nib functions is long gone. The responsibility being shifted to the retailer. I don't speak in favor of this approach, only cite its relevance. I have been using fountain pens for close to 90 years (yes, I am that old). In all of the years and decades I only once received a pen that did not do what it was suppose to do right out of the box. I returned it and received a full refund and have not dealt with that establishment since. Pens are instruments. You and everyone else deserve better than you have received. Its time to start dealing with establishments that guarantee the instrument will function as intended without the need for additional expense.

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Dr Dan

 

Well said. Which was the reason why I stayed away from brands that yielded inconsistent writing experience and chose to put my money on brands that were not as well known or talked about in these circles but delivered consistently, which was ST Dupont, and Graf Von Faber Castell.

 

To Mulrich. Your comment about receiving a pen with a nib that did not preform as expected is unfortunately more the norm than the exception these days. At least based on the comments from others on this site. The days of QC people inspecting all aspects of a pen, including whether the nib functions is long gone. The responsibility being shifted to the retailer. I don't speak in favor of this approach, only cite its relevance. I have been using fountain pens for close to 90 years (yes, I am that old). In all of the years and decades I only once received a pen that did not do what it was suppose to do right out of the box. I returned it and received a full refund and have not dealt with that establishment since. Pens are instruments. You and everyone else deserve better than you have received. Its time to start dealing with establishments that guarantee the instrument will function as intended without the need for additional expense.

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For the record, most of the Visconti pens I've purchased over the years have been great. That doesn't excuse the few which have been poorly finished but after a trip to Coles they eventually work the way they should.

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Thank you for this post. Although greatly tempted

to purchase a Homo Sapiens, I kept balking at the power filler , price and QC issues. I do have a Saturno, Van Gogh Maxi , and Wall Street , all with excellent nibs in gold or palladium.

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For the record, most of the Visconti pens I've purchased over the years have been great. That doesn't excuse the few which have been poorly finished but after a trip to Coles they eventually work the way they should.

I wasn't enamored with dealing with Coles in anyway and have sent my Visconti pens to a third party instead of dealing with them. I've only bought used or things out of warranty on Visconti since and probably won't buy new again.

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