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The Venvstas 78--A Unique Pen From A Small Designer



writerstephen

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writerstephen

The Venvstas 78, a product of small French pen company Venvstas (pronounced Ven-oo-stas), is a pen with a lot to like. It's not like any other pen I've ever seen; instead of being cigar shaped or zeppelin shaped or even hourglass shaped, it is a slender cylinder (made of carbon fiber in this case) with two small stainless steel cutouts at either end. One of these houses the semi-hooded number 6 Schmidt nib; the other is the finial on which the small stainless cap can be posted. The cutouts are straight on one end and oblong on the other, creating a tapered effect that is quite striking to the eye. In fact, I think it's safe to call the entire pen striking--my eye finds it quite pleasing to look at, and also quite pleasing to hold. It is a light pen, with a comfortable length posted or unposted--while ever so slightly nib-heavy, posting the cap adds just a touch of back weight, creating a very balanced instrument.

 

Because of the pen's design, you might initially want to grip the pen by its metal hood that covers the nib; don't do that. Instead, hold the pen by the barrel close to the hood for best results. As such, there is no grip section per se. Instead, the barrel is the grip and it works just fine. While slender, gripping the pen in this way is as comfortable to my hand as any pen I own, and moreso than some. The matte carbon fiber finish provides for an easy grip with very little sliding, and the lightness of the pen causes very little fatigue, even during long writing sessions.

 

How does it write? Quite well. I have a slight scratchy spot on one downstroke on my medium nib, but Venvstas was quick to send me a new nib in broad (the medium was a little narrow for my taste anyway). The nib is friction fit, so switching it out won't be a problem. The nib and feed handle iroshizuku ink quite well, and the medium lays down a fine-ish line; I'd call it somewhere between a fine and a medium. The 78 is available with a wide range of nib options, as are all the Venvstas pens, including 14k and 18k gold options. It costs 75 euro (about $89 US) and international shipping is included. A carbon fiber pen case costs 10 euro extra (I think) and I think I'll be purchasing one of those. It seems fitting for carrying around this elegant, one-of-a-kind pen. The company's customer service is responsive and cordial; Pascal at Venvstas is a friendly, knowledgeable fellow, and promptly answered any and all of my questions and gave me an education on the fountain pen business to boot.

 

Dismantling the pen to load and clean is a relatively simple matter; the section is friction fit inside the barrel and simply pulls out. The converter or cartridge seats firmly inside the section, protected by metal ribs that extend on either side. A standard converter comes with the pen.

 

Overall, I like the 78 very very much. Along with their more famous Carbon T, this is one of Venvstas' lower-end pens. They've developed a unique piston-fill system as well as a really cool push-button vacuum fill for their higher-end models. Needless to say, those pens run a scoche more expensive, but if you've got the spare cash, I say go for it. At the very least, you will have a great conversation piece at your next pen show. But more likely, any model you purchase will make it into your EDC.

 

You can see the vacuum filler in action in one of their Youtube videos:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW4mv6iJE0E

 

You can visit their website to see (and purchase) all of their pens here: www.venvstas.com

 

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Edited by writerstephen
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LanceSaintPaul

I was just looking their line over in the last couple of days. I did a search here & very few reviews came up. Thanks for adding another. Their designs are intriguing.

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writerstephen

A couple corrections on my review:

 

--The nibs are from Jowo, not Schmidt. According to Venvstas, Jowo nibs are better.

 

--The nibs are #5 size, not #6--which is obvious and basically a typo on my part. For some reason I can't go back and edit the main review.

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I love the aesthetics of many of his models, and the owner is a very nice guy who cares about the products and the customers.

 

Nevertheless, I must say my experience hasn't been stellar. First I got a Carbon V from the Kickstarter a while ago, and it had issues with the converter not fitting in, and also the nib dried because the cap did not make a good enough seal. Additionally, the pen was actually longer than what indicated on the kickstarter and the website. Lucio was very nice to me and, even if it took a long time, he exchanged the Carbon V for a more expensive Carbonmeister. That did not have the problem with the converter, but still the cap did not make a good seal and so the nib dries, and for some reason that also is longer than what was indicated on the website for that model, even though I had specifically asked if the dimensions indicated were true to the actual pen.

In the end, neither the original pen nor the substitute got much use, which a shame because I really like the aesthetics and also the feeling of the carbon fiber.

 

Just my two cents.

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writerstephen

I'm sorry to hear that Feanaaro ... I've had no such issues with my 78--everything fits together great. They are still a young company and likely are still having growing pains.

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