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Grifos Masonic Square & Compasses Fp (Italy)


donnweinberg
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Yesterday, I received from Grifos, the Italian pen maker based near Turin, Italy, the Grifos Masonic Square & Compasses (the “Masonic”) fountain pen with a medium gold-plated nib. I inked it up with Waterman Purple ink, began writing with it the same day, and have written with it today. First, here are photos I’ve taken, and then I’ll provide my early first impressions of the pen.

 

fpn_1592699104__masonic_fp_-_1.jpeg

 

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fpn_1592699224__masonic_fp_-_3_parts_-1.

 

fpn_1592699259__masonic_fp_-_3_parts_-2.

 

fpn_1592699293__section__nib_-_1.jpeg

 

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fpn_1592699418__barrel_logo_-_left.jpeg

 

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fpn_1592699513__grifos_box_closed.jpeg

 

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fpn_1592699609__grifos_logo_on_box.jpeg

 

fpn_1592699831__writing_sample.jpeg

 

This Grifos pen appears to be unique among the many Grifos offerings on its website; those other models normally contain heavier components, including more metal. The Masonic is made primarily from a light-weight, black resin. It has gold-plated trim – the clip, cap band, and thinner ring near the end of the barrel. The cap band has on its front the words, “Alius Ex Alio,” which means “one for the other.” On the cap band’s back is a small Griffon head and the inscription, “Made in Italy.” The Masonic is 5.5” (almost 14 cm.) long and is quite light-weight (I couldn’t find my scale). The only other metal is in the black section’s threads, which screw into the plastic threads of the barrel. I could be wrong, but I think that the Masonic is the only Grifos FP with a snap-on cap; all the other models, I believe, feature screw-on caps. If you know differently, please post here to correct my statement.

 

Other than the GP trim, the only decoration on the pen is that on the lower half of the barrel, which features, in a copperish-gold color, the Masonic square and compass logo with a capital ‘G’ (for Grifos, I assume) in its middle.

 

The Masonic comes with an International Standard converter and a pack of six short Life Line branded black cartridges.

 

After filling the converter from a fresh unused bottle of Waterman Purple ink, the Masonic wrote immediately with a medium line neither too wet nor too dry, but in the “Goldilocks” zone. I wrote with the pen a few brief paragraphs, shown here. I left the Masonic to sit in my pen box for about 20 hours, and it wrote just as readily this evening. The medium, gold-plated nib is attractive and firm with just enough (slight) give to impart a pleasant feel when writing. The section thins out a bit in its middle, but I would not characterize the section in any way as a “step-down” type of section. Further time will tell how it performs with more intensive use.

 

My one criticism so far is that the snap-on cap, although easy to remove is a bit awkward feeling to reinsert at times. That awkwardness may be caused by the cap’s inner plastic liner nearer to the top of the cap, and this minor issue may resolve after further use; we’ll have to wait and see.

 

For the Masonic, I paid a sale price (15 % off), which was 179.20 Euros (about $201 USD). As of today, that’s still the price in Euros. I believe that we all are seeing small-batch pens at or near that price range with only stainless steel or GP nibs, so the price is not a shock. The pen has a special design that might attract those who are Masons (I am not) and also are fountain pen fans.

 

In summary, at this early point of experience with the Masonic, it is an attractive and light-weighted pen with a nice gold-plated nib that writes well.

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Nice looking pen. Congrats

 

Great handwriting btw!

 

Im not a mason but i think the G is for God. At least according to the shows about masonry that Ive watched, as i remember it.

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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The review has a lot of information, Thank you. I have a question about the engraving of the masonic symbol:It feels as something resistant or it will wear with use?

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Nice looking pen. Congrats

 

Great handwriting btw!

 

Im not a mason but i think the G is for God. At least according to the shows about masonry that Ive watched, as i remember it.

Yes, the G is for God, also for the central discipline of architecture, Geometry. I am a Mason (48 years +), so I am familiar with the various symbols of the Craft.

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Nice looking pen. Congrats

 

Great handwriting btw!

 

Im not a mason but i think the G is for God. At least according to the shows about masonry that Ive watched, as i remember it.

Then I stand corrected; God it is. Shows how much I know about Masonry.

 

 

The review has a lot of information, Thank you. I have a question about the engraving of the masonic symbol:It feels as something resistant or it will wear with use?

 

I took a good look and feel, and I'm still not sure. I can feel the logo, but I can't tell whether it is engraved in the resin or placed over the resin and whether or not it will fade over time. Maybe Grifos' CEO, Maurizio Stura, will see this review and let us all know.

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I forgot to mention that the cap does post securely, with a very light snap sound as it goes over the lower barrel gold ring.

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I did not realize Grifos made pens in this price range. Thanks for the review.

 

Grifos is an underrated gem. Their pens are actually even cheaper on some, as with models like the Oikos.

 

It's probably the cheapest entry into beautiful true sterling silver guilloche that exists. I have two Oikos in different kinds of sterling and adore them.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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Hello all,

Thank you Donn for your nice pen review. :)

Is a pleasure give some more details how we made this handmade resin pen and its embedded Mason emblem.

 

Obviously we start from lathed piece of black resin, then when the barrel is ended we deep engrave the Mason logo, I mean we engrave it for at least 1 mm into the resin. When the logo is fully engraved we will it with red gold lacquer and let dry for some days.

When we are sure the lacquer is indeed dry we fill the grooves with a thick layer of hard transparent resin and again wait some days before it became indeed hard.

 

Again we put hands on it and with water and different sandpaper we remove all the "too much" resin leveling the barrel. The barrel now is ready to be polished with cloth polisher and wax. All again by hands.

 

So ins't a simple paint on the surface but is deep into the resin and in consequence it will not scratch not vanish even after long years use. Long work for a long lasting pen.

We use this same process in other our pens like de Florence Lily flower one and the Klimt "Three of life". See attached pics.

 

 

I remain at your disposal for any other curiosity or questions you may have!

Best from Italy.

Maurizio Stura

NMF509-D-R06-Lily-14.jpg

NMF508-D-G05D-R06-Klimt.jpg

NMF508-D-G05D-R06-Klimt6.jpg

Edited by stubnib
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Now I have to figure out how to buy them while here in China...

Hi, actually we have no problem to sell and ship ti China... I mean we usually do it with no problem at least a couple at month... so if you need here we are!

Maurizio

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Thank you for the additional information, Maurizio. Nothing beats getting the actual facts from the boss of the company that makes the pens in question. :notworthy1:

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Thank you for the additional information, Maurizio. Nothing beats getting the actual facts from the boss of the company that makes the pens in question. :notworthy1:

Thank you...very kind but for me the only "Boss" is Bruce Springsteen!!! :D

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So then, Maurizio/stubnib, do you have any affiliation with Masonry? Is there any particular reason you created this pen?

 

I would love to have one, but I have been involuntarily "retired" since January, so I cannot spend any money on pens at the moment, but I hope this situation is corrected by the end of the year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Grifos is an underrated gem. Their pens are actually even cheaper on some, as with models like the Oikos.

 

It's probably the cheapest entry into beautiful true sterling silver guilloche that exists. I have two Oikos in different kinds of sterling and adore them.

I remember it was your comments in another thread that made me give my Grifos another try and I was very impressed upon re-review. I have the Pen and the City model and it really feels like something that should be much more expensive, given the silver makeup and the guilloche pattern.

 

And seeing that Tree of Life model is making me want another Grifos

Edited by Joe124013
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I just took a look at the Grifos website, and I note that the Masonic model is a different pen than this one. It is now a solid sterling silver body, according to the catalog listing. It looks lovely, and I wish I were working so that I could justify spending the $265.

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Hello all,

Thank you Donn for your nice pen review. :)

Is a pleasure give some more details how we made this handmade resin pen and its embedded Mason emblem.

 

Obviously we start from lathed piece of black resin, then when the barrel is ended we deep engrave the Mason logo, I mean we engrave it for at least 1 mm into the resin. When the logo is fully engraved we will it with red gold lacquer and let dry for some days.

When we are sure the lacquer is indeed dry we fill the grooves with a thick layer of hard transparent resin and again wait some days before it became indeed hard.

 

Again we put hands on it and with water and different sandpaper we remove all the "too much" resin leveling the barrel. The barrel now is ready to be polished with cloth polisher and wax. All again by hands.

 

So ins't a simple paint on the surface but is deep into the resin and in consequence it will not scratch not vanish even after long years use. Long work for a long lasting pen.

We use this same process in other our pens like de Florence Lily flower one and the Klimt "Three of life". See attached pics.

 

 

I remain at your disposal for any other curiosity or questions you may have!

Best from Italy.

Maurizio Stura

Oh my, those are beautiful!

PAKMAN

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