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“First look” Review: Radius1934 Superior Primissima Monterosso

 

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Introduction

Radius pens were made in Italy from 1934 until sometime in the 1950’s. Very little is known about the history of the brand, even by such authorities on Italian fountain pen history as Letizia Jacopini. Here is a link to her brief article: Radius - FountainPenwww.fountainpen.it › Radius. Apparently, Radius was the top of the line brand of its parent company, S.A.F.I.S. And the Superior was Radius' top of the line model. It was made in Turin, as is the Radius1934.

 

The Radius1934 company was established quite recently, and has just issued their first product, named “Radius1934 Superior Primissima” after the founding date of the original company and their best-known model. I believe the founder of the new company is a collector of Radius pens. I do not know if he has any connection with the historical company.

 

This pen was released in 5 resins, each named after a different one of the Cinque Terre villages on the Ligurian coast of Italy. Each color was limited to only 12 pieces. I was fortunate to be able to secure one in the Monterosso (marbled red) color. I ordered mine with a broad nib which I had custom ground to cursive italic.

 

First Impression, Appearance and Design

The Radius1934 Superior is a standard tapered cylinder with conical ends. It is about the same size as a Pelikan M800. I was impressed with both the look and feel of the pen. The materials and fit and finish exude quality. The section is tapered with a flare at the end. It is very comfortable for me. The cap unscrews in about two turns. The clip is the same design as the vintage Radius Superior. It goes into a shirt pocket easily and holds securely.

 

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Size comparison:  Left to right - Pelikan M800. Leonardo Momento Zero Grande. Aurora 88 (with custom binde).  Radius1934 Superior.

 

Nib and Performance

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The 14 Kt nib is reported to be made by Bock, but the feed appears to be a custom ebonite feed. The feed appears identical to that made by Leonardo for their Momento Zero Grande pens. The nib has rather long tines and is just a little flexible and springy. My nib was custom ground by the “nib whisperer” (his self-designation) who works for the vendor. It is moderately smooth and very crisp, loaded with the Radius-branded ink that came with the pen. With this ink, the nib seems on the dry side but with consistent flow and quick starting after an overnight rest.

 

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Feed comparison (All with Bock #6 14Kt nibs): Top to bottom - Standard Bock Feed. nib. Radius1934 Superior Feed. Leonardo MS Grande Feed.

 

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Writing Sample

 

Filling system

The Radius1934 Superior is a piston filler. The pen fills in 10 turns of the piston. The piston appears to be stainless steel and feels very solid. It turns smoothly. It seems to hold just about 1 ml of liquid.

 

Cost and value

This pen is priced at around USD500. It is at the high end for a resin pen, yet less than many pens of similar quality with gold nibs and piston filling. I judge it to be fairly priced.

 

Conclusion

Radius1934 is a new pen company producing pens modeled after those of the historic Radius pen company. Their first release is a very limited edition of 60 pens in 5 resins - black, amber, red, green and blue - each named after one of the Cinque Terre villages. On first encounter, this seems to be a top quality pen. It is well made with attractive materials and high-end features. I am happy to find another new Italian pen maker of fine writing instruments, and I am looking forward to what other pens they will release.

 

I will update this first look after I have used the pen for a while, if further experience dictates a need.

 

David

 

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  • dms525

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jchch1950

Thank you for the review and the introduction to this brand. I will wait until they offer more models without such limited production.

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Gloucesterman

thank you for the interesting review. Do you have a direct link to their website. I am not on the other social media site and would like to check them out directly.

You assistance is appreciated.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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5 hours ago, Gloucesterman said:

thank you for the interesting review. Do you have a direct link to their website. I am not on the other social media site and would like to check them out directly.

You assistance is appreciated.

Their web site was not active. The URL on their FB page is not registered. 

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Karmachanic

Looks like a Leonardo sans step-down.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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On 1/18/2021 at 12:57 PM, Gloucesterman said:

thank you for the interesting review. Do you have a direct link to their website. I am not on the other social media site and would like to check them out directly.

You assistance is appreciated.

 

I asked the Radius1934 people about their web site via a FB message. They haven't had time to develop it. They were surprise by the positive response to their first release. They plan to work on the web site "this year." They are "very busy." Maybe more products in the works?

15 hours ago, Karmachanic said:

Looks like a Leonardo sans step-down.

 

I agree. I still suspect some connection with Leonardo - maybe just buying feeds? I can tell you that the feel of the Radius1934 is very different from a Leonardo, although I like them both. The Radius1934 feels heavier although it is actually almost exactly the same as a resin MZG, and the shape of the section is very different. The pistons seem similar, but the newer MSG's hold twice the ink as the Radius1934.

 

David

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I just got another private message from the company. A new, non-limited edition release is planned for February.

 

David

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  • 5 weeks later...
MoriartyR

I also bought one of the Radius Superior Primissima Serie pens. Mine is the Riomaggiore version in blue. I thought it would be a nice thing to have one of the very first pens of this brand (one of twelve in each of the five colours). And even if the brand does not endure, it will always be an interesting curiosity. Though, judging from my pen, Radius deserves to be successful.


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My pen is unadjusted by any nibmeister and it performs very nicely. I have the fine nib and it writes smoothly with just the ideal touch of feedback, has a wet ink flow, a nice line, and is completely reliable. I’d say the nib on mine is tuned perfectly out of the box. It is very well-made and I see no faults.

 

I am pleased that I bought it and I wish the people behind Radius all the best. I hope that, over time as they release regular production pens, we are able to learn more about the company and the manufacture of their pens. The accompanying pamphlet says that it is entirely made in Italy but that is all it reveals.

 

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Very nice looking pen, MoriartyR! Although I am very happy with mine, I am pleased to have another data point regarding the quality I perceived in my specimen. 

 

I was told release of a non-limited edition would occur this month. 

 

Meanwhile, congratulations! Enjoy your pen in good health.

 

David

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MoriartyR
3 minutes ago, dms525 said:

Very nice looking pen, MoriartyR! Although I am very happy with mine, I am pleased to have another data point regarding the quality I perceived in my specimen. 

 

I was told release of a non-limited edition would occur this month. 

 

Meanwhile, congratulations! Enjoy your pen in good health.

 

David

Well, I have to thank you too. Your post gave me the courage to give it a try and, as you pointed out, it really is quite fairly priced for what it is, even regardless of the highly limited availability.

 

Another new Italian brand to watch, I am sure. Isn’t it wonderful to see these companies springing up to replace the much-loved Italian brands that we have lost in recent years? Scribo, Leonardo, Santini, and now Radius - all making very good pens that are a match for any established pen brand. I think Scribo in particular is making something unique and special in the pen world, but there is clearly room for us all to have our favourites.

 

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1 hour ago, MoriartyR said:

Well, I have to thank you too. Your post gave me the courage to give it a try and, as you pointed out, it really is quite fairly priced for what it is, even regardless of the highly limited availability.

 

Another new Italian brand to watch, I am sure. Isn’t it wonderful to see these companies springing up to replace the much-loved Italian brands that we have lost in recent years? Scribo, Leonardo, Santini, and now Radius - all making very good pens that are a match for any established pen brand. I think Scribo in particular is making something unique and special in the pen world, but there is clearly room for us all to have our favourites.

 

 

👍

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TheDutchGuy
21 hours ago, MoriartyR said:

Another new Italian brand to watch, I am sure. Isn’t it wonderful to see these companies springing up to replace the much-loved Italian brands that we have lost in recent years? Scribo, Leonardo, Santini, and now Radius - all making very good pens that are a match for any established pen brand. I think Scribo in particular is making something unique and special in the pen world, but there is clearly room for us all to have our favourites.

 

Well said! I still have my eyes on a Santini but can’t try one before I buy due to the pandemic. That’s OK, I can wait.

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very nice looking pens. I had booked a Monterosso with a vendor but they told me the pen was sold out before it ever got to them... :wacko:

 

I also heard that Radius is launching a regular edition soon.

 

(lovely pens as usual, David! who did your Aurora 88 binde? is that CS green?)

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PS just as a reference here is a Radius Superior (photo from the Italian fountainpen.it site)

Looks of the remake are really very close, with exception that the original was faceted striated celluloid.

Radius-Superior-Faceted-Lever-Big-StriatedGray-Capped.jpg.f4bd3416e1333d257ae8fe011d78a8fd.jpg

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1 hour ago, sansenri said:

PS just as a reference here is a Radius Superior (photo from the Italian fountainpen.it site)

Looks of the remake are really very close, with exception that the original was faceted striated celluloid.

Radius-Superior-Faceted-Lever-Big-StriatedGray-Capped.jpg.f4bd3416e1333d257ae8fe011d78a8fd.jpg

 

And the original was a lever-filler and the reincarnation is a piston-filler.

 

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1 hour ago, sansenri said:

very nice looking pens. I had booked a Monterosso with a vendor but they told me the pen was sold out before it ever got to them... :wacko:

 

I also heard that Radius is launching a regular edition soon.

 

(lovely pens as usual, David! who did your Aurora 88 binde? is that CS green?)

 

The Aurora 88 binde was done by Shawn Newton, and it is indeed CS Classic Green.

David

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4 hours ago, dms525 said:

 

The Aurora 88 binde was done by Shawn Newton, and it is indeed CS Classic Green.

David

I should have guessed, lovely looking work!

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4 hours ago, dms525 said:

 

And the original was a lever-filler and the reincarnation is a piston-filler.

 

of course...

 

does have a resemblance with the Doric

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