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I have gone Italian pen crazy! 


NumberSix
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In the last few months, I have purchased:
 
  • Aurora 88P, black (1950s)
  • Aurora 98, black (1960s?)
  • Aurora Duo Cart, green (modern)
  • Aurora Optima Auroloide, Rossa (modern)
  • Montegrappa Zero Chrysocolla Pen Venture Exclusive (limited edition of 30)
  • Leonardo Momento Zero, Blue Hawaii (2021)
  •  
And, I just placed an order for a Momento Zero Coral from Pen Venture, as that color is not as easy to find as it used to be - and I have wanted it for awhile. 
 
I didn't expect this of myself. Apart from Leonardos, I have always kind of looked the other way on most modern Italian pens, pretty as they are. All the Visconti horror stories, I guess.
 
But at this point, I am even considering giving a Van Gogh a shot, as long as I order from somewhere that will tune it first. 
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6 hours ago, NumberSix said:

Apart from Leonardos, I have always kind of looked the other way on most modern Italian pens, pretty as they are. All the Visconti horror stories, I guess.

 

Aurora pens have been generally reliable in quality, in my experience of buying and (still) owning twenty of them in a variety of models.

 

Leonardo Officiana Italia not so, specifically when it comes to nibs, in my experience.

 

Santini Italia makes everything but the internal ink reservoir and its piston-filling mechanism (which is a Schmidt product) in-house, and tunes and test every nib on pens ordered directly from them. It is also open to nib customisation requests to be executed right at the 'factory' before a newly ordered pen is sent out.

 

Scribo, from what I've read, has very tight QC, including its nibs which have a good reputation. Scribo pens' asking prices are rather expensive compared to other mainstream Italian fountain pen brands, in my opinion, just looking at what is delivered on paper. That, however, is no cause for one to be wary of potential QC failures. I have a Scribo FEEL, I don't like it all that much as a pen, but there is no problem with the construction or finish at all.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Aurora pens have been generally reliable in quality

Two modern Auroras, so I have been fortunately so far. 

 

My Momento Zero came from Pen Realm, so Kirk tuned it first. It's a great writing broad nib. The newly-ordered MZ is a 1.1mm stub coming from Pen Venture, and he also tunes first. (he did a great job on my Montegrappa Zero - hey, why are all these pens called "Zero" anyway?)

 

I have looked at the Scribos, and people seem to really like them. But it's more $$ at the moment than I want to spend. (The Optima was expensive enough for now.) 

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1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

Santini Italia makes everything but the internal ink reservoir and its piston-filling mechanism (which is a Schmidt product) in-house, and tunes and test every nib on pens ordered directly from them. It is also open to nib customisation requests to be executed right at the 'factory' before a newly ordered pen is sent out.

Hmm, this line is new to me. I like the looks of this one, the "nonagon", though it does seem awfully Momento Zero-like. I am not against it, though - I am digging the color and silver trim.

 

 

DSC_0018_q9mfy1av.JPG

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I went through a similar experience when I bought my first Optima late last year, which was quickly followed by 5 more full-sized, a Mini and a Hastil Ferrari. (A Stipula Etruria earlier in the year did lead to another but no further, mainly due to their size; very nice writers, otherwise.) The Mini and 4 of the full-sized were lovely writers out of the box, the other 2 less so, but all are very nicely made and beautiful to look at.

 

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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On 4/23/2022 at 1:16 PM, NumberSix said:
In the last few months, I have purchased:
 
  • Aurora 88P, black (1950s)
  • Aurora 98, black (1960s?)
  • Aurora Duo Cart, green (modern)
  • Aurora Optima Auroloide, Rossa (modern)
  • Montegrappa Zero Chrysocolla Pen Venture Exclusive (limited edition of 30)
  • Leonardo Momento Zero, Blue Hawaii (2021)
  •  
And, I just placed an order for a Momento Zero Coral from Pen Venture, as that color is not as easy to find as it used to be - and I have wanted it for awhile. 
 
I didn't expect this of myself. Apart from Leonardos, I have always kind of looked the other way on most modern Italian pens, pretty as they are. All the Visconti horror stories, I guess.
 
But at this point, I am even considering giving a Van Gogh a shot, as long as I order from somewhere that will tune it first. 

I fell down the same rabbit hole! 

it started with a vintage Aurora 888. The nib was amazingly fine and smooth. Then followed it up with two Aurora 88Ps (late 50s), a 1948 Aurora 88, and then an Aurora 98 (late 60s c/c). Did I mention the Aurora Optima Viola and modern Aurora 88?  Both the vintage and modern versions are excellent.

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On 4/24/2022 at 3:15 AM, NumberSix said:

Hmm, this line is new to me. I like the looks of this one, the "nonagon", though it does seem awfully Momento Zero-like. I am not against it, though - I am digging the color and silver trim.

 

 

DSC_0018_q9mfy1av.JPG

 

I own few Leonardo Officina Italiana including several Momento Zero, and I own few Santini, in ebonite and acrilic.

The 2 kind of pens are not comparable: I prefer faceted pens, and after Omas disappeared there are very few model of pens faceted machined and not casted. Santini is one of them.

The manufacturing of faceted pens is much complicated and complex than a round pen, and the skill necessary to do faceted pens is really higher than to do rounded body pens.

Probably this is the reason why today faceted pens not casted but machined are very rare.

Then also Santini pens are not my ideal one, as in general the size of theyr pens is a bit too big for my hands, and the pen look to me a bit too "squat". English is not my mother langage, therefore I'm not sure this term is exactly what I mean. But when I compare a faceted Omas of the biggest size like the 557 or the paragon, this is still for me an example of the most elegant pen for my taste.

Another point in favour of Santini is the excellent customer service they provide, and the nibs which are not necessarely better but for sure different from what the majority of pen maunfacturers offers today (....at 90% Bock or Jowo....).

Both Leonardo Officina Italiana and Santini are very nice pens, but also very much different, and to me not comparable at all.

 

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Can we all share our Italian pens we own?  If so:

I have one Delta, called Delta Gallery Blue Moon

one Leonardo in Blue Hawaii 

and 8 Visconti pens with another on its way. They are the Bronze Age Homo Sapiens, a red Wall Street, a Cosmos Purple Nebulous, a Millennium Arc Moonlight in Sky Blue, two Michelangelos both black with different trim colors (rose gold and ruthenium), a Van Gogh in Irises, the Merry-Go-Round which is a Rembrandt version, and on its way is a Rembrandt Eclipse.  I had not bought a Visconti in awhile until the Eclipse came back on my pen radar. 
 

My brother had some issues with his Visconti pens. All of mine have been fine. Well one Michelangelo had the cap magnet migrate down to the nib.

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Today, all three of the Tibaldi Bononia (Bora Bora, Martini Olive, and Seashell Mist) pens I ordered (all on the same day) last June are in my possession finally.

 

The first Bora Bora I received (last year) had a bit of a cosmetic problem, so I returned it for exchange in September. I thought replacement by the (European retailer's) regional distributor, or the manufacturer itself, would be quick, at least from the retailer's perspective, for something that isn't a limited or special edition; but apparently not so. Anyway, it took nearly four months for the retailer to get the replacement unit via its supply chain.

 

The Seashell Mist took another month after that to be delivered to the retailer; at which time, I had reason to agree with (or, more accurately, instruct) the retailer to hold off forwarding the pens to me, as there were some other non-Tibaldi items I was waiting on, and I preferred all of that to be sent in one shipment to minimise the international shipping costs borne by the retailer.

 

The Martini Olive arrived last December, and has been in use by my wife since. (I told her she could have her pick of any of the three, but since that was the only one in our possession at the time, she could use it in the meantime until the others arrived.)

 

Let's just say… the resins are beautiful, I like the styling of the model, and the pens themselves all seem to write OK out-of-the-box without nib or feed problems, but Tibaldi the brand has not convinced me of its value-add in terms of artistry and care in working with the materials or the nibs. The replacement Bora Bora continue to disappoint, just not by as much as the first one I received. Tibaldi is no Scribo to win accolades for above-average QC or outstanding nib finishing and performance; but, at the least, if it's trying to sell primarily on the pens' beauty, I'd expect it to take more care inspecting the rods and selecting where a segment begins and ends for turning the cap and barrel for a particular model, to avoid unsightly visual effects on the end product; or to do its best to make sure the artefacts in the cap and barrel can align to form a visually harmonious whole.

 

I don't dislike Tibaldi even so as much as I do Leonardo, but right now I see no reason to recommend the brand or its products to any individual fellow hobbyist for whom I feel genuine goodwill, either.

 

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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On 5/1/2022 at 2:22 AM, fabri00 said:

 

I own few Leonardo Officina Italiana including several Momento Zero, and I own few Santini, in ebonite and acrilic.

The 2 kind of pens are not comparable: I prefer faceted pens, and after Omas disappeared there are very few model of pens faceted machined and not casted. Santini is one of them.

The manufacturing of faceted pens is much complicated and complex than a round pen, and the skill necessary to do faceted pens is really higher than to do rounded body pens.

Probably this is the reason why today faceted pens not casted but machined are very rare.

Then also Santini pens are not my ideal one, as in general the size of theyr pens is a bit too big for my hands, and the pen look to me a bit too "squat". English is not my mother langage, therefore I'm not sure this term is exactly what I mean. But when I compare a faceted Omas of the biggest size like the 557 or the paragon, this is still for me an example of the most elegant pen for my taste.

Another point in favour of Santini is the excellent customer service they provide, and the nibs which are not necessarely better but for sure different from what the majority of pen maunfacturers offers today (....at 90% Bock or Jowo....).

Both Leonardo Officina Italiana and Santini are very nice pens, but also very much different, and to me not comparable at all.

 

Thank you very much for the details. You have sold me on ordering a Santini before too long. :)

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Just received a few days ago a Momento Zero in Coral (1.1 stub). This is one of the last coral finishes I could find. Pen Venture told me it was the last gold trim one they had. It has one of the old Bock nibs on it, not the new Jowo ones. It's stunning. The color is everything I hoped it would be. 

 

I am not super experienced with stub nibs, though, so I need to practice writing. 

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On 4/27/2022 at 4:18 PM, hairlame said:

I fell down the same rabbit hole! 

it started with a vintage Aurora 888. The nib was amazingly fine and smooth. Then followed it up with two Aurora 88Ps (late 50s), a 1948 Aurora 88, and then an Aurora 98 (late 60s c/c). Did I mention the Aurora Optima Viola and modern Aurora 88?  Both the vintage and modern versions are excellent.

I had an 888 at some point in the past. It was a C/C pen, which thankfully took a Platinum converter. 

 

I was not crazy about that particular nib and ended up selling it on. But that's no doubt because I was not ready for Italian pens at the time -- too focused on Japan and Germany, I guess. D'oh!

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On 5/1/2022 at 10:38 AM, Misfit said:

Can we all share our Italian pens we own?  If so:

I have one Delta, called Delta Gallery Blue Moon

one Leonardo in Blue Hawaii 

and 8 Visconti pens with another on its way. They are the Bronze Age Homo Sapiens, a red Wall Street, a Cosmos Purple Nebulous, a Millennium Arc Moonlight in Sky Blue, two Michelangelos both black with different trim colors (rose gold and ruthenium), a Van Gogh in Irises, the Merry-Go-Round which is a Rembrandt version, and on its way is a Rembrandt Eclipse.  I had not bought a Visconti in awhile until the Eclipse came back on my pen radar. 
 

My brother had some issues with his Visconti pens. All of mine have been fine. Well one Michelangelo had the cap magnet migrate down to the nib.

couldn't possibly do that... I own quite a number.

Aurora, Delta, Leonardo, Marlen, Montegrappa, Nettuno, Omas, Santini, Stipula, Visconti (and not just one of each...)

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17 minutes ago, NumberSix said:

I had an 888 at some point in the past. It was a C/C pen, which thankfully took a Platinum converter. 

 

I was not crazy about that particular nib and ended up selling it on. But that's no doubt because I was not ready for Italian pens at the time -- too focused on Japan and Germany, I guess. D'oh!

I went through the same sequence - first Japan, then Germany, then Italy.  I've enjoyed trying them all!  The 888s still pop up regularly on ebay, but I also think getting a good nib on these vintage pens can be hit or miss.  I've been lucky to get some truly amazing vintage nibs, but also unfortunately acquired some janky ones in the process.

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My dad was particularly generous at Christmas this year, and I had planned on going to the Philly Pen Show and choosing an Aurora in person.  I had seen them in 2020 at a pen booth at the mall, set up by a local seller, and they were just so beautiful.  I have never spent more than $300 on a pen, so this would have been a big deal for me.  But, never made it to the show, and still haven’t bought the pen.

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7 hours ago, NumberSix said:

Thank you very much for the details. You have sold me on ordering a Santini before too long. :)

 

I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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