Posts filed under Visconti

Visconti Breeze Lime Fountain Pen Review

Visconti Breeze Lime Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Visconti has added another reasonably priced pen to their lineup and it's another winner. I've always been hesitant to invest in their more expensive pens (no matter how much I want the Homo Sapiens) because their price didn't quite seem to match their performance. And while these new models, like the Breeze and the Mirage, are still expensive, they're much closer to a good, fair value purchase.

Visconti Breeze Lime Fountain Pen

This Breeze pen in Lime isn't actually made of raw uranium and I'm 99% sure there's nothing radioactive about it. It just looks that way. It's actually made of vegital resin, this color in swirls of neon yellow, green, and pearlescent white. It's fun and wild. This model also comes in plum, mandarin, lemon, cherry, and blueberry that are all less eye-searing.

It has a chrome body band with "BreezeBreeze" engraved in it in wavy letters. The cap has no accents other than the signature Visconti clip, which is nicely spring-loaded. The cap itself closes with a magnetic click that is very satisfying and fun to fidget with. It's also effective--I never experienced any drying-out of the nib between writing sessions. The cap does post securely, though it makes the pen feel a little too long for my hand.

Visconti Breeze Lime Fountain Pen Barrel

The grip is in the same resin as the body of the pen. It tapers slightly and I found it very comfortable to hold and write with, though it can be a bit slippery.

The nib is German steel, available in either Fine, Medium, or Broad. This one is a Fine, though it writes very wet and looks more like a Medium. This is the wettest fine nib I own, and I love it. It has all the control and subtle feedback of a fine nib, but puts down enough ink to show off fun characteristics like shading and sheen.

The pen comes with a converter, which I easily burned through in one pleasant weekend.

Visconti Breeze Lime Fountain Pen Writing

I've really enjoyed writing with this pen, and its bright bold look attracted a lot of attention on my business trip this past week. I think a few new Pen Addicts were born as I passed it around for folks to try. The price runs from around $95 to $120 depending on sales, and I think that's fair. I'm even tempted by some of the other colors. I think this is another good move for Visconti. Easing people into the brand is a good way to inspire them to scale the barriers to the higher end models. I can already feel my resistance weakening.

(Goldspot provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Visconti Breeze
Posted on August 29, 2019 and filed under Visconti, Fountain Pens.

Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen Review

Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

I'm usually pretty well behaved, so it's no surprise when Santa brings me stationery. I must have been REALLY good last year, though, because Santa did surprise me with my very first Visconti pen—the Mirage, in a lovely Evergreen color.

I've admired Viscontis before, but their high price points mixed with rumors of dodgy quality control have always put me off. I was very excited to finally get a chance to try one.

The Mirage is a new entry-level Visconti pen to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary. Their previous entry-level offerings have often been priced higher than many folks' upper limits, so adding a new tier was, I think, a great idea. I did worry, though, that if the quality of their expensive pens varied so much, what sort of pen would be on offer for 1/5 the price?

Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen

Well, apart from an introductory hiccup, I think they've offered a very decent pen. The hiccup, though, required some resources that many new pen buyers won't have.

My first impression of the pen was good--it's beautiful. The body is a rich, shimmery, swirly vegetal resin that catches the light like magic. The body has fluted grooves and a decorative palladium-plated cap band that give the piece a very Art Deco look. It has the signature arched clip with the Visconti name engraved in it. The bottom finial has a metal Visconti logo that can be removed with a magnet and replaced with your initials or a gemstone. The grip section is smooth and round, in the same material as the body. The nib is a new steel design, with more Art Deco-styled etching.

Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen Nib

Maybe it's because I associate that clip with high prices, but this pen looks more expensive than it is. With the lower price, as one might expect, it doesn't have a lot of the fancy Visconti features, but it does have a few. That magnetic finial is one, another is the spring-loaded clip, and there's also the self-aligning magnetic cap. The cap holds securely and closes with a satisfying self-propelled click. It's almost too fun, and between that and the springy clip, the cap is a meeting-fidgeter's delight.

The steel nib writes smoothly and with the perfect amount of wetness. It's very pleasant to write with.

Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen Converter

My hiccup with the pen had to do with the converter. The converter included with the pen does not actually fit in the pen. It kind of, almost, sort of fits--just well enough that you can tell something is wrong. You can use it, but it doesn't get a good seal, so it's difficult to fill and tends to leak. The metal band at the neck of the section is too narrow for the plastic body of the converter, so you have to wrestle it in place. Mine did not stay in place.

The good news is, Visconti does make a converter that fits. You need to get the threaded piston converter. But that's not the one they included, because--well, because Visconti. Fortunately, I (I mean Santa!) purchased the pen from Anderson Pens, so I was able to bring the pen in, show them the issue, they swapped the converters, and I walked out a few minutes later with a pen that functions beautifully.

Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen Nib

Most customers, though, would be purchasing the pen online and having it shipped to a pen-store desert. If you're doing this, be sure to request that the shop swap the converters for you. My worry is more for the casual shopper or inexperienced pen buyer who may pick one of these up, thanks to the accessible price. They're going to struggle to assemble and fill the pen, then get a lot of ink on their hands. If they're not tenacious enough to contact the shop, they may decide that fountain pens are fiddly and messy and nope right out of the hobby.

So, mostly bravo to Visconti for creating a new port of entry into their brand and fountain pens in general, but I hope they'll note this converter issue and start packing them with the proper accessories. If you're going to launch a product priced to attract new customers, you've got to make that first impression perfect. Especially when the product is otherwise so excellent.


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Visconti Mirage Fountain Pen Writing
Posted on February 7, 2019 and filed under Visconti, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance: A Review

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(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)

The Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance is an over-sized pen made of black resin with silver trim. It is meant as a less-expensive option for those who like the Visconti Homo Sapiens style. Thus, the pen is made of resin instead of lava or special acriloid and it utilizes a screw-in converter rather than Visconti’s high-capacity power filler.

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The Homo Sapiens Elegance comes in a standard Visconti clamshell box with cream interior.

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The pen is trimmed with shiny silver rings on the cap and barrel, a silver Visconti finial, and Visconti’s signature arched clip.

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However, the large ring on the barrel sports a matte look with “Homo Sapiens” engraved in shiny silver.

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The cap uses Visconti’s hook safe lock system which makes it easy to get on and off and makes the cap secure.

Over-sized means that this is an extra large pen, measuring 145mm capped, 170mm posted, and 132mm unposted. At 43 grams, the Elegance is just as heavy as the Homo Sapiens Bronze Age which surprised me considering that one pen is made of lava and the other of resin.

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The converter is a nice screw-in model with metal trim. It holds 1.03 ml of ink and is much easier to clean than the power filler pens.

My loaner pen came with the 1.3mm 23k Palladium stub nib. It’s a beautiful nib with Visconti’s classic scroll work.

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Unfortunately, this nib is not a smooth writer. There’s a small sweet spot, but even when you’ve got the pen positioned correctly, you can hear it scratch the paper as you write (and not in a pleasant way). I found myself having to hold the pen at an awkward angle in order to maintain some semblance of consistent writing.

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My experience with Visconti nibs is not positive. Out of all the Viscontis I’ve owned (and I’ve owned at least eight), only two wrote well out of the box. My Homo Sapiens Bronze Age with a 1.3mm stub had to go to two different nibmeisters before it started writing reasonably well.

The nib on this pen is inconsistent and skips often. As I wrote with it over the past three weeks, I had hard starts that required pushing ink into the nib using the converter. For my handwritten review, I refilled the converter and started fresh. Even with that, I experienced lots of skipping and rough writing.

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Although I like the resin version of the Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance, I think it is still priced too high at $595.00 retail. And, at this price you should get a perfect nib right out of the box. Honestly, if you want a Visconti, I’d suggest saving up for a Bronze Age (which is $200 more) or one of the more colorful versions. And I would make sure that your retailer tests the nib before shipping it to you.

Left to right: Visconti London Fog, Homo Sapiens Bronze Age, Homo Sapiens Elegance, and Divina Elegance

Left to right: Visconti London Fog, Homo Sapiens Bronze Age, Homo Sapiens Elegance, and Divina Elegance

You can purchase the Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance from Goldspot Pens. Their retail price is $595, but if you log in and add the pen to your cart you’ll see a significantly reduced price.

Pros

  • The Visconti Homo Sapiens Elegance is a nice alternative for anyone who finds the Homo Sapiens Bronze Age to be too expensive at $795 retail.
  • The Elegance uses a cartridge/converter filling system that is much easier to use and clean than the power filler system used by more expensive Visconti models. Even though the power-fillers hold more ink, I like the convenience of a converter filling system.
  • Visconti offers their premium 23k Palladium nib with this pen.

Cons

  • Although the Homo Sapiens Elegance is $200 less than the Bronze Age, it is still an expensive pen.
  • The nib on my loaner pen was finicky and an unpleasant, scratchy writer. Unfortunately, this is typical of my experiences with Visconti nibs, and I always think very hard before purchasing this brand because of it. I recommend asking your retailer to check your nib before shipping.

(Goldspot provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

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Posted on January 5, 2018 and filed under Visconti, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.