Visconti Divina Elegance: A Review

(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 Divina Elegance is one of those pen models that is distinctive. It is a spiral shape based on the divine proportion 1.618.

The pen arrives in typical Visconti packaging: an outer cardboard box enclosing an inner brown plastic clamshell box with a satin-like interior holding the pen. A booklet is included.

The Divina Elegance comes in a pearlescent green resin with gorgeous shimmer. The solid bronze trim complements the green resin perfectly.

The cap attaches with the Visconti hook and lock system, and for you OCD folks out there, the system means that the spiral accents line up perfectly every time (I love this!) I much prefer the hook and lock system to typical threads because the cap is quicker to open and close and it is absolutely secure.

See how the spirals line up perfectly?

See how the spirals line up perfectly?

The cap is adorned with a gold finial engraved with the Visconti logo.

And it has the spring-loaded Visconti clip that is effortless to use.

This Visconti fills via a pull and turn piston which is actually a captured converter. There’s no ink window to view your ink level, but an ink window would ruin the beautiful aesthetic of this pen. The converter holds approximately 1.1 ml of ink, which is fairly small considering how large this pen is.

Weighing 41 grams capped and 25 grams uncapped the Divina Elegance is heavy. But, it is so comfortable in the hand you don’t really notice the weight. The pen is well balanced unposted. I don’t recommend posting because the cap puts too much weight on the end and throws the balance off. The pen measures 152mm capped, 138mm uncapped, and a whopping 180.5mm posted.

The Divina Elegance is fitted with a 23K Palladium nib plated in rose gold. The rose gold is gorgeous with the green resin and bronze accents. The nib is engraved with Visconti’s beautiful scroll work.

This fine nib wrote perfectly straight out of the box. In my experience, Visconti nibs can be hit or miss, so I was very pleased with this one. It is rigid, unlike the Palladium nib on my Visconti London Fog, which verges on being semi-flexible (see my review here). Even though this nib doesn’t have any bounce or flex, it is wonderfully smooth.

I currently own two other Viscontis: the Homosapiens Bronze Age Maxi and the London Fog. I love both of those pens and each is beautiful in its own way. But I have to say that the Divina Elegance is one of the most beautiful pens I’ve ever held. There is something special about the shimmery green resin combined with the bronze and rose gold accents.

If you want to own this incredible beauty, you will pay a premium price. It retails for $1,195.00 at Goulet Pens. It’s always hard to say whether a pen is worth that much money, because worth is such a subjective thing. Is this pen extremely well made? Yes. Are the materials top notch? Yes. Does it write well without any problems such as skipping, blobbing, and inconsistent ink flow? Yes (though that is always dependent on the nib you get). Would I pay $1,195.00 for this pen if I had the money? Yes, for this pen I would. But, again, I realize not everyone would be willing to do that.

The only semi-negative thing I have to say about this pen (other than the relatively small ink capacity) is that the bronze accents will develop a patina over time. In fact, after just a few weeks the bronze accents on my loaner pen are starting to discolor. This isn’t a huge deal since you can easily polish and remove the patina. And, some people might actually like the patina as it develops.

You can order the Visconti Divina Elegance from Goulet Pens in various nib sizes, including EF, F, M, B, and 1.3mm stub. I’ll be honest, sending this beauty back is going to be very difficult.

Pros

  • In my view this is the most beautiful pen Visconti has produced thus far. The green resin has depth and shimmer and the bronze accents and rose gold nib complement the color perfectly. The spiral Divina shape is stunning.
  • I found the pen to be perfectly balanced in my hand. Even though it is a hefty pen, I was able to write page after page without any hand fatigue.
  • I like the filling system. Even though this model doesn’t hold as much ink as the Homosapiens or London Fog (which are vacuum filled models), the pull and turn system works just like a piston and is easy to use.
  • The fine nib on this model is smooth and trouble-free. I wish it had some bounce to it, but I was thrilled that it wrote so well. As stated in the review, I’ve found Visconti nibs to be hit or miss. I had to have my Homosapiens worked on twice. One of my Van Goghs had a troublesome nib. But my London Fog nib was perfect out of the box.

Cons

  • Obviously the biggest con for the Divina Elegance is the price.
  • People who require light pens will likely find this pen too heavy for sustained use. I’ve grown to prefer heavy pens, and I found this model extremely comfortable. If possible, try before you buy.
  • The bronze accents will develop a patina over time. If that bothers you, you’ll need to get a polishing cloth (I didn’t find one included with this pen, though one came with my Homosapiens).

Thank you to Goulet Pens for letting me borrow the Visconti Divina Elegance for this review.


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Posted on July 14, 2017 and filed under Visconti, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

The Pen Addict Podcast: Episode 265 - I Know It All And I Can't Tell You

Keeping secrets from Myke, especially concerning brands he loves, is one of my favorite things to do. We discuss the teasing of the latest Kanilea Pen, the new special edition Pilot Vanishing Point, and the full release of the Aurora Minerali. We also chat about my recent reviews, and how giddy I am that the Uni-ball Signo DX 0.38 mm has made it to US store shelves.

Show Notes & Download Links

This episode of The Pen Addict is sponsored by:

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Posted on July 13, 2017 and filed under Podcast.

Apica CD Notebook Wear Cover 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.)

I love when a notebook cover turns a simple book into a whole system, with added handiness and productivity potential. Apica makes some fantastic notebooks, and it's nice to have a cover like the CD Notebook Wear Cover that will keep them safe while adding a few useful frills.

This notebook cover says that it's made from Italian faux leather. I'm not sure how fake Italian leather is different from fake any-other-kind-of leather, but it doesn't mimic leather very well. It feels like a rubbery vinyl. And that's okay, little notebook cover. You don't have to pretend. You be you. I'm unsure whether the materials in the cover qualify it to be vegan. It is very durable, and doesn't show much wear, despite being dragged around for a few weeks. There are a few dents, but no scuffs or scratches. I personally prefer cloth or canvas covers, but this is a nice, affordable leather alternative. It's also easier to keep clean than leather or canvas, so it will likely look better longer.

The front is embossed with the Apica notebook cover design. I think it looks quite classy. Inside, it's similar to other notebook covers. An A5 notebook can slide into each sleeve, or a notebook can go in one and a notepad in the other. If you put a notepad in, you won't be able to use the back flap as a folder, though. It can also hold one larger A5 notebook. I tried a Leuchtturm 1917 hardcover in this one and it fit just fine, though the brand mixing made me twitch a little. There are two ribbon bookmarks, which is a nice touch. Inside the front cover is a business card slot, but it's large enough to hold a small stack of 3x5 cards. Possibly also large enough for a business card to slip right through, I'd think. On the back, inside cover, there's a pen loop. It's a fairly decent size, though some bigger pens may not fit. I did find that the placement of the pen loop caused it to get in the way of the notebook a little. I don't know if more use might train it to behave better or not, but it was a minor annoyance.

The notebook it comes with is a standard Apica CD A5 notebook, and it's very nice. The paper doesn't feel overly thick or coated, but it held up to everything I threw at it, including my very wet, flexy Pilot FA nib. There was no bleedthrough and almost no showthrough.

The listing for this product says it also comes with a pencil board or writing guard to place between pages, but there wasn't one in the sample I received, so I can't speak to its usefulness.

I think this cover would be excellent for meetings or class notes. The one bummer is that they're only available in navy, red, and brown. I'd love to see some fun, bright colors. I'd have loved these as a college student--they're compact enough that I could fit a day's worth of class notes into a reasonably sized bag, and have everything I'd need handy. The fact that they can hold larger notebooks as well makes them nicely practical for other uses, like journaling or writing blog posts about stationery.

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


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Posted on July 13, 2017 and filed under Apica, Notebook Reviews.