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.)


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