This Just In: TWSBI Go x 2

TWSBI Go Fountain Pen - cappedTWSBI’s latest pen is called the Go which enters the sub-$20 category. I’m not a huge fan of TWSBI pens in general. I can see why people like them, but for me the quality issues I’ve experienced outweigh any cost savings. Plus, I’m not a fan of translucent pens unless they are clear. The TWSBI Go intrigued me enough to give TWSBI another go (sorry).

I had money in the PayPal account, and I haven’t bought any fountain pens this year. So, I bought two of them. I got the Smoke version with an extra fine nib. I picked a broad nob for the Sapphire model. Neither the sapphire color (a blue) or the broad nib are typical choices for me, so I put them both in the same pen. I’ll probably use it for testing new inks. While I have filled both fountain pens, I’ve only really used the extra fine TWSBI Go.

The TWSBI Go is a sub-$20 piston filler fountain pen that seems well made, although it is plastic. TWSBI has a reputation of making pens with a tendency to crack or leak. Their more recent pens have seemed to have fewer complaints (although it’s possible I just haven’t paid attention). This pen design seems to limit the opportunity for problems, although it is plastic (except for the spring and nib) and I can’t speak to durability. The nib is removable for cleaning or swapping, although I haven’t done it. I would expect frequent disassembly to eventually cause breaks or leaks. I haven’t removed the nib, and don’t plan to, so I can’t speak to how hard or easy this is.

There’s no clip, but a small roll stop is molded into to clip. The roll stop is also designed to allow a lanyard to be threaded through it. I guess a lanyard could be a thing, but not for me. It’s a small roll stop, so if the pen has any momentum it won’t stop the roll.

It is a chunky pen, which does appeal to me. The pen does post, although it’s long enough for me to comfortably use unposted. The cap is very light, so posting doesn’t affect the balance. I don’t post the pen unless I need a place to store the cap. Speaking of the cap, it’s a pressure fit cap which snaps firmly into place. There isn’t any cap band so cracking may eventually occur.

TWSBI Go Fountain Pens - springsThe spring is visible through the pen body which gives it a steampunk look. At first I was thinking this is more like a vacuum filler, but it is a piston. Rather than screwing the piston up to suck in ink, the spring raises the piston for us. So spring-loaded piston filler is an accurate description in my opinion. Filling the pen is simple. Unscrew the body to expose the piston. Immerse the nib in ink, push the piston down and then release it. While simple, I’m not sure it’s significantly easier than a screw piston. One-handed operation seems possible, although it’s risky. While the filling system is far from revolutionary, I do like different filling systems, and find this a fun addition to my accumulation.

The TWSBI Go stops short of being a pen I want to use. The extra fine Go shared my pen case with a Fisher of Pens Hermès and I always pick the Hermès over the Go unless I want a second color of ink. That said, both the extra fine and broad nibs are smooth writers and the pens written well. I still have concerns about the durability, although more because of past experience than any obvious issues. The TWSBI Go is an inexpensive pen, and if it cracks after a year of heavy use and abuse, I’d consider it money well spent and buy another.

TWSBI Go Fountain Pens - uncapped

 

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This Just In: Nock Co. Tallulah (Kickstarter)

Nock Co Tallulah Pen Case  - open and flatI backed this year’s Pen Addict Live Kickstarter campaign which included a Nock Co. Tallulah pen case. I received my case just after Labor Day, and I’ve been using it since.

The Kickstarter Tallulah pen case is a two-pen zipper case with a clay exterior, black trim, and a bright Sunshine Yellow interior. This colorway is unique to this Kickstarter campaign. When I first saw the photos, I thought rust for color. I had read clay as the color before seeing the picture I would have expected a deep grey color. On the other hand, the color is a lot like terra cotta. So, the color name is appropriate. I was deep in my terra cotta phase when the campaign started. I’m not entirely over that obsession, so I like the color.

Inside, the case has two pen slots on the left, and a business card sized pocket on the right. It can lay flat when open. The exterior of the case is 6.25″ x 2.5″. Nock says it’s 0.75″ thick, although that can vary since it’s a cloth case. My largest pen, an Edison Huron Grande, doesn’t fit due to its length. All my other pens do fit, the longer ones being a Franklin-Christoph Model 66 and a Fisher of Pens Hermes. The side pocket fits business cards or Nock Co. Petite Index Cards.

I’ve been carrying the Nock Co Lanier in my daily travels. It’s a light, easy to carry briefcase. The Tallulah is an excellent match to the Lanier. I like that the case is nice and thin, while still providing excellent protection for the pens. I’ve been carrying a TWSBI Go along with my Fisher of Pens Hermès. The Hermès is a long pen. While it is snug, it fits comfortably without pressing against the case. I also carry a couple of business cards, and a few Nock Co Petite Index Cards although I yet to use either of them.

Nock Co Tallulah Pen Case - where the zipper sticks

Nock Co Tallulah Pen Case – where the zipper sticks

I’m a fan of Nock Co. Cases. This is the first one I’ve owned that had a hitch. It’s minor, and a side-effect of being a small case with a quality zipper, rather than a real defect. The corners are tight. When opening, the zipper gets tight at the final corner. It’s not snagging the material, but the material that protects the pens from the metal zipper isn’t rounded at that corner. There’s a little extra material, and it’s bunched up just enough to press against the zipper. I’m developing the muscle memory to pull the zipper out a bit when it reaches that corner.

I’ve been using the Tallulah for a couple of weeks and have enjoyed it. I’ve developed an affinity for carrying three pens, so the two-pen Tallulah caused me some angst in the beginning. My pens aren’t thin enough to carry a third pen. It’s a cloth case, so I’m sure I could get a third pen to fit, especially since I’ve never used a business or index card from the case. But I forced myself to stick with two pens, and I’ve become accustomed to two pens. I’ve yet to regret not having that third pen. (Part of this is because I often have my Fodderstack XL with me, and that has a third fountain pen along with a rollerball.) Adding a third pen to the Tallulah would go against my favorite feature: It’s a thin case that provides excellent protection for the pens.

Quick Look: Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Elektron

Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Pen Cap and Capsule CapThe Karas Pen Co. Special Edition 1702 arrived unannounced in my post office box just before halloween. I don’t particularly like doing “review units” for pen reviews and I asked Karas to take me off future mailings. But I have this pen now and will take a look at it.

The box was obviously from Karas Pen Co. but that was the only clue as to what was inside. I haven’t been following new pen releases very closely and was only vaguely aware that Karas has a non-metal pen. Also, their rebranding from Karas Kustoms to Karas Pens was new to me.

When I opened the box I wasn’t too surprised to find a big metal tube, after all I know them for their metal pens. Then I opened the Pen Capsule (Karas’ name for it) and two things did surprise me. First, it was a acrylic pen. Second, a strong odor greeted my nose. I’ll address the odor first and get that out of the way. It smelled a bit like glue so I thought it might have been from glue holding the foam in the tube. But it was the acrylic. In response to my question Karas responded:

The smell is from off-gassing of the acrylic after machining. Different acrylics have different dyes and pigments which change how the material off-gasses. Leaving the pen out will reduce the smell. It is not hazardous, it occurs after the machining process and should go away if the pen is left out.

The smell was never very strong from the pen itself but there’s still a trace after the pen has been out a couple of days, especially after uncapping the pen. If the smell wasn’t so overwhelming when I opened the tube I probably wouldn’t be noticing it as much from the pen itself. The odor was enough to keep me from using the pen that first evening, but the smell had mostly dissipated by morning. Uncapping the pen still releases the built up gases with the odor even though it’s been a week.

So, an acrylic pen from Karas. Specifically, the material is thermoplastic according to Karas. It’s still a machined pen. As expected, the pen does have it’s share of metal, the finials and clip are machined aluminum.

Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Elektron - UncappedI’ve only had one Karas Kustoms pen, but I did love it and bought a half-dozen or so. It was the original version of the Ink. While I appreciate the designs of their other models, none have been for me. So how’s this one?

It’s a traditionally sized fountain pen. My postage scale puts it at 0.7 oz. (18 grams) with an ink cartridge in it and capped or posted. Unposted the pen only weighs 10 grams with the ink cartridge. It’s about 5″ long uncapped & unposted and nearly 6.5″ when posted. The gripping section is about 20mm long and 9.83mm at its narrowest part (the middle) and about 10.75mm at the top and bottom. The barrel is 12.62mm wide at the base and tapers to 9.75mm” at the top.

When posted the pen feels a little top heavy for me, but that’s the opinion of someone who doesn’t post his fountain pens. But not surprising since nearly half the weight is in the cap and most of that is in the clip and cap finial.

Speaking of the clip, it’s attached to the cap finial with a piece of aluminum. It’s bolted/screwed to this piece which is thinner than the clip itself. The clip feels firm enough to me but this this is a weak point that may develop some play over time.

Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Elektron - Cap Finial

So it’s a light fountain pen. My first impression is that It’s far too light for my own personal tastes, especially since I don’t post my pens. I have a tendency to grip a pen too tightly when it’s this light and eventually my hand hurts, or at least fatigues faster. But this is a personal preference and I know many people prefer light pens.

There’s a large step between the barrel and the gripping section which could be an issue for some people. The barrel is 11.77mm wide where it meets the 10.78mm wide gripping section. This drop makes it sharp if you grip the pen at this point. My fingers don’t press against this point with my natural grip so it’s not an issue for me. But if you like to hold the pen high up on the section it may be an issue for you.

The acrylic is gorgeous and nicely colored for it’s Autumn (in the U.S.) release. I’m a bit partial to browns which makes this even better. My pictures show the swirls but don’t do justice to the translucence and depth of the material. In the right light the converter (or cartridge) is visible in the pen. Personally I don’t like seeing the metal, or outline, of the converter or cartridge in a pen, it ruins the aesthetic for me unless it’s a completely clear demonstrator. It is very subtle in this case and doesn’t bother me too much. On the other hand I do realize the translucence is what provides the beauty so this is a pen I would normally eye dropper fill. I didn’t see any metal in the pen but to be safe I did confirm with Karas that it can be eye dropper filled. I would use this pen as an eye dropper fill but haven’t done so yet.

I prefer silver trim on my pens but usually settle for gold on my brown pens. The Decograph has silver trim and I really like it. I’ll have to reconsider settling for gold with other brown pens as I really like the contrast the aluminum provides. The two rotations translates to about four flicks of my fingers to remove the cap. The clip is nice, shiny, machined aluminum. It grips my shirt pocket securely and has a little spring to it. I already mentioned the attachment to the cap finial as a potential weak point, but at the moment it’s a solid clip with just enough sprint to slide over my shirt pocket material or over the pen sleeve in my pen case. The barrel finial is also aluminum and engraved with Karas “K” logo. The cap finial is, you guessed it, aluminum and has a subtle cone shape.

There’s no cap band but the threads start down inside the cap a bit. This should help prevent cracking since the pressure is away from the thin lip of the cap. I find the cap needs a little extra twist at the end to close securely, otherwise it comes loose. I’m a little concerned this could eventually crack the cap, or the barrel would drop out of the cap if I forget to tighten it. Even if this doesn’t turn out to be an actual problem it’s the type of thing I worry about and isn’t unique to this pen. I do tend to gravitate away from using pens that require me to think while using them.

The size of the pen compensates a bit for its light weight and while I did find my grip tightening at times it wasn’t as bad as thinner pens. I wrote for about 30 minutes with only minor fatigue. By way of comparison, I can use a heavier pen like the Karas Ink or Visconti Homo Sapien for hours without fatigue.

The cap takes two complete rotations to remove (or put back) so this isn’t a pen I’d pick when I expect to be capping and uncapping and lot. Two rotations translates to about four flicks of my hand to remove the cap. I used a Monteverde black cartridge (supplied with the pen) and was able to leave the pen uncapped for several minutes without the ink evaporating from the nib.

Speaking of the nib – it’s a Bock nib. Mine wasn’t engraved with a size. Whatever the official size this does fall into the “I like it” nib size and I figure it’s a medium. The nib was nice and smooth so no complaints there. Mine was a steel nib but titanium and 14K gold are available for an added cost.

I didn’t do a lot of research but I did come across some discussion about the pen capsule that’s included with the Decograph. (The Decograph line, while new, has been around for a couple of months.) Some where complaining it was done to add to the cost of the pen. I’ve no doubt that the capsule is more expensive than a cardboard box so it must certainly add to the manufacturing cost. Either they pass it along in the price or let it eat into their margins. If it’s so expensive that the pen becomes overpriced then it’s a problem. I’m not a fan of elaborate packaging and attach no value to it when I’m deciding if the pen is worth the cost. But let’s face it, nice packaging gives a good first impression. This one is also functional in that if provides great protection for the pen in addition to providing a good first impression.

Karas Pen Co. Decograph 1702 Elektron - Capped

So the question is: is the pen worth $165? First, while this pen is a limited edition (Karas calls is a Special Edition, but also say it will be only 60 pens) it is the same price as the regular production Durograph. So kudos to Karas for no “Limited/Special” price bump. I consider these similar to Edison Pens production line pens, machined pens with nice acrylics. The Decograph has a little more metal trim than the typical Edison. The Edison pens are about $15 less but these are competitive. I consider $165 to be a far price for the pen without attaching any value to the pen capsule.

The Decograph 1702 will be available November 15th with pricing starting at $165. The reviewer’s pens are not part of the 60 which will have different engraving than the one pictured here. The production pens will also be engraved on the barrel and have serial numbers on the nibs. Nibs are available in steel, titanium and gold in a range of sizes including a couple wide stubs. Some nib options (titanium & gold) will increase the cost. The metal pen capsule is included as are five Monteverde Black cartridges and a converter. The pen uses standard international cartridges and converters.

Summary

Karas Pen Company has put together a very nice pen with the Durograph 1702. It’s a very nice material, has a great fit & finish, along with a nice, comfortable size. If the barrel/section step doesn’t bother you (and I don’t think it will bother most people) and your willing to wait a few days for the odor to dissipate (or it bothers you less than it did for me) then you’ll have a very nice fountain pen,

Gallery

 

Additional Reading

First Look: Karas Pen Co. Decograph No. 1702 “Elektron” – Nib & Ink

Karas Pen Co Decograph Fountain Pen – The Clicky Post

Tag Team Review: Karas Pen Co. Decograph Fountain Pen – The Well-Appointed Desk

 

 

 

 

This Just In: Nock Co. Lanier

Nock Co LanierNock Co. started life on Kickstarter with a series of pen (or pencil) cases over three years ago. They recently returned with a new Nock Co. product category, a briefcase. I backed it at the early bird level ($80) in late September and it arrived in May. It missed the April estimated delivery by a few days, which qualifies as on time for Kickstarter.

When Nock Co. started they made all their cases in-house. Now the Lanier, and many other cases are made by other manufacturers (still in the U.S.). Brad and Jeff still oversee production and quality control. All my original cases are still in fine shape and I expected the same quality in the Lanier even if it wasn’t technically manufactured in-house. I do expect the Lanier to take more abuse than my other cases.

What attracted me to the Lanier was its light weight and simplicity. It seemed perfect as a way to carry my supplies for the day. My current day bag is the Staad Attaché by Waterfield Designs. While I do love that bag it’s mad of woven canvas and leather which makes it on the heavy side. It also has a lot of room, which can actually be a negative, since I have a tendency to put things in it just because I can and I might need it. This makes the bag even heavier. So besides using lighter material the Lanier should provide some constraints so I don’t carry stuff just because I can.

When the Lanier first launched on Kickstarter there were numerous requests for a shoulder strap along with a couple requests for more padding. Both of these would have ruined it for me. It would duplicate the Staad and add bulk that I’m looking to avoid. I quickly backed the project but made a note to check back before it funded so I could cancel my pledge if these changes were made. But it soon became clear, both in the backer comments and Brad’s comments on the Pen Addict podcast that the design was pretty well locked in, and these changes wouldn’t happen. Not only would this keep the bag design what I wanted, but it would (hopefully) avoid any delays due to last minute design changes.

I picked the green version, which is an olive exterior and a lime interior. The exterior is water repellent (via a coating) 1000D Cordura. The interior is 400D pack cloth. There’s also 1/8″ interior foam padding. Full specs are on the Nock Co. website where the Lanier is now available.

A matching A5 pouch is included. The pouch fits in the front pocket of the Lanier. The pouch has two pocket notebook sized interior pockets.

Nock Co Lanier A5 Pouch contents

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed is how comfortable the nylon handles are. My Staad Attaché has leather handles. The stiffness of these handles, along with the seam location, can make the bag uncomfortable to carry for anything more than a short time. While nylon can be uncomfortable that’s not the case here. The handles are 1″ wide nylon and are stitched to the bag so that there’s an arc to them and they are flat in my hand when I’m carrying the bag. My hand doesn’t get tired carrying the bag around. While I’m sure the lighter weight is a factor, I consider the strap design the main reason that the Lanier is comfortable to carry. The straps are a subtle design element that Nock Co. got right.

The Lanier is exactly what I hoped it would be. Some folks complained the color didn’t match the photos on Kickstarter. I didn’t pay that much attention. I figure between differences among monitors along with dye/variances between prototype and production I wouldn’t be surprised by some differences. The bottom line – I really like the color. I like green in general and I really like both the olive and lime greens used in this case. No complaints about the color from me.

I bought the case for my 12“ iPad Pro along with my analog tools. My 13” MacBook Pro also fits but other than to check the fit it hasn’t been in the Lanier.

My Typical carry includes the iPad Pro, a large notebook, a Franklin-Christoph Penvelope 6 and my Travelers Notebook in the main compartment. The notebook is a large notebook of 8 1/2“ X 11” Staples sugarcane paper, although the wire binding and thick covers adds about an inch to those dimensions. A Kindle also fits although it’s usually in the front zipper pocket.

Nock Co Lanier contents - Staples Sugarcane Notebook, iPad pro, Travelers Notebook, A5 Pouch

The front zipper pocket doesn’t have any straps or pockets of its own. What it does have is a matching A5 sized zippered pouch that fits inside. The A5 pouch has two inside pockets appropriately sized for pocket notebooks. The pockets are a bit loose and won’t hold items securely. This isn’t a problem for larger items like pocket notebooks, but smaller items may work their way out of the pocket while being carried. Personally, I would have liked a couple pen slots but I admit this would go against the flexibility designed into the Lanier. Three-pen cases do fit in the pocket, at least all the ones that I have. Nock Co’s own Sinclair, Lookout, Hightower and Fodderstacks (regular and XL) all fit. My Visconti 3 pen case is the tallest case that I have and it just barely fits. I can close the zipper when the case is in the pocket, but just barely. The fit is fine if I don’t put it in the pocket. The Visconti case is about 6 1/4″ high. It would be nice to have the Nock Co cases in matching colors.

The pouch is curved on one corner to make it easier to get in and out of the Lanier’s front pocket. Right now I’m carrying miscellaneous items in the pouch. A portable battery charger (and associated cables), a Retro 51, a couple mechanical pencils, corded headphones, screen/glasses wipes and usually a granola or snack bar. The pouch is big enough for my Seven Seas Writer (or Crossfield) although I don’t have any need to carry those notebooks when I travel. While the pens do clip to the pocket, they do work loose.

Nock Co Lanier with A5 Pouch

The biggest complaint from people may be the lack of a shoulder strap. My Staad Attaché does have a removable should strap and I kept it attached all the time. It’s main benefit was that I could carry the bag and have both hands free. That bag was bulky and heavy(ish) so it was difficult to juggle the bag with just the handles. It was also slightly more comfortable than the handles for an extended carry. The Lanier is lighter and less cumbersome so I can juggle it with other items when I have to. I haven’t missed the shoulder strap.

The padding provides enough protection for my needs. It’s not going to protect my iPad from crushing abuse but it’s enough protection for my daily carry. I wouldn’t carry the bag on an overnight trip, but I would pack it in whatever bag I did use, then use it once I arrived.

The material does have a tendency to attract some dust, which can be seen in the photos, but it can be easily cleaned off.

Summary

I’ve been using the Nock Co. Lanier for about a month. It’s what I use when I need a bag or briefcase when I head out. The A5 pouch works well for the items I always want to have with me such as headphones and some writing implements. The simplicity of the bag makes it easy to quickly pack the other items I need for the day. The light weight makes it easy to carry.

The bag provides a lot of flexibility while also limiting my ability to pack everything except the kitchen sink. The bag is designed to be an easy carry during the days activities and suits that purpose well.

Nock Co Lanier with A5 Pouch 2

This Just In: Visconti Brunelleschi

Visconti Brunelleschi Limited Edition box contentsFair warning – I’m calling this a This Just In Post even though it’s completely out of character for this type of post. It’s not exactly “just in”, arriving back on March 9th. Plus, I didn’t use the pen to write the draft of this post since it was already written dry. So while this is a bit more than a first impression I haven’t had the Visconti Brunelleschi long enough to do a full review.

I was enamored with the Visconti Brunelleschi from the moment I saw the first photos of it. It triggered a buying spree of terra cotta themed inks. It’s a pricey pen and I had some faint hope that the ink would satiate my desire for the pen. When it comes to limited edition pens, which this is, I find the ones I want the most are the ones that aren’t hugely popular for one reason or another. So I didn’t pre-order the pen, preferring to wait and see if the initial pen lust subsided. Despite my best efforts I couldn’t talk myself out of the fountain pen and I placed on order when it became available at Goulet Pens. (Brian also showed it in a Q&A video.) The pen is still available, although specific nibs may be harder to find.

While this is a limited edition (of 388 numbered pens) I did find that the pen, or at least one that’s very similar, was available as a Fountain Pen Network member pen. This actually made me feel a little better about the pen. I don’t really care about the exclusivity of a pen but I was concerned that this was a new material and therefore could have some issues. The fact that a pen using this material has been in use did alleviate my concern a bit.

The pen is inspired by the Brunelleschi Cathedral. While I like a pen with a story, this particular story didn’t move me to buy the pen (but it didn’t need to). The story of the dome is interesting and I did learn something as I ventured down a rathole reading about it.

The Brunelleschi is very similar to the Homo Sapien Bronze Age, which is among my favorite fountain pens. While the material and aesthetics are different, the pen size, weight and nib are nearly identical. Only the cap is noticeably different with the Homo Sapien being slightly fatter. The difference is enough to make the Homo Sapien too wide for one of my pen sleeves, while the Brunelleschi slides right in. This similarity was both good and bad. On the negative side it’s a lot to pay for a pen which handles like one I already have. On the positive side it’s a pen I know will be perfect for my hand. At this price I wanted a fountain pen that would break into my rotation and stay there, but I didn’t want it to replace the Homo Sapien. So I decided that a medium nib, added to the aesthetics, would make it different enough so that both could coexist. I’ve enjoyed medium nibs a bit more in the last year or so, and I made a point to try a few medium nibs before I ordered the pen. I decided it would be good choice and did order the pen with a medium nib.

Rose Gold trim is also typically a negative for me, especially since there’s a lot of trim on this pen. But the more I looked at pictures the more I agreed that rose gold is the perfect complement to the terra cotta material. While I did say there’s a lot of trim on this pen it’s not overdone or gaudy in my opinion.

Since the Visconti Brunelleschi was delayed from it’s initial release date I had plenty of time to work through my doubts and concerns and was eager to order once it became available.

As you can tell from the pictures the Brunelleschi arrived with more than just the fountain pen, so I might as well start with everything that’s not the pen.

Visconti Brunelleschi Limited Edition box top viewThe packaging is elaborate, described as “luxury eco-leather” although that term has no formal meaning, it has a multitude of implied meaning. It looks nice and adds to the impression that this is an elegant and quality product. But it adds no value to the actual fountain pen. It’s main benefit is that it keeps all the extras from bouncing around during shipping. The box did arrive in a cloth drawstring bag with the Visconti logo on it.

A bottle of ink was also included, although the bottle could be described as an inkwell. There’s no mention what the included ink is. If this was a custom or limited edition ink I’m sure Visconti would have promoted that fact. So I think it’s safe to guess that this is Visconti Brown ink (which I’ve also seen called Sepia), although I don’t have any Visconti Brown/Sepia to compare it to. It’s in a custom bottle, although the cap seems to be the standard Visconti plastic screw-on cap that identifies the color. The bottle is wide and shallow. I expect it will be hard to fill the Brunelleschi once the ink level drops a little.

Visconti Brunelleschi Limited Edition pen and ink wellA Visconti Traveling Inkwell is also included which could solve the filling problem. The inkwell is made of the same material as the pen. Unlike their standard traveling inkwell it doesn’t include a nib cleaning pad (cloth?) hidden in the cap. The inkwell has a gold finial similar to the pen. I’ve yet to use the inkwell because I’ve been unable to commit to an ink. I find the decision significantly harder than picking an ink for a pen. Plus it seems like a power filler pen, such as the Brunelleschi, could turn the inkwell into a weapon that’s even more accurate (and messy) than a champagne cork. Brian Goulet does have a video on how to use the Traveling Inkwell with various types of pens.

An eyedropper for filling the inkwell is also included along with a “Brunelleschi” decorative plaque and a information booklet.

Visconti Brunelleschi Limited Edition pen and inkI received Brunelleschi #148/388 As I mentioned, the Visconti Brunelleschi is nearly the same size and weight as my Homo Sapien. So I expected it to be perfect for my hand. And it was. It’s a faceted pen, with 8 sides. I don’t really notice the facets when writing. I’m not bothered by the corners at all since they are subtle. The material has a nice feel to it. Like the lava in the Homo Sapien, the terra cotta is blended in with the resin. It’s slightly smoother than the Homo Sapien but that could be since the pen is newer. It’s supposed to have the terra cotta’s resistance to damage and fading but not it’s tendency to shatter. While the Homo Sapien has developed a patina over time the terra cotta is supposed to resistant an patina or other signs of age. It’s been less than three months, but the pen still looks new. I haven’t tested it’s resistance to shattering or scratches beyond normal use. No drop tests yet, either accidental or on purpose.

I’ve heard complaints about Visconti’s lack of quality control related to their nibs. This is only my second Visconti, but like the Homo Sapien’s extra fine nib, this nib is perfect as far as I’m concerned. Unlike other pens at this price level I didn’t buy from a seller that will tune the nib, or at least test it, prior to shipment.

Medium nibs aren’t really in my wheelhouse and I’ve tended to avoid them until recently. But I’m trying to expand my horizons and this nib presents medium nibs in a good light. It’s not a nib I’ll use for note taking, I’ll stick to extra fines or fines for that, but I really like it for longer sit-down writing sessions.

The longest session with this pen was about 90 minutes, with a short break midway through. The break was more to stretch my legs and back as my hand wasn’t fatigued at all. The pen is one of my heavier pens, at 27 grams unposted. The weight is well distributed so I don’t need to grip the pen hard or fight with it when I’m writing.

The Visconti Brunelleschi is a nice companion to my Visconti Homo Sapien. I won’t have any problem having them both inked at the same time. My main problem will be do I give them each the same ink or different inks? I’m very happy about the Brunelleschi and my choice of a medium nib. I’ve avoided re-inking it until I empty a couple more currently inked pens. I have to say it’s killing me to not have this pen inked, both because I really like it and also because it’s my newest fountain pen. I may be forced to flush out one or two pens early to give me an excuse to ink it up.

Visconti Brunelleschi with Visconti Brown writing sample