Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review: Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren

Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren17
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren15
The Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog - the third in the series of clear Homo Sapiens fountain pens. No, not made of nifty Basaltic Lava, but so pretty if you're into clear pens.
ABOUT

Body Material: Acryloid
Trim: Silver
Cap: Hook claw
Posts: Yes, friction
Nib material: 23 kt Palladium - Single Tone
Nibs available: EF, F, M, B, BB, 1.3 mm stub
Length (capped): 145.9 mm/5.79"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 131.3 mm/5.16"
Length (posted): 170.2 mm/6.70"
Barrel Diameter: 13.0 - 13.7 mm/0.51" - 0.54"
Section Diameter: 11.0 - 12.1 mm/0.43" - 0.47"
Weight (all): 42 g
Weight (cap): 18 g
Weight (body): 24 g
Fill type: Double reservoir power filler
Price: €795,00 (Excluding VAT: €657,02)
Limited Edition: 888
Where to buy: Appelboom
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Discount code: FRIEND for 10% off your purchases, excluding Montblanc
PACKAGING

This London Fog is packaged in a large, very solid, fairly heavy Visconti box. The outer box is Visconti-branded and protects the inner one, which is dark and glossy. The lid has some serious tension to it, so careful not to snap your fingers in it. Inside, the pen sits in a plastic sleeve, in a little pen slot, on a removable tan leatherette bed. Under this, you will find your pen info, warranty card, and pen card.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren2
This box is solid and is a nice display piece. They take up a lot of space if you don't keep your packaging, though.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren3
APPEARANCE

Damn this pen.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren5
Before I had it in my hands, I had complete convinced myself I did not need it, because it was just another color variation of the Homo Sapiens. Of which I already have three of. Um... I'm ashamed. Anyway, then it got here and (most of) my will power evaporated.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren16
The pen is an oversize and I do think it is fairly large! It has a round cap and barrel, and both ends are slightly rounded off. The finial has a Visconti emblem, part of the Visconti MyPen system. You can change it to a precious stone, your initials, zodiac sign, etc. I like this idea, but more options are needed. The clip is attached internally at the side of the cap, through a large slot. There is a visible spring - I'm not sure if that is intentional or not, but it's so neat, I can ignore that. But I'm still going to complain about it. The clip is Visconti's bridge clip, which arches away from the cap, and touches back with a flat end. The center has "Visconti" surrounded by black enamel on both sides.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren14
There are two silver rings around the, located under the clips arch. There's another silver ring on the barrel, at the end of the section. It is engraved and filled with black: Homo Sapiens 477/888. The last piece of trim is one more flat band indicating the end of the barrel and the start of the piston turning knob.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren9
The section is fairly short, with the hook claws at the back for the cap. It is smooth, round, and has an indent for grip comfort. It ends in a flare before the nib. The design of the pen itself is just that of the Homo Sapiens. What is special about this one is the color! The cap, section, and barrel are all a dark to light pearlescent grey with blue swirls. The barrel is clear, including the double reservoir, but there are ribbons of blue and white swirling and folded through it. Some are thin, visible from the side, and other parts of the swirls are flatter and practically glow.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren19
Each pen is different, with different swirl patterns and intensities. I have seen some of these clear Homo Sapiens (Crystal Swirl, Florentine Hills, London Fog) that have either so much swirling you can barely see through the barrel, or so little, it looks like it has no color at all. I like to buy these kinds of pens in person, where I can pick the pattern. I have lucked out with nice patterns before, and I have also gotten ones I didn't like before. Unless you don't mind, I suggest picking these kinds of pens in person, if possible.

Overall, I love the colors of this pen. It has cool tones, but they are right up my alley. I didn't think I would like it so much. Darn.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

This nib is a #6 Visconti 23kt Palladium in broad. It's a single tone nib, to match the rest of the pen. It has a single slit and a crescent-shaped breather hole. It is engraved with Visconti, 23k Pd, 950 Firenze, B (nib size), and some symmetrical flourishes.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren10
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren11
I was expecting a dud of a nib, because the last (several) Visconti nibs I have used have been pretty terrible. Over polished, skipping, hard starting, or way too dry... just not pleasant to write with, and unacceptable performances, especially for such expensive pens. I know I'm not the only one who has experienced this! So I flushed the pen well, dried it well, and inked it up.

WOW. What kept bringing me back to Visconti, despite the nib quality mishaps, is that when they get the nibs right, they're stellar! This one is just that: stellar! Right out of the box. It is a smooth writer, with very generous ink flow, without being a gusher. I love how the nib feels - it requires no pressure to write, just touching the nib to the paper is good enough. Unlike so many Visconti nibs I have used, it doesn't skip or hard start, even when I write quickly or for a long time. With the lightest touch, the nib feels firm on the paper. With mild pressure, the nib can produce some fun line variation. The line variation combined with the wet ink flow makes for a really enjoyable writing experience - for those of us who like softer, bouncier nibs. In addition, if you use an ink that shades or has sheen, the nib helps it to really pop. Delectable.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren24
Every time I have used a dud nib from Visconti, it would drive me nuts. I would swear to myself, "never again!!!" and here I am, singing a different tune. When they're right, they're so wonderful to write with, and that's why I'm back. Wanting this. I don't know if this is just one great nib and all the others are going to be the usual, but I sure hope not.

The vacuum-filler gives no issues to fill, empty, and I could even fill the barrel up completely. That's quite a bit of ink, and it keeps this wet nib happy for a good while.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren18
IN HAND

The clip on this pen is easy to use one-handed, but I don't think these clips are snug enough to securely hold the weight of these pens in place. On papers, the pen still slides around because it is pretty heavy. It does work well for keeping the pen in a pocket (although if you lean over too far, it can fall out - again, a heavy pen), or in a pouch (safest).

The section is on the short side, but the indented shape is comfortable. My fingers do not slip around, and even though I grip low, the ridge at the end is not sharp. The hook claws at the back are noticeable, but not too irritating. If you grip high or have large hands, they may get in your way. I have not had any trouble with them.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren6
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren7
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren8
Unposted, the pen is a full size pen! It is large, solid, and feels pretty good. It is on the heavy side, but feels balanced. I always use it unposted, but if you wish, you can post the cap. It does not seat deeply but it feels secure enough. When it is posted, it is a beautiful pen, but way too long and top heavy for me to use. No can do.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren13
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren12
PROS & CONS
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren25
OVERALL

It's hard to recommend a limited edition, very expensive pen, especially one where the nibs have a questionable track record. What I will say is this: the pen is very pretty. The pearlescent grey with blue veins has caught my eye (and heart... and maybe wallet soon if I don't get rid of this before it's too late). The clear barrel with colored ribbons is perfect. Huge ink capacity, amazing nib on this one. Amazing. Stellar. Love it. It's the happiest I have been with a Visconti in a long time.
Review Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog Fountain Pen @AppelboomLaren22
I was loaned this pen for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. There are no affiliate links in this review.

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