Tag: fountain pen

Pen Review: Visconti Wall Street Limited Edition Green Pearl Celluloid Double Broad

Visconti Wall Street Green Pearl Limited Edition

The Visconti Wall Street Limited Edition Green Pearl is the first Visconti that I’ve ever had the privilege to use. In terms of looks, its probably the exact model I would have picked for myself. The layered green celluloid catches the light similarly to vintage Parker Vacumatics. As someone who’s heart is perpetually stuck in a 1940s film, this is an easy way to win my heart. The unique, rounded square shape is also quite appealing too. For starters, its far less likely to roll off the table and it actually feels quite nice in the hand.

Visconti Wall Street Green Pearl Limited Edition

Visconti Wall Street Green Pearl Limited Edition Cap branding

Visconti Wall Street Green Pearl Limited Edition Cap

Aesthetically, my one sticking point is the Visconti branded scimitar clip. I have just never liked this design decision and Visconti sticks it on almost every pen they design. Its like the un-design decision. Can’t think of how to design the clip? Stick the scimitar on it. Where the layered celluloid is supposed to create the illusion of floors of a skyscraper and the twinkle of lights in the windows and the shape of the pen is supposed to be reminiscent of the shape of a building, why stop at the clip? Could it not also evoke the decorative filigree on buildings like the Carbon and Carbide Building or other great historical architectural marvels? I didn’t mention the Chrysler Building because that seemed obvious but you know what I mean… right?

Most of the weight of the pen is in the cap and the clip, weighing an impressive 42 gms capped but uncapped and filled, it weighs a more manageable 25 gms. The chart below includes capped and/or posted weights for common budget-priced pens for comparison.

Fountain Pen Weights

In regards to length, the Wall Street can be used posted at an impressively long 7″ or unposted at a more diminutive 5.25″ which fit comfortably balanced in my small hands. Closed and capped, the Wall Street is 5.75″ which is only about 0.25″ longer thank your average Lamy Safari so its not a small pen but its not out of the ordinary size-wise.

Visconti Wall Street Green Pearl Limited Edition nib BB

This nib on this particular model is the BB, double broad “Dreamtouch” 23K gold correction: palladium. It is a soft, slightly flexible nib and is quite smooth though I had a bit of a learning curve finding the right angles to  get the best performance from the nib. The BB required being held at a slightly higher angle if I was writing from below the baseline (from my left handed angle) though writing from above, I had no issues with writing at all except that the pen laid down so much ink that dry time became an issue and I kept sticking my hand in wet ink. It’s a bit flexy but I would certainly not be inclined to use it as a flex nib.

In order to take full advantage of the flexibility of the nib though, writing from below the baseline was my best option. Just the weight of one’s hand and the movement and passion with which one is writing is enough to add some character and flair to the strokes.

However, when writing overhanded, I needed almost no contact with the paper to get ink to flow. The lightest of touches was needed and ink just appeared on the paper which was really nice. It meant that writing was easy and I wasn’t having to push or pull or will the ink out of the pen. It just flowed.

Visconti Wall Street Green Pearl Limited Edition Writing Sample

I did not talk in depth about the filling system which is a double reservoir power filler. The best information I could find to clarify what a “double reservoir power filler” was came from Inks and Pens who succinctly explained that its a glorified vacuum filler. Oh, well. That’s much easier to understand. The challenge is getting a full flush. Since this is not my pen, I did my best to fully flush the pen clean but it left a bit of clean water in the reservoir. Rather than disassemble a loaner pen, I’m going to leave the water in the pen than risk disassembly. It actually arrived with a bit of water in it so it seems to be an issue coming and going.

I confess, I waited until after I did all my testing and writing and experimenting to find out exactly how expensive this pen was. I know that Visconti pens are not inexpensive but I did not want the price of the pen to factor into my opinion of the pen. As many of you already know, I’m not a fan of the hype and fanfare around the Homo Sapiens line (see Pen Addict podcast episode 238) so I went into my Wall Street experience a little skeptical to begin with. However, I did warm to the pen in general. I did gasp a bit at the price.

If I wasn’t such an ink changer and didn’t think the clip was phoned-in, I might actually consider this pen as a possibility for my collection, with an extra fine nib of course. But with those caveats, I think I might rather put that kind of money towards a refurbished Parker Vac instead.

PS: I didn’t go into detail about the packaging because it was just fancy packaging. If you’d like to see photos of the box, check out this review for a different version of the pen, but the same packaging.


Big shout out to Casey (AKA Punkey) for loaning me this pen to try out. He is, as always, my enabler, my comrade and my favorite troublemaker.

Giveaway: Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow Fountain Pen

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

As only the Italians could say it, PACE! When we were traveling in Italy several years ago, there were flags flying from every window with a bright rainbow with bold letters saying “PACE” which means PEACE. And today, of all days that is what I wish for you. The kind folks at Kenro are helping me make that wish extra special today by giving me a Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow to give away to one lucky reader — the perfect holiday gift to usher in a new year full of happiness and peace. The pen is named after the Goddess Fortuna, the goddess of Luck and Good Fortune, most prophetic.

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

The Montegrappa Fortuna is stunning and I’m so honored to have gotten to see it in person before sending it along. The resin is so striking. The pen is weighty without feeling heavy (with converter unfilled and capped, it weighs 22gms which is the same weight as a Lamy AL-Star). It measures 5.375″ capped, 5″ uncapped and over 6.25″ uncapped (it exceeded the length of my pocket ruler so I’m guessing a bit here) but it does post! And there is no seam between the colors, they flow effortlessly from one to the other. When replacing the cap, the rainbow stripes line up without any effort too. Maybe I just get lucky but they seem to line up every time I put the cap back on. It’s really kind of riveting to look at. The nib is a medium and the engraving on the nib is unique to Montegrappa. Lovely.

The pen ships in its original packaging and box and is unused. I did not ink it up and comes with a cartridge converter and a couple cartridges and scarf of some sort that I did not remove from its package.

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

With love from Kenro and The Well-Appointed Desk!

Montegrappa Fortuna Rainbow

TO ENTER: To enter the giveaway, all I ask is that you send a message of peace to someone in the comments.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Thursday, December 29, 2016. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Friday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS Priority Mail is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US Residents ONLY, sorry.

Ask The Desk: Lamy Fountain Pens over $50

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Niles asked:

I’m looking for a left-handed fountain pen.

You wrote an article that said:

Lamy nibs are awesome and if you are ready to invest in a fountain pen over $50, I have plenty of Lamys I can recommend.

Any change you could name a few – would really appreciate it.

As it turns out, Niles isn’t the first person to ask me to provide some clarity around what are my favorite Lamy pens. On many occasions, I’ve mentioned that I really like Lamy nibs and prefer their higher end models over the molded grip Safari and AL-Star models but I have never been specific about which models. Partially because I pretty much have all of them except the Dialog which is enormous and the Imporium which is pretty expensive (but gorgeous!).

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For left handed writers, I prefer the round barrel shapes on the higher end Lamy fountain pens like the Lamy Studio, the Lamy 2000 and the Lamy CP1.

The Lamy 2000 is a classic and is totally unusual in the makrolon black material and brushed aluminum grip. It also has the hooded 14K nib which, for many, is their first experience with Lamy’s gold nibs. It’s also a piston filler which is pretty unique in the Lamy as well. It’s definitely the most expensive option I’m listing, retailing for about $160, but it is an icon and something every pen collector should have in their collection.

I find that the Lamy Studio is aesthetically similar to the Lamy 2000 in many ways without the hooded nib, with a more tapered clip and a wider array of finishes available. Pricewise, it’s also not nearly as expensive since it comes with a steel nib. It starts at about $80 but can be upgraded to a gold nib and a palladium finish for about $160.

At present, I don’t own a Lamy 2000 but its mostly because I haven’t pulled the “buy it now” button yet. I do own a Studio in brushed aluminum. I frequently fondle the 2000 in friends’ pen cases and pick them at pen shows debating if this will be the day I finally fold.

The Lamy CP1 is a much more slender pen, available in a black titanium finish for about $56. It’s a very simple, clean looking pen. Very functional and utilitarian. I don’t think it could be anymore German if it tried. The Lamy Logo is very similar but has a spring-loaded clip.

Then there’s the Lamy Scala that also has a spring-loaded clip that I find to be considerably heavy and makes the pen way too top-heavy if you try to post it. Aesthetically, I like the looks of the Scala and the model I have actually has the 14K nib on it which means it writes like a dream but the cap is just too heavy. If you don’t post your cap when writing, then you might consider the Logo as an alternative to the CP1. The price is a little lower. And with any Lamy, you can go crazy  upgrade it with a 14K nib.

Lamy fountain pens are available from my fine sponsors: JetPens, Anderson Pens and Pen Chalet.

Pen Review: Aurora Optima Perla Fountain Pen

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Some days call for a pen that make me feel like Audrey Hepburn on a Roman Holiday. On those days, I cannot carry around a plastic gel pen with scented ink in it. Oh, no. On those days, I need something with stature and sophistication. A pen that says I’m ready to take on the world with a disarming smile and a cunning plan. Those days call for the Aurora Optima fountain pen.

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See what I mean about how beautiful it looks in my Kate Spade handbag? Kind of speaks for itself.

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The Optima Auroloide Perla is made from a two-color resin, which is a combination of iridescent and transparent colors, that reminds me of pearl seashells or marbled floor or countertops. It’s combined with the silver colored hardware that makes the Optima look posh but understated. It’s classy but not gaudy.

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The nib is engraved with lovely scrollwork. I have a medium nib which is a bit wider than what I would normally use but thought it would provide more line variation than my normal fine or extra-fine.

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The Optima is a piston filler with a clear window to view ink capacity. Since the resin material has a little bit of transparency as well, the choice of ink color will be visible in some light as well. I have Robert Oster Signature Claret in the Optima here. It seemed appropriate to have a wine color in an Italian pen.

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The nib was tuned by Dan Smith of Nibsmith to make sure that it was in tip-top shape. I was able to use the pen to write in script, print and even to doodle using my upside down left-handed writing without any issues or hard starts. The medium nib might be a tad wide for my tiny, everyday handwriting though. But I do love how much line variation I get and how much color variation in the ink is visible in the larger nib width.

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Technical Specs:

  • Weight: 23gms filled with ink
  • Length: 5″ long capped
  • 4.75″ uncapped from nib tip to end
  • 6″ long with cap posted
  • 14K nib

This is my “big girl” pen. For those days when I put on my heels, the jacket and get out my Kate Spade handbag that says I mean business. But its not so fussy or fancy as to not feel at home with my well-loved Traveler’s Notebook and a pea coat. But this pen is urbane and classic and sophisticated. It loves my Kate Spade zip planner and lovely ivory paper stock.

This pen hopes I get to fly business class.

The Aurora Optima is available from Anderson Pens and Pen Chalet, starting at $445.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Kenro Industries for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pen Review: TWSBI Eco Lime Green Fountain Pen

TWSBI Eco Lime Green Fountain Pen

I was a little hesitant to get another TWSBI simply because I already own a Mini and a couple of 580 models so I saw no real reason to purchase to budget-priced Eco model, until they released the lime green model and then my urge was entirely based on aesthetics.

TWSBI Eco Lime Green Clip

When looking at the Eco, the only thing I can tell that happened to bring the price down was to remove some of the metal hardware on the higher priced 580 line. The clip is simple and the only metal components are the clip and the band on the cap with the branding.

TWSBI Eco Lime Green Cap

The logo on the end cap is inset red plastic which actually looks quite nice. And both ends terminate in a hexagonal shape. The pen seems similarly weighted and balanced to the 580. In actuality, the Eco is 23gms, filled and capped and the 580 weighs 30gms. The Mini weighs 20gms comparatively.  The Eco is the same length as the 580 but the barrel is a smooth, round tube where the 580’s is faceted. The Eco cap is a straight hex tube to the 580’s tapered cap and end. Also the ink capacity looks a little bit smaller but its still considerably larger than most cartridges or converters.

The cap posts with a click which seems pretty secure but I wonder if, for newbies, might lead to twisting to remove it leading to releasing the piston a bit? The hex grip on the end was the first thing my husband grabbed and started to hold as he attempted to remove the cap leading to releasing the piston and the cap simultaneously. Awkward.

TWSBI Eco Lime Green nib close up

The nib is the same design and material used in all the other TSBI pens so its the one area that is consistent. I had a scratchy nib in a previous TWSBI so I was a little gun shy to get another EF nib but this one is sharp and hard as nails but not scratchy.

TWSBI Eco Lime Green Writing Sample

In writing, the pen performs without any false starts and stops and the EF writes fine enough to be a good gateway for someone transitioning from a rollerball or gel pen in a fine diameter. Liquid fountain pen inks will still present new challenges in regards to paper choices but overall, the TWSBI is one of the best options for someone who is looking to move into fountain pens for the first time, especially if the lure is bottled ink.

Being able to get a piston-filling pen for $28.99 and a full-sized pen is a great option for folks just starting out. Being able to swap out nibs makes it extra appealing for folks who are still trying to find their way in fountain pens. My only complaint would be about how hard the nibs are but I’ve been writing with a lot of gold nibs lately so I may be to a point in my fountain pen life where I’ve moved past these pens. That said, I really like it and have already recommended it to folks who are starting out in fountain pens. If you’re coming from rollerballs and ballpoints, you’re not as likely to notice quite how hard the nib is. The clear ink reservoir is conversation starter wherever I go too.

Of course, the Eco is available with other cap color options, I chose the lime green for obvious reasons. Do you own one? If so, which color and nib combination did you pick?


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Anderson Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pen Review: Delta Virtuosa Medium Fusion Nib Fountain Pen

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

The Delta Virtuosa is my first experience with a Delta pen and with the Delta Fusion nib.

First, let me mention the packaging, which is not something I normally do because, honestly, I prefer the packaging to be protective and recyclable. In the case of the Delta packaging, it is protective but not particularly recyclable. However, it does speak to the designer in me. Its kind of cool looking. It has a screen printed, clear plexiglass top that has an elastic closure on one end and is hinged to pivot at the other end. Inside is a cut out in foam to hold the pen. Since the Virtuosa is such a vibrant blue, its visible through the lucite which is pretty cool. There was a paperboard slipcase as well to hold the box and paperwork but it was not as interesting. So, the packaging is pleasing and noteworthy.

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

Inside the box is the beautiful blue swirl resin of the pen. The color is phenomenal. All the hardware is silver. When I showed it to my husband, his one comment was that he thought the clip was kind of boring and that was the one thing I was particularly pleased about. The clip is notably understated which is rare with Delta that tends to embellish their clips. I like the clean simplicity, especially with the vibrant color. So, clearly, to each his own.

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

Now to get to the nitty gritty of the Fusion nib. I will try to explain it as best as I can from the documentation included. The idea is that Delta attempted fuse gold to steel (and other precious metals) to somehow get the best properties of the metals. As best as I can tell, putting gold on TOP of a steel nib just gives you essentially a glorified gold-plated steel nib. That said, the nib is super smooth and writes well, even for an upside-down, left-handed writer.

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

The cap posts easily and since the pen is resin, it is a relatively light pen overall. I preferred using it unposted but posted and filled, it only weighed 22gms making it similar to a Lamy AL-Star in regards to weight.

Fountain Pen Weights

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

I don’t normally use a medium nib because of my teeny, tiny handwriting and the Delta Fusion nib is quite a wet writer overall but it writes very smoothly and I could write from any angle with no issues which is a huge plus. It also needed very little pressure to write and showed off the shading of the Robert Oster ink beautifully.

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

I also tested the pen on some standard office copy paper (20# bond and Moleskine Cahier) just to  see how much a big juicy medium nib would feather and bleed. Obviously, my ink choice may play a role in how much feathering and bleed I get, YMMV. As you can see, the Moleskine had some feathering and the office paper softened the lines a bit but it wasn’t horrible. There was a bit of showthrough on the back of the Moleskine but the copy paper was fine. I’d recommend a drier ink if you wee to use this as your daily pen though.

Delta Virtuosa Fusion Nib

Overall, the Delta Virtuosa is a beautiful pen and was a great introduction into the Delta product line. They  definitely make a quality pen and work hard to create unique and interesting designs.

Pen Chalet still has some of the Delta Virtuosa in stock in the Light and Dark Ivory with steel nibs and the Light Ivory with the Fusion nib at a substantial discount. Or check out the full range of Delta fountain pens that Pen Chalet offers, some are available with the Fusion nib.

For an in-depth review and more details about the Fusion nib, check out The Pen Habit’s video review of the Delta Fusion 82.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Chalet for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Pen Review: Namisu Nova Titanium Deluxe

Namisu Nova Titanium

The Namisu Nova Titanium Deluxe is my first experience with a titanium fountain pen and a titanium nib. The overall shape and feel of the pen is a smooth machined cigar shape. It’s very space-aged. There is no clip so it will roll off the table at a moment’s notice. This is definitely a pen that might need a pen sleeve to keep it protected from potential tumbles.

Namisu Nova Titanium

The nib is also titanium, as I mentioned, in medium. Its a Bock nib. The titanuim give the nib a very matte look. The pen is a standard converter and/or cartridge filler so it allows for easy filling.

Namisu Nova Titanium

The pen does not seem particularly large or heavy until I started measuring it and weighing it. Lengthwise, its comparable to a Lamy Safari at 5.5″ capped. Uncapped and unposted, it was a hair shorted than a Safari at 5.125″. The Nova does post but it becomes extremely heavy at 52 gms but is a 6.25″, about a 0.25″ shorter than a posted Safari.

Fountain Pen Weights

See what I mean? 52gms is a seriously heavy pen! Unposted at 36gms, the pen was well-weighted and pretty comfortable overall though I suspect an aluminum model might be lighter.

Namisu Nova Titanium

In writing, I discovered that the Nova with a titanium nib has a little bit of softness but also a little bit of feedback and squeak. It was like there was a little hamster in a cage living inside the pen for me, running on its wheel while I was writing. I don’t know if this was just me or if others have had this experience but by the time I’d written a few pages, I was ready to switch to a pen that had less back talk. I suspect I’d get less “small pet” noises with a standard, steel nib as I’ve had experience with Bock nibs in other pens. The flexibility had some appeal but I couldn’t get past the squeak.

Overall, I really like the look of the pen. The sleek, modern look is very appealing and I loved having a chance to try a titanuim nib though I wish my experience had been better overall. Squeaky but flexy.

You can pre-order a sandblasted version of the titanium design now or purchase the Orion (the same shape with bands engraved out around the center of the pen) in aluminum or titanium with prices starting at £70 with a steel nib. There is also a stonewashed titanium Orion for £60. All versions are available directly from Namisu.


Special thanks to Kasey for loaning me the pen, my own personal enabler. Safe travels and thanks for keeping us safe.