The Opus 88 Fantasia ($125) is a colorful pocket-sized pen with ebonite, striped cap and translucent acrylic body. This fountain pen model uses the same nib and filling mechanism as the Koloro and Picnic though I’m discovering that each nib seems to perform differently.
The Opus 88 Fantasia Fountain Pen comes in the same sort of packaging that the Picnic and Koloro pens shipped. The box is paperboard with a magnetic closure and the inside is lined with foam cut to hold the pen and an eyedropper. On top was a small paper booklet with information about the company and filling instructions.
I have yet to actually use the eyedropper included in any of the Opus 88 sets. I prefer to use a syringe knowing that I can more accurately control the filling and clean-up.
There is a screw thread on the end of the pen allowing the cap to be threaded securely to create a fairly long, full-sized pen.
The size of the Fantasia compared to the Koloro on the far left, followed by the Picnic and a Kaweco AL-Sport on the far right.
The above photo shows both the Fantasia and the AL-Sport pens posted. One of the things I tested side-by-side was writing with the Fantasia then the AL-Sport, being one of the most ubiquitous pocket fountain pens. The grip section of the Kaweco Sport (plastic, metal or otherwise) is longer than the Fantasia and has a slightly more fluted taper shape where the Fantasia is more conical. Also, the Fantasia’s threads were a bit more noticeable, as was the step down from the body to the cap threading. The overall width of the Fantasia is greater than the Kaweco Sport as well. If you find the Sport size a bit dainty, than the Fantasia might be an improvement for you.
After using the Fantasia for over a week, I found the short grip section to be less noticeable but I did not use it for long writing sessions – nothing longer than a page in a journal or notes in a meeting.
Weightwise, the Fantasia unposted and filled is 12 gms which is a decent weight for a small pen. With the cap posted, it weighs 28 gms which puts more of the weight on the top end but gives it weightier feel. If you have larger, adult-sized hands, this will probably make the pen feel comfortable for regular use. In my small, child-like hands it just felt unwieldy.
One thing I did notice is that compared to the other two Opus 88 fine nibs in my possession, the Fantasia is the wettest and widest of the three. This seems like a peculiar thing to say since all three pens have the same size nib with the same fine indication on it. Theoretically, they should all write almost identically barring differences in inks chosen but they actually write noticeably different to me. Go figure. I feel like I should put them in front of someone who is genuinely a nib expert and ask their opinion so I don’t feel like I’m insane.
I included writing samples at the bottom of my writing sample for my own edification.
The Fantasia is definitely a step up in cost from a Kaweco Sport and its more expensive than a steel, brass or aluminum version as well however it has a very unique look and the eyedropper filling system means it holds considerably more ink than a Kaweco. The wider barrel and screw-on posting means that the Fantasia becomes a bigger pen than a Kaweco. So the only things holding me back from recommending the Fantasia is the inconsistent nib performance and the grip section/threading which may or may not be comfortable or a sticking point for some people.
I’d say I recommend the Fantasia with some reservations. The nibs are not bad, just a bit of a crapshoot and the grip section may or may not be an issue for some people. They sure are eye candy!
- Paper: Rhodia Ice Pad No. 18 Lined with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Opus 88 Fantasia Green Orange Fine Nib ($125), Opus 88 Picnic Green, Opus 88 Koloro Blue Blue
- Ink: Colorverse #36 Laurel for Opus 88 KOLORO Beige ($36 for 65ml &15ml bottle set)
DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided free of charge by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Other products may also have been provided from other vendors as well and links are included.
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2 comments / Add your comment below
Thanks for the review and comparison with the Kaweco Sport. I’m in the market for a pocket pen and these are two I’ve been eyeing.
I really thank you for this though review. I am only buying pens with EF nibs from now on. Anything else writes too thick for me.