After enjoying the Koloro and Picnic, I decided to try another Opus 88, the Fantasia ($104USD). It is a pen designed with a similar combination of ebonite and resin materials as the Koloro line but put together in a rainbow of variations. The cap features stripes of colors while the barrel is translucent, revealing the ink within.
While designed to be a smaller, more pocketable pen, the Fantasia posts to feel like a full-sized pen giving the best writing experience possible.
The Fantasia appears to use Jowo nibs, recognizable by the decorative scrollwork. Since Opus 88 pens are eyedroppers and hold a lot of ink — even the smaller Fantasia — it seems appropriate to get larger nibs on their pens to take advantage of the ink capacity. Where a Kaweco Sport is confined to a cartridge worth of ink at best, the Fantasia can keep writing for weeks with even the broadest nib.
The heaviest part of the Fantasia is the cap. The clip and the ebonite add weight to the pen, weighing 24gms capped or posted. The translucent resin barrel and ebonite end cap are lighter, weighing just 13gms unposted. There are threads on the end of the pen that help keep the cap firmly attached to the end of the pen and help create a full-length pen for a more comfortable writing experience. It takes a bit longer to post with the threads but is worth the effort for longer writing.
Compared to other similarly-sized pocket pens, the Fantasia is longer than a Kaweco Sport and slightly shorter than a Franklin-Christoph Pocket 20. It’s capped length is 4.75″ (120mm) and uncapped it’s 4″ (100mm).
Posted, it’s the lengthiest at 5.75″ (146mm).
In writing, the broad nib definitely lays down a lot of ink. (Pardon the slightly shaky penmanship of this writing sample, it was done while I was still pretty medicated last week). I love writing with pen but the broad nib is a little wet and wide for my normally small writing. For doodling or calligraphy, the broader nib definitely gives me more options.
One trick I learned in using this pen? The thread in the cap end aligns with the groove in the piston end used to release ink into the nib section. It’s a perfect match that helps to loosen or tighten the piston as needed. How clever is that?
This diminutive Opus 88 is unique, colorful and yet still works in all the ways that a fountain pen needs to work. There are five color options for the Fantasia and it is difficult deciding which of them is my favorite. I suspect this model won’t be around forever so if you like this design, get one soon. I don’t think they will be around too much longer.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 18 with 7mm guide sheet
- Pens: Opus 88 Fantasia Yellow with Broad Nib ($104USD)
- Ink: Colorverse Electron ($30 for 65ml bottle)
DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were provided free of charge by Appelboom for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.
6 comments / Add your comment below
I love this little pen. I got it just before a 3 week trip to Europe and it was perfect for flying because of the shut-off valve and for the small size but large ink capacity. I used it for sketching and journal writing and it still had plenty of ink left when I got home. Since it looked like they were getting scarce, I ordered another one as a backup.
What about the very short section? that’s what’s stopped me from getting one.
The whole barrel is pretty smooth. I feel like the whole pen IS the section.I just put the pad of my first finger on the groove which is not a big step down and hold the barrel. The grooves provide a little resistance without being an irritant.
Oh no! now I may just have to get me one of those. Thanks!
The short section hasn’t bothered me a bit.
Yes, the short section doesn’t bother me a bit.