Fountain Pen Review: Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive (M Nib)

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive packaging

Tibaldi is a name spoken in reverence among the fountain pen community. The original Tibaldi brand existed from 1916 to 1965 and were known for beautiful resin material that glowed with its depth of color. Now, having relocated to Bassano del Grappa and come under the direction of the Aquina Family that also owns the Monteggrapa brand, Tibaldi has been reborn. For us who came into the pen collecting community after 1965, we have occasionally seen a Tibaldi pen every now and then but thanks to the relaunch of the brand, we may actually have a chance to see them now.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive packaging

The Tibaldi Bononia Martin Olive fountain pen (M Nib) (€161.16, approx. $195USD) was my first experience with the brand. The material is as luminous as people have described. I am getting ahead of myself but I couldn’t resist peeking at the material as soon as the pen arrived. It is luminous. There’s no other way to describe it.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive Packaging

The packaging is a super-heavy duty paperboard slipcase box with a debossed orange wrap around the exterior. Inside is a suede-like pad with elastic to hold the pen in place. Under the pad is a packet with two cartridges and a black credit card with a place to stamp and date official purchase.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive

Once removed from the box, it’s a lot easier to see how luminous the color of the resin is. The pen itself is a classic tapered cigar shape with a slim clip. The silver hardware is all palladium.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive

The branding on the pen is subtle. Just etched under the clip “Tibaldi” and on the opposite of the cap from the clip “Made in Italy”.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive

Holding up the cap up to the light, it becomes apparent how translucent the material in some spots.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive

The nib is stainless steel and etched with the Tibaldi logo.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive

The nib is a larger nib that seems proportional for the pen.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive headline

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive writing samples

In my writing tests, the nib is a firm medium nib. It writes will but surprised me with how well it wrote in “reverse writing” which is when you turn the nib upside down with the feed facing up while writing rather than the nib. It was not as wet in “reverse writing” but was still smooth and easy to use.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive pen comparison

When compared to other pens, from left to right: Platinum 3776, Opus 88, Sailor Pro Color, Tibaldi, TWSBI ECO, Pelikan M605, Pelikan M205, the Tibaldi is a bit longer when capped but similar in width to the Opus 88, Platinum 3776 and TWBI Eco. The Sailor Pro Color and the Pelikans are a little slimmer.

Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive pen comparisons

Posted, the Tibaldi is the longest but still not heavy. The TWSBI is really the longest the cap does not post snugly so I’m not counting it. The Tibaldi weighs 15gms unposted and 23gms posted or capped so it’s very similar in weight to the TWSBI ECO.

pen weight comparison chart

Ollie helps

Overall, the Tibaldi Bononia Martini Olive is stunning. The price for a “made in Italy” pen is quite competitive too. It even has the Ollie “paw of approval”.


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.

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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. OMG. Sooo gorgeous! I’ve resisted the siren call of Italian pens so far……THIS might break me. Love the green. Does the depth + translucence make it chatoyant? I ask not because I love that ridiculous fancy word (though I do!), but because I’m considering another green pen with that elusive shimmery radiance, and wondering if I should go for this instead.

    1. I think this pen does have the illusion chatoyant glow. I’m not an expert on the rare quality though so I would recommend using your best judgement. I think if any pen maker would harness depth and translucency in their resins, it would be Tibaldi.

    1. The pen I received did have a converter installed. I’m assuming that it shipped that way but Appelboom may have added it. It does take a standard international style though so you can take your chances and order one without adding an extra converter since you probably have one you could use if it didn’t ship with one.

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