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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Holding up the cap up to the light, it becomes apparent how translucent the material in some spots.
The nib is stainless steel and etched with the Tibaldi logo.
The nib is a larger nib that seems proportional for the pen.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
- Paper: Rhodia Uni-Blank No. 18 with 6mm guide sheet
- Pens: Tibaldi Bononia Martin Olive fountain pen (M Nib) (€161.16, approx. $195USD)
- Ink: Pen BBS No. 224 Tolstoy ($16 for 60ml bottle)