Color: Blue Lagoon
History & Origin:
The brand Visconti was founded in 1988 in Florence Italy and their Italian heritage shines through in the products they make to this day. Founded by Luigi Poli and Dante Del Vecchio, two avid fountain pen collectors at the time, the brand has had collectors and enthusiast in mind from the very start. All of Visconti’s pens and writing instruments are designed in a 15th century Florentine villa that shows the brands dedication to the past masters of Italian artwork. While Visconti has a lot of different lines and collections, the Homo Sapiens line is their homage to nature. This particular pen is dedicated to the seas and oceans while the regular homo sapiens is dedicated to the volcanoes of Italy, even using a mix of natural Basaltic Lava on the regular Homo Sapiens models.
Appearance & Packaging:
While I don’t usually pay too much attention to the packaging on most of my pens, It would be hard to do the same with this one. The packaging for this pen is a beautiful and stunning way to show off the deep complexities of the materials used and still convey that it’s a luxury product. The box comes in a standard grey Visconti slip cover and is rather heavy with a construction of blue painted wood and a glass top cutout to allow a good look at the pen. The inside is a nice soft velvet like material to prevent the pen from scratches while also highlighting the slight grey and silver undertones in the pen. The pen is a limited run of 888 and I ended up getting #56 which I felt was pretty exciting. All of the trim on this pen is made of a Sterling Silver which compliments the varying shades and swirls of the pearlescent blue-green resin. The cap has the two large bands under the clip indicative of the Homo Sapiens line with the clip bearing the brands name in raised silver letters with a sparkling white enamel background. The clips arched design is based on the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in the brands birthplace of Florence Italy. This pen, unlike the regular lava models, is a demonstrator which is a nice compliment to the swirls on the barrel, I don’t feel the pen would look as good with an opaque barrel. This pen does utilize Visconti’s MyPen system which can allow the user to replace the magnetic piece on the cap with one that bears their birthstone or initials.
Nib & Performance:
Just recently Visconti stopped manufacturing their 23kt Palladium nibs and in place, began using 18kt gold which is the nib featured on this pen. I have had no experience with those palladium nibs therefore I’ll just be speaking about this nib by itself in lieu of a comparison to other Visconti nibs. Unfortunately the fine nib that came with my pen was a bit scratchy and seemed to catch the paper in an odd way right out of the box. These scratches on the paper were by no means deep but could be felt with your hand when brushed over the writing. This is more of an unfortunate inconvenience than anything, especially on a pen of this price range but it is still a good writer even with this small annoyance.
On the other hand this isn’t the end of the world and doesn’t affect the writing that much, plus we live in a world full of very skilled nib masters that can easily fix this problem which is what I may end up doing. Aside from all this, the white gold nib is stamped with the company’s name and a fleur-de-lis design which is quite a pleasant and understated look in single tone gold. Another cool detail on this nib is the arched breather hole that I believe is another nod to the Ponte Vecchio bridge. Aside from the slight nib smoothness issues, I find this pen to be beautifully made with a good weight and feel in the hand that should be comfortable for long writing sessions. The cap is quite heavy given the silver detailing and I find posting it does back-weight the pen just a little too much for my liking. This pen also has one of the biggest ink capacities in my collection with a little over 3.5 ml making it a great workhorse pen that you don’t have to worry about running out of ink, the double reservoir system which serves to prevent leaks makes it a great travel option as well.
Price & Conclusion:
This beautiful and unique pen has a price that reflects the effort that went into creating it, in short, this is not an inexpensive pen. The MSRP for the Visconti Homo Sapiens Blue Lagoon is $1,150 but most authorized retailers will be able to offer it for a little less so look to pay around $920 while these pens are still in stock. While this is a lot to spend on a pen, I think it is worth the price when it is seen as a whole however only the owner can really determine if it's a good value or not. The beautiful resin and demonstrator body with silver trim is just a show stopping addition to any collection. It reminds me of the Tiffany jewelry brand which I'm rather fond of which was another driving force for me to purchase this model. Don’t hesitate if you really want this pen as it is a limited run and is bound to sell out soon and once they are gone they aren’t coming back. This has been the Visconti Blue Lagoon, Enjoy and Keep writing!