Friday, November 18, 2011

Firenze — Buying Pens

During the last issue of Pitti Uomo, I visited the shop of Florence based fountain pen maker Visconti a few times. Don Paolo was kind enough to snap a couple of pics at one time, so here they are. This was the second time I was there during my visit. I accompanied a friend of mine who wanted to buy his first serious fountain pen — the same one I had bought a day earlier.

You can see the pen in question in most of the pictures. I looks kind of "boring" to the undiscerning eye due to its matte finish and near-black surface. The connoisseur reckons a model named "Homo Sapiens" (what a fitting model for yours truly...) which is made of a mixture of precious resin and basaltic lava from the Etna Volcano. Its matte and porous surface is hygroscopic, which means it practically absorbs hand sweat. The trimmings are solid natural brass, which is developing a lovely patina over time.

The rest of the specifications of this pen is nothing but stunning. 23kt dual color flexible palladium nib, patented safety closure, abrasion-free clip and solid brass vacuum ink tank. The writing experience is exceptional and Visconti's boutique service is excellent. Visconti pens are not exactly cheap and yet they are a bargain given their built quality. And, just for the record: This is coming to you from somebody who is a devote Pelikan pen collector (which should already tell you something)!

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