Visconti Homosapiens Evolution with the Chromium Nib

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I would argue that the Homosapiens Oversize is Visconti and Dante Del Vecchio’s signature pen. The looks, the feel, the use of a lava basalt based resin, it all adds up and ‘just works’ both from a tactile and visual perspective. Who would risk playing with a successful formula ….

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100,000 Pages Hits – A Big Thank You

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When I started to actively cover the fountain pen scene on my blog I knew I was a small player in a big pond. One of the great things about our hobby is the creativity it helps to develop and this includes the number of people writing about their views and experiences but this also means there are a lot of pages being regularly updated out there. In many respects I was a year or two late with starting and at the same time I’m no The Pen Addict, The Gentleman Stationer, Well Appointed Desk or UK Fountain Pens. I struggle to post once a week and I feel my style is a tad too cold and clinical (and when ever I try something different I do not like it).

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Visconti Bronze Age with 18k Nib

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Why, some of you may be thinking, am I reviewing a pen model that’s close to a decade old, in a range that’s even older. The reason being for the last year or two Visconti have been using up the last of their stock of 23k palladium nibs, with 18k in-house ones being gradually rolled out. The loan of this pen has allowed me to compare and contrast old and new.

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Aratrum Calamus

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Most of us will not have heard of Aratrum, but in Germany they are a distributor for such brands such as Kaweco, Marlen, and Aquila (the parent company of Tibaldi and Montegrappa). Founded in 1999, with their trade in stationary, the company decided to create a limited edition pen range to celebrate their 20th anniversary, but for various reasons it was launched two years late in 2021. Here I have the fountain pen to try.

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Pineider Metropolis

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At some point in the last pandemic affected year Pineider released a new budget end pen range. Undercutting the Avatar, gone were any metal components bar the nib, cap collar and clip (I think), instead using the supposedly unbreakable ‘ultra resin’. Thing is the original Avatar was a well regarded pen and considered to be reasonably priced, so how doe this pen fit in with the brand.

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Pens in Daily Use August 2021

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It has only been four months since I last did an update, a remarkably short period for me. There have been some changes since my last pen list from back in April. This was partly a result of the football related England v Italy piece which did result in a couple being kept in use, a number of new pens claiming their place or presently being tested, and a number that should be in my work carry case.

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Kaweco Perkeo Demonstrator

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It is no secret that I have a thing for cheap fountain pens. Sure I have more than a few that many would consider to be expensive (though none with costs in the four figure range) but there is something about those at the sub £30 or even sub £20 price point that I find appealing. I’m not quite sure what it is but the reason may be that many are designed for younger people or students from countries where fountain pens still must be used at least some of the time in school. I think it is a mixture of the interesting colour combinations and the general toughness of the designs and materials you find in this sector that I like.

Kaweco have several ranges which fit under this grouping and while most people will be aware of the Sport and even probably own one or more of those in the plethora of finishes and colours with which they are available, it is the Perkeo which is the brand’s starter pen. A full sized fountain pen made of tough plastic with a reasonable selection of colours and colour combinations it certainly peaks my interest.

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Helix Oxford

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While I had previously planned to review this pen it was for further down the line, partly due to a side project connected with the fountain pens for a fiver article, and partly due to other pens I wished to cover first. Spotting that the Helix Oxford is presently on sale at Asda (on the UK high street) for just £4.50 I felt now was the time to cover this pen while it can still be bought at the reduced price.

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Shibui Kibo Urushi Enamelled Copper Pen

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Urushi pens are very much in vogue at the moment and there are more than a few artists using this as an excuse to move in a new direction and experiment. Some people like this, some people scream ‘cultural appropriation’, however what happens when a westerner has spent 20 years in Japan studying and working with this lacquer? Enter Ruth Bolton.

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