What is better to most petrol heads than one Pininfarina designed car? Two Pininfarina designed cars. Perhaps the same may be the case with the products of their Segno subsidiary and perhaps I should be nervous if they expand their range of fountain pens, for having bought a PF Two on International Fountain Pen Day, come the Black Friday week and a PF One followed its way in to my collection.Continue reading
It is an often mentioned convention that you can not be considered a true petrol head until you have owned an Alfa Romeo. Now you might be wondering why I have mentioned this and you may also be wondering if this in connection with me having previously described certain Italian fountain makers as being like Italian car manufacturers. Thing is I did own an Alfa, really enjoyed it, and like so many of that brand it was designed by the automotive studio and former coach builder, Pininfarina.
While there have been various high end collaborations over the years, in recent times Pininfarina have expanded out from the automotive world and now have a number of sister companies, one of them concentrating on writing equipment, Pininfarina Segno, working with a number of other Italian design brands.Continue reading
Scrittura Bolognese are keen to emphasise that while they have DNA from OMAS they are a new company with new products. After a number of successful years with their first consumer offering, the Feel, rumours started to emerge of a new pen that would again surprise us. In early 2021 the Piuma was launched in four limited edition finishes, offering a deceptively sized pen with some unique elements to the design.Continue reading
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 ….Continue reading
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.Continue reading
In the last few years Leonardo Officina Italiana (to use their full name) have been building quite a reputation through their Momento Zero, Furore, and Momento Zero Grande models. All are of the same basic design with the differences being in the finials and size. Now in 2020 they have released a new model, the Messenger, with just 366 examples being made in each of five translucent colours.
When is a Dolcevita not a Dolcevita, when it’s a Frederico, or is it? Towards the end of Delta, in 2014, a range of ‘cut price’ pens was offered through a partner site, Martemodena, both direct from their website and through certain auction platforms. Visually these were very similar to the originals, so how was the price brought down? In the last eight months I’ve been fortunate to pick up the stantuffo (piston filler) version of both the Dolcevita and the Dolcevita Frederico allowing me to compare.
There is something about Italian engineering that pulls on the hearts strings and overrides the head when it comes to purchasing. It was Bertone, Farina, or Gandini who came out with the quote that you can either design beautiful cars or you can design reliable cars, but you can’t design both at the same time*. At times it can seem the same in the pen world, but in many respects we are all the better for it, or at least our hearts keep telling us it is so…
As covered in my previous piece on the OMAS 360 Vintage I mentioned about the ‘New’ version of the 360. This was launched in 2007 with a more modern look, and arguably as an entry pen in to the OMAS brand. With its angled triangular finials, flattened clip, new OMAS O on the cap, it certainly looked the part, but it was also divisive amongst OMAS fans and from what I can tell the model was dropped again just four or five years later.
Back in 1996 OMAS launched a new, very different pen. The 360. A model it made in various forms right up to the closing of the company. Arguably the most comfortable fountain pen ever produced (unless you are left handed) and rumoured to have been designed to force people to hold fountain pens correctly. In true OMAS fashion there have been many versions and names. Here I look at my two 360 Vintages, models from towards the end despite their name.