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Thread: Pen reviews - Revisited

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Pen reviews - Revisited

    In Empty_of_Clouds Ruffling feathers thread, he commented on long-term reviews. I think it's a good idea, so here's a thread to revisit your pen reviews. Does it still ring true?

    Finish every day, and be done with it.
    You have done what you could - some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as fast as you can, tomorrow is a new day.
    You shall begin it well and serenly, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

    Emerson

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pen reviews - Revisited

    So here's one. The Visconti Classic - Revisited.

    In early 2015, I bought a couple of Visconti Classics from Susanna at Giardino while stationed in Germany. I did a quick review of it HERE.

    This little pen has been a workhorse. Any concerns about durability were unfounded. It occupied the loop in a small leather notebook for years, and I couldn't begin to count how many times it's been used to take notes. It's been strictly a "work" pen. It has been used "in the field". Poland, Guantanamo Bay, Hurricane Matthew.

    When others might displace it occasionally from the notebook (usually an M400 Tortoise), the Visconti was left on the desk in the office. It always writes and it never dries out from sitting.

    Now that I've retired, it gets a converter instead of a cartridge and still keeps its workhorse duties. It's always laying around in the kitchen next to a notepad and gets used for shopping (mainly grocery) lists. We just add to the list as we need something. Again, it always works and never dries out.

    I suspected it was cheap and would fall apart. I thought the section was a little thinner than I prefer. I thought the cheap Schmidt(?) nib wouldn't hold up. I was wrong. It's super comfortable, writes wonderfully, and it's one of my favorite pens actually. The brown I initially thought was a little boring was actually relatively translucent and it's a lovely pen in the sunlight. 80 euros well spent.

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    Finish every day, and be done with it.
    You have done what you could - some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as fast as you can, tomorrow is a new day.
    You shall begin it well and serenly, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

    Emerson

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    carlos.q (January 21st, 2022), Chrissy (January 22nd, 2022), elaineb (January 22nd, 2022), Empty_of_Clouds (January 22nd, 2022), junglejim (January 22nd, 2022), Lloyd (January 22nd, 2022), Robert (January 21st, 2022), Scrawler (January 22nd, 2022), Yazeh (January 24th, 2022)

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pen reviews - Revisited

    Certainly an ink change can make a "meh" pen more exciting. Also, I definitely understand not getting along with pens for reasons one can't clearly articulate, and I mention a Pelikan 800 and Aurora Optima as two that I loved everything about except writing with. Just something about the way they felt in hand was annoying.

    Anyway, here are a couple of others. I had considered a "what's on your desk" sort of review series, and these qualify for that category (and this one too, although I haven't formally reviewed them before).

    A late-80's-ish(?) W-Germany marked Montblanc 146. Blue-gray ink window , split ebonite feed and monotone 14k nib. I hate that I love this pen, because of the "pretentiousness" that often goes along with the brand. That aside, it is always inked up and always in use. For how it feels in hand, it's perfect. The gentle taper is comfortable. I like the heft, and the thickness of the section. The nib is "bouncy", in a good way; and you can watch the tines open and close ever so slightly - with subtle variation in line - as you write.

    I got it used from Amazon, if I remember correctly; a "roll the dice" purchase since it was under $200. The problem is one of design. The nib collar creates a lip at the end of the section. If the bubble-gum sealant fails, it leaks from there (which mine did originally). Ink can also seep in that joint when filling, and you discover that when it comes back out. Taking it apart to fix the sealant leak, I discovered the (ebonite) lip was cracked too - presumably from someone trying to remove it. I got an extra complete ebonite nib assembly and nib from Regina Martini (and I thought I'd use the bi-tone nib it came with, but the original has more character). I also had the mono-nib retipped by Greg Minuskin, although the final grind profile is my own. Some home-made rosin/castor-oil sealant in lieu of the bubble-gum stuff, some lube on the piston shaft, and it has been a great pen for over 10 years now.

    The other is a Lamy 2000. I've managed to accumulate half a dozen of these, for some reason. All but one are makrolon, and one is stainless. Lamy finally made the nibs available separately, and I got a BB and ground it to my version of an italic. My "daily grind" (name courtesy of Jon Szanto).

    I love it for much the same reasons I like the 146 - namely the way it feels in hand. There's something about that gentle cigar/"bauhaus" curve that suits me. The nubs don't bother me at all (nor my wife, apparently, as she's claimed two of them so far). I really use this to play with, writing down quotes in a journal dedicated to that, and "practicing" italic writing.

    So there are two more pens that have withstood the test of time. I should probably do something on ones that didn't make it, and I have a few still around; but most have been sold or traded off long ago.

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    Last edited by dneal; January 22nd, 2022 at 05:43 PM. Reason: fixed typo

    Finish every day, and be done with it.
    You have done what you could - some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as fast as you can, tomorrow is a new day.
    You shall begin it well and serenly, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

    Emerson

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    amk (January 24th, 2022), Lloyd (January 22nd, 2022), SlowMovingTarget (January 22nd, 2022), Yazeh (January 24th, 2022)

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    Default Re: Pen reviews - Revisited

    dneal--- If you ever have need of the pink bubblegum sealant for a future repair, Kirk Speer over at Penrealm has it available. He does good work and I have purchased from him in the past.

    Linky: https://www.penrealm.com/product/montblanc-sealant/

    All the Best.

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    Chrissy (January 23rd, 2022), dneal (January 22nd, 2022)

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