Visconti, one of the fountain pen brands that refreshes
First of all, Visconti is one of the younger fountain pen brands. One might find it odd to think fountain pen brands are still founded in the last decades. This company was only established in 1988 and is based in a fifteenth century Florentine villa.
You immediately understand this can only be created by two pen aficionado’s who wanted to share the feel of vintage fountain pen brands.
They were particularly interested in the material of celluloid in which pens were once made. Dante Del Vecchio and Luigi Poli, were both collectors of fountain pen brands for many years. Luigi Poli has now left Visconti, and Dante leads the company today. Dedication to extremely high standards of quality led Visconti to the level it has now. Innovation continues to be a part of Dante’s approach. The designs of the Visconti pens and their patents have set the company apart from the others. The company evolved most strikingly to one of the most advanced manufacturing technology available in the pen industry. Quite sought after.
The name of a Visconti fountain pen is not left to chance
Every Visconti fountain pen name is related to or reflects a creative idea, an idea linked with art, archeology, philosophy or history. Visconti pays in some way tribute to anything which has left a mark in man’s civilization. It also gives some classiness and heritage to this young company. Some of the names include the Forbidden City, the ancient knights, the Alchemical Opus, but also Manhattan and Giacomo Casanova. So point made.
Triumvirate of the Visconti fountain pen
Visconti produces three types of fountain pens: the HRH (yes, Her Royal Highness), the Limited and the Regular. The Visconti fountain pen Homo Sapiens, the pen I adore and is discussed in this blog, is a Regular fountain pen, but I will come back to this pen. I think it is important to understand this company and how it is different from other fountain pen brands.
The Visconti fountain pen of the Limited series ranges between 500£ and 3-4000£. You can find for example the Ragtime. Ragtime was their second pen and it does show the company’s strength, namely the celluloid material. Celluloid was invented by the Hyatt brothers in 1864 and is made from cotton, alcohol, camphor. The entire process to reach a workable material lasts from 4 to 8 months depending on the thickness. So making this your base material does give you an understanding of this company. Ragtime was a musical genre, popular between the end of the 1800s to the 1920s and a symbol of the groovy and lively African American community’s bands. It is surprising how they have indeed captured the spirit of Ragtime in this pen, this truly modern pen, but with a definite vintage feel.
Moving on to the Visconti Visconti fountain pen of the Luxury range. This Visconti fountain pen below, Forbidden City HRH is an example of the HRH series made in white and yellow gold of 18 kt and black resin. Look at the luxurious finishing. These Visconti pens are not part of your wardrobe, they are part of your jewellery and your most precious pieces of art. These pens are not for the just anybody, since the HRH pens cost between 30.000£ and 50.000£, the price of a very nice car. Other HRH are the Divina HRH, the San Basilio HRH and the Alchemy HRH.
Visconti fountain pen as the Official pen
Below is a picture I found on the Visconti website. Obama is taken with Nicolas Sarkozy at the G8 2009 Summit in L’Aquila. President of the USA Barack Obama is holding a Divina G8, a gift to all 60 delegates and thus an ‘official Visconti fountain pen’. Quite an accomplishment to become the ‘official’ pen when you come to think this company is one of the younger fountain pen brands, only founded 20 years ago.
Getting back to normal life and the more regular Visconti fountain pen
The Homo Sapiens pen, which is part of the ‘Regular range’. Make no mistake this is not an inexpensive pen (around 400£) but is accessible to most pen lovers of fountain pen brands. It was only launched in 2010 and is quite unique in the sense it is made from volcanic lava. Visconti states it is ‘forged from the Volcano of Mount Etna in Italy’. But to be perfectly honest but also true to the origins of Visconti, it is a blend of lava and resin. The hybrid form gives a very robust barrel material. There are two versions, one with Steel and the other with Bronze. The picture below shows the Bronze one, which I believe is the most true to its name Homo Sapiens.
It comes off course with the Visconti must 23Kt Palladium Dreamtouch nib, available in the most various sizes for such a pen. Because it is made from lava, needless to say it is virtually unbreakable and flame proof. You never know you wanted your Visconti fountain pen to be heat resistance to over 100°C. A more practical everyday feature is the fact it absorbs hand sweat during use. This Visconti fountain pen is definitely unique because of its material. I have a necklace made from lava, cement and 23 kt gold. I wear it often. Nobody knows it is made out of these materials but I have become quite attached because it holds some mystery to the people who look at it or make a compliment. It is the same with this pen. You will know it is forged from Mount Vesuvius, everybody else will think it is a black resin…. Oh, another nice touch when you order this pen, the Homo Sapiens pen comes in a special edition Calligraphy set. This company goes to great lengths to let you know you are buying a luxury product (even if you do not need an official pen to sign G8 papers).
You can find more information, reviews and the price of this pen, here.