Ah, Visconti. The Rembrandt line is an entry point into the world of beautiful Italian fountain pens. I figured the first review might as well be my most recent experience. In March 2018, I purchased my first expensive pen from Goulet Pens. I’m a HUGE fan of the Goulet team. I asked for a writing test to be performed before I received the pen, and they were happy to oblige. The pen is striking and features resin that for all purposes reminds me of strawberry milk.
However, I ended up returning the pen. I will include why after the main review.
I can’t compare this pen to any other Visconti as it was the one and only I have had a chance to work with. The EF Calligraphy nib wrote with pleasant feedback, though it required a lot of pressure. The steel grip section was interesting, and uncomfortable. I am not a fan. That is a personal preference and has nothing to do with the quality of the pen. As far as the actual physical build of the pen goes, I can’t fault anything with it, outside of the nib.
The inlay on this nib is really quite stunning. The nib was generally a wet writer and didn’t have too many hard stops or much skipping…at first. The nib would randomly stop writing, would gush, would only work on certain strokes and I am quite convinced was possessed by the ghosts of pencils tossed aside in my adoration of fountain pens. With a price point over $100 , I don’t find any excuse for that kind of behavior in a fountain pen from a well established brand. I tried Organics Studio, Robert Oster, and Pilot inks in this before I managed to get this fussy gentleman to work.
I tried several inks with it and found that Pilot’s Iroshizuku seemed to tame the flow or lack thereof fairly well. Unfortunately, my problems with the nib didn’t stop here.
This thing caught and dug on paper constantly. I tried different angles. I tried different paper. I did not attempt to smooth it or alter it, but I did my best. It made my writing (when it wasn’t being temperamental) look lovely, but it wasn’t worth the frustration. My less than $10 Kakuno works better than this thing. I was not pleased. However, nib QC is a common issue with this company from everything that I have read. When the pen was inked with something that it was content with, it would write very nicely as pictured below, I made sure to use fast writing to show just how wet the flow was (And by no definition is this an EF by Western or Japanese standards).
I certainly think all of the above critera are reasons for sending a pen back. While many have said that getting a nib tuned is sort of a concession you have to make with even popular brands, there was a further issue. This pen is heavy. From Goulet’s product description page says it weighs 33g. That’s before filling it with ink. Writing more than a few sentences with this pretty beast gave me sharp pains from my wrist up through my palm.
On a high note: the converter is one of the nicest I’ve used and it will be missed.
I will not be a patron of Visconti, despite how gorgeous I find their pens to be.