Visconti Fine Pens Inspire a Writing Renaissance
Photo from www.visconti.it.
Imagine owning your own Van Gogh, Rembrandt or da Vinci. If you are someone who appreciates the finer things in life, particularly luxury pens, the idea is not that far-fetched. For more than 25 years, Italian pen manufacturer Visconti has been drawing inspiration from the European masters. Housed in a beautiful 15th century Florentine villa, Visconti has built a high-end pen brand that is synonymous with fine writing instruments and emblematic of the rich cultural center it calls home. Rooted in centuries of history, artistry, archaelogy, philosophy and science, Visconti fountain pens, Visconti rollerball pens and Visconti ballpoint pens are recognized as masterpieces in their own right and are the writing tools of choice for sultans, shieks, presidents and royals the world over.
It’s true, the exquisite craftsmanship and precious materials found in each and every Visconti pen are reflected in the price tag, which can range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, we were not surprised when the purveyors of lavish lifestyles at TheRichest.com included two of Visconti’s Limited Edition fountain pens among the top ten most expensive pens in the world. Embellished with ornamental motifs made of white and yellow gold and encrusted with diamonds, the market value of either the Visconti HRH Limited Edition Ripple Fountain Pen or the Visconti HRH Limited Edition Forbidden City Fountain Pen
rivals that of a luxury sedan. However, if you are in a position to enjoy grandeur on this scale, the gratification of owning a true work of art – especially one you can carry with you in your breast pocket – cannot be overstated.
The story behind Visconti’s meteoric rise to fame has been chronicled in many well-known publications, including Pen World Magazine and Forbes, and retold again and again in the online blogs of knowledgeable pen distributors, retailers, collectors, and quality fountain pen aficionados. The creative genius behind the Visconti brand is Dante Del Vecchio, a visionary who founded the company in 1988 with his then partner Luigi Poli. Both men were ardent pen enthusiasts and collectors who shared a special nostalgia for a bygone era when fine fountain pens were painstakingly handcrafted and detailed using a material called celluloid. Del Vecchio also owned his own retail pen shop and came from a line of factory owners and workers, including his grandfather, whose ornamental wrought iron pieces were praised throughout Europe. Del Vecchio, upon reflection, was quoted in Pen World Magazine as saying “passion, art, and entrepreneurship run thick in my veins.” Using his reverence for vintage pens as a catalyst, he built a modern company structured to deliver excellence in all areas: R & D, production, marketing, sales, distribution and customer service. Del Vecchio described the Visconti team for Pen World as a “family” where creativity, innovation and organization coexist harmoniously.
Together, the Visconti team has successfully introduced hundreds of quality fountain pen, rollerball pen, and ballpoint pen models made from a wide variety of striking and sometimes rare materials, including bachelite, ebonite, basaltic lava, antique ivory, solid marble, carbon graphite, silver, aluminum, titanium, resin, Lucite, iridium, acrylic, and of course, celluloid. Celluloid is a material Visconti is credited with having re-introduced to the marketplace at a time when many pen manufacturers were turning to acrylics, thermoplastics shaped by injecting melted material into molds and used to mass produce low-cost consumer items. Invented in 1864, celluloid is made from cotton, alcohol and camphor. The manufacturing process is long and complex and prone to problems like flammability and uneven drying, which in turn can lead to brittleness. However, Del Vecchio and his team recognized the material’s inherent advantages and determined the end result was worth the added effort. Because it is easy to color, celluloid expands the range of possible designs and hues. And it is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the hands of those wielding it, allowing for a more comfortable writing experience.
The creativity Visconti designers and engineers have displayed in their material choices also has fueled several technological breakthroughs. No pen component has been left unexamined, from the body, clip, ring and cap to the screws, pistons, pins, springs and nib. As a result, the relatively young company is responsible for many notable “firsts” and holds a surprising number of patents.
- Desk and traveling inkwells that offer easy access to 100% of the container’s ink, while also providing a simpler, cleaner, and faster refilling experience.
- Double Reservoir Power Filler that greatly increases ink capacity and prevents leakage during plane travel due to changes in air pressure.
- Triple Channel Feed Performance that balances the amount of air and ink flowing through the nib for exceptional writing performance.
- Palladium DreamTouch nib that offers greater flexibility, memory, and fluidity.
- Arched clip reminiscent of a bridge that emphasizes both friendship and diplomacy, all the while performing the important function of securing the pen in place without wrinkling or damaging shirt fabrics.
- Safe lock that prevents pen cap from accidentally dislodging.
- Square-circle body design (evoking the twin images of motion and stability) that can be gripped comfortably and won’t roll away on a flat surface.
- “My Pen System” that provides pen owners with a creative and fun way to customize their pens by adding initials, favorite gem stones, or zodiac signs.
The features above are all readily apparent in Visconti’s distinctive pen collections, which are grouped into Visconti Regular Edition, Visconti Limited Edition and Visconti HRH (Her Royal Highness) production runs. In his blog article “A Conversation with Visconti,” pen collector and devotee Glenn Marcus explains that the designation HRH was developed in 1996 for the Sultan of Brunei and dedicated to Princess Diana. These pens, in particular, are heralded for their elegance, a quality Visconti defined for Pen World as a perfect blending of proportionality, color, form, handiness, and weight. In fact, Visconti’s Divina Collection was inspired by the aesthetically balanced Golden Ratio 1.618 (also known as Phi) and Leonardo da Vinci’s related illustrations in the classic text De Divina Proportione, which detailed the eye-pleasing relationship between head, torso, and limbs. Visconti’s near flawless execution of this concept earned its Divina HRH model Pen World’s 2007 Pen of the Year Award, one of many achievements, according to Marcus, that Visconti has amassed over the past two decades.
Today, Epic Mens has more than 20 Visconti fine fountain pens, Visconti rollerball pens, and Visconti ballpoint pens in stock, not only from the Visconti Divina Pen Collection, but also from the popular Visconti Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali, and of course Homo Sapiens Pen Collections. Visit www.epicmens.com to get a closer look at one of our best-selling Visconti pens – the Visconti Black Divina Large Rollerball Pen. True to form, its perfectly proportioned, glossy black Lucite body trimmed with spiraling sterling silver rods is both an artistic and scientific marvel. Not to be outdone, however, is our newest Visconti addition, the Visconti Rembrandt Black Ballpoint Pen. Dubbed “Most Incredible Value” by Pen World Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards, Visconti’s Rembrandt Collection of fine pens employs a natural variegated resin to expertly replicate the painter’s famed “chiaroscuro” or marbling technique. Handmade in Florence, every model in this highly touted collection of quality pens easily qualifies as an heirloom treasure.
Expensive? Yes. Indulgent? Yes. Singular, irresistible, and mesmerizing? Yes, yes, and yes. Whether purchased as a gift or for oneself, a Visconti fountain pen, rollerball pen or ballpoint pen is a singular acquisition that sets its owner apart from the teeming masses. As pointed out by Del Vecchio himself in the narrative shared on the company website, a Visconti pen is more than just a fine writing instrument, it is a companion for life.