Visconti Homo Sapiens
Visconti issued the Homo Sapiens pen in 2010 and it quickly became a very popular selling pen.
The pen is molded from basaltic lava from the Etna Volcano in Sicily. Having been to the top of Mount Etna, well it was only right that I would own this pen.
The lava ash, a dominate material used, is blended with resins to form a very durable material for the pen. Because of the characteristics of the material, the Homo Sapiens has a very interesting feel, one that is very comfortable and appealing in the hand. I like the solid feel of the pen. The pen is almost 7 inches when the cap is posted. Without the cap it is 5.25" in length.
The pen is a rich brown colour, and the bronze trim used for the rings, the clip and the band near the nib section look very smart with this colour. Bronze, as opposed to gold plate is a good selection of materials, given the theme of this pen.
The cap has a bayonet twist and lock mechanism, similar to my Davina. This is handy as it means there is not a long threading process to cap the pen, and it is more refined that a cap that stays on with friction.
The nib is the 23k 950 palladium, Visconti calls this the "Dreamtouch" nib. Dreamtouch is a good description of how smoothly this nib slides across the paper. I do not have very many pens with a Medium Nib, but this pen has what I would call a "healthy" medium and I enjoy writing with the pen. The nibs are available from Extra Fine to a 1.3 Stub.
The body is of a good size in terms of girth and length.
At the end of the body section is the section to turn to access the "high vacuum power filler". Visconti uses this on other models. The filling mechanism is the aspect of this pen that I see note on pen discussion boards as being difficult to knack. There is even a video on YouTube.
The piston is make of titanium, a material known for not being impacted by the corrosion of inks. the filling mechanism is a high vacuum power filler.
Basically, place the nib fully submerged in ink. Twist the cap and pull the rod up, push the rob down in one smooth motion and hold for five seconds. The holding the nib in the ink for five or ten seconds is an important step. Visconti notes that to get even more ink into the chamber, you can repeat this step.
Visconti says the pen material is unbreakable and flameproof. It will be interesting to see how this pen wears over time. The body material is somewhat porous, Visconti calls it hygroscopic and that has been described on various retail sites as, allowing it to absorb hand sweat during use. I notice that when you wipe ink off the ink section after a fill-up there is no staining of the body, so that is a good sign. The bronze trim look great, and my understanding of bronze is that it will develop a patina over time. So I am expecting this pen to look like one of my great Italian leather briefcases over time!
Limited production pen.