I am so pleased to provide information on the Italian pen company, Leonardo Officina Italiana. I was introduced to the company in 2017 when I acquired a stunning fountain pen - Momento Zero Abyss. The pen which is made from rods of blue celluloid is a beautiful creation.
I will never forget being on our apartment patio in Rome, opening the pen box, and the deep rich colour tones of the Abyss celluloid capturing and reflecting the light of the early afternoon. My review of this pen is included in my Pens of Note.
The company is relatively young. But, despite that, it is rare to see a new pen company come into the market and have the buzz that Leonardo has created. This company is in the top ranking of regular posts on Instagram. People love their Leonardo pens. The photographs of the pen are inspiring the positive comments reflect the warm reception the various lines have received. The Momento Zero line was followed with the Furore, and then in 2019 The Momento Zero Grande, and the Art Deco. There has also been a number of limited edition pens. It all depends on the supply of celluloid or other material.
And right up there is the limited production Momento Zero that Leonardo created for the Vancouver Pen Club at the end of 2019.
And the story goes on ... A family tradition.
Everyonce in a while there are significant changes in the pen industry. Leonardo Officina Italian is one such change.
The company was born from seasoned expertise and passion for pens.
As tragic as the closing of Delta Pen was to the pen community, it created new opportunity for this new company to be formed. Leonardo. A forge, a laboratory, where experience and craftsmanship are mixed giving life to "pleasure" -- the pleasure of writing.
Over 45 years of experience in the field of writing instruments, handed down from father to son, from generation to generation. The company was founded by brother and sister, Salvatore and Mariafrancesca Matrone. The Matrone family has more than 45 years in the pen business. Ciro Matrone, was one of the founders of Delta. I had the pleasure of meeting Ciro a number of years ago when I visited the Delta headquarters and factory. Now, when I visit Leonardo, it is a pleasure to again meet up with Ciro.
On my 2018 visit to the Leonardo factory I again met with Salvatore and Mariafrancesca.
Today Leonardo Officina Italiana works on emotional and vintage projects. The method of production takes uses the systems, materials and the working techniques that characterize the craftsman. It is a relatively small factory, nothing the size of Aurora, Visconti or some of the other larger companies I have visited. But it felt very person. The connection of craftsman with the pen being produced. The Leonardo pens have a soul, a human warmth that only passion can give.
The fountain pen workmanship and the materials used differentiates Italian pens in the broader world market. Each Leonardo collection is manually produced in Italy, exclusively at the company located near Caserta, which is about 32 km from Naples.
Exclusive and selected materials that include celluloid, ebonite, wood, special resins, bronze and precious metal, always with a vintage imprint. The material is processed in a dedicated manner, for example celluloid is first cut into small cylinders and drilled in the center, after which it is left to "rest" a few months and then the modeling process begins, after various quality checks we start with polishing, assembly. In some cases, being a "raw" material it is necessary to use a special drying oven.
Assistance and warranty: All the collections of the Leonardo Italian workshop are guaranteed for life against any manufacturing defect. Technical assistance and repairs are carried out at the Leonardo official headquarters.
In 2017 when Salvatore and and I met in Rome, he talked about his new line of Pens, the Momento Zero. When I asked him about the name, and why he selected it, he replied, it means starting from zero and moving forward. I immediately identified with the personal message. I had previously met with Salvatore a few times on visit with the Delta pen company. At Delta, Salvatore worked along with his father and other members of the family. When the company closed it was an emotional experience.
But as Delta closed, Salvatore and his expertise in pen design and marketing along with his passion for pens created this new company. The Momento Zero is very similar to a pen he designed at Delta, the Journal. He refined the design and production of the pen and it became his first line of pens for his new company.
The Momento Zero is not the first pen that Leonardo produced. Like other pen companies, Leonardo produced pens for other companies. In fact some very impressive Italian fountain pens were produced at the Leonardo factory. The Momento Zero was the first of the Leonardo pens. So this is not a company's first pen produced model. No, it is based on over 45 year of pen expertise.
I was one of the first owners of a Momento Zero. I have a prototype of the celluloid Abyss, pen number 1 of 1. I have loved writing with that pen from the first day. It is well balanced in size and details. Based on the extremely positive response to the pens, the reputation of the company just continues to grow.
When Salvatore and I met for lunch in September 2019 he talked about the soon to be released Music Nib. I am looking forward to writing with this nib. The comments I have seen from those who have the nib are all excellent.
I have found the steel nibs produced by Leonardo to be some of the smoothest steel nibs I have written with. But the gold nibs just take the writing experience to high level.
Some of the pens have been released as Limited Edition issues. For example the Momento Zero Flame in acrylic was produced in a very small quantity. Sadily, I hesitated, and this pen is no longer available.
I got to get to Italy so that I can pick up this stunning pen that is being released at the end of 2019. The pen in the Momento Zero Grande version, made of stunning resin of yello, orange, green and black. The band on the cap of the pens has a slight zig zag texture which sets this pen apart from others. The pen comes fitted with an ebonite feed, produced in the Leonardo factory. Piston ink system, 14 kt gold nib available in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad and 1.3 Stub. There were only 100 pieces produced. Got to get travelling!
In 2019 this limited issue of the Momento Zero Grande created a totally new look. Using Japanese ebonite and guilloche engraving the Art Deco line was issued. The pen was issued with a limted number in each colour. The pen is fitted with a 14 kt gold nib and an ebonite feed. This pen has a red ebonite feed, and you can see the red showing through the two holes of the ultra smooth Music Nib.
In 2019 Leonardo created the Corsani Abyss Grade. This was made for Stilograph Corani, a great pen in Rome. Made of celluloid, the pen is based on the Momento Zero Grande body, has a piston fill, a 14kt rhodium plated gold nib that is available in Music, Broad, Extra Fine, Flex Fine, Medium and Stub 1.3 widths. Production is limited to 48 pieces.