Monday, October 26, 2020

REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN

REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Otto Hutt is celebrating their centennial anniversary, and they're taking the opportunity to make a push towards the higher end market. Pretty much their entire celebration year is built around a unique limited edition at a price point significantly higher than you'd typically expect from the German brand!    

Celebrating anniversaries with expensive limited editions seems to be a trend more than ever. Lamy released the 2000 50th anniversary Black Amber a few years ago, Platinum had their exuberantly priced Prime Platinum last year (at 10K, clearly not an easy pen to move, even though 'only' 100 were made!), very recently Diplomat announced the pricey 90th-anniversary celebration 'Zepp', and Otto Hutt celebrates its centennial with the all-new Design C. But limited editions are a tricky business to get right. Otto Hutt took a gamble with their new Design C, so how did they do? 
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Before we start: when I say 'expensive', I mean expensive! The Design C is a 2500€ pen. It costs almost 5 times as much as their current flagship pen, the Design 07 (reviewed HERE), and it was admittedly very hard to shake that thought, while testing the Design C. A pricetag like that inevitably changes your perception about a product. I mean, they sent a pair of gloves along, urging me to be very careful with their review sample. That sort of sets the tone. 

On a completely unrelated sidenote, the attentive reader will have noticed that the Design C is the first Otto Hutt that's not marked by a number. Although in this case, the C is used as a Roman numeral, so it represents 100 - the 100th anniversary for Otto Hutt. Clever!
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Let's actually look at the pen! The Design C is a complete overhaul of the design language of Otto Hutt. In a way, it follows closely to the latest Otto Hutt Design 03 (reviewed HERE). With the help of designer Mark Braun, an ultra-minimal pen is brought to the table in a way that suits their evolution towards more modern, and clean aesthetics. Effectively transitioning the brand away from the 'old' Otto Hutt with more traditional looks and a lot of silver finishes. But it's exactly that history in producing various writing instruments in silver that is still a big part of the concept of the Design C. It's a 71-gram chunk of solid sterling silver. 
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Quite literally, This is quite a chunk of pen you're holding in your hand! Monolithic, straight and mostly featureless, with slightly domed - but unadorned - finials. It's extremely simple, yet certainly striking, in a way. The proportions of the Design C follow the golden ratio. But the golden ratio looks a bit weird on pen, so you get a design with a relatively short cap and long barrel.
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Stripped of unnecessary features, the Design C is maybe most characterized by the two small solid 18k gold 'indices' right above and below the seam between cap and barrel. These two dots functionally act as a roll-stopper for both cap and barrel, but aesthetically they break up the, mostly unadorned, sterling silver surface of the Design C. 

I must say, the perfectly polished sterling silver surface is a bit daunting. It's a fingerprint magnet of course, but sterling silver also notoriously doesn't stay immaculate and beautifully polished! Call it patina, but after two or three days that pristine pen you see in the pictures started to look a bit less pristine... and yes, that's WITH the gloves and extremely careful handling!
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
 REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Some smaller details like the engravings on the piston knob are etched in a tiny and neat font, making them stand out very little in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps those engravings look a bit too clean though, it may have been nice if they had done those by hand, to signify the skill and craftsmanship that's involved in working with precious metals. Then again, it's a minimal design they were after, so I guess minimal branding fits the bill. 
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
The Design C comes presented in a very large presentation box. Included are a polishing cloth, a nice booklet, and a bottle of permanent blue ink, which seems to be a fairly nice darker blue color. I didn't dare to put a permanent ink in this loaner pen though, so I went with a more benign fill of Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire instead.    
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Also included in the box is a custom leather pen case. It's wet-formed around the shape of the Design C, and it looks quite ok from afar. Unfortunately, the second you pick up the case, you'll immediately feel that it's not the kind of case you put a very expensive pen in. It feels light and cheap, and the edges are weirdly sharp, to the point where I think it might add more micro-scratches to the delicate finish of the Design C than it prevents (ok, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it still doesn't feel very premium). Additionally, it's a very awkward size for something that's custom-fitted for this specific pen. The entire case is bulky, and the flap extends extremely far beyond the actual length of the pen. Surely for a 2500$ pen, the case is overall underwhelming.
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
L to R: Ennso Piuma, Pelikan M1005, Montblanc 149, Otto Hutt Design 06, Design 07, Design C, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
The Design C is not a terribly large pen, but it's extremely dense and space-optimized. At 14cm/ 5.51" closed, the Design C fits right in with other Otto Hutt pens, that's to say: not too large. However, the C turns into a notably large pen when uncapped! Of all pens in this lineup, the Design C starts second to smallest in line, but ends up as the largest pen in the hand at 13.5cm/ 5.31". That's impressive and functional. 
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
The cap takes about two (very smooth!) turns to uncap. Underneath, the satin black section creates a stark contrast with the shiny silver outside. The stainless steel section is PVD coated, and at least on this well-tested sample that passed a lot of hands before me, the finish is still flawless so it seems durable enough to hold up. The wavy texture of the section is strongly reminiscent of the Lamy Persona/Imporium (reviewed HERE). It provides a secure grip, but it's quite uncommon so it definitely takes some time to get used to. There's a relatively steep step towards the barrel of the pen, but the section provides enough space so you don't have to rest your fingers on the step. Together with the comfortable diameter of 11-12 mm, the section is overall quite pleasant and comfortable to hold.

The solid silver and stainless steel construction of the Design C makes for an incredibly solid-feeling pen. Unfortunately, it's quite noticeably back-weighted, because of the complex mechanism for the filling system that we'll touch on in a minute. I'm quite ok with heavier pens, but the trick is having all that weight balance properly in your hand - the Design C is noticeably a bit off, in that regard.
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
The cause of the back-weighted balance is Otto Hutt's Pull+Twist piston filling mechanism, specially designed for this pen. It's a big selling point for the Design C. Undoubtedly a lot of engineering and designing effort went into its creation... But I'm simply not blown away by it. The piston engages by pulling the piston knob out a couple millimeters, after which it functions like a normal piston filler. It's more complex and finicky than it looks though, and the fiddling it takes to activate and deactivate the mechanism distracts from the user experience. When the mechanism is actually engaged and you're ready to fill the pen, it is a bit squeaky and feels very light and unsubstantial (like a captured converter, not a proper piston mechanism). There's a bit of play on the mechanism as well - not too surprising, given how many moving parts there are! - which sometimes rattles just the tiniest bit. As I said, kudos to Otto Hutt for trying to do something different... but I think it needs a bit more fine-tuning to feel as premium as it should.
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
The nib is a #6 18k gold one. It's made by JoWo and sits on a stock JoWo feed, but the nib design itself is completely custom. I quite like how it's two-tone, but the plating isn't separated by the imprint itself. Instead, only the o | h logo - Otto Hutt's new branding style - is centered on the nib, with a few simple lines surrounding it. It's quite different and not too cluttered - I like it. 

I like even better how it writes. A pretty regular JoWo experience, I guess, but JoWo makes killer gold nibs so that's not a bad thing. It's perfectly smooth, responsive, and definitely on the wetter side. It has a slight bit of bounciness to it for a cushioned writing experience. The nib also doesn't dry out over extended periods of time. Excellent marks for anything concerning the nib and overall writing experience. 
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
If you haven't read Antony's (UKFountainpens) interview with designer Mark Braun,  I'd suggest you go do that before reading on. It's interesting to get a look in the head of the designer, but it also highlights some of the marketing around the Design C that I don't get behind. 

For one, Mark Braun insists on categorizing the C as 'Democratic luxury'. In his eyes, you only need to buy this one, high-quality pen and have that for the rest of your life. Surely, that's an ideology. While this is most certainly an heirloom-quality pen, it is most likely not the only pen you'll ever buy, and especially not the only pen you'll use every day... Certainly, I wouldn't feel comfortable using a 2,5K pen every day of the week. I also don't think anybody who's not deeply into pens would shell out 2500$ on a whim, and have the Design C as their be-all-end-all pen. Having a heirloom-quality, EDC pen definitely doesn't mean it has to cost as much as the Design C. 

Secondly, using the term 'Democratic luxury' is also a bit contradictory. Being a piece of democratic luxury would imply moving away from a business model that uses limited availability and exclusivity as a way to control their brand image, and prices that intrinsically target only the lucky few. If 2500$ for a limited edition pen is no longer viewed as 'exclusive', please let me know, because that would mean my perception of pricing and accessibility is quite far off! Funnily enough, in his interview with Anthony, Mark Braun also admits that this pen is very expensive BECAUSE it is an anniversary edition and therefore more exclusive, which contradicts once again his entire reasoning.
REVIEW: OTTO HUTT DESIGN C FOUNTAIN PEN
Remember how I started this review, pointing out that even Otto Hutt's top-of-the-line Design 07 doesn't come nowhere near the Design C's hefty retail price of 2436€ (2380$ without VAT) from retailers like our site sponsor La Couronne Du Comte (Though you can get 10% off with our discount code 'penthusiast'!) While markups like these are certainly not unheard of for limited editions from well-established high-end brands like Montblanc, Namiki, etc., it's not something every brand can justify doing. Even though I'd consider Otto Hutt to be a premium brand, this is uncharted price territory for them, so they don't necessarily have the customer base and loyal following that expects to pay this much for a pen. TL;DR - It's not a Montblanc Writer's edition that can pull off an exorbitant price, 'just because'!

That being said, I think the Otto Hutt Design C is a good pen in most ways - except maybe the filling system - and even an exceptional pen in certain ways. I, for one, am obviously quite a big fan of the minimal and futuristic design approach they took, and for once I think it's an example of a pen where a collaboration with a famous designer DOES work out quite well (I'm looking at you, Visconti Iopenna!). I'm sure the target audience for this pen exists somewhere out there, but they may just have to still find Otto Hutt on their path. I'm definitely curious to see if the Design C marks the first step in an effort from Otto Hutt to position their brand (even more) upmarket!

Note: This product was sent on loan by Otto Hutt, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affiliate links.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN

REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
One week, and three reviews of Italian pens (Earlier this week we looked at the Leonardo Cuspide and Tibaldi Perfecta), you could say that's a trend! Yes, I do have a thing for Italian pens, and in particular I have (or rather, had) a thing for Delta pens... 

It just so happens that two of the three pens I reviewed this week have a common history related to Delta! The Italian company that gave us the Dolcevita (one of my all-time favorite pens!) was run by two proprietors: Ciro Matrone (whose children Mariafrancesca and Salvatore now run Leonardo), and Nino Marino from the brand we're looking at today - Maiora. They both went their separate ways after the demise of Delta. But double the number of brands, double the number of fun products, innit? So you don't hear me complain! 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
So today we'll be looking at the first fountain pen design from Nino's new brand: the Maiora Impronte. In a way, the Maiora Impronte follows a similar design cue to the Leonardo Momento Zero. You'll probably see this comparison being made quite often, and not completely without reason. Both pens unmistakable take on distinct characteristics from Delta. The Italian style is easily recognizable in both pens, so to speak! But they do separate quite themselves quite clearly I think, especially in terms of finishes and when looking at the smaller details. 

In contrast with Leonardo's more classic looks (traditional rolling wheel clips, recognizable decorative bands, and other small details), I find Maiora follows a more minimal and modern approach, without completely discarding the typical classic 'Italian design' look and feel. It's still a pen with character, not just sleek, clean lines.
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
The Impronte is a cigar-shaped, flattop pen with pronounced pointed finials. The Impronte has a pronounced angular, fairly sleek design. There are a couple thin decorative bands scattered across the pen, but it never comes across as too ornamental or cluttered. The cap is stubby and tapers down very straight towards the cap finial. In contrast, the barrel is elongated and has a slightly more rounded taper to it, stretching out into a long and narrow blind cap at the back. You'll definitely notice that the Impronte's cap is short in proportion to the rest of the pen, which adds some visual appeal to the overall shape.
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
Maiora's logo incorporates V-shapes, arranged in a star-like pattern, with a nib subtly hidden inside the logo. The V-shape returns in the clip design, which is probably my favorite element on the entire pen because it's so meticulously crafted. The solid, cast clip, with its pointed shape, has a stepped design. The top face of the clip is polished, which contrasts nicely with the matte sides. 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
In terms of functionality, this is certainly not the easiest clip to use, but I don't typically clip my fountain pens to things, so that's not really a dealbreaker for me personally. In this case, I'll gladly take looks over functionality. Maiora (and daughter-company Nettuno) seem to use casting techniques quite often for the trims on their pens (Delta did, too!). I appreciate them going the extra mile to incorporate traditional techniques like this in a modern-day pen! 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
What really sets the Impronte apart for me, is the unique choice and combination of materials. Also, it's orange. I like orange pens - for whatever reason - so they had me hooked right away! The 'original' colorway (it doesn't actually have a name!) that I was sent here, combines three different resins and finishes: matte black, glossy black, and an orange-gold-black 'spaghetti resin'. 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
Black swirls and subtle translucency on once side of the barrel...
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
... but rotating the pen reveals bright yellow-orange streaks with strong chatoyance!
The orange spaghetti resin is a combination of different acrylics, mated together as little strips. It's a combination of black swirled acrylic with gold flecks scattered in it, and different shades of orange resin with varying degrees of translucency and chatoyance to them. There's a lot of variety in the material depending on how you rotate it, giving a nice interplay of light and dark. While the combination of finishes may sound like a cacophony, I think it's really well-executed and the colors work together quite harmoniously.  Especially the combination of the spaghetti resin with matte black parts is quite striking.

It's probably worth noting that, if you prefer silver trims on your pens, you're out of luck with the Maiora Impronte in this orange colorway. There are other versions though, like the blue Capri, that come with silver-colored trims. The Impronte 'orange' is only available with gold-plated hardware, which does match the orange and black color scheme quite well. 

My only gripe with the matte cap is that the finish is slightly inconsistent across the length of the cap (for the life of me, I couldn't capture it in the photos, but it's visible irl). It's probably a small production error on this particular pen (people I talked to didn't have this on their Maiora's), but worth noting nonetheless. Otherwise, I have absolutely no complaints about construction and fit and finish of the Impronte. 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
L to R: Pelikan M800, Edison Collier, Leonardo Momento Zero Grande, Leonardo Moment Zero, Maiora Impronte, Lamy 2000, Lamy Safari.
The interesting thing about the sizing of the two versions of the Impronte is that the 'Standard' and 'Oversized' versions are seemingly very similar, at least on paper. (It remains to be seen how the small increase in size changes the way the oversized Impronte feels in use!) But in any case, the regular model is already quite a serious, large pen. It measures 14.7 cm closed, and 13.3 cm uncapped. The regular Impronte has a diameter of about 16 mm, and the section, while relatively short, is nice and wide (about 12 mm at the widest point) with a strong concave profile that really locks your grip securely in place. 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
The way the section takes your grip forward makes it so you're not really holding the pen right on the threads or slight step towards the barrel. Not that either of those things came across as particularly bothersome to me (the threads are fairly shallow and unobtrusive, and the step is rounded off and not too drastic), but you can notice them a little bit. 

With a weight of 27 grams in total, the Impronte is not too heavy at all. Most of the weight sits fairly close towards the grip because of the strongly tapered barrel, so the balance is right, even with the cap posted. 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
Another common trait between Delta, Leonardo, and Maiora is their use of 'captured converter'-type filling systems. Some people don't like that - I actually don't mind. It gives you the ability to swap between converter and cartridges as you please, but it still retains a bit of the style and 'user experience' of using a piston-filled pen. Maiora implements it properly, with a screw-in converter that has a metal twist knob on the back with 'Maiora' laser-engraved on it, and plated to match the rest of the gold-colored trim. 
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
The JoWo-made nib on the Maiora Impronte is an excellent choice in terms of writing experience, but if I may pick some nits, I'd like them to do away with the classic scrollwork imprint, and just keep the modern Maiora branding to better fit the rest of the pen.

The JoWo B nib performed excellent out of the box, and exactly as you'd expect from a quality steel nib. It's stiff as a nail - as Jowo's tend to be -, but the broad tipping is perfectly smooth and it lays down a generous, wet line of ink. Jowo nibs are consistently decent writers, so I can't really complain there. The Impronte has a tendency to dry out juuust a little bit over the course of several days. Interestingly this issue never persists for long no matter how long the pen hasn't been used. Flow immediately picks up right after that first hesitating line, so it's not that bad.
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN
While I can't say that I like that Delta stopped a few years ago, I'm pleased to see both ex-business partners still continuing in their trade and keeping the Delta DNA alive in their own respective ways. That being said, while Leonardo and Maiora's common history is nice and reflects in an aesthetic that will most likely speak to Delta fans, I also stand behind letting each brand's products speak for themselves. In that view, I think Maiora's modern and slightly experimental design language of the Impronte is an excellent starting point for them to establish a new and fresh brand identity. I'm curious to see where they take it from here!

In terms of pricing, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Maiora offers the Impronte both the regular and oversized versions of the Impronte for the exact same price. While I'll still have to compare this regular version to its' oversized sibling in the future, I do like that you can choose purely based on the aesthetic or comfort difference between the two, instead of having to also factor in cost. I think their price of 180€ (175$ without VAT from site sponsor Appelboom) is correct, and competitive in today's market. It lines up perfectly with Leonardo's current pricing of the Momento Zero and Furore, and many other Italian pens with similar specs.

NOTE: This product was provided by Maiora, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affiliate links.
REVIEW: MAIORA IMPRONTE FOUNTAIN PEN

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN

REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
A new brand today... Or well, not really. Tibaldi is of course no new name to the market, with a long history in pen making (well over a century, in fact!). The brand went under in the sixties, then dabbled around until 2001 (with the most notable pen in that second period without a doubt being the illustrious Tibaldi Impero!), and ultimately was picked up by Montegrappa somewhere in 2004. Montegrappa initially used the Tibaldi name for extremely high-end limited editions, and maybe most notably for collaborations with Bentley and Bugatti... not that those were really all that memorable considering the price, in my opinion. But now, out of nowhere, Montegrappa has seemingly rebranded the Tibaldi name and given it a proper focus on modern and trendy luxury pens, watches and accessories at a more reasonable mid-tiered price point. All of a sudden, Tibaldi became interesting again!
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
I've got two Tibaldi pen reviews in the pipeline for you (of three - soon four - models in total right now), and right off the bat, I can tell you that these are pretty nice pens! We'll start with perhaps the pen that intrigued me most: the Tibaldi Perfecta! As soon as I saw this pen on Stilografica's website, I knew I had to give it a go, so thanks to the kind folks at Stilografica for making that possible!
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
If anything, I think the current Tibaldi incarnation has a very clear path ahead of them, of what they want to do and how they want to do it. Their stylistic, fresh-but-also-classic design approach shines through even in the packaging. It's just cardboard, really, so it's nothing overly fancy. And yet it's still solid, hefty and flawlessly finished with a fun geometric print on the sides and a bright orange paper outer sleeve. It's probably silly to be impressed by a cardboard box, but in this case I am.
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
Anyway, on to the pen! The Tibaldi Perfecta is a slightly smaller pen, taking strong design cues from the hugely popular safety pens of the early 1900s, a design style that's also the basis for the very popular - and now sadly long sold-out - Montblanc Heritage 1912. In contrast to the MB 1912 though, the Perfecta only inspired its superficial design from the safety pen. Underneath the surface, it's a modern cartridge converter-filled pen, and lacks the retractable nib mechanism that the 1912 is known for (even though it appears as if the Perfecta's barrel ends in an actual turning knob - but it does not!). The Perfecta comes in two colorways: this sleek all-black version, and an even more vintage-inspired version with a contrasting beige/black flecked acrylic for the cap!
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
Even though you don't actually get a safety pen out of the Tibaldi Perfecta, I still very much appreciate its' design! It certainly does feel vintage-inspired, and yet it also takes a rather minimal approach in the smaller details on the pen:
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
The subtle branding around the cap lip,...
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
The square guilloché bands around the cap finial, section and two more at the back of the barrel (which, as I said, creates sort of a visual divide between the barrel and piston knob even though it's all a single piece), and the sleek, modern-looking clip.
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
I don't like my clips this bendy
I've said it multiple times before, but for those that don't know: I'm a stickler for clip design! And this one, unfortunately, isn't working for me. The design in itself is quite ok. It's very bulky but as I said it's another modern detail that clashes nicely with the overall vintage inspiration of the Perfecta. The problem is the material it's made out of: rubber! I think it's a thin bent piece of steel (which you can see where it's attached to the cap), cast into a piece of rubber. It sort of sags a little, and bends when you pull it up to attach to something - it doesn't feel reassuringly strong to me. 
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
Most importantly though, the rubber is a dust magnet and it just distracts from the otherwise very well-executed design. Ok That's all. Clip rant over.
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
L to R: Platinum #3776, Leonardo Momento Zero, Montegrappa Zero, Tibaldi perfecta, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000
The Perfecta is what I'd describe as a medium-sized pen, coming in at 13.7 cm/ 5.39" capped, and 12.4 cm/ 4.88" uncapped. Even though that's technically a little below what I'd consider a comfortable size for my hand, I'm willing to be somewhat lenient here because the slightly tapered up barrel shape (the widest point is actually at the decorative bands at the back!) and balance make for an overall pleasant fit in the hand, still. The total weight of 25 grams is enough to make it feel like a sturdy pen, but remains unobtrusive in the hand. You do get a nice, comfortable section with a pleasant diameter (12mm/ 0.47") and threads at the front. But to make optimal use of the size of the Perfecta, I did find my grip to rest on the threads at the front of the section, and even a bit on the step right in front of it.
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
The threads are flattened off enough so to not be an issue for my grip, but the step is of course noticeable. Interestingly, Tibaldi seems to have removed the step in a recently updated version, where the part in between the nib and threads is now slightly longer and has a gentle taper to ease the transition (Anthony from UK Fountain Pens reviewed the updated version HERE). That should be a positive improvement in terms of comfort.
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
The cartridge/converter filling Perfecta is refilled by unscrewing the small front section right in front of the threads. With fairly little information to go by, I must admit it took me a hot minute of trying to figure out where exactly it opens up. The c/c filling system is ok, but nothing to write home about. The section has some metal parts, so you cannot eyedropper it - should you be wondering if that's the way to get at least a bit of the vintage safety filler vibe!

REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
The nib is supposedly supplied by Bock, something I can agree with after writing with the Perfecta for a while. It's a rather simple-looking nib with a cool laser-engraving of Tibaldi's eagle-like (?) logo (Sorry, I don't know my birds! But I do know that I like the modern Tibaldi logo) that works well. The steel nib is stiff, but it's a smooth and hassle-free writer that isn't plagued by hard-starting issues or skipping, so I can't really complain. Perhaps the biggest feature of the Perfecta (and any Tibaldi pen, for that matter) can be found underneath the nib, though!
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
... Yes that's right, an ebonite feed! Can we just all agree that these should become the standard on pens, even in this mid-tier price range? Very rarely do I come across a pen with ebonite feed that actually worsens the performance. Perhaps they are sometimes a bit too gushy, but that can simply be fixed by 'setting' the feed with mild heat or warm water. In general, though, ebonite feeds play nicer with inks than plastic feeds do (they have better 'wettability', to throw a technical term at it). Tibaldi takes a moderate approach to their ebonite feed setup: it's balanced, not gushy but not dry either. Above all, ink flow is consistent and keeps up flawlessly. It's nice to see Tibaldi bring ebonite feeds to their entire catalog. I do wonder why they do it though, and their mother company - Montegrappa - does not?
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN
I must say, the Tibaldi Perfecta took me by surprise for a second, and I was intrigued right from the get-go. I'm intrigued by this old-but-new brand, and I'm liking the style they convey with everything from the packaging to their marketing material. (Obviously, Montegrappa knows how to run a pen brand!) I really quite like the Tibaldi Perfecta. The vintage-inspired design is nice, its a very decent writer overall, and it's offered at a fair price point. While 195€ (about 190$ without VAT from our site sponsor Casa Della Stilografica - Get 10% off with discount code 'Firenze'!) is not cheap by any means, we've talked before about how 200-300$ seems to be the new mid-tiered price bracket that a lot of brands are moving into. With that in mind, I certainly think the Perfecta has everything it takes to play along with similarly priced competition from other Italian brands like Leonardo, Maiora, or even some of Montegrappa's own pens.

This product was provided on loan by Casa Della Stilografica, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared in this review are completely my own! This post does not contain affiliate links.
REVIEW: TIBALDI PERFECTA FOUNTAIN PEN