Wednesday, December 26, 2018

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: OPUS 88 FANTASIA FOUNTAIN PEN

I reviewed the Opus 88 Koloro Demonstrator a while ago (read it HERE), and was quite impressed with the excellent quality they delivered for a very reasonable price. This time, Opus 88 steps into the pocket pen territory with their latest Fantasia range, and does so in a very unique and interesting way, both in terms of design and functionality!

Thanks to Pen Chalet for sending this pen over for review. You'll want to read on to the end of this review, because together with Pen Chalet I'm also giving one of these Fantasia pens away to a lucky reader!
The Fantasia is a curious pen. I remember being intrigued by the design when I first saw photos of it on Opus' Instagram page, I wasn't sure what to make of it. The ebonite and acrylic combo feels acquainted from their Koloro line of pens (which I haven't reviewed yet, let me know if you'd be interested in a review!). Then they went a step further, and incorporated a bunch of colored acrylic and ebonite rings in various bold colors into the cap. It's an eye-catching design element for sure, a playful and bold design choice. It might even come across as somewhat childish (definitely not a business-y pen!), but frankly it redeems itself because it's so damn well-made.
This tiny pen is -in fact- so well made, that it makes me question why this company can make a near-perfect product (fit and finish is bar none, everything is perfectly polished, parts are well-centered, and the entire construction feels sturdy), yet a multi-million company like Montblanc or Pelikan can't be bothered to correctly center their cap bands so the engraving lines up with the clip (UGH so annoying!). color me impressed!
If you think away those colorful stripes for a second, the design is actually quite straightforward, but they did incorporate some functional design elements in a rather interesting way. Again we see a Japanese eyedropper filling system, only slightly smaller of course. The piston knob at the back of the barrel is purposely smaller to reduce the size of the pen, but this can make it trickier to unscrew the seal (not impossible though), so they fixed that in a very clever way: like a screwdriver, the cap finial fits onto the back finial so you can use the cap to open and close the shut-off valve. It's a somewhat redundant feature because it's not impossible to unscrew without it, but it's clever nevertheless.
L to R: TWSBI Eco T, Sailor Pro Gear, Opus 88 Fantasia, Opus 88 Koloro, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000
As I said, the Opus Fantasia is a pocket-sized pen, measuring 11.6 cm (4.6") closed and 14.4 cm (5.7") posted. The cap can be screwed securely onto the back of the barrel to post, which transforms it into a very comfortably sized and balanced pen (rather lightweight, at 20g total). The section is very short, but the threads and step are subtle so they don't get in the way when I hold the pen. Despite the small footprint, it's a very comfortable writer, the only downside is of course that you have to screw and unscrew the cap both to open the pen and to post the cap, so it's not the most practical for quick notes.
What IS good for taking notes, is the large ink capacity, paired with the excellent nib. It's just a stock #5 JoWo nib on a stock plastic feed, but it writes as it should. It's a fine nib, smooth enough and the eyedropper filling system provides a consistent flow of ink.

If I had to make one remark, I'd say eyedroppers aren't immediately my preferred filling system for pocket pens. I don't know if it would be a smart move to pocket-carry, but I did carry it around in my backpack and it never leaked or burped (thanks to the shut-off system). I did seal the barrel threads with some silicon grease though, just in case.
The Fantasia is again an excellent product, just like the Koloro Demonstrator. I have yet to fault either of them on any aspect of their design, build quality and writing experience. At 125$, the Fantasia is a bit more expensive than the other Opus 88 pens, but the more intricate construction justifies the price point in my opinion. The design is perhaps a bit more playful than what I'm used to, but I guess that can't hurt every now and then. On top of that, it's just an excellent writer, and it's still not terribly expensive considering the quality you get.

The Fantasia is a great pen, and you can WIN one thanks to the great folks of Pen Chalet one Opus 88 Fantasia in a color and nib of choice to one lucky winner! All you have to do is enter the giveaway through the widget below! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This product and the giveaway product are provided to me by Pen Chalet, 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. GIVEAWAY RULES: Winner will be picked 01/03/2019 and will be contacted via email, if the winner fails to reply within one week, a new winner will be picked.

46 comments:

  1. My favourite pen this year is a Wing Sun demonstrator that writes like a dream! The 659 writes better than quite a few of my more expensive pens.

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  2. My favorite pen of 2018 is the TWSBI GO.

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  3. Rotring Artpen Millenium '99 Limited Edition

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  4. My favorite pen of 2018 is the Platinum 3776 Kumpoo.

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  5. My Parker Flighter 45 (I completely forgot I owned it and this year found it stored with my wedding guest book from 40 years ago-it had only been used on our wedding day!). Our daughter purchased a converter for it, inked it and I've been enjoying it since.

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  6. My favorite pen of 2018 is Lamy 2000 with an F nib

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  7. It's hard to pick just one favourite. I would have to say the PenBBS 469. It's surprisingly handy to have a pen with two inks at the same time.

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  8. Hands down, my Pelikan M120 (Iconic Blue) with a custom-ground nib from nibsmith.com. :-)

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  9. Nice and thorough review! My favourite pen of 2018 is the TWSBI Diamond 580ALR Nickel Gray.

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  10. My favorite pen in 2018 is a tie between the Platinun 3776 abd Diplomat Aero I received for my birthday. Great review!

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  11. The Wancher dream pen in true ebonite black silk!

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  12. My favorite pen of 2018 so far has been the BENU Briolette!

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  13. The one I suspect I'll like the most is still in the mail. I've not bought that many this year, the best one is probably the Tombow 101. Not a great writer, but I love the design.

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  14. My favourite pen of 2018 is easily my Pilot Vanishing Point. I finally took the plunge and haven’t been happier with that decision

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  15. My favorite pen is Sailor 1911 :) thanks for opportunity. :)

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  16. I just started the hobby in 2018, so I have lots of favorites! My Franklin-Christoph Model 45 in antique glass is probably my favorite followed closely by my Lamy 2000.

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  17. From the pens I purchased this year I'd say the Aurora Talentum Black ops!

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  18. My favorite pen of 2018 would have to be my TWSBI Eco.

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  19. TWSBI GO! it's so much fun!

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  20. Love Opus88 and this pen looks so beautiful. Thank you for the review and the giveaway!

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  21. My favorite pen this year is the kaweco liliput! Small pens are great!

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  22. A Medium Pilot Kakuno js my favourite so far, paired with a Pilot Con-70 converter!

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  23. My favourite pen from 2018 is probably the Opus picnic. Love the shape and filling mechanism.

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  24. Taccia Covenant in Parchment Swirl

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  25. My newly gifted 1967 Pelikan P474

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  26. Definitely the Lamy 2000 I picked up in February. Such a great work horse of a pen!

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  27. Got my first Sailor in 2018! The Pro Gear Ocean, and it's one of my favourite pens overall

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  28. My vintage Mabie Todd Swan with flex nib ♥

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  29. Thank you for the chance to win such a beautiful pen

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  30. Moonman M100 in Brown Art

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  31. My favorite one for 2018 is Lotus Sikhar

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  32. I’ve been wanting one of these pens since they came out. Thanks for the review.

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  33. My favorite pen that I got in 2018 is the Platinum 3776 Century Lavande with a fine nib.

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  34. This is a fantastic giveaway, thanks!

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  35. My favourite pen in 2018 was the Karas Kustoms Vertex - which hopefully will be available in larger quantities in 2019!

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  36. Nice and detailed review. The pen is amazing. From top of cap to bottom of barrel, a very well design pen.
    A bit expensive... But it all worth it

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  37. This is a tough one. It would have to be my Visconti Van Gogh Starry Night. The shape and color are incredible.

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  38. My favorite this year has been my pilot decimo.

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