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

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