Thursday, December 3, 2020

REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN

REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN

I'll be honest with you, the original Furore never appealed to me in the same way that the Leonardo Momento Zero (review HERE) did. I'm just partial to flattop designs, that much is certainly clear when I look at their overwhelming representation in my personal collection. That's not to say that I can't enjoy a good torpedo-shaped pen like the Furore of course, but subconsciously I'll always be drawn towards flattop designs (or semi-flattop, or whatever you'd like to call the Momento Zero's general shape). 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
The Furore Grande next to the Momento Zero Grande
And then Leonardo introduced the Momento Zero Grande (review HERE). With the Grande's upgrades over the Momento Zero towards a more 'mature' filling system (now in 2020 even a true piston filling mechanism), a fantastic ebonite feed that's made in-house, and just an overall very nice oversized design, the Momento Zero Grande was Leonardo's #1 product for me. The Grande is a more expensive pen, that's right, but it also feels much more well-rounded. And frankly, for everything it offers, it's still very competitively priced IMHO. 

So the Furore didn't stand a chance, and - for me at least - had to live in the shadows of the MZ Grande for well over a year... Until last month, when we saw the release of the Leonardo Furore Grande, which levelled the playing field! 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
As you'd expect, the Furore Grande enjoys the same upgrades as that other Grande, but let's first look at the design. I would've compared the Furore Grande to the regular Furore, but I have to shamefully admit that I still don't own one (I'm trying one out soon, though, I promise!). The simple, streamlined Torpedo shape of the Furore returns almost completely unchanged on the Grande version - except bigger of course -, down to the double cap band (instead of the triple bands on most of the Momento Zero Grandes) and of course the recognizable rolling-wheel clip. 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
Comparing the Furore Grande to the Momento Zero Grande, it's clear that they both draw inspiration from the same well. For example: the cap design - which was changed on the Momento Zero for their 2020 updated collection - has the same streamlined gradual transition from the cap bands towards the slightly narrower barrel. I must say I actually enjoy the design of the Furore Grande more so than I anticipated. It looks and feels much more streamlined and uncluttered compared to the MZ... even though they really aren't that different apart from the finial design. 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
The Furore Grande Hawaii next to the equally beautiful MZ Grande in Dark Hawaii
The Furore Grande launched in four colors: blue, blue, blue, and... purple. Frankly, I think the color palette could've been a bit more diverse, but you won't hear me complain too much because one of those blue materials is the blue Hawaii spaghetti resin, and it's just spectacular! 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
That being said, I do wonder if there's not at least something to be said for a simple and elegant black colorway? If you look at the entirety of Leonardo's portfolio, I feel like a few basic (read: less colorful) finishes may be missing. But then again, things seem to be going just fine for their more colorful and experimental material choices, so it's probably not coincidental that that's the path they seem to be focused on.
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
L to R: Pelikan M1005, Maiora Impronte, Leonardo Momento Zero, Momento Zero Grande, Furore Grande, Cuspide, Lamy Safari, Lamy 2000
Where even the regular Furore is already quite a large pen, the Furore Grande obviously takes that a step further. With its 15.6 cm/ 6.14" capped, it's .6 cm/ .24" longer than the - already large - MZ Grande, and it just towers out above all the other pens I put up against it for comparison. Uncapped it's still a very sizeable 13.7 cm/ 5.39". Interestingly, with its considerable footprint, and the addition of a fully metal piston mechanism, the Furore Grande still weighs in at 'just' 30 grams total, which is a very comfortable weight. The streamlined and strongly tapered profile of the Furore Grande makes it so it doesn't feel larger than the MZ Grande, even though it most certainly is. 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
The section design hasn't changed from the Original Furore, Momento Zero, and Momento Zero Grande, which will be fine for some people, but a point of criticism for others. It has a comfortable diameter to hold, but indeed the 'stepped' shape is not to everyone's taste, and I get that. In fact; I wasn't convinced by it either, and it took me some time to adjust to it when I tested the regular Momento Zero (maybe it's a mental thing because it looks odd?), but especially on the MZ Grande it managed to persuade me. With the Furore Grande as well, I don't have any issues with the section design. Threads aren't too bothersome to the touch, the step is minimal and rounded off nicely, and the overall larger size of the Grande models certainly does fit my preference quite well. 
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
I already briefly touched on the piston mechanism, because just like the Momento Zero Grande 2020 model, we're also getting a 'real' piston-filled pen here. I had nothing intrinsically against the captured converter system of the first MZ Grande, in fact it did offer the possibility to check the ink level (something you cannot do with this pen!). But I do think having a real piston - especially the fully metal ones that Leonardo refers to as their 'Vintage' piston - adds a bit to the premium feel. Ink capacity is generous, about 1.5 mL (at least on paper, I haven't actually tested this for myself). 

There has been some discussion online about the piston knob being loose and able to rotate freely when not operating it, and indeed it can come loose when you accidentally twist the knob (though the mechanism doesn't engage straight away, so it's not like you'll have ink squirting out when that happens). However, when screwed closed tightly I've found it to stay put quite well, and it doesn't move or rattle at all while writing.
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
Leonardo continues to use a mix of Bock and JoWo for their nibs (although it seems that the majority of nibs on the Grande models these days comes from JoWo. The Steel 1.1mm stub on the Grande Furore that I was sent for review is, in fact, also JoWo. It's a nice stub, and I enjoyed getting back into the writing experience that these untipped steel stub nibs offer - after not having used one of those for quite a while. It has some tooth to it, that I find quite enjoyable, and the custom ebonite feed creates a fantastic rich flow for this, somewhat more demanding, stub nib. The 1.1 stub width is also a re-discovery in terms of how practical it still is compared to normal round nibs. It's certainly a beefy nib, but it gives wonderful line variation, and I actually found it to still be relatively usable in day-to-day writing tasks (where a 1.5mm stub would certainly be too wide for that).
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
The feed certainly helps to provide a responsive writing experience. I'm very pleased to see more and more brands turn back to ebonite feeds, which almost always offer a noticeable benefit in terms of the ink flow consistency, which in turn lifts up the entire writing experience. I have quite a few Leonardo's with ebonite feeds now, and so far they've always been very reliable and juicy writers.
 
On a side note (Probably unrelated to the feed, and more so having to do with the internal design of the cap), I've found the Grande models to be substantially less prone to drying out when capped. That was an issue I encountered on the original Momento Zero, but none of the Grande models that I've tried after that - including this Furore variant - have dried out on me, even after multiple days or even weeks of little to no use.
REVIEW: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN
I've been waiting for a Grande release of the Furore, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. The streamlined shape is something different from Leonardo, and it has grown on me. If you like bigger pens like I do, the Furore Grande - just like the MZ Grande, of course - offers a very enticing option: As always, the Italians don't disappoint in terms of design and beautiful materials, but they're also just very well-made pens, and the piston-filling mechanism and ebonite feed are two great features that - in my mind at least - justify the 295€/ 295$ (at our sponsors Casa Della Stilografica, La Couronne Du Comte, and Appelboom) price tag. 

NOTE: This product was provided by Leonardo Officina Italiana, 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: LEONARDO FURORE GRANDE FOUNTAIN PEN

2 comments:

  1. Looks wonderful! Thanks for a great review. This nib is also Jowo? Their previous Jowo nibs had more complicated basic engraving on the surface. That made it easy to distinguish Jowo from Bock. Now we need more keen eye, I guess. :)

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    1. Thanks for the compliments! Supposedly this is indeed a JoWo nib. I think the more complex engraved JoWo steel nibs were only used on the Messenger collection? The difference between Bock and JoWo is indeed hard to spot with these, Salvatore told me they pick certain nib sizes specifically from Bock and others from JoWo, so which one you get will depend on the nib size you choose. I read somewhere that they'll switch fully to JoWo in 2021, though (but I'm not sure if this is actually true or not).

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