Visconti Homo Sapiens Review

I have been lucky enough to be able to try the Visconti Homo Sapiens Evolution and HS Bronze Age pens. Thank you very much to Manuscript for allowing this, I am very grateful.

I was very excited to have a play with them as the Homo Sapiens has been high on my grail list since I discovered there was more to pens than Waterman, Cross and MontBlanc.

The first sight of them confirmed all my preconceptions. They are both beautiful, high-end pens but my first touch as I lifted them out of the box also confirmed my fears – they are HEAVY!

So to the reviews. Firstly the Evolution :

The Visconti Homo Sapiens Evolution

Visconti Homo Sapiens Evolution

Available from Write Here:
oversized-fountain-pen.html £1,000-£1,063

The Evolution is a stunning pen. The matte black barrel is accented with a silver and black wavy motif on cap, section and end of the pen. It is a lovely contrast with the matte black. All accents/rings/clips are in palladium and the nib is a spectacularly Palladio 23 cts skeleton nib. The design is gorgeous and it is lovely to write with. The pen I tried had an F nib and it was smooth and flowing across the paper. I have never used a nib quite like it!

I would buy this in a heartbeat if I had the money but for one major drawback – the weight! I went as far as to weigh both of these Homo Sapiens and compare them to my favourite pens (Homerton
Custom made pens from Gilbert House Pens). The Homertons when capped are 22g and only 16g when uncapped. In contrast, the HS Evolution weighs a whopping 64g capped and a hefty 38g uncapped! I hate to bang on about my physical needs but unfortunately, they are going to come in to every pen review. This pen, as gorgeous as it is, is too heavy for me.

The Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age

Available from Write Here
oversized-fountain-pen.html £635-690

The Bronze Age is one of the main models of the Homo Sapiens range. Black with bands of bronze, it has a classic look that nevertheless screams quality. I have always loved it and it fits with another of
my geek topics – Bronze Age Greece. The one I tried had an 18ct gold B nib which, to me, writes more like a stub. Its quite a bit wider than the Bock B I have, and it was filled with Visconti Orchard in Bloom. I love the unscrewing mechanism of the cap. It is a quirk that adds little to the functioning of the cap (let’s face it, threads really do the job perfectly well), but I like it.

Despite the fact it is filled with their own brand ink, I found it really disappointing to write with.

Positive things first, I loved the smoothness of the nib – it just glides across the paper – and it deserves the “Dreamtouch” name it has been given. I also liked the small amount of movement in the nib. BUT, and it’s a big but, it keeps drying up randomly mid word and even mid letter! I tried to use it for my morning 3-page journal and in one short paragraph, it had dried up no less than 3 times. Each time, it required me to shake it over a blank piece of paper to get the ink flowing again. I
gave up eventually and chose a different pen.

The drying up is, is for me, a deal breaker. If I have paid £600-700 for a pen, I expect it to write perfectly, with no hitches at all. A friend of mine said this at the weekend: when you’re using a fountain pen, you should be able not to notice the actual pen – it should become just a means of flowing your thoughts onto the paper. Sorry, Emile, I am paraphrasing rather badly. When writing with this pen, you very much notice this pen!

I have heard from others in the FPUK community of Visconti’s poor quality control and this pen seems to bear it out. It’s a shame as other wise, this pen would stay as my grail. The pen is not as heavy as the Evolution (48g capped/32g uncapped) and the nib, when it writes, is lovely. For that amount of money, I expect better.

In conclusion then, both of these have been struck off my grail list and have therefore saved me a lot of money that I don’t actually have! I’d buy the Evolution model if it weren’t so heavy and the Bronze Age if the quality was reliable but they are as they are.


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