Guest Review: Visconti Opera Master

This article and all the pictures in it has been contributed by Mike Grove, one of my blog readers. Thank you Mike, for being so nice as to share about your pen on my humble little blog! Hopefully this review will help out those who are looking for a nice Visconti pen!

I discovered this pen on the internet a couple of weeks ago when I was bored at work (so it’s their fault that I fell in love with it – I think they should pay!). It’s big, black, and heavy, like all the best pens…(well, except my Conway Stewart Nelson, which is a sort of swirly red colour). Here’s a picture to whet your appetite;

Main Pen Pic

The body of the pen is high gloss resin with Rhodium plated trims and, unusually for a fountain pen, is octagonal in shape. This means that you can put it down on a sloping surface and it won’t roll off and leave an ink blot on the carpet (like that Conway Stewart I mentioned!). Here’s another picture, with the cap removed;

Second Pen Pic

NibI ordered it with a Double-Broad nib (BB), because I like wide nibs – they help make me write larger and therefore more legibly. The nib is 23 carat gold, plated with Palladium.

The pen is referred to as ‘over-size’, which means that it’s about 6″ long when capped, 7.5″ with the cap removed and stuck on the end of the barrel. And it features the Visconti ‘My Pen’ system. But all that means is that the top of the cap is magnetic and you can buy replacement metal discs which stay put when you place them on the magnetic area.

The following picture shows what I mean (you can see the original Visconti logo cap, plus the two I bought – a Jet Black cap, and a nice Dragon design cap which is my favourite).


My Pen System

Last but not least is the ink filling system. This is a ‘double-action’ piston type which is both fast and clean to use to fill the pen (particularly if you use it with a Visconti Travelling Inkwell – available from all good pen sellers!), and it holds a lot of ink. Here’s a picture;


Anyway, that’s enough boring technical stuff! So what, I hear you ask, is it actually like to write with (since that’s it’s main purpose)? Well, it’s fairly well balanced in your hand (though ever so slightly ‘cap heavy’ if the cap is on the barrel, so I think it just fails the ‘Maybelline Law of Gravity of the Pen’ test). It’s also got a fair bit of friction on the paper when you write – partly because of that wide BB nib, and partly (I hope) because it’s new and not ‘run in’ yet (note to self – must write more letters). The ink flow is also a little hesitant at times and has occasionally dried up for a few seconds but, again, I think that will improve with use (though you can get the ink flow adjusted by a pen specialist). Also, a BB nib uses a lot of ink compared to, say, a Medium nib, so maybe I should write slower…here’s the test sheet I did;

Test Page

But, all things considered, it is still a fabulous pen to use (and be seen with!) and worth every penny of the asking price (look it up yourself, I’m too embarrassed to admit what I paid for it!). You can tell it was expensive by looking at the box it came in;

Outer Box

inside of which was another box, made out of wood and with a high gloss finish (like a concert piano);

Inner Box

and inside that, next to the pen, was a beautiful lead crystal inkwell! So finally, I reckon that if this pen was a gun it would be a Clint Eastwood style 45 Magnum, or if it was a car, it would be a stretched Cadillac with smoked glass and a chauffeur who would just as soon pull your arms off as talk to you.

So it’s a big, brash, in-your-face kind of pen, and I love it! In fact, although I’ve never given any of my pens a name before, I have just decided to christen it “Dirty Harry”!

Have fun, Pen Buddies!

2 Responses

  1. Mike Grove 10 July 2012 / 5:58 PM

    You're welcome! Hope you find a nice Visconti that suits your needs.

  2. ggrape 9 July 2012 / 6:29 PM

    thanks for the review Mike! and thanks to maybelline for featuring it. I didn't know about the 'my pen system'. looks really interesting. This Visconti may be too large for my own taste but it's making me look forward to finding one I like!

I would love to hear your thoughts!