All posts by edjelley

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age

- Handwritten Review -

  • Review Ink: Iroshizuku Shin-Kai
  • Review Paper: Rhodia No. 18

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review



  • Description: A full size pen, crafted from lava rock and bronze
  • Nib: Medium, 23kt Palladium Dreamtouch Nib
  • Filling Mechanism: Powerfiller (vacuum plunger)

Handwritten Review Scans:

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review


Ever since I saw the Visconti Homo Sapiens, I knew I needed to add one to my collection. It was during the beginning of my fountain pen journey and a $650 pen seemed insane…fast forward a few years later and it didn’t seem TOO hard to swallow. I got a great deal on the pen at the DC Pen Show and I absolutely love it.It’s perfectly weighted and balanced and the lava rock exterior is awesome to hold. The 23kt palladium Dreamtouch nib is definitely living up to its name. Enjoy the review!

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review


Appearance & Packaging:

The H.S. is an amazing looking pen. The lava finish is as stunning as it is unique. Bronze accents beautifully contrast the dark grey-black body of the pen. The nib is nicely sized for the proportions of the pen. I really love the imprint on the nib. It’s impossible for me to find anything about the pen’s appearance that I don’t like.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

The packaging is as expected for a $650 pen. It comes in a black leatherette box with a cream interior. I’ll be putting the pen to good use, so the box will be filed away. It’s a great looking pen that is presented nicely. I’ll let the pictures do the talking here…

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

Nib Performance & Filling System:

The 23kt palladium “Dreamtouch” nib is SO close to being perfect. It’s buttery smooth, super inky and has the slightest bit of spring to it. However, I have noticed that it sometimes has a hard start on a downstroke. This can be quite annoying, especially with my small caps writing style that has a lot of straight up and down lines. When writing in cursive, the pen doesn’t have the problem, I’m guessing because of all of the loops and curves.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

Maybe the nib needs some breaking in, and I will be trying other inks in it as well. The nib lays down a very wet line with zero pressure needed. The filling system is essentially an over-marketed (POWERFILLER!) vacuum plunger system that can be seen in the TWSBI Vac 700 and Pilot Custom 823. It easily pulls in a lot of ink, which is needed to keep up with the wet flow. The pen was easily flushed out. The filling system is a nice departure from the piston fillers that are commonly seen in this price range.


Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

I absolutely love the size, weight, and diameter of the Homo Sapiens. It’s substantial, but not overly heavy. Posting the cap is not recommended, as it throws the balance way off and adds a considerable amount of length to the pen.

Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

The lava finish is what initially drew me towards the pen. It feels great. Not too much more I can say about it. It has the perfect amount of texture to it and it feels unlike anything else currently in my pen collection. The size is perfect for me as well.



  • Lava is so cool.
  • Great looks
  • Buttery smooth nib


  • Skipping on downstrokes


Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Fountain Pen Review

The Homo Sapiens Bronze Age Maxi is my first Visconti and I love it. Awesome looks and unique materials, paired with the smooth nib and great balance make it a near-perfect pen for me. I’m going to have the nib checked over at my next pen show, but it wouldn’t stop me from recommending the pen. Thanks for reading!


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Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review

Ateleia Craft + Design Brass Pen – Review

Ateleia Craft + Design
Brass Pen – Review

Chris over at Ateleia Craft got in touch a few months back to tell me about his new pen project, a minimalistic brass pen. I’ve been spending some time with the pen and it has proved that simple does not mean that it wasn’t well thought out. His project has only 10 days to go on Kickstarter and funding has already been met. See below for some information about the pen:

Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review

From the Ateleia Kickstarter:

The ATELEIA pen is machined of C360 solid brass bar stock in Phoenix, AZ. With the cap, it measures 5 3/8 inches long overall and weighs about 50 grams (1.75 ounces). It has been most often described as a minimalist design, that is both slim and weighty in the hand. Although originally designed to house the Pilot HiTec-C cartridges, several other popular refill cartridges fit the housing with the aid of springs and/or spacers.

ATELEIA on Kickstarter


  • Length: 5 3/8″
  • Diameter: ~0.30″
  • Weight: 50g
  • Refill: Hi-Tec-C / G2 / and more
Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review
The cap threading on the pen is unique, with two flat sides. These flat sides allow the pen to be opened and the refill to be replaced. I like the design, as there is no seam on the body of the pen and the back end of it does not have to open.
Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review
The pen doesn’t even really look like a pen at first glance. It’s extremely minimalistic, but the great weight, balance, and diameter make it a writing instrument worthy of being carried.
Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review
The brass construction will age slightly over time, giving the pen a rustic, worn look and feel.
Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review
This better shows off the interesting thread design. The pen comes loaded with a Hi-Tec-C refill. I’m not the biggest fan of the Hi-Tec-C (starting issues) and I have since replaced it with a Pilot G2 refill.
Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review
I do have a few concerns about the pen. The cap does not have a clip and can easily roll away. This can be the case with a lot of pens out there, but the caps smaller size has me worried that I may misplace it.
Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review
Axe, because nature.

Ateleia Craft Kickstarter Pen Review

Thanks again to Chris for sending the pen over. It’s a pleasure to write with and the minimalistic design resonates well with me. The Kickstarter has just over a week to go, and if you want to get in on the project – do so now! There are also some really nice looking leather goods up on the Kickstarter as well. I haven’t had any experience with them, but if they have the same level of design and craftsmanship as the pen, they should be great.

Disclaimer: I was given this prototype free of charge and receive no compensation for my review. All opinions are my own.

Field Notes Unexposed

Field Notes Unexposed Fall 2014 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Fall 2014 Colors Edition


Specs From Field Notes:

“Here’s what we can tell you: each “Unexposed” pack features three 5.5-inch x 3.5-inch 48-page memo books in an opaque black sleeve. The interior paper features our “reticle graph,” last seen in the “Night Sky” Edition from Summer 2013.”


Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset  Field Notes Unexposed


If you have yet to notice the trend of matte black, grey, and darker colored pens on the site, I dare you to look at some of the back posts. This edition of Field Notes is definitely not my cup of tea, but that’s not to say it’s not something fun and different. I was hoping for some more typical fall-themed colors and it appears that we got the polar opposite. The cool thing about the release is that they did not tell you what you were going to get. Instead of the usual “belly-band”, the books were sealed in a black paper envelope.

Field Notes Unexposed

There are 6 different colors, randomly inserted into the packs. I lucked out and got one of each across the three packs that I ordered. The super bright, Lisa Frank-ish colors aren’t going to see any use by me but they are a cool addition to the collection. The reticle graph ruling is cool as well, I really enjoyed it in the Night Sky edition from 2013. This was also the first round of photos from my new iPhone 6 – I think they definitely got the job done. What did you think of the Fall 2014 Colors edition?

Field Notes Unexposed





Related Reading:

Weekly Loadout Submission – The Unroyal Warrant

If you would like to submit your Weekly Loadout of pens, ink, and paper, please share by clicking here!

Unroyal Warrant’s Loadout
The Unroyal Warrant



Left to right:
Pilot Custom 845 – M nib – R&K Cassia
Conway Stewart 58 – Duro Stub nib – R&K Alt-Goldgrün
OMAS Extra (1940s) – EF (?) nib  – Diamine Mediterranean Blue
Bayard 2000 – M (?) nib – Diamine Black Green
Montblanc 136 – OB nib – Diamine Turquoise
Render K G2 – 1.0mm black Pilot G2 refill

Favorite Combo:

OMAS Extra + Diamine Mediterranean Blue


Thanks for sharing!

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 10.23.40 AMIf you would like to submit your Weekly Loadout of pens, ink, and paper, please share by clicking here and filling out the form!

Airfoil Click Review

“Airfoil Click” Pen – Hands-On and Kickstarter Launch

Masterstroke Pens
“Airfoil” Click Gel / Roller Pen

Grant over at Masterstroke pens got in touch with me and offered up an Airfoil Click for review. I reviewed his last Kickstarter project, the Airfoil Twist. He has definitely worked out the kinks with the Click. His project has just under a week to go on Kickstarter and the project has well surpassed its funding goal. See below for some information about the Airfoil:

Airfoil Click Review

From the Airfoil Click Kickstarter:

This pen boasts a bold sleek industrial design that will stand out from the crowd. To create each pen requires a complex machining process. Many machining operations on a CNC lathe operate off of two axis. For CNC mills many operations operate on 3. Airfoil Click however, is carefully sculpted from the stock with 4 axis, that’s 4 orientations the machine must move the part to carve out the body geometry. Like many components in modern jets, Airfoil requires a complex manufacturing process to create the unique shape while preserving performance. Each pen is assembled by hand, the threads lubricated for a smooth jewelry-like silent assembly, tested, and carefully inspected.

Airfoil on Kickstarter


  • Length: 5.59″
  • Diameter: 0.50″
  • Weight: 34g
  • Refill: Pilot G2 gel ink
Airfoil Click Review
The Click is much more comfortable in hand than the Twist. The pen is slimmer overall and the “fins” have been integrated into the body. They are no longer sharp and unwieldy.
Airfoil Click Review
The Airfoil Click is available in several different anodized finishes with different colored internal inserts. The pen looks great in the matte black / silver configuration I was sent for review.
Airfoil Click Review
The top view shows the internal chamber off quite well. The pen has some really interesting lines and it is definitely a unique design.
Airfoil Click Review
From this view, you can see that the fins have been integrated into the body of the pen. Not only does this cut down on the number of loose parts, it makes the pen feel more solid and much more comfortable in hand.
Airfoil Click Review
My one gripe with the pen is the clip. The metal isn’t overly sturdy and I could see it getting bent out of shape rather easily.
Airfoil Click Review
I really like the avaition-inspired theme of the pen, all the way down to the logo on the clip.

Upon receiving the pen, I loaded it up with a Pilot G2 refill. The familiar Schmidt click mechanism works well – silent and efficient. The body of the pen is much more comfortable than the previous “Twist” model, coming in at a thinner diameter. The fins no longer dig into my hand and the integration into the body looks great. I’m really happy with the update to the pen. Grant really took the criticisms into consideration and in my opinion, has created a far superior product to his first try. The aluminum pen feels solid in hand and makes for a comfortable writing experience. If you liked the look of his last project, definitely check out this refined version that I feel is much, much better. Thanks to Grant for sending over a pen to review. There are only a few days left in the Kickstarter, so head over now to pledge!

Disclaimer: I was given this prototype free of charge and receive no compensation for my review. All opinions are my own.