Review: Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog

The Numbers:
Weight: 39g
Length (capped): 145.9 mm
Length (uncapped): 131.3 mm
Price: MSRP USD$995
Body Material: Acryloid and 925 sterling silver trim
Nib Material: 23kt Palladium Dreamtouch nib
Filling Mechanism: Vaccumatic
Colours: Single

Intro:

My thanks to Louisa for lending me her precious, precious pen.

Visconti introduced the Homo Sapiens London Fog a few years back. It was part of a 888 piece worldwide limited edition. It is an addition to the Homo Sapiens lineup. It’s shape and look closely resembled the Homo Sapiens but the main difference is in it’s material. It’s made of acryloid which I’ve inferred to mean it’s a material that has the characteristic of both celluloid and acrylic.

Celluloid is known for its being able to produce beautiful swirls and patterns but it is quite flammable. On the other hand, acrylic is light and much safer to work with. So to have the best of both world, Visconti added super thin strips of celluloid into the acrylic and we have the acryloid material.

Packaging:
The London Fog came in a very solid packaging. It’s first sheathed in the standard cream coloured Visconti cardboard box. Inside is a glossy black box emblazoned with the Visconti logo. Pulling the lid up, you will see the pen nestled in the cream bed of what I think is faux leather.

The box is heavy and unlikely to be repurposed for anything. I appreciate the packaging especially for a pen of this price but I really could do with a smaller and lighter box. This isn’t something that only Visconti does but also Aurora, Montblanc and the list goes on.

Performance:
Starting from the top, the cap is a nice mix of pearlecent grey and deep blue swirl. It’s accented with two 925 silver rings around the cap and finished with the traditional Visconti bridge clip. The finial is furnished with the Visconti emblem. The Visconti emblem can be removed and you can have your initials or a gemstone put in as part of the Visconti My Pen System. The clip itself is spring loaded, it isn’t particularly tight.

Just below the cap is the centre band for the pen. It has the words “Homo Sapiens” etched along the centre along with the number of your limited edition piece.

There is a ink chamber just behind the nib that’s separated from the main chamber. The main chamber being the entire barrel of the London Fog. That is where ink resides when you seal the main chamber by tightening the knob down. That chamber holds quite a bit of ink.

The barrel is mostly clear with swirls of blue celluloid. The pen terminates at the knob that you will need to unscrew to allow the ink to flow into the reserve ink chamber. You will also need to unscrew the knob to retract the seal when filling the pen.

The cap is the best thing ever! It uncaps with a tiny little turn, probably about 1/5 of a turn. The Hook Safe Lock is my favourite thing about this pen. However for me it’s a little of a double-edged sword. More on that later.

The grip section is nice and contoured. It dips in the middle before flaring out near the nib to help guide your fingers to the correct holding position. Though the London Fog is a large pen it is well balanced. The cap can be posted but it is definitely not advisable. By posting the cap, the pen becomes overly long and back heavy.

The London Fog is a vacuum filler that means it holds a hell a lot of ink in its barrel. It means you have to be careful when you fill it especially in a full bottle of ink, that displaced air need to go out somewhere and it’s likely into your bottle and your full bottle of ink won’t be that full once air get pumped into it. It also means you can seal the main ink chamber off from the nib which makes it less likely to regurgitate its entire “stomach” contents into the cap.

Now the London Fog and most Visconti’s higher end pens comes with the 23kt Palladium Dreamtouch nib. This pen came with a fine nib which is my usual choice for non-Japanese fountain pens in general but the palladium nib is super wet. Even when paired a dry like the Graf von Faber-Castell Midnight blue it still writes very wet. It’s close to unusable to me. I cannot imagine how it writes if I had a wet ink in it. The palladium nib is bouncy and provides a nice cushioned writing experience.

Ok now that Hook Safe Lock system is truly fantastic but it also means the “threads” are big and chunky. My fingers tend to wrap themselves around those said threads. It’s not comfortable if you are in the midst of a long writing session. Short sessions are tolerable but for this price, I don’t think I need to tolerate anything.

Conclusion:
Thankfully, this pen doesn’t belong to me. Once I’m done with the review, it’s back to its owner it’s going. The Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog is a beautiful pen with a wonderfully juicy nib but it is just isn’t for me. And that’s all right. THere is no reason why every pen have to work for me. However, lefties do take note of that overly juicy nib. The threads issue might just be an issue for me and my weird grip.


Pros:

  • Beautiful swirls and pearlessence
  • Huge ink capacity
  • Hook Safe Lock system
  • Juicy nib

Cons:

  • Overly juicy nib for this lefty
  • Threads of the Hook Safe Lock system painful for this lefty

Posted on March 16, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.