Virtually indestructible. That’s how the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age was originally marketed. It was the first of its kind to use crushed lava rock in a composite to create an entire pen. Despite being made of rock, you won’t feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder burdened by weight. It’s actually more of a medium weight, kind of like the Montblanc 149 or Pelikan M800. The newest addition to the ever-growing Homo Sapiens line is the Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava Colors. While the original Bronze Age will always be my favorite, I can’t wait to add all three of the Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava Colors to my collection.
As soon as the first pictures were released, my jaw dropped at these beauties. Available in a red, white, and tan, they’re named appropriately: Inferno, Blizzard, and Sandstorm. To have that “gritty”, more muted color tone applied to these earthly, volcanic colors matches the entire Homo Sapiens theme perfectly. I like how it’s still using the same blend of catalyzed basaltic lava from Mount Etna and colored resin. The finish also now has an “anti-stain” treatment that protects the pen from ink stains while refilling.
The big change from the classic Homo Sapiens is the locking system on the fountain pen and rollerball. Previously using a push and twist locking system, now uses a magnetic cap closure system. The ballpoint remains unchanged, using the same smooth twist-action retraction mechanism. I admit it definitely took some getting used to not pushing and twisting the cap every time I open the fountain pen and rollerball. It’s a lot easier to just pull off the cap. The magnet is rather strong, so I’m also not worried about it coming loose in my shirt pocket. I feel like both the fountain pen and rollerball are both very nicely balanced in the hand (whether you post the cap or not – though I do not).
Furthermore, I love how easy it is to activate and retract the ballpoint. As I mentioned, it still uses the same smooth twist-action retraction as the previous Homo Sapiens models. And the surface allows a decent grip for easy one-handed activation. While the ballpoint uses my favorite Monteverde Parker Style Superbroad refills (black and blue only), it also takes their gel refill. Can you imagine a brown gel ink coming out of the Sandstorm ballpoint while your Sandstorm fountain pen is filled with a lighter brown ink like Monteverde’s Canyon Rust or Diamine’s Burnt Sienna? Much like the other modes, the ballpoint is also very evenly weighted for maximum comfort in the hand. The rollerball uses standard Schmidt 888 or 5888 refills.
The Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava Colors fountain pen uses their patented power filling system. I love their vacuum fillers because it holds so much ink, and is also so much fun to fill. You can even do it with one hand. And that maximum capacity keeps you writing uninterrupted, without needing to refill the ink. Efficiency is key with such a luxurious writing instrument. And the power filler lets you be exactly that – efficient.
As for the nib, this is the first time Visconti is featuring their new 14k gold nib. Instead of outsourcing the nib production, now Visconti is taking complete control of its quality with manufacturing their 14k and 18k nibs in-house moving forward. It’s an oversized, black ruthenium plated nib. While it’s available in extra fine, fine, medium, broad, and stub, please allow extra ordering time for the more specialized nibs. Personally, I never had any problems with their previous nibs, and so far I’m continuing to enjoy using their new ones. They write like a dream.
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