Pen Review: Visconti Divina Elegance Maxi (Blue)
- Material: Acrylic / Silver
- Nib: 23k Palladium (Medium)
- Appointments: Silver
- Filling System: Pull & Turn (Captured Converter)
- Length (Capped):154mm
- Length (Uncapped): 132mm
- Length (Posted): 180mm
- Section Diameter: 11.3mm
- Barrel Max Diameter: 14mm
- Cap Max Diameter: 16.4mm
- Weight, Capped (with ink and/or converter): 44g
- Weight, Uncapped (with ink and/or converter): 26g
The Divine Proportion (also known as the Golden Ratio) is a mathematical formula that first began appearing around the time of the ancient Greeks (think Pythagoras). It is a formula that has enchanted and inspired artists and mathematicians for centuries. The Divine Proportion can be found both in nature and in the manmade works of artists for nearly 2,500 years. And when Visconti decided to utilize the Golden Ratio to define the proportions of their lovely Divina series of pens, the result was yet another manmade work of art.
The Visconti Divina has been around for a little while, but one of the newer incarnations is the Divina Elegance, which comes in a lovely blue and blue/black acrylic with a ton of pearlescence and shimmer as well as a brown acrylics. I opted for the blue finish, as I found it particularly irresistible. The pen’s swirling pentagonal design is highlighted on the ridges of the pentagon by inlays of silver, expertly integrated into the body of the pen.
The pen is available in both a Maxi/Oversize (which is the size I got) and a Midi size. The Maxi, which is extremely long, uses the standard Visconti bridge clip. It comes with a silver-plated medallion in the top of the cap which can be replaced using the “My Visconti” system. It also utilizes the wonderful hook and latch cap closure system that you also find on the Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age.
There is no doubt that this is a very large pen, eclipsing even the MB 149 and Homo Sapiens Bronze Age in length. It’s also a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at 44 grams when capped or posted. (The cap can be posted, and the silver inlays even line up beautifully to continue the spiraling line when it is posted, but the posted length of 180mm made it feel like I was writing with a 7 iron rather than a fountain pen–far too long to be comfortable.)
Despite the size and the weight, I found the pen to be supremely comfortable in the hand, which you might not expect with a pentagonally-shaped pen. The section, which tapers down slightly to 11.3mm, is a touch wider than I generally prefer in a grip, but not so much that it bothered me in any way. And as the pen was plenty long enough to use unposted (even for people with large hands), I found the pen wonderful to use for long writing sessions with no cramping.
The pen uses a unique filling system that Visconti calls “Pull & Turn.” It is, in essence, a captured converter which can be accessed by pulling out a small knob at the bottom of the pen, then twisting it to raise and lower the piston in the captured converter. (Check out the video for a demonstration of how that works.) When you’re done with the filling, you simply depress the knob back into the pen. It works fairly well, and is unique. Unfortunately, though, I find that the captured converter doesn’t hold anywhere near as much ink as you might expect a pen of this size to hold. There is also no method for checking ink levels. As a result, the pen feels as though it runs out of ink rather quickly. With a pen this large, I really do wish it had a larger ink reservoir.
The Divina comes with one of Visconti’s 23k Palladium “Dreamtouch” nibs. My first experience with a Pd nib (On my Visconti HS Bronze Age) was less than ideal, so I was a little concerned about how this nib would write. I needn’t have been. Out of the box the medium nib was beautifully ground and expertly adjusted. The ink flow was consistent and was wet enough to be really fun while not being so wet it made the pen unusable for daily writing. The polish on the tip was quite good, and gave just a whisper of feedback. There were no skips, no hard starts, and no issues with ink starvation on long writing sessions. The 23K Palladium has a nice bit of softness to it, which can add a lovely bounce to your writing. It can be pushed slightly to provide a bit of line variation, but doesn’t have the lovely snapback of a vintage flex or even semi-flex pen. It’s a soft-ish nib, not a flex nib.
I have said this several times since receiving the pen: The Visconti Divina Elegance is not just a pen. It truly is a work of art. It’s a lovely, LOVELY piece of craftsmanship, expertly built and assembled. It feels solid. It looks incredible. It’s polished to a perfect, mirror sheen. It writes like a dream. Sometimes I even find myself sitting in a meeting at work, twirling the pen in my hands, mesmerized by its stunning looks instead of paying attention. At a very heft list price of $995USD, this pen certainly falls into the “premium” category. (The street price is usually quite a bit less than that amount.) Despite the price, however, this pen has very quickly become one of my all-time favorite writing instruments. It has been inked nearly non-stop since I received it nearly four months ago. I find myself going back to it again and again.
So, if you’ll allow me a eye roll-inducing closing sentence, writing with this pen really is a divine experience.