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.

Visconti Divina Elegance

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.)

Visconti Divina Elegance

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.

Visconti Divina Elegance

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.

Visconti Divina Elegance

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.

 

  • gemiz

    This video is private aswell 🙁

  • It appears that WordPress is making these posts available to people at 8AM whatever their local time is, not at 8AM my time. As a result, the video is showing as unavailable. It appears I will likely not be able to timebomb these blog posts as I had once hoped. (Either that, or I need to find a different plugin to accomplish the task.)

    BTW, the video is live now. It goes live at -8:00GMT.

  • anaximander70

    This is a great example of how a video review can reveal things about a pen not apparent in still photos. I’d never have guessed how stunningly mirror-like the finish is without seeing you rotate the pen. Beautiful pen and great review.

    • Tristan_Noelmans

      You should really see Dan from FP Geeks review. He filmed his review outside and in natural light, the pen sparkles even more!

      • Dan’s cinematography just keeps getting better and better. I loved his review of this pen. 🙂

  • Kevan

    I guess this is where different strokes for different folks comes in. I look at this pen and go “Yeah it’s pretty, but it doesn’t appeal to me at all.” Too flashy. Too shiny. Both you and Stephen Brown love Visconti, and every single time I see one I think it’s a showpiece instead of a pen to use. I have no doubt the quality is amazing and it writes like a dream, but I guess I’m more a fan of conservatively designed Japanese pens or classic ebonite pieces like my Rangas. *shrug* Pretty acrylics are as showy as I get. All that silver just puts me off. It’s one of the reasons I keep dragging my feet over the Waterman Carene.

  • Ted

    check your weight info in the list above, Matt. I think that you have the figures for capped and uncapped reversed. Beautiful pen!

  • Welcome back, Matt! Starting the year off with a gorgeous pen 🙂 I hope this year is kinder to all of us (I hate youtube…).

    • I know, right. I wish I were smart enough to come up with some sort of movement that I could promote to help raise the level of discourse online. Maybe I’ll have a brain wave of some sort.

  • mikey

    Did you really like it Matt? Just kidding! Question for you – if you had to choose between the Visconti Divina Elegance and the Montegrappa Extra 1930, which would you choose? Also, what did you think of the Divina in brown?

    • Divina. No question. I’ve not tried the Extra 1930, but my previous experience in Montegrappa pens, their metal sections, and their horribly raised threads, leads me not to be too terribly swayed toward the Extra 1930 too much. Beautiful materials, though. But for me, the Divina would be the clear winner. As for the brown, I’ve never seen it in person, so I wouldn’t know. 🙂

      • mikey

        Thanks Matt. I ordered the imperial blue divina today!

  • Matt D.

    Hi Matt,
    Nice to see you back in new year full of energy :).
    I’m rather new to fountain pen world but after this review I’m starting to change my mind about Visconti pens … thanks for helping me spend even more €€ 😉

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  • gmsmith

    What a stunning looking pen!

  • Roger Sellars

    Hi Matt,
    Thank you for your review. I have loved this pen since the moment I first laid eyes on it, and it has been my “grail” pen for about a year. I just recently pulled the trigger and ordered the Royal Brown version this past weekend and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I managed to snag an amazing deal on the Royal Brown version, and even though I prefer the look of the Imperial Blue, I just couldn’t pass up the deal. This will be my first “serious” fountain pen. I’m hoping that you might be able to recommend an ink that will compliment the Royal Brown version as nicely as the Pelikan Edelstein Topaz compliments your Imperial Blue version.

    Thanks again for your informative (and addictive) reviews! Keep them coming!

    • I think the brown version calls for either Montblanc Toffee Brown, Kaweco Caramel Brown, or Private Reserve Chocolat. And congrats on the purchase. I hope you love it!

      • Roger Sellars

        Thanks for the recommendations Matt!
        I’m sure I’ll love it! 🙂

  • Faraz

    the making of this beautiful pen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HMuZCJEsrk

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