I was recently able to try a Visconti Van Gogh. I realize that this is not a new to the market pen, but I had held off in purchasing a Visconti because of the brand’s reputation for not having consistently good out of the box nibs. According to this vendor, the Van Gogh collection has been around since at least 2010. Visconti is one of the higher end pen brands, and if I’m going to shell out a few hundred dollars for a pen, I expect it to write wonderfully. So after trying a Van Gogh in a color that I wasn’t crazy about but enjoyed the feel on paper, I got to searching for Visconti Sunflowers on the Internet. A lot of vendors don’t have any more Sunflowers pens, but I was able to find one from an Italian pen shop. This yellow colored pen is inspired by the Dutch impressionist artist’s fourth version of the sunflowers series. Almost everyone has seen Sunflowers in a museum store, in a poster print, in a coffee table art book, or in your basic class on European painters. Imagine if a pen maker decided to make pens inspired by famous Chicano artists…I digress.
Lately, I have had a thing for yellow. I don’t wear yellow clothes. I don’t own a lot of yellow items, but I do appreciate yellow flowers, yellow pottery and home decor, and lately yellow pens. Back in January, I had the wants for a yellow fountain pen, and a pen friend indulged me with a Sailor 1911S that had been sitting in a drawer. And yellow has been on my mind since. Even before acquiring the yellow Sailor, I had looked at the Sunflowers Van Gogh online. There’s something about this resin that appeals to me. So when I found the Italian vendor that still had Sunflowers in stock, I decided to buy it. I went with a medium nib because I had been able to test out a nib in that size a few weeks earlier and was pleased with how it wrote.
So many people have reviewed the Van Gogh over the years, from this recent look at Orchard in Blossom on Pen Addict to this review from over four years ago on Gentleman Stationer of Vincent’s Chair, another pen with a lot of yellow that I had been looking at. I don’t have much to add other than I can see the hype around these Italian pens. The resins are beautiful, the facets give the pen something unique in the texture and feel, and the pen has a little bit of heft to it so it’s not too light. The Visconti hinged clip, which resembles the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, is unique compared to most pen clips, and the magnetic cap has a satisfying click. The filling system is nothing to write home about, it’s the typical cartridge/converter. Before I even was interested in this pen, I had been worried about the metal grip section and if it would feel slippery. That’s been a non-issue for me, but your paw prints will be visible on that metal section until you wipe them away with a soft cloth.
The pen that I bought must be older stock because the nib doesn’t say Van Gogh like some of the newer ones do. When the pen arrived, I pretty much knew that I would be keeping it, so I tossed the pen box in the recycle bin. I did not take a picture of the box that it came in. I quickly inked it up with Platinum Carbon Black ink and proceeded to write, and this pen is indeed smooth writing.
Would I recommend this pen? Yes, but maybe not for someone who is new to the hobby or who has a strict budget. You can get a pen with a gold nib for the price of a Van Gogh or less. Would I buy another Van Gogh? Probably not, unless there was a color that absolutely caught my eye. Maybe if I were on a vacation in Italy and wanted a souvenir, I would consider another Van Gogh or possibly a different model Visconti pen if my budget had room for such an indulgence.