Long term thoughts on the Visconti Rembrandt fountain pen.

It has been four years since I wrote a post The Visconti Rembrandt v The Pineider Avatar fountain pen (8 September 2018). At the time, I had owned the Rembrandt for less than a week. I think my comments then were fair and still hold good. As to which one of those two pens you prefer, that is subjective and each has its merits.

It has been my habit for decades, to write a daily entry in my diary. Currently I use an A5 page-a-day diary from Rymans. This year, it was my intention to use a different pen and ink combination each month. I started out with a Cleo Skribent Classic Gold in January but was enjoying it so much that I continued with it for February too. Then, forcing myself to have a change, I started March with the Visconti Rembrandt. I am still using it now. By the end of August, I had been using the Rembrandt almost every day for six months, barring a few days when I went away and took other pens for holiday journaling.

My Visconti Rembrandt Twilight, at four years old.

As for ink, I have been using it with Kaweco blue cartridges. I had a stash of these, acquired on buying Kaweco pens, particularly the Perkeo of which I have several. With each purchase, there would be four new Kaweco blue cartridges, with the Kaweco name along the side. I particularly liked this ink and kept these cartridges in a Kaweco tin, separate from my hoard of generic blue standard international cartridges.

This adorable Kaweco tin lives on my desk and held my stash of Kaweco blue cartridges.

Since 9 February 2022, I have filled the Rembrandt eight times with these cartridges and am down to my last one. I plan to switch to Kaweco midnight blue next, as I have a box waiting. I will never get through all my ink, but it feels satisfying to have used up these Kaweco blues, at least.

Whilst using a standard international cartridge, the Rembrandt has space to carry a spare. The spare cartridge does rattle around though, and to stop this I cut a small cube of rubber from an eraser and dropped it into the back of the barrel. Be careful with this however: too large a piece and it will jam inside and you will not be able to get it out again unless you break it up with a cocktail stick.

I should mention the chrome section of the Rembrandt. Generally, I am not a fan of slippery metal sections. For this reason I have avoided the Lamy Studio (apart from the brushed steel version with the black rubberised grip section). But in all fairness, the Rembrandt’s shiny plated metal section has not been a problem for me at all. My grip on the pen does not slip. I do not have trouble controlling the nib or stopping it from rotating left or right. I think that this may be partly because the section and the nib are both relatively short and when I hold the pen, my thumb still rests on the purple barrel, serving to anchor the pen and stop it from rotating in my hands.

The shiny plated business-end of the Rembrandt.

When I first got the pen, I preferred using it with the cap posted, but my habit has changed and I now use it unposted. If I had been put off buying the Rembrandt because of its metal section, then I would have missed out. The magnetic cap fastening still works well and is quick and convenient. It makes for a grip area free of any sharp step or screw threads.

Above, all, the pen writes really well. I get no hard starts. I did adjust the nib slightly when it first arrived, to ease open the gap between the tines to improve flow to my taste, but having done this in the first few days, the pen has written smoothly and effortlessly ever since and works well with the Kaweco blue cartridges.

As for the Pineider Avatar in its vibrant Lipstick Red, I still have it and it is a beauty. It has the “Wow factor” which the Rembrandt lacks and got the best admiring looks at our London pen club. Yet the Rembrandt has proved itself a solid performer over time and deserves credit for that.

It is hard to show that it is actually purple, with subtle “brush strokes” of lighter colours in the material.

11 thoughts on “Long term thoughts on the Visconti Rembrandt fountain pen.

  1. Rupert,
    I know you mentioned disposable fountain pens recently and I wonder if you can recommend a specific brand that works well. I tried one and the nibs were awful and it made things hard to write. I don’t have a large inventory of pens, but I like to take disposable when I go to places rather than chance losing my good ones. Thanks in advance.

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    1. I do not know what brands of disposable fountain pens you have tried. My top choice would be a Pilot V Pen, which is readily available (depending where you are) in a range of ink colours. The nibs on the current models are smooth. The pens hold a large amount of ink and the nibs never seem to dry out, even if left capped and unused for months. The downside is that the ink may bleed through paper badly. Alternatively, there are no end of rollerball and gel pens available if you do not want to travel with an expensive fountain pen.
      Personally, my preference would be to use a pen such as a Cross Bailey Light or a Parker Vector XL, rather than a disposable but it’s a matter of choice.

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  2. It’s so good to read about a pen that has become an enduring favourite. The Visconti resins are lovely, but good looks will only get you so far. Performance and that magical “rightness” win out in the end.

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    1. Thanks Pamela. Yes, that is very true – it’s no good having the looks without the performance. Today I have been getting acquainted with my latest fountain pen acquisition (more on which to follow later), but a modern Italian beauty, whose nib tines needed a little easing, just like my Visconti did four years ago.

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  3. When you spoke of longevity in using the pen for singular choice over months. It made me smile. I have a few rows of fountains in leather manageable cases kept in my old 193Os canvas Musette man bag. About 15. I go one by one through them writing a sentence or two down on Khadi hand made paper, every couple of days, to keep them flowing. Khadi copes with many combinations of nibs and inks. Currently? The Kaweko Brass Sport will be the one I choose every time to write in my current journal. It behaves well on the journal’s paper with a simple universal cartridge ink I’m using. I get twitchy if a different pen and ink combination is used and spoils the journal’s ambience. Ink spider crawling, etc. So can understand choosing one pen for it’s synergy and consistency in both tactile use and pen/ink choice with consistent flow with what is ‘paper’ chosen at particular times. Cheers and all the best.

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    1. Thanks for reading and for your comments. I appreciate that many might think that using a pen every day for six months is not sufficient to qualify for a long term review. Whilst I enjoy the luxury of having multiple pens inked simultaneously (currently around 20) one of the downsides is that it is harder to give any one pen a solid period of regular daily use.
      I do not have a Kaweco Brass Sport but understand the attraction of such a robust pen, and its distinctive smell and patina. I can relate to your comments about keeping to one ink: I enjoy using a Kaweco Perkeo in the rather unusual black and mustard edition (called Indian Summer I recall) with a black-plated, fine steel nib, which thrives on the cheapest of black ink cartridges from WH Smiths at £2.50 for a bag of 30.

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      1. Thank you for the reply too. And tactile insights. Those WHSmith cartridges are a mainstay for myself too. Reviews of fountain pens are something that I do enjoy reading. I have no expertise at all. But enjoy people’s descriptions of the, as just said, tactile nature and how they feel at comfortable and at home with the pen. The machinations of build in descriptions and technical or historical accuracy of information inclusions don’t worry me. Also. Some of my favourite pens can be as cheap as chips. Can’t imagine finding a review on those. What I took away from this piece of yours was that you felt so at home with the pen. That’s priceless. All the best.

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  4. Oh dear, it sounds so familiar: the Cleo Skribent Classic Gold has established itself as my standard daily diary pen, and it’s very, very hard to get away from it when it comes to diary writing (but it has competitors for other writing purposes). Two months ago the Pineider Avatar successfully took over, and since two weeks it’s a vintage Sheaffer Targa. But I sense the Cleo is waiting impatiently to make a comeback.

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