Review: Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog

The Numbers:
Weight: 39g
Length (capped): 145.9 mm
Length (uncapped): 131.3 mm
Price: MSRP USD$995
Body Material: Acryloid and 925 sterling silver trim
Nib Material: 23kt Palladium Dreamtouch nib
Filling Mechanism: Vaccumatic
Colours: Single


My thanks to Louisa for lending me her precious, precious pen.

Visconti introduced the Homo Sapiens London Fog a few years back. It was part of a 888 piece worldwide limited edition. It is an addition to the Homo Sapiens lineup. It’s shape and look closely resembled the Homo Sapiens but the main difference is in it’s material. It’s made of acryloid which I’ve inferred to mean it’s a material that has the characteristic of both celluloid and acrylic.

Celluloid is known for its being able to produce beautiful swirls and patterns but it is quite flammable. On the other hand, acrylic is light and much safer to work with. So to have the best of both world, Visconti added super thin strips of celluloid into the acrylic and we have the acryloid material.

The London Fog came in a very solid packaging. It’s first sheathed in the standard cream coloured Visconti cardboard box. Inside is a glossy black box emblazoned with the Visconti logo. Pulling the lid up, you will see the pen nestled in the cream bed of what I think is faux leather.

The box is heavy and unlikely to be repurposed for anything. I appreciate the packaging especially for a pen of this price but I really could do with a smaller and lighter box. This isn’t something that only Visconti does but also Aurora, Montblanc and the list goes on.

Starting from the top, the cap is a nice mix of pearlecent grey and deep blue swirl. It’s accented with two 925 silver rings around the cap and finished with the traditional Visconti bridge clip. The finial is furnished with the Visconti emblem. The Visconti emblem can be removed and you can have your initials or a gemstone put in as part of the Visconti My Pen System. The clip itself is spring loaded, it isn’t particularly tight.

Just below the cap is the centre band for the pen. It has the words “Homo Sapiens” etched along the centre along with the number of your limited edition piece.

There is a ink chamber just behind the nib that’s separated from the main chamber. The main chamber being the entire barrel of the London Fog. That is where ink resides when you seal the main chamber by tightening the knob down. That chamber holds quite a bit of ink.

The barrel is mostly clear with swirls of blue celluloid. The pen terminates at the knob that you will need to unscrew to allow the ink to flow into the reserve ink chamber. You will also need to unscrew the knob to retract the seal when filling the pen.

The cap is the best thing ever! It uncaps with a tiny little turn, probably about 1/5 of a turn. The Hook Safe Lock is my favourite thing about this pen. However for me it’s a little of a double-edged sword. More on that later.

The grip section is nice and contoured. It dips in the middle before flaring out near the nib to help guide your fingers to the correct holding position. Though the London Fog is a large pen it is well balanced. The cap can be posted but it is definitely not advisable. By posting the cap, the pen becomes overly long and back heavy.

The London Fog is a vacuum filler that means it holds a hell a lot of ink in its barrel. It means you have to be careful when you fill it especially in a full bottle of ink, that displaced air need to go out somewhere and it’s likely into your bottle and your full bottle of ink won’t be that full once air get pumped into it. It also means you can seal the main ink chamber off from the nib which makes it less likely to regurgitate its entire “stomach” contents into the cap.

Now the London Fog and most Visconti’s higher end pens comes with the 23kt Palladium Dreamtouch nib. This pen came with a fine nib which is my usual choice for non-Japanese fountain pens in general but the palladium nib is super wet. Even when paired a dry like the Graf von Faber-Castell Midnight blue it still writes very wet. It’s close to unusable to me. I cannot imagine how it writes if I had a wet ink in it. The palladium nib is bouncy and provides a nice cushioned writing experience.

Ok now that Hook Safe Lock system is truly fantastic but it also means the “threads” are big and chunky. My fingers tend to wrap themselves around those said threads. It’s not comfortable if you are in the midst of a long writing session. Short sessions are tolerable but for this price, I don’t think I need to tolerate anything.

Thankfully, this pen doesn’t belong to me. Once I’m done with the review, it’s back to its owner it’s going. The Visconti Homo Sapiens London Fog is a beautiful pen with a wonderfully juicy nib but it is just isn’t for me. And that’s all right. THere is no reason why every pen have to work for me. However, lefties do take note of that overly juicy nib. The threads issue might just be an issue for me and my weird grip.


  • Beautiful swirls and pearlessence
  • Huge ink capacity
  • Hook Safe Lock system
  • Juicy nib


  • Overly juicy nib for this lefty
  • Threads of the Hook Safe Lock system painful for this lefty

Posted on March 16, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.

Review: KWZ Cherry

Cherry is red ink by KWZ that really reminds me of Christmas. It’s bright, it’s vibrant and it pops. It’s a red that shades really nicely. Cherry goes from a deep red with a little purple undertone to a pink-red colour. Red is normally not my go to colour for my fountain pen. KWZ Cherry is the expection to the rule. I think it’s becoming my favourite red ink.

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Posted on March 9, 2018 and filed under review, Ink.

Review: Monteverde Erinite

My thanks to Cityluxe for providing the ink for review. Erinite is an odd kind of green. It reminds me of KWZ Menthol Green. I liked Menthol Green but not this one. Why? I can’t really say. It writes drier than the KWZ one. Erinite is a pale blend of green and blue but definitely more on the green end. It’s a rather flat colour. When wet, it looks like it shades subtly but once dry, it is rather flat. I have to say in terms of colour, I don’t really like Erinite.

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Posted on March 2, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Monteverde Garnet

My thanks to Cityluxe for providing the ink for review. Now Garnet is an interesting colour. It’s purple verging on red. This is one of those in between colours that I enjoy a lot. It shades subtly in my Japanese M nib. It can look really bright and pops right off the page. This is one happy colour. Among the Monteverde inks I’ve tried, beside Olivine, this is one of my favourites.

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Posted on February 23, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.

Review: Nakaya Negoro style "Nuno kise Hon Kataji" Arai-shu

The Numbers:
Weight: 23g
Length (capped): 134mm
Length (uncapped): 114mm
Price: USD$950
Body Material: Ebonite
Nib Material: 14K Gold
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge and converter
Colours: Various

So, I won't lie and say this Nakaya is everything I dream about. This is my 3rd Nakaya. I placed an order for this pen way back in December 2016. I received pen in roughly late May 2017. Don't quote me on that, I am not quite sure of the timeline. Regardless it is safe to assume I waited about 6 months for the Nakaya. Not new. 6 months is a standard waiting time for a Nakaya.

I ordered the Nakaya Negoro style "Nuno kise Hon Kataji" Arai-shu version. It is a long name so henceforth you will see me refer to this pen as the Nakaya Negoro. Let's cover the standards first.

The Nakaya pen comes in the standard Nakaya wooden box with the pen kimono. Included is a Platinum converter as well as a box of either blue black or black cartridges.

The Nakaya Negoro is a piccolo length. However it's girth is just slightly wider than the regular tamenuri models. I suspect this is due to the finish. See, the Negoro style is a standard piccolo but the artist would deliberately exposes the base. In a way you are buying a pre-crack pen. In a way it is a distortion of the concept of wabi-sabi since I am receiving the pen already imperfect. The “cracks” put into the finish will likely be different from pen to pen. This is the black base, red exterior finish while there is a red base, black exterior. I refer this version. It looks less like the cracks of hell opening up in my pen.

Comparing the photos on Nakaya's site and my pen, it seem it is standard to have one crack spanning the cap and the barrel, at the end of the barrel and one other crack on the opposite side of the longer crack. Inside, once uncapped, you will find similar treatment on the grip section.

Due to the cracks that needed to be added to the pen, the urushi is probably slightly thicker than usual. My regular Piccolo models fit the Dudek Block in the larger holes (5/8”) but the Nakaya Negoro couldn't fit the same the others did. It doesn't go all the way down.

Like the other Nakaya fountain pens I've reviewed, this is a cartridge and converter pen. It fits the regular Platinum converter and cartridges. That's standard for Nakaya pens after all you are buying the workmanship on the pens not the filling system. The balance is similar to the other Piccolo model I've reviewed so there is nothing new I want to add.

For this particular Nakaya, I opted for a regular M nib. I already have the SF and SM so I didn't want to get the same nib again. The M nib writes well if a little boring but it is after all a medium nib. It is kind of meant to be boring. I guess.

Here comes the problem. I was always under the impression that the Nakaya Negoro has a matte finish. This is entirely based on the picture found on Nakaya's website. I realised this is my mistake for not doing my research more carefully. Regardless, I am still disappointed. After all this isn't a cheap pen. Let this be a lesson to me and you to research a pen properly before buying. Pictures you see on one site may look one way but the same pen might look different under different lighting conditions.

Overall, I am not entirely satisfied with the pen. In large part due to the difference in expectation and reality. This I accept as wholly my own fault. The M nib I choose didn't help matters. I do enjoy writing with it. It works very well for me. It is just a little meh, if you get what I mean. My intention is to get the nib grind to something more interesting when the Nakaya nibmeister next comes to Singapore.


  • Beautiful workmanship
  • The same piccolo shape you love


  • Buyer being stupid

Posted on February 16, 2018 and filed under Fountain Pen, review.

Review: Monteverde Topaz

My thanks to Cityluxe for providing the ink for review.

Topaz is an orange ink. It feel quite dry in both my Pilot Murex and Monteverde Aldo Domani fountain pen. Monteverde inks are advertised as lubricated but this one seemed contrary to that statement. This is my 4th experience with Monteverde inks and this is the only one that’s dry. Topaz shades, it’s not the brightest orange. Topaz is more of a faded orange. It shades from an orange-yellow to an orange-coral colour.

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Posted on February 9, 2018 and filed under Ink, review.