The pen's cap has three neat features which are particularly useful. The cap utilizes magnetism to seal with the barrel of the pen. It securely attaches on the front end of the pen with little effort and stays on strong enough to withstand firm agitation and shaking. Although it does not magnetically attach to the back-end while posted, the cap does securely post well and is very comfortable to write with while doing so (posted length 6.125"). Another feature of the cap is the spring-loaded Visconti Clip. It is easy to remove and attach to your pocket, but once latched on, is very sturdy. Lastly, you can personalize your Visconti Van Gogh
with your two initials atop the cap's crown using Visconti's trademarked "My Pen System." Two initials, like a ying-yang symbol, can be inserted atop the crown magnetically, and can be swapped out for the original Visconti "V" medallion or a selection of birthstones, zodiac symbols and the like. Summary:
Final Grade : B+
- Writing Quality : Stainless steel nib works admirably, but not the smoothest or wettest stainless steel out there. Considering the price, there is something more to be desired here. (grade B-)
- Aesthetic Quality : The unique color choices and technique that Visconti uses to create each pen "canvas" achieve the marriage between the pen and its theme. The faceted body emphasize the colors even further. (grade A+)
- Utility : Spring Loaded Clip is strong, easy to attach / remove. Cap posts well and operates without feeling unbalanced. Magnetic sealing cap is convenient and secure. Cartridge / Converter is convenient, but does not have a large ink capacity a piston-filler would provide. (grade B+)
- Price : Available in fine, medium and broad nib sizes for $279.00 Retail. Check Goldspot for current price & promotions. For an everyday writing instrument with a steel nib, the Van Gogh is at the top end of that product range. While the artistic quality of the pen design is in a class of its own, the writing quality is not. (grade C+)
As a student of the fine arts and a pen-lover, the Van Gogh is right up my alley. I can justify loving the aesthetics of the pen that it would be part of my everyday carry. My knowledge of what the price tag can get you in other brands (an Edison with an 18kt nib, a Sailor 1911 L w/ 21kt gold nib, for example) tells me that I'm not getting the best bang for my buck, but I'm willing to have a less-than-stellar nib for a absolutely sublime pen design.