Recently I posed a review of the Visionnaire fountain pen and given that a couple weeks have passed it seems a good time to followup. Since the Visionnaire was shipped to the general public, The Pen Addict reviewed it in Episode #83, a review appeared on Reddit, a comparison to the Leyica LY120 was made, as well as other Chinese fountain pens in general, a YouTube review was conducted, and some additional videos were made by another reviewer. Plus a number of backers have posed mini-reviews and comments on the Kickstarter page and while there have been some favorable comments, the vast majority of people posting on Kickstarter seems to be displeased the project and especially with the quality control or lack thereof. The creator of the project has also been very quiet and hasn’t addressed any of the comments on the quality control which I think is very telling. BHG Design has started a new Kickstarter campaign for a Visionnaire branded notebook that can include the pen and quite frankly I would advise anyone reading this to avoid the campaign.
I’ve tired to use the pen a couple more times since my initial review but the feed issues continue to be an issue and even when the feed is decent, the comment that I made about the pen feeling “top heavy” in the review applies and I find it hard to write with the pen for an extended period of time. Also, something that I failed to mention but other reviewers have which made me do an “Oh, yeah!” is that the pen doesn’t really have any good grip and over an extended priors of time I have found myself struggling to avoid it slipping while writing. Plus, the chrome plating continues to chip off and odds are given enough time I might have a copper pen instead of a chrome one.
In the event that you come across this post and are interested in starting to write with a fountain pen, my best advise would be to start the same way that I did: pick up a Lamy Safari (plus converter), some ink, and some decent paper and just start writing! If you also want to improve you handwriting then I suggest the following two books which I have been using myself:
- Italic Calligraphy and Handwriting: Exercises and Text by Lloyd J. Reynolds
- The Italic Way to Beautiful Handwriting: Cursive and Calligraphic by Fred Eager
Both of which do a good job of laying out the foundations after which it is just a matter of practicing enough to retrain yourself to write.