The Visconti Homosapiens Bronze Age

The Visconti Homosapiens Bronze age is a homage to the development of mankind. Forged from basaltic lava deep inside Mt Etna, and adorned with gorgeous bronze trims, it symbolises the age when mankind first forged bronze from copper and tin, and entered into a new era. Read on to find out more…

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The Jinhao X750

Anyone who keeps up with this blog will know that I only have good things to say about Jinhao. They’re cheap, well made and have surprising longevity. Last time, I reviewed the Jinhao 159, a MB149 knockoff that’s a solid writing instrument (as well as being designed like a solid jump of metal). Today, I’m going for a more … subtle pen, the x750.

The x750 is priced well below £2, and is an excellent pen – one that I’ve used as a spare EDC for a long time. How does it stack up against other cheap (or expensive) pens? Read on to find out.

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The Parker Urban

The Parker Urban is a unique design by any account, and a surprise from Parker’s normally orthodox line. Unsurprisingly, it’s also one of their most celebrated modern models, both for its stylish design and quality. This pen has a special place in my heart – it was the first pen that I bought after deciding to start collecting (although that’s a story for another day …), and perhaps the one that I used for the longest consecutive time. I’ve had this pen for longer than any other (still working) pen in my collection – here’s what I think.

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The Parker Frontier

Once upon a time, Parker was the world’s leading pen brand, known for its quality and consistency. It spawned such classics as the 45, Falcon, and of course, the legendary 51. Now, Parker is a byword for cheap and low quality. Despite remaining popular in schools, Parker at times feels like the laughing stock of the pen world.

The Parker Frontier is one of these modern models that isn’t quite cheap enough for what it is. It’s one step up from the Parker Vector, and aims to compete with the Lamy Safari, low end Pilots etc. I’ve used this as a spare pen alongside my EDC for a while, so of course, here’s my review.

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Stolen Pens

Normally, I love writing for this website, because I love pen-collecting so much. It’s a great hobby, not least of all because of the people you get to meet. I’ve got to know some of the most interesting people, with the most colourful stories at pen fairs, shops, and through this website. It really feels like a community.

That’s why it’s so painful to hear about @insta.emy’s heartbreaking loss this week. For those of you you haven’t heard already, she had a Visconti Jade (fine nib) and Visconti Octagonal (medium) stolen from her in Rome. This really is distressing, not only on account of her loss, but because of what it means for us as a community.

Needless to say, there is absolutely no justification for the theft, and I sincerely hope, from the bottom of my heart, that the thieves realise that they’ve hurt an innocent person in a horrible way, and do the right thing by giving back the pens. I truly feel for @insta.emy and anyone else affected by theft.

Now is our time to prove ourselves as a community. As horrible as it is to think that there are people out there who would leech off of honest people, we need to show that we’re better than them. Everyone needs to play their part in spreading the word around. Both pens were L.E.s, meaning that they are easily identifiable, and when they enter the second-hand market, it is all of our responsibilities to ensure that they are found and returned.

As well as our sympathy, we’d like to show our appreciation to @insta.emy for not taking this sitting down. Theft is a horrible thing, but we shouldn’t consider it a fact of life. If we work together as a community, I truly pray that we can get her pens back, and show that we can unite in the face of adversity!

If you have instagram, or any other kind of social media, spread the word. If you know any other pen collectors, tell them. When you go to pen shows, keep your eyes peeled. If you hear anything, make sure you contact @insta.emy, or email her at

–The Pen Boffin Team

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Parker 75 Queen Elizabeth

The mystery pen is revealed! Some of you might not recognise this pen (congrats to anybody who guessed it right), and it’s a new one to my collection. Nonetheless, it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites.

There’s a wealth of history to this pen. The brass for the body was salvaged from the RMS Queen Elizabeth, which was built as a warship in 1938, and later converted to an ocean liner. In 1970, a fire in a Hong Kong Harbour sunk the Queen Elizabeth, leaving it beyond useless as a ship, but perfect as a source of brass for the Parker 75 RMS Queen Elizabeth, a limited edition of 5000 fountain pens.

Often, such novel limited editions can be all style and marketing, and end up as disappointing pens. However, Parker (especially at this time) had a legacy for the highest level of function and quality – something this is clear in this pen.

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The Humble Ink Bottle

When I received this shipment from Foresta in Italy, a thought occurred to me. We all know the essentials of a pen collection. First of all, you need the pen itself. This can be anything, from a simple plastic Safari, to a silver Yard-o-led, an artful Nakaya or even a piston-filling demonstrator, like the Pelikan M1005. But perhaps we spend too much time thinking about the pen, and forget the other modest ingredients needed for every good pen collection. The first that comes to mind is a good quality paper to write on. Then, the ink that you’re writing on. Maybe even a case to carry or display your pens. We all have these, and they’ll all get reviews in their own time. But today, I want to talk about perhaps the most underappreciated necessity for any pen aficionado – the ink bottle!

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