Visconti Travelling Inkwell

Disclaimer

To save readers from possibly wasting their time, let me preface this review by mentioning that this product was made for fountain pen users. I honestly don’t have the time to explain why one would even want to consider using a more “involved” instrument as far as utility goes given the I-just-wanna-get-things-over-with-quickly mindset we tend to have with everyday tasks.

Instead, let me point you to this article. There are a bunch of other articles that discuss the merits of fountain pens, but they all essentially say the same thing.

Whatever you may end up reading, either you agree with them, or you don’t. If you don’t, that’s totally fine, and and it’d be best that you stop reading now and just wait for the next post/review.

If you do then read on…

Travelling Inkwell

Apparently everyone but Visconti itself calls this an inkwell. Probably because it sounds better than “ink pot” – which is amusing given that’s the actual phrase printed on the product. To be accurate, I’d call it an ink tube, but I digress.

It’s a pretty straightforward product despite its ridiculously large user manual. 1 Seriously, unfolding that and you end up with something the size of a newspaper page It is exactly what it says it is; an inkwell made for travelling.

Value Proposition

“Why in the hell would anyone need something like this!?” you may ask. Well, simply put – nobody does. But it doesn’t make it any less useful for those who may find use for it. Maybe some people just write so damn much outdoors that they find themselves out of ink often.

My case is much simpler: I hardly write [physically] – but when I do, I want some “joy” to be had out of the endeavor. But all the same, I don’t write often enough to ensure that the ink doesn’t dry out. So filling the reservoirs or getting cartridges full of ink [that I won’t get to use regularly] is very inefficient and wasteful – and will most likely just dry out by the time I do need to write.

I found that simply dipping my pen in ink usually gives me enough ink to last the entire “session” I needed to use the pen for. That’s how seldom I physically write. Which now then leaves me in a conundrum: bringing an ink bottle obviously is daft. Bringing a vial of it is much more practical (and is what others do) but trying to refill your pen from such [small] containers can be really messy 2 You could bring syringes, I guess, but we have to admit how ridiculously extra everything would be at that point – let alone trying to dip it – which is impossible.

That’s where this little puppy comes in.

Portability

There’s a tapered rubber gasket inside that allows you to shove in pens of varying body sizes and get a proper seal – avoiding spillage. You then turn it upside down to soak/submerge the feed in ink allowing it to be sucked it into your converter/bladder/etc.

In my case, I don’t even have to use my converter – just tip it over and back and I have essentially “dipped” my pen 3 Of course in this case, I soaked the nib/feed – which is essentially the same thing

Gotta admit as far as function goes – this is a well thought product. It allows you to put in a massive amount of ink (5.5ml), it seals very well, and it allows you to refill your pen with minimum fuss – all in the size similar to a whiteboard marker.

The cap also doubles as a not so secret container for some absorbent material for cleaning up excess ink. They were even thoughtful enough to include an eyedropper tool for putting ink into it. (The dropper, obviously – you leave at home)

Impressions and Conclusion

For what it’s supposed to do – I’d say that this is product does it very well. There’s really nothing to complain about function wise. Sure there’s a limit as to how thick a pen you could shove in there, but any wider and it would end up impractically large.

The only thing I would be concerned about is how the rubber gasket deteriorates over time – that single point of failure (short of crushing/shattering the thing) just so happens to be most critical part; the one that keeps the ink from bleeding out all over your shit… and its secured by a material that can wear down.

Another would be the price. This is a $70 contraption. And considering it’s just made of plastic and rubber – I’m having trouble recommending this to anyone unless they feel they absolutely need it. Personally I could justify the $70 price tag had they used premium materials for it. Like a metal body, tempered glass for the measurement window, threaded main cap with o-ring instead of just relying on the internal gasket and friction to keep it in place. To be fair it’s really snug – so I’m not worried about it accidentally popping of… for now, at least.

In short, this would’ve been a great product at a lower price; I’m thinking $10-$20. At $70, it’s just ridiculous. One would expect a more premium build at this price range. Too bad I only realized it when I opened the box – in the videos and pictures it looked pretty “premium” 4 And those who reviewed in videos didn’t seem to comment on the build materials – but in the plastic, it definitely doesn’t feel like something that costs $70.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Seriously, unfolding that and you end up with something the size of a newspaper page
2. You could bring syringes, I guess, but we have to admit how ridiculously extra everything would be at that point
3. Of course in this case, I soaked the nib/feed – which is essentially the same thing
4. And those who reviewed in videos didn’t seem to comment on the build materials

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