Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Featured Pen - Stipula Passaporto Transparent

[You can click on any of the photos to enlarge for more detail]

This pen belongs to my good friend @fntnpencrazy.  When it arrived she could not get it to write at all so she asked me to take a look at it.  I don't know if this is a recurring issue with these pens but it seems to be not all that unusual an issue (thread on FPN here).

This is the newer version of the Passaporto.  The biggest difference in this pen and the one that I purchased at the Miami Pen Show last year, is that there are no longer any threads to screw the cap on to the end of the barrel when posting.  It is now just handled by friction.

Another interesting feature, which I do not know if it is new or just not on my pen, is the rubber gasket which isolates the nib unit with the pen is capped.  If you look closely you can see this in the top photo.  I assume that this feature is to help prevent the nib from drying out.

I have to be honest, this pen, with this transparent material amuses me.  I am reminded to the plastic balls that have prizes in them in the old gumball machines.  I really like the way that every part of this pen is visible and seeing the ink slosh around inside of it when I am using it makes me smile.

Like my Passaporto @fntnpencrazy chose this pen with an italic nib.

Google translator translation: All done in Tuscan Florence.

So what about that writing issue.  Well, the nib flow was just completely non existent.  I filled the pen with Noodlers Tienanmen and have been using it for about 5 days.  I used a piece of mylar (this one came with the Pilot Parallel pen and is provided as a nib cleaner) to make sure that the nib gap is not too tight.  The gap is very tight, but I did not want to get too large a gap, so I just used the mylar until it did not feel like I was having to force it too much.  This seemed to work, for a while.  The next day the pen would not start again.  So I took it apart and flushed the nib section, the pen has been working just fine since (until Friday).  It started acting up again, so I've now pulled it apart and am flushing it completely and will try a different ink.  One word of warning the ink tends to accumulate in the barrel around the rubber gasket and also in the nib section around the threads and it does not seem to want to come off.

All that being said, this pen finally seems to be working the way that it should.  Hopefully it will continue without difficultly and I won't receive and texts from @fntnpencrazy telling me that it has stopped writing.

Editors note:  The pen has stopped writing again and is being returned.  Also, please do not judge all Passaportos or all Stipulas based upon this pen.  My Passaporto Miami Sunset writes like a dream and I have never had any problems with it.  Also @fntnpencrazy has already ordered a new Passaporto to replace this one.  So please, give this great little pen a chance.


Aaron said...

Just did a Google search for this. $99 for a pen that doesn't even write consistently?? I think I'd be sending that back!

Economy Pens said...

I love the fact that it looks like a vacuum tube; that appeals to my inner geek. But the performance is a deal breaker. Either way, it is still great to look at! Thanks for sharing.

Shangching said...

What a coincident! I just bought this pen at the DC Pen Show last weekend for my other half. When I tried it out, it flew like butter (if that is an appropriate description for a fountain pen!)
I am curious as to how you disassemble the pen. Is there any tip you can share?

Mia said...

I bought the black one a few months ago and the barrel cracked. I usually keep my pens in a pouch of some kind that's fairly padded, and none of my other pens have cracked. Not sure why this one did. My one and last Stipula.

Clara said...

Glad to read this review. I was getting set to pull the trigger on the FPN version. Doing a little more reading has me thinking I'm gonna hold on to my pennies. I've got an Edison Collier calling my name. ;)

notebooktivity said...

I agree with Aaron. To pay that amount of money for a pen that gives you trouble is not worth it.

If you are interested in a transparent fountain pen I would recommend the "TWSBI Diamond 530". Much cheaper and still a good fountain pen.

I have bought it a few months ago, have not written a review (yet) as there are many good reviews out there. You had written one yourself.
Personally I have not had any bad experience myself with the pen and I carry it with me all the time in my bag.

Inkyindi said...

Good review! I have the FPN version coming. My first Stipula. Hope it lives up to the positive hype. Your Sunset pen is beautiful & I'm glad to hear it writes well. I'll second the recommendation on the TWSBI 530. Nice pen.

KjM said...

A beautiful pen, but it is a shame about it not writing.

I like my Auroras that have a little window that shows the ink reservoir, but seeing all the inside of the pen while in use is neat.

Love what you do with an italic nib.

Carnacki said...

These Passoporto's come in 3 models:

The one with the threaded cap is a dream, I have 10 of them. Never a problem, beautiful pen.

I have a non-threaded one. Always feels clunky. The cap sits Kattywompus no matter what you do.

I have two Ebonites, poor writers. This is the model with the metal ferrule on the body. One of my other ferrule models cracked within a week. Wrote poorly, and the cap did not fit well.

I'll only buy the model with the threaded cap and without the metal ferrule. If you buy the correct model these pens are a dream. Buy the wrong one and they are a nightmare. The best model is one of my top three pens and a daily writer.

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