We recently began carrying Leonardo Officina Italiana pens, and it’s been very exciting. I use the term “recently” quite loosely, as in between our first shipment (last year) and now time seems to have warped slightly. We were tremendously excited to get our last shipment in, which had some special orders that I know a few people were waiting for, and we weren’t sure what the timeline was going to be, with the situation in Italy.
Over the last year or two, we’ve had lots of people inquire, just wondering about them, what do you think, are you all going to be bringing them in. They’re newish to the pen world, at least in the form of Leonardo Officina Italiana. This is a family operation, with years and generations of knowledge and skill passed down. Leonardo is known for their gorgeous materials and high level of craftsmanship. In addition to sourcing unique materials, resins, celluloid, acrylics, the company focuses on the overall build of a pen—things like balance and weight in the hand, size, finishes—as well as the nib.
I had had to hold off on getting one for the first few rounds because there are so many materials and options, and it’s hard to bring in everything at once before you know what people want. We did some special orders for some, which was super helpful, both for us to manage orders but also to get a sense of how to bring them in. Things sold out, and so I waited for the next round and the next and then we had a pandemic.
The pen comes with a steel nib, although you can upgrade to a gold. It’s quite a step up in price, which is typical these days with the price of gold.
Is there a real difference between the gold and the steel? Yes and no.
The steel is terrific. It is smooth and wet and flows great. You can tell that Leonardo has invested the time to ensure quality control in their pens coming out of the factory, and I would completely recommend it.
The gold nib has ever so slightly more bounce. It’s also a great nib. The softer material of the gold means it has a hint more give when you write, but it’s a commitment to upgrade to the 14 k.
In any case, I am loving it.
It’s such a delight to have a new pen, sometimes. It was hard to decide between all the materials. Sometimes it’s nice to have a decision you can ruminate on for a while, to have something to look forward to, and then to enjoy it once it’s in.