Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 418

I initially had my eye on its smaller cousin -- the "Columbia" model, introduced in 2004 -- and then its siblings (which included the "Nobile" and the 2004 Pentrace LE), but I finally decided to buy this particular model after Jerred bought one in 2020 :)

Here's my new Filcao 'Atlantica' in "Lapis" fountain pen:

(please click on images to enlarge)

I got it via eBay and paid $79.00 USD + $20 shipping from Italy for it. In the eBay description, the seller said that this was the last one in this colour that they were selling, so I jumped at the chance to buy it. This model came out in 2010 in limited numbers and Filcao (a small, family-owned Italian pen company) went out of business in 2014 after its founder passed away so, sadly, you won't see more being produced.

Jerred did a really nice review of his 'Atlantica' here, so I won't repeat what he said, but I wanted to say a few words about the pen's filling system--a button-filling system --because it's rarely used in modern fountain pens (note: as Jerred pointed out in his review, some 'Atlantica' pens came with a pneumatic filling system; I believe these came out after the button-fillers).

The button-filling mechanism is fairly simple to use -- you unscrew the blind cap at the end of the barrel, press on the metal "filler button", fully immerse the nib in bottled ink, release the pressure on the button, wait 10 seconds (with the nib still immersed in the ink), remove the pen from the ink bottle, wipe the nib off and replace the blind cap.

So how does it work? Pressing on the filler button causes a thin piece of metal inside the barrel to bend and compress a rubber ink sack that's also inside the barrel; when you release the pressure on the button, the sack reinflates and air (or ink - if the nib is immersed in ink) is sucked inside the sack. Now, to flush the pen of ink, simply put the nib end in water (or pen flush) and press on the filler button to fill and expel liquid from the ink sack.
Of course, rubber ink sacs don't last forever---they will harden over time--but thankfully, they are still being produced.

According to the eBay seller, every Filcao pen is handmade made from a solid barrel of celluloid. The material is really nice and in bright sunshine, the yellow flecks actually sparkle.

The material was described in a review by Pentrace's Len Provisor as a "high luster celluloid (acetate) in an exclusive FILCAO dark Lapis Blue pattern with golden speckle embedments". It reminds me of the material used in some of my beloved Signum 'Orione' fountain pens (which are also made in Italy).

My pen came with a Medium stainless steel Schmidt nib which writes smoothly. I really like the way Schmidt steel nibs write--the Benu pen company uses them in their pens and all of my Benu pens are very smooth writers. The Filcao is a very comfortable, "chunkier" pen to hold and use and I'm really got it, after waiting so many years!

Note: There was a fancier version of the 'Atlantica' called the 'Atlantica Oro' that came with a 18K gold Schmidt nib, a
gold plated clip and a solid 8K (.333) gold cap band with a Greek Key design on it. The regular 'Atlantica' model--the one reviewed here-- has rhodium-plated trim and a sterling silver cap band with "FILCAO - ITALIA" and a flattened circle with "925" (signifying Sterling Silver) engraved on it.

This is another item I got very recently--a Sheaffer full-grain leather double pen case (pouch). I paid $38.39 CAD for it via, but the prices there change all the time; right now, the double-pen case is $40 with free shipping and the single-pen case is $60 +$15 for domestic shipping. Weird.

I first saw Sheaffer's leather pen cases at Perks pen store many years ago, but I didn't buy one because I was more focused on acquiring the new Sheaffer pen models that came out around the same time. When I saw the pen case on Amazon recently, I finally decided to buy it because I'm a huge Sheaffer fan and I liked the Sheaffer logo rivet on the pen case flap. The logo is a reference to Sheaffer's famous "white dot" (signifying a lifetime guarantee) that Sheaffer put on some of their pens, starting in 1924. All modern Sheaffers have a white dot on them, but it's just a design feature and doesn't signify a lifetime guarantee.

It's advertised as a double pen pouch and it can hold my Lamy 'Safari' and Pilot 'Metropolitan' fountain pens (above), but keep in mind that the case has no divider. I tried putting two large pens inside, but they wouldn't fit, so I'd say this pen case was more of a "1.5 pen case" rather than a double-pen case (unless you put two skinny pens inside).

I love the pen case's lining with the Sheaffer name and logo on it-- very cool...

A word about that Sheaffer logo flap rivet: As much as I like this decorative rivet, it can make tucking the flap under the loop a bit challenging if the pens inside the case fit snugly. If you have two skinny pens inside or just one large pen inside, it's not a problem. The only issue I have with the latter scenario (and it's just an aesthetic one) is that when you have just one large pen inside it, the pen case loses its shape (ie. part of the case looks like it collapsed). I mentioned in an earlier review how I don't like "floppy" leather pen cases, so it kind of bugs me, but this kind of thing might not matter to you at all. I just mentioned it because I like to be thorough ;)

(This photo makes the Filcao pen look tiny next to the Sheaffer pen case, but in reality, they are almost the same length -- the Filcao is about 14 cm capped and the pen case is about 15.5 cm long closed)

My thanks to Jerred for the inspiration to (finally) buy this lovely pen, and a bigger "thank you" to him for all the pen reviews and beautiful photos he sent in for our virtual "show & tell!

(photos and review by Maja)

We're having an in-person meeting tomorrow (Thursday August 18th) so my own virtual "show & tell" reviews are going to slow down considerably since my fellow VPCers will be able to see my new acquisitions in person. This is my 118th review and my camera (and brain lol) needs a rest.

Many thanks to everyone in our pen club who sent in reviews and photos for our virtual "show & tell" in the last two years--please feel free to keep sending in your reviews and I'll post them here--and thank you to everyone who left nice comments about them.


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