The Homo Sapiens Dark Crystal is an exceptional fountain pen, showcasing all of the unique benefits of the original, award-winning Homo Sapiens with several upgrades and modifications:
Smoky Ink Chamber: The most discernible modification to the body of the pen is the addition of a large transparent window made from acrylic resin. A large section of lava has been cut out of the pen body and replaced with a piece of smoky acrylic tube, giving the pen a unique appearance and identity. This 'oversize' window offers the user a view of stored ink inside the pen and the pen's 'double reservoir' power filling system.
Double Reservoir: The original Homo Sapiens featured Visconti's 'single reservoir' power filling system. The Dark Crystal is upgraded to Visconti's patented 'double reservoir' power filler, a vacuum filling system that is easy to use and has considerable benefits. Patented in 1998, this is arguably the most advanced filling system ever developed in fountain pen history. The user is able to fill the pen with the equivalent of 10 cartridges of ink, and thanks to the two reservoirs, prevents ink from leaking during air travel.
Smoky Crystal Ring: The final change is the small ring around the grip section. Metal has been replaced with smoky acrylic resin, offering a view of stored ink in the pen's second smaller ink reservoir.
As with the original Homo Sapiens, the Dark Crystal is made from volcanic lava rock, making the pen virtually unbreakable, naturally hygroscopic and very comfortable to write with. All trims are made from steel with ruthenium plating and the cap closes with Visconti's patented 'hook safe lock'. The Homo Sapiens Dark Crystal is a must-have for every Visconti pen enthusiast.
The Homo Sapiens is handmade from hardened basaltic lava sourced from the Mount Etna volcano in Italy, with trim made of solid bronze. Visconti lava is virtually unbreakable, comfortable and warm to the touch - and slightly hygroscopic, absorbing moisture from your hand. The basaltic lava is mixed with resin to create this pen.
The pen caps using the Visconti 'Hook Safe Lock', a revolutionary capping system so you can cap a pen without worrying about the cap accidentally unscrewing in your pocket and leaking. The fountain pen's double reservoir vacuum power filler is made of titanium to resist ink corrosion, and it features a ruthenium-plated oversized 18k gold nib to match the trim color.
- Fountain Pens
Whether or not the barrel of the pen is translucent, allowing you to see the ink and filling mechanism inside.
- Body Material
- Basaltic Lava and Resin
- Cap Rotations
For pens with a screw-cap closure, how many rotations it takes to uncap/recap the pen.
- Cap Type
How the cap is opened/closed from the barrel of the pen. Some common options include Snap-Cap, Screw-Cap, Magnetic Cap, or Capless (no cap).
- Hook Safe Lock
- Compatible inks & refills
Which ink this pen will accept. Choices include bottled ink and various styles of pre-filled ink cartridges.
- Bottled inks
- Filling Mechanism
How the pen fills with ink. Click here to watch our video tutorial on common filling mechanisms.
- Double Reservoir Power Filler
- Grip Material
- Basaltic Lava
- Nib Size
- Extra-Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, 1.3mm Stub
- Nib Color
- Nib Material
- 18k Gold
Whether or not the cap fits securely onto the back of the barrel when open.
Whether or not the nib/tip can retract into the body of the pen (usually for click or twist-open style pens).
- Diameter - Body
- 14mm (0.55in)
- Diameter - Cap (without clip)
- 16.5mm (0.65in)
- Diameter - Cap (with clip)
- 21mm (0.83in)
- Diameter - Grip (mm)
Measured from the place most people choose to rest their fingers, which varies with each pen.
- Length - Body
The measurement from the back end of the barrel to the tip of the nib.
- 132mm (5.20in)
- Length - Cap
- 59.3mm (2.33in)
- Length - Nib
The measured length of the visible portion of the nib when it is installed in the pen, from grip to tip.
- 24.3mm (0.96in)
- Length - Overall (Closed)
- 146mm (5.75in)
- Length - Overall (Posted)
When the cap of the pen is posted onto the back of the pen body, this is the measurement of the entire pen including the nib.
- 173.4mm (6.83in)
- Weight - Body
If a converter is included with the pen, this weight is reflected in the total.
- 24g (0.85oz)
- Weight - Cap
- 17g (0.60oz)
- Weight - Overall (g)
- Max Ink Capacity - Piston Vac
The maximum volume of ink that can fit in the pen when using the built-in piston or vacuum filling mechanism.
Reviews & Questions
How do I fill a fountain pen with ink?
It depends on the pen's filling mechanism, which you can find in the Technical Specs section above.
Here's a quick definition of the most common filling mechanisms:
Cartridge - A small, disposable, sealed plastic reservoir that holds fountain pen ink. These come pre-filled with ink, and typically you just push to insert them into place and you'll be ready to write!
Converter - A detachable and refillable ink reservoir that allows you to use bottled ink in a cartridge-accepting pen. Typically you will install the converter into the grip section, dip the nib/feed into the ink, and twist or pull the converter knob to draw ink into the converter. Here's a video for how to fill a cartridge/converter pen using a LAMY pen as an example.
Eyedropper - A pen that utilizes the entire barrel as a reservoir for ink. Ink is directly filled into the barrel, allowing for a high ink capacity. Here's a video on how to do it!
Piston - A type of filling system that uses a retracting plunger inside a sealed tube to draw ink into a pen. They are typically either twist or push-operated. These pens cannot accept cartridges or a converter, and only fill from bottled ink.
Vacuum - A push-style piston that uses pressure to fill the large pen body with ink. They seal the ink chamber when closed, making it ideal for flying without risk of leaking.
You can learn more with our Fountain Pen 101 video on Filling Mechanisms on YouTube.
How do I clean a fountain pen?
It depends on the filling mechanism, but it mostly comes down to flushing it out with water, and sometimes a little bit of Pen Flush if the ink is really stuck.
It's a bit easier to show than to tell, so we've put together a few quick videos showing you the process:
How often do I need to clean my fountain pen?
We recommend a good cleaning every 2 weeks, and any time you change ink colors.
Water will usually do the trick, but we recommend you use our Goulet Pen Flush if the ink has been left in the pen for a while and could have dried up, or when you’re switching ink colors.
My pen won’t write! What do I do?
First things first... make sure you have ink in the pen! Be sure that the ink cartridge or converter is seated properly in the pen, and that you aren't out of ink.
We always recommend you give your pen a good cleaning first, using our Goulet Pen Flush, or a drop of dish soap in some water. New pens often have some machining oil residue left in the feed, so a good cleaning often does the trick first.
If that still doesn't work, try priming the feed. This consists of either dipping your pen nib and feed in ink, or forcing ink from the converter down into the feed.
If it’s still not working after that, please reach out to us so we can help!