Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S04 ep11 : Visconti Pens [ Florence ]
Interview with Dante Del Vecchio
Visconti is an Italian manufacturer of fine fountain pens, ball pens, and rollerball pens. The company was founded in 1988 in Florence by Dante Del Vecchio and Luigi Poli, collectors of fountain pens for many years. Their products represented the rediscovery and relaunch of celluloid as material for fountain pens. In 2009, Visconti reached a deal with Coles of London (actually based in Florida), whereby Coles became the official distributor of Visconti products in the United States. Together, they have recently launched a range of new products, including the Rembrandt Collection, Divina Royale range, and the limited-edition Templar
My name is Dante Del Vecchio. I’m the founder of Visconti company in 1988 and we are showing in Basel at the jewelry and
watch pen show. This year Visconti for the first time is introducing a watch collection together to our famous pen collection.
25 years ago, I have made and founded the company from scratch that was willing to please the things that I was not able to
find in the market. We really invented collectible pens in a period of time where pens were considered just no more than a
writing tool. The idea was to make the best pens of the world.
I started political science. When I was young I opened a pen shop in Florence so I definitely have a background in pens. But my
pleasure was to make writing instruments that I consider a cultural event that is very important for a human being.
At that time the most important brands were definitely Parker, Waterman and therea little bit of Mont Blanc which was not
such a big brand as it is today. What was missing is the fashion, is the beauty, is the pens made not as an industrial away but
like you know a piece of art.
The first idea was to go back in history and re-discover forgotten materials. Think about the Thai that introduce in the world the
beauty of the celluloid that is a plastic made out of cotton natural. And I introduce a forgotten art like a screen show or like to
make it a tool to a pen, to a piece of resin and then only a few years after we became as Visconti jewelers. 95% of the
production is made internally.
After 25 years I’ve made a watch, calling the watch “A bridge over time”. The bridge is the symbol of Visconti, that is the clip of
the pen. A symbol of friendship is the bridge. If people where bridge builders rather than border the fencers. The world would
be much better.
After so many years, I can tell you it’s beautiful but was not easy. Because while in watches there is a know-how, in pens you
have to build your own know-how. Because in watches exists a school in Geneva of Haute Horlogery. We have experts in pens,
whatever you want to do, you have to learn yourself. There is not a school. So I know every single thing that is ongoing in the
last 300 years in pens. Whatever was able to write, I know, I studied about that. And when I wanted to make watches, I hired a
guy that was making one of the best watches ever made in Florence; this is the Panerai watch, he is my partner in Visconti.
In Visconti are basically 3 values: passion, art and technology.The passion is the deeper knowledge of what you’re doing of your
business. The art because we live in a city like Florence, we cannot separate from the history of Florence that these 500 years of
solid art. Technology - because whatever we produce is a product. It has to be made in the best knowledge possible, in the peak
of the technology. It can be even something that is completely artisanal but has to be made with the best technology.
To break the market you need to have either an incredible new product or an incredible marketing. Visconti is not a brand
marketing oriented, we are product oriented. We believe that a good product can sell itself. So once we went in the market for
the first time, we have discovered that we could innovate an enormous amount of things in the writing instruments. I proudly
tell you that I have over 25 patents in pens. For example the double reservoir; that is a way that the pens do not leak during the
air flight, a problem that was never solved with the writing instrument, never solved. The hook safe lock is a way to lock the cap
of your pen. The pen will never unlock in your pocket travelling in planes and the special kind of ink.
We have huge collectors; we have a Sheik. Arab Sheik will come here in the next couple of days, that they own over 2000 of our
pens you know a value of hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have huge collectors in Italy that they have every single piece
that we have made. But Visconti is not only for collectors. Visconti is for anybody that likes to be pleased for a nice men’s
Usually the inspiration can come from any corner. I proudly tell you that probably one of the best pens I have made for Visconti
came after reading the Da Vinci book. I came with the idea to make a divine proportion pen. It was a huge success worldwide. So
you can have an inspiration from whatever. There is nothing that is already written. You re-create your history yourself every
Two years ago when I was visiting a friend of mine, I see his kitchen was made out of lava material. And because you know the
architect told me “Mr. DelVecchio you know the lava is resistant to heat and resistant to breakage, so it must be useful to make
pens”. After six months I launched a collection called Homo Sapiens made out of Basaltic Lava from Etna Volcano, this is
We make and sell pens up to a hundred thousand units for a single writing instrument. So communication with the jewelry it is
need for itself, is art for our sake.
We have Palladium nibs. We are theonly one in the world to carry a Palladium nib. We call Dream Touch because it’s soft like a
feather when you write. We have a tubular nib, probably the only company in the world to carry five different nibs in our pens.
Florence, we still have one of the earliest watch or let’s say clock in the world. It was built in the Palazzo Vecchio in 1515, so over
500 years ago. There is a street called Via Del Lo Riolo which was the street of the watchmakers. Dante Le Gierie was mentioning
clocks in the divine comedy nearly 150 years before.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Visconti Pens