The design of the pen combines several of my most favorite things: compact, clear body, fountain pen, made in Italy. The only thing that could make it better is if it could dispense espresso through my skin into my blood stream while I write.
The body is a sturdy sort of resin something or other, and seems to hold up well in spite of making numerous unprotected trips in my pocket. It can be filled with standard short cartridges, or as an eyedropper pen with bottled ink. It even comes with its own glass eyedropper. The cap screws on to close, and presses onto the back to post. When closed, the pen is Fort Knox secure. This is not a pen that will unscrew in your pocket. The cap, when posted firmly, is pretty secure (though can be knocked loose), and makes the pen long enough for comfortable long-term writing. And my, is it ever comfy! I LOVE the thicker body barrel for writing.
Now, for a few negatives. This first one drives me crazy—condensation in the cap. Or ink in the cap. Or worse, BOTH. It happens often, and especially when I carry this pen in my jeans pocket. The pen is secure, so I’m not worried about this stuff getting out, it’s just annoying that it’s there at all.
The second BIG big negative is that I could not get a steady writing flow going right out of the box. It was crazy frustrating, and I tried everything I could think to do (besides take it back, because I would admit no defeat). At last beaten, I took the pen back to the ballroom, and escorted it (and some cash) over to Pendleton Brown to see if he could do something for it. And he did! It writes wonderfully now, a nice tactile smooth with an ink flow that never fails. And he hooked me up with some of his Waterman BlakWa ink mix, which I am currently in love with.
You might think, with these two major problems looming over it, that I might not like this pen. But fountain pens are funny things. Maybe it’s their offbeat nature. Maybe it’s a psychological attachment fueled by all the dough you fork over for pens like these. Who knows. But in spite of its problems, I love this little pen. I’m glad I got it, and I enjoy using it.
Unfortunately, I don’t see any clear versions of the Passaporto fountain pen at Speerbob’s, and none of the other colors are for the price I got mine at. If you’re looking for this pen at an unbeatable price, you might have to make the trek to a fountain pen supershow to get a good deal. Or scour the internet. Best of luck in your quest.