Before I left Calgary I visited my favorite pen store, Reid’s, one last time (or so I thought). I was hoping they could help me with the faulty feed on my Noodler’s pen but they couldn’t. As I was leaving I spied a pen in one of the display cases and I just had to take a closer look.
I was drawn to the swirling blue with a slight hint of green. I asked them about it and they told me it was a Visconti Millennium Arc Three LE. It was expensive so I left without it that day. I couldn’t get it out of my head though, and when David asked me what I wanted for our 10th anniversary, this pen was the first thing I thought of.
This Millennium Arc Three LE are slightly different from the Millennium Arc Rainbow and Twilight versions released in 2015. These first Millennium Arcs were released in 2000 to celebrate the beginning of the third millennium. They were a limited edition that Visconti released in 3 translucent colours: red (Millennium One), amber (Millennium Two) and blue (Millennium Three). Visconti produced 1,000 of each of the colours and numbered them. Mine is marked 0401/1000. They originally came in a set of three in a special case which included a travelling inkwell. Reid’s had the other two pens available but were selling them individually, no case or inkwell. They promised me a great deal if I bought all three but I knew the budget wouldn’t stretch that far! Penporium has the complete set with inkwell available for $1,895 US.
The body is translucent so you can see the nib and section behind the swirls. I think this is a stunning finish, much nicer than the more recent Millennium Arc offering. Go to the Cowan’s Auctions site to see the amber and red finishes. The amber is trimmed in yellow gold, while the red is trimmed in white gold. And the blue is trimmed in ruthenium.
Each pen has a silicon sac that fills via a crescent filling system. You can see the “hump” of silver in the picture above; the clear collar underneath is movable. A lock ring rotates around the barrel. Rotated one way, the ring locks the crescent from being pressed; rotated the other way and the ring unlocks, exposing a break in the collar which allows the crescent to be depressed. When depressed a metal bar squeezes against the silicon sac. The nib and section are submerged in ink and the metal bar is squeezed a couple of times, filling the sac with ink. The sac is apparently guaranteed by Visconti for 100 years. I have registered it so maybe my descendants will test out that warranty!
Here’s a closeup of the 18k two-tone broad nib. You can see the limited edition numbers engraved on the left side: 0401/1000. Absolutely stunning to look at, and a very smooth writer. It is inked with Waterman Inspired Blue, a great complement to the barrel I think.
I adore this pen. It’s the second Visconti I own, and the first crescent filler. The Rembrandt has the distinctive Visconti clip, which the Millennium is missing. That was a little disappointing but I understand why they designed the clip to match the crescent mechanism.
It’s a glorious wet writer now but when I first inked it up after an initial cleaning there were quite a few skips and hard starts. It seemed like the nib needed work and I was nervous about finding someone to work on it. I had to remind myself that this pen had been sitting in a store for 16 years. But with almost constant use since April it’s now a very reliable writer. It will often spark a conversation when I bring it to work or to a coffee shop for a journal writing session.
See how the Millennium compares to some of my other pens. From left: Nemosine Singularity in blue marble, Delta Journal in pearl red, Monteverde Prima in green, Jinhao 159 in black, and the vintage Waterman Junior in black. The red in the top corner is of course my Visconti Rembrandt.
Beautiful addition to my collection and I am extremely pleased with this very generous gift from my wonderful husband. And yes he got a great anniversary present too: a super telephoto lens for his SLR camera. We spoiled ourselves but hey we made it to 10 years so we deserved it!