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Visconti Traveling Inkwell/Inkpot

For those here that travel, particularly air travel, with fountain pens, safely traveling with ink is always the trick. I have traveled extensively for business, mostly by air for most of my 42 year career. Somewhere in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I bought the Visconti Traveling Inkpot shown below. In the second picture it is fully dissembled and you can see that it contains not only space for your ink, but a bit of blotter and 3 ink pellets for those times when you are really in a bind for ink. I have never used these ink pellets.

The way this works is that with the bottom 2 sections screwed together, you put your ink into the second section - the larger black section. Because of the seal and the small opening at the bottom of this section, the ink will not flow into the clear section. You then screw the top 2 sections on to the section with the ink in it and you are good to go. Put it in its leather sleeve to safeguard it and put it in your pen case.

If you will be gone for a while, you can fill the bottom (clear) section about 75% full of ink then screw the second section on it and fill it as normal, then put the top 2 sections on and you are good to go.

The way you get the ink to flow from the second section into the clear first section is to unscrew the clear section from the second section then slowly begin unscrewing the top 2 sections from the section with the ink. Once the seal is broken, ink will flow and you can recap to stop the flow. Be sure that you have the assembly vertical for obvious reasons. If you have used the second method of filling above and the clear section already has ink in it, DO NOT remove the top 2 sections and ink will stay in the large black section. Either way, once you have ink in the bottom section, insert you pen and fill as if from a bottle.

This inkwell will fit pretty large pens. Pictured below is a Mont Blanc 149 inserted into the lower section of the inkpot. I don't remember what I paid for this inkpot, but it has served me well for decades and continues to do so.

NOTE: It has come to my attention that Visconti has changed the design of their traveling inkpot. I have inserted a link at the bottom for a YouTube review of the current inkpot. The new inkpot operates differently and will not accommodate some smaller pens that mine will work with, but it should still work well for those who travel and need to bring along ink as long as you bring pens that will work with it.

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that’s a cool system.

I’ve always contented myself with big volume pens (TWSBI 530 mini wrote pretty heavily for 28 days straight, and/or eyedroppered pens), and a sampler bottle.

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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Cool little gizmo, but the price makes me glad I like pens that take cartridges :biggrin1: No doubt this travel system would pay for itself eventually (in cost savings of bottled ink over carts), but it would take far more trips with fountain pens than I'm ever likely to take.
 
Cool little gizmo, but the price makes me glad I like pens that take cartridges :biggrin1: No doubt this travel system would pay for itself eventually (in cost savings of bottled ink over carts), but it would take far more trips with fountain pens than I'm ever likely to take.

For 20 or so years I was traveling 80%+ to many places where you would not find a cartridge. Sure I could bring them, but there were few color options back then. I would also have to waste precious home time sourcing the cartridges. I think I paid about $30 for my ink pot.

I have several pens that will take cartridges, but they take converters too. I don’t think I have a used a cartridge since the mid 1980s. Different strokes.

Then there is the problem of having the right cartridge - Sheaffer, International, Lamy, etc.
 
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AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
For 20 or so years I was traveling 80%+ to many places where you would not find a cartridge. Sure I could bring them, but there were few color options back then. I would also have to waste precious home time sourcing the cartridges. I think I paid about $30 for my ink pot.

I have several pens that will take cartridges, but they take converters too. I don’t think I have a used a cartridge since the mid 1980s. Different strokes.

Then there is the problem of having the right cartridge - Sheaffer, International, Lamy, etc.

Oh, I completely understand. Horses for courses, and I'm simply the wrong horse...

Please forgive my flippant comments, they were largely in jest. It does look like an excellent piece of kit for the frequent traveler. Especially in today's world, where people are more conscious about plastic waste. Flights for me have always been a rare event, and nearly half my (rare) overseas trips have been by train or boat. I wasn't a fountain pen user back then either. :)

Would I travel with a fountain pen today? Probably not, as I'd only be traveling for pleasure, not work. I might do though, if I intended to keep a diary of my travels. Again, not enough to warrant one of these, but I welcome the opportunity to see it in action for thos who see more of the world than me :thumbup1:
 
Oh, I completely understand. Horses for courses, and I'm simply the wrong horse...

Please forgive my flippant comments, they were largely in jest. It does look like an excellent piece of kit for the frequent traveler. Especially in today's world, where people are more conscious about plastic waste. Flights for me have always been a rare event, and nearly half my (rare) overseas trips have been by train or boat. I wasn't a fountain pen user back then either. :)

Would I travel with a fountain pen today? Probably not, as I'd only be traveling for pleasure, not work. I might do though, if I intended to keep a diary of my travels. Again, not enough to warrant one of these, but I welcome the opportunity to see it in action for thos who see more of the world than me :thumbup1:

I didn’t take any offense. I was just explaining my rationale. During that time I racked up several million airline miles. Different strokes for sure.

My wife and I now travel in a motorhome. If we were full time, I would keep a couple bottles of ink in the rig. Given that we live where it freezes and store the rig for much of the winter, I worry I would forget to bring the bottle home for the winter and it would freeze and crack. The ink pot solves that issue as I keep it in my pen case which goes home when not using the rig.
 
For 20 or so years I was traveling 80%+ to many places where you would not find a cartridge. Sure I could bring them, but there were few color options back then. I would also have to waste precious home time sourcing the cartridges. I think I paid about $30 for my ink pot.

I have several pens that will take cartridges, but they take converters too. I don’t think I have a used a cartridge since the mid 1980s. Different strokes.

Then there is the problem of having the right cartridge - Sheaffer, International, Lamy, etc.
If I traveled as much as you, I would definitely own one. On the one flight I did take in the last few years, I took my Pilot 823 because it travels well and holds more than enough ink fo a week long pleasure trip. If I was traveling for work and using my pen frequently, one of the ink pots would be a must have. It would pay for itself in clothes saved by broken ink bottles. Plus I've never really been a cart guy.
 
I do not want to be a pain but.... when I used to travel weekly, pre-pandemic, I carried a fp and a ball point as backup. Never had problems 😇

How are you being a pain? Whatever works for you works for you. If I were out on Monday & back on Friday, I could easily take a pen that would last the week. However, many of my trips were international and would last for 3-4 weeks. Having spare ink came in handy on most of these trips. Can I use a ball point or rollerball? Sure I can, but I just prefer a fountain pen.

In the big picture of my collection, the cost of my ink pot was insignificant and it allowed me to use my pens without fear of the ink running dry when I was away from home for extended periods. It was simply a tool that worked for me. BTW, I realize that this tool may be a major expense for some in relation to their hobby and that many people simply don’t have the need for such a tool.

My point in posting this thread is not to sell anybody anything. I have been asked many times, in person, not here, how I always have ink in my pen when I travel so much. I figured that there are some folks here who might be interested in one solution to that question, so I put up this thread.

Additionally, although I never used it this way, if one were averse to flying with an inked up pen, they could dump the pen into the ink pot then refill at their destination. I saw a fellow doing a refill out of an ink pot at the airport in Milan, we struck up a conversation and this was his strategy.
 
The Visconti inkwells are great and they enable you to take full advantage of the dual chamber vacuum filling system on Visconti pens so that you can completely fill the pen. You just have to learn how to use it correctly otherwise you can suffer the most horrific inktastrophes imaginable. Best to practice filling with water first.
 
I'm not criticising nor going against your solution, let me be clear. Being a computer consultant 'backup' is the word. My trips were a couple of days at the most in different countries every week. Nothing that a full filling of the converter couldn't cope with. But a ball point was always in my bag, just in case 🙂 I bought a couple of vintage traveling ink wells. Haven't tried them yet as haven't flown since 2020. I'll post some pictures
 
I'm not criticising nor going against your solution, let me be clear. Being a computer consultant 'backup' is the word.

I did not take your post as criticizing. I am sorry if my post came off that way. I totally agree with having backups. The case below would come along on the trips in addition to the pen in my pocket. If I had an issue with one pen, I would just swap it out for another. Also, it allowed for variety in grip size and/or nib size during the course of the trip. Actually, all three of the pens in the picture have broad nibs on them and they put down very much different lines. I just grabbed this as it was sitting on my desk. Were I on a trip, I would have a variety of nibs and probably one Safari/All Star for casual dress - polo or t-shirt.

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These are the inkwells I found on ebay. Wife likes them too as they are on a table top in the living room :)
As I said I haven't travelled with them yet but I'm tempted to do it soon :)
I liked your post, interesting object this Visconti reservoir. As you rightly say 'to each its own', so no harm and no offense taken in any way. It definitely wans't me in Milan otherwsie I would have remembered the encounter. When I land I go straight to a toilette and get some paper to check if my fp has leaked or not and clean it in case it did. I never did this procedure until one day I uncapped the pen at a meeting and there it was the pen had 'burped', fortunately only my fingers got inked. Bllpoint for the trip :)
Cheers
 
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These are the inkwells I found on ebay. Wife likes them too as they are on a table top in the living room :)
As I said I haven't travelled with them yet but I'm tempted to do it soon :)
I liked your post, interesting object this Visconti reservoir. As you rightly say 'to each its own', so no harm and no offense taken in any way. It definitely wans't me in Milan otherwsie I would have remembered the encounter. When I land I go straight to a toilette and get some paper to check if my fp has leaked or not and clean it in case it did. I never did this procedure until one day I uncapped the pen at a meeting and there it was the pen had 'burped', fortunately only my fingers got inked. Bllpoint for the trip :)
Cheers

That is a cool vintage inkpot. Lets you take 2 colors. Is there rubber or something to keep the ink from leaking if it gets tipped?

I agree on checking the pen at the restroom in the airport, I usually do. In fact, that is where I saw the guy filling his pen in Milan.
 
Handsome device, but not one that I need. My EDC is the best pen I own, a black Kaweco Sport Classic. It writes circles around my Lawny, my Montegrappa grail pen, everything else. Luck of the draw, I know, but the best nib I've ever used.

Home or (rarely) away, I am very happy that my only ink (J. Harbin Violette Pensee) comes in carts. No faffing around with any kind of ink reservoir. No purist I, just a practical fountain-pen user.
 
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