Only recently I had reviewed a Gioia on Inkstable, but I thought I’d give a brief recap on the company. Gioia is based in Naples Italy, famous for many points such as Pizza, Opera, Stunning landmarks and most importantly pens! Well, I mean pizza is right up there.
image source: wikipedia
Naples enjoys a lot of wealth when it comes to pens, with two more of Italy’s famous brands, that being Leonardo Officina Italiana and the Maiora/Nettuno pen company. When one thinks about this for a second, that’s a lot of pen manufacturing for one city. In fact, I can’t think of any other city in the world that produces more pens than Naples. If you know of any? I’d be curious to know.
The pen’s name has several name translations, Gioia being Joy. Partenope translates to Parthenope who was a Greek Siren and means Maiden Voiced and lastly Fiamma which is flame. The latter is the inspiration for the colour of the pen. More on that later on.
I just love when companies celebrate local myths, folklore and such forth. Interestingly, Parthenope has links to Naples. What you may ask? Well, it just so happens to be the original name of Napoli (Naples in English). Naples was settled by the Greeks in fact, so it is very fitting for Gioia to celebrate this on the pen.
I would love to chat more about the history, but after all, this is a pen review!
I covered this in the last review, but there is one addition I would like to mention. This pen comes equipped with a… Rollerball kit! Yes, that’s right, you can convert to a Rollerball should you choose to do so. Now I appreciate the die-hard Fountain Pen addicts who will probably scoff at this, but rollerballs are versatile and generally work on a far wider range of papers.
Included in the box you also receive care and use guides as well as a lovely hourglass foam casing for your pen to have a nap in.
I want to reiterate that these boxes are very practical and as such, are easy to store. They also help keep the price of the pen down, which is something else I’d like to chat about later.
Overall, the packaging is practical and stylish, although if we look at Leonardo, I have to say I prefer their presentation style ever so marginally.
Well, this is where things get interesting. As mentioned in the unboxing, the pen comes equipped with a rollerball kit! This is a very smart move and unlike any other companies, I know of, having an interchangeable system in place to convert the pen is a conscious thought.
Now, I know there are diehard fans that swear by Fountain Pens, but for those that enjoy both systems, this is a fantastic selling point.
But, we are not done yet! Equipped also is a blind cap, that allows you to fill the pen as a traditional piston filler! Of course, this is not an original concept, both Leonardo and Maiora offer such a system. How practical is this? Depends on you to decide.
The pen posts well, but I would hesitate to do so because the cap weighs quite a bit. The grip section is fantastic and comfy! I also appreciate the length as well. My hand can grip the pen well and in turn, I find it very pleasant to write with. Threads do not impede on comfort and the general weight of the pen is just spot on.
Lengthwise, this pen is decent and fits into the crook of my hand nicely, giving a good weighted balance. Taking a look at the clip, we have the same practical affair as the Alleria which I reviewed last. I really enjoy this design, it slips into my shirt pocket with little fuss. Although, the weight of the pen does weigh my pocket down a bit more than the aforementioned pen.
In terms of the filling mechanism, this comes equipped with a cartridge converter. Which totally makes sense, especially when the main party trick is being able to exchange the section for a rollerball.
So when we consider all these points, the asking price is extremely reasonable!
Okay, so both the Alleria and the Partenope have a similar design cue, but there are some major and subtle differences.
Firstly if we look at the cap, you’ll notice we have a beautiful logo adorned on top of the cap. This is very stylish and something that I’d like to see the Alleria adopt. Of course, that may impede on cost.
Casting your eyes down a bit, we have a beautifully etched design of Naples. I do believe this to be CNC etched, rather than wax cast. But either way, it does look unique and I enjoy how it compliments the flame-like resin. This isn’t something you see generally on pens of this price and again, this really separates the pen from the rest of the Naples brands.
Looking more closely at the resin now, I am of two minds here, the yellows in the flames do look a tad dull and I wish the resin had the beautiful depth of the Alleria Grotta Azzura. Still, when we look at the pen in all its glory I really appreciate the beautiful reds and oranges.
In terms of trim on the pen, we are missing a couple of cap rings, but the clip does seem to go further down the body. So, whether this would work as a design element, remains to be seen.
As mentioned in the previous section we are treated to a blind cap. Some people may prefer the finial to be in the same material, but I believe this was done to contrast that of the grip section.
I do have some Jonathan Brooks Golden Rule, so I am going to see how that works out on a Partenope!
Well, this pen, unfortunately, exhibited issues out of the box. It didn’t want to write despite flushing the pen out! Running my finger from the breather hole down to the end of the tines seems to have resolved the issue. So hopefully it’ll keep going!
I will keep this section brief! It is good! And just like in the previous review, we have another Jowo nib. This time we have a 1.1 stub, which is relatively smooth with a slight scratch to the nib but still offers superb line variation.
I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite stub nib, but it’s still decent.
Right, let’s take a quick look at the rollerball! One thing I have noted is that there is a sheaf on top of the rollerball section, which I am guessing should come off, otherwise, I am not sure how one would change the filling system.
But in terms of writing with a rollerball, it flows well and writes as one would expect.
Customer service really is quite excellent. Since doing last week’s review, I have been in contact with Gioia to see if they’d accept some blanks to do a custom pen! Much to my delight, they have agreed!
Their response time is decent and certainly takes on board feedback. They have confirmed that they will be trying to rectify the friction feed into a housing unit, which in turn will make the Alleria a lot easier to clean out!
Gioia really will become an upcoming brand over the next few years. Their designs, customer service and pricing are just on point. Married to the fact they seem to accept custom blanks from customers, this goes a long way in terms of building community within the brand.
In regards to this pen, having the cartridge converter goes a long way to giving you a very easy pen to maintain. The various design elements all shout class, without being overly gaudy and coupled up with the additional rollerball kit, this pen offers so much bang for your buck. 160 pounds is a lot of money for a pen, but considering the marketplace and what you’re getting, I feel this pen is of superb value.