RGBee // Pineider La Grande Bellezza Honeycomb Fountain Pen [REVIEW]

Pineider La Grande Bellezza Honeycomb Fountain Pen
Rose gold trim LE, Soft Fine Quill nib
$558 USD – Goulet Pens – Rose Gold Honeycomb version (No longer available on the website)
Currently Inked: Ferris Wheel Press Lady Rose $36 USD

Hello! This review is a looonnggg time coming. But we’re finally here! I bought this beauty back in 2019. I don’t really know why it took so long to get into reviewing this pen. Perhaps as I start writing this review, it will come to me and I’ll have a better idea of why. All I know is, I bought this pen knowing it’s going to sit in the ‘grail’ spot for a good long while – and to be honest, it still is in that spot. I think my thoughts about it will become clearer as I go through each of my regular review sections, so let’s dig in!

Looks
Does this pen look super awesome? Beyond words!

This is truly a one-of-a-kind-looking pen. There is an infinite list of things that made this pen stand out to me and why I fell in love with it upon first sight. If you’ve seen enough of my collection and also been around for a bit, you’ll know I’m a big fan of demonstrators. check. Around the time in 2019, I had just acquired a finalmouse Ultralight 2 (cape town edition) and was getting into the whole hexagon hole shell that made mice significantly lighter. This pen is literally a body made of hexagonal holes! check. Rose gold. check. I also fancy trying out different pen brands when something catches my eye in a popular flagship that I haven’t tried yet and that year’s particular colour is neat. I have not tried a Pineider before and as it happens, I have actually never heard of the brand before I came across this particular pen. But it was different, unique, and checked all the boxes for what would seemingly be a ‘grail’ pen for me. But as I’ve come to appreciate, I don’t think I could ever really settle for labeling something my ‘grail’ pen, because in the end, the most grail pen for me should be the one I use most often on a regular basis, which would actually be my cheapest pen, the penmanship.

But back to the Bellezza Honeycomb. Wow, and wow, this is a stunning pen. But it is also incredibly fragile, especially for a user such as myself, where I don’t particularly treat my pens with too much care. It’s not because I deliberately throw my pens around, but it’s simply the way I draw, doodle, and write with my instruments. In the end, as a pen gets used, even if only for a month, it will wear and gain micro scratches. This is partly why I avoided using this pen for so long, even for the sake of a review. But I finally busted it out, filling it out for a monthly inked, and enjoyed every moment of it. The pen, is of course, now quite worn. The metal has lost a bit of its rose gold luster, and the plastic of the honeycomb is starting to show some signs of cracking. It saddens me a lot, of course. Looking back at some of the photos I took in 2019, this pen was a jewel and a work of art. But it still is, it just shows that it’s more loved, not worn.

As I mentioned, this pen is fragile. It’s no fault of the quality of the pen, however. It is simply because the nature of cutting holes into plastic will make each of those moments weaker. I have to share, that the first pen that arrived to me was broken. The cap was shattered in pieces, and I was devastated and frankly really worried that I had just spent a good chunk of money on a broken pen that I won’t even get to use. Thankfully, I contacted the friendly people at Goulet, and they provided me with a replacement. My serial number would change of course, but I think I am happy with the one I ended up with.

Every pen is numbered! There are only 88 of these pens in the world – or that is what they’ve advertised at least! 58/88. The limited-ness of the pen really does increase its value to me. I’m a sucker for collecting harder to acquire things (but not that hard, I enjoy being a hoarder of fancy things on very few occasions). I had initially learned about this pen when the silver accent version came out and was ready to jump on it but held back because of the cost – it had 888 units worldwide, was still a stunner too – but the rose gold version came out, and I had waited long enough for it to go on sale before I knew that it was meant to be.

The pen arrives in a beautiful magnetized angular box with a number of authentication cards, info cards and a single leather pen holder. The fanciness of this luxury pen is no joke. And it does make the unboxing and appreciation for the amount I spent on it feel much nicer. The pen itself is gorgeous, shimmering and shiny rose gold accents on the magnetized cap all the way down to the butt where the number is engraved. The pen comes with a matching rose gold converter too – wow!

The nib is the feature, as with any pen, and this one came with the infamous 14k (rose) gold quill nib. This is a semi-flex nib that has a lot of bounce when writing. It doesn’t have that full flex that you’d normally see with dedicated calligraphy type nibs, but the bounce is definitely something to behold (more below). The nib itself is quite large, with a unique looking breather hole, and etched with beautiful engravings of the logo and other detailed ornamentation. I love the look!

I spent a lot of this section talking about backstory and feelings, which is a little more wordy than usual for the ‘look’ section, but I think because of the time it took for me to finally write about this pen, I needed to get some of these thoughts out. But let’s move on to the juicy stuff, how does this pen actually feel when drawing?

Feel
I am somewhat on the fence of whether I enjoy steel vs gold nibs. Some people swear by gold nibs, despite the incredible price difference. I tend to be perfectly happy with a nice, sturdy steel nib pen. I can appreciate and indulge in the idea that I’m writing with gold, but at the same time, I can’t say I can fully understand the appeal and enjoyment in them. Perhaps it’s because I use my fountain pens for doodling, and the bouncy factor just doesn’t do it for me.

Click to enlarge

That being said, this is a bouncy nib! It’s pretty fun when writing, but again, I’m not so sure when it comes to doodling. Other than that though, it’s a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable nib with very solid ink flow. I’m sure if it didn’t cost so much, I’d definitely pick it up more often and just doodle with it when I wanted a pen that had the gush of ink but not the lack of control.

Doodling with the pen was definitely a feeling I wasn’t used to. Using EF steel nibs to draw and then suddenly having a bouncy quill nib to play with was really different. It wasn’t bad, just different. After getting used to it, it got kinda fun to draw with. The inkflow is very very smooth and on the gushy side, which means the lines that came out were quite juicy. Even if you don’t press down on the nib, it is quite bouncy, but of course when you put a little more pressure on, you get a nice classic line variation. Perhaps it was also because I chose to use such a light and watery ink in the pen, but I did find myself pushing down harder than usual to get enough shading in the ink on the page.

Next to a YStudio Copper Fountain Pen and TWSBI Eco rose gold

Because the nib is quite large and the bounciness of the nib, I think it’s a pen that is more suited for broad strokes or larger scale doodles. It’s hard to get anything detailed or fine with this pen simply because it’s not what the design intends. I’m okay with this as I did not buy it with the intention of using it as a daily driver. It’s simply a beautiful looking pen that functions well despite not for my regular use.

Value

Rose Gold nibs – Platinum Century Nice, 3952 Abalone Shell Fountain Pen and Pineider La Grande Bellezza

That leads to a nice transition into the next section of the review. This is not a cheap pen by any means. It’s not even a ‘regular’ level pen, whatever that can mean in the pen world. It was truly a grail moment for me when I decided to take the plunge and by it. A couple factors came into play. There was the allure that there were only 88 of these made in the world and that the rose gold version of a honeycomb demonstrator pen was released after I first saw the pen with silver accents. Pineider was also a new brand to me, despite being around in the pen world for quite some time. From what I’ve read and heard at the time, it was a premium pen brand that made great pens, but the cost was always on the upper end, even for their more ‘entry’ level pens.

This was an expensive pen that I ended up only getting because there was a sale. In the end, I have purchased pens at a similar price point and have the same feeling about them afterward. They’re just too nice to use and they’ll end up sitting on my shelf because they’re pretty. But I’m a user type, so why not get quality pens that don’t just look pretty but I won’t feel bad when it gets worn out a bit? The metal is starting to show discolouration from my short time using. The plastic feels fragile and shows some micro-fissures where the honeycomb cuts are. It’s not a perfect pen, and for that much money, it’s kind of hard to justify when it isn’t made of products that last.

Ultimately, I’m still very happy with the pen, it’s something I will keep in the collection but not something I’ll be using regularly. Is it worth the money though? As a collector item, certainly – being only one of 88 made in the world has its appeal.

Discolouration on the grip

Conclusion

Pros

  • Beautiful rose gold colour accent
  • Limited edition – only 88 in the world
  • Honeycomb body and cap are very unique
  • writes beautifully and the quill nib is very fun

Cons

  • metal shows wear over time
  • converter isn’t perfect and have had ink mixing issues
  • plastic body shows wear over time
  • pricey

Ink

I used Ferris Wheel Press “Cream of Earl” ink in this pen. Way back when, the original ink I had intended to use was “Lady Rose”, also by FWP, but it started to get tainted in the pen because I started with black ink inside. It’s possible I didn’t clean it out properly, but I think the converter was just not flushing out as well as I’d hoped. I ended up flushing it with detergent to really clean it, and even then I kept worrying the pen would mix dark inks into my light.

In any case, Cream of Earl is a beautiful ink, though very light in tone. It seems to be drying differently than when I first bought the ink. It still dries very much like a beautiful cream colour, but the initial write is this dirty poop coloured ink that is kind of distasteful. I suppose as long as the ink dries nicely it’s okay, but something about how it starts on the page also seems to matter to me.

Overall, FWP inks are lovely and I have a mountain of them in my collection simply because I like to support my local stationery brand, but also because they are wonderful inks to use and paint with.

While that was a long time coming of a review, hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts about one of my first true grail pens – maybe aside from the Ocean Swirl? 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and see you in the next one!

Since I took so many photos for this pen, thought I’d leave a gallery below!

5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great and balanced review of this unusual grail pen and for the generous number of photos too! It looks a lovely thing to have and to play and practice with if you can manage a softer nib, even if it is not a pen to use every day.
    I like the box shaped like a writing desk, and the leather pen case. I have the same box for my lipstick red Pineider Avatar fountain pen, which is a steel nib pen.
    The cracks around the holes show the weakness of this adventurous design. Other designs from Dante del Vecchio have used mixtures of volcanic rock or minerals in the resin. It should probably be protected in its leather case when travelling or when not in use. Thanks for the enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, it’s a stunner!! But no pen that expensive should be cracking this early… Pens should be able to withstand daily use; if they can’t, that’s a major design flaw. One big enough to keep the pen from being sold, in my opinion.
    With so few pens in existence (and with the price), it’s astonishing that goulet was able to get you a new cap!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! Yeah, I imagine the honeycomb line was a bit of an experiment and also some lessons learned. I’m still glad they tried it though because it’s definitely a beautiful design!
      Definitely super thankful they were able to send me a replacement ^_^

      Like

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