Sexy Beast (part 2 of the Stilo e Stile order)

scheduleNovember 8, 2021

The tl;dr: Opus 88 make great pens. Some of their designs are eccentric and not all of them work for me, but they are all excellent value for money, reliable, fun and hold a ton of ink.

I’ve loved my flat-ended Koloro demonstrator since I first got it. It’s oversized and especially with the broad Jowo #6 nib it makes me feel like a kid with a crayon, joyously scribbling. Watching the ink slosh around inside is deeply satisfying.

That said, on the whole I don’t find demonstrator pens that exciting usually because they all look somewhat similar, so I don’t own many. I’ve had my eye on Opus’ Jazz model for a while - it comes in several solid colours with ink windows and several black cap/coloured, translucent body options - and when I needed to cheer myself up recently after a problematic pen purchase (more on that another time) I thought I’d get a Jazz, maybe in the solid baby blue shade. But somehow this frosted version with the gunmetal- coloured trims got ahold of me, and I figured it was different enough to my other Demo to not be boring.

I chose well. The sea-glass effect of the frosted finish is really pretty, and the trim colour is unusual and shows up better against the frosted acrylic than silver would. I keep thinking how cool it would look with a skeleton overlay in this colour…. The medium nib (chosen for general usefulness at work) is smooth and noticeably finer than the broad on my other Demo, but still juicy. I’m not one of those who have a marked preference for flat-top or cigar-shaped pens, so I love the shape of this one just as much as my other one.

Like all Opus pens I’ve tried/owned this one took several minutes to get running after its first fill - something that can freak out a first-time Opus owner. But a bit of patience (and maybe some shaking and nib-licking!) will get you there, and you’ll very likely never have another issue. The eyedropper filling system is very reliable and super easy to clean, so no worries about using shimmer inks in these pens!

Any time I get a new pen there’s a “honeymoon period” where I don’t want to use anything else. I’m in that phase right now, but even more so than usual - I keep picking this one up to look at it and watch the ink inside. It’s just so goddamn beautiful!

Possible marks against this pen for some people would be the lightness, the size and the number of twists it takes to unscrew the cap (about 5 for me, which is fairly typical of Opus pens.) But if oversized, fun and reliable is your thing then definitely consider picking up the Holiday Jazz - it’s truly a sexy beast.

Now, I might just go have another look at that baby blue one….

(PS if anyone is wondering why I got an Opus 88 shipped all the way from Italy to NZ- Opus are not currently available here. Neither is Esterbrook, or Sailor (except by special order) or a number of other brands that are commonly sold overseas. Local retailers/importers do their best for us, but with such a small market and the FUBAR that is international post and freight these days they just can’t supply everything we local pen addicts might wish for. Also Stilo e Stile are excellent and have a huge range and their shipping rates are very reasonable. It’s quicker - and sometimes cheaper - for me to get a pen FedExed from Europe than it is to get one by standard airmail from Australia!)