Scribo’s still got it: Write Here Tropea

The TL;DR of this review: this is the same pen as the marvellous Scribo 3 I reviewed almost a year ago to the day, but in a gorgeous wine-red purple, the colour of plums or red onions. It’s brilliant, an edition of 50, and £100 cheaper than a Scribo Feel. If you’re on the fence about a Scribo, now is the time to jump in.

Ahem, right, where was I?

Scribo is on a roll. After the gorgeous blues and teals of summer’s Oceano and Mediterraneo, it’s just launched a gorgeous pumpkin orange and foliage green, all in the faceted Feel design.

Unfortunately, I don’t like the Feel. It looks bulbous and in the hand I find the facets distracting. I tried, but I’ve resigned myself that they’re not for me.

So I’m very pleased that Scribo is continuing its collaboration with stalwart UK pen shop Write Here. The Write Here-branded pens are basically a Feel without the facets, for around £100 less. Win win. You miss out on the Scribo packaging, including its pen roll, but that doesn’t bother me too much.

I gushed about the Write Here Scribo 3 in my review a year ago, and everything I said then I stand by. While dozens of pens have come and gone, the Scribo 3 has stayed in my pen tray. It’s comfortable, attractive and ticks all my boxes (piston filler, ebonite feed, quick cap, etc), but the nib is the real star of the show. In a sea of generic nibs, Scribo provides a true experience, with wet flow, flex and feedback, and huge choice: 14k or 18k, from EF to a new BBB and stub.

So I love my Scribo 3, and I kept a close eye on Write Here’s irregular newsletters for updates on the next edition, which I felt fairly sure I was going to buy. Covid did its thing and so here we are a year later.

The new edition is called Tropea, after a region of Italy known for its red onions. And this proves to be the perfect name to describe the colour of this resin. It’s purple, but definitely on the red side, heading towards red wine and plum skins. But it’s extremely chattoyant, and rotating it there is huge variation in light and dark.

You don’t see that many purple pens, and when you do they tend to be more of an imperial shade. So this release really stands out. I went matchy-matchy with the ink choice and loaded with Montblanc Antoine de Saint-Exupery Encre du Desert.

For the nib choice, I thought long and hard. I’m not a flex writer and I have the 14k EF flex on my Scribo 3. Should I go for a more relaxed 18k? Should I try one of the juicy new stubs or triple broads? Honestly, the Montblanc Geometry takes care of my fat nib craving, and I felt I’d miss the bounce of the 14k, so I ended up ordering the 14k F.

Pen #2 of 50 was mine.

It’s a big pen as things go:

But in the hand it’s a very familiar story. The size, shape and spec are unchanged from a year ago, and I felt immediately at home. This is an easy pen to live with.

Piston filler: check.

Long comfy section: check.

Springy clip: check.

Quill cap coin: check.

The 14k fine nib wasn’t quite right out of the box. It was a bit misaligned, which made it a touch scratchy and a poor writer. I suspected that the nib was twisted axially around the feed, which is simply friction fit into the section with no alignment guides. I carefully pulled out the nib and feed, and under a loupe the nib was back the way it should be, perfectly aligned.

A careful 10 seconds later and all was reinserted and performing perfectly.

Different inks obviously have different properties, and I’m not comparing apples with apples (or onions), but I can’t see much difference between the EF and F nibs on the page. They both have great flow, natural bounce, pleasant feedback, and that ready on-demand flex if you need it.

For me, the unflexed line width is perfect for journalling.

In other words, I’m a very happy chap.

The Scribo Write Here Tropea is an edition of 50, so it won’t hang around forever. I paid full retail price of £530 for mine. You can get yours — or the new Zucca or Foglio Feels — here.

6 thoughts on “Scribo’s still got it: Write Here Tropea

  1. I can’t believe you’re doing this to me again!!! I bought my first Scribo Feel Oceana earlier this year and love it but would love to try this model too especially as you had me drooling over it a year ago. Sigh, early birthday present to mysel for the next years maybe?? 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice review as always Anthony, I’ve been ogling this pen since you mentioned it a few weeks back but keep telling myself it’s a bit too expensive. Starting to feel like I may fail to resist this one but I’m also stuck between the 14k and 18k EF nibs. How do your 14k nibs compare to something like Pilot’s FA nib? I’ve not used the #15 version like you have on the 823 but I have a #10 on a 912 which you’ve owned in the past. Bounce and character is nice but the “semi” flex nib I got from FPnibs is so soft and wet that it’s quite tiring to use in normal writing where the CH 912 FA is very nice.

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  3. This is so desirable. I passed up a chance to buy the blue one from John Hall in the final minutes of the London pen show back in March. I am trying to convince myself that I have more than enough pens. But if there was to be one more purchase, it would probably be this one. Thanks for the tempting review.

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  4. What a stunner! I was convinced the Scribo 1 was one of the most understated good looking pens, perhaps because I missed out on a blue Scribo 2 when I finally decided to look for one. I think this colour really elevates the simple shape though.

    Harking back to your recent piece about plastic sticks with a nib at one end, I think you’ve found the antithesis of that with a Scribo. Their nibs are where the magic really happens and sets them apart. I look forward to the day I can spend another happy hour or so at Write Here and try another one.

    Super review, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re exactly right. The Scribo is a pretty stick — it just happens to have a piston filler, ebonite feed and unique nib, plus distinctive clip, coin and band, and recognisable proportions. Tick.

      Thanks for the comment as always 😊

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