Giuliano Mazzuoli is one of those brands that’s come on and off my radar over the past few years. I recall reading about one of their pens on the now-dormant FPGeeks website four or five years ago, but then they seemed to have dropped out of sight until this year’s D.C. Pen Show, when I noticed them at the table for distributor Luxury Brands. A month or so later, Carol from Luxury Brands reached out and asked whether I would be interested in borrowing some pens for review.
A Bit About Mazzuoli, the Company
Mazzuoli pens are the product of their eponymous designer, and are sold as part of his 3.6.5 sub-brand that focuses on writing instruments. (Giuliano Mazzuoli also designs a line of wristwatches.) Per the company, the pens are made in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, and the website references a design partnership with motorcycle company Ducati.
While I have a few different Mazzuoli models to review, I figured that I would start with the most classic design, the “Officina,” which Luxury Brands sent me in both a fountain pen and ballpoint version. Capped, the fountain pen and ballpoint look the same: a medium-sized, semi-cigar shaped metal pen (but for a flat back-end), featuring different patterns of knurling on the barrel. The first thing I noticed was the weight: these are very light metal pens, made from aluminum, yet they don’t feel insubstantial. The pens were a touch short for me to use unposted, but posting the cap did not affect the weight and balance at all.
Officina “CassetTa” Ballpoint
The Officina ballpoint (dubbed the “Cassetta”) is my favorite of these two pens. And it’s not just a ballpoint - it’s a convertible clutch pencil! While not a true “multi pen,” the option to swap in a pencil scratches that itch for me, and I love how Mazzuoli includes all of the necessary accessories in the box, so you don’t have to go searching for a lead pointer, etc.
One note on the ballpoint’s design: I had to adjust my grip a bit to account for the lack of a smooth section on the Cassetta. In order to avoid holding the pen by the somewhat sharp threads, I had to either slide my grip back higher than I normally would, or move it down almost to the tip. Since I don’t use ballpoints for longer writing sessions, but rather only for shorter notes, this didn’t end up being that big of a deal, but it warrants mentioning here.
Officina Fountain Pen
The fountain pen version of the Officina that I received sported a different design, called “Micrometer Chrome.” While the pen kept the same shape, it featured three “bands” of knurling on an otherwise smooth metal pen. (Note, the fountain pen is also available in the “End Mill” and “Knurler Chrome” designs, if you prefer a completely textured barrel.)
The fountain pen does not have the same section as the ballpoint. It instead sports a polished metal section that offers more room to grip the pen, and as a result the Officina fountain pen ended up being quite comfortable during my limited test. Mazzuoli chose to go with a Schmidt stainless steel nib - a reliable German workhorse that is relatively inexpensive, and has the added benefit of keeping the price of the pen down. The Officina uses a cartridge/converter filling system.
Takeaways and Where to Buy
The Mazzuoli Officina collection is a fun set of writing instruments all around, but if I had to choose, I’d probably go with the Cassetta ballpoint. For starters, it’s a good value, considering what is included in the package. In the box, you receive the pen, three Schmidt Easyflow refills (red, black, and blue), a swappable clutch pencil mechanism, a set of clutch pencil leads, and eraser, lead pointer, and a leather pen sleeve. I love the presentation, and the Officina Cassetta would make a great gift idea for a ballpoint fan who also draws or enjoys writing with pencils. MSRP on the Cassetta ranges from $172-183, depending on the model, with the retailer "street" price typically coming in lower. MSRP on the Officina fountain pen ranges from $103-112 (again, typically with a lower price at actual retail) and also represents good value, but for some reason the uniqueness of the Cassetta "system" really drew me in - I've never seen anything like it on the market.
While more retailers are starting to stock Giuliano Mazzuoli writing instruments, the pens are still relatively difficult to find. Currently, you can purchase them from our sponsor Pen Chalet, who carries both of the Officina pens reviewed here (the fountain pen and the “Cassetta” ballpoint) as well as other available models. Stay tuned for additional reviews!
Disclaimer: These two pens were sent to me on loan by Luxury Brands, the U.S. distributor for Giuliano Mazzuoli writing instruments, as well as Platinum, Noodler’s Ink, and others. Many thanks to Carol for making this review possible. This post contains affiliate links.
EDIT: This post has been modified to clarify some information on pricing.