Montegrappa “Monte Grappa” Coral Fountain Pen Review

The Montegrappa Pen Company is best known for producing some of the most unique designs and luxury writing instruments. New for 2018, Montegrappa is celebrating the renewed appeal in fountain pens and the analogue world by introducing a vintage style pen. The Montegrappa Monte-Grappa is a no frills, resin, piston filler aimed at a lower price point. Cary at Kenro Industries graciously lent me a pen for review, which I will sadly be returning to him. Thank you, Cary, for letting me review this pen; it was really impressive.

Packaging: The best way to describe the packaging would be substantial. The pen comes inside two boxes and an outer sleeve. The outer sleeve is textured blue cardboard with no brandings or marking on it. Inside is a deep blue outer box with a geometric pattern and a lid with the word “Montegrappa” in the middle of it. On the bottom of this box is the company’s website, www.Montegrappa.com. The lid comes off and the front of the box flips down to reveal the inner box containing the pen. This heavy blue inner box has a similar geometric pattern embossed and a lid with a silver nameplate in the middle of it, which has the word “Montegrappa” engraved. This inner box opens like a clamshell to reveal a soft gray interior with “Montegrappa” imprinted on the inside of the lid and on a ribbon that holds the pen in place. Under the pen bed are a branded polishing cloth and instruction booklet.

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First Thoughts: The pen looks like it stepped out of the 1930’s. The coral color of this model is really captivating and is similar in color to some vintage pens I have seen.

Design: The finials are flat, and the barrel and cap taper toward the middle of the pen, which is the widest point. The cap finial has a small inset grey metal medallion with “1912” stamped on it, which is the year that Montegrappa was founded. The piston knob finial is an unadorned stainless steel disc. In addition, the piston knob has a small metal band with words “Made in Italy” on it. The clip is fairly short in relation to the size of the cap, is teardrop shaped, and has a small roller-wheel at the end. The cap has a thin steel cap band with a decorative engraving and screws on via one continuous thread, which is not noticeable when holding the pen. There is a small step down from the barrel to the grip section, and the grip flares out to create a finger stop. The barrel is engraved with “Monte Grappa” with the words separated by an image of a mountain range. The branding is unobtrusive and blends well with the overall design of the body. I have really grown to like simple branding on a pen. I would prefer to let the pen speak for itself rather than the brand name speak for the pen.

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Nib Performance: The model I received to test came with a stainless steel fine nib. The nib is engraved with the same geometric pattern that is on the boxes and the words “Montegrappa Italia,” and “F” for the nib size. The writing experience is very enjoyable. There is a pleasant amount of feedback that lets you know you are writing, and it is a fairly wet writer. No tweaks or adjustments were needed to get the nib to work. There was a small ink leak around the nib collar when I first received the pen, but this was remedied by tightening the nib unit slightly. Even after leaving the pen filled and unused for over two weeks, it started right away and had no skips. The only drawback I can find is that there is no ink window so it can be hard to tell how much ink you have left in the barrel. I was informed that this is one of the pens Montegrappa has introduced using the Jowo nib unit. The Blazer and Camo were also brought out with the Jowo nib units for a better out of the box experience.

Filling System: The pen is filled via an internal piston, which has a tactile and audible feedback similar to winding a mechanical watch. This is a new style of patented piston that Montegrappa developed for this line and is designed to invoke a feeling of using something analogue.

Value: The basic version of the pen comes with a stainless steel nib and retails for $395.00 USD. You can upgrade to a gold nib, which brings the price to $695.00 USD. This is fairly expensive for a steel nib pen. However, it is a beautiful pen made out of gorgeous resin, with a fantastically-tuned nib right out of the box. If this is within your budget, I would highly recommend getting one for your collection; you will not regret it.

Overall: This is the first Montegrappa pen I have used. It has been a wonderful writing experience and I will be sad to send it back. I think the design and quality is well worth the price. I can’t wait to see what Montegrappa will introduce next!

http://kenroinc.com/portfolio/monte-grappa/

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Specs:

Name: Montegrappa Monte Grappa

Design: Resin body with stainless steel accents

Length: 137.1mm (5.4 in)

Posted: 158.75mm (6.25 in)

Diameter: 15mm (.59 in) at the barrel’s widest point and 10.5mm (.41 in) at the grip

Weight: 33.3g (1.2 oz)

Nib: Stainless steel

Filling System: Piston

Pros: Beautiful coral colored resin, wonderful and slightly springy nib right out of the box, tactile piston filler, simple branding

Cons: Lack of ink window can make ink level hard to determine

In the same price range:

Aurora Talentum Black Ops

Pineider La Grande Belleza

Montegrappa Fortuna Blazer

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