|WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW|
|Filling System||Screw-in Converter, international cartridge|
|Dimensions (mm)||Capped: 138
Barrel Dia: 13
Section Dia: 8.7-9.7
|Price||MSRP $295, Street $236|
We announced the Montegrappa Espressione as part of a new 2012 collection back in mid-June. I thought it looked like a good update and the price was certainly attractive, especially for a Montegrappa. Of the four colors available: blue, black, green, and brown, I decided to go with the blue and it’s absolutely stunning. Montegrappa uses it in two places to accent the pen: in the crown of the cap and the end of the barrel. There is some very slight translucence to the material, in the cap at least, and when held up to a light will show the nib as a shadow. It’s very faint, but noticeable.
I love that Montegrappa has included a roller clip on this pen. I don’t know how much actual functionality it adds to the pen, but it works well and gives it that extra little bit of Italian flair. I think the engraved, black enamel-filled Greek frets around the octagonal cap band and the “Montegrappa” script above the clip add some well placed, subdued sophistication to the pen. It’s a nice departure from their high-end offerings which can be downright offensive.
The new Espressione is a fairly thin and light pen, at least it feels that way. It weighs in at 40 grams, which is what I would consider to be slightly on the heavy side of comfortable. But when I’m using this pen, posted or otherwise, it doesn’t feel like it weighs anywhere near 40 grams. The section varies in diameter from 8.7mm to 9.7mm and makes a sizable jump to 13mm at the barrel. To put that into perspective, the Parker 51 measures 8.25mm to 11mm at the clutch ring. The section on the Espressione isn’t too thin to cause cramps, but for someone who prefers large, heavy pens (like myself) it may be a bit small. However, there is one advantage to it’s size and weight and that is that it can be used for hours without causing cramps, a huge plus for the serious writer.
To be considered as a “serious writer” the nib has to perform, and it doesn’t disappoint here. Although the #5 sized steel nib is a little small for my preferences, it doesn’t look too out of place on this pen. The well designed imprint certainly helps but above all, the nib is smooth and the feed is consistent. If there was an out-of-the-box default setting for flow it would be whatever this pen is set to. It’s neither wet nor dry and while there’s no setting that would be perfect for everyone, the flow on this pen would probably please most people. The nibs at Montegrappa must be kept on a strict diet because this one writes more like a fat fine than a true medium, so keep that in mind if you decide to purchase.
I do want to make a quick comment about the filling system. It’s a c/c, yes, but it’s a little different than most. Montegrappa includes two international cartridges and a screw-in converter. Inside the converter is what appears to be a tightly wound coil of wire that can slide around. I’m guessing this is a similar solution that Pilot has recently implemented that’s designed to keep the ink flowing from the converter to the feed. I though this might be a little annoying, but when the converter is filled with ink you can’t hear the little metal bit rattle at all. It’s nice that Montegrappa is aware of the potential issue and has taken the appropriate measures to try and resolve it.
I’m actually a little ashamed to say that I wasn’t expecting this pen to perform as well as it did. I figured this pen would have been more of an afterthought for Montegrappa, but after a few hours with it I would say it should be taken seriously. It’s a good introduction to Montegrappa that won’t break the bank.