Well I broke down and bought one of the Woot Montegrappa pens that I did not have and it arrived yesterday. First time I've ever purchased anything through Woot and it went smoother than I expected.
On the sale. The pens were Montegrappa 300s, a fairly slim pen about the dimensions of a Sheaffer Targa and the ancestor of pens like the current Nero Uno and Parola. They had fountain pens and pencils and roller balls and ballpoints and slim notebook pens and ladies pens, just about all the variations Montegrappa offered in the line.
But it was the fountain pens in which I was interested.
The descriptions were kinda vague (I understand that is the norm for stuff Wooted) and no mention of nib width or what material was used and no response when asking for more detail. When the 300 and 400 series were first introduced in the 1970s they offered a variety of nib widths and both steel and 18K gold nibs with the gold nibs on the precious metal pens and the steel on the lacquer over brass pens. All of the lacquer over brass pens I have found so far in the wild though have also had the 18K gold nib and so I expected to find an 18K nib on the Charcoal Lacquer cap/Sterling silver body 300 I bought.
The pen was shipped by Woot FedEx on Thursday and arrived the following Monday so pretty rapid delivery. It was in one of the Montegrappa boxes you see sometimes in Duty Free shops and not the normal green box of the period BUT, that was just stuck in a FedEx envelope with no additional padding. I was lucky it seems and there was no major damage to box or pen but you could hear it rattling inside.
The pen came with a converter and a couple Montegrappa ink cartridges but the International small instead of the International long that was the norm. The service and warranty book was included but no stampings or identification.
So, on to the pen itself.
The pen came with the 18K Greek Key two tone nib as expected. It is a medium in width, also not unexpected. As mentioned above it is about the size of a Sheaffer Targa so that is a good pen for comparison. Of course, the 300 is an open nib but like all the Targas I've used it is a superb writer, smooth, moderately wet, happy with just about any ink. Like other Montegrappas it also writes on the finer edge of the range.
It has the *1055VI Makers mark (pre-Reichmont era) so must have been produced last century (still seems funny saying that) and been sitting with all the others for at least fourteen years and since I think the 300s were stopped around 1992 probably twenty or more years.
Unlike the herringbone Guilloche found on my other 302 and 402 pens, this pens body is a bright finish linear lined design. The roller on the clip as on all my Montegrappas need to be run in, turned using my thumb a few times before it would slip over the fabric of my shirt pockets. That is the preferable break-in as opposed to trying to bend the clip. Remember the clip too is Sterling silver and so not at all springy in nature.
The cap takes about ¾ turn on or off and posts securely.
Edited by jar, 29 October 2013 - 20:11.