I was intrigued by its classic Italian shape and the beautiful celluloid colors in which it came. I always thought that the most outstanding color was the yellow: gaudy and yet rarified at the same time.
This pen really stands out. The solid block of celluloid coupled with the sterling silver trim is a looker. I especially love the octogonal shape of the pen. It is not as smooth as the 12-sided Omas Paragon but since the celluloid is slightly rounded towards the end, this pen feels very comfy when held no matter what grip you use. I love the honest use of the material: There is plenty of celluloid on this pen. The barrel as well as the cap have thick celluloid walls. This pen is not only nice, it appears to be very rugged. Oftentimes, celluloid pens are rather made thin and appear to be fragile (compare to the 1930 Extra's cap which is much, much thinner).
This pen was made to be used. It is slender and yet feels very solid due to the heft of the sterling silver section.
A neat feature is the cap top's inlaid company logo betraying the company's founding year. This is also crafted in silver. There is another engraving on the silver cap ring (which by the by is more like a flange, giving stability to this cap). This engraving on the cap band reads "Montegrappa 1912", nicely and unobtrusively placed.
Posting the cap is nice since it screws on and sits absolutely firmly. In fact, when posted, cap and body form one part due to the screw mechanism. Although it takes soe time to screw it on, this is one of my favorite posting mechanisms. It won't scratch the celluloid either. Two thumbs up!
The nib is a nice affair although not especially conspicuous with respect to looks. It is a nice two-tone fine with the typical Montegrappa Greek key adorning it. It is a firm nib with some elasticity but no true flex at all. It gives a typical fine line. Now, what I really love about Montegrappas is that they use a hard rubber feed. This produces a very, very wet line. Can't beat the Italian ink flow. The flow is legendary and comparable to the OMAS hard rubber feeds.
Although I normally despise metal sections, this section is an absolute pleasure to hold. It is small, concave, and the threads are so soft that they don't irritate my fingers even if I touch the for a longer time.
The pen fills with a standard-sized international cartridge converter. Nothing special here but acceptable. The finish of this pen is top-drawer. I cannot find any fault in the workmanship and ever since I visited the factory in Basano in the Veneto, I know how painstakingly they make these pens.
The celluloid, although just one single color, has a myriad reflections and shades to it upon closer inspection. It is cut nicely and shimmers in many ways. This is one of the things that fascinates me the most about this material. There is always something new to discover.
The pen compares in size to the Pelikan M800 (the blue striated barrel in the picture) and the Omas Paragon (the saft green in the picture). The OMAS is the lightest, the Pelikan comes next, and the Montegrappa is just an atom heavier than the M800 (well, maybe two atoms ). Despite being the heaviest pen of these three, it still feels very, very comfy when writing. I use the pen normally with its cap posted as the counterbalance gives the pen a nice weight distribution and just the right center of gravity for my preferences.
The Symphony is a discontinued pen but I think it is still available from many dealers although the choice of color might be limited. I didn't pay for the pen as I traded one of my Duponts for it. I got it from another FPN member (Thanks Richard, if you read this!) I don't know what you'd have to shell out for one when buying at a store but I think they don't come that cheap. However, if you can pick up a Symphony for a good price, go ahead. You will not be disappointed by this pen. It is definitely a winner. It was also issued in a turquoise blue, a darker blue, an almost black greyish color, in a seductive parchment color, and also in a gaudy red.
The only disadvantage is that it almost takes four turns to unscrew the cap. Since this pen is so practicable and slender, however, the cap comes off in a jiffy without damaging or scratching the section. Closed, the pen looks like a beautiful Italian lady with a nice midsection. Oh, did I mention, the clip is oh so sexy, curvy, willowy and tapering off to the end with a wheel. I think the design is very proprietary and typical Montegrappa!
I guess that concludes my review. If I should have forgotten a detail you're interested in, please let me know. Best, Wolfgang
Edited by dupontfan, 10 October 2007 - 06:17.