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Montegrappa Symphony in Yellow


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#1 omasfan

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 05:47

There are two models in the entire Montegrappa line that have always caught my attention. For one, the 1930 Extra which I regard to be a wonderful yet very heavy pen. Then, there is the Symphony, a model that was, as I believe, introduced before the Richemont/Montblanc Group bought the company. The Symphony was at the time advertised as the "perfect" pen whatever that was supposed to mean.
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 roflmho.gif ). 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.


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#2 alvarez57

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 06:19

Wolfgang:
Vielen danke for the review. I enjoy them short and precise. I have two and lost the opportunity to get the yellow, but alas! I'm happy with the red and white. That bit of elasticity makes a big difference from other pens and mind you, as time goes by, it acquires more elasticity. Not a wet noodle, nope! this is NOT a bling pen, althought it may seem so for it's beauty and it's price. This pen can also be a workhorse but does not withstand well abuse ( I don't think too many do). The red one I bought it second hand from somebody who really beat the nib bad and scratched it- already repaired by Richard Binder. The flow is really good and I attribute the hesitancy in starting to cheap inks. Mine are a frequent rotators and yours will be too. I'm glad you got this pen, for it is a very good and pretty one indeed. thumbup.gif


sonia alvarez

 

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#3 omasfan

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 06:29

Sonia, are the red and the white Montegrappas in your picture of the same size? They look like two different sizes...

#4 jd50ae

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 13:53

Beautiful pen. My wish list just got longer.

#5 sam

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 13:58

great looking pen!
and a great review smile.gif

#6 lterry

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 20:59

Great review. I never thought I would ever want a yellow pen until I saw this one. I have the charcoal black and my only gripe, and a mild one at that, is because I never post the cap, I don't like the look of the threads at the end of the pen. I will say that it doesn't bother me any more because the smooth nib and celluloid finish are so wonderful that I never notice the threads any more.

I may get the Miya in yellow one day, when my allowance :-) allows me to buy more pens - the collection of Omas Paragons killed me last month, but they had to be purchased ;-)




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#7 Shelley

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 22:54

Thats a very cool nib, love the design/pattern on it.
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#8 alvarez57

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 01:39

QUOTE(alvarez57 @ Oct 10 2007, 06:19 AM) View Post
Wolfgang:
Vielen danke for the review. I enjoy them short and precise. I have two and lost the opportunity to get the yellow, but alas! I'm happy with the red and white. That bit of elasticity makes a big difference from other pens and mind you, as time goes by, it acquires more elasticity. Not a wet noodle, nope! this is NOT a bling pen, althought it may seem so for it's beauty and it's price. This pen can also be a workhorse but does not withstand well abuse ( I don't think too many do). The red one I bought it second hand from somebody who really beat the nib bad and scratched it- already repaired by Richard Binder. The flow is really good and I attribute the hesitancy in starting to cheap inks. Mine are a frequent rotators and yours will be too. I'm glad you got this pen, for it is a very good and pretty one indeed. thumbup.gif




Perspective, mein liebe(?), perspective. wink.gif They are both the same size.

sonia alvarez

 

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#9 omasfan

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 02:37

QUOTE(alvarez57 @ Oct 10 2007, 09:39 PM) View Post
Perspective, mein liebe(?), perspective. wink.gif They are both the same size.


That's what I thought, meine liebe Sonia! (lieber=masculin ending; liebe=feminine ending)


So, you got more Symphonies than I got. crybaby.gif bunny01.gif

#10 alvarez57

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 02:46

QUOTE(dupontfan @ Oct 11 2007, 02:37 AM) View Post
QUOTE(alvarez57 @ Oct 10 2007, 09:39 PM) View Post
Perspective, mein liebe(?), perspective. wink.gif They are both the same size.


That's what I thought, meine liebe Sonia! (lieber=masculin ending; liebe=feminine ending)


So, you got more Symphonies than I got. crybaby.gif bunny01.gif



embarrassed_smile.gif Oooops! I was going to do the lieber thing, but with those darn declinations you Germans got from the Romans (hehehe), I gets confouzed wacko.gif .

AND YOU HAVE 2 ARCOS!!!!!!!!

sonia alvarez

 

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#11 omasfan

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:07

QUOTE(alvarez57 @ Oct 10 2007, 10:46 PM) View Post
AND YOU HAVE 2 ARCOS!!!!!!!!


Wanna swap? Your two Symphonies for my two Arcos? tongue.gif

#12 lecorbusier

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 05:14

Wolfgang, thanks for the great review and pictures!! I thought Montegrappa solved the design dilemma of the faceted barrel meeting the round metal section nicely. These are not easy problems smile.gif.


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#13 alvarez57

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 01:30

QUOTE(dupontfan @ Oct 11 2007, 03:07 AM) View Post
QUOTE(alvarez57 @ Oct 10 2007, 10:46 PM) View Post
AND YOU HAVE 2 ARCOS!!!!!!!!


Wanna swap? Your two Symphonies for my two Arcos? tongue.gif



NICHT!!!!

sonia alvarez

 

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#14 CharlieB

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 08:57

Those Montegrappa celluloids are very very beautiful pens, and your yellow Symphony is gorgeous (great photography, too!). I have an Extra in parchment, and a Symphony in turquoise. I'm thinking of getting a Miya in dark blue.
CharlieB

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#15 ajcorn

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 23:22

Great write up... maybe you can help me solve this mystery... I have several symphony pens and some of them have 1912 stamped in the round silver disk on the top of the pen cap while the older pens have a plain silver top without the 1912 stamp. Does this have any significance? I thought maybe the 1912 stamp was added after the purchase of Montegrappa by Richmont. any clues? THANKS! jc




QUOTE (dupontfan @ Oct 10 2007, 06:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are two models in the entire Montegrappa line that have always caught my attention. For one, the 1930 Extra which I regard to be a wonderful yet very heavy pen. Then, there is the Symphony, a model that was, as I believe, introduced before the Richemont/Montblanc Group bought the company. The Symphony was at the time advertised as the "perfect" pen whatever that was supposed to mean.
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 roflmho.gif ). 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



#16 QM2

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:22

Montegrappa can be insonsistent when it comes to stamps, exact sizes, and even minor design elements in the same model pens.

I have 2 Montegrappa Micras (white and charcoal) that are slightly different in size, have different nib imprints, and slightly different section designs.

I have 3 Montegrappa Cosmopolitans (Arabian, Baroque, and Gothic, same year production), and the piston knob of the Baroque is different than the piston knob of the other two.

It seems that these discrepancies are typical, and may not necessarily have significance.

#17 MiamiArchStudent

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:59

Granted it is discontinued, does anyone know how much it went for? I just saw it on their website and fell in love with it, so to say.

M A S
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#18 alvarez57

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 06:27

My dear MAS, google it! You may be able to find one!

sonia alvarez

 

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#19 IWantThat

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 15:18

I have never desired a yellow pen...until now :) Great review, beautiful pen (and a Montegrappa!).
Tamara






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