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Monteverde Invincia


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16 replies to this topic

#1 wellsn

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 23:25

For my birthday I was given a Caran d Ache Ecridor Retro Ballpoint Pen. A beautiful thing if you are able to hold a small thin pen. Not really a practical thing when your near 6'4" tall with appropriately matched hands. Being Australia, it's not easy to get a refund unless there is a defect so all I could get was a store credit for AUD $195 (yes pens here are expensive). Annoying considering up until then I bought all of my pens there and the owner knows I avoid tiny pens.

I chose to apply my credit to two Monte Verde fountain pens; they looked reasonable in the cabinet and from my brief web searching they were OK as a product. Leson to self: don't surf briefly if you want to research something that's intended to last a long time.

The pens are Monteverde Invincia RoseGold Carbonfiber model and a White Marble/Black Tip & Cap model Fountain Pens.

My review starts here;
The pen packaging was reasonable enough for the price. (Both $95 AUD)
(Because both pens are the same, save for the colour/material; carbon fibre versus white marbling they are exactly the same, so i will use the singular and plural as interchangeable)

Filling up the ink reservoirs. The "joinery" or screw mechanism between lower barrel and body had smooth relatively shapless grooves for thread which immediately alerted me. The machining was low grade and a poor thread doesn't auger well for longevity.

The caps seemed to "clip" reasonably when put on and off using a polymer inner O-ring as the seal. I turned the caps to see if the fit was uniform as a rotation can offer an insight into symmetry. Things "turned" grim quickly; the caps were loose or tight depending at what point in the rotation the cap was. Remembering this is not a screw cap pen. It was all down hill from here.

Next I loaded the ink reservoirs with Lamy ink, one blue one black. Flow rate was immediately rated average. After a couple of paragraphs of writting the flow stopped. The reservioir precluded the viscosity of the ink from sticking together; as ink left the nib it created a gap between the ink (now congregated at the top of the reservoir) and a large air bubble leading to the outflow point.

I had to remove the top half to gently flick the ink down the reservoir. Not happy. Writing was atrocious, I used mechanical engineers block graph paper for technical drawings, regular photocopier 90gsm white, lined note paper of approximately 70gsm, and the ubiqutous Moleskine cahiers (of which I have several depending on the meeting, or personal use). Every single one did not facilitate consistent ink flow.

Next I tried a change of ink brands after thoroughly cleaning the mechanisms. Inks included Noodlers, Parker, and Mont Blanc.

The problem persisted, indeed it worsened in some instances. (I even took the step of moderately diluting the ink to see if that helped. Nothing.) I returned it to the store, furious that I had been firstly sold a pen the wrong size and now sold, not one but two duds. The owners offer; repair. The repair was a joke. A razor blade was inserted between the slice in the nib and wriggled to apparently improve the flow. In conversation, the owner advised that that this was a common problem for MV pens. So much for merchantable quality provisions in our Sale of Goods Act.

I now have two expensive sticks; the surgery didn't work and nothing substantially changed. I can't get a refund but I can never go back to the store and the web is a beautiful thing for posting on work group intra-mail if you work for a big company. Colleagues listen to customer feedback, it's cheaper than making the mistake themselves. To think historical quality customer service can go from what I thought was perfect, to sour in a simple transaction.

Would I buy a Monte Verde again? Not if given the choice between burning a small stick and writing with the charcoal tip, or cutting letters and words out of newspaper print to make a sentence.

In conclusion (do I need one) DON'T even think about it when considering your next pen. Unless you like to collect expensive sticks. thumbup.gif

PS: I am new to the forum and I have only recently discovered the site and read some quality posts; I am applying what I have read to pen buying decisions amongst other knowledge sources. Thanks to all who share their pen knowledge and experience.

Edited by MYU, 09 July 2009 - 10:59.


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#2 clickiechick

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 23:37

I don't know if you've tried to contact Monteverde U.S.A. directly, or if they can do anything for you, but it may be worth a go. Yafa distributes Monteverde here in the states and their customer service has always been great for me. Good luck, and sorry the pens weren't your thing.
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#3 PAKMAN

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 23:49

My Invincia had a crack in the inner cap and the cap would not stay on. Sent it in after talking to Yafa and they gladly repaired the pen.

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#4 rwilsonedn

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 00:21

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the MVs. I doubt anything can be done about the fit and finish except to get the country distributor to exchange the whole pen. But you might just be able to turn your ill-manufactured sticks into ill-manufactured, decent-writing sticks. There are several references here at FPN and elsewhere on the web (especially recommended: http://www.richardsp...o/51_vs_21.htm) the gist of which are that you can often cure the air-bubble problem by repeatedly flushing the pen with mild detergent or mild ammonia solution, and that once the pen is feeding properly you can adjust the flow with some simple and gentle manipulations of the nib. None of this would take away the sting of buying expensive pens that let you down, but you might achieve the balm of fixing some of the problems yourself.
ron

#5 CarolinaWriter

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 02:21

QUOTE (clickiechick @ Jul 8 2009, 07:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know if you've tried to contact Monteverde U.S.A. directly, or if they can do anything for you, but it may be worth a go. Yafa distributes Monteverde here in the states and their customer service has always been great for me. Good luck, and sorry the pens weren't your thing.



I have emailed them several times about an Invincia with a bad nib and have not received a response. Does anyone have a point of contact there?

Thanks,
Connie
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#6 MYU

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:01

Thanks for this first review. If you manage to get pictures of your pen later on, contact me and I'll edit your post to incorporate them. smile.gif

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#7 His Nibs

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 03:32

QUOTE (CarolinaWriter @ Jul 8 2009, 10:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (clickiechick @ Jul 8 2009, 07:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know if you've tried to contact Monteverde U.S.A. directly, or if they can do anything for you, but it may be worth a go. Yafa distributes Monteverde here in the states and their customer service has always been great for me. Good luck, and sorry the pens weren't your thing.



I have emailed them several times about an Invincia with a bad nib and have not received a response. Does anyone have a point of contact there?

Thanks,
Connie


Connie, contact Dot Stern at 1-800-YAFA-PEN, or dotstern@yafa.com.



Regards,

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#8 langere

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:06

I'm afraid I must agree with wellsn about the Invincias. I bought one from Ebay, but the photo was such that it looked like a very different pen than it really is. I received the pen and did not like it at all. I contacted the seller and fortunately she was kind enough to have me return it since the photograph did not really indicate what the pen looked like.

I did not write with the pen, but was not impressed with its overall quality. After having read this review, I am glad I did not keep it.

BTW, welcome to FPN and I hope you have good experiences with other fountain pens!

Erick

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Benu Supreme "F" nib running Pelikan Edelstein Olivine

PENBBS 500 "F" nib running Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu

 

 


#9 wellsn

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:04

QUOTE (MYU @ Jul 9 2009, 07:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for this first review. If you manage to get pictures of your pen later on, contact me and I'll edit your post to incorporate them. smile.gif


Thanks MYU for the welcome note. I am looking forward to learning and sharing with the forum.



#10 wellsn

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:08

QUOTE (rwilsonedn @ Jul 9 2009, 08:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm sorry to hear about your experience with the MVs. I doubt anything can be done about the fit and finish except to get the country distributor to exchange the whole pen. But you might just be able to turn your ill-manufactured sticks into ill-manufactured, decent-writing sticks. There are several references here at FPN and elsewhere on the web (especially recommended: http://www.richardsp...o/51_vs_21.htm) the gist of which are that you can often cure the air-bubble problem by repeatedly flushing the pen with mild detergent or mild ammonia solution, and that once the pen is feeding properly you can adjust the flow with some simple and gentle manipulations of the nib. None of this would take away the sting of buying expensive pens that let you down, but you might achieve the balm of fixing some of the problems yourself.
ron


Hi rwilsonedn, I will "give it a go" as suggested. I would return them but the cost of shipping, plus the fuss, and the first impressions last longest factor = too much effort. It's all good though, I just wont buy anything more of that brand.

I will write some positive reviews as well. I have a couple to share when I get some time.

#11 wellsn

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 12:12

QUOTE (clickiechick @ Jul 9 2009, 07:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know if you've tried to contact Monteverde U.S.A. directly, or if they can do anything for you, but it may be worth a go. Yafa distributes Monteverde here in the states and their customer service has always been great for me. Good luck, and sorry the pens weren't your thing.


Thanks clickiechick.

#12 Donald594

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 23:23

QUOTE (wellsn @ Jul 8 2009, 07:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The problem persisted, indeed it worsened in some instances. (I even took the step of moderately diluting the ink to see if that helped. Nothing.) I returned it to the store, furious that I had been firstly sold a pen the wrong size and now sold, not one but two duds. The owners offer; repair. The repair was a joke. A razor blade was inserted between the slice in the nib and wriggled to apparently improve the flow. In conversation, the owner advised that that this was a common problem for MV pens. So much for merchantable quality provisions in our Sale of Goods Act.

I now have two expensive sticks; the surgery didn't work and nothing substantially changed. I can't get a refund but I can never go back to the store and the web is a beautiful thing for posting on work group intra-mail if you work for a big company. Colleagues listen to customer feedback, it's cheaper than making the mistake themselves. To think historical quality customer service can go from what I thought was perfect, to sour in a simple transaction.

Would I buy a Monte Verde again? Not if given the choice between burning a small stick and writing with the charcoal tip, or cutting letters and words out of newspaper print to make a sentence.

In conclusion (do I need one) DON'T even think about it when considering your next pen. Unless you like to collect expensive sticks. thumbup.gif

PS: I am new to the forum and I have only recently discovered the site and read some quality posts; I am applying what I have read to pen buying decisions amongst other knowledge sources. Thanks to all who share their pen knowledge and experience.


I love Monteverde, and the whole razor blade surgery is actually a great treatment if done correctly. YMMV.


#13 cerberusdog

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:00

You seem to have gotten duds, or are dealing with one. I have three Monte Verde Invincia and all three have performed well right out of the box. Two I got at a store that specializes in discontinued items and store closings, the other from a seller on FPN.

But these, like every other pen I try, is first washed with dish-washing detergent and then rinsed clean. If there is a converter I leave it attached to flush and clean the converter also. I then floss the nib with a .002" metal feeler gauge.

I recently went to a pen dealer that dip tests every pen in front of the customer prior to the final sale. He tested a pen that I was buying. He said he did not like the feel, pulled out a razor blade, did some voodoo with it on the nib, and pronounced it fixed. I took it and it was great. So the razor, in the right hands does have some merit.

I have both Private Reserve and Noodlers in the pens so it handles these two inks well.

#14 bluemagister

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:16

Getting burned by a seller ONCE is all it takes to lose business. It's shameful that you had done a lot of bidness with that seller and then all you got was credit and two mediocre pens out of it.

Thanks for the warning on Monteverde. I can also say that their gel ink pens are sketchy on quality, even though the expensive color gel rollerball cartridges are made in Japan. I avoid Yafa and Monteverde whenever possible.

#15 His Nibs

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 22:45

Your pen(s) are warranted by Monteverde directly. I think you'll have complete satisfaction by contacting Clara Cornett at 1-800-YAFA-PEN. I'm also forwarding this thread to her at claracornett@yafa.com.

Regards,

Norman

<!--quoteo(post=1131219:date=Jul 8 2009, 07:25 PM:name=wellsn)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (wellsn @ Jul 8 2009, 07:25 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1131219"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->The problem persisted, indeed it worsened in some instances. (I even took the step of moderately diluting the ink to see if that helped. Nothing.) I returned it to the store, furious that I had been firstly sold a pen the wrong size and now sold, not one but two duds. The owners offer; repair. The repair was a joke. A razor blade was inserted between the slice in the nib and wriggled to apparently improve the flow. In conversation, the owner advised that that this was a common problem for MV pens. So much for merchantable quality provisions in our Sale of Goods Act.

I now have two expensive sticks; the surgery didn't work and nothing substantially changed. I can't get a refund but I can never go back to the store and the web is a beautiful thing for posting on work group intra-mail if you work for a big company. Colleagues listen to customer feedback, it's cheaper than making the mistake themselves. To think historical quality customer service can go from what I thought was perfect, to sour in a simple transaction.

Would I buy a Monte Verde again? Not if given the choice between burning a small stick and writing with the charcoal tip, or cutting letters and words out of newspaper print to make a sentence.

In conclusion (do I need one) DON'T even think about it when considering your next pen. Unless you like to collect expensive sticks. <img src="http://www.fountainp...#>/thumbup.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbup:" border="0" alt="thumbup.gif" />

PS: I am new to the forum and I have only recently discovered the site and read some quality posts; I am applying what I have read to pen buying decisions amongst other knowledge sources. Thanks to all who share their pen knowledge and experience.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I love Monteverde, and the whole razor blade surgery is actually a great treatment if done correctly. YMMV.


Regards,

Norman Haase
His Nibs.com
www.hisnibs.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HisNibs1

#16 aki

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:50

I picked up an Invincia Black & White a couple weeks ago. I've been using it regularly, and despite a couple incidents of skipping on the 2nd day, I've been really happy with it. No ink flow problems, no skipping, no problems with starting after sitting unused overnight. I don't post my pens when writing, and chose this pen in particular because of it's weight, length and balance when writing un-posted. It's the first nice pen I've purchased for myself that cost more than a Safari (all others have been gifts - this was a gift to myself for getting into the PhD program), and am pretty excited about it so far.

#17 GavH

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 16:06

Interesting thread! I too have been looking towards a Monteverde Invincia or perhaps something from Pilot or Sailor (742 or 1911). With this review, I think I'll aim myself more towards the Japanese models.

Thanks for sharing and thanks to those who've added their opinions also.
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