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Montegrappa Micra


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#1 Phthalo

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 07:28

Montegrappa make very striking pens, and many have really caught my eye in the last year or so. Montegrappa predominately use bright celluloids and resins with sterling silver accents, with some pens available with a choice of 18K gold accents. Founded in 1912, this Italian manufacturer is now owned by Richemont AB of Switzerland, along with Montblanc and Cartier amongst others.

Montegrappa MICRA
From the Montegrappa “Contemporary Luxury” Collection.


First Impressions

What interested me initially about the Micra was the small size. At just under roughly 4.5” (11.5cm) long when capped, it is presently the smallest of Montegrappa’s writing instruments. Slightly longer than a Pelikan M300, but with a barrel diameter closer to a M400, the Micra is very comfortable in the hand, as I often find the M300 a little too slim for extended periods of writing. The pen weighs roughly 22g - a little heavier than a filled M400. With the cap posted, the Micra is just over 5.5” (14cm) long.

I purchased my Micra from The Pen Shoppe in Brisbane, Australia. After discussion, they took $45 off the price, and included two free packets of Montegrappa Bordeaux cartridges, which are usually $12 per packet. I have seen Micra’s sold with two different boxes - a large, beige leather box, and a smaller, dark green box. I received the large beige box, with two blue cartridges, silver polishing cloth, booklet, and a registration and 24-month warranty card.

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Appearance / Design / Finish (4*)

The Micra is offered in seven colours, with a faceted eight-sided barrel and cap turned from a marbled opalescent resin, and only available with 925 Sterling Silver accents.

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I have an Orange micra, and the colour is pure and bright. The cap clip is gently curved and tapered, ending with a tiny pocket-friendly wheel. The cap also features a silver band engraved with the model, hallmark, and ‘Montegrappa’ in flowing script. The inner cap threads are plastic. The cap top is flat, and inset with a silver, circular ‘1912’ logo. The cap unscrews in three full turns - which is more than most pens - and posts onto the threaded silver barrel-end with another three turns. You won’t be grabbing this pen to jot anything down in a hurry!

The barrel section is silver and very smooth. I hold the pen quite close to the nib, my index finger rests just under the cap threads, with the tip of my nail actually resting on the nib. In the hand, the Micra feels like a solid, quality item, and I don’t doubt it could take a few small knocks. It is well balanced and the resin and silver is pleasant to the touch, but I can see larger fingers finding this pen uncomfortable.

The Micra loses a few ‘points’ here due to the plastic cap threads, and number of cap screw/unscrew turns.

Nib / Section / Performance (5*)

Montegrappa nibs are fairly small affairs in two-tone 750 / 18K gold, with the yellow gold appearing in a subtle, Greek key pattern border. The feed is an ebonite comb-feeder.

As far as writing goes, I chose an Extra Fine nib and it writes beautifully. The nib is very firm, and only has the merest hint of line variation. Smoother and finer than any of my Pelikan EF nibs, the Micra nib is excellent. I have used many inks with this pen, and the ink flow is always well controlled – not too dry, not too wet. I haven’t experienced any skipping or hesitation. Upside-down, the nib feels mildly toothy, but produces a very fine and consistent line.

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This is a perfect nib in my opinion – firm, attractively designed with longer, finer tines than most of the nibs I own, and very subtle and beautiful two-tone decoration.

Filling System (3*)

Like several of it’s Montblanc brethren, the Montegrappa Micra is a pricey pen which only fills via a cartridge. Fortunately we are talking about standard short international cartridges, and not something proprietary. I tend to take this pen to work a lot, and this makes the cartridge filling system very convenient.

At the price, I would like to have seen the Micra with a converter, but Montegrappa do not make one for this model. I’d like to think that there is a squeeze-type converter out there which would fit this pen - like the one found in a Duke 2007 Mini, a fountain pen barely larger than the Micra.

Cost / Value (3*)

The RRP of the Montegrappa Micra is approximately $375 US. The Micra is certainly not a pen you would buy when you are looking for the best value for money. For the price of the small cartridge-filling Micra, you could no doubt get a large piston-filler, a bottle of ink, and likely some change!

For me though, cartridges are convenient and I loved the size and design of the Micra enough to overlook most of the price. When I bought this pen for myself at the beginning of 2006, it was as a reward. My bold Orange Micra was a symbol of the professional and financial advancements I had made in 2005.

(Montegrappa does not permit sales online, so visit your local pen store or the Montegrappa website to view their regular and limited edition collections.)

Final Thoughts

The Micra is a small and stylish pen, with quality construction and a nib which is a pure pleasure to use. Due to it’s colour, my Micra is quite eye-catching, and has attracted a few “great looking pen” comments.

While this is one of my favourite pens, it may likely be my only Montegrappa. This is in part due to the price, but is mainly due to the fact that there are no other small pens like the Micra in the current collection. However, the Montegrappa Symphony - a Micra-like bigger brother - is a stunning celluloid and silver pen in some gorgeous colours, and it has a cartridge/converter system. The Symphony is a more regular-sized pen, but is quite a bit more expensive than the Micra.

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Overall, my beautiful little Micra is something I treasure. :)
Laura / Phthalo
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#2 Flere-Imsaho

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 08:53

Great review of an interesting pen. The reason I could resist the temptation until now is the large amount of turns to unscrew the cap, and screw it again on the back of the barrel.
Thank you!
-Hans.
smilePosted Imageand enjoy the moment

#3 J-F-O

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 15:27

I find Montegrappa pens of good quality but most importantly , different in terms of design , material and colors.

I agree the Micra should have a converter for the asking price. This is the main reason I haven't purchased one.

J.F.

#4 smudgy

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 16:10

Great looking pen, and nice review - thanks! I love orange pens. :)

I was seeing possibilities until I got to the cartridge-only filling system and the price. I suppose I could get around the price if I saved for long enough, but I would want a converter at the very least.
Vanessa

#5 tonyv

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Posted 25 June 2006 - 17:56

Nice looking pen! Thanks for the great review! I've seen this at the pen boutique, but I too would prefer the pen to have a convertor. I do like how the barrel threads on to the back of the pen for reliable posting. That's neat!

#6 Dawn

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 00:54

That is the most gorgeous little pen!

I tried one in the Brisbane shop and loved it and considered getting the orange one but like most the lack of converter put me off, and I thought it was a little exxy. Although it does write like a dream.

I am saving my hard earned for its big brother the Symphony. May take a while :lol:

Thanks for the great review I really enjoyed reading it.

Dawn

#7 Phthalo

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:18

Thanks for the kind words folks. :)

Dawn: Yup, I'm pretty sure the Symphony will be coming my way in a couple of months, as I'm going to ask for it as my wedding present from hubby-to-be - it will be either the Parchment, or Yellow. :D
Laura / Phthalo
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#8 Dawn

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:05

Excellent Phthalo ..... I like your style :lol:

Congratulations by the way!

#9 southpaw

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 03:00

Great review of a pen from a family we don't here much about here. Thanks for shedding some light on Montegrappa!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#10 wiglaf

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 21:29

Laura-

Nice review, complete and closely attentive to the tactile- I bought a Micra (blue) several years ago without knowing clearly its size- too small for me; thus my wife uses it constantly. I bought a Symphony (yellow) soon after and love it- though I did find a repairman who told me the cap is not sufficiently sealed so if not used daily, the ink will dry out. I have not had that experience to date.

If between your review and this post, you have married, congratulations. And thanks for sharing your review.

Tony

#11 finatoma

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 03:32

Hi all - I just bought a little white resin version of this pen, and was googling things about it (being an expensive investment) and came across this network! I thought this post was really useful, and wanted to add that I did get a converter for AUS$3.95. I bought the pen and the converter at Pepe's Paperie, and while the converter is not made for the Micra (it's made for Monteverde) it works perfectly with it.

#12 ladyinthemists

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 15:41

Today I received my brand new Montegrappa Micra in orange and it is truly a thing of beauty...a mini work of art. And it came in the nicer large, beige leather box. After I take it over to Origami Ink in Asheville to show it to Jonathan I will ship it off to Richard Binder to have him grind the nib to an italics nib for me. This is one of the most gorgeous pens in my growing collection of fine writing instruments. Thanks to gee09 for making this happen for me after having been told on numerous occasions that this pen was discontinued and no longer available. Needless to say, I am now one of his newest fans and a very happy and satisfied customer! THANKS, Gary!!
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#13 IWantThat

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 13:39

A very nice review...thank you! I love my Montegrappa pens. Every one of them feels like a piece of artwork. Yes, the price tag is steep, but they are a dream to have in my collection. I hope you enjoy your Micra for many, many years to come :)
Tamara

#14 13dsh

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 15:50

For my montegrappa micra diamond I purchased a Manuscript mini converter from pendamonium.com.au for only a few aussie dollars plus p&s. It works well enough and while it is only the size of an international cartridge it saves me from buying (and throwing out) cartridges. Hope this helps the converter issue.

#15 PatientType

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 16:21

I have the Montegrappa Symphony in red and it looks JUST like the Micra except, it's bigger of course. Attractive pen, good writer, uses a converter... There have been several Symphony's and a Micra sold on Ebay in the low to mid $200s over the last several months.

#16 ladyinthemists

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 18:59

I, personally, really don't mind using the cartridges. What I do is this: I buy the colors of ink/s that I like in bottles. Whenever I use up a cartridge, I use a cartridge filling syringe and flush out the old residue of ink with clear water and let the cleaned out cartridge dry. Then I flush out my nib well with clear water and let it dry also. Then I refill a clean cartridge with whichever ink I happen to want to use and put it into my pen. Having bought and used several assorted ink cartridges I usually always have some clean, empty ones to use whenever I want to change ink. So far that seems to be working very well for me.
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#17 FatherTim

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:05

Thanks for the review. I just stumbled on a red Micra and it is a fine writing and well balanced pen.

As you explained, the pen accepts cartridges only (no converter) and the only cartridges I have are Mont Blanc which are (I thought) the standard international size. They are slightly too large in diameter to fit in the barrel of the pen.

Are there smaller international style cartridges that will fit? Will Pelikan cartridges fit?

I am new to Fountain Pen Network. Thanks again for the review and your help.

Tim

#18 jar

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 14:59

Thanks for the review. I just stumbled on a red Micra and it is a fine writing and well balanced pen.

As you explained, the pen accepts cartridges only (no converter) and the only cartridges I have are Mont Blanc which are (I thought) the standard international size. They are slightly too large in diameter to fit in the barrel of the pen.

Are there smaller international style cartridges that will fit? Will Pelikan cartridges fit?

I am new to Fountain Pen Network. Thanks again for the review and your help.

Tim


Welcome home. Pull up a stump and set a spell.

The "International Standard" is mostly about the inner and outer diameter of the nipple on the cartridge and so yes, some so called international standard cartridges do not fit in some pens.

So far though all of the Montegrappa pens I own happily accept Diamine and J Herbin cartridges.

My Sister's website :  Rose Hill Studios

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#19 Toolattack

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 20:56

This looks like a great little pen in a really stunning colour.
Thanks for the pictures and congratulations.






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