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Montegrappa Espressione in Passion Red


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60 replies to this topic

#1 camoandconcrete

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 18:45

As some of you may know Montegrappa is my favorite brand and have quite the collection going of vintage and modern pens. I love Montegrappa for their strict use of traditional materials such as celluloid and silver, and their high art design themes. In my opinion they can't be beat for beautiful colors, designs and their nibs (all worked perfectly out of the box). Whenever I use one of mine they just have such a great feel and look in the hand; they transport me back to simpler times. The Espressione is a pen I have wanted for a very long time, due to its oversized body and silver trim and monotone nib. A few months ago I finally received one in my favorite color, red and so after a few months of using I thought I'd make a review on it. Keep in min this review is coming from a person heavily biased towards Montegrappa pens, so I'll do my best to be fair.

So here it is:

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Here is a pic comparing it to the full sized Privilege Deco, not the oversized Deco.

Appearance & Design (10): The look of this pen is what first caught my eye; it is large, solid, almost contemporary looking but with classical details to create a nice mix and its beautiful array of color choices. Part of the color being so mesmerizing is Montegrappa's use of mother of pearl resins that create a swirling, marble effect on the body. The resin has a remarkable depth to it that reveals many different shades of color depending on the angle the light hits it. Both the cap and body are anchored on both sides by solid silver rings. The two for the section have a very nice rectangle pattern deeply engraved into the silver and the Montegrappa logo shines proudly at the center of the pen. The bottom of the body has a threaded silver end so the cap can be posted and the craftsmanship is perfect. No matter what position the cap is in when you screw it down to the threads the clip always come in line with the nibs. At the top of the cap is the Montegrappa 1912 emblem.

Construction & Quality (9): The pen is extremely well made and durable but there is one thing that bugs me. The cap threads are resin and not silver and I don't know if this will cause problems in the future having two different materials screw together?. Other than that the quality is great and I'm going to let the pictures do the talking on that matter.

Weight & Dimensions (10): This pen is for people who love BIG pens! It is a behemoth of a pen, yet it is very comfortable. Compared to a Conway Stewart Nelson, it is fatter and just as long yet so much lighter which is perfect for long writing sessions. The pen is perfectly balanced either posted or unposted. I don't post the cap and it is great that way.

Nib & Performance (9): The nib is massive on this pen; a solid piece of 18kt gold plated in rhodium. My nib is monotone and its a Medium (I've seen some Espressiones with a two-tone nib) and has an ebonite feeder like a Montegrappas. The nibs lays down a beautiful wet line, that is comparable to a Pelikan Broad. Currently the pen is filled with Aurora black and is free flowing and deep. There were no problems with the pen starting up; the first stroke ink came out. The pen never skips or dries out and the feeder is great keeping up with the extremely wet lines produced by this nib. The only reason the nib gets a 9 is because the pen doesn't come with a converter but luckily a purchased a dozen or so direct from Montegrappa so that didn't bother me. But I'm sure it bothers others.

Filling System & Maintenance (8): This pen was meant to be a piston filler not a C/C. With such a big body it could've held an immense amount of ink. But the converter does hold a lot of ink, and I've compared it to one of my Pelikan M400s and holds just slightly less ink. The converter is very easy to maintain and cleaning the pen is a cinch. However, since all the trim is solid silver it will tarnish if not regularly polished but if you keep up with that its not a big deal.

Cost & Value (10): For 236 dollars this pen is a steal. An 18kt nib, ebonite feeder and solid silver trim for under 300 dollars is a great deal in my opinion.

Conclusions (56/60): This pen is a great way to begin an obsession with Montegrappa pens if one wants to try them. It embodies the company's Italian spirit for a modern age perfectly and beautifully. This pen will only get better with age. And I can't see this being the only Espressione I will own as the red Espressione Duetto is calling my namePosted Image. I'd recommend people to try it out!

And now for the pictures!

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Edited by MiamiArchStudent, 10 March 2010 - 18:49.

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

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 21:58

nice review and photos. perhaps this should be my first montegrappa.

#3 Ed Ronax

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 13:13

Great review, thanks.
And how can this be, because he is the Kwisatz Haderach.


#4 camoandconcrete

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 05:22

nice review and photos. perhaps this should be my first montegrappa.


I think it would be a good choice.
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#5 dandelion

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 20:35

Those tool case photos are very good. A luscious & handsome pen!
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#6 camoandconcrete

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 06:11

Here is a pic of a writing sample done on some rather inexpensive graph paper.

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

#7 dandelion

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 10:58

Thanks for posting the writing sample - very useful!
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#8 Yuki Onitsura

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:03

Great photos! I'm definitely putting this on my want list.

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#9 Dr Lopez

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 16:44

nice review and photos. perhaps this should be my first montegrappa.


I think it would be a good choice.


I recently purchased one of these in blue/back colour, my first Montegrappa. Hope it delivers to my expectations. Nice pictures and review. Reviews like these make are very helpful.
In my current rotation:
Pelikan 400 Brown Tortoise/14K Fine/J. Herbin Cafe des Iles
Lamy 2000/14K Medium/Lamy Blue-Black
Sailor 1911 Large burgundy/21K Naginata Togi Medium/Diamine Oxblood
Montblanc 146/14K Fine/Montblanc Racing Green
Rosetta blue/Steel Pendelton cursive italic/Pelikan Royal Blue
Delta Passion/18K Broad/Diamine Syrah

#10 camoandconcrete

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:09

nice review and photos. perhaps this should be my first montegrappa.


I think it would be a good choice.


I recently purchased one of these in blue/back colour, my first Montegrappa. Hope it delivers to my expectations. Nice pictures and review. Reviews like these make are very helpful.


Did you get yours yet?
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#11 MidnightBlue

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:13

Did you get the German or Italian made one?????
Thanks

#12 camoandconcrete

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:26

It is Italian made, except for the nib.

Edited by MiamiArchStudent, 22 March 2010 - 03:53.

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

#13 MidnightBlue

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:34

The nib is Bock like Graf and Pelikan
Thanks

#14 camoandconcrete

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:52

Are you sure? Cause I was told recently that the for a brief time MB was making them in house for Montegrappa.
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#15 MidnightBlue

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:55

Fairly sure. Besides, I'd be horrified if I new any of my Montegrappa had anything to do with MB. P.S. The Italian made German made nibs did have there problems.....You got very lucky. I have to say though that the Miya and Extra are my faves. Have you seen the Extra with gold trim?????
Thanks

#16 camoandconcrete

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 03:58

Fairly sure. Besides, I'd be horrified if I new any of my Montegrappa had anything to do with MB. P.S. The Italian made German made nibs did have there problems.....You got very lucky. I have to say though that the Miya and Extra are my faves. Have you seen the Extra with gold trim?????
Thanks


The Extra with gold trim is on my list but will have to wait years as I just bought a Modigliani and an Eternal Bird. But, you know out of the 9 Montegrappas that I own (they range from 1950s to 2009 production) all have perfect nibs straight out of the box.

Edited by MiamiArchStudent, 22 March 2010 - 04:09.

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

#17 MidnightBlue

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:35

The Mod's great, but The Bird's a little overdone for me. It would appear I got extremely unlucky, but you know the Miyas are so beautiful I forgive nibs. Had 'em fixed and ground to itallics, etc anyway.
Thanks

#18 camoandconcrete

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:40

I have heard Montegrappa had some QC problems regarding the nibs. I think though they have remedied the situation. I use to think the Bird was over the top but it grew on me to the point where it became my Grail Pen. Now I have to sell stuff I don't use to make up the lost money.

Edited by MiamiArchStudent, 22 March 2010 - 04:40.

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

#19 MidnightBlue

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:48

I just wish Montegrappa would hurry and come out with some new stuff, and hopefully not like the Piccolo.........classy like the Mod or Extra.........At the moment I'm having a custom made Edison in the most outrageous material Brian could find. I want something less formal!!!!!!!??????????
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#20 camoandconcrete

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:49

I hear you, I am eagerly awaiting the new releases which based on what I've heard from Kenro should be amazing. I'm not too nuts about formal pens unless they're sterling silver.
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.






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