So here it is:
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 name. I'd recommend people to try it out!
And now for the pictures!
Edited by MiamiArchStudent, 10 March 2010 - 18:49.