Ever since joining FPN I have profited from the efforts others have made in reviewing a wide range of different pens. Now I feel it was time I gave something back, and since this particular model of the Cigar hasn't been reviewed before, I thought you might enjoy some pictures and info on this pen.
The Montegrappa Silver Cigar was issued in an LE of 200 during the pre-Richemont era of Montegrappa. The Montegrappa website has no photos of this model, nor does it carry any information on it. However, I have found references to this pen on the Airline Intl. website, which says it was issued in 1999. Strangely, though, the one in my possession has the year "1997" engraved on its blind cap. The serial number is engraved at the top of the silver section where it meets the celluloid part that holds the nib.
Size & Weight
The Silver Cigar is slightly larger than a Pelikan M1000, which you can see next to it in this picture. It is a very big pen! But the real difference is in the weight. Whereas the Pelikan weighs 34 grams, this Cigar weighs in at a whooping 78 grams. According to my (somewhat imprecise) measurement it measures 14.7cm closed and about 17.3 posted.
Filling System 10/10
This is a piston filler with the piston nob hidden under a blind cap at the bottom of the barrel.
Nib & Performance 8/10
The nib is the standard Montegrappa two-tone nib. It has been pointed out before in reviews of other Montegrappa LEs as a little disappointing that the company didn't make special nibs to go with their LEs. But I guess it only becomes an issue, if you compare them to the limited edition Mont Blancs that come with their very own specially designed nibs that have an additional wow factor. However, the nib as such is beautiful, if a little understated compared to the pen. Which might not be a bad thing.
The nib on this pen is an M, but compared to Pelikan M nibs, e.g., it writes much more like an F. But even within Montegrappa nibs there seems to be a certain amount of variation, because I have an M nib on a SS 402 and that one writes a much broader line than this nib.
Having said all that, due to the weight of this Cigar, it is no pen for extended writing sessions.
Appearance & Design 10/10
Like the standard Cigar model, this one closely resembles a cigar in shape with a perfectly rounded top and a flat bottom. It is beautifully balanced with dark brown celluloid and silver parts. The celluloid has highlights in it, designed, presumably, to resemble the colours of a dried tobacco leaf. But the really mindblowing parts are the silver clip and the silver overlay on the body. The clip is in the shape of a tobacco leaf that sprouts out of an elaborate silver band made of more tobacco leaves and the Montegrappa banner wrapped around the cap. At its bottom the clip has the standard Montegrappa little moving ball.
The silver overlay on the body depicts a number of tobacco leaves that twist around. When I first got the pen, I tried to count them, but this is more tricky than it seems, because there are leaves on top of other leaves. I have identified five large ones with parts of other leaves underneath. The design flows beautifully, and you can easily spend minutes just rolling it around, admiring the workmanship.
As mentioned before, the bottom is a blind cap which unscrews, and if you wish to post the pen, the cap screws into that thread.
Box & Packaging
Mine came without its box. But I have seen pictures of the Silver Cigar with a box that looks like the one that came with the standard 1997 Cigar model without the silver overlay.
What can I say? I scored it 10/10, but then I am completely biased.
I have never in my life smoked a cigar and as I am not a smoker it is unlikely that I ever will. But this pen, due to its beautiful design and amazing feel, really blew me away. Stare at it long enough and it will take you straight to some street corner in Havanna...
Edited by Lizzie, 19 June 2010 - 21:12.