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Modern Montegrappa Regular Edition Pens


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116 replies to this topic

#1 jar

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 16:17

Montegrappa is one of, if not the, oldest fountain pen makers in Italy, founded in 1912. In this, its Centenary year, I thought it might be worthwhile exploring some of their more recent Regular Edition as opposed to Special or Limited Edition fountain pens, those made during the last 20-25 years.

There is a lot of information available on the older editions, for example the comprehensive two volume "The History of the Italian Fountain Pen" by Letizia Jacopini but far less on those pens that followed.

Let's begin during the very late 80s and early 90s and then wander forward.

As we explore I must point out that while I have tried to confirm most of the data with the good folk at Montegrappa, any errors or omissions are solely my own. Specifically I must thank Adriano Pirone at Montegrappa who has responded to far more questions than anyone should have to endure.

Some background.

Until 2000 Montegrappa was owned and run by the Aquila family. In 2000 the Richemont Group (owners of Montblanc, Cartier, Dunhill and a host of other high end brands) bought Montegrappa and in 2005 ownership returned to the Aquila family.

The Sterling parts on a Montegrappa pen will carry a Makers Mark stamp as well as Hallmarks.

1055 VI would signify the older Aquila owned company.
1140 MI those products made during the Richemont phase.
Pens made during the current Aquila owned company will carry a 2670 VI stamp.

The initials show the location of the Guild making the Sterling Silver parts of the pens, VI for Vicenza and MI for a Milan Guild.

There are many of the Regular Edition Montegrappa period pens from this period of which I do not yet have an example and hopefully other members here will be able to fill in the missing gaps.

Here's a list of the pens that I hope to cover and the order in which they were released:
  • 400 Series
  • Reminiscence
  • 300 Series
  • Symphony
  • Harmony
  • Elegance
  • Classica Celluloid
  • Extra
  • Micra
  • Privilege
  • Classica resin
  • Miya
  • Extra 1930
  • Espressione
  • Privilege deco
  • Emblema
  • Espressione Duetto
Since there is a continuity between many of the lines I will try to group them in families by their common elements; for example the 400 series and 300 series pens are very similar, slim cylindrical flat ended pens while the Symphony and Harmony are both large faceted bodied pens differing in colors and body material.

The Families:

  • Slim Cylindrical
  • Thick Cylindrical
  • Silver Threaded End Body
  • Silver Resin End Body
  • Faceted Non-Silver Body
  • Rounded Smooth Non-Silver Body

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#2 ArchiMark

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:17

Great idea, jar.....look forward to your next posts....

:thumbup:

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#3 sumgaikid

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 03:34

Always thought that the Reminescence was one of the nicest looking
sterling silver models that they made..........still looking to get one
sometime.



John

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#4 youstruckgold

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:35

Love the hallmark info! Thankyou.
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#5 jar

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 15:44

The Slim Cylindrical Family:

The 400 was the first of this family that was issued. It was based on a design from the 30s and is a delight to use.

Let's get the boring statistics out of the way and then get on with the story.

Overall length: 141 mm
Body Length:124mm
Section width: 9.25mm
Body width: 11.45mm
Weight: 20.9gm for the Sterling Silver version.

With that covered we can move on.

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As the brochure says, the 402 came in a variety of finishes. The lacquer parts are lacquer over brass while the Gilded parts, clip and furniture are Vermeil. The Sterling Silver model also has a vermeil treatment for the section, clip and furniture.

The Ball Point and Rollerball use the Parker type refills and the Fountain pen uses the International Standard cartridge/converter.

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Here are the brochure pages for the other styles.

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#6 H. Lime

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 19:14

@jar -- well done indeed. Quite interesting.

Edited by H. Lime, 19 June 2012 - 19:15.

A fool and his money are soon parted: Montegrappa 300, Waterman Expert II, Omas Ogiva Autunno, Omas 555/S, Omas 557/S, Omas Ogiva Scarlet, Waterman Patrician Agate, Montblanc 144 (lost :(), Omas Ogiva Arco Brown (flex), Omas 360 Arco Brown, Delta Sevivon (stub), Montblanc 146 (1950s), Omas 360 Grey (stub), Omas 360 Wild (stub), Swan M2


#7 Ghost Plane

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 21:38

Good idea to describe compatible refills. :thumbup:

#8 jar

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 13:09

Before we move on to the other member of the Slim Cylinder family of pens ( the 300 ) I'd like to post a short Montegrappa history I found in one of the brochures from the early 90s. It is an article written by Mr Guiseppe Aquila who is the current CEO and owner of Montegrappa.

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#9 jar

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 13:44

The other member of the slim cylindrical family of pens is the 300. It is the same size as the 400 series but without the vermeil. It came in Sterling silver or lacquer and the lacquer versions came with either a full lacquer over brass or a lacquered cap and Sterling silver barrel.

Initially the lacquer was available in Black or Blue but later other colors were added.

Montegrappa 402 FP&BP on far left then three 300 series:

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For a size comparison, the 400 & 300 series pens are about the same size and similar profile as the Sheaffer Targa.

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From the brochure:

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The lacquer versions were first offered with a plated steel nib but the ones I have come across have all had the 18K two-tone nib.

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#10 jar

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 13:01

Moving on, next let's look at the Reminiscence all Sterling silver models with the threaded end on the body for posting.

According to the History posted up above, the Reminiscence line was introduced in 1983 and it has been the basis for many of their Limited Edition models as well as in the Regular line.

Here are the basics.

The Reminiscence model came in two sizes and two body shapes, two finishes and three different patterns.

The smaller version is about 5" (127mm) capped and 6" (152mm) posted.

The larger version is about 5.5" (140mm) capped and 7" (178mm) posted.

Both versions use the International Standard cartridge converter.

Parker style refills fit the BP and RB and the pencils used .5mm and .7mm leads.

The both models were available in either Sterling silver or Vermeil.

The faceted model came in a plain finish or a Greek Key Guiloche while the cylindrical model came on plain or a pantograph engraved design.

The earliest versions had a resin section and the old style engraved 18K nib...

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while newer versions transitioned to a Sterling silver section and the current Greek Key style nib. The faceted models were the first to adopt the Sterling silver section with the cylindrical versions following a few years later.

From the brochure:

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#11 pictogramax

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 22:57

Thank you for this chronology! I particularly enjoyed the article on Montegrappa's history.

#12 halidak

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 15:50

Jar, Thank you for this great thread. It's been already quite helpful for me and I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing your next posts. (Especially one for the Miya collection. I've been debating myself to buy or not to buy a Miya Argento for such a long time.)

Edit:Typo

Edited by halidak, 25 June 2012 - 15:51.

Regards,

Halid

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#13 jslallar

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 20:21

Well done JAR, All Montegrappa owners should be proud of you.
Let me rephrase that - All pen owners should be proud of you.
Anxiously waiting for the next post whixh will contain information about my Cosmopolitan LE hopefully.
Enjoy your pens
Have a nice day
Junaid

#14 jar

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 20:33

Well done JAR, All Montegrappa owners should be proud of you.
Let me rephrase that - All pen owners should be proud of you.
Anxiously waiting for the next post whixh will contain information about my Cosmopolitan LE hopefully.


None of the Limited or Special Edition I fear. This thread is just for the Regular Lines. So far we have been moving somewhat in Chronological order and so next I'll likely try to cover the Faceted with Threaded End Family of pens that began with the Symphony. But some of the LEs are based on the Regular Edition pens so I may be able to work in some mentions.

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#15 jar

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 14:42

So here is where we are so far.

We've looked at the first two families of the Montegrappa Regular Edition pens, the Slim Cylindrical pens like the 400 and 300 series and the all Sterling series pens that were the Reminiscence series; now let's look at the next family, the Octagonal threaded end pens that are not all Sterling silver, the Faceted Non-Silver Body family.

The first one introduced was the Symphony series, a combination of Sterling silver section, cap crown, threaded end piece, cap band and clip with a celluloid cap and body.

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The boring details are:

capped length: 135mm
posted: 170mm
body length: 120mm
weight: 23.5g
filling system: standard International cartridge/converter.


The size places the Faceted Non-Silver Body family of pens about the size of the Montblanc 146.

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They use the traditional Montegrappa 18K Greek Key nib and came in EF, F, M, B, OB and stub nibs.

The next member of the family was the Brier and Sterling pen, where the body was made of aged Erica root similar to what is used in the finest pipes.

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The last two members of the family are the Harmony that uses a resin body and the shorter Micra.

The boring details of the Micra are:

Capped length: 115mm
Body length: 101mm

The Micra is designed to be cartridge only and the standard converter will not fit in the barrel.


Edited by Ghost Plane, 09 July 2012 - 15:19.
Edited to fix typo

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#16 jar

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 13:38

The Reminiscence pens had been a very long running success and had formed the basis for many Limited Editions, but Montegrappa was about to introduce a new family of pens as the successor to the Reminiscence; the Sterling silver pens that have resin end caps, sections and cap bands.

The first member of this new family was the Eleganza.

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Unlike the Reminiscence that came in both the round cylindrical and octagonal shapes, this part of the family line came only in the octagonal shape. It did come in two sizes, large and standard and in two trim designs; plain high polished and the Greek Key guilloche motif.

So here are the boring details:

Large capped length: 139mm
Large body length: 107mm
Large posted: 178mm
Large weight: 45g

Standard capped length: 127mm
Standard body length: 98mm
Standard posted: 165mm
Standard weight: 33g

The resin used in the Eleganza is a deep, translucent emerald green. the nib uses the 18K Greek key motif and the pen uses the standard International cartridge/converter.

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The pen came is a large wooden box.

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The design changed slightly over time, first to a model named Privilege which use a dark blue resin but retained the two designs, plain and Greek key motif:

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and the current iteration, the Privilege Deco that dropped the plain bright finish and changed to an Art Deco guilloche motif with gray resin:

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But what about a successor to the round cylindrical bodies Reminiscence?

Stay tuned.




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#17 jar

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 13:58

Although I have been looking only at the Regular Edition pens, the successor to the round cylindrical bodies Reminiscence has only been offered as a Limited Edition series, the Cosmopolitan Series of pens. Here are the brochure pages from the introduction of the first Cosmopolitan series.

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The first series was introduced in 1997 and included the six pens listed in the Introductory pages above and were limited to 500 of each design.

The second series came out the next year and included only four designs:

  • Aboriginal
  • Art Nouveau
  • Batik
  • Oceanic


During the Richemont years only three Cosmopolitan pens were introduced, Russia in 2002, Journey on the River Rhine in 2003 and the 1849 East/West in 2004.




The latest in the family is the 2011 series:

  • Arabian, Animal of the Desert
  • Bohemian Paris
  • China's Ancient Gods
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Victorian London



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#18 jslallar

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:17

Thanks JAR

wonderfu; reading this history and insight into the development of this pen seires
Enjoy your pens
Have a nice day
Junaid

#19 jar

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 14:17

The next family of pens are what I call the round none silver body pens and include the Classic (two series), the Extra and Extra 1930 and the Miya.

The first was the Classica with a celluloid body that was introduced in 1999.

Boring Details:

Length closed: 138mm
Body and nib: 130mm
Posted: 153mm
Weight: 20.4g

The first series came in three different celluloid colors; Charcoal, Turquoise and Cinnamon.


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The pen was a cartridge/converter and the blind cap would unscrew to allow access to a converter.

In 2004 the second series came out with a resin body in blue, red and gray.

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On my resin Classica the end cap does not seem to unscrew, or at least not easily and I have never tried to force it.

Both series use featured the Montegrappa 18K Greek Key motif nib.

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The biggest design difference is in the cap bands, the earlier celluloid model featuring a narrow mechanically engraved cap band and the later resin model the wider cap band that is laser engraved.

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#20 IWantThat

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 14:24

You are killing me, but I love it :) These are the pens that I think of when I say Montegrappa - not those ugly LE editions. These are beautiful, and I want every one if then. A girl can dream, right?
Tamara






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