I'm not mad. The 992 is a proven design now that they've solved the plug cracking the barrel issue. But monteverde literally didn't change a single thing apart from putting their name on the cap lip and their logo on the nib. The feed is clear vs the 992's black, and the nib itself isn't just a rebranded jinhao, It's almost certainly made in China, but it's got broader shoulders, monteverde scrollwork and a much larger breather hole. The 992 is a great writer, and the F on the monteverde is basically identical, if a slight tad (you won't notice it) softer. The box says "flexible steel nib" which isn't even true among steel nibs. the wing sung 698 has a more flexible steel nib, and that's before we get into actual steel flex nibs. It isn't a complete nail like a faber castell loom, you can make it write a little wider with a lot of pressure (less than the 992 but still way too much to work) but it just railroads when you do anyways, further rendering it pointless.
Oh, and the cap, barrel, and grip section are completely interchangable with a 992. They screw right together and the sections hit the inner cap liners perfectly. These are unquestionably made on the same tooling. Clips are identical, there is literally not a single design feature apart from the nib, clear feed, and name. Feeds are definitely cut on the same machine.
It comes in a nice box that is pretty much a prefect copy of the lingmo lorelei, but with the converter outside of the pen and two included monteverde ink cartridges. The converter is... really chinese. It's not the same flat screw design in the jinhao, but it is not disassemble-able and feels cheap. Does have a plastic agitator though. Still, Lingmo's converter beats it hands down.
The reason I bought it was twofold - Goulet had it shown as an eyedropper, and the 992 always did have that O ring in the section, but I never converted mine. I also figured the price was pretty amazing since they're running a deal where you get a free bottle of monteverde ink with your purchase, and I've been eyeing fireopal for a long time. So, I bought a bottle of ink and got a pen for a buck. Honestly, I'm really not upset.
It seems to hold the ink just fine, the fireopal ink looks freaking amazing in the pen, and the plug seems nice and secure (held against a pre-fix 992, the cap plug is noticeably smaller, so fingers crossed this doesn't crack. Still, I won't be using it in the field like my lamy 2000. If it has any hard start or drying-out problems, I will update the thread. Otherwise, look for picture comparisons on Sunday.
Overall this is a spectacularly lazy design. A rebranded chinese made copy of a sailor pen. The nib is really not special, the poquito wrote better (and was a more interesting design) and It does have a weirdly small sweet spot, so fast writing can cause skips if the pen rotates. Nib is fairly dry.
Right now, though, it's a great deal over on Goulet pens as long as you get a free bottle of monteverde ink with it. Basically it's a half-off jinhao 992 with a purchase of a bottle of ink. Which is a good deal. Monteverde may have the most bizarrely lazy pen design in history, but they do make a damn good bottle of ink (fireopal does not disappoint. this stuff is like autumn in a bottle, writes nice, clearly visible, monster shading. it's like apache sunset's darker tones minus the yellow that makes it less ideal for daily use.)
So, long story short, as soon as this deal ends on Goulet, just don't even think about buying this pen. The Jinhao 992 is a great pen. And it costs $2. I'm not kidding when I say the parts are completely interchangable. All you lose is the non-chinese name on the cap, and I would argue that the 992's logo looks better on the pen than monteverde's weird pseudo comic sans. If you're in the mood for something incredibly similar in shape and style at the $15 price point, the lingmo lorelei in acrylic is a much better pen for the money (gorgeous acrylic resins, fully eyedropper-able without a plug at the end, pilot nibs, and I can report that it's well made and doesn't dry out. Especially cool with a pilot plumix stub)