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Monteverde Monza = Jinhao 992 (First Impressions)


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#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 21:15

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) 

 

 

 

 



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#2 thudthwacker

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 00:57

I don't think I'd heard that Jinhao had fixed the plug-cracking-the-barrel issue.  Not sure I feel any need for a $14 Monteverde logo on mine.  Though with 90ml of ink, that's really not a half bad deal.  Alas, Fireopal isn't on the list of free inks -- and that was the Monteverde ink I was most interested in.  And, actually, *none* of the Monza pens are in stock at the moment.  Ah, well.



#3 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:26

Fireopal was on the list until they went out of stock. I guess it was on a lot of people's lists.

 

Jinhao redesigned the size of the plug to be a hair smaller. I hold a pre and post fix model next to another and you can tell there's a hair difference. Enough to solve it.

 

Pen's been eyedroppered for about 3 days thusfar. no isssues to report.



#4 cingkrab

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 21:23

Fireopal was on the list until they went out of stock. I guess it was on a lot of people's lists.

 

Jinhao redesigned the size of the plug to be a hair smaller. I hold a pre and post fix model next to another and you can tell there's a hair difference. Enough to solve it.

 

Pen's been eyedroppered for about 3 days thusfar. no isssues to report.

 

Did you purchase a Jinhao-branded 992 that had the fix or was it the Monza??  If so, where did you get it?



#5 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 22:07

I have a couple post-fix 992's as well as a couple pre-fix cracked ones.

 

The plugs are smaller now, which was what caused the cracking. 

 

You should be able to pick up a fixed 992 on ebay, just look for "2017 model" listings.



#6 jekostas

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 23:37

Thanks for the review.  Given the info presented, I'd probably spring for a Lingmo Lorelei for slightly less money.  The warranty from Monteverde may make the Monza a good choice for some people but I honestly can't remember ever sending a pen in for warranty work.



#7 Honeybadgers

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:55

Basically, if you want to spend ten times as much for Goulet to give you THEIR degree of insane warranty coverage, this might make sense.

 

Or, you could buy ten 992's.



#8 Uncial

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 12:09

Is it possible that Monteverde approached a Chinese manufacturer to produce a pen for them, got it into production and thought, 'Ah, sure, let's just churn out our own version of this while we're at it'? I know that's giving Monteverde the benefit of the doubt and perhaps implying their business negotiation skills on rights to a product aren't quite up to scratch, but is it at all possible? We all know Chinese manufacturing doesn't really hold to a full understanding of copyright or patents.



#9 jekostas

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 18:54

Is it possible that Monteverde approached a Chinese manufacturer to produce a pen for them, got it into production and thought, 'Ah, sure, let's just churn out our own version of this while we're at it'? I know that's giving Monteverde the benefit of the doubt and perhaps implying their business negotiation skills on rights to a product aren't quite up to scratch, but is it at all possible? We all know Chinese manufacturing doesn't really hold to a full understanding of copyright or patents.

 

Absolutely no chance.  The 992 was released something like 7 months before the Monza, and other pens using the same Sailor 1911 body pattern even earlier (the Lingmo Lorelei is over a year old).  That timeline pretty much guarantees that the Monza is NOT a  Monteverde design. 


Edited by jekostas, 17 October 2017 - 18:56.


#10 Mech-for-i

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 00:40

Is it possible that Monteverde approached a Chinese manufacturer to produce a pen for them, got it into production and thought, 'Ah, sure, let's just churn out our own version of this while we're at it'? I know that's giving Monteverde the benefit of the doubt and perhaps implying their business negotiation skills on rights to a product aren't quite up to scratch, but is it at all possible? We all know Chinese manufacturing doesn't really hold to a full understanding of copyright or patents.

 

The original, the Sailor Procolor 500 were on the market for years ( might be even a decade ) , the Lorelei approaching two years, and the Jinhao is more than 8 months ( in their home market ) so its likely not the case as mentioned.



#11 DasKaltblut

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 02:15

Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I just got 15 992's for 16 bucks from China, and thought the pictures of the Monza looked amazingly alike. Right now I have a Knox #5 OBB in one of the 992s so I was hoping it might fit the Monza too, seems like it will. I agree, Monteverde inks are actually really nice, and that was the only reason I was considering the Monza!

#12 Uncial

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:48

Ah yes, I forgot it was based on the Sailor Pro-colour and about the LL ones.



#13 TruthPil

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 12:28

I have a couple post-fix 992's as well as a couple pre-fix cracked ones.

 

The plugs are smaller now, which was what caused the cracking. 

 

You should be able to pick up a fixed 992 on ebay, just look for "2017 model" listings.

 

Thanks for this review and the info about improvements in the 992.

 

Does anyone know if the Ebay seller jewelrymathematics' 992s are the new and improved versions?

 

Another question, since the gold-trim version is more recent, do you think those models have the smaller plug as well??

 

It's time for me to get a red one to pair with my blue one.  :D


Edited by TruthPil, 18 October 2017 - 12:32.

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#14 Honeybadgers

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 01:34

Well apparently the fix wasn't as good as I was led to believe. Mine already cracked and is leaking. What a turd. Shame on Monteverde.

Hopefully Goulet will deal with this, because I sure as hell don't want another one.

#15 Honeybadgers

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 01:37

Is it possible that Monteverde approached a Chinese manufacturer to produce a pen for them, got it into production and thought, 'Ah, sure, let's just churn out our own version of this while we're at it'? I know that's giving Monteverde the benefit of the doubt and perhaps implying their business negotiation skills on rights to a product aren't quite up to scratch, but is it at all possible? We all know Chinese manufacturing doesn't really hold to a full understanding of copyright or patents.

Absolutely perfectly interchangable in every single part and design feature says otherwise.

Still cracking also says they are shat off the same line.

It's a shame they didn't take the time to change the plug to the solid tail of the Lorelei and make it from acrylic. It'd be one hell of a pen.

Edited by Honeybadgers, 19 October 2017 - 01:38.


#16 calvin_0

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 04:26

well I just order this from goulet... but I do get a free bottle ink which cost almost as much as the pen itself... so I dont think it's a bad deal, but I do kinda disappointed with the quality of the pen if the pen cracked like jinhou's.. I expect more from a branded pen.. So I guess it'll come down to the nib which is their own nib.. at least that is what I heard..



#17 WJM

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 07:32

It seems originally it was Sheaffer, an American company, who came up with this tapered, cigar-shape of a fountain pen, then Montblanc adopted it for their pens, Sailor ripped off Montblanc for 1911, then Chinese companies ripped off Sailor, and now another American company is ripping off those Chinese rip-offs. 

 

I guess the history has made a circle. 



#18 RustyDarkMatter

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:26

Personally I'm excited to receive my Bottle of ink and Free pen. I consider this a cheaper version of the Sailor instead of an expensive version of the knock-off. I've never considered buying a Jinhao because I've never heard great things about their nibs from writing quality and I don't think their designes are interesting or inspired. I also never heard many good things about monteverde, I even was going to buy a Monteverde Mountains of the world pen but the guy at Fharney's (DC pen store) told me to avoid it. to be honest the only reason I bought this pen was it was too good of a deal to pass up. I don't know why there is so much controversy over this. either way I hope this pen works well and monteverde can get some exposure, come cash, and improve their QC and reputation



#19 TruthPil

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:22

I've never considered buying a Jinhao because I've never heard great things about their nibs from writing quality and I don't think their designes are interesting or inspired.


You just have to search this site for "Jinhao nib" and you'll find endless praise for their nibs. All my Jinhao nibs are smoother than even some new Pelikan nibs I have, delightfully wet as well. Their pens might not look the greatest, but their nibs are usually great.

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#20 MightyEighth

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 13:11

I got a Monza from Goulet last week along with Fireopal ink.  The pen itself is only okay.  I got the honey amber, and I think it looks nice.  The Fine nib needed a little work since it was a very dry writer out of the box.  I did some minor aligning and also some flossing, so it's better now.  But under a loupe the nib tip really looks junky with lots of asymmetry.  Also, the nib does not center well over the feed channel.  Even disassembling it and re-seating the nib on the feed didn't help.  It's as if the slot for the nib is just off a bit. As for the feel on paper, it has a lot of feedback, bordering on scratchy.

 

If it weren't for the ink deal at Goulet, I don't find the pen to be recommendable at street price. For what I got, though, it'll make a nice beater.

 

   - Marc


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