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Monteverde Invincia Brass - Quality Control Issues


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#1 Honeybadgers

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 06:09

I ordered my monteverde invincia on Massdrop - it was $35, a great deal from the ~80-100 it sells for around the internet. Add to that a $25 rebate I had from referring people, and it came to my door for ten bucks. Even with the QC issues (I reached out to yafa and will report what I hear back) this pen was a spectacular deal for that price and I'll happily keep using it as it gets uglier and uglier because this pen is a phenomenal performer.

 

it arrived looking stunning - very gently laquered brass body has the best of both - some of the feel of the metal without being too smooth, but it won't make your hands stink like a brass fisher space pen. 

 

I really like the brass on black look, the pen looks industrial and unique. the coating on the section is just slightly textured and feels awesome in the hand

 

The nib I went for was the 1.1 stub. it was quite smooth and nice, a little more italic than most stubs (which I love) but still easy to use. it is a tiny bit soft, but be wary, it's quite soft in the context of being springing, not flexing. So you should be gentle with these monteverde nibs. it also sung a bit, but not badly, and not annoyingly (and easy to remedy if necessary) but I noticed that after a few sentences, it would start to dry out. not to the point of skipping, but annoying enough that I bought a replacement F nib unit for it. The F also writes very nicely, a little toothy (not scratchy) sings a tiny bit, kind of small sweet spot (which isn't an issue for non-hooded nibs since the visual reference is so easy, you don't really rotate the pen) and wrote REALLY well reverse, wet and smooth and EF. Flow on the F is fantastic, doesn't dry out at all. The cap seals well, no skips or hard starts ever. I also really like the look of the nib, long tines and the monteverde logo is very pretty, with the mountain logo passing through the breather hole.

 

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I love the overall design as well. Great section, very neutral in the hand, weighty but not heavy, nicely balanced unposted (very substantial metal section and thin barrel makes it noticeably front-heavy in a way that I really like, similar to the lamy 2000 in that it kind of drives the nib to paper and writes under its own weight. The cap unscrews in 3/4 turn and has a very tactile "spot" in the middle. Mike Mattison thought it felt kind of weird, I like it. it keeps the cap from coming unscrewed and gives a very positive feedback. He just didn't like that it was in the middle of the rotation versus at the end like a platinum 3776. I don't mind it at all. I've heard reports that the cap doesn't post very securely from some people, but maybe they redesigned it slightly, because mine actually snaps to post completely securely, with a very positive click, and posted is pretty much identical to the lamy 2000 in length, remaining nicely balanced. the cap is fairly heavy, but the pen goes from noticeably forward-heavy to very neutral.

 

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Section screws into the barrel with nice thread (the threads are cut kind of sharp but the grip section is long enough that unless you hold your pen very far back, you won't ever notice it) and it has a fantastic, threaded converter. I love threaded standard international converters, they feel so much more substantial and thoughtfully designed than other converters. The pen came with the converter and two cartridges. I've had mine filled with Pelikan smoky quartz, an earthy tone that I think suits the pen well. 

 

 

 

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The clip is lovely, nicely tensioned and I love the shape. I love ball clips.

 

Overall shape of the pen is sleek and fits wonderfully into my uniform breast pocket due to the tapered shape, which is incredibly important for a pen to fit into my uniform. I will definitely be using this in my daily work rotation along with the lamy 2000 EF and Delike Alpha brass pen (the kaweco brass "knockoff" that is outright better than the kaweco)

 

But, the pen has a huge problem. The black coating on every surface seems to be made of cheese. I had it not three days before a little nick appeared in the section's coating (I hadn't dropped the pen) and it's spread as a ring right around where the cap liner meets the section. And now I'm noticing a chip where the cap snaps onto the back onto the pen. And the clip is starting to chip noticeably. And the cap threads on the barrel. and a tiny chip on the finial. The only part that hasn't chipped yet is the cap band and the black on the nib itself. And bear in mind I've used this pen for three days.

 

fpn_1511590169__invincia_9.jpg

 

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Now, this is all purely cosmetic, and I don't normally mind wear and tear because I think patina adds character. But this just looks shoddy. I contacted Yafa, so I'll let y'all know what they say, but I know I'm not the first person to have an issue with the black coating monteverde uses. I would expect this kind of finish on a Jinhao, not a $100 pen.

 

That said, for what I paid, I am not unhappy at all. It'd be cool if yafa said "oh hey we totally fixed the finish issues and are sending you a new pen" but if they tell me to pound sand, I'm still going to enjoy using this pen, and might just sand the section and electroplate it or powdercoat it myself. In the end I only paid $10. But for $100, I can't recommend the invincia with any black finish on the trim. Now, any of the models without the black trim, I've heard no horror stories, and this pen is fantastic otherwise, so if you have an itch for this pen and can find a model you like that doesn't have any matte black trim, I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It's a great writer, solidly built and feels great in the hand.

 

Monteverde just needs to get their act together. the monza is an insult to fountain pen users everywhere and this pen has had problems with the black finish for some time. They make awesome ink and I think the Poquito is one of the best pocket pens you can possibly get (if you can find one for under $30, it's a great pocket pen) but they're one for three in terms of pens made properly for me. That's visconti numbers, and very sad (though not as sad as it is for visconti)


Edited by Honeybadgers, 25 November 2017 - 06:19.


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#2 ENewton

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 21:19

I have the Invincia Deluxe with the imitation rose gold coating on the section.  After a few months of intermittent use, the coating started to look pitted.  I believe I have read comments elsewhere to indicate that others have had the same experience.



#3 jekostas

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Posted 25 November 2017 - 21:33

I had a similar issue with the black coating on a Monteverde Intima - it started to chip off within a month.



#4 Jamerelbe

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 03:54

Thanks for the heads up - I participated in the same drop,but haven't given the pen much use yet. Will keep an eye out for wear - let us know how you go with Yafa?

#5 Honeybadgers

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 04:10

Heard back from Yafa pretty quickly and thusfar they've been great. I have to pay return shipping to them, but she told me that I could switch it for another model that didn't have the matte black. I told her that if she was confident that this new one wouldn't be likely to chip, I could go for another brass, but if it fails again, I'll want to replace it with a rose gold or chrome model.

 

Sounds like I may have to go for the chrome. It's such a bummer they put such shoddy finishing materials on an otherwise fantastic pen.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 30 November 2017 - 04:11.


#6 touzeen

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 13:31

I have the paint peeling off my VP Stealth Black too. I feel it just adds character to the pen and don't mind "Signs of Use" on pens but that can be a very subjective view of things. 



#7 Jamerelbe

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 14:18

After a couple of weeks of very light use, the black coating my Invincia Brass is mostly holding up well - there's a tiny bit of metallic show-through on the threads for the cap, but it's not really noticeable.  My main issue with the pen is that it writes a little dryer than I'd like (F nib) - and I'm reluctant to try and 'floss the tines' for fear of losing black plating on the nib...

 

I don't mind 'signs of use' on a pen, as long as it's a slow process - a whole lot of plating loss while a pen is still new, especially if I've been fairly careful with it, would have me wanting to chase up customer service too!  [My matte black VP has lost some of its paint job over time too, but I've used it a fair bit so that's a different story...]



#8 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 22:23

I have the paint peeling off my VP Stealth Black too. I feel it just adds character to the pen and don't mind "Signs of Use" on pens but that can be a very subjective view of things. 

 

I like patina. This isn't patina when it's falling off in droves after three days of use.



#9 Jamerelbe

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 03:08

 
I like patina. This isn't patina when it's falling off in droves after three days of use.


The matte black Pilot VP doesn't develop a patina either - it just tends to scratch easily...

#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 21:28

Well - Yafa's turnaround was exceptionall quick, they definitely had the pen less than a day and have the replacement on its way.



#11 jekostas

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 22:16

After a couple of weeks of very light use, the black coating my Invincia Brass is mostly holding up well - there's a tiny bit of metallic show-through on the threads for the cap, but it's not really noticeable.  My main issue with the pen is that it writes a little dryer than I'd like (F nib) - and I'm reluctant to try and 'floss the tines' for fear of losing black plating on the nib...

 

 

Try pulling outwards very lightly on the shoulders of the nib.



#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:25

And it's already here - even quicker than expected. I'll report back on this pen chipping. At least Yafa's customer service is amazing.



#13 SteveID

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 15:52

Cosmetic or not, this appears to be a very common problem with a lot of the Monteverde pens, whether it's wear happening far too quickly or actual chips and nicks appearing through what is no more than moderate use. It IS reasonable for us as buyers and users to expect a finish to last a little longer then a car with a paint job from the old Earl Scheib drive-thru shops that used to be all over New Jersey, where for $29.95 you get your car painted in half an hour & if you left the back window open they'd paint your little brother too.
Yafa? Or yada-yada?

Edited by SteveID, 15 December 2017 - 15:54.

Just add an F at the beginning, and any Art stinks.
Except your own.

#14 Honeybadgers

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 20:35

So far, so good on the replacement invincia. Two days of regular use in the field and no chips or suspicious looking parts of the pen.

 

HAH. Just as I wrote this, I uncapped it and a big chunk chipped off the section. looks like it's going back to yafa again and I'm getting the titanium.



#15 ENewton

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 02:10

The only pen I regret buying is the Monteverde Invincia Deluxe.  The writing experience it provides is not to my taste--the nib is just too rigid--and after only a couple of months, it already looked too shabby to sell or give away.



#16 Honeybadgers

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 22:30

Yafa has nothing if not superb customer service. Clara has been quick to respond and very accommodating. She's going to exchange it again at no charge (I am still paying the ~$5 for shipping it to them but I get to keep the converters, so it's kind of a wash since the monteverde converters are excellent) for an invincia deluxe in stainless steel with chrome trim. 



#17 FountainPenGuru

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 00:41

What is yafa's website? Where is yafa's located? I would like to check out their fountain pens.

#18 Jamerelbe

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 01:34

What is yafa's website? Where is yafa's located? I would like to check out their fountain pens.

 

Check out http://www.yafa.com/ - Yafa are the parent company that manufactures (or commissions the manufacture of) Monteverde and Conklin, and are the US distributors for a number of other (mostly European) pen companies. They mostly rely on retail stores to sell their products - though they do have a small online outlet.



#19 Honeybadgers

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 04:44

Yafa's US location is in california.








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