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.
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.
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.
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.
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.