This was definately an impulse buy. The short version is that I was on holiday with my family in Victoria, BC and it was part of the overall tourist experience. The long version is that I went in intending just to buy ink (and I did), but my husband convinced me to pick out a pen, largely because he'd bought one the day before and the fever was upon him . I really did not need another pen, but Jim, the shop owner was friendly and easy going and just sort of waved pretty things in front of me, letting me pet and handle them. The Jewelria caught my eye with the colour and overall feel and weight in my hand. What can I say? I succumbed to tourist impulse shopping.
Appearance and Finish
To my eye, the Jewelria is a *very* pretty pen. I assume resins were used in the manufacture of the glossy black pen body and the swirled, marbled cap. There is an attractive knurled ring on the body where the cap screws on and the rest of the rings on the body and cap are secure and well finished. All the fittings seem well tooled, smooth and secure. The cap screws on and off with 2 1/2 and posts with 2 turns. This can be a bit pesky if you're in a hurry, but once on it is secure and avoids scuffing. The clip is a spring clip. The medium nib is etched "iridium, Germany" with some scroll-y engraving. I understand from reading this forum that this is a pretty generic and unremarkable nib, though nice looking enough.
Design, size and weight
This is the heaviest and largest pen I own at 5 3/8 inches capped and 6 1/2 inches posted, 4 7/8 inches unposted. It has a nice weight in the hand unposted, but feels a bit top heavy posted. I've tried writing with it both ways and think it feels better unposted.
Filling system, nib design and performance
I'm dealing with these at the same time because I had to overcome issues with both of them. My previous experience with fountain pens led me to think that you 1) bought a pen 2) filled with ink 3) wrote happily ever after. This is the pen that led me to looking for information on the internet as to the various ways pens can misbehave, eventually leading to this forum.
The converter looked just like my Pelikan converter, other than being green, and I figured I knew how to use one. The Monteverde converter, however, was difficult to seat and felt a bit loose and wobbly. Initial efforts to fill the pen resulted in a lot of ink/bubbles, but eventually I got it to fill. Writing with the pen went well intially, with the pen laying down a nice wide, wet line. It did feel a bit scratchy, but I've had pens that started out that way and eventually came to behave nicely, so I was not bothered. However, what it did do was occasionally dry off while writing, then suddenly lay down a flood of ink. Some research on the internet made me think that perhaps the vacuum in the converter was being lost, so I tried replacing the converter with a cartridge. The cartridge snapped in firmly and securely with a soft but audible "pop", and I realized that I had not pushed the converter in firmly enough. Writing with the cartridge overcame the flooding issue, as did seating the converter properly. However, I still find that with certain inks still tend to dry off, and need to be pushed into the feed with the converter before flowing well again. This does not happen to all inks, though.
Now that the flow issues were mostly resolved, I continued to play with different inks and paper. The nib seemed to perform differently with every combination I tried, but the paper I most wanted to use it on, Clairefontaine and Hilroy notepaper (for school) resulted in skipping on the downstrokes and making an "S" stroke. This really started to make me nuts, and raise rather resentful feelings towards a pen I wanted to at least like, if not love. There were times it would perform beautifully, it felt good to write with, and I enjoyed using it - then it would betray me with this hateful skipping. I looked carefully through the forum posts for information on nib smoothing, and somewhat with the air of someone headed to the marriage counselor, I pulled out a sharpening stone, wet it, and went at it with gentle firmness
That did the trick, and saved my relationship with this pen. The nib became an absolute pleasure to use and I found myself looking for excuses to write with it. At the moment it is filled with Lamy Turquoise (which behaves well in the converter) and I will probably use it for school notes as the medium nib seems to be just the right size for notes that will be easy to read later.
Cost and value
I paid $99 Canadian for this pen, which is much higher than the on-line prices. However, I'm not really too perturbed for this. As I mentioned before, it was a holiday impulse buy in a specialty store on a piece of prime tourist real estate. It's nice to buy from bricks-and-mortar local stores sometimes, and knowing how much shipping and border fees can bump up the cost of the pen, I don't think it was too bad. But if you can get it from an on-line store for a good price, I think it has pretty good value overall.
This may not have been the pen I would have chosen had I done a lot of careful online research and price comparisons. But, it has a special place in my heart for two reasons - it's a souvenir of a lovely family holiday, and it was the pen that forced me to learn something about pens. Though I'm far from an expert, I think it taught me something about how pens work, what problems can be encountered, and how they might be resolved. I really enjoy using it now and expect to continue using it daily. The only paper it doesn't write well on is Moleskine, but since lots of pens don't write well in Moleskine I can hardly count that as a quibble. So after a somewhat rocky start, I think this should continue as a solid and reliable friendship.
eta: sheesh! I can't figure out how to format attached pictures into the body of the post. Sorry for the mess. I think they're pretty self-expanatory, though.
Edited by limesally, 22 August 2007 - 20:06.