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  1. Pen Pit Stop : Montegrappa Game of Thrones – House Stark Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way - no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let's find out how they have withstood the ravages of time. The fountain pen that arrives at the pit stop today is the "Montegrappa Game of Thrones - House Stark". In 2017, Montegrappa released the Game of Thrones pens, inspired by the well-known television series based on the "A Song of Fire and Ice" novels by George R.R. Martin. There are four pens in this series, representing the four most important Houses of Westeros: Baratheon, Lannister, Targaryen and of course House Stark. Each pen captures the essence of its House in the pen's design details. I got me the House Stark version, which is a nice sliver & white fountain pen. I bought this House Stark pen in May 2017. I was fully enjoying the television series at that time - and I must admit that this was more or less an impulse buy. The pen arrived in a beautiful box, that reflects the Game of Thrones Theme. Nicely done. Within the box comes the fountain pen, with design details that capture the essence of the corresponding House. Pen Look & Feel The details on this pen capture the spirit of House Stark quite well. The Stark family reigns in the snowy North of Westeros, which is reflected in the white colour of the pen, complemented with silver ornaments. The clip symbolizes the House sigil and shows the head of a powerful direwolf. Norse runes form the inspiration for the scrollwork on the cap and body, done very nicely in grey-on-white. On the cap finial you find the picture of a direwolf together with the House Stark motto: "Winter is Coming". This Montegrappa pen is a cartridge-converter, with a screw-on cap and a nicely decorated steel nib. The nib wrote flawlessly right out-of-the-box. The grip section is a shiny metal... I'm personally not a fan of these smooth metal grip sections, finding them a little bit too slippery to hold. The pictures above illustrate the size of the House Stark pen in comparison with a standard Lamy Safari. Capped, both pens are roughly equal in size. I prefer to use both pens unposted - the Montegrappa pen is about the same size as the Safari, and quite comfortable in the hand. Posted, the pen is much too big and it feels a bit top-heavy. Pen Characteristics Build Quality : the pen is well build, and still looks great after close to three years. The pen also has some weight to it (owing to the metal parts used in its construction - parts of the cap, plus the threads where the barrel screws into place). Personally I don't like the direwolf clip, which looks a bit cheap and toy-like. In my opinion, the pen would look much better without the clip. Weight & Dimensions : about the same size as a Lamy Safari, but with a bit more girth. This is definitely a heavy pen, but when writing with the pen unposted, the weight is well-balanced, and the pen feels comfortable to write with even for longer writing sessions. Filling System : this is a cartridge convertor pen, that uses standard size cartridges or convertors. I've never used a convertor with the pen. I find it much more convenient to just syringe-fill standard-size cartridges with my favourite ink of the moment. Nib & Performance : the pen has a decent-sized steel nib, decorated with beautiful scrollwork. The nib on my pen is a wet-writing medium, that wrote flawlessly right out-of-the-box. I was pleasantly surprised by this - my previous Italian pens were Visconti's, both of which came with horrible nibs. Price : being Special Edition pens, these cost 245 EUR including taxes. Quite expensive for a steel-nibbed cartridge convertor. You basically pay the premium price for the Game of Thrones theme. Conclusion These Montegrappa pens are obviously targeted at the Game of Thrones fan, and they succeed in capturing the spirit of the different Houses of Westeros. At the same time, this make them a bit of a gimmick. These are definitely not classic-looking pens - I'm highly doubtful that they will keep their value once the Game of Thrones hype has passed. For my personal taste, these pens also look too rococo with too many details in the finish. I much prefer more simple elegance. As such, this pen hardly gets any ink time. A good writer, but it doesn't give me any pleasure using it. The big question is: would I buy this pen again? To this, my answer is: DEFINITELY NOT. As I said, this was a spur of the moment buy... you know... Woow! Nice pen. Clicking "Buy Now" without thinking it through. It got me an overpriced pen that writes well, but that doesn't really fit my taste. I have learned my lesson. These days, I always leave at least a couple of weeks before deciding to actually buy a new pen.





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