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I'm not sure if this has been reviewed before so I decided to jump in and provide an opinion just in case anyone is considering a purchase. This is a review of the Montegrappa Ducale in rose gold with a fine nib.

 

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I've never had a Montegrappa before so this purchase was a bit of a risk for me, but it was on fleabay for very little money and I thought it might be worth the risk. I tend to associate the brand with a bit of 'hit and miss' design; some of their pens look very beautiful, while others are the epitome of bad taste. Thankfully I find this one rather beautiful and understated. I think the Ducale comes in a selection of two or three colours and you can also buy a different trim, this one is rose gold in a tortoise shell effect with nice deep colour and sheen.

 

It is quite a big pen - at 5.5 inches capped and 7 inches posted (can be posted securely). The rose gold trim is plated and is very nice. At the top of the large cap is a large band (giving a curious crown appearance) with Montegrappa's brand name engraved into it and a wide banded wave clip that terminates in a roller ball. The other end of the cap has a thin gold band. The pen body itself has a thin gold band towards the top, giving the appearance of a blind cap for a piston filler, but this pen is converter. Towards the grip the gold band also houses the threads to screw the cap on. The converter is a screw in converter with silver trim - again emblazoned with the Montegrappa name - and it holds a decent amount of ink.

 

The feel of the pen is very nice; it is warm to the touch and the grip is especially good and very comfortable. I really dislike pens that have a large 'step' towards the grip as I find it irritates my fingers and distracts me when I'm writing, but this is very comfortable and very pleasant to write with. It feels like it is a quality pen, although I do have a couple of niggles with it which may be deal-breakers for some.

 

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The nib is beautiful. It's quite a large nib engraved again with the Montegrappa name and a honeycomb effect. It is not a solid gold nib, which for some might be off-putting considering the normal retail price of this pen. I have to admit that the nib surprised me. It is very smooth, but it also has a strange sweet spot. It suits me, but for some they may find writing with it a little distracting - it feels like the pen is training you to use it, but when you do hit that sweet spot and get used to it, it is a lovely thing (it didn't take long to train my hand!). It lacks any of the pleasing spring of a solid gold nib, but doesn't forgo any of the smoothness. Part of the feeling of getting a sweet spot may be that this is a fine nib, but to me it feels a little more like a medium as it writes rather wet (the ink I used was Kobe's Wadimasaki Blue). To try and give you some idea of what the nib is like, I would compare it in smoothness to the Conklin Mark Twain, although it doesn't feel nearly as stiff as that.

 

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Apologies for the nasty paper!

 

Now for the niggles - and they are just that for me anyway. They both concern the cap. The cap is large - which I don't mind at all - but it is heavy. For some people I could see this being an annoyance, especially if like me you like to post your pen when writing. Unposted the pen feels a little on the light side, but posting it makes it feel a little unbalanced too, with quite a bit of weight to the top. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but with continued use I have found that I have become quite used to it.

 

The other niggle is the interior of the cap. This one is a little more serious. The cap is lined on the inside with a metal insert, which is obviously what is providing such weight, but I have no idea why they didn't make it thinner. When capping the pen it screws in with a nicely cushioned feeling, but every now and again it is possible to snag the nib on the inner insert. I would be really annoyed if it were to damage the nib at some point, but I will have to remind myself to be cautious.

 

Overall I like the pen. It is beautiful and understated and writes very nicely. To me the niggles are just that - niggles. I would recommend it to anyone with the added caveats about the cap. Even if I had bought this pen at full retail price I would not have been disappointed, it's a very stylish and good pen but for some the niggles I have might be of greater concern.

 

9/10

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Nice review. I too, do not have any Montegrappa pens in my collection but this specific model is one I have looked at repeatedly. Now I am even more curious. :)

 

Thank you for taking the time to review it.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry to resurrect this, but I thought it was important information I should share.

It seems the rose gold plating on this pen is extremely thin. It has worn away in several places and is very noticeable. The worst areas are the clip, the crown at the top of the cap and the ring at the base of the cap. The plating everywhere else looks sound, but this is still very disappointing and the plating loss makes the pen look ugly. Thought I better include this just in case anyone is ever considering a purchase.

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It's a great shame the pen has not worn well, but I very much appreciate your thoughtful nature in revisiting this thread and flagging it up.

 

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  • 10 months later...

I received mine in Black and Palladium. I am yet to ink it up. It feels quite good in the hand. The design kind of reminds me of the Conway Stewart Marlborough.

 

I intentionally stayed away from the gold trims thanks to the warning by the OP. Hopefully the Palladium trim wares better than the gold.

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I am pretty disappointed with this pen's nib because it just wouldn't write. The tines were pressed too close together out of the box.

I spent an hour spacing the tines apart and now it writes decently. I am comfortable tinkering with nibs so I was up for fixing it myself, otherwise I would have been quite frustrated. I really like the understated design but I like my pens to write well first.

The nib has a fair bit of tooth and writes a bit on the finer side of medium (I got a medium).

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I honestly think you have a faulty nib. The nib I have on mine is extremely smooth, although it does have a very tight sweet spot. It's up there amongst one of the best steel nibs I own and is quite a wet writer; not at all dry.

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  • 4 months later...

I experienced the exact same problem as steve, the nib was unusable out of the box.

Anybody knows if the nib and feed are friction fit?

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I experienced the exact same problem as steve, the nib was unusable out of the box.

Anybody knows if the nib and feed are friction fit?

 

Yes and no. The nib and the feed are actually friction fit into a collar which was quite tightly screwed into the section on my pen. It can be unscrewed out just like a JoWo nib unit on many pens. I just pulled mine out, adjusted it and pushed it back in. The fit is quite tight though so I had to spend some time trying to wiggle the nib out.

 

I would recommend pulling it out carefully and slowly if you plan on adjusting it yourself. If you're not comfortable adjusting or tuning nibs, either send it back to Montegrappa or a nibmeister to fix it for you.

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  • 2 months later...

Has anyone else noticed the same issue Steve had in his pen - gold plating disappearing? I like the design and everything so much, I was about to buy it (until I noticed Steve's post). So just want to know if this pen has thin plating (that eventually disappears) or his was a defective one?

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Has anyone else noticed the same issue Steve had in his pen - gold plating disappearing? I like the design and everything so much, I was about to buy it (until I noticed Steve's post). So just want to know if this pen has thin plating (that eventually disappears) or his was a defective one?

 

 

I did not have trouble with the plating, mine are palladium plated. So even if the plating is thin and wearing out, I can't tell. I have a couple of these pens now and they are solid pens. The only disappointment was the nib which I have replaced on mine with gold and titanium nibs. The feed on this pen is very wet and generous. They are very classy and elegant looking pens.

 

I'd recommend buying the models with palladium plating if you are worried about the gold plating.

 

I have written a review for this pen on my blog if you want to check it out.

Edited by s_t_e_v_e
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TassoBarbasso

 

Yes and no. The nib and the feed are actually friction fit into a collar which was quite tightly screwed into the section on my pen. It can be unscrewed out just like a JoWo nib unit on many pens. I just pulled mine out, adjusted it and pushed it back in. The fit is quite tight though so I had to spend some time trying to wiggle the nib out.

 

I would recommend pulling it out carefully and slowly if you plan on adjusting it yourself. If you're not comfortable adjusting or tuning nibs, either send it back to Montegrappa or a nibmeister to fix it for you.

Montegrappa seems to have huge issues with the latest batches of Bock nibs they got. I have tried three, and they were all utterly horrible. By far my worst writers. No ink flow at all at the beginning; only after a lot of work they get usable, but still deeply unpleasant. I sent for repair to Montegrappa and the result was barely any better. Avoid.

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I purchased a Ducale pre-owned and noticed that the plating on the nib was flaking off in several places. It is mostly cosmetic as the pen is as smooth as any of my others. The rest of the gold trim is in perfect condition. Just my $.02USD

Pat Barnes a.k.a. billz

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Montegrappa seems to have huge issues with the latest batches of Bock nibs they got. I have tried three, and they were all utterly horrible. By far my worst writers. No ink flow at all at the beginning; only after a lot of work they get usable, but still deeply unpleasant. I sent for repair to Montegrappa and the result was barely any better. Avoid.

 

I am not surprised that the repair didn't fix the issue. I wonder who is in charge of Montegrappa's nib QC, if there is anyone at all. I threw a rant out on Instagram about the nibs and got this response:

 

for any quality issue, please contact: after.sales@montegrappa.com. We stand behind our products.

 

I put an OMAS 18K nib on one and a bock titanium nib on the other, couldn't have been happier. They're some of my best writers now :)

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