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Battle Of Italians: Montegrappa Vs. Leonardo


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At the risk of sounding like SBRE Brown...I'm interested in a written Shootout of the Italians! I'd like to hear from people who have tried both the Montegrappa pens (especially the Elmo) and the Leonardo Officina Furore, both with steel nibs. I am keen to give myself incentive to finish a book proposal, and a lovely new pen awaiting my future might do the trick.




I've got an average sized woman's hand (a 7+), and a history of tendon issues, so I prefer thick grips, though not heavy pens, with wet nibs and lots of ink capacity. (Current favs are Ranga ebonite in the 3 (although my other Rangas are bone dry), Opus 88 demonstrator and any of my 6 TWSBI Ecos (if I could marry into the TWSBI family, I would). I do not like thin or heavy metal pens (ejected all Jinhao's.)


I love italic nibs, but might opt for a bold.


Looking forward to hearing from you all.

Edited by ssata
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there are many very different Montegrappa pens, some are really nice, I have a few, but if you are talking of the new Elmo, regretfully that model (which I do not own) is out from start for me, due to the relevant step down barrel to section.

I hold pens quite high up and that step would immediately be under my fingers... (you may hold your pens differently).


Ref. Leonardo, they are very nice pens, if you are comparing with the Ranga 3 the Leonardo Momento zero standard size should be fine.

You have many finishes to choose from too.

The steel nib is good in my experience, I enjoy broader nibs and their B is very smooth and a tad bouncy too.

The Furore, if you prefer the sigar shape, is essentially the same pen (section and body) with differently shaped ends.

Since the barrel tapers you feel a slight difference in the hand between the two models, but I really like both.

The section is somewhat oddly shaped (when compared to the straight section of the Ranga 3) but I find it comfortable, and I'm usually put off by oddly shaped sections.

In terms of weight both (Furore and Momento) are reasonably light pens (the Ranga 3 is probably slightly lighter being ebonite), not heavy surely.

The Momento Grande is considerably heavier although well balanced.

Look for the Leonardo thread, you'll see many of their offerings shown.

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happy to share my experience,

I'm actually quite a fan of Ranga pens too and own quite a number.

It surprises me you mention your other Rangas are dry, most of mine have generous flow, but I do like broad nibs.

What other Ranga do you own, what nibs do they mount, are they converter pens?

It might be that your nib tines are a bit too tight.


Regarding the Leonardo Furore, the Blue Emerald is a fantastic colour, I have one too! You would not go wrong on this one...



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I have two Leonardo Momento zero's and really like them. I didn't think I would like the odd shaped section but it's comfortable. I'm interested to hear how the Elmo compares. I've been thinking about getting one of them.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi everyone! I've been mask sourcing (Hong Kong to US), a not-quite hobby that has nearly replaced time to obsess about fountain pens. I have to say, I bought a Leonardo Momento Zero (from Pen Chalet) and returned it. Did not like the step down at all. (A pity, since the price was fantastic.) It also felt heavy. Given that, will the Furore feel the same?


My trouble are growths on the side of certain finger joints, such as the inside of my middle finger. and the base of my thumb. This is forcing me to change my grip and rendering many pens uncomfortable. (At some point, I'll give away my lot of FPR Himalayas; cannot bear to hold them now.) I'm currently debating about the Montegrappa Elmo and a Franklin Christoph. https://www.franklin-christoph.com/collections/fountain-pens/products/model-46-xlvi-fp-blue-violet (I have a thing for purple.) Decided I need a post lockdown -- ok, maybe a mid-lockdown -- present.


(Note: I just checked and the .410 grip on the Frank-C is just too thin.)


As for the Rangas: I have a fantastic 3 in baikul, which is wondrous for arthritis, and two 4Cs, which are less comfortable now. Asked Mr. Ranga to make me an orange ice acrylic in the 3 and he said yes. Yea!

Edited by ssata
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I bought a Leonardo Momento Zero ... and returned it. Did not like the step down at all. It also felt heavy. Given that, will the Furore feel the same?


The two models are of similar weight. My eyes adore the design of the Momento Zero, I really consider it to be a beautiful pen. And a very good pen. But over time my hands have discovered that the MZ is not the right pen for me. It made me cramp up after a while and did not feel comfortable. My Furore, however, fits me like a glove. The difference in shape really makes a difference to my hand. That’s very subjective and you won’t know if it’s the right pen for you until you try one.

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Both brands have experienced craftsmen producing very nice pens as well as very good businessmen selling them.

Quality (generally) is not an issue, and without any doubt both companies have strong marketing and pretty good sales strategies.

We're at a point when it seems almost as every single trader and pen business has the LP lineup in offer, and every single model is being reviewed by almost every single Vlogger/Blogger... MG is surely not falling behind.


We could probably all agree that the two are incomparable in terms of tradition and history, but in my opinion the real issue with the two is the pricing.

(btw, the two are not isolated cases unfortunately)


Many pens produced by both companies are made out of great and difficult materials, but most of the models are made out of machined turned resin fitted with steel nibs and plastic feeders.

I am by no means a strictly vintage celluloid and gold nib snob, some of my favorite pens are made of "common materials" and dress steel, but most of the pens produced by these companies are being sold at prices that I find difficult to justify. Just a few years back, this would be unacceptable.


What bothers me most is that out there there's an excellent offer from many good old and also by some new companies falling back mainly because of the lesser marketing efforts.


This is the main reason why I don't get the some of the very nice latest MG editions as often as I used to not so long ago.

As per Leonardo, besides the fact that the models are a bit too reminiscent of the old Omas ones, this is the main reason why I haven't purchased one yet.

Current modern daily users: Montegrappa Miya, Omas AM87, S.T.Dupont D-Line, Stipula Etruria Tuscany Dreams, Tibaldi Modello 60.

Current vintage daily users: Aurora 98p, Big Red Lucky Curve, MB622, P51, P75, Pelikan NN400.

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... most of the models are made out of machined turned resin fitted with steel nibs and plastic feeders ...

... most of the pens produced by these companies are being sold at prices that I find difficult to justify. Just a few years back, this would be unacceptable ...

... there's an excellent offer from many good old and also by some new companies falling back mainly because of the lesser marketing efforts ...


With a bit of shopping around, a Momento Zero can be had for approximately 155 euros. A similar amount will get you an excellent but arguably boring plastic Japanese pen with a gold nib (Sailor Pro Gear Slim, Pilot C74, Platinum 3776, for example). If I had to choose, I’d certainly go for the Japanese option. However, Leonardo’s pens are extraordinarily pretty, in the hand they feel much more high-end than they are and the steel nibs are soft, bouncy and pleasant. The pens write very well indeed. Speaking of established brands, how about the Visconti van Gogh? Priced around 190 euros and having a much less pleasant steel nib compared to the Leonardos. But they’re beautifully designed pens... In the end, as always it’s about where you want to spend your money on.

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  • 5 months later...

I'm reviving this thread for a minute because I just got an Elmo, and I have had a Leonardo Furore for a while, so I thought I might have something to add to the discussion (though I imagine that OP has long since made up their mind.)


The Furore is longer (although the pointy ends don't serve any purpose except esthetic, as far as I can tell) but also fatter in the middle, although the grip sections are very comparable.


As for how the pens feel in the hand, Leonardo has done something that I didn't notice before with the Furore, they have ameliorated the feel of the barrel step-down with a rounded metal ring, so it doesn't feel sharp; also it is almost 4 mm further back, giving you plenty of room to grip in front of the step down if it still bothers you. And when you cap the pen, that rounded ring becomes a decorative element (there are three other rings: two narrow cap bands, and a faux blind cap ring near the end of the barrel). The Elmo step-down is also accentuated with a metal band, but it is sharp rather than rounded, so the step-down may bother you more than the Furore's does. (I should mention that step-downs typically don't bother me at all, so I'm not a good judge of what's better or worse.)


The Furore appears to be entirely made of resin except for the metal furniture, while there seems to be more metal on the insides of the Elmo. As a result of this it weights around around 4 grams more than the Furore. The Elmo has metal-on-resin threads in two places (cap to barrel and section to barrel) which I gather some people think is a bad idea.


As to appearance, of course that is very subjective to the buyer, but for the Elmo the only materials that I like are the limited editions available only through Goulet Pens, and they cost $37 more than the regular edition materials (exception: the purple LE is currently on deep discount).


On the whole, I think the regular size Furore comes out ahead on most comparisons to the Elmo, at roughly the same price ($199) depending possibly on where you buy it.

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Here's a weird thing about my new Elmo, it has some small areas in the resin material where it's clear and you can see through it. I don't think this is intentional, it's not that kind of pattern. I'm assuming some bad resin (rod or sheet, I don't know). I've notified the vendor, haven't heard back yet. But clearly a failure of QC on Montegrappa's part.

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