Perhaps I’m a little melancholy this evening… But the recent passing of Leonard Nimoy (aka Mr Spock – RIP) has got me reminiscing over the Original Star Trek series I first watched as a boy. You remember don’t you? The time long before Jean Luc Picard and the prime directive, when a starship captain like James Tiberius Kirk could wrestle a Gorn with impunity and have a girl on every planet… The good old days, when things were simple. Don’t get me wrong I like the other series, but the original series is to me the ‘first among equals’.
What has this to do with a fountain pen review you ask? Absolutely nothing… but you have to start somewhere don’t you? Although today’s pen is the Monteverde Prima, a name which comes from the word primus also meaning first. This is an affordable, uncomplicated fountain pen that sits squarely in that difficult to fill £40-50 bracket, but more of that later. I’ve had this pen for a while and had the time to give it a good going over.
Description: The Prima is a good-sized pen that is available in a number of colours, though a couple of the originals have been discontinued. The one I possess is called the tiger-eye for obvious reasons, it having a pearlescent orange base with blue and black swirls. Each Prima is made using hand-made European grade acrylic resin on the cap and barrel, and these are accented with chrome and black fittings. The base of the barrel and top of the cap are black and there is a slim black strip near the centre band. The centre band itself is chrome with ‘Monteverde USA’ on it.
The fountain pen fills with standard international ink cartridges or by converter (one of which is included). It has a fairly large and attractive stainless steel nib, which I like, and these are available in fine, medium, broad and stub sizes.
Dimensions:The Prima weighs in at 28g, of which the cap contributes about 10g. It is 134mm long capped, 154mm posted and the barrel has a diameter of 13mm.
On Test: Having had some good use of this pen I am pleased to be able to commend it.It comes in the standard green Monteverde faux leather box and comes with a couple of ink cartridges and a screw fit converter which I really like as it adds a sense of security when fitted in the pen.
In use the pen has performed well with the ‘M’ nib writing well from the outset, I have since smoothed it a little and it is now like glass. The ink flows well and it is a pleasure to use. It is wide enough to be comfortable in the hand over a sustained period of time, and is neither to light or too heavy.
I have had no quality issues at all with any of the parts of the pen, it looks as good today as it did when first unboxed.
I like this pen because it sits in a bracket that is often troublesome. What sort of pen does one try after say a Pilot MR (metropolitan) or Lamy Safari/AL Star? Sometimes the step up to £100+ pens can be too steep. I think this pen fills that gap nicely. It is not the only choice obviously but it is a good option nonetheless.
Summary: On the whole I find this pen to be a good mix of the classic and modern, its styling combines colourful resins with some more classically styled fittings. I sometimes find some Monteverde models, like the ‘Jewelria” for example, a little too, how shall I say? Feminine? But the Prima isn’t. In many ways the Prima epitomises the modern, reasonably priced fountain pen. It is attractive, uncomplicated and functional. It seems well made and offers a pleasurable writing experience in a good price range.
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