This was a long overdue review that was inspired by a customer of ours that purchased this pen in a turquoise celluloid. I opened the box to make sure the nib size was correct before packaging it for shipment and was struck by the beauty of this pen. Feeling the weight and balance in my hand, I just had to review this pen.
First, a little bit about the pen and its maker : The Montegrappa Miya is manufactured in Italy from the same factory in Bassano del Grappa that has been producing fine pens since 1912. The barrel and cap material are made from hand-turned, precious celluloid. The contrast of vibrant blue shades is a marvel to behold in the light.
Sterling silver, not chrome or silver plating, is used for the clip, trim, Greek-key patterned center band and the front grip section. The material adds a higher amount of gleaming luster and it will certainly benefit from an occasional polishing, just like fine jewelery.
The presentation is also top notch. The pen rests on cream-colored, plush platform. The box and the interior have a leatherette or faux suede feel to them. Underneath the pen is a pull-out drawer, where you would normally find the complimentary ink cartridges and a warranty / instruction manual that also gives you a nostalgic look at the Montegrappa company.
The unique, precisely balanced shape of the pen was the first quality that really impressed me. It might not be as evident in the photography, but the part of the barrel leading toward the front grip section has a subtle curve. It connects with the sterling silver section with no lip or hard edge. That was the second design feature that impressed me. The third was the overall size and cap posting. With the cap posted on the back-end, the size and weight did not throw off the balance or writing comfort of the pen.
The nib is solid 18k gold that fills using cartridge or converter (provided with pen purchase). The fine nib that was used to test the pen was smooth (not very flexible) and gave a generous ink flow. My only aesthetic issue with the pen would be the heart-shaped breather hole that is on the nib. It immediately made me question whether this was a marketed ladies pen. Thankfully, I am secure enough in my masculinity to be accepting of that small detail.
- Writing Quality : 18k gold nib writes smoothly with a generous ink flow for a fine point. Designed for optimal writing comfort with a precisely balanced shape. (grade A)
- Aesthetic Quality : Visually stunning celluloid paired finished with polished sterling silver. Greek key pattern adds a classical flair to a bold look. (grade A)
- Utility : Cap posts well on the back-end without discomfort. Rotating sphere at the bottom of the clip slides and holds well when clipped to the pocket. Cap screws on and off smoothly. (grade A-)
- Price : Available in extra-fine, fine, medium or broad nib sizes for $495. True, this is a high price-point, but this has been the best time to own a Montegrappa in a while. Since ownership had changed hands over a year ago, prices have dropped across the board on all of their pen lines. Unfortunately, it will still be high for many pen aficionados. (grade B-)
Final Grade : A-
There are only a few occasions where I will say this, but the pen is definitely worth the price. Considering the celluloid, sterling silver and 18k solid gold used in the construction of this pen, one can easily see why the value would be in the hundreds. Materials and price aside, the pen writes extremely well and is designed with balance and writing comfort in mind, which is main reason why you should be looking to buy this pen.