Body Material: Copper
Section: Brushed stainless steel
Nib material: Steel
Cap: Screw on
Length (capped): 137.3 mm/5.40"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 127.9 mm/5.03"
Length (posted): 155.0 mm/6.10"
Barrel Diameter: 9.8 - 13.2 mm/0.38" - 0.52"
Section Diameter: 10.3 - 11.0 mm/0.40" - 0.43"
Weight (all): 52 g
Weight (cap): 20 g
Weight (body): 32 g
Weight (Cup): 158 g
Fill type: Standard international cartridge/converter
Price: $375.00 USD
Where to buy: Pen Chalet
Discount code for 10% off: GOURMETPENS
This is my very first Montegrappa - I have never used or reviewed another one. Montegrappa shipped this pen and mug to me directly, and it was very securely packaged, and very enticing.
The fountain pen and mug were beautifully presented. The Copper Mule included a copper mug. The mug is stored in a firm heather grey/peppered box. The outside is copper-printed with various things that are worth the read. It gives some grappa and company history! You'll also find the Montegrappa Mule logo. The mug was wrapped in tissue paper, so it arrived pristine. Most importantly, Montegrappa includes a Montegrappa Mule recipe card!
The Fortuna Copper Mule has a classy, curvy shape, tapering towards the end of the barrel. Both ends are blunt and flat, with slightly rounded edges. the finial is a metal emblem with the 1912 logo. The brushed silver plated clip is attached through a snug cut out on the cap. It is short and simple, angled into a crest at the center with a rolling ball at the end.
NIB & PERFORMANCE
The steel nib is large, and fits the pen well. It is brushed steel with a geometric design engraved on it, which matches the boxes. It is also engraved with Montegrappa. It has a single slit and a round breather hole.
The tines were slightly misaligned and I found the nib quite dry and a little bit scratchy. Ink flow was too dry to comfortably write with the pen so I had to adjust it slightly - basically aligning the tines with a fingernail. This is something even a new user can do - it's just a matter of getting them symmetrical. Nothing complicated. Realigning the tines got rid of the scratchy feeling. It still had a fair amount of feedback but I don't find it unpleasant. It's a noisy nib with a tactile feeling. I prefer wetter nibs so I made this one a little wetter. It is a pretty fine medium, which is unusual for Western nib sizes. Drying times were average.
The impression this pen's writing experience gives me is that it was tuned to be a conservative writer - ink flow was on the dry side, with feedback, fast drying times, and for use in shorter notes. Since I like broader, juicier nibs, I decided to adjust it slightly. I found it more enjoyable to write with when it was slightly wetter. I feel like this writing experience is more like an Aurora nib than a Visconti/OMAS nib, which in my experience have been very wet, soft, and juicy, relative to the Aurora/Montegrappa.
If I had dipped this nib in store, I wouldn't take it home. I'm pretty bummed it didn't blow me away, but that's ok. I want something wetter and juicier with a touch more softness. Since I've written this review, I have used another Montegrappa steel fine nib and it's so much more pleasant - softer and much smoother. I wonder if this has something to do with the nib finish/type of nib?
The clip is quite stiff and snug, but it can be slid on and off papers, pouches, and pockets using the rolling ball clip. It is a heavy pen but the tension of the clip holds it in place pretty well.
As the pen is copper, it will leave behind the smell of pennies on your hand! In addition, patina can have a slightly tacky feeling. With the help of two people, I have polished the patina off the pen with the supplied cloth - it took awhile and some serious rubbing. It was quite hilarious to watch, so it's not super easy to do without any chemicals, but it can be done.
PROS & CONS
This has been an interesting experience. The packaging and presentation of this pen is luxurious and elegant. The copper mug to go along with the Montegrappa Mule is extremely cool, and adds a lot of fun to the pen. As I said, I don't drink, but I have found many uses for it.
The pen is beautiful, well made, and matches the mug perfectly. I love the design choices, especially on the nib. I am surprised the pen is tuned to be so dry and fine, and that it has so much feedback. After aligning the tines, I did not find it an unpleasant experience, just different from the ones I typically use. I actually found that when the pen was a little wetter, the weight of the pen makes it almost effortless to write with. I think you have to like this type of writing experience to truly enjoy this pen as a writer. Personally, I wouldn't buy a pen with this type of writing experience, although I'd be sorely tempted by the pen itself and the neat cup. Do you have this pen? What has your nib been like?
The copper is lovely - beautiful and it certainly develops into a unique writing instrument.