Monteverde Impressa review

Impressa in gun metal red.

This is a groovy pen. The Monteverde Impressa is one of the coolest designs to come out in a sea of derivative designs made only to look like pens of the past. Monteverde is one of the only pen companies trying anything different. And this is really good. They actually have three colours of the pen, but I only have the gunmetal colour. Here are a few of the others.

Impressa in black and rose gold.

Impressa in pearl silver and blue.

Impressa in boring. I mean, er black and chrome.

I was initially attracted to that sweet rose gold pen, but then I took a look at my current pen collection, and it’s basically all black and gold or silver and gold on the flighters. I could use something different. So, I went with the gunmetal thing. Really nice.

I actually got a gift card for Amazon from my dad to buy this pen as a birthday present! Swell! Unfortunately, it was an Amazon card (he doesn’t know it’s not a good place for pen stuff), but luckily, one of everyone’s favourite pen stores, Pen Chalet, is a seller on Amazon, so I was still able to get it, and at a decent price.

Quick review:

Performance: 8/10. To quote myself, right now,

Damn good. -Funkmon

Minor skipping, but mostly due to the cartridge. When the cartridge isn’t in and I’m using the converter, it writes great. A smooth writer with enough feedback to let you know you’re not sliding along on greased butter, but one that doesn’t have much appreciable friction. The broad nib is slightly thin for a broad, but it’s still a little bigger than a medium. In the writing sample’s second page, I drew a few lines with different pens so you can see the line width. It’s not wet, but not dry, so that’s good enough for me, even though I like fat wet lines.

impressaline

Left to right: Jinhao X450 Knox B nib, Jinhao 1200 Knox B nib, Hero 9029 F nib, Parker Frontier B nib, Nemosine Singularity B nib, Parker Frontier M nib, ANOTHER Frontier with a B nib, and the Impressa. With a B nib.

Appearance: 10/10. There ain’t no fountain pen that looks like this. As previously stated, Monteverde is playing with what we expect a fountain pen to look like, that is, a 1930s Cadillac in black. Most of the time this happens, we get some weird ass colours, which are fun, but you couldn’t take them to a business meeting and be taken seriously, and, even then, they still tend to look funny.

But, the Impressa is not like that. It is still very different from others, and is still passable as an adult pen. One of the most interesting design features is the fact that the cap is square. This is not just for aesthetics, either. In fact, it is exceedingly useful: the pen won’t roll down the table. And, since it only sloooooowly goes into the square, it holds, feels, and looks like a normal pen. But a cool one. In addition, something that doesn’t come across in the stock photos (mostly due to the nature of the lightboxes in which these photos are taken) is the finish on the pen. It’s stupid shiny. It’s almost a mirror finish…but not an annoying one. The subdued gunmetal grey keeps it from being like the back of a semi truck on a sunny day, and keeps it to a gentle just waxed Mercedes shininess.

And it comes in a cool box.

The Monteverde Impressa box. Inside is satin, outside faux green leather. Very nice.

The Monteverde Impressa box. Inside is satin, outside faux green leather. Very nice.

And the nib is cool.

That black nib sure is cool. Look at those mountains! A little heavy on the branding, though.

That black nib sure is cool. Look at those mountains! A little heavy on the branding, though.

This is a cool pen.

Build Quality: 10/10. This pen feels solid as a rock. The clip is spring loaded but feels like it would be at home clipping onto a 2×4, and the pen itself feels like if you needed to, you could affix it to either end of a snapped in half driveshaft and run your car with the thing. It weighs about 35 grams by my scale, and it feels great. A nice heft to it.

The cap is a friction fit cap that sits flush with the pen, but it only goes on with a whisper of an effort. I could get this cap onto the pen if the pen were across the room by sending out good vibes and a stern look. Despite this, the cap doesn’t fall off willy nilly like some of my Duke pens do. Monteverde has managed to thread that cap fixing needle. But, you’re thinking, it sits flush with the pen…what about that step down? Well, Monteverde has also managed to make that not so bad. I wear XXXL motorcycle gloves, so most pens are small, and on this one, I kind of write on the step. But, it’s not uncomfortable, and I don’t cramp up or anything. So that’s pretty good. Shaking the pen doesn’t produce any rattling either.

It’s almost the exact same size as a Jinhao x450, which is similar in the weight department as well. It is much heavier and larger than a Parker Frontier.

The Monteverde Impressa (top), next to a Jinhao X450, one of the closest pens I have to it in weight, and my Parker Frontier Demonstrator, my favourite pen.

The Monteverde Impressa (top), next to a Jinhao X450, one of the closest pens I have to it in weight, and my Parker Frontier Demonstrator, my favourite pen. The square cap sitting flush with the body of the pen can be easily seen here, and so too can its highly polished reflective finish. If the cylinder didn’t distort images so much, this pen could be used as a mirror.

Maintenance: 10/10. This pen takes international converters and cartridges. It came with two carts, one black and one blue (thank the lord), AND the converter. So, now we’re pretty much set with this thing. But, if I wanted to, I could use any of the other converters and cartridges I have with any ink I want!

What comes with the pen. The blue cart is in the pen right now.

What comes with the pen. The blue cart is in the pen right now.

I can use whatever I want! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I can use whatever I want! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

But, that’s not just it. This is a number 6 nib. That’s right! You can order some nibs from xfountainpens or Goulet and make this bad lad whatever you want it to be. To be fair, that black nib with the mountains on it is pretty fantastic, but it’s the options, man.

Value: 10/10. This one is hard. I didn’t know if it should be a nine or a ten. While yes, the other pens by the major manufacturers at this price point are pretty bad compared to the Impressa, if we take into account NOS discontinued pens, or some of the ones out of China, maybe it’s not that good. But, the fact is, if we look at the world’s worst pen, the Aventura, or an Al Star, or a Sheaffer 100 or an Urban or IM, or any other $40-$50 pen still extant, then this one is absolutely without match. It acts like a $100 pen. You cannot get a pen better than this for that money.

Overall (not an average): 9.7/10. This is a good pen. Not perfect, but really really good.

Some terrible writing:

impressareview1 impressareview2