Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Monteverde Jewelria Overview



In this Monteverde Jewelria video, I've included some time markers so you can jump right to the parts you want to see:
  • Unboxing (0:54)
  • Closer look/details of the pen (2:49)
  • Key features (4:22)
  • Comparison to other pens (7:30)
  • Inking up and writing with it (8:30)

The Monteverde Jewelria is a pen that was released in the summer of 2013, and was overshadowed a little bit by the subsequent release of the more popular Monteverde Intima. Well, it's time I gave the Jewelria the attention it deserves, and what better way to do that than to introduce you to two new finishes for the pen in carbon fiber!






Materials

The original three colors of the pen are black, brown, and green, which are turned cast acrylic acetate resin which are typically only seen in more expensive pens. Monteverde has brought these deep and attractive materials to a more affordable price range in several of their models now. The Prima, Intima, and Jewelria all have bright, pearlescent materials in $50ish pens that you typically only see in $100+ pens. But what's more impressive is that they've taken two new carbon fiber materials, a black and silver, and put them on the Jewelria and kept the price the same.

It should be noted that the silver CF pen isn't technically carbon fiber...true carbon fiber is made of carbon...which is black. This is some kind of silver/fiberglass material that is woven to look identical to a CF weave, but in silver. For marketing's sake they're calling it silver carbon fiber, and for the aesthetic function of this pen that's exactly what it is. The weight/strength benefit of real carbon fiber isn't utilized at all in this pen, it's purely aesthetic, so I just wanted to clarify the silver color to those of you who are hardcore CF fans. If you're hardcore into CF, then get the black one, that's the real deal.

Previously, carbon fiber pens were only available from Monteverde in the $100 list price ($80 retail) Invincias, but the Jewelria is a $70 list price ($56 retail) pen that has the same wrapped carbon fiber with a gloss finish. I am a retailer who sells these pens so please take my enthusiasm and excitement for these pens with that in mind, just know that I as a pen enthusiast genuinely get excited to see such innovations in a pen like this that I consider to be a great value.





Key Features

Some of the key features of the Monteverde Jewelria include:
  • Cast acrylic acetate resin or carbon fiber finish, great value in a pen in this price range
  • Stainless steel #6 nibs are large and write well, available in fine, medium, broad, and 1.1mm stub in both silver and black finish 
  • Nibs are easy to remove for cleaning/maintenance and swapping with other nib sizes
  • Nibs are sold separately from the pen, increasing the utility of a single pen
  • Very light, only 23g total weight and 12g in the pen body
  • Grip/body is thinner than most other MV pens, more comfortable in smaller hands
  • Cartridge/converter filling is easy to clean, and is standard international so you have lots of ink options
  • Converter is included with the pen, and is threaded which helps keep the grip on the converter when filling
  • Converter is easy to maintain and is inexpensive to replace if needed
  • Pen has sufficient 'bling' to it, without being gaudy. It's not understated, not overstated. Just stated.
  • The box/packaging is attractive and sturdy, and included a couple of ink cartridges to get you going

Not to view this pen through rose-colored glasses, I will also point out some things I see as potential drawbacks for the Jewelria:
  • The box is a bit big, and if you have several MV pens you'll have to store these somewhere
  • The pen is actually so light that some will perceive it to be 'cheap', it's about the weight of a Lamy Al-Star
  • Because the pen is fairly long, and much of the weight is in the cap (at the finial), the pen is back-weighted when posted, which some people don't like
  • The clip is a bit short, though it does get the job done
  • The pen isn't eyedropper convertible, so you'll be limited in your ink capacity to what a standard international cartridge/converter holds

My overall impression of this pen is that while it's not going to be my first go-to pen, I do greatly appreciate that it will be that for some of you. I actually didn't add one to my own personal collection when the original three colors came out, but I have set aside one of each of the carbon fiber versions for myself. This is a pen I can see carrying on me when I dress up a little bit, when I want to show someone a reason why a fountain pen should cost more than a ballpoint ;) This is a pen that looks more expensive than it really is.





Where to Buy

These pens are all available at Gouletpens.com, and in fact the carbon fiber ones are launching as an exclusive to our store. What can I say, we love carbon fiber ;) The pens have a list price of $70, and will be selling at our store for $56 in fine, medium, broad, and 1.1mm stub in black or silver color finish. The non-CF pens are available at any Monteverde retail that chooses to stock them.

I'd love to hear what you think of the Jewelria, if you have one or if you're just seeing it for the first time. Please share what you think in the comments!

Write On,
Brian Goulet

4 comments:

  1. Are these pens USA made? I see the "USA" mark on the picture above.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have a few probably very dumb questions - do carbon fiber pens always come in a weave pattern? Is it not possible to have other patterns? Other than being a very strong material, what other benefits does it have over other materials? Thanks. Maybe these can be questions for the Goulet Q&A?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I seriously doubt it. I heard the company behind the Monteverde brand is named Yaffa, and they're notorious for making these pens in China. I think someone in the USA plugs the converter in before shipping, therefore it passes for "assembled in the USA". Maybe someone of credible authority can set this story straight - if I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the carbon fibre in pens is woven because this is aesthetically pleasing and relatively easy way to manufacture it. Other patterns are possible. Long fibres can be aligned so they are all in the same direction (harder to do: you need a way to hold them straight while you add the epoxy) or you can have very short carbon fibres that are aligned or randomly oriented (not as pretty).

    The main advantages of using carbon fibre in a composite material besides strength is its light weight. It is mainly an engineering material. There is no reason that a fountain pen needs to be that strong. I think mostly carbon fibre is used for its novelty and appearance.

    ReplyDelete