A Flex Nib From Montegrappa
The Montegrappa Nazionale Marbled Green has arrived here with a very special Extra-Fine Flex nib - a Fine Flex nib is also available. The pen itself has the look and feel of the late 1920's with its marbled and iridescent barrel and cap. The simple sterling cap and barrel band and solid silver clip are a step above what would have been available in a vintage pen. They would have been plated brass. I am a big fan of minimal designs and good materials and this is one that makes my cut in that department.
As a piston-fill pen, the Nazionale has a feel unlike most others. When the piston barrel end-cap is turned, one feels a very faint ratcheting which serves to indicate that the piston is on the move. This is a good thing, as turning a piston unknowingly can result in unwanted ink. The size fits nicely in the hand with no need to post the cap. I find the extra weight of the silver clip makes the addition of the posted cap more weighty in the tail of the pen than I like, but others will have their own preferences.
But it is clearly the 14K nib that is the highlight here, similar in design to the ingenious FA nib on the Pilot Custom 912. By adding notches to reduce the strength of the tine near the end of the slit, each tine is allowed to be more flexible when pressed. The result is clearly a soft nib, easily multiplying the line width variation with pressure to three times the finer mark, from under .2mm to over .6mm. Unmodified, it does show shading and it is comfortable to control. It also serves as an excellent starting point for our Spencerian customization, approaching the FA nib itself in this respect.
Given that there are only 100 of these numbered and limited edition pens in each of the two tipping sizes, this one is not only fun to write with, but also sure to become a valued collectible. Montegrappa is to be lauded for producing a limited edition that combines innovative nib design with such a pleasing aesthetic approach.