Current Most Popular Post

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pen review - Monte Verde Invincia Stylus

The Monte Verde Invincia Stylus is the Stealth Fighter of fountain pens.

It's heavy, sturdy, and most importantly - stealthy.

This is one incredibly cool pen, and I've got a lot of good things to say about it. Get ready for another big review!

I'll give the Monte Verde Invincia Stylus a solid 81/100.

The Monte Verde Invincia Stylus is yet another pen that I would have to classify as a "guy pen". It looks tough! A few people have made remarks about this being the pen of choice if Batman were a FP user. :) You'll see why as you read through the review. Let's get into the little details:

Body Material: Metal - brass I do believe
Price: $75.00 - $90.00 (I got mine for $76.00 + shipping)
Nib Material: Steel, titanium coated!
Nib Size: F, M, B, and Stub (I believe it's a 1.1mm)
Cap Type: Screw-cap, postable on body
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge/Converter
Overall Weight: 40 g / 1.41 oz
Cap Weight: 10 g / 0.35 oz
Body Weight: 30 g / 1.06 oz
Overall Length Capped: 140 mm / 5.51 in
Overall Length Posted: 155 mm /
Body Length (not including nib): 116.5 mm / 4.58 in
Nib Length: 22.5 mm / 0.89 mm
Body Length (including nib): 139 mm / 5.47 in
Cap Length: 61.5 mm / 2.42 in
Cap Diameter w/o Clip: 14.5 mm / 0.57 in
Cap Diameter w/Clip: 18 mm / 0.71 in
Body Diameter at Section: 14 mm / 0.55 in

The good:
  • Unique design - definitely one-of-a-kind
  • It's cool :)
  • Capacitive tip for use with touchscreen devices
  • The only pen I've ever seen with a full black body, and nib!
  • Screw in converter - I really like that as opposed to a friction fit one

The bad:
  • Grip section is a tad thin for me, and uncomfortably shaped as well
  • The finish on the cap-lip could potentially be prone to chipping

The ugly:
  • The shape of the clip is just not my thing - sorry :)
  • The fake rivets in the clip...
  • I'm not quite a fan of the stacked-ring design on the top and bottom of the pen...

With the overview complete, we shall move on to our detailed categories!

Well, this pen has a lot of design going on. It's not a simple pen - it's quite unique. There are some design elements I like, and others that I really don't care for. Let's take a look, shall we:

So here's the pen. Matte black finish (brushed - a lot like the Lamy 2000)

This is the clip I spoke of in the overview. It's just not for me. To sharp of a curve for my taste.
My real problem with it was the choice to put fake rivets on it! Seems like a mean thing to me, to put ugly fake rivets on a beautiful pen.

The nib is one of kind on this pen! Really great imprint, and seriously - it's titanium coated to give it a black coloration. How awesome is that!
You can also see the grip section here. I'm not so into the shape, but it's not ugly either.

The imprint is tastefully placed on a thick "cap-band".  The cap band is nothing more than a variation in the finish of the pen. It's smooth and shiny as opposed to the rest of the pen which is brushed.

 This triple-stacked ring design is not my personal favorite thing. It's fine, but I'd prefer a cleaner look as opposed to this, which appears a bit jumbled.

Overall I would give this pen a 17/25 for design.

The overall pen looks great, but some of the individual features could be tweaked in my personal opinion. I love the brushed finish, the cap band, and the nib. But the stacked rings, section, and clip could all use some refinement for me to really love the looks of this pen.

Size and weight:
Time for the subjective review. :) I'm going to keep this short and quick, so I don't suck up a lot of time and stuff that's not too important.

This pen is quite heavy. Heaver than my VP, and my TWSBI, and any of my other pens. It's all metal, and the barrel is quite thick. I don't mind heavy pens, but if you do, you may want to factor this in if you're considering this pen.

As far as sizing is concerned - this should help you out:

Left to right:
Vanishing Point, Monte Verde Invincia Stylus, TWSBI 540

Monte Verde and TWSBI 540

As you can see, this pen is almost the exact same as the TWSBI 540. It's very, very close in size, but not in weight.

I will give this pen a personal score of 20/25 for size/weight.

I like the the way it feels in hand while I'm writing with it, but it is just a tad bulky for carrying around. Especially if you want to clip it a thin shirt pocket...

This pen has a lot to offer in the way of functionality. That's the reason I bought it. We'll start out with this pens main selling feature:

The capacative tip: It's just too cool. Period. Imagine a fountain pen, that suddenly becomes a very stylish-stylus (say that fast ten-times) for your touchscreen device! The capacitive tip (for those who don't know), is a rubbery piece on the cap of the pen that is able to interact with touchscreen devices, just like your finger. This allows for easy use when you're wearing gloves, your hands are dirty (and your a smudge-OCD freak like me), or when you need more precision than you finger offers.

How well does it work? Very well. I was impressed with it. I will admit though - I wish it was just a touch more sensitive (pun intended). I find that I have to use a small amount of force with it to create a "connection" with the screen of my device. With my finger, I just flick and tap away with absolutely no effort. This requires some getting used to, as well as a little concentration.

This is the capacitive tip of the Monte Verde Invincia Stylus.

It's quite squishy, and feels hollow inside.

Here I am unlocking my iPod Touch with the pen. 

All things considered, the capactive tip was the selling point for me, and it's definitely not a let-down. It performs as I expected, and it works exceptionally well for my purposes. Let's move on to the filling system now:

Filling System: Cartridge/Converter. Not my favorite, as you all know by now. Still, this one is a level above the rest, as I'll explain here in a few moments. I'm okay with the c/c, since the pen has other features to combat the lack of a "good" filling system. Also, I've grown to like the c/c filling system more in the last few months. I still love piston fillers more, but there are definitely benefits to a good c/c filler.

Here's the converter. Quite typical, though I'm glad the chose a metal housing for the mechanism.

Here's where I really like this converter - it's one of the few that is made to be a screw in, not friction fit. I really prefer the screw-in converters. I feel they are more secure, and will not accidentally leak ink. This pen also has the amazing ability to accept a replacement converter without threads! Genius-designed, eh? It takes both threaded and friction.

Monte Verde was smart, and chose to make the inner-cap threads plastic. This prevents the carrel threads from getting worn down, and having the underlying brass show through.
The section really bugs me on this pen. I did try to get used to it, but the shape is rather uncomfortable for me. I do not know why they chose this design, but the sloped grip really forces you to squeeze, which slides your fingers down further till you hit that little ring at the end. It's a bit like gripping a thin pencil, which I do not enjoy. This is a not a deal breaker for me, but I would've appreciated a more standard grip-design.

IMPORTANT: It should be noted that there is one design flaw in the functionality of this pen. The finish on the cap lip is prone to chipping. How bad? Hard to tell. When I first got my pen out of the box, the cap lip was chipped up pretty good.

I can happily say however that YAFA pen service (Monte Verde's US distributor) is absolutely amazing. I told them about the problem, and no questions asked - I had a new cap in a week. The new cap is holding up very well.

Overall I will give this pen a 20/25 in functionality.

It's good, but it could be better I think. Then again, I could say the same for any pen. :)

The nib:
The most important part of the pen right? Good, because this pen really excels here!

I can say with confidence, that this is the best out-of-the-box nib I have used all year long. It's that good. I've purchased and sold quite a few pens this year, but this one has the best writing experience out of the box. I took it out, filled it, and began writing a smooth, consistent, 5/10 line. A tad dry maybe, but that's preference, not a problem.

I chose a fine nib for my pen, but it writes like a F/M to me. Still, it's a smooth nib, and unlike some other pens I've reviewed recently, this one did not need a bunch of work to get it flowing right! Good job Monte Verde!

Not only is this the coolest look nib I've used this year - it's also the best writing one!

This nib is smooth, consistent-flowing, and and fun, right out of the box, with no tuning required.

It would be a shame to give this nib any less than 24/25!

It's a fabulous nib, and if you're the type that "chases the nib", then this one is for you. I've heard that the 1.1mm stub is also exceptionally good. On top of how good it writes, it also happens to be such a good/cool looking nib.

Overall, I think this is a great pen, but I have mixed feelings on keeping it in my collection. Such a great nib deserves to be on a more comfortable grip section. This pen feels like just a few design changes would take it from great, to absolutely incredible.

There is a good chance I will part ways with mine, in order to fund other pen purchases. But whatever I do, I will certainly enjoy the time I have spent with it. It is a cool pen, a great writer, and it has that convenient capacative tip.

If you don't mind the funky grip section ,and you like the design, I'd say buy this one! You'll love the nib, I guarantee, and the rest of the pen should meet or exceed what you're expecting. It's a quality pen, and it's relatively inexpensive too.

I purchased mine from I recommend them, though I have no affiliation. Norman provided me with excellent service, fast shipping, and a great product at a great price.

Let's close this out with a "cool-closing-photo" :)

I hope you enjoyed the review! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the pen, and/or the review. Is this something you'd buy? What do you think of the capacative tip?

Lastly, if you want to help encourage me to keep on writing more reviews, do me a favor and subscribe to the blog. It's free, easy, beneficial to you, and it really makes my day to see that people are actually reading these posts I put my time into. Thank you! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment