I've had the Montegrappa NeroUno on my radar for over five years now, ever since I tried it at one of the first editions of the Tilburg Pen show I ever went to. The super classy design and solid construction, the unique inlaid nib, down to something as trivial as the smoothness of the cap threads, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, at that time, my pen budget didn't even come anywhere near its' retail price, so I slowly forgot about it. Until recently! A few months back, it came to my attention that Montegrappa was about to change the nib design to match the rest of their current collection. That was about all it took for me to get one.
The Montegrappa NeroUno has been living in my 'daily carry' for the last four or five months now. In fact, it hasn't been uninked for a second, which is quite rare if you're like me and switch pens every five seconds!
|L to R: Conid Minimalistica, Pelikan Souverän M805, Montegrappa NeroUno, Lamy Imporium, Lamy 2000, Montblanc M|
The nib is somewhat of a difficult story, but not because of the way it performs... As I mentioned earlier on, Montegrappa was supposed to gradually phase out the old nibs and transition to a new nib design with the characteristic montegrappa octagon pattern on the nib face, yet so far there's little or no info on wether that's actually happening. So far I can't find retailers that explicitly sell the new version, but that's a good thing because I honestly like the old design a lot better.
All the design features together, while clunky at first sight, actually make for a really attractive, elegant pen overall. The nib plays a big part in the design of the pen, which is why I'm glad that I got one with the old nib design.
Performance-wise, the Nerouno is definitely a reliable pen. It's not the smoothest nib, in fact it has some noticeable tooth to it (similar to Aurora nibs). It's made for writing, and that's exactly what it does best: it offers a very balanced, consistent writing experience as soon as you pick it up. The benefit of not being overly smooth is that it writes all the time, it doesn't skip or hesitate. The 18k nib is ever so slightly soft, which gives it some bounce, but you don't get much line variation out of it. For a fine nib, it has a prety rich flow, definitely on the wetter side. I'd say it lays down a fairly average 'european' fine line, but that's quite relative. It's definitely not comparable to japanese fine nibs, you'll have to look elswhere for those.
Believe it or not, the NeroUno is actually one of the more affordable offerings from Montegrappa. Does that mean it's cheap? Well, no. Not at all really, but if you want to get a luxury Montegrappa pen with a gold nib, this is the most economical starting point. The way I see this pen, it could be a strong competitor for Montblanc if you want a classy 'business' pen. It should definitely be on your shortlist if you're looking for that kind of pen!
Prices on the NeroUno vary wildly here in Europe, ranging from 325 to 450EUR (or around 475USD). Depending on what you pay, I think it definitely delivers in quality and performance, but of course it's still a high-end pen no matter how you look at it.
Note:Fontoplumo is a sponsor of this blog. I received a discount on this purchase, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, the opinions shared here are completely my own! This review does not contain any affilate links.