Saturday, March 8, 2014

Monteverde One Touch Stylus Tool Fountain Pen

When I first saw Monteverde's One Touch Stylus Tool Fountain Pen, I loved everything about the way it looked.  Having previously written a review on the Multi Tool 4 in 1 level Pen here: , 
I was intrigued to say the least with this extended feature edition of a go to writing tool such as this one.  In the ecosphere of Multi Function Writing Instruments, as I've stated before, the possibilities are endless.  Monteverde's offering of the One touch Stylus Fountain Pen is living proof of that theory.  For this review, I chose to write about the utility yellow version of this remarkable pen as it is also available in black and silver.  In another review I will address its sibling, the One Touch Stylus Tool Ballpoint Pen, which compliments the pen up for review today quite nicely.  Monteverde has also made available rollerball and mechanical pencil versions as well.

First impressions -
Monteverde has a reputation for producing quality built writing implements, and this one is no exception.  The utility yellow hexagonal faceted barrel, constructed of brass and copper, has a heft and balance that makes this pen a go-to candidate for writing.  At 38 grams in weight, 154mm in length, and 10mm in barrel width, this fountain pen is quite substantial when held in hand.  It appears to be at home in a workshop environment along side other tools, especially Stanley yellow ones which have the exact shade / hue of yellow.  As this pen comes loaded with features / functions, let's take a look at what else it has to offer.

Features -
In true multifunction pen fashion, One Touch Stylus Tool FP comes with a full compliment of features.  To begin with, the hexagonal barrel has ruler measurements, imperial and metric on four of the six sides.  The other two sides hold a chrome, pressed metal pocketclip and bubble level.  The pocketclip was not as sturdy as I would have liked, hopefully Monteverde, if they choose to make a second iteration will include a sturdier one, like stainless steel, preferably matte colored.  The bubble level, while not as sizable as desired in a workshop environment, is a legitimate tool and when tested proved to be reliable.  The top cap of the pen is nicely engineered.  The outside holds a capacitative tablet stylus, and when unscrewed reveals a double duty philips and standard screwdriver housed underneath.  These two screwdrivers are of the size to handle small jobs such as tightening eye glass screws and laptop screws.

As we move down to the opposite end of the pen barrel, we encounter the nib unit.  It is a standard German Iridium type medium tip stainless steel nib.  From the scroll work I'm guessing of the Schmidt variety.  The nib is covered by an aluminum screw on cap and has nice knurling on the thread end which serves several purposes.  The first being the most obvious, to unscrew the cap when  exposing the nib in order to write.  The second reason is for removing the nib unit entirely from the barrel housing.  This process involves grabbing the knurled part of the cap and pulling straight out and away from the barrel which frees the entire nib unit from said barrel.  Once exposed, the ink cartridge and nib unit are free to be changed, cleaned, etc.  Along one side of the nib unit is a double sided white arrow which is lined up with the pocket clip side of the pen barrel and then the nib unit can be reinserted inside the barrel.  Doing this procedure lines up the nib with the pocket clip for writing inline.  My one problem with the nib cap tends to be setting it down after its been unscrewed and I'm in the writing mode.  There's always that fear of misplacing it without an available replacement.  My advice to Monteverde if a second iteration is being planned, would be to make the threads compatible with the stylus cap so they can be exchanged out, or to make the cap from stainless steel and magnetize the cap so that it could potentially sit on top of the stylus cap.  Just suggestions.

Performance -
Before we begin discussing performance, I must mention this FP uses standard international ink cartridges, and apparently can employ Monteverde's mini ink converter, which I have yet to try.  When I do I'll add the update here.
While not a huge fan of medium width nibs, I do appreciate a smooth inking nib of any width.  And this nib does not disappoint.  Although it is on the stiff side, there is no scratchiness when inking, it simply lays a smooth, wet, medium line down on paper.  The heft of the barrel and the balance of the pen as a whole make for an enjoyable writing experience.  Again, if Monteverde is reading this, in a second run of this FP, please provide different nib widths, preferably fine, ex-fine.

Conclusion -
Being a Multi Function Pen affecianado, this pen basically provides me with a tool that lives in my EDC bag for close retrieval when needed.  Having a fountain pen in addition to its other attributes is simply icing on the cake for me.  Is it for everyone, definitely not.  But for me it's a highly recommended pen and for those who know who you are.