Do you have an ink dependence? I can help...

Monteverde's Artista Crystal

Audrey first picked one of these up at the Triangle Pen Show last year, and she had to get one. She was also looking at the Pilot Prera, as they're a very similar style, but the price jump between the two pens ($36-$58) is pretty extreme and she went for the Artista. (Her pen is the pink one at the right.) I liked it so much that she got me one for Christmas this year.

These come in a variety of colors, so there's something there for everyone. Well, everyone who wants a demonstrator, anyway.

The Look

The Artista always comes as a demonstrator. The cap and the barrel are both entirely transparent, giving a good view of the nib and the converter/cartridge. As you'll see below, the section of this pen is all-metal. It looks flashy, but the eyedropper lovers out there aren't going to like it because you can't convert this pen to an eyedropper. (That's fine with me, though. I kinda hate eyedroppers.)

The plastic that these Artistas are made from is a heavy, stiff sort of plastic. It's not nearly as light as the plastic used on most of the other demonstrators that I've used. I'd compare it to the plastic TWSBI 540, but it has a sturdier feel to it. I've not heard anyone say that the Artista cracks, though, so perhaps it really is harder.

The barrel is smooth and the pen has a slight taper from the middle down to the end of the pen.

The nib is decorated with little swirly vine-like designs and an "Iridium Point" marking, and for the medium nib. It's a little crowded, but it's not a big nib, so it's not overwhelming. 

The sections are chromed, and it can be a little difficult to hold on to if you have sweaty fingers (or you've got lots of lotion on or whatever). It could have done with some texture on the section, but it's okay as-is and it looks really nice.

Branding on the pen is limited to an unobtrusive "Monteverde USA" engraved around the ring on the cap...

 ...and a small Monteverde symbol on the clip.

Excuse my dirty fingernail. I've been diggin in the garden today. Hooray Spring!

The feed on these pens is clear. I really like that. It's not all that noticeable once you fill it with a dark ink, but if you've got a bright ink in the pen, or you're cleaning it out, you really notice. It can be stained by some inks, but I really doubt that you'd notice since it spends most of its time in the section of the pen. 

 The pen posts very solidly, and you can use the pen with the cap posted or not. My hands are large, so I like the pen posted, but I can use it unposted without problems.
Here it is unposted. It fits well in the web of my hand. 

The Nib

This is a really nice nib. I've been using it a lot, and the medium nib is pretty fine. It's a very smooth nib, and I can always count on it to start-up when I start using it. That's actually a little more rare for me than for others, given that I will sometimes set a pen aside for several days at a time. This one is reliable.

It's a nail, though. It's not "special," but it's a good steel nib.

I just realized that I don't have pictures of a writing sample with this pen. For now, the couple of pictures below will have to do, I suppose. (I've actually had this same ink in my Artista ever since I got it.)

The Parts & Packaging

Here's a broken-down look at the pen. It's a cartridge converter pen, and it comes with both options in the box.

The converter is a pretty average converter, but it's perfectly functional. The action is smooth, and it holds enough ink to keep this medium-fine nib going for quite a while.

 The box comes inside a cardboard sleeve, and all of the Monteverde pens I've had have come in the same box.
 Inside the box is a satin-ish card to hold the pen. Underneath that card is a box with a couple of cartridges and a converter. Nothing super-fancy, but it's a perfectly serviceable box.

Here's how it compares, size-wise to some other common models of pen.

Get your own Artista Crystal from these, and many other, fine retailers. 

Anderson Pens: $36
Goulet Pens: $36
Jet Pens: $38 (A little more expensive, but free shipping.)

Post Comment