While I saw a number of interesting new pens from the Bassano del Grappa-based pen brand, Montegrappa, at this year’s Baselworld, one really caught my eye: the Montegrappa Q1. It is brand new within the company’s Cult series and comprises a patented technology that I’ve not seen before. Two years of research are invested in it.
The limited edition (100 pieces) Montegrappa Q1 is not a dainty fountain pen. It’s a hefty piece that takes many of its design cues from a firearm, from its chamber-style cache of inks to the locking mechanism of the pen’s cap. According to company literature, it marries “ultra-tough and hard titanium for the pen’s barrel with titanium and fine Italian leather for the pen cap.” The internal parts of the pen are stainless steel, while the nib is 18-karat gold. What’s so revolutionary about it is its unique multiple ink cartridge (4) loading system that allows the user to change ink colors mid-sentence via this patented mechanism that rotates much like a bullet cylinder.
Since there are multiple ink cartridges presumably for various colors of ink but only one feeder, I was concerned about the residual ink. The feeder is the small, finned device that sits just under the nib, and its job is to hold quite a bit of ink at the ready to supply the nib as needed. Well Montegrappa thought of that, too, and includes a cartridge-shaped “syringe” specifically designed for cleaning the feeder with water before a different color cartridge is set in place. When trying the pen out, however, I skipped the cleaning step and found I enjoyed the slow-ish transition of one color of ink to the next as my writing flowed across the page. Blue turned to purple, then to a clear red.
To continue the firearm allusion, the pen’s cap locks onto the barrel with a slot-and-pin system, and the wood presentation box is reminiscent of an ammunition case. In addition to the pen and cleaning cartridge, the box holds a pair of gloves, a set of tissue, and three cartridges of eight different ink colors for a total of 24 cartridges.