This pen has been sponsored by Pen Chalet, but all opinions are my own. I was browsing Pen Chalet’s online catalogue when I chanced upon the Monteverde One Touch fountain pen. It caught my eye immediately and I knew I wanted to check it out. As I was asked to choose a couple of pens to review, I immediately contacted Ron from Pen Chalet, requesting to have this pen to review.
Thank you, Pen Chalet, for providing me with the Monteverde One Touch fountain pen!
The Monteverde One Touch pen arrived in a cardboard box which is mainly yellow, black, and silver in colour and design. The whole package gives a very technical/industrial feeling about the pen, and I suppose that is the point – you will see why later. Other than the box and the pen, there are two cards inserted diagonally inside the box. One is a “holder” onto which the pen is clipped, and it contains a description of what’s available in the One Touch range. The smaller card slip shows a picture of the main parts of the pen, and instructions on how to refill the pen with a cartridge.
I call this the Swiss Army Knife of fountain pens, because it’s nothing like I’ve seen before on fountain pens. It is, in fact, more than a pen. There are so many functions included in it, that it’s pretty amazing!
On the outside, the pen resembles a pencil, which is a frequently-used writing tool for sketching and drafting, and I found that pretty interesting. Its body is hexagonal and I chose the yellow version so it looks even more industrial. On its hexagonal body, there are graduation marks on some of the facets so you can use that as a ruler. It’s fine to use the ruling for measurement, but probably not for drawing lines with, as it is difficult to align a single facet to a flat piece of paper to draw a line with. It would fare better with such a function if it had a square or triangular cross-section instead. But this is most likely meant for quick measurements and not for drawing lines with, so it’s perfectly alright. The ruling allows you to measure inches, 1/100 (centimetres), 1/200 and 1/300 (multiples of centimetres but I don’t know what these units are called).
On one end, there is a metallic part. If this instrument was a pencil, I would think that this end looks like the eraser end of the pencil. On the metallic part, the words “Monteverde USA One Touch Tool” is printed. At the end of this metallic section is a capacitive stylus which you can use to swipe and tap on your touch screen devices with. I’ve tested it out on my own mobile phone and it works very well.
The more interesting thing about this part of the pen is that you can unscrew that stylus part to reveal… a screwdriver! In fact, 2 screwdrivers – one cross tip and one flat tip. You can remove the tip and switch it around to change sides, and when it is plugged into the pen, it is firmly held on the pen and does not wobble. Awesome!
Moving down to the clip area. The clip is a standard-looking clip without very special features. But at the side of the pen you can see a little window. Inside the window is actually a spirit level, you know, the kinds you use to check if a surface is level to the ground or not. This makes me think that the pen barrel needs to be engineered perfectly level, without any curves or tapering shapes, in order for this spirit level to work well! I hope this spirit level works well – I think it does, because the last I checked it out lying on my desktop (which is supposed to be level), the bubble is dead-centre.
Now let’s not forget that this is a FOUNTAIN PEN. The nib is a steel nib without much spring at all. On the nib there are some nice basic patterns carved into it, and it says “Iridium Point Germany.” I guess this is one of the more common nibs around. The cap is a small, metallic, bullet-looking thing, which unscrews off the section.
The interesting part comes when you dismantle the pen. To dismantle it for refilling, you are supposed to screw the cap back on, and pull the cap part away from the barrel, The section containing the nib and the cartridge holder separates from the yellow barrel. Technically-speaking, you don’t need the cap to remove the nib section for refilling. But the section is locked into the barrel by some sturdy friction-fit mechanism, so I can’t guarantee that your nib will be intact if you tried to pull it off without the cap on!
On the section, there is a hollow cylinder for you to stick your cartridge into. The Monteverde One Touch comes with a short international cartridge inside the barrel, so I could “plug and play” right away. To replace the section, just take note of the bidirectional arrow in red. By aligning this arrow in the same direction as the clip of the pen, you can push the section back into the pen, and when you unscrew the cap, the nib will be properly aligned with the clip. You can see this in action in my video below!
Now: rulers, stylus, screwdrivers, spirit level, fountain pen. Doesn’t it sound pretty technical/industrial? The fountain pen part may not be very technical, but you can also buy this writing instrument as a ballpoint pen, ink-ball pen, or a pencil. Also, with so many functions in one single instrument, don’t you think it is rather like the Swiss Army Knife of fountain pens?
Coming to the writing experience:
When I saw “Iridium Point Germany”, I was reminded of a couple of other similar nibs I have used. As we can never be absolutely certain of the nib quality, I decided to reserve my expectations until I tried the nib out.
I had the cartridge plugged in and played with it for a while before starting to write. The ink flow was hesitant at first, and I had to get a few strokes down on paper before it actually flowed better. Even so, the ink flow was dry. For me, I do prefer dry inks because I am left-handed, and if the ink flow is drier, it can prevent smudging of the ink by my hand as I write across the paper from left to right. So this is a plus point for me.
Overall, I would say the nib is smooth, which I am rather happy with. I am easily satisfied with nib performances and don’t require “buttery smooth” types, or whatever. The only thing I’ll take note more of are the feeling of the upstrokes made with the nib. Being a leftie, I frequently need to push the nib against the paper, and if the pen nib doesn’t fare well writing in this direction, the writing experience can get rather horrible. This pen did not give me problems with that, so I’m happy with the nib! Also, there is some feedback (friction?) as the nib moves over paper, but nothing too disruptive or unpleasant. The nib is not scratchy. That’s pretty important.
This fountain pen is an average-sized fountain pen, but the barrel is a little on the heavy side. Once again, whether this is positive or not will be according to personal preference. For me, I find it slightly too heavy for regular use. The pen weighs 37 grams including the cartridge, 15.5cm capped, and 15.3cm uncapped (which means there is only a 2mm gap between the nib tip and the cap. Whew!).
One disadvantage of the pen is that the cap cannot be posted! And being so small, it has a tendency to roll around and drop in places where you least want them to drop into. Also, it may be a choking hazard for young kids. But all nibs are a poking hazard for young kids too, so don’t give your young kid any fountain pens, small cap or no cap! Other than this negative aspect of the cap, I’m overall very satisfied and pleased with this pen.
You can purchase the Monteverde One Touch from Pen Chalet if you like it. Once again, even though this is a sponsored item, the opinions expressed in this review are honest and impartial!
Check out my video of me exploring and talking about the experience of the pen, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to stay tuned to upcoming videos!