What can be more satisfying than a Saturday morning started with a brand new pen?
I want to do a quick mini-review of the Monograph Brass pen. I was drawn to this, as is often the case by a post about it on the Fountain Pens UK Facebook group and decided to take a look for myself.
I ordered this for £17.95 from www.arbolhouse.com and it arrived in 24 hours, well packed. I had quite low expectations: an under £20 pen is never going to get me too excited… but how happy I am to report that my initial impressions of this pen are that it is absolutely brilliant!
Nestled in the very smart, pale green box was a solid little solid brass pen in a dark foam wedge, instructions for use and basic black cartridge to get you started. So far, so smart. In the hand this is a sold pen for its diminutive size – around 25g all in and it feels like it would survive a nuclear holocaust!
Its a slim pen – 10mm across the barrel, 8.5mm section, unposted is 105mm long and posted 148mm long. This definitely puts it firmly in the pocket or travel pen camp, but I think it’ll likely end up as an EDC for me due to it overall convenience and the general experience of writing with it!
Taking it from the top, then: the cap has a very smart simple clip in a deeper brass shade, nicely machine engraved with the “Monograph” brand. It was already developing a light patina on opening the box and I think it’ll age well. Take off the push fit cap and you’ll see a plastic liner inside the cap to reduce the risk of the pen drying out, and the cap posts nicely and fairly securely to take this pocket size pen up to a much more useful size.
The nib is a simple size 5 steel IPG affair, but is is two-tone in finish and has a swooping fan like engraving on it which gives this a distinctly art-deco feel. The classy looks are matched by the writing experience: the nib was smooth out of the box, with decent flow and I was really surprised by how much I like the fine-medium line it produces. It is a nice writer – better than many much more expensive pens I own!
Unposted it’d suit someone with small hands and a low grip on the section. In this case the balance is neutral and excellent – I can’t see how you wouldn’t enjoy writing with this.
With my larger hands I will be using it posted (unusual for me). In this case, the balance sits towards the back end, which I dislike, but for short periods of writing it’s really not a problem. Its comfy and the weight makes it easy to use, the ink flow is good and I have had no skips, catches or hard starts so far. I can tell this little pen and I will get on just fine!
So here’s the thing. I don’t generally like cheap pens: even the excellent brands like Jinhao and Wingsun, Ranga, FPR etc leave me feeling mildly uneasy – I have a sense that these are “sweat-shop pens” that often lean too heavily on designs of the expensive European or US brands – and this leaves me feeling cold. But… this is a case of a pen in a design I haven’t come across before that completely destroys the much more expensive competition! For example, I much prefer this to significantly more expensive Kaweco Brass pens and even the Kaweco Supra, Midori Travellers Pen or Diplomat’s Traveller pen. £17.95 for this pen is a significant bargain and for once I have found a cheap, Chinese manufactured pen that actually makes me feel quite smug. Like I started with: a great way to start a Saturday morning!
If you want to take a look for yourself, google: “Monograph Brass Pen” or visit arbolhouse.com
I purchased this pen for myself and have no link back to the above supplier or retailer.