The Fountain Pen Hospital has made more than a few bucks off me this month. I’ve already detailed my thoughts on the Sailor Sapporo that I purchased at this month’s FPH expo. Here, our focus will be the carbon fiber/chrome Monteverde Invincia I bought as part of FPH’s 12 days of Christmas sale. The MSRP for this Invincia is $100 with a typical street price around $80. By the way, I love it when us pen dorks use the phrase “street price”. If there’s one group of people who can’t get away with using a hip term like “street price”, it’s us. Anyway, the $60 I spent for the pen and shipping was a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, my compliments regarding this pen will pretty much stop there. I know it takes two to create a working relationship and it seems that the Invincia and I are not going to work. Invincia…it’s not you, it’s me. (Isn’t that line always a lie?)
Let’s stay positive for a bit longer. The pen is a real looker. The chiaroscuro created by the carbon fiber body and the mirror chrome cap and nib section strikes my fancy very much. I also dig the satisfying way the cap screws onto the body. It’s hard to explain, but the last half turn glides the cap onto the body in a way that really makes you think the cap is on to stay. The cap posts rather smoothly as well.
Now for the negatives. While I generally like hefty pens, the weight combined with the super smooth chrome nib section and the slick resin overlaying the carbon fiber body make the pen a challenge to navigate across paper. For comparison, the Invincia comes in at about 40 grams while the classic Lamy 2000 comes in at 25 grams. If you’re one of these people with perfect pen posture where the pen stays calmly in the crook of your forefinger and thumb, then the weight and slickness may not bug you. As a lefty overwriter who lifts and wiggles pens across paper, I need some friction to my grip, even more so if the pen is a bit heavy. So, that’s reason #1 why the Invincia and I aren’t likely to work out in the long run.
Reason #2 is, unfortunately, the nib. Let me be very clear on this point – there’s nothing wrong with Monteverde nibs in general or the nib on this Invincia in particular. My problem comes down to writing angle. I need pens that are a bit forgiving when it comes to the writing angle and the fine steel nib on the Invincia doesn’t seem to have this quality. When I slow down and force myself to hold the pen more horizontally the nib performs well. In fact, it produces a neat bit of line variation without skipping once I get the angle just so. But let’s be real here – That One Pen is about finding quality, everyday writing tools that aren’t so high maintenance. In short, the Monteverde Invincia is undeniably pretty and responds well if I get the grip and angle just right, but I don’t think I want to deal with all the hassle.
At this point, it won’t come as a surprise that I’m giving this pen my “Give It” rating. There’s nothing wrong with the pen other than the fact that I can’t use it. Now, I’m going to force myself to use it for a few more days in the hopes that the nib becomes more forgiving and that I’ll adjust to the slick feel. Given that $60 was a pretty good deal, I feel like I need to give the Invincia second and third chances. Alas, I don’t have high hopes. Stay tuned – this pen may be put on the trading block or used in a future giveaway.
So far, the Monteverde Invincia is like the pretty girl I knew years ago in a college organic chemistry class. She certainly was pretty and she was also intelligent and a decent person. Unfortunately, after a couple of dates, it was obvious to both of us that it wasn’t going to work. Was it her? Was it me? I suspect it was just an odd combination. And so, at first look, there’s nothing I should dislike about the Monteverde Invincia but it seems that it’s just not going to work.
Are there other reviews of the Monteverde Invincia? Yes, yes there are.
Note Booker, Esq. (review of stealth Invincia which is probably more my style anyway)
FP Geeks (also the stealth version with the stylus bit too)
SBRE Brown (also stealth; also stylus)
Tyler Dahl Pens (yup, stealth stylus)
From the Pen Cup (matte chrome with stylus)