Even though I have owned and used A LOT of pens, the brand Montegrappa is one I've yet to have experience with. They recently released a copper version of their Fortuna series called the Mule and their US distributor, Kenro Industries, were kind enough to send me one for review.
Montegrappa would be what I consider to be a luxury brand. Some of the pens they offer are very ornate and elaborate, but the Fortuna is one of the more conservative models.
Although the shape and overall look of the Fortuna is a bit simpler than their other models, sheathing it in solid, raw copper and brushed stainless steel created a stunner with the Mule.
Being made of heavier metals like copper, the pen has some pretty considerable heft. That being said, I don't find it to be overly heavy and in a range that would deter a lot of potential customers. Although, even though the cap does post I find that writing with it on the pen makes it a bit too heavy.
Also, being a raw copper pen it attracts all kinds of fingerprints and develops a patina super quick. If this bothers you, this may not be the right choice.
As a bit of a crown on the cap, there is adhered a metal emblem with "1912". This inherently doesn't mean anything to the average consumer as it isn't the brand name or logo, but represents the year the company was founded in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. They have an interesting video on their website about the history which may be fun for you to check out.
As mentioned above, the Mule is a bit of an eye catching pen. Since I've been carrying it for the review over the past few weeks, you'd be surprised at how many of my non-pen colleagues and friends have reached to take it out of my front pocket. It's that little bit of copper shining right above the fabric that seems to call out that something interesting is there...
The pen itself isn't made from all copper like variations of the Karas Kustoms Ink pen and does have plastic/resin internals. The copper outside I'd imagine is drawn out through a die rather than machining, but fits snugly over whatever is holding it altogether underneath. The build quality itself feels extremely solid overall for the pen. Nothing is loose, misaligned, "thrown together", or amiss.
I own a few of what I would consider to be "expensive" pens like a couple of Montblancs, Sailors, higher end Pilots, etc, and the common thing among them all is how solid they feel. Not sure if this is really what you're paying for sometimes, but it seems to help. The Mule isn't a cheap pen coming in at a retail price of $375 (street price a bit lower), which puts you into Pelikan M405, full size Sailor pens, or even a couple of nice Pilots.
The difference is that these other pens come with gold nibs while the Mule comes with a steel. Now, steel nibs can actually be quite awesome if not better performers than gold sometimes depending on your preferences, but the issue of price is usually always tied to material. Usually gold nib = more expensive while steel nib = less expensive. Not so much the case with this particular Montegrappa, but could be understandable with the copper, etc.
The nib has quite a bit of feedback (maybe a bit on the scratchy side) and tends to write a little dry. No real issues with slow starts or skipping, but it isn't really my preference. Initially I thought it was going to make the experience with the pen a bit rough, but I became more acclimated to it.
I love the look of the brushed stainless steel section against the copper. It looks amazing! Although I did find it a bit slick from time to time after longer writing stints.
The clip is extremely sturdy and matches the other accents of being a brushed stainless. It also has a little wheel to make pocketing easier and to add some visual texture.
Like I said, the Montegrappa Mule is a total stunner. In the looks department we're talking a 10/10 in my opinion. The nib being a little scratchier and drier than I'd like lowers my writing experience a bit, but is still a really cool pen to write with nonetheless.
Thanks again to Kenro for sending it my way to check out.