Montegrappa is best known for designing pens beyond the fantasies – and budgets – of the average handwriting enthusiast. The Italian company’s latest release sees a return to its more modest roots and the vision of its original co-founder, Heinrich ‘Elmo’ Helm. Uniquely, the newest Elmo is the Montegrappa Elmo 02 Carson 4 Appalachian Springs Pen Collection.
First of all, this Montegrappa Elmo 02 Carson 4 Appalachian Springs Pen Collection is completely different from its predecessors. It’s exclusive to Bertram’s Inkwell. As an unnumbered limited edition, the fountain pen only has 50 pieces made. Similarly, the ballpoint only has 18 pieces made. These have such beautiful swirls of green, blue, and brown. All are made with shimmering presence throughout the pen.
Back to Heinrich ‘Elmo’ Helm’s history. Helm was the company’s first technical director – a figure with an industriousness and optimism reminiscent of today’s tech entrepreneurs. His know-how and charisma inspired the fledgling company to name its first products after him, and Elmo pens would go on to be mainstays of Italian offices and schools for decades to come.
The Elmo 02’s frugal minimalism was a necessity of the 1920s, but the inventiveness of the company’s first technical director provided a design that would stand on its own merit – and survive the test of time.
A century ago, Heinrich ‘Elmo’ Helm’s ingenious conical ends offered a way to dispense with expensive componentry without sacrificing decorative flair.
It’s a formula that still works today – enabling us to endow the Elmo 02 with professional performance at an enthusiast’s price.
The Montegrappa Elmo 02 Pen Collection is quite impressive. Montegrappa began revamping the Elmo line with the Elmo 01. As an all black, mid-size pen, it’s simplistic and streamlined. It’s a great everyday writer. Next up is the Montegrappa Elmo Fantasy Bloom Collection (see my blog review of that here). As you can see, Montegrappa went from one solid color to having a more contemporary selection of colors. Both models have the same body shape and style.
Notably, this Elmo 02 comes in fountain pen and ballpoint modes. Yet the shape, size, and material style is so different. Previously, the Elmo 01 and Fantasy Bloom models are all streamlined where the cap is seamlessly integrated with the barrel. In the Elmo 02, the cap is larger and slightly covers the barrel. These are also a more traditional shape with flatter ends vs the completely rounded, oval shaped Elmo 01 and Fantasy Bloom.
Importantly, the fountain pen is equipped with a cartridge/converter filling system. As for the nib, this fountain pen is equipped with a high quality, smooth steel nib and feed. I love how many nib sizes are available. Choose from: extra fine, fine, medium, broad, 1.1 stub.
Finally, both modes are equipped with a strong steel clip. The tension on that clip keeps your pen securely fastened no matter what. Last but not least, the ballpoint has a smooth twist-action retraction mechanism. Enjoy your favorite Monteverde ballpoint or gel refills.
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