Back in June, I wrote about the Faber-Castell Hexo being a great everyday writer (check out that review here). There were only a few pen collections that qualify as everyday writers or “workhorses” of a pen that are also in the sub-$75 price range. One of the most well-known collections being the Lamy Safari (plastic) and Lamy Al-Star (aluminum) pens. Don’t get me wrong because I love the Lamy Al-Star, but finding even more competition for that pen series is so satisfying. That’s why when the Monteverde Ritma Pen Collection was introduced earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to see how it compares. And oh my goodness, this pen delivered so much greatness into one writing instrument. Well, two, since it comes as a fountain pen or a ballpoint.
You might imagine the most notable and important to mention right away detail on the fountain pen would be the new JoWo nibs. But nope, you’d be wrong. Even though the new JoWo nibs are incredible to write with, and the quality is top notch for a steel nib, it’s not the thing I’d start off with. The nib options are vast – choose between extra fine, fine, medium, broad, stub, and Omniflex. An extra nice aesthetic touch is how the nibs are coated to match the darker trim of the pen. Unlike some other brands that use proprietary cartridges and converters, the Ritma fountain pen uses an international size cartridge/converter filling system.
Not even the ballpoint using a completely user-friendly, one-handed, twist-action retraction mechanism makes it to the top of the list. There’s something cool about the mechanism being activated by twisting the grip section (usually it’s at the top of the pen). The mechanism allows use of our favorite Monteverde Parker Style ballpoint or gel refills. There are so many ink color choices in both ballpoint and gel that you can match it to the color of your pen if you’d like.
A lot of Monteverde Ritma fountain pen users noted the “pop” sound and feeling when removing the cap from both ends of the pen, and replacing it back again. Yes, I agree that it’s a very satisfying sound and feeling. I like most about that sound/feeling the comfort it brings. It’s kind of like the famous “ping” sound of an S.T. Dupont lighter when flipping the top open. I interpret that to signify my cap being securely “locked” into place on either end. The magnet in the cap and the back end of the barrel is so strong that I’m not even concerned about it coming loose. Even after shaking the pen to test the magnetic hold, it barely even wiggles the slightest amount.
Speaking of having a strong hold on things, the cap clip is wonderfully designed for exactly that. It doesn’t wiggle. It’s not thin or wiry. It’s flat and modern looking (which matches this modern looking pen). It is so secured in place that I was initially worried about how easy it would slide into a shirt pocket or pen case. A pen’s clip is important when deciding on what to carry that day. So I was very relieved and impressed by the ease in which the clip slid over the material (both pen case loop and shirt pocket). It’s rare to get a clip that’s durable, yet functional like this.
The Monteverde Ritma Pen Collection is currently available in five colors. Choose from black, blue, red, silver, and the new purple. These finishes are brilliantly muted in a matte finish. To be more technical, the aluminum barrel is anodized in that metallic color, and treated with a matte finish. I love how this matches the cap and appointments. The appointments/trim has a gunmetal look to it.
Saving the best for last is the size, girth, and weight of this pen. This is a substantial pen to say the least. I was surprised when holding it next to a Lamy Al-Star that the Ritma is actually a few millimeters shorter in the cap and barrel. But unlike the Al-Star’s faceted barrel and grip section, the Ritma is silky smooth and completely cylindrical (even the grip section). Continuing the comparison, I love how the Ritma’s grip section is a sturdy metal vs. the Lamy’s plastic triangular grip. I like holding a pen that has some weight to it. When I have the Monteverde Ritma in my hand, I know I’m holding a pen with substance. It’s not some thin layer of metal with a coating that can easily get scratched. You can see the thick ring of material that comprises the barrel. You won’t be holding a flimsy pen at all.
In fact, I’m so confident that you’re going to love the Monteverde Ritma Pen Collection that there’s a deal on Bert’s website for the set. Normally I don’t like mentioning prices in my reviews because the pens speak for themselves regardless of the price. However, this is a pen where the price is so good it can’t be ignored. The fountain pen normally sells for $45, and the ballpoint normally sells for $35. Bertram’s Inkwell is offering the set (one fountain pen and one ballpoint) for a sweet deal of $60.
What do you think? Do you have yours yet? You can check it out here.
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