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I received a gift certificate for my favorite local stationers, Reid’s Stationers. I had a wonderful two hours looking at everything, weighing my options. The staff is outstanding; Maureen inked up quite a few pens for me to try before deciding on a final one. And we had a great discussion about inks. I would love a part time job there but I fear bankruptcy would be the inevitable result.

I’ve read and seen so much about the beautiful Visconti line of fountain pens; and Maureen let me try a Visconti Rembrandt in blue with a medium nib. Beautiful pen and exquisite writing experience. Very smooth, no stops, great flow. But it was a little more than I wanted to spend, even though this particular line is the entrance point for the brand. The Visconti I fell in love with, the limited edition pen created for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, was definitely more than I would ever be able to spend on a pen. But what a beautiful pen it is. Even better when you are holding it in your hand. I didn’t have it inked up for me as I didn’t want my heart broken entirely.

I wanted to introduce some colour to my fountain pen collection, but not use up my entire gift certificate as I wanted to buy some ink as well. So Maureen introduced me to the MonteVerde Prima. And I fell in love with the Turquoise Swirl. Nice chrome touches, lightweight, super smooth writer with great flow.

1monteverde bag

I felt very swank walking out of the store with this bag!

2pen box

The box.

3pen box open

It’s hard to tell from the pictures but the pen is translucent so when you hold it up to the light it glows. I’m totally in love with this pen; I think it’s beautiful, writes like a dream and retails in Canada for around $60. I do realize that is still quite a bit to spend on a pen but as it was a gift I indulged myself. The Visconti Rembrandt cost almost 3 times as much. The MonteVerde pens come with cartridges and a converter; the Viscontis do not come with any cartridges and you can purchase a converter for about $10. Both pens take standard international cartridges.

4pen box liner removed

The base of the box can be removed to reveal a compartment for storing cartridges and the converter (when I took the picture the converter was still in the pen). I did not use the cartridges that came with the pen; I put in a Bleu Pervenche cartridge from J. Herbin as the turquoise colour is an exact match to the barrel.

5pen box and ink

All of my goodies: Rose Cyclamen and Orange Indien J. Herbin cartridges sitting on the MonteVerde box; Hazelnut Brown and Stone Grey cartridges from Graf von Faber-Castell in the cream boxes; Violet and Turquoise cartridges from Lamy; and Plum cartridges from Private Reserve.

Wonderful day and I didn’t feel one bit guilty because I was spending someone else’s money. And I still have a balance on the gift certificate!! I will be sure to keep you posted as to where that goes, in the new year.

Happy writing.