I’ve teased this in the last couple of posts, so I’ll come right out and say it: the Leonardo Momento Zero has blown me away. In this review I’ll explain why.
First impressions? Beautiful pen. It’s testament to Leonardo’s designers that I agonised for a long time over which colour to pick: turquoise, dark red, dark green… in the end I went for one called ‘horn’, which for a swirly brown is actually quite lovely. It does indeed look like stag horn, or like bubbles rising in a pint of stout, or something more lyrical. It’s really pretty, and the silver trim sets it off a treat.
The Zero has perfect proportions, and it’s polished to a high shine. It’s not a heavy pen, but everything fits together just so. You can feel that it’s been turned, not cast, and the walls of the barrel and cap are reassuringly thick.
Aside from the fact that it’s a turned pen, there are plenty of intricacies that make you quickly appreciate what a bargain the Leonardo is. There’s the screw-off blind cap, which gives access to the captured-converter filling mechanism.
The converter screws to fit (essential given you twist the filler with it in situ). The clip is simple stamped metal, but it has a rolling wheel like my premium Montegrappa. The company name and individual serial number have been neatly milled into the barrel, not stamped or printed, and the brand has been etched into the metal of the nib and of the converter.
The ends of the pen and cap are raised into smooth, polished cones.
Discreet bands of silvered metal surround the cap (two or three depending on colour) and the cap-barrel interface, as well as the blind cap interface. So there should be no concerns about cracking. Incidentally, the cap comes off in just one turn.
This is an extremely comfortable pen. It’s not huge, it’s not heavy, and the section narrows curiously toward the nib, creating a very natural and non-restrictive place to put your fingers. The cap threads are way back, away from your fingers.
The Momento writes beautifully. The (fine) nib is steel, but it feels long and slender with minimal tipping, and has a significant amount of bounce and flex.
I found it a very willing writer, straight out of the box.
I only have two complaints. First, the clip on my example fell off — it wasn’t screwed in place at the factory. A new one is winging its way to me right now, no questions asked. Second, the captive converter rattles against the inside of the pen. I may stick a piece of paper in there to stop the noise.
I’ll say it again, this pen has blown me away because it just feels so incredibly premium, despite being a cartridge-converter with a steel nib. It’s extremely well finished and full of little details, capped off with a very willing nib. A great package that adds up to more than the sum of its parts.
I bought mine full retail price of £135 from Izods. I would happily buy another.