Three mini-reviews in one: Fine Writing Fenestro Kuroshio, Montegrappa Monte Grappa, Cross Sauvage

Sometimes I don’t see myself writing a full review of a pen, but I have some things I want to say about it. So here you go: three reviews in one.

Fine Writing Fenestro Kuroshio

I bought this pen from Write Here. You can get it here, for a hair under £95.

What’s good about it? Well, you get a nicely stubbish black-plated JoWo nib, a big ol’ ink window that you can use to eyedropper the pen (or use cartridge or converter), and a very spacious hand-feel. This is a long, long pen, and it posts really well, if that floats your boat. Nice compact packaging, too.

What don’t I like? A few things. The shimmery turquoise/blue/blurple/black resin doesn’t suit me in person, particularly paired with the black trim — your tastes may vary. The clip is very short, which apparently is by design, but to me the proportions look off. And the cap takes three turns to unscrew.

Other than that, all good — and it’s certainly different. Remember when Opus88 hit with those unusual Japanese eyedroppers? That’s the vibe I’m getting here.

Montegrappa Monte Grappa

This is not a new pen, so I don’t want to go over old ground that other reviewers have explored. But I finally picked up one of these pens and I wanted to share my perspective. I got it in black, with a 14k nib.

What’s good about it? Actually, rather a lot. The vintage-style barrel engraving is pretty. The proportions are excellent. It has a great weight and heft, and seems built to last. The cap unscrews in 1.5 turns. I found it incredibly comfortable in the hand. It’s a piston filler. And the nib is really pretty.

What don’t I like? The ratcheting piston takes forever to screw. The patterned cap band protrudes and is a little frilly for my tastes. But mostly I was disappointed by the nib when I got it: it was an awful writer. But a lot of flushing, a bit of shimming and a dash of micromesh and now it’s actually really nice.

Overall, if you get it for the right price, this is a very nice pen. Montegrappa does make some gems from time to time.

Iguanasell has one left in its winter sale for £348 here.

Cross Sauvage 2020 Year of the Rat

I mainly picked this pen up because I wanted to try one of Cross’s gold nibs and I really liked the blue and gold engraved body.

What’s good about it? If you like the blingier side of things, this is a beautiful pen. The engraving is fabulous. It uncaps in 1.25 turns, the section is long. It comes in a very fancy box with a massive engraved pen stand. It posts very deeply. And: the little 18k nib is really springy, great fun.

What don’t I like? Overall, like most Cross pens, it’s too small and too skinny for me. I imagined it to be bigger, but it’s shorter than a Lamy Studio with a much slimmer section. Note in the comparison photos above that it’s no shorter than the Monte Grappa, but it feels so much smaller! The only other issue was the Fine nib: out of the box, it ran very dry with my light touch, which made for great hairline-flex underwriting, but pretty unusable normal writing. I tuned it a bit and it’s much better now, and sings quite endearingly.

If you want one, it’s £275 from Cult Pens.

5 thoughts on “Three mini-reviews in one: Fine Writing Fenestro Kuroshio, Montegrappa Monte Grappa, Cross Sauvage

  1. I hear you on the skinny Cross pens. If you haven’t done so already, I would strongly recommend trying out the Peerless 125. It’s about the size of a Montblanc 146 and sports a Sailor nib. I have the Tokyo finish that is a rather uniquely textured matte black which is a far cry from some of the other, bling-ier finishes.

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  2. Interesting about the Montegrappa nib. I purchased a Montegrappa Nero Uno Linea Duetto late last year. It normally sells online discounted around $700-$750 with a gold nib – and it wouldn’t even write. Flushed it several times, no improvement. I also watched a reputable online review of a $1,600 Montegrappa that also wouldn’t write right out of the box. The reviewer mentioned his experience with Montegrappa nibs over the years has been problematic. I agree with you, they make some beautiful pens, but the quality control of their nibs is either lacking or nonexistent. As my luck with adjusting nibs is nil, it’s another pen I have to ship off to a nib meister to correct.

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