Montegrappa factory tour

component parts Montegrappa The Alchemist pen

component parts Montegrappa The Alchemist pen

Following the launch of The Alchemist pen, Montegrappa arranged a guided tour of their factory.

First a quick look at the final assembly of limited edition pens, then eat and drink in their showroom where many pens and watches are on display, then a detailed factory tour in small groups of around 20.

The basic builing blocks are resins (for entry level pens), celluloid (Montegrappa are the only pen manufacturer to use celluloid as highly unstable and explosive) and precious metals.

Both the resins and celluloids are chosen to Montegrappa high specification. Colours and marbling effect are mixed in. The celluloid is kept in ovens for six months to stabilise.

Montegrappa combine high tech with hand craftsmanship. Lathes and milling machines are used, scanning microscopes to check the final product. Each cap on The Alchemist pen is individually engraved by a master engraver, thus each pen unique.

The metal parts are sand ground to remove any burs and sharp edges. Then polished in a machine. The resin and celluloid are also polished in a machine.

Celluloid is used as it has a very natural feel. But such is the quality of the resin used and the polish, that even the entry level resin pens have that natural feel.

For the fountain pen, a graphite feeder is used.

Inside the pens, a barrel with a piston, which is used to draw up the ink.

The only component not made by Montegrappa is the nib. This is made by a third party party to a Montegrappa specification.

A gold nib is not for show. Gold is soft and writes better. Steel is hard and scratches the paper.

Around 40 component parts to each pen.

Each pen is individually tested by being used to write. It then has to be washed to remove the ink.

A laboratory carries out random tests for quality control. A few pens are tested to destruction, for example the clip repeatedly stressed for metal fatigue. The lab also tests incoming materials for quality control.

Do not keep a Montegrappa pen in the pocket. Like wine, it should be stored in a horizontal position.

Special thanks to our guide who took a great pride in the workmanship at Montegrappa.

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11 Responses to “Montegrappa factory tour”

  1. Sheela Nandini Says:

    Dear Keith,

    Thank you for all of this! Appreciate your taking the time to share so much with us-your thoughts,insights,experiences.

    Looking forward to seeing those pictures you promised to upload:)


  2. Sheela Nandini Says:

    Oh Keith,honestly speaking I never read so much in a blog as I did this afternoon-got lost- going from one link to another 🙂 But that was the fun part!

    I love your honesty, though.You tell it like it is and that’s something I really really like about you that shows up in your writing.Thanks for that!

    OMG there’s so much to read here- perhaps I’ll take it one post at a time.

    I have a thing for stationery- and these pens(masterpieces!) are a sight to behold! Lucky you and the others who got to see what they do and ask questions.I love to spend time in stationery shops just as I do in bookstores,new and used 🙂 So Montegrappa up close and personal must have been something!

    Will do -about your blog:)

  3. Sheela Nandini Says:

    Hahaha! Keith,the bit about loving stationery and Montegrappa Masterpieces was meant to be read separately!

    We do have a Mont Blanc store in my city but that’s located in a luxury hotel.I had lunch with someone special(he paid-it was a business lunch) there in 2007 and noticed it.

    Was going to ask if you bought a masterpiece yourself and here you come up with the answer:) Congratulations!

    Shared the blog link with close friends of mine a while ago.

    Oh I know this doesn’t belong here but I LOVED the Japanese bookmark gift from Ken and Yumi. I bought some for Ken -these are paintings on palm leaves by artists of Orissa. Still waiting for Ken to get around to writing me about where I can send them:)

  4. keithpp Says:

    Pictures of Montegrappa factory tour

  5. Sheela Nandini Says:

    Thank you for these pictures.

    Some strong statements there,Keith.Wonder what Mont Blanc will make of that 🙂

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