Posts Tagged ‘19 March 2012’

Montegrappa factory tour

March 21, 2012
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.