First Impressions - Monteverde Catalina

Monteverde is a small town in rural Costa Rica, known for it's lush rainforests and is a common place for ecotourism. Monteverde is also a pen company, that is a division of the large Yafa company. For those unfamiliar with Yafa, they also make pens for Conklin and are the U.S. distributor for Delta, Stipula, Napkin and Schmidt.

I managed to snag a blue Monteverde Catalina after it has been sadly discontinued by Monteverde quite a while back. The box is a standard Monteverde box. There is a firm paper sleeve covering the dark green leatherette box, protecting it from scuffs and scratches. Also present is a nice cut-out on the sleeve, displaying the logo beneath.

The box opens upward like most other display boxes to reveal a very handsome pen. The pen is made of a blue acrylic with a good deal of chatoyance (pronounced "sha-TOY-ence") and has 5 white bands running along the cap. The white bands are quite unique and I initially thought they looked strange. Now, they have actually grown on me. The bands are only on the cap, and not the body.

The clip is also quite an interesting design. The top of the clip is normal, but the bottom features a rounded "wheel" of sorts. The wheel does not actually rotate, but it does make clipping the pen to things much easier. For those interested in a physics session, keep reading this paragraph. Otherwise, go on. A wheel reduces the point of contact of the clip with the material you are clipping to. Thus, a reduced point of contact reduces the friction involved in clipping, making it much easier!

The pen uses a small and smooth metal grip section while some people may find uncomfortable. Metal grip sections do have a tendency to get a bit slippery when sweaty. Also, the grip section is small so your hands may end up resting on the cap threads a bit. Thankfully, the cap threads are very smooth and sit flush with the rest of the grip section. There is a small step of 0.5mm from the grip to the barrel. The metal section unscrews from the barrel, so the cap threads are actually on the barrel, not the grip.

The pen includes 2 Monteverde cartridges and a screw-in converter. I really like screw-in type converters as opposed to the regular pop-in kind as they stay firmly on the pen. I've had issues of a converter full of ink popping completely off the section, filling the barrel and causing a mess. The screw-in converters prevent this problem completely. As far as I know, only pens made by Yafa have this type of converter.

The pen comes in at 5.25" (13.4cm) capped, 6.25" (15.6cm) posted, and 4.875" (12.6cm) uncapped. The pen is not very heavy and not very light. I find the pen to be well balanced. The center of mass is about 1.5" from the nib uncapped, and exactly in the center posted.

The pen takes a standard #6 sized nib, so you can swap any other #6 nib into the pen (except Noodler's). The nib and feed are friction fit into the pen and pull straight out with enough force. To swap nibs, just line up the nib and feed and push straight into the pen, being sure to align the notch in the section, with the flat part of the feed.

All in all, I really like this pen. The design was quite off-putting at first, but I quickly started to like it after receiving it. I would highly recommend this pen to anyone looking for a mid-range pen. This is discontinued as of this writing, so grab them while they are still available.