Review – Monteverde Ceramic Gel Refill

Some companies are iconic. Some companies have existed for years and have made a lasting impact on all of the products in their market today. Parker is one of these companies. And when my Parker Jotter ran out of ink, and I was trying to find a refill, this became apparent. Because while there aren’t many Parker brand click pen refills to be found in the world (it can be done, and much easier than some other things, but still…) it is quite easy to find a refill that will fit into a Parker pen. In fact, it’s more common to find pens that fit such refills than it is to find a genuine Parker pen now. Monteverde is one such company that makes both refills and pens of the Parker type, and I’ll be looking at the Ceramic Gel refill from them today.

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The body of the refill itself fits perfectly into any Parker-type pen with ease. Printed on the cartridge is enough information to help you buy another and then some.

The ink is a jet black. It takes some time to dry completely, though, and even when it is dry enough to turn the page the ink isn’t completely dry. It sparkles for some time until it fades to a nice black with little to no shading, which I like in a black.

When dry the ink is very water-resistant, with only minimal feathering. Writing is quite smooth, though I chose the fine-tipped version, which is very finicky about the angle at which it is held and will skip if it is even slightly out of alignment. The tip can also upon occasion require a stroke before the ink flows. After this, there are no flow problems to mention.

It’s just a good refill that does what one would expect it to. It performs well, and its smoothness is quite nice. Really, though, the feel is so close to many other gel pen refills that it comes down to a matter of trying most of them and selecting a favorite.

Review – Poquitos Part 2 – Monteverde Ballpoint/Stylus and Fountain Pen

I had the regular Yafa brand Poquitos for quite some time before ever even hearing about the brand Monteverde, which is one of the many brands of “inexpensive” luxury pens that Yafa owns. Monteverde mainly has their own line of pens that could be completely separated from Yafa, but recently I discovered Monteverde was releasing a set of pens under the same name and similarly styled to the Yafa Poquito. This, of course, confused me, until I found out the companies’ relationship. The two Monteverde Poquitos have both similarities and differences when compared to the regular Yafa versions. Let’s take a look.

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First up is the fountain pen, which is styled very similarly to the original Poquito, but because it is a fountain pen, it is slightly larger, a little longer, and about twice as thick. The tip of the cap has the same “stylus” as on the smaller pens, and the clip is almost identical. The pen is also made of brass, but seems to be painted better, and Poquito is written right on the cap.

Being a fountain pen, it accepts cartridges (of the standard international variety), but there are no converters designed for it. Some small converters can be finagled into working, but none are advertised as doing so. The nib (which is only available in medium) and feed are relatively dry, but that is the case with many pens with similar nib and feed types (plastic, iridium point, German made) and many inks are designed to work well with this type of pen. The section is stainless steel (I think) and gets slick upon prolonged use. And the pen is too short to hold comfortably without posting. But the pen is still super small, and is absolutely ideal for taking quick notes provided one finds an ink that works well with it.

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In addition to their release of the fountain pen, Monteverde also released a new version of the regular ballpoint Poquito, called the Poquito Stylus (and funnily enough, they also released the Poquito Stylus XL which is almost the size of the Largo). The pen has the same writing and mechanism end as the Yafa Poquito (which is the only part that the Poquitos share). But on the other end, a touch-screen stylus of average size replaces the old hard “stylus” point, which was really useless. This new stylus works quite well, though it can be a bit broad at times. The clip design has also changed. It works just as well, and looks a little nicer, in my opinion, but is more likely to damage the item it is clipped onto. The ballpoint itself is identical to the older pen, with refills being the same.

Overall, the Monteverde versions of the Poquito pens are quite small, and quite functional. They haven’t really fixed any of the problems with the standard Yafa versions, but the added benefits of a fountain pen and stylus (for the people that like to use them) are great. All of the Poquitos are hardy little pens that serve well, and can go almost anywhere. The Monteverde versions just add a little more style and a little more usage variation.