We've had Monteverde in the Cult Pens gang for some time now. We started with their astonishing range of refills, which caters for most of the major pen brands out there, including those whose pens take non-standard refills such as the likes of LAMY and Cross. All their fountain pen ink has been produced with ITF™ technology, which improves ink flow and helps to keep your fountain pen working perfectly. They invented the Soft-Roll™ ink contained in their ballpoint and rollerball refills, which - because of its low-viscosity - enables a really smooth writing experience.
And then we branched out a bit, by introducing a pen - the Poquito. And then a bit more, with the Giant Sequoia, the Ritma and the Monza. And now we've gone a bit mad! But we're not going to apologise; we're just going to introduce to you these delightful new additions to the Monteverde mob.
Established in 1999 in California, the company's name comes from the Italian translation of founder and CEO Jerry Greenberg's surname, which means 'green mountain'. The original gift boxes in which the pens were supplied were actually picture frames, giving customers the opportunity to display their new acquisition; and if they'd rather just use the pen, then a photo or a drawing of it could be framed! The company's aim ever since has been to create pens that are not only stylish and elegant but innovative as well. They listen to what people want and design accordingly, hand-crafting - as they put it - 'affordable luxury' with top quality materials such as European-grade resins and carbon fibre.
So what have we got? Well, in celebration of over 20 years of creating beautifully-made pens, Monteverde reintroduced the Innova, which broke the mould when it was first launched in 1999 and now, two decades later, has well and truly stamped on the remains. With a barrel constructed from carbon fibre mixed with acrylic resin, and '20th Anniversary' plainly stamped on the cap ring, this is a beautifully understated pen.
The MVP intrigued us. Most Valuable Pen? Motor Vehicle Pen? Marvellously Vivacious Pen? No: the MVP is the MonteVerde Pocket pen, a compact fountain pen inspired by the modern art movement that's the perfect companion for when you're on the go.
Moving to the other extreme is the Mega which, as you might expect, is a little bigger than the average pen. It's not much heavier though, which is a bonus as while lots of you prefer a chunkier barrel, you don't necessarily want to risk repetitive strain injury!
The Innova isn't the only pen to feature a bit of carbon fibre. In fact this lightweight, incredibly resilient material offers an appealing depth to the finishes on many of the pens in Monteverde's stable, including the Invincia and the Regatta ranges. While the Regattas all feature carbon fibre as part of their design, the Invincia collection also includes the striking Nebula, a stellar mix of metallic blues.
How about something a little bit different? That would be the Essenza. Its marble-effect barrel means that every pen is unique which gives it a really contemporary feel, and how could you resist the pens' names - Storm Clouds, Sunny Skies and Early Dawn?
The Impressa was built to - well, impress! For one thing it has a square profile to the cap end, which somehow - as if by magic? - segues into a classic cylindrical barrel.
It's the attention to detail that we like about Monteverde: the Strata, for instance, has a three-tiered cap end, which is very slightly wider than the rest of the cap and barrel. And the satin lacquer finish gives it a lovely feel.
'Viva la Strata', as Monteverde put it. Well, 'viva' all of them, we think!