Glenn's Pens

Pens of Note

Montegrappa Extra 1930

I remember seeing the Montegrappa Extra in 2000 on a visit to Novelli Pens in Rome. My typical visit with Marco is ask him to show me something exciting. Well he did. For those that have been to Novelli you will know that while there are numerous counters of pens in the front section of the store, Marco always goes to the back and comes back with tray after tray of pens. When the Montegrappa Extra was presented as an option, I stopped looking.

Earlier in the month I had visited with the Giuseppe Aquila, the CEO of Montegrappa Pen in Brassano del Grappa, and I was hoping to add a Montegrappa to my collection.

I looked at, and tried a number of great pens while at Novelli. Marco, as always, is very patient as I dipped and wrote with various pens. Whether it was one of the pens in one of the pen cases in the front of the store, or one of the pens from the trays of pens that would be brought out from the back of the store, there were plenty to choose from. This Extra 1930 Parchment became my first Montegrappa 1930 Exta pen. (This would be followed by others that include: Marble Green (2009) and the Turtle Brown (2014). They are my treasured trio of Montegrappa Extra 1930. The 1930 collection evolved to the Extra 1930 Otto to reflect a faceted pen design (the eight sides of the pen).)

Montegrappa notes the Extra 1930 are made with Mazzucchelli celluloid. That name was registered as a trademade.

The Montegreappa Extra 1930 is a good sized pen with an exceptional writing experience. Lenth of the pen in 138 mm with a widest width of 16.6 mm. The pen is fitted with what is considered asn oversized nib (Number 8) and styled based on pens from 1938. It was the flagship pen for the company for many years.

If you did not think this was a special pen when you wrote with it, on purchase, the pen is presenhted in a handcrafted walnut presentation case. I have kept mine and they become beautiful pen cases that sit on my desk.

Based on the design of a 1938 model the 1930 Extra truly has a classic appearance. A good size in the hand, and I must say again, the number eight nib provides an exceptional writing experience. This pen was acquired back with 18 k gold nibs were fitted on the best pens. The nib sites on a fine ebonite ink-feed system. The ink flows onto paper with ease. The internal piston filling system draws up the ink. The piston holds less than 1 ml of ink so be ready to have frequent fills, espeically if your pen has a broad nib!

Even my wife Karen was excited when she saw and wrote with the Extra 1930. As pen owners know, when your wife likes the pen, you have crossed a major point in the purchase process. Over the years I have noticed that Marco presents pens first to Karen first, and then me. Smart man.


The pen has a good sturdy clip and a screw on cap. The body and cap are celluloid with sterling silver trim. There are four different nib sizes available extra-fine to broad. Everytime I pick up this pen I remember my visit to Montegrappa where they described the DNA of the company - celluloid and sterling silver.

I have some nib differences. My Extra 1930 Parchment is fitted with a medium nib that comes in handy especially when I am working on documents with tight lines. My Extra 1930 Marble Green and Turtle Brown are both fitted with Broad nibs.

I had a slight problem with the Extra 1930 Parchment pen when I first purchased it. Ink from the nib would deposit on the inside of the cap, and then work it way out of the cap along the clip where it enters the cap. For the first few days I would clip my pen into a white shirt only to find a small dot of blue ink appear on the edge of the shirt pocket! I sent the pen back to Montegrappa and they installed a plastic sheath on the inside of the cap. Works fine now. So not only was I pleased with the pen, but I was pleased with how the company responded to my problem.

With pens made of light tone celluloid I believe special care should be taken regarding ink. Leaving a pen with ink may result in ink staining the light coloured celluoid. I have now had my pen for over five years and there is some discolouration in the cap from when I used black ink and over time it did discolour the semi-translucent material.

In 2009, on my visit to  Novelli Pen in Rome I sought out another Extra 1930 pen, and acquired the Montegrappa Extra 1930 Marble Green.

All of them I would love to have as part of my pen collection. However, every-time I came back to the Montegrappa Extra, and over the course of almost a half an hour of trying out various pens it became the pen of choice for me.

I like the size of the Extra 1930. It is large, but does not have a bulky feel in the hand. The nib is large and even though this is a Medium Nib, the flow of ink is enough to match my a Broad nib at the narrower end of the spectrum. I dropped the pen, splitting it and damaging the nib. I had a Broad installed with the repair process.

The finish with the sterling silver trip and the rich tones of green, yellow green and back is outstanding. True to many of the celluloid pens, the pattern the black veins have a unique look and as you turn the pen in your hand you do not see the same pattern repeating.

The cap nicely posts on the body of the pen that gives a length of about six inches (15 cm). So overall the pen has a good size and sits in my hand quite comfortably. It has a piston fill mechanism that operates by turning a section at the end of the pen

The nib is 18K gold and has an ebonite feed system. The Greek fret band at the bottom of the cap gives the pen a very classic look and the sterling silver looks great with the soft greens and yellow/greens of the body and cap.

The presentation box is very impressive. Solid ash. This box can sit anywhere to display the pen. Included in a cleaning cloth for the sterling silver, a piece of leather than can be used to rest the pen, a bottle of Montegrappa ink and all the papers for the pen.

This of course in the introduction to my most recent addition, the Extra 1930 in Turtle Brown.

I have the classic Extra 1930 with Sterling Silver Trim. There were a limited number of pens in Turtle Brown produced with rose gold trim and the Bamboo Black with 18 kt yellow gold trim.


Montegrappa Extra 1930


Montegrappa Extra 1930 Parchment

Montegrappa 1920 Extra Marble Green

Montegrappa Extra 1930 Turtle Brown

Glenn's Pens • pens, ink, stores, companies and the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen of choice • Glenn Marcus