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The Montegrappa Miya

So I kind of don’t believe in fate.. but at the same time I kind of do..

This follows on from yesterday’s post where I mentioned that the Montegrappa Miya is the pen responsible for rescuing me from the wilderness years of ballpoint, rollerball and gel pens.


But first – back to my childhood. I always had 2 major passions: cars and racquet sports (is music another? Doesn’t everyone love music?). Anyway, I can’t say when I developed the love* but I was crazy about both. I devoured car magazines, had car posters all over my bedroom walls, and dreamed about Ferraris. Sundays afternoons would be spent watching Formula 1. [Interestingly, I’ve always preferred solo sports to team sports. Psychologists – go!]

Over the years I always had a number 1 favourite driver, and as they retired I always had to find myself another (in case you’re wondering, at the moment it’s Kimi, even though arguably he’s past his sell by date, US GP win notwithstanding). During the 1989 season a young French-Sicilian Jean Alesi replaced Michele Alboreto at Tyrell. He was utterly sensational on his debut, scoring points (only a handful of drivers have ever done this, and this was back in the day when there were only points for a top 6 finish) and running as high as second. With his talent and Italian charisma Alesi instantly became my favourite driver and when he signed for Ferrari in 1991 it was a dream come true. Alas bad luck and unreliability followed him and he ended up winning only 1 F1 race (Canada 1995) instead of the multiple F1 championships which his huge talent warranted.

But why on earth am I telling you all this??


Fast forward many years to the months approaching my 40th birthday and I am on the lookout for THE pen as a present from my parents to mark this significant milestone. Why did I have Montegrappa in mind? That, I’m afraid I cannot tell you. Maybe I was searching for an Italian pen, influenced by my years of admiring the romance of Italian culture (I grew up in the Fens. Enough said.). Either way, I clicked on

And there was Jean Alesi staring back from the page.

I wish I had captured that screen shot, but from that instant, it was a done deal, and is the “I kind of do” part about believing in fate… Now it was just a case of finding the right pen..

The contenders were the Miya (celluloid, midnight blue or turquoise), the Emblema (celluloid) and the Espressione (sparkly resin).

After much agonising it came down to the Miya. I eliminated the Espressione (rather straight up and down design, although I have now added it to my collection after snagging a real bargain on eBay), then eliminated the Emblema (I loved the nipped in waist but it looked a bit odd when posted and the step down from the barrel is a bit too steep. However it remains on my wish list and my eBay alerts!).


So it was down to the Miya and the choice between turquise and midnight blue. As it was to be a daily writer I opted for midnight blue as it was more “sober”. And of course at that time I thought it would be my only fountain pen. LOL!!!


7 years later I still absolutely adore it. The celluloid has the most amazing depth and feels wonderful in the hand, so smooth and warm. The sterling silver section is the perfect size and not at all slippery (unlike chrome). And the number 6, 18k, two-tone nib is fabulous. I would have one in every colour if I could – the red, yellow and turquoise celluloids are stunning.


Due to their huge sentimental value, the Miya and my 21st birthday Parker 95 are the only pens not available to hire from me through This is definitely one of the “downsides” to the pensharing concept, but more of that in another post.

However my other Montegrappas (Harmony, Desiderio and Copper Mule) are, and will be joined by the Espressione once it has had a nib tweak. I also have two other Italians (the limited edition Delta Vintage Fanstasia, turquoise celluloid) and Stipula Model T (gorgeous translucent grey resin, amazing titanium flex nib) available for hire as well as lots of TWSBIs and vintage pens.

So why not join up and give pensharing a try!

*although I do remember getting my Dunlop wooden tennis racquet for my 9th birthday, along with the Kings Of The Wild Frontier LP

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