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Bold: Fortuna Skull Pens

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Montegrappa Company Profile

Montegrappa is one of the most celebrated pen manufacturers in the world, operating at its original location in Bassano del Grappa, Italy. In 2012 it celebrated 100 years, having opened its doors in 1912 as Manifattura pennini d’oro e penne stilografiche or “Manufacturer of gold nibs and fountain pens.” It continues to remain a world leader in its industry by upholding the highest standards of quality and continuing to produce each pen individually by using traditional techniques. In addition, Montegrappa regularly celebrates outstanding historical figures with limited edition pens in their name.

The Fortuna Skull: Fountain Pen and Ballpoint

Ruthenium Plated Finish, Resin Body,
Fountain Pen: Ruthenium Plated Steel Nibs in F, M, B
Weight: 37g full, 36.5g empty, Ink Capacity: 0.5mL
Ballpoint: Black M
Weight: 46g, Ink Refill, 5g

$450.00 Fountain Pen
$395.00 Rollerball
$350.00 Ballpoint

The Fortuna Skull is a simple pen with bold accents and precise performance. The fountain pen and ballpoint both feature a classic shape that is engraved with a striking skull motif. The pens compose a set matched by journals in either red or black and are sure to turn heads whenever taken out.


The Skull fountain pen and ballpoint are limited editions of the successful Fortuna line. This line became popular because it made the high level of Montegrappa quality that the company is known for available at an attractive price. The fountain pen has a simple design composed of a single piece for the body with no blind cap or components besides an engraved skull pattern along the length. The body has extra large threads to secure the cap and requires only 1.5 turns to open. Taking the cap off reveals a beautiful steel nib plated in polished Ruthenium, a rare metal belonging to the platinum group and known for its non-reactive properties. Polished Ruthenium can also be spotted as an ornate detail in a tooth on the skull engraved into the cap.

The pens are simple in design with a solid construction. The fountain pen is cylindrical with a gentle taper about two thirds of the way up, whereas the ballpoint narrows much faster to a sharp point. The two pens have an identical elliptical cap with one large engraved skull for decoration and a clip. This is not the recognizable Montegrappa clip as it has a broad geometric ‘Y’ and has a much more rigid snap, but maintains the recognizable wheel at one end to prevent damage when inserting into pockets. The cap also has a brushed ring around it with the Montegrappa logo and a black trademark laurel 1912 logo on the end.

There is a couple unique features to the Fortuna Skull line. The cap is a solid 15 grams and changes the center of gravity noticeably; moving it from 64 mm from the tip much higher to 94 mm from the tip when posted. In addition, the ink system for the fountain pen accepts cartridges as well as an included screw in piston converter that holds 0.5 mL of ink. A removable converter provides the advantage of taking the pen apart for easy cleaning as well as the ability to keep a backup cartridge. The ink system for the ballpoint is Montegrappa’s standard Medium ballpoint refill cartridge that comes in blue or black.

With regard to the nib, it writes extremely well with great precision. The Fortuna Skull nib is made of steel with a plating of polished Ruthenium and is decorated with Montegrappa’s octagon pattern. Though rigid, the contact with paper is uniform and surprisingly easy, and the ink flows well even after sitting out of the cap for a while, producing a laser accurate line. There is very little flex in the tines, and the Medium point produces a line that is much finer than the medium nib on the Extra 1930. Even signing my signature did not break up the line and there was no issue in drawing at odd angles.

Ultimately, the pen is a pleasure to write with for F nib enthusiasts. If you are like me and like precise lines, then this is definitely a pen that you will enjoy. The skull motif is very eye catching and the detail on the cap is beautiful and draws attention. For the holiday, I put in Montegrappa burgundy ink and I can’t imagine a more suitable color.

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