Leonardo Momento Zero – Matte Black
$210 CAD [Wonder Pens]
Inked with: Ferris Wheel Press “Roaring Patina”
This is the last review of 2022! I didn’t think I would get to it given how busy the latter half of the year had gotten, but here we are. I’ve somehow managed to post 6 reviews this year. This means I was able to at least post every other month, not including my monthly inked!
Anyway, the Holiday recap will come in another post, so let’s jump into this one, shall we? A Leonardo pen! I’ve been hearing and seeing so much about these pens for most of the year, and I was so happy to finally get my hands on not one but two Leo pens! I was super excited about getting this one in particular – as the story in my comic tells, so let’s get to the review!
Does this pen look super awesome? It’s suave~
I was actually pleasantly surprised when I first got the pen, mostly because I’ve never ordered a pen with a ‘ruthenium’ trim – I really just assumed it was some version of silver, which most pens come in. Given that my goal this year was to only make pen purchases if they are Black, the surprise black metal trim was a nice touch.
The pen is matte black all around – cap, body and grip. The ruthenium trims exist on the clip, three bands accenting the cap, one trim at the cap to body meeting point and one more at the bottom of the barrel, which can be twisted and removed to reveal the proprietary converter. I don’t know how useful this is since I usually end up taking off the entire barrel to make sure I’m not pushing the ink too far ahead. The finial and butt of the pen match with a slight taper to a point. I admit I wasn’t a fan of the look at first – being a little more enamoured with the torpedo look of the Furore line. However, after having this in hand and using it for the last couple of months, I have to say it’s grown on me, and I’m an official Momento Zero fan.
The pen itself was larger than I anticipated. It’s a silly thing to say, since every pen specification usually comes with dimensions. I thought it would be a problem at first, but again after a couple months of use, the size has grown on me. More on this later though! About just under two twists of the cap reveals the nib, a comfortable number. No complaints here.
The nib is plated with beautiful ruthenium as well, completing the All Black Everything look that I quite love. I got my goto EF nib (whenever it is available) and as you’ll read later on, it’s a joy to use – and quite comparable to my all time favourite Penmanship.
I think one strange aspect I noticed while using the pen was a weird plastic-ish smell coming from the pen. As far as I know, the Momento Zero doesn’t come with an ebonite feed, but the smell only appears when I open up the cap. The barrel and cap of the pen do not have any smell. That aside, it has simmered down over time, and I only smell it faintly now when uncapping the pen.
I’ve paid less and less attention to packaging as of late, partly because I neatly put it away almost immediately after getting a pen and setting it up with a converter. That’s probably because I have my fishbowl now, and have almost zero use for packaging boxes unless I want to sell a pen someday. What do you do with your old pen boxes? To be honest, I barely remember the box now that I’ve used the pen for so long, but I do recall Leonardo pens coming in a strong sturdy box with your standard booklets and box sleeve. No complaints here!
What a fun pen! But it didn’t always feel that way.
When this pen first got unboxed and held in hand, my first impression was actually that it was a lot larger than I had anticipated. The overall body of the pen is a little larger than most of my slender favourites like the Platinum Century. But the odd thing is that this pen isn’t any wider or larger than some of the standout pens I have come to love, such as the Benu Talisman. In fact, it’s almost the same in size. After using it for a couple months, I really started to appreciate the size of the pen for what it was.
Weight wise, the pen is nicely balanced and comfortable in hand. I did find that the pinched grip was a bit awkward at first. I have two typical grips when I use fountain pens. ranging from pinching right up to the nib and holding the pen far back on the barrel. Both are okay on this pen, but the shaped grip tends to push my fingers toward the nib automatically. I prefer to have control myself and decide how I want to grip the pen, so a smoother grip would have been nicer.
Otherwise, the nib is smooth and wonderful when the ink is flowing (more on that later!) and I was pleasantly surprised by how thin the EF nib wrote! So I actually kept this pen inked for months since I got it, even though I cycled it out of my Monthly Inked rotation. There is something nice about having an alternate black inked pen (with sparkles!) other than my go to inking Penmanship at hand.
A little earlier on in the first month or two of getting the pen, the black barrel and cap developed a strange white discolouration. It was very strange, and I had no idea what it was other than the type of material not reacting well as it was being used. I started rubbing at it with water and eventually, it seems to have faded. Maybe my hand oils have seeped in and lacquered the surface…haha. Other than that, the pen has been wonderful to use and is definitely among my top pens in my collection that I will constantly go back to. I’ve been happy with the steel nib as well and quite happy with the converter-style pen which is different than its Grande sibling with piston filler. I oddly prefer converter pens simply because I can swap ink out more often – how else am I going to get through my collection!
Now a quick bit about the review doodle. I think the comic says it all. I went and made my first Leonardo pen purchase – a big drop (the first release of the ‘Supernova’ pen design) that I impulsively jumped on and immediately realized it didn’t fit with my resolution theme of only buying black pens. Within the same week, I was also browsing a couple other stationery items and happened upon this older Zero model in matte black. Well that was an easy decision – and it’s cheaper too since it’s the regular Zero and a steel nib. Great success 🙂
This pen is on the mid-tier level pricing. Not your entry-level pricing but also not exorbitant and within fountain pen snobbery territory (sorry haha). It is also a beautiful pen design, works wonderfully and has a very classic feel to it. So yes, I think it’s very worth the price! In fact, I’m very happy I got to try out the steel nib pen first before the gold nib in the Supernova I had preordered. Not that I have anything against the higher price-point gold nibbed versions, but I have no qualms with using steel nibs, especially for drawing. This means I can enjoy the potential future collecting of Zeros right?
- Beautiful design
- Matte finish is quite nice
- Ruthenium trim option is a bonus
- Writes smoothly and wonderfully (when not clogged)
- Not the cheapest but you get what you pay for
- Grip isn’t the most universal and can be a little restrictive
I mentioned I would get to this part, and implied a bit above. I used FWP Roaring Patina in this pen to start. I love this ink – it’s black (yay) and it’s shimmery! Now I usually don’t have issues with FWP shimmery ink. It’s usually surprisingly well behaved and unlike that Vinta Kislap ink I used for one of my inkly’s and reviews (Franklin Christoph Model 02), this one is very smooth going. However, because I have an EF nib, I do experience some various levels of clogging when I leave the pen unused for over a week. It’s unfortunate but also expected. The nib is so thin, even small particles like shimmer would have trouble flowing through despite being a relatively watery ink.
I have also tried Jaques Herbin Shogun in this pen and went through similar issues. Because both inks are so well behaved, the only conclusion I could make is that shimmer ink just isn’t the best thing to put into an EF nibbed pen (which is basically 90% of my pens). It’s not a huge issue since I can just rub some water on it to quickly unclog, and once it gets going, the pen writes smooth as butter and feels amazing.
Back on the ink, Roaring Patina has more of a blueing base tone as can be seen when mixed with water for painting. The shimmer is very pretty and works really well with the black ink. This ink actually came out around the same time as Shogun, hence why I tried both in the pen. Shogun is very similar in that it is also a shimmery black ink, but is a lot more on the brown side with rose gold shimmer.
Ok that’s a wrap for 2022! Stay tuned in the new year when I post about my Holiday recap – there was no Haul!! I actually spent most of the usual haul funds on upgrading my desk and workspace. But I do have lots to reflect on and also recap on my resolution to only purchase black pens. Thanks for reading and see you on the other side – 2023!
Thanks for the review. Very cool and stylish black pen! Happy New Year to you and the turtles.🙂
Thank you! Happy new year to you as well! Happy pen things for 2023!