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Today’s review of the Montblanc Cruise Rollerball is brought to us by friend of the blog, Patrick Kansa (@abtw_patrick) who in addition to being a pen enthusiast is also a wrist watch enthusiast. After you read his review of the Montblanc Cruise Rollerball here, check out the links below to his excellent writing about wrist watches too!
Taking a Look at the Montblanc Cruise Rollerball
When it comes to names of pen companies that people are aware, whether or not that are really into their writing utensils, Montblanc is one of those that most people will recognize. They may not be able to place the star logo, but they are familiar with the brand. For myself, while I knew they certainly had a pen collection, it was their watches that I was more familiar with, given my writing for aBlogtoWatch and WristWatchReview. When a chance came up to check out the new Montblanc Cruise (via Montblanc), however, I said yes without a moment’s hesitation.
The Montblanc Cruise is positioned as their entry-level pen, and is available in either a ballpoint or rollerball format. Fortunately for my left-handed self, it was the rollerball that I was loaned for the review. Why do I say fortunately? While I cannot speak as to the drying times on the ballpoint, I do now know that this pen had the fastest-drying ink I have run across in any pen. This meant that, try as I might, I was not able to smear the ink.
Another benefit I found as a left-handed user of the Montblanc Cruise was that there was very little skipping. That can often be an issue on fine-tipped pens, as lefties are pushing, rather than pulling, the pen across the paper. I did note some skipping in upstroke slashes, but in terms of when I was actually writing or taking notes, I did not really have any problems with it. Then again, that is more about the ink and the ink cartridge in the pen, which I am absolutely a fan of.
What I was not as much of a fan of was the fact that I could not post the cap onto the tail of the pen. This is something that I have become rather used to (my other high-use pen that is not a clicky actually threads on to the tail), as it keeps me from having to keep track of the pen cap. True, you can sort of set it on to the tail, but it’s on there loose – it is not like you could set the pen down and expect the cap to stay in place. I suppose having the requisite notches on the body to accept the spring clip in the cap would mar the lines of the body a bit, but I would welcome that for the added utility.
Speaking of the pen body, this is one super light pen. This is due to the fact that the body is made of a resin (the aforementioned more frequent non-clicky pen is a hefty metal one). In terms of writing experience, this makes for a neutral experience for me – you do not feel you are fighting the pen to write, nor are you expecting to have it help you make the lines. Another benefit? If you have it clipped on to your shirt, you barely even feel it is there.
The one thing that is hard to reconcile with the weight is the sort of perception I (and most people have) of the weight of non-electronic accessories corresponding directly to their quality. This is true in the watch world as well, and it can be an easy crutch to lean on. There is just something intrinsic about a piece of steel – you know it will put up with your use and abuse. With the resin body of the Montblanc Cruise, you are giving up some of that certainty. Then again, it is not like pens are getting bashed around, aside from an accidental drop. In my admittedly short time with then pen, I did no notice any issues with the quality or construction – everything fit together quite snugly, and the cap posted on the pen (in its closed position) solidly without any play.
If you are looking to pick up your own Montblanc Cruise, you can do so now for $249 (via Montblanc). If you for some reason do not want the fast-drying rollerball, you can instead opt for the ballpoint version (same body, just a different insert) for $225. For my money, if you’re picking up a Montblanc Cruise, the rollerball is the way to go. While its lightness initially threw me, this pen (and its ink cartridge) was one I was sad to see headed back to its home. Oh, and for my other fellow lefties out there? Feel free to chime in in the comments about other fast-drying inks you’ve run across, whatever the format. I obviously missed out on the Montblanc for some time, and want to make sure I’m not overlooking any others!