Review by Jessica Coles
The Monza flex comes in a light green plastic box — somewhat like a small pencil box where the pen, two cartridges, and the included converter are packed in a dense foam. As with the rest of the Monza line, the feed is clear with a steel nib, the cigar-shaped pen is made of a lightweight transparent plastic. Green is the only color option for the flex pen.
Out of the box, the flex nib was quite scratchy, not at all unusual for an inexpensive steel nib pen. A few minutes of smoothing fixed it.
As for flexibility: the steel nib has a cutout on either side. Typically these cutouts are added to allow the tines to separate as the writer applies greater pressure while writing (rather than simply bending). This causes more ink to reach the page creating a thicker line. When the nib cutouts are paired with a feed that can accommodate a higher rate of flow, the results can be dramatic.
The cutouts on the Monza flex try to imitate those of modern “flex” pens but are located too far back on the nib to affect the flexing. The feed does not seem to have been altered significantly either. The result is a nib that provides a small degree of line variation, but only with noticeable pressure from the user. Since the feed has not been modified, the pen is on the dry side. I experienced a few hard starts, although never railroading. The dryness of the pen actually does help to show off shading inks. This is because the ink can dry quickly rather than spreading out evenly.
My overall impression of the Monza flex pen: the Monza line is an inexpensive pen that writes well, feels good in the hand and includes some fun extras like the matching reusable box, included converter, and a clear feed, but fall short of “flex” in the name. I do enjoy using the pen and will continue to use it in the future, especially with highly shading inks. But when reaching for a flexible pen, the Monza will not be one of my choices.