This year's addition to the Patron of the Arts series from Montblanc is a stunner. That statement is going to seem a bit out of line if you haven't seen one in person. Compared to past examples fomr this series, the Copernicus seems staid and reserved. Boring even. Of course, going up against pens like the Lorenzo de Medici or the Prince Regent, not to mention the Semiramis and Charlemagne... Well, it's easy to see why the Copernicus might seem simple and plain. It's just a gray pen with silver rings, right?
The beauty of the Copernicus is in it's subtlety. The cap and barrel accents stand out right away, but there are also very fine rings lining the entire length of the cap and barrel. Rings that are not visible until close examination, but which make all the difference in the way the pen comes across.
Once you get it up close, you will notice that it's not just the silver rings carrying the theme of this year's homage to Mikolaj Kopernik, the astronomer who became famous in the early sixteenth century under the latin version of his name, Nicolaus Copernicus. The fine engraved rings on the cap and barrel add a depth to the design.
Copernicus is famous for his theories put forth in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, published just prior to his death in 1543, that the Earth was not in fact the center of the universe, with all the stars, planets, and sun revolving around it, but rather that the Earth orbited the sun. At the time, this was considered quite the revolutionary theory, completely turning what passed for the study of astronomy at the time upside down. The science of astronomy was never the same after this work gained popular acceptance, and the work of many following astronomers was based on Copernicus' theories.
Because of this, Montblanc has used rings as the main feature of the design of the Copernicus. The silver rings mounted on the cap and barrel are obvious, but not so obvious at first glance are the rings on both the cap and the barrel. These are fine enough to not show well in photographs, and even in person, it can take a close look to really pick up on them.
The theme is further expanded upon with the nib, which displays a depiction of the sun, inside a circle, and the moon. It's definitely one of the "coolest" nibs on a modern Montblanc. As one friend put it upon viewing it, "Looks just like my Grateful Dead poster, man!" Any similarity to sixties icons aside, however, it's a nice nib, two tone 18K gold, it's the same size as that used on the 146 sized pens.
It's probably unlikely that many of these pens are going to be filled up and used, so we didn't bother with trying to get one for a writing test. However, should you feel that a pen unused is not worth owning , the Copernicus should prove to be a usable pen by most standards. Like almost all modern Montblancs, the nib is nice and smooth, on the rigid side, and best of all, with a well shaped chunk of tipping material. The Copernicus is a piston filler, so ink supply isn't going to be an issue.
It's no lightweight in the hand, but at the same time, it's not unduly heavy, either. About average for an all metal pen, really. It does have a slightly more top heavy feel to it, thanks to the fairly even diameter through the lenght of the cap and barrel, like the Parker Duofold Flattop, it's going to be balanced towards the back if you post the cap when writing with it.
So, all in all,a very good looking pen... It has a neat theme for an LE, has "collector value", and heck, it looks like you can even write with it! The Copernicus was a bit of a surprise, but like the other Patron of the Arts series pens, it's definitely a winner by most any definition.