Leonardo Momento Zero Grande review

This autumn saw the release of the Leonardo Momento Zero Grande product line. These pens are the bigger, oversize brothers of the much-loved Momento Zeros.

The Grande resin comes in 5 spectacular colours and is available with steel nib (EF, F, M, B, Stub 1,5 mm and Stub 1.1 mm for €295) or with 14k gold nib (EF, F, M, B, and Stub 1,3mm for €495). There is a limited edition art-deco ebonite series in 5 colours with gold or rhodium trims. The resin pens are numbered but not limited.

The Copper and Coffee may remind you of Omas and Stipula pens. The Dark Hawaii and the Sand has the layered looks similar to the Momento Zero Hawaii. The Dark Hawaii has none of the turquoise of the “little” Hawaii but more of its deep dark royal blue. The two look really nice together and the Dark Hawaii is different enough, the two pens has their own character so you can have both in your collection. At the end I went with the Sand but it was a tight race with the Dark Hawaii.

The Grande comes with a bottle of ink in a box which is bigger than the Momento Zero box. Leonardo launched its ink lineup this fall as well – six colours but my Grande came with a different, seventh colour (purple).

The shape of the Grande is almost the same as of the standard Momento Zero but larger. The Grande is clearly an oversize pen but nothing excessive. I find this size quite comfortable. The pen is long enough to be used unposted but it can be posted as well. It posts deep enough and the dimensions of the pen are so harmonious that this oversize pen doesn’t look awkward when posted and the cap does not throw off the balance either. One interesting difference between the Grande and its little brother is that there is a step down at the rim of the cap. The clip is also somewhat thinner.

The section has the shape we are all familiar from other Leonardo pens. The Grande has 1 extra ring at the end of the section though. The section is long with a variable thickness so it accommodates different user preferences. The section is not too thick in my opinion. The nib side of the section has the same diameter as the section of the Visconti Homo Sapiens Oversize and it is noticeably thinner than the section of my Opus 88 Demonstrator.

(From left to right: Leonardo Momento Zero Grande Sand, Leonardo Momento Zero Hawaii, Opus88 Demonstrator, Visconti Van Gogh Homo Sapiens Lava Oversize, Pelikan Souverän M805)

This pen has a sort of hybrid filling system. It’s like a giant converter which is glued to the section. While I’m happy that this converter has a large ink capacity, it would have been better if it were a screw-in converter so that the pen could be cleaned easier. The converter has a long, thick piston turning knob which can be accessed either by unscrewing the section or by removing the blindcap at the end of the barrel. Similar to the standard Momento Zero, the piston turning knob is engraved. It features the name of the brand and its logo and a greek key pattern. Nice attention to detail!

Mine Grande has a steel F nib. It’s a #6 size nib that is sourced from Bock (AFAIK). I could rave about these Leonardo steel nibs for a long time. Leonardo must be tuning all its nibs by hand because the nibs are amazing out-of-the-box. I’ve tried several Leonardo nibs many months apart and they were all excellent. This consistency suggests hand tuning and rigorous quality control. I’m really happy how this nib feels and writes. As for wetness, it’s on the wet side but it’s not a firehose. The feed is ebonite and in-house made.

What do you think of the Momento Zero Grande? Which model variant looks the best? What do you think about the price point? Do you find the new Leonardo ink colours interesting? What ink would you pair with this Momento Zero Grande Sand?

1 Like

I really like my Leonardo so I must say that I’m tempted. The price however makes me pause a bit. For 300€ I can also get a Pelikan M800. :thinking: Well, I’ll keep thinking about it and in the end I will probably get the smaller Momento Zero.

Yes the price is a tricky issue. It’s a resin pen, not celluloid, has a steel nib, and costs €295? The tactile feel of a celluloid pen is a bit different but the looks of these resin pens are just as beautiful as similar pens made of celluloid. These resin pens are likely the most beautiful resin pens out there. I don’t know how this layered material is made but I’m sure it’s not the cheapest material and it’s not the simplest manufacturing process. Yes you can buy a Lamy 2000 with a gold nib even as cheap as €100 and that is an amazing pen, no question about it. But these Leonardo steel nibs are excellent and can outperform even some gold nibs. Yes, the material costs are different, but these nibs are so well tuned must be precious human labour involved in the process. So to summarise all this babbling: IMHO looks and performance-wise you get what you pay for. (And that doesn’t change my affection for the Pelikan M800s :grin:)

Yeah, I don’t doubt that. For now both the Leonardo and the Pelikan I mentioned aren’t within my budget anyway. We’ll see what happens when they are. :wink:

@ujh please don’t talk about spending responsibly on this hobby, I feel guilty already :grinning: On that size comparison pic every pen was purchased this year except for the M805 and I’ve also bought this year a Nettuno Docet, a Graf von Faber Castell Intuition and a Twiss wooden hybrid pen plus an amount of ink that will last for a decade. It’s just I-N-S-A-N-E! :laughing: I’d rather not see the grand total :grimacing:

Well … I probably didn’t spend that much but then I have two kids and a mortgage that cost a lot of money. Still, it’s amazingly freeing to just use what you have instead of chasing the next pen all the time. Mind you, I’m sure I’ll go back to purchasing pens eventually. :grimacing:

1 Like

I raved a lot about the nibs which are great but I had some problems with the feed. The feel of the nib was amazing and the pen wrote great while the feed was saturated. When the feed was running low on ink the pen started to skip. I haven’t noticed this at first because it took almost an entire A5 page for the issue to become noticeable. I went back to the store and had my pen fixed. According to the specialist at the store the issue is related to the Grande ebonite feeds. As I understand, the position of the nib on the feed is not “well defined” along the front-back axis and you can friction-fit your nib with the feed into the section in a way that the nib-feed vertical distance is not optimal. What he did is that he played a little bit with different nib positions, and eventually the skipping got fixed.


Since I had such a glowing review of the Leonardo nibs now I must present my recent experiences with their nibs. I’ve bought a Momento Zero Las Coloradas where the slit was somehow vertically skewed and no home nib-tuning can fix that so I sent it back. Now I got a new nib where the slit is so much off-center that again, I must send it back, I can’t tune or smoothen this mess.

There’s also the issue that recently came up that the piston may become stuck on the Grande if it gets wet. Apparently water and the material (+ lubrication, I think) doesn’t play well together.

I think I will be holding off on Leonardo’s for now.