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An ode to a Montblanc OBB nib... (*updated w/ pics*)


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#1 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 00:06

I recently picked a MB with the exciting and mysterious Oblique-Double-Broad (OBB) nib. At first, I was a little worried that it would be too strange or, perhaps, impossible to use in daily writing, and that I would--surely--have to have this nib ground down. But, I filled the pen a few days ago, and it is a real winner. Let me tell you about it.

I don't know where to begin. Let me start from afar. Imagine the Aurora Italic nib. Imagine an oblique version that is cut at an angle comfortable to hold (for a right-handed person), an angle that rests the tip naturally against the paper in a relaxed position. Now, imagine the "corners" of this nib, where it is cut, are slightly smoothed to make the nib positively glide over paper on a trail of wet Montblanc Racing Green ink. And, imagine a hairline horizontal juxtaposed with a double-broad vertical. Yes, it is beyond stub. It is quite frankly in its own league. This is, for all intents and purposes, a MB factory almost-cursive-Italic-double-broad nib, designed for fast writing and executed in perfect smoothness.

Quite happy with the whole writing experience, I am getting used to the nib and these are my initial reactions. Oh, you might wonder what pen sports such an interesting nib. I'll leave it a mystery, for now, but it is a modern Montblanc pen. smile.gif

Here are some writing samples. This was quickly written, a bit messy and photographed with my phone (!) camera, as opposed to properly scanned, but it's a good estimate. I'm still messy with the OBB nib and this particular sample seems even worse than my other writing.

mbobb.jpg

And here is the Aurora Italic. Much sharper and cleaner, but remember, this is a proper Italic nib. It's the same width as the Montblanc OBB!

aci.jpg

I wanted to add a sense of scale, so here are first three lines written with Montblanc OBB, followed by Aurora Italic and Aurora Extra Fine:

mbobb_aci.jpg

Well, that's it for now.

Edited by MDI, 22 March 2009 - 18:26.

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#2 niksch

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 00:11

Vintage 146.  Probably has a round feed.  Oh wait, that's mine...

QUOTE (MDI @ Mar 21 2009, 06:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh, you might wonder what pen sports such an interesting nib. I'll leave it a mystery, for now. smile.gif

Edited by niksch, 22 March 2009 - 00:11.

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#3 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 00:14

What was I thinking? I forgot the most curious detail--this is a modern pen!
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#4 Blade Runner

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 00:24

Sounds delish! bunny01.gif bunny01.gif bunny01.gif
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#5 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 00:28

It's not some crazy limited edition pen. I could say what it is, but I wanted to take some pictures of the writing and I'm having trouble with that because someone took the scanner with her to Vienna. smile.gif
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#6 archie001

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:25

I am looking forward to the day you can show us a writing sample of that nib. I also intend having one such a pen but I am still quite relluctant, to take a plunge, that it might not fit with my smallish writing.
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#7 penmanila

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:13

hmmm... i do have such an MB with a very nice and smooth OBB nib, but it's a vintage 242G wink.gif

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#8 Wael El-Dasher

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:49

I had an OBB on a 149 but couldn't get the darn pen to write. I thought that being leftie means it will be better to have an oblique nib, but it seems the chamfer was the opposite of the angle I hold the pen. In the end I exchanged the nib for a Fine. I don't think I'll ever buy another OBB.

When I read about OBB, it brings back painful memories of trying to write in an uncomfortable grip...

cheers

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#9 archie001

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:02

QUOTE (Wael El-Dasher @ Mar 22 2009, 11:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had an OBB on a 149 but couldn't get the darn pen to write. I thought that being leftie means it will be better to have an oblique nib, but it seems the chamfer was the opposite of the angle I hold the pen. In the end I exchanged the nib for a Fine. I don't think I'll ever buy another OBB.

When I read about OBB, it brings back painful memories of trying to write in an uncomfortable grip...

cheers

W


Opppsss! That is a bundle of discouragement on my side but, anyhow I share with your pain and sorrow!

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#10 FredRydr

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:22

I have two OBBs, one a Dostoevsky and the other a 146R, which I sought out because I thought my Pelikan 0.9mm OM proved I wrote best with an oblique. I discovered I was wrong.

I went to a good bit of trouble to have the Dostoevsky shipped to Hamburg for an OBB nib, then I sent it on to Richard Binder for cursive italicization, about 9 months all told. At the same time, I picked up my 146R from FPN with an OBB nib in place. I sent the 146R to Greg Minuskin so that I could compare their work. Meanwhile, I bought two sterling Sheaffer Nostalgias, one with a stub and the other with an OB nib. I thought something was wrong with the OB and sent the nib for replacement, and I had the same problem with the replacement nib! My Sheaffer company contact told me to stop using an oblique, and convinced me to accept a stub like the other Nostalgia, which I did. Eureka! Nice factory nibs, these Sheaffers!

I noticed that the Dostoevsky wrote beautifully but I had difficulty keeping up a constant flow, and it would skip. Well, I decided to put my name on Richard's list at Long Island yesterday, and I was the last customer (but for a vendor who let me go first) before Richard shut down for the day. He looked at his work on the WE, and then asked me to write with it. As he watched me write my signature, he confirmed I should not be writing with obliques. So off the WE goes for a second trip to Nashua for a proper stubification.

I haven't really used the 146R OBB Minuskin italic, which now awaits it's fate. Someone here wanna trade something? wink.gif

Sort of like dating a 146, writing with oblique was fun - while it lasted.

Fred

Edited by FredRydr, 22 March 2009 - 12:30.


#11 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 14:31

Hah, Fred, your story of oblique nib trouble scared me into taking mine out of the case and writing for a bit to make sure the world is still spinning & that my nib is still okay. smile.gif Indeed it appears that some people's hand is not compatible with obliques, so I hope no one buys it based on my thread without trying it first...

Back to my OBB, I uploaded samples into my original post!

Let me know what you think.

Edited by MDI, 22 March 2009 - 14:58.

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#12 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 15:03

I really messed this up. Uploaded the attachments to the wrong post, but it's all fixed now. In any case, I wanted to point out that MB Racing Green, which is currently in this pen, creates a bit of a messy look due to shading and somewhat uneven borders. I'll keep trying to master the OBB nib with the Racing Green (as it is one of my 3 all time favourites), but am also considering other ink alternatives. Could also be the paper. This was written on Rhodia smooth pads and the nib practically slides off the page.

Did anyone else notice that the broader nibs prefer toothier, more absorbent paper?
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#13 QM2

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 16:36

Wow, that nib writes like a stub, no question about it. Congratulations!
And knowing what pen this is, I think the nib suits it very well.

Sadly, there is no guarantee that other MB OBBs will write like this; it is really the luck of the draw.


PS: Don't even think of accusing me of taking the scanner to Vienna; you know you never use it anyway!

#14 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 16:47

To be honest when I first saw this nib poking out, I thought "wow, this thing is as flat as a screwdriver, I must have it!" The tipping is just perfectly formed on this sample. I only hope that many others are similar, but I haven't seen too many OBB nibs to confirm. My OB nibs are nowhere near this flat.
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#15 MDI

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 18:26

And now... pictures of the nib itself:





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#16 QM2

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 18:31

"nib like a screwdriver" -- I like that!

#17 hollyuk

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:09

I have an MB OB and would love a OBB. Very nice and hope you enjoy it! Thanks for the review and pictures.
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#18 Ghost Plane

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 22:32

puddle.gif

#19 MDI

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 01:42

QUOTE (Ghost Plane @ Mar 23 2009, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
puddle.gif


I know smile.gif

Isn't it just so sharp?
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#20 niksch

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:28

looks like a girl pen to me.  Maybe, if you ask nicely, you'll get a really good pen.
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