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Dating Montblanc 149s


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#31 mr. abulia

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 03:32

Humblescriber: do you have pictures of the feed and rest of the pen? I am wondering how similar it is to mine!

Thanks

#32 hari317

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 05:38

Ok here it is. Apologize for the photo quality -- my first attempt on this board. And I double checked my feed is strictly the modern plastic horizontal combs w/o any grooving, unlike the last pics I just saw in a previous post which has grooving.


Michael, Your pen is a nice example of the 1 piece barrel. Can you pls take a picture of the feeder too? The 1 piece barrel was phased out by the mid 80's, the plastic feeders appeared in the 90's with the redesigned feeder case with orientation slots.

Best,
Hari

#33 hari317

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 05:48

Interesting! I just bought a pen from Texas that sounds exactly the same: it has what looks like a 1-piece body, plastic filler, 18C tri-colour, somewhat flexible nib. The feed is a bit scratched up, so I'm not sure exactly which it is.

Hari, if you or anyone else would like to take a look, I don't have the pen yet, but pictures of it are here. Bonus points if you can tell me what kind of nib I am getting (looks like a "fine" to me).

Cheers!


Seems like you are getting a nice, somewhat flex nib with a unflexed F width. The Feeder looks like a "modified" full grooved ebonite feed, cannot guess why it required this hack. Maybe the grooves were deformed during repair and the person decided to totally excavate and merge the shank grooves.

The filler washer looks flat to me, not rounded in my opinion, so it will be nice if you can update this thread when you receive the pen. The seller claims that the pen has the earlier press fit filler.

Posted Image

Best,
Hari

#34 mr. abulia

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 07:54

Thanks Hari. I will take some better pictures and post them once the pen does get here. The waiting is the hardest part!

#35 sunnerd

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 11:13

As a new collector, I've always been confused with the names people give to the parts, and often there are no pictorial descriptions.
Following are my understanding of the parts of each era:

Nibs:

14C tri-tone nib
Posted Image

18C Tri-tone nib
Posted Image

14K Two-tone nib
Posted Image

18K Tri-tone nib, note the StoD mark
Posted Image

missing the 18K two-tone nib and 14C two-tone nibs

Feeds:

Round ebonite grooves face & shank feed
Posted Image

Round ebonite grooves face feed
Posted Image

Solid ebonite feed
Posted Image

Split ebonite feed
Posted Image

Plastic feed (note the numeral "2" at the bottom of the feed, next to the section)
Posted Image

missing flat ebonite feed

Barrel

Single unit barrel
Posted Image

2-section barrel
Posted Image

Filler Threads

Telescopic no threads - note the round piston ring
Posted Image

Black plastic threads - note the round piston ring
Posted Image

Brass threads - note the crisp piston ring
Posted Image

Edited by sunnerd, 08 October 2010 - 17:50.

Best regards, Kai
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#36 DKbRS

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 11:45

Those are superb images; thanks very much for posting these. I have never seen such an excellent set of descriptive images all in one place.
David

#37 soapytwist

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 11:57

Perfect images! Sunnerd - it would be great to incorporate those into the timeline document, PDF it, and pin it at the top of the board.
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#38 hari317

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 17:29

Superb pictures Kai. i think the early plastic feed is missing, I have examples with 18K Bi tone and the said feed, i will take some pictures next week. Also in the filler ring sequence, the rounded press fit filler's picture will be required. Alas, i have no examples from this era.

Thanks!
Hari

#39 DKbRS

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 02:40

Kai (sunnerd) and I have teamed up! We've consolidated his images and my chart, as follows:

Posted Image

Edited by DKbRS, 09 October 2010 - 12:02.

David

#40 Chris Chalmers

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 03:46

Thanks to David and Kai - an amazing help for ID-ing 149s - I've added it to my files for future reference. :notworthy1:
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#41 J Sorrell

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 05:25

This is truely fabulous work on those involved part, I cannot thank you all enough.

I have a picture of a flat ebonite feed on my work ipad, I'll post this on Monday if no one else gets there first.

#42 soapytwist

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 09:24

Kai (sunnerd) and I have teamed up!

Job's a good'un! You're missing cap rings and clip humps though (there's a sentence I never thought I'd type!). Not that I'm being picky or anything...

Seriously, well donne to all the contributors!
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#43 cbbp

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 11:37

Superb work! Thanks for this. I was confused with the feed terminology and this pretty much clears thing up!

Now, if someone can show broad vs narrow shouldered nibs.... :embarrassed_smile:

It's almost endless.

#44 Barry Gabay

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:58

David and Kai, This just gets better and better! Don't think I'll use my pens any longer. Will rely on the informative and impressive research you all are conducting and generously posting. Every contribution helps us all in understanding the evolution of what is unquestionably THE epitome of a quality fountain from the past 58 years. Thank you again.

#45 Michael R.

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 13:02

Many thanks for your efforts.

This is a wonderful chart and if completed a wonderful piece of reference.

Cheers

Michael


PS: I'd like to see the wide shoulder nibs vs. narrow shoulder nibs side by side

#46 tanalasta

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 13:28

Absolutely superb. :thumbup:

I wonder if one of the mods could take DKbRS's post above and pin it as a reference.

Those pictures are perhaps more useful as B.Gabbay's original article (which by itself is fantastic reference and I keep a copy on my iPhone) :happyberet:

Edited by tanalasta, 09 October 2010 - 13:41.

In Rotation: MB 146 (EF), Noodler's Ahab bumblebee, Edison Pearl (F), Sailor ProGear (N-MF)
In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (B), ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)

#47 hari317

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 13:32

PS: I'd like to see the wide shoulder nibs vs. narrow shoulder nibs side by side


Posted Image

I recently bought these two 149s from two individuals in the USA. The pens are in factory configuration and single owner used. Coincidentally, the pens are nearly identical. Both sport W.-Germany on clip, no serial number, split ebonite feeder, and brass filler threads, thus making them transitory? very late 80s to early 90s. I found that the shape of the nibs was slightly different, the one on the right slightly wider and rigid, the narrow one on the left is quite springy.

#48 tanalasta

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 13:42

Ooo... fantastic photos.

Apologies if this has been asked, but does anyone know what the writing characteristics of the original 18C 1960's nib is in terms of spring & flex compared to some of the other nibs in the 1960-1980's?

I have one arriving in the next month or so but would like to know what to expect.
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#49 Barry Gabay

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 13:44

Beautiful photo, Hari. From your description, and the fact that they were purchased in the US, I would say 1990-91. The brass threads appeared in the US in 1990 when the split-ebonite feed was still being used. In 1991, the first-generation plastic feed appeared on 149s with 14K nibs.

The chart above is reminds me of Mendelev's work. He was able to predict the eventual discovery of "missing" elements. We know there are 149 components which have not yet been added to the photos. They will be. For eg. narrow and wide shouldered 14C nibs; ski-slope 1950s feed and first-generation plastic feed.

Edited by Barry Gabay, 09 October 2010 - 13:46.


#50 niksch

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 14:02

This is a great effort. I think some of the photos are "incorrectly" associated with decades, and I'll throw in my two-cents later today. Incorrectly may be too strong of a word, though. I'll add my comments when I get a better chance to do it.
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#51 Michael R.

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 14:31

[...] I found that the shape of the nibs was slightly different, the one on the right slightly wider and rigid, the narrow one on the left is quite springy.



Dear Hari,

Many thanks for the picture.

I still have some difficulties telling them apart :embarrassed_smile:

Are their real differences in terms of dimensions or is this just an visual impression?

I know from many Montblanc nibs that the tines of the nib will vary depending on the size/width of the used tipping material.

Cheers

Michael

#52 hari317

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 14:51

[Are their real differences in terms of dimensions or is this just an visual impression?

I know from many Montblanc nibs that the tines of the nib will vary depending on the size/width of the used tipping material.


Dear Michael, I will use a set of calipers to measure and report back next week. However the shape of the tines from the shoulders to the tipping is different in both the nibs, I also feel that the shoulder widths is slightly different.

Best,
Hari

#53 sunnerd

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 21:32

I suppose we need to distinguish two points here.
1. The chart, as presented currently, is a work in progress with the initial data from Barry's excellent 149 article. Call it version 0.1 draft. Once there are consensus on the era of particular components, we lock it in for another draft. Until there is new evidence that MB produced a particulr component at a new time period, then we revise the chart. Personally I don't think there will be too many versions as a lot of things are down patted quite correctly already. The purpose of the chart is to help people to associate what component was produced during what time period.

2. pictures - The pictures of the components are to be treated as serving as illustration for a particular component only. Once the part name is ascertained, one can then associate the production era for that component from the chart. If later on someone comes up with a photo of a new component style, we analyse it and then add the photo in, as well as revising the chart, no problemo.

Now the fun bit - armed with the various individual component production era of a pen, how does one conclude the date of production of a pen? Just match them all up and if you can find a common era, then that's the production time. If not, there are so many other factors to consider e.g. pen was repaired with different era parts, MB grabbed whatever parts they had to produce etc etc.

Dating a pen is always an art form. :thumbup:
Best regards, Kai
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Montblanc 144G Grey, 146G Green Striated, 146 Silver Barley, 149 (50s-00s).
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#54 niksch

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 00:42

For the record, I'm not criticizing this product. It's very good, and can only get better. It needs tweaks, though.

Ref #1. if you are looking for solid evidence of a production period, there is going to be disappointment, unless you can get production records from MB. When MB introduces style/material changes, they continue to use existing stocks of on hand components along with new components, thereby blurring the lines of when updated components were introduced. (A classic example is the 146 in the late 80s, early 90s.)

Ref #2. While stated, the photos need to be expanded to show missing examples. The celluloid body of the 149 is listed as "single unit", but there is another example between the celluloid body and the current two-piece section. The photos also are not necessarlily aligned with the chart, although that may be a formatting issue rather than oversight.

I'll add my knowledge and photos of missing examples as I can, but I'm on the road for a couple weeks

I suppose we need to distinguish two points here.
1. The chart, as presented currently, is a work in progress with the initial data from Barry's excellent 149 article. Call it version 0.1 draft. Once there are consensus on the era of particular components, we lock it in for another draft. Until there is new evidence that MB produced a particulr component at a new time period, then we revise the chart. Personally I don't think there will be too many versions as a lot of things are down patted quite correctly already. The purpose of the chart is to help people to associate what component was produced during what time period.

2. pictures - The pictures of the components are to be treated as serving as illustration for a particular component only. Once the part name is ascertained, one can then associate the production era for that component from the chart. If later on someone comes up with a photo of a new component style, we analyse it and then add the photo in, as well as revising the chart, no problemo.

Now the fun bit - armed with the various individual component production era of a pen, how does one conclude the date of production of a pen? Just match them all up and if you can find a common era, then that's the production time. If not, there are so many other factors to consider e.g. pen was repaired with different era parts, MB grabbed whatever parts they had to produce etc etc.

Dating a pen is always an art form. :thumbup:


Edited by niksch, 10 October 2010 - 00:44.

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#55 Chris Chalmers

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 00:54


[Are their real differences in terms of dimensions or is this just an visual impression?

I know from many Montblanc nibs that the tines of the nib will vary depending on the size/width of the used tipping material.


Dear Michael, I will use a set of calipers to measure and report back next week. However the shape of the tines from the shoulders to the tipping is different in both the nibs, I also feel that the shoulder widths is slightly different.

Best,
Hari


This is probably the most basic (think caveman) reply, but I just used my quilting ruler to measure the width of the two shoulders, and the one on the right in the picture - great shot Hari! - is definately narrower than the one on the left!

This subject is one of my particular queries right now, and I even asked Barry and Eric back channel to help me understand it. Thanks to both, they are very much true gentlemen of the pen world - and took time in their busy lives to reply in detail.
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#56 soroos

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 02:02

Kai (sunnerd) and I have teamed up! We've consolidated his images and my chart, as follows:

Posted Image

I'm having trouble determining the age of my pen. Can you help me?DSC_0101.jpg

Attached Images

  • DSC_0002.jpg
  • DSC_0005.jpg


#57 Chris Chalmers

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 03:06

Just an amateur's opinion here - your feed looks like the modern plastic one - did you buy the pen new, or from someone on ebay?
Your nib looks like a 70s nib, maybe at some time someone has swapped nibs in your pen - it is confusing, but it does happen.
I hope an expert can reply soon and give more details.
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#58 CS388

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 03:08

I'm having trouble determining the age of my pen. Can you help me?DSC_0101.jpg


September 1st.

Welcome to FPN



Edited to add specificity

Edited by CS388, 10 October 2010 - 03:10.


#59 tanalasta

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 03:23

I'm not convinced that look like a modern day plastic feed ... I have little experience in this area, but perhaps it was one of the earlier plastic feeds?

The experts would have a better clue but perhaps that's a 60's 18C nib ... and perhaps a medium?
In Rotation: MB 146 (EF), Noodler's Ahab bumblebee, Edison Pearl (F), Sailor ProGear (N-MF)
In storage: MB 149 (18k EF), TWSBI 540 (B), ST Dupont Olympio XL (EF), MB Dumas (B stub), Waterman Preface (ST), Edison Pearl (0.5mm CI), Noodler's Ahab clear, Pilot VP (M), Danitrio Densho (F), Aurora Optima (F), Lamy 2000 (F), Visconti Homo Sapiens (stub)

#60 DKbRS

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 03:24

Here is Version 1.3 of the chart and images; the chart has been modified slightly following some feedback from Barry Gabay.

Posted Image



.....
Ref #2. While stated, the photos need to be expanded to show missing examples. The celluloid body of the 149 is listed as "single unit", but there is another example between the celluloid body and the current two-piece section. The photos also are not necessarlily aligned with the chart, although that may be a formatting issue rather than oversight.
.....

To clarify: The images represent illustrative examples of what is referred to in the chart; they are not meant to be graphically aligned with the chart. The gaps in the strings of images represent images that we don't have, but will hopefully add with the contribution of others.

Kai and I feel that it would be best if the "latest version" of the chart and images could be pinned, with continued discussion in this thread. As changes become necessary, as I am sure they will, we can then update the pinned version.
David