I wanted to make a review between a Montblanc 149 and a Sailor King Of Pens for a very long time.
There are few similarities and few differences between these two pens and I want to point them out before we start.
Both pens are.....
1.Flag ships of their makers
5.Have big nibs
6.Same clip shape
7.Both cigar shape
8.Relatively light weight
9.Have the same shape of nib
10.Have 4 digit number on the nib
1.Made of the same material
2.One has trim the other don't
3.One is piston filler and the other CC
4.Yellow clip vs white clip
5.The 149 was made and designed before the KOP
Ok I think I have covered this and I can start.
This is going to be hands down the hardest comparison review I ever wrote and as a MB guy I will have even harder time because the 149 was for the longest time my favorite pen and still on the short list favorite pens.
The KOP on the other hand is a Sailor, a well know, well respected pen maker that makes amazing nibs and I know that first hand from both my KOP and my 1911.
So let's start with the design of these pens.
As we all know the KOP was designed as a replica of the 149 and thus the 149 should win this part simply because it is the first but this ebonite KOP took the 149 one step further and thus has the right to be judged as a separate model.
The KOP is longer then the 149 and trust me the 149 ain't a short pen. Any longer and I would call it too long. It has pointy ends compared to the rounder 149 ends and has no trim just a white clip.
The 149 looks more robust with its rounded end and the yellow trim suit this pen like a glove to a hand.
Overall quality of both pens is excellent but I do like the way the cap feels when you put it on the 149 barrel. It simply feels like a million dollar pen. This was always my favorite feature of the queen and when I use this MB many times I find myself screwing the cap on and off the barrel just for fun.
The material that both pens are made of each has its own special character.
MB special resin has a bit of a glass like look and feel to it and from what I understand MB does put fiber glass into its precious resin mixture and it gives the pen a super smooth feeling to the touch and a shine like no other pen.
This and the cigar shape is the Masterpiece trade mark.
One more design feature which I love and is also very practical is the ink window on the 149.
The Torpedo on the other hand is made of ebonite or black hard rubber. Ebonit is my favorite pen material. It is warm and always welcoming to the touch and frankly gives the pen a very classic feel.
So as for the design of the pen I must give the 149 the lead as I like the more robust/classic design.
With the material the pens are made of I will put it in tie.
Overall quality in a very small margin a lead to the 149.
So overall in this category the 149 is ahead.
Piston vs CC
Personal choice, for me piston is always the winner both because its so cool and holds a ton of ink.
The CC has the benefit of being more practical but that's not an issue for me because if I wanted practical I would buy a 15c BIC pen.
Well here is where the Sailor is supposed to shine. My 149 has an EF nib which is equivalent to a Japanese F.
The Torpedo's nib is an M and thus it is a bit smoother by nature.
Both nibs are very wet and juicy but to be honest the Sailor does feel better.
It has two things which I like just a bit of flex to it and nice feedback.
The 149 nib is a total nib and has less feedback.
I do like the finer line on the MB and it matches my writing style better, it doesn't even need to touch the paper and already leaves a wonderful wet line.
The Sailor also needs very little pressure to leave a wet line but it does make it with more joy.
So bottom line both nibs are very smooth but the Sailor's nib has better feedback and a nice little flex that is like an added spice to the writing cocktail.
Sailor wins here.
Both pens are not heavy for such big pens but there are differences in their weight distribution because of there filling mechanism.
Pens with CC fillers tend to be more eavenly balance while piston fillers tend to be more bottom heavy especially if it has a piston filler.
The 149's barrel isn't to bottom heavy and to be honest you almost don't feel the difference between it and the KOP but the KOP still wins here by a small margin.
This is the toughest part, which pen won this comparison.
So let me share my thoughts with you.
In the hand these pens are almost identical, very close design and the main issues to consider are filling mechanism and nib.
If you don't care about the filling mechanism, if pistons don't do it for you and the extra ink capacity is not an issue then the KOP is the winner for you as the nib is better on this pen.
If you like piston fillers and/or the extra ink capacity is important the let me assure you even though the KOP nib is better the 149 is still a sweet nib and you will love this pen.
As for me I am going to take the middle road, I love both enjoy both and so will keep both.
Edited by goodguy, 09 December 2009 - 02:00.