Pictures brought to you by the crappiest camera on FPN! I hope you don't mind.
I picked up this pen on eBay (as I normally do) for around $110. Now, just the fact that I bought this is a departure from my normal behavior, as I always, always try out pens at a store or boutique before I buy them on the internet. Otherwise, any vintage pens that I buy must be under $20. Usually, I do this so as not to be disappointed with the pen that I receive, but I was willing to take a chance on this Montblanc.
Appearance-wise, it very much resembles the Lamy 2000 in terms of finish and shape. However, opening the pen reveals a completely different writing instrument overall. While the Lamy is designed as a piece of modern fountain pen engineering, the Montblanc is very much a classic design which just happens to be a bit spiced up by the unusual finish (for the time) and the nib design. I must say, I really like everything about this pen, from its writing properties to its finish and ergonomics and robustness.
I was expecting the plastic to feel a bit more fragile. I really believe this pen could stand up to many years of daily use. Scratches are obviously not a big issue, as any micro-nicks and chips will be lost in the brushed finish of the plastic.
The clip is a geometric design which I prefer over the rounder clips of the vintage Meisterstuck 12 and 14 series. The cap clicks to the barrel with the exactly same mechanism that the Lamy 2000 employs, however the Montblanc's cap connectors are tucked away into the area where the section meets the barrel and so does not irritate any part of the hand while writing. There is a minuscule, faceted ink window which is much too small to read the ink level, but which accentuates the otherwise unbroken brushed finish of the pen. Obviously, this is a carryover from the vintage MB piston fillers of the day.
It takes either short or long international size cartridges. The cartridge rim fits over the nipple with a firm, audible snap.
Due to the brushed finish of the pen, your hand 'grabs' the little recesses in the plastic and makes for a very pleasurable, comfortable writing experience. Although the pen isn't the thickest one around, it's not super-thin either, and its size would be just right for most pen users (myself included).
The nib is very similar to that of the vintage Lamy Ratio (67, 68) series in the fact that it is flat, semi-hooded, and uses a feed that contains the actual feeder on the underside of the nib. This way, the pen can be uncapped for 1-2 mins and only take the slightest nudging to start right up. I like this arrangement, as I can leave my pen uncapped or the cap posted while I think about what to write instead of constantly having to cap/uncap as with finned feeder pens.
It's a 14 carat BB (Double-Broad) gold nib with full flex. From the nib, I can see how Montblanc got an early reputation for high quality nibs. The tipping is round, generous, and perfectly formed, and it is one of the smoothest, if not the smoothest, pen in my arsenal. It's very wet, and the underfeed holds plenty of ink to keep up with the flow. Now, the writing sample doesn't show the flex, as I don't actually know how to use a flex nib properly, and I'm afraid I might do something to the nib.
In conclusion, this is a really great pen! Fit and finish are very precise, it's tough and sturdy, and (most important) it writes like a dream. And at $100-120 for true Montblanc quality, it will leave your hand, conscience, and wallet happy.
Thanks for reading.
Edited by Pfhorrest, 19 February 2010 - 23:53.