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Montblanc 14 & 18


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13 replies to this topic

#1 soapytwist

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 22:14

I was always intrigued by the 'bishop's mitre' cap bands on these pens when I first saw them in Andreas Lambrou's first book twenty years ago. The Meisterstück line (the 149 excepted) was replaced by these more streamlined pens in the early 1960s. I think of all Montblanc's designs over the years the 12/14 pens are the most overlooked, and of course they are overshadowed by the more recognised torpedo shaped pens that returned in the seventies.

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They are wonderful pens though; although the nib is hooded, it is an 18ct gold version of their famed wing nib and is a wonderful nib to write with. All in all it is exceptionally well-made and beautiful in an understated way, from a time when MB were first and foremost pen makers. But what of its matching instruments the No. 18 biro and the No. 15 pencil? Well I haven't got the pencil, but I have managed to snag the ballpoint.

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In looks it's a very complimentary match to the FP, but I have the impression that it has been designed to fill the gap in your pocket next to the fountain pen. Remember this came out at a time when ballpoints were gaining in popularity but still hadn't ousted fountain pens completely yet. The pen is lightweight and thinner in girth than the fountain pen, and in actual fact feels a little flimsy in comparison. Added to which the lever that actuates the ballpoint seems a little bit 'Heath-Robinson' in comparison with Parker's contemporary Jotter-style mechanism.

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The saving grace is that I like MB Broad refills, and I love using the fountain pen, so these pens get regular outings.

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#2 jar

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 00:24

The 50s-60s two digit pens are really quite nice.

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#3 Inkwisitor

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 07:53

Thanks for this. The only Montblanc fountain pen that I own is the sister 12 with the OB nib. It is a fabulous nib to write with, smooth and "soft" is the only word I can come up with to describe how it feels against paper.

A Meisterstuck 12/14 is smart, discreet and, as you suggest, somewhat overlooked and undervalued. I suspect this is because of the small size of the pen and the shrouded nib which presumably limits it's visual appeal for anyone that likes the typical Montblanc panache. As a writing instrument it is as good as any.
"The cultured man is the man whose interior consciousness is forever obstinately writing down, in the immaterial diary of his psyche's sense of life, every chance aspect of every new day that he is lucky enough to live to behold!" - John Cowper Powys

#4 gary

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 20:56

An MB 14 is one of the few pens I regularly miss having sold. A piston filler, classic black/gold, slender, threadless cap, hidden wing nib which was turned into a cursive italic.
The BP (didn't really match: it had a name engraved) I really liked precisely for the lever. You couldn't click it like a Jotter for days on end, and it's really skinny, but I appreciated its style
Thanks for an excellent review of a pen that's escalated in price since I had mine.
gary

#5 breaker

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 15:25

nice review thanks!
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#6 kaushla

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 12:10

"But what of its matching instruments the No. 18 biro and the No. 15 pencil? Well I haven't got the pencil, but I have managed to snag the ballpoint..."

Actually there are two matching pencils for the Meisterstuck No. 12 and No. 14 fountain pens. : No. 15 which takes 0.9mm leads and No. 16 which takes the older 1.18mm leads. The mechanism is reliable and the nose cap of the pencils is composed of three brass pieces which at first glance look like cracks; but they aren't.
Kaushla




#7 soapytwist

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 15:08

Thanks for the extra Kaushla - I hadn't realised they made the pencil in two widths.

I know what you mean about the very fine slits in the brass cones; I have older Pix pencils that look like they have cracked, when in fact they are made that way to allow the cone to grip the lead.
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#8 Michael R.

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 17:03

Very nice!

Thank you for your review and pictures.

I really like the wing nibs (which have been used on the previous 25X series as well).

Cheers

Michael

#9 ashokdad

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:38

Does anyone know if the 14 and 12 write with a similar springiness to the 24 and 22?

#10 jar

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 13:22



Does anyone know if the 14 and 12 write with a similar springiness to the 24 and 22?

 

You need to be careful thinking that certain models will have springy nibs. Look at the nib selection chart on this page.

 

large.jpg

 

It's only on the student pens, the 04-32, 32 and 34 that you always find flex nibs.

 

Granted, the odds are that a 22 or 12 will have a flexy nib but the X2 selections and X4 selections were different.


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#11 nvbrennan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:37

These really are great pens and I love MBs older oblique nibs. Nice review.

#12 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:43

Nice pens...Don't hesitate to make reviews of older pens!


A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too... Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F. Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

#13 ashokdad

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Posted 30 March 2014 - 11:21

 

You need to be careful thinking that certain models will have springy nibs. Look at the nib selection chart on this page.

 

large.jpg

 

It's only on the student pens, the 04-32, 32 and 34 that you always find flex nibs.

 

Granted, the odds are that a 22 or 12 will have a flexy nib but the X2 selections and X4 selections were different.

 

Is there a way to identify the nib type on a No. 14? I am not sure if the pen I am previewing is considered F or M, and by performance I would guess it is considered flexible in the chart above, but I would rate it as "a little springy" rather than semi-flex or flexible, but not rigid. Perhaps I am mistaken though and the nib would be rated as rigid by a MB collector...



#14 stephenchin

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Posted 15 November 2015 - 06:14

sorry if I'm reviving an old thread, but that order form offers great information.  

 

To Ashokdad's question, I have a MB 34 with the special order OB nib, and it has that same springiness--that even in many vintage nibs would qualify as semi-flex.  Yet it's on the order form as a Rigid.

 

So in the old day, perhaps truly rigid MB nibs in the two digit series were not available.    Would love to hear if anyone has one that is truly a carbon-copy writing, Sheaffer-style nail, like the Pelikan Durch nibs of the 50's.  








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