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Montblanc 146


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28 replies to this topic

#1 Sidestreaker

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:31

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I consider the Le Grand 146 Meisterstuck to be one of the best workhorse fountain pen available in the market. The size is just nice, not too big neither too small, understated but has its own class, great writing quality with a proven track record, good serviceability and readily available parts. It is no wonder that this pen stood the test of time and has proven itself many times to be many favourite writing piece in any collection.

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I have been using the 146 more than any other pen (followed by the 149). The OB nib which I've tested in the boutique was something that I fell in love almost immediately and I knew that I had to have this as one of my everyday writing pen.

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FIRST IMPRESSION
A pen as well reputed as this needs no more introduction. The impression of the Meisterstuck has been an icon within the brand, and as far as fountain pen is concern, this is one of the iconic products within the ranks of Montblanc. After the 149, this has been one of the most recognizable model thanks to the ballpoint and rollerball variant which captures the wider market of fine writing instrument users.

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DESIGN 7/10
I love torpedo or cigar shape like pen as this 146. On top of that I have always prefer platinum over yellow gold in combination with black resin. Some may find it rather clinical but the lesser spectrum of colours just emphasize more on its natural shape and form, very much like how some photographs are better displayed in black and white. I for one can't seem to get bored of the design if this pen.

WEIGHT AND BALANCE 8/10
Lightweight and easy to use, this can be used for long writing marathon sessions and ideas just keep flowing onto the pages. Having the cap posted or not makes no difference to me as both the components are light and it is just a matter of length preference in this case. I prefer not to post it, as I find the length adequate for my hands.

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CONSTRUCTION AND QUALITY 7.5/10
Being a resin pen, it is relatively more vulnerable and subject to hairline fracture and cracks if one is not careful. Also, as many have experienced, the cap can never close entirely without really tightening the cap when screwed on (creates a slight movement between the main barrel and the cap, almost like a gap). I'd always be careful as not to tighten it too much and just leave it as it is. This does not happen with the older 146s that I have.

NIB AND WRITING EXPERIENCE 8/10
The OB nib which I am using is wet and incredibly smooth and despite being an oblique nib, the sweet spot angle is wide and I have no problems adjusting to the angle, it was almost instantaneous. This is my first oblique nib, and it has now inspired me to look for the next oblique nib in my future purchase of pens. The nib writes almost on any kind of surface, from Moleskine to the smoother Clairfontaine, with different but satisfying result. My favourite ink to go with it is MB Racing Green.

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nib comparison between 149(left) and 146(right)

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REFILL SYSTEM 8/10
Piston filled system, easy, trusty and quick to refill and clean. There's really nothing more to add here as it has perform tremendously well in my regular refill and change of inks in the past few months.

VALUE 6/10
I got it at a boutique as I choose this pen to be my regular pen and would prepare myself for regular service, thinking that I would need the warranty to back me up. Also there aren't many platinum plated 146 out there in the second hand market, and certainly not the specific nib I was looking for.

OVERALL 7.4/10
The numerical value stated here is simple and objective number of evaluation that can't really describe the satisfaction level from the use of this pen. This is probably one of my most used in the rotation of pen and would probably fill up the majority of my entries in my journal.

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Other 146 Variants:

Some of the more current 146 design in the market which we can appreciate such as 146 Unicef or 146 Bordeaux are great writers too:

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146 Unicef with 149

the 146 Unicef has a different cap design while uses the standard stock nib. Writes great and has similar dimensions as the current production of 146

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146R with 146P

The 146 R was in production in the 90s. I'm unsure if they come if different sizes but I think I got the earlier version as it is shorter than the current 146 size and has the "no.146" engraved in it. It does has the writing feel of the earlier models, finer lines dryer and better behave with certain inks. Also, the earlier ones does not have the 'loose' cap syndrome found in the current production.
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#2 thoppen

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 06:32

Nice review. Thanks!
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#3 hari317

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 06:44

Nice review and photography. Thanks!
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#4 Brian C

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 07:54

Do 149's suffer from this cap not tightening down thing? I had a 146 that I loved except for this issue. It drove me nuts that the cap would never feel secure.

#5 lewis

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 08:57

Great review. You have captured the 146 wonderfully, a magnificent pen in it's own right, often overshadowed by it's big brother.
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#6 Gary1952

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 11:14

Great review.

I purchased a new MB 146 with a medium nib about 2 years ago - unfortunately the nib performance was poor (skips).

Also experienced exactly the same issue with a John Lennon LE. That said, my MB 149 (medium nib) performs flawlessly.
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#7 jandrese

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 14:00

Do 149's suffer from this cap not tightening down thing? I had a 146 that I loved except for this issue. It drove me nuts that the cap would never feel secure.



Yup.

#8 Sidestreaker

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 04:37

Thank you for the comments.

Do 149's suffer from this cap not tightening down thing? I had a 146 that I loved except for this issue. It drove me nuts that the cap would never feel secure.


Yes, unfortunately the current production of 149 does too, but as the 149 has a larger girth, the problem is less noticeable compared to a 146. However, I'm unsure if the vintage or older models would have this problem.


Great review.I purchased a new MB 146 with a medium nib about 2 years ago - unfortunately the nib performance was poor (skips).Also experienced exactly the same issue with a John Lennon LE. That said, my MB 149 (medium nib) performs flawlessly.


MB nibs are mainly hand grounded and no 2 nibs are the same. As yours are new pen, any MB retailer would be able to help with the skipping for free. My 146R has a occasional 'baby-bottom' nib problem when I got it new, and skips on certain paper. Hope it works out for you soon :)
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#9 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 16:57

very nice review and congrats on your pen :thumbup:
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#10 fabrimedeiros

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 17:11

Great review.

I purchased a new MB 146 with a medium nib about 2 years ago - unfortunately the nib performance was poor (skips).

[...]


I guess it's the shape of the tip nib (Baby bottom?). I have 2 MB146 (M and F) and both have been skipping, mainly on starting, since the first day a purchased. I sent them to MB, then problem became better, but they still skip. However I love those pens, but I can't use in long writing, cause it's annoying.

Edited: Another big problem for me is the cap on posted position. I prefer use posted most of my pens. Unfortunately, both my 146 and my 149 are very unsafe to use posted. They fell twice :yikes: but happly, no cracks or scratches!

Edited by fabrimedeiros, 28 August 2011 - 17:19.


#11 tanalasta

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 10:56

Yes, the cap tightening down thing is something you get used to. I just trust that is stays secure once I turn it tight and given the brittle nature of MB resin, I ensure I am gentle with turning the cap. Having a play with my 1990's and 1960's MB 149, both caps are similar.

I do not suggest posting a MB 149 or 146. It does leave minor scratch marks where posted, which can be polished out. But also, it does not post securely and encourages one to either push very hard on the cap when posting or the risk of it dropping on the floor. Fortunately, the ergonomics on both the MB 146/149 are such that they are balanced unposted.

Montblanc pens should not skip. I did use some 6000 & 8000 grit micromesh very gently (took only a few strokes) to fix an older MB 149 that had this issue but note my MB Dumas, MB 149/146 which are all late production era pens write beautifully with no posting. I wouldn't do it yourself if you're not sure how... but the problem should be easily fixed either by Montblanc or an experienced nibsmeister. They are too expensive a pen not to write perfectly and you should be 100% happy with them!
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#12 ribbit

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 13:35

Great review. I always end up coming back to my 146 despite flings with other pens

#13 JBat

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 18:07

Do 149's suffer from this cap not tightening down thing? I had a 146 that I loved except for this issue. It drove me nuts that the cap would never feel secure.



Yup.

My Chopin does the same thing, but I've found it to be a non-issue. Great little writer.
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#14 torstar

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 18:16

Do 149's suffer from this cap not tightening down thing? I had a 146 that I loved except for this issue. It drove me nuts that the cap would never feel secure.



Yup.



And another one.

But it's over 20 years old so that may be adding to the problem. I'll have it looked at in the next cleaning.

#15 Azuniga

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 16:39

Usefull review, thanks

#16 Russ Prechtl

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 02:15

Great review, thanks! I have three 146s, and they're my favorites and my daily writers.
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#17 tuintu

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 13:38

Excellent review.

I love bi-color nibs, and especially carvings and patterns of MB nibs.
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#18 PDW

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 15:33

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Hope MB experts won't mind a quick question about a lower-range pen - what is the pen at the top of the image (the one with the coloured barrel)? I have what I now realise is a cheap (but writes nicely ;) ) Chinese knock-off of it and am curious as to what it's trying to ape.

Edited by PDW, 06 September 2011 - 15:36.


#19 Sidestreaker

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:03

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Hope MB experts won't mind a quick question about a lower-range pen - what is the pen at the top of the image (the one with the coloured barrel)? I have what I now realise is a cheap (but writes nicely ;) ) Chinese knock-off of it and am curious as to what it's trying to ape.


That would be the Writer's Edition F.Scott Fitzgerald. - http://www.montblanc...products/48.php
I miss that pen, mine is still in Hamburg for service...
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#20 MidnightBlue

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 04:08

Have both 145 and 146 and both caps are rock solid. Thanks






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