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Montblanc 146 Sterling Silver Barley Corn Fountain Pen Review


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47 replies to this topic

#1 kahhoewan

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 17:20

I bought this from a reputable FPN member here, David Bidner, I highly recommend him! Great guy to work with. But the piston knob was stuck with a lot of ink which he forgot to mention. Its my fault I should of asked. I believe he didn't know himself.

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Description:
MontBlanc 146 Sterling Silver in Barley Corn Pattern in gold trims.
Two tone nib in Fine
Weight: I don't have a scale but due to the silver, the pen has a good amount of weight. Most of the weight is on the cap so posting it is out of the question. The pen body itself has an equal distribution of weight.
Length: Capped-140mm, Body-123mm, Posted-157mm, Nib-23mm.
Paper: G. Lalo Verge De France
Ink: Sailor Jentle Grenade.

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First Impressions:
I was not impressed at first sight due to the pens uncleaned state, it just didn't have that glimmer that makes you go wow. After cleaning the body with a solution specifically made to clean silver, the pen now had that sparkling wow factor. The pen has an alluring translucent glow when its at a certain angle with the correct lighting.

The look of the nib is just good compared to a Sailor full size 1911. To my eyes the etching on Sailor nibs has more contrast and definition, especially the art decor pattern the goes around the nib.

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Construction & Quality:
The construction is at it best. The all sterling silver feels very solid. In addition, the weight makes the pen that much more attractive. The barley corn pattern is highly detailed. The clip is solid. The cap goes on securely with just a twist compare to Sailors which takes about 3 twists.

Performance:
Here is really my deciding factor to keep a pen or not. And it is a winner. The nib writes a nice wet line and has just the right amount of springiness to it for that subtle line variations I am looking for. More spring to it then my Sailor Hard Fine nib. The nib is smooth and so when I apply pressure the nib does not scratch the paper.

The wet line is particular great on Sailor Jentle Grenade ink as the ink has a greenish sheen that is only visible when the line is laid on wet. Unfortunately not all paper get this effect but it does on G. Lalos Verge De France.

I have medium size hands and the dimension of the pen is just right. The barley pattern provides grib for those who has sweaty hands.

It is a piston filler and is particularly happy with this system because ink can be drawn without having to dip the whole feed section into the inkwell. Less messy!

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Close up view of the green sheen effect on G Lalo Verge De France Paper

Wishful thinking:
There is an area on the cap where the barley pattern is substiuted with a smooth sterling silver surface. This area is where "925" is stamped.
This area is positioned right next to the clip and I believe the designers did so because the "925" can be seen when the pen sets on a table. It also provides an area for custom initials.

This area makes it easier for it to be scratched as it is a smooth surface. After holding the cap, the sweat from my hands makes this area look unattractive. I found myself cleaning that area constantly and so if I an option, I would personally have the cap all in the barley pattern instead. If not, then that area should be directly opposite of the clip instead.

Also, I feel that the black area with the star doesn't seamlessly integrates to the silver part of the pen. Maybe if there is a thin gold band running around that separates the black from the silver would be more pleasing. Similar to the look of the 75th anniversary editions but a thinner band.

Conclusion:
I was not happy with it at first but I am growing to it more each day. The way the nib performs is a big part of that.

The springiness, flow, wetness, and stroke of the nib just goes well with my style of writing. I am not a collector and use all my pens for different purposes. I have my Sailor Matte Black (stay tune for my next review!) as my daily writer and my 146 for journaling and thank you notes. I am set, therefore this will be my last purchase as I am truly done searching for my flagship pen, paper, and ink.

On a side note, anyone here name there favorite pen? =) I am going to name her CrazyHeart. haha.

More pictures and writing samples with captions at my blog here: Photojournal

Edited by kahhoewan, 20 November 2011 - 15:09.


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#2 Ghost Plane

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 17:26

Oh yes. My pens range from "the Precious" to "Spirit" in name.

You might want to get a jewelry cloth so you can give your pen a rubdown without polishing her to death. Even a clean cotton hanky will help keep it rubbed up.

I personally love tarnish on silver until they reach purple-black, but that's me.

Excellent pen! :thumbup: You should get decades of use.

#3 mbradley

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 19:23

Nice review of a beautiful pen. Your handwriting is very nice and the photos were very well composed.


Michael

#4 kahhoewan

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 21:28

@Ghost Planes - Haha great names. Using a Jewelry cloth is actually what I have been doing. Thats what I love about this pen in its silver body, its ability to grow old as I as mature also!

@mbradley - it took a lot of time in capturing these photos so thanks Mike!

Edited by kahhoewan, 19 November 2011 - 21:40.


#5 jandrese

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 01:53

Lovely, thanks for sharing. How much you want for it? :ltcapd:

#6 solitaire

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 04:44

In my opinon this is the most beautiful FP of all even though I am not a Montblanc fan. The only fault is that it is rather heavy and in shirtsleeve weather too weighty for shirt pockets
I had one but a pinstripe. It had a sticky piston but I had John Motishaw fix it and give me an italic nib and the gushy sort of flow I like
If I had only one pen this would be my choice

Solitaire

#7 kahhoewan

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 14:58

Lovely, thanks for sharing. How much you want for it? :ltcapd:


Shes not for sale. But make me an offer that I can't refuse! =)

#8 kahhoewan

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 15:07

In my opinon this is the most beautiful FP of all even though I am not a Montblanc fan. The only fault is that it is rather heavy and in shirtsleeve weather too weighty for shirt pockets
I had one but a pinstripe. It had a sticky piston but I had John Motishaw fix it and give me an italic nib and the gushy sort of flow I like
If I had only one pen this would be my choice

Solitaire


It is indeed very beautiful. Not to over the top that one can't use during a meeting but still has a sort of panache to it.

Its heavy no doubt about that. But somehow the weight makes it so much more precious.

I carry my Sailor in my jean pocket clipped. Although I don't carry my 146 out I tried it on my jean pocket and its not heavy at it. I am not to sure about dress pants tho.

How much did John Mottishaw charge for the sticky piston? I am contemplating whether to send it to MB boutique or a nibmiester.

If I only had one pen this would be it too!

#9 reprieve

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 02:28

I love the barleycorn finish. I have the sterling pinstripe 146, and the extra weight of the silver finish is just perfect. It's been inked constantly since I bought it. Some day, I hope to add the barleycorn to my collection.

#10 solitaire

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:04

The sticky piston on the silver MB 146. I have no record of the charge John Mottishaw made for curing the problem but it was very reasonable.
I have since discovered that this piston trouble in not unusual on those pens
Anyway it has been working perfectly for a year or two since then and I use it a great deal
Solitaire

#11 solitaire

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 00:39

Who can tell me in which years the prcious metal MB 146 pens were launched?
My notes say the MB 146 range was called 'Grand' or "Le Grand' and the precious metal version were called Solitaire.
The pinstripe is called Faden guilloche but the pen trade call it the 146 SP (sterling pinstripe)
I was told at the Lonodn Pen show some years back that the pinstripe was stil in production but that the barley pattern was ended and now rare (but he had a barley he wanted to sell, so who knows?)

I would like to know if the vermeil came at the same time as the silver version.
Anyone help on this?

Solitaire

#12 kahhoewan

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 20:05

Who can tell me in which years the prcious metal MB 146 pens were launched?
My notes say the MB 146 range was called 'Grand' or "Le Grand' and the precious metal version were called Solitaire.
The pinstripe is called Faden guilloche but the pen trade call it the 146 SP (sterling pinstripe)
I was told at the Lonodn Pen show some years back that the pinstripe was stil in production but that the barley pattern was ended and now rare (but he had a barley he wanted to sell, so who knows?)

I would like to know if the vermeil came at the same time as the silver version.
Anyone help on this?

Solitaire



I can't really help you on this one. But I can tell you that when I was deciding on purchase this pen I did some research. And everywhere I looked the barley corn version was not seen for sale. It was mostly the pinstripe versions. So that can be a indication of its rarity. Also, David Bidner had mention it is a rare pen and that he hasn't seen one on the market for years.

Well what do you know, Sanpei had just listed one for sale but its sold!

Edited by kahhoewan, 22 November 2011 - 20:10.


#13 APHK

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 03:43

Thanks for the review.

Your photos make this pen look so good. So how did you clean the dried ink? Did you take apart the pen from the nib end or piston end?

#14 Mkim

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 17:11

Man o man...

Was talking to david during his sale of this pen... and you beat me to it by mere minutes...

And to put the cherry on top, you do a fantastic review with drool worthy pictures! :crybaby:

now thats just mean!

Congrats on a fantastic pen!

#15 Sidestreaker

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 19:47

That is one beautiful piece. I've been trying to resist the precious metal series of Miesterstuck and your review here is not helping.

Great review and great handwriting! Thanks for sharing.
My link

Life is like Chinatown signage, its cluttering, confusing but everything that you need is there, just have to look harder....

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#16 ra9una

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 01:47

Wow, I never really love MB's but this is the nicest pen I've seen today.
thanks for sharing.

#17 raging.dragon

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 02:55

I'm not a huge MB fan, but I do like some of their pens: including this one. Now a sterling silver MB149 would be something to behold (though so far as I know MB haven't made such a thing).

Edited by raging.dragon, 25 November 2011 - 02:55.


#18 kahhoewan

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 14:31

Thanks for the review.

Your photos make this pen look so good. So how did you clean the dried ink? Did you take apart the pen from the nib end or piston end?


Thanks, tried to showcase the pen at its best! I had to soak the end of the pen (the knob) in the water for a couple hours. No way I would of taken apart a MB pen.

Man o man...

Was talking to david during his sale of this pen... and you beat me to it by mere minutes...

And to put the cherry on top, you do a fantastic review with drool worthy pictures! :crybaby:

now thats just mean!

Congrats on a fantastic pen!


Hahaha. If I ever plan on selling you will be the first to know!


My pictures took some time to produce so thank you all!

#19 phrenzy

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 21:39

That's such a nice looking pen, the more I learned about fountain pens and the more fountain pens I see the less impressed I've became with the basic MBs but that is a truly great looking pen. I think it might inspire me t get back into the MB groove. Out of interest whats is the RRP?
WTB: the following GvF-C classic FPs (pref. B or OB nib) or rollerballs: platinum plated, gold plated, solid sterling silver, ebony anello and gold anello, PM me!
(also interested in most other GvF-C products in general, i.e any writing tools, leather goods, advertising/packaging)

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#20 kahhoewan

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 03:25

That's such a nice looking pen, the more I learned about fountain pens and the more fountain pens I see the less impressed I've became with the basic MBs but that is a truly great looking pen. I think it might inspire me t get back into the MB groove. Out of interest whats is the RRP?


Hmm.... i am not sure about the RRP. But one of the reason why I choose MBs in particular the precious metal serious is because I know that hopefully these pens will go up in value as it age. Or at least keep up with the demand when and If I plan to sell it.

Can anyone chime in as to the cost of this pen when it was first introduced?






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