I wanted to read more about the Montblanc Noblesse Oblige, but found to my surprise that there was no review available. So here is an attempt at it for future references.
History: Montblanc ventured into the cheaper pen market in 70s and 80s, starting with the Slimlines, and then Noblesse versions. Noblesse Oblige was marketed in mid 90s to the best of my knowledge and production stopped in 2004 when Montblanc decided to be a luxury brand only company. The design was probably made by the Aurora, after its Hastil design , for Montblanc.
1. Appearance & Design (10-10) – A rather modern looking pen. It looks like a long thin pen at the first glance. Capped it has a straight appearance, but on second look it is a bit thicker in the middle, with slightly tapering from the cap lip toward both ends, more so toward the barrel end. The cap top flays a bit outward, with a dome shaped top displaying the Montblanc logo. The accents are Golden in colour (Platinum plated appointments were also made for some pens), the cap top band being 3 mm, cap lip band about 4 mm and the band at the barrel base is 2 mm. The cap lip band has MONTBLANC - NOBLESSE OBLIGE etched into it. The base of the barrel is flat and black. The pen that I have is plastic and Royal Blue in colour, but other colours are available, I have seen Burgundy, green, Olive, and Black. These pens are very light in weight and I was surprised how light they were the first time I held one in my hand. It also comes in Gold and Silver finishes, which make it somewhat heavier than the plastic version. The clip design is unusual in that instead of a solid metal bar it has two parallel bars running down from the top, to the clip bottom. This gives the pen a very modern eye catching look. Overall I am not very impressed with the plastic versions and will sell off mine soon. But the Gold pen I am willing to buy.
For more details and model numbers etc look at: http://www.angelfire...y_of_index.html
2. Construction & Quality (8-10) – As mentioned above the pen feel very light, but not flimsy. I would not worry about a small drop, or the cap slipping down from the desk, but you do need to take care, afterall, this is a Montblanc. The gold (and probably silver too I think) models feel more hefty, and more resistant to small abuse. In all the pens I have seen, new and used, the cap tends to snap on lightly to the barrel when capping, but it holds securely and does not fall off (I have carried the pen in my shirt pocket for a while). Still it leaves you wanting for a more secure and firmer 'click' when capping, if you know what I mean.
3. Weight & Dimensions (9-10) –
1. Width: Cap Lip = 1.1 mm, Cap top = 9.5 mm, Barrel lower end = 8.8 mm. I do not have a caliper, these are visual measurements with a ruler.
2. Length: Capped = 14.3 cm (5 5/8 inches), Uncapped = 12.2 cm (5 1/8 inches), Posted = 16.2 cm (6 ½ inches).
3. The grip tapers down from 9 mm to 7 mm.
4. It is a very light pen for its size weighing only __ gms.
It is a rather long, medium width, light weight pen. Comparing to my Cross Townsend, the length is ¼ inch shorter capped, equal uncapped, and ¼ inch longer posted. The cap post well, and the weight and balance are not significantly altered by posting the cap on the plastic version. The Gold version does tend to become slightly back heavy posted, but does not alter the balance to make it unwieldy.
4. Nib & Performance (8.5-10) – Mine is a M nib, but they came in all sizes from F to BB. The nibs are monotone 14K gold, friction fit, and rather boring. Nothing catches the eye. It is a smooth writer, and rather on the wetter side. I would give it a 6.5/10 for wetness. The performance is flawless, and it never fails to start, irrespective of the ink (I tried Pelikan blue and turquoise, and Cross black) and on at least four different paper grades.
5. Filling System & Maintenance (8.5-10) - Filling system of this pen is Montblanc (standard International equivalent) cartridge / converter. My pen did not come with a Montblanc converter when I bought it from the eBay. I had a spare Pelikan converter, and it fit like it was made for this pen. I find C / C systems boring especially if I am paying more than a $100 bucks for a pen, so I cannot give full marks here. But it is a very practical system, clean and easy to use.
6. Cost & Value (8-10) – I bought this pen from the eBay for $132, and after postage it cost me $147,5 delivered. For a used pen this would be the higher end of the spectrum. I wanted one dearly to try it out, so I might have over paid a bit. N my opinion $20 - 30 less would be a better price. I have seen new pens being sold at the eBay for $449, and in Dubai a few months ago I was shown NOS pens at a Montblanc Boutique being sold for 1400 Dirhams (roughly $388). I would not recommend $250 plus for a NOS pen if you can have a used one in pretty good condition for $ 100 – 150. At this price the pen is worth the money you spend but the NOS prices are in my opinion too high for the pen.
7. Conclusion (Final score, 52/60) – Overall a long, medium width pen which feels thinner than its diameter probably due to its lighter weight. The plastic version has not impressed me too much, and I have my pen for sale on the eBay as I write this review. But having said that, the gold version has a heavier feel (I like heavy pens), and I would buy a used Gold pen preferably in B or BB if I could find one, and would pay up to $200 for that.
Edited by jslallar, 11 December 2011 - 21:27.