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Comparison Between Montblanc 146 Legrand With Sailor Realo 1911


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Sidestreaker

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 20:55

Here I would like to share a comparison of these two fantastic writer, the MB 146 and Sailor Realo 1911. Both has very similar characters, sizes and specifications, as well as colors in production. MB 146 as many of you may know is a reliable and great writer that has proven itself over the years to be many's favourite writing instrument, overshadowed only by its larger sibling, the 149. The Sailor Realo 1911 is a newer production from Sailor and is one of the many few Japanese FPs that has intergrated filling system in the market. The piston filling is a newer addition to the 1911 line of FPs.

Looks and Apperance:

Here are some pictures that can speak for themselves. Both are very similar in shape and can be mistaken from afar. The Sailor however has a larger and clearer ink window while strip windows are used for the 146 allows a better material continuity look throughout the barrel. The MB star is probably the most apparent differentiator here in terms of appearance while the Sailor has larger gold plated rings compared to the MB. The gold plating on the Sailor seems to be more 'yellow' compared to the pale looking yellow gold of the MB. Sailor at the moment do not have rhodium plated rings and clip while MB 146 does that have option. MB however has ceased its production of the Bordeux resin version. Both pens looks very pleasing to the eye, not too loud and understated enough to be used as an everyday pen.

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Weight and Construction:

MB 146 and Sailor 1911 are both made from 'Precious Resin' and PMMA Resin respectively. Are they the same thing? I am not qualified to say yes or otherwise but a lot of opinion seems to lean towards yes. The surface is smooth and shiny and both pens are very well put together and made to last. There are no loose joints, rings and clips are well assembled and both are first class quality. The clips on MB is a solid piece of metal while the Sailor is a folded metal to shape. The larger window in the Sailor 1911 seems to indicate that the thickness of the Resin is greater than the 146. Perhaps this could be a reason why the capacity is lower? I can't quite be sure unless I've dissambled it but from the exterior it does look that way. The modern production of the 146 does has the 'loose cap' syndrome when the pen is capped, while the Sailor cap always closes tightly. Both pen are comfortable to write with, be it posted or unposted. Perhaps the Sailor would be better if posted given the slightly shorter dimension that may make a large difference. MB is slightly heavier with the brass components.


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Nib and Performance:

Both writes well OOTB, both are smooth and you can't put them down easily. Japanese nibs are significantly finer than the western counterparts. I've chosen F and M for my Sailor 1911s and M and OB for my MB 146s. That way I'll have a good range of nibs for different sizes, and taking the best of both brands; superior finer nibs from the Sailors and smoother bolder nibs from the MBs. Though the Sailor has a 21k nib as compared to the 14k nib on the 146, both these brands writes like a modern rigid nib. The MB 146 nibs are glass smooth effortless writing. The Sailor nibs are also very smooth but has the perfect amount of feedback to give that writing pleasure, even more apparent with the F nib, given the nature of such width.

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Refill System:

Both are piston fillers, one of my most important criteria. MB uses brass for its piston components while Sailor's is plastic. Both mechanism works the same way and both are smooth and easy to use. The MB however has a larger capacity (more than 1 cc, i can't remember the exact number) while the Sailor Realo has the capacity of 1 cc. The piston knob for the MB is larger, making it easier to handle while the Sailor's piston knob is smaller and probably will take a bit to get used to. Then again, if one find the Sailor comfortable to use, one shouldn't be able to have problems with the smaller knob size. Both has windows to indicate the ink level. While the MB has a strip windows that are more elegantly design and subtle, the Sailor emphasized its window and made it an apparent design feature to see the colours of the ink.

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Value:

MB retails at about USD 600-700 while the Sailor Realo is approximately USD350. This may be a major factor especially in deciding the two, as they are both very similar in looks and characteristic and performs equally well. However, given the large second hand supply out there for a 146, there are many opportunity to own it at much less, if one is not keen on free nib exchange programs.

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Summary:

Though both pens looks very similar, but they do have different handling characteristic. Each has its strength and not many weaknesses. Both are good examples of great engineering and manufacturing process to ensure the best in their product. The MB 146 has the flair and a good feel of a well designed pen, with the history behind it that exudes quality. The Sailor 1911 is a well tuned and high performance machine of a pen. I have been continually and pleasantly refreshed in my writing experience, changing from pen to the other, as they give a similar feel and physical experience, yet different characteristic when the nibs touches the paper.

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:15

Very nice comparison review, thanks for sharing. Both of these pens are among my favorites. While the piston fillers are nice, they tend to hold any annoying amount of ink for a serial ink changer like myself.

#3 mongrelnomad

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 08:36

Great review - thanks!

I have a few 146s and a few 1911s, one of which is a Realo. I love them all although I find the 146s more comfortable in use, though I don't know why.
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#4 Sidestreaker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 18:16

Very nice comparison review, thanks for sharing. Both of these pens are among my favorites. While the piston fillers are nice, they tend to hold any annoying amount of ink for a serial ink changer like myself.


Thanks,
I'm a serial ink changer myself and have to wait patiently for the reservoir to dry out before I can change.

Great review - thanks!I have a few 146s and a few 1911s, one of which is a Realo. I love them all although I find the 146s more comfortable in use, though I don't know why.


Thanks. Though they look similar, they do have different quality of dimensions and feel. Those combination of small differences are the deciding factor I suppose.
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#5 lewis

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 18:15

Nice review. They look very similar, and for the saving you can get with the Sailor, I know which one I'd go for!
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#6 torstar

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 18:25

Excellent review, thank you, things like this makes the board super-worth logging in for daily.

I have both and each has their advantages...

#7 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 22:16

the realo 1911 has a poseur piston which is in fact a fixed converter. The old realo model made for the 95th anniversary of sailor and which based on the king of pen was real piston, the mbs feel better built and more robust than the sailors.
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#8 jorgerp1

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:12

Very nice comparison review, thanks for sharing

#9 Sidestreaker

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:20

Thanks for the kind words! :)
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#10 Montblanc owner and lover

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 00:47

personally i've tried the 2 when i've bought my 146 and i've choosed the 146...don't ask why i don't know,it's a question of feeling
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.

#11 Dillo

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:09

Hi,

Options are good. In the end, what you really want is a pen you really like. Those are two nice pens. I'm not sure which one I would choose, but I know I haven't given it much thought since I can't always write comfortably with pens of that size.

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#12 Mags

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:20

Great reviews of the pens. I prefer my MB mostly as I managed to get a OM nib. The sailor is a more comfortable size for my hand...and the price is well totally awesome.
Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

#13 pavoni

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 22:01

Really enjoyed your comparative review Sidestreaker and really appreciated your photos. :clap1: I haven't experienced the 1911 but thanks to your review, I will soon get myself acquainted.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and lovely pens.

Pavoni.

#14 olivedrab

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 18:52

I'm thinking of getting a 1911 as a every day pen along with my AL star, is this a right choice ?
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#15 inkstick

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 18:55

each has their advantages...


I think so, too. :thumbup:

#16 Jeje3325

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 23:32

Thank you for the great parallel review. I already have the chance of owning the 146 and I think my next purchase will be the 1911. 



#17 Cepasaccus

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 18:59

In my 146 fit 1.39ml of ink.



#18 Calabria

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Posted 23 June 2015 - 14:09

I'm somewhat design obsessed and the fact that the Sailor mimics the Montblanc is offputting to me at first - it's like Lexus vs Mercedes Benz.

But then I remembered from my Fountain Pen 101 classes that all pen designs are ripped off - even Lamy's iconic 2000 has its roots in Parker (which every pen maker tried to imitate) and the original Aurora 88 design. This makes me feel a bit better about Sailor's retrodesign, where they basically take an existing shape and make it better. The inner cap seal is definitely an advantage, and maybe the fixed converter is also a plus in making the pen more leak-resistant. Anyway, I like the quirky ink window.

All this explains why the pen doesn't really look like a Montblanc to me, nor does it write like one. It's like it's grown up, and is now its own pen.

Thank you for your sober and considered review.
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#19 Michigan

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Posted 24 June 2015 - 20:27

What a nice review.  And Calabria is diplomatic in stating the MB is the baseline for the Sailor.  But I just can't see myself, under current circumstances, buying a copy instead of an original.  If that is the case it has a captive converter, even more so. 



#20 carrolljc

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 16:11

Very helpful comparison. I just last night ordered the Sailor 1911L Realo. This review reassures me that it was a reasonable choice. Really looking forward to opening that box!








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