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Montblanc 144 Classique


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13 replies to this topic

#1 jslallar

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 22:06

INTRODUCTION: I was looking for a MB 146 on the eBay, and found this beautiful photo of a pen, a MB 144, black with GT, two tone B nib, lying on its own cap, nib facing toward the camera, and decided to go for it. I later found that this is the trade mark photo style of an Indonesian seller, with good reputation on the internet, eBay name ‘abnerkeisha’. I also liked a 149 by the same seller and wrote to him. He accepted my offer to pay him by means other than Paypal, which I have difficulty working with in Pakistan. I won both auctions. Apparently I got the 149 relatively cheap, but what I saved in the 149 was more than offset by my enthusiastic / novice bidding on the 144. Anyways I got them both for under $500 plus postage, which is an acceptable price for the combo.



MB was initially made as a piston filler too (in the 60s, and maybe even in late 50s), but later only C/C varieties were made. MB stopped production of 144 ‘Classique’ in favour of 145 ‘Chopin’ in 2004 or there about. It would be about the same time when production of ‘Noblesse’ was stopped and MB went ballistic with higher end designer products. Chopin used to come with a CD of Chopin music. That too was stopped and the model was renamed 145 ‘Classic’, to the best of my knowledge, creating confusion.



MB 144 was made in only two colours of resin, black and Bordeaux (burgundy) with gold or white metal trims. There were precious metal finishes too, and some limited editions as well, some of which do crop up for sale even now in mint condition.



1. Appearance & Design (9/10)The appearance / design theme is classic ‘Meisterstuck’, the world renowned design which is iconic and recognized widely. For that, it has a snob appeal too. Mine is a Black with gold trims, you can’t go more traditional than that. The finish speaks of the quality, and the snow cap at the top of the cap makes it instantly recognizable. Clip is standard Meisterstuck design with numbers etched on the clip band ion later day models. Three bands at the base of the cap, two thin ones on each side of a wider central one, with MEISTERSTUCK written on it. One mark deducted for the small size, I can’t have this pen equal to 146 / 149 although they are the same family. I would have deducted two but for the fact that the cap posts very well, unlike its bigger cousins, and as I am a poster, this is to my liking. And although the pen is thin its length becomes quite acceptable posted.

2. Construction & Quality (9/10) Quality! It is a MB. Period. A very well made pen, and the resin is smooth and shiny, does not scratch easy. But I do hear / read on the forums that it has a tendency to break and chip on falling on hard surfaces – MBs were not made for falls. Both the cap and the pen have fallen off my desk once each, on separate occasions and ill effects.

3. Weight & Dimensions (7/10) I do not have the exact weight of this pen but it is about the same as Pelikan M400, which would make it about 15-18 gms. It is 13.8 cm long capped, 11.8 cm uncapped and 15.2 cm posted. Maximum width (cap band) is about 1.2 cm, barrel is 1.0 cm, and the grip section tapers down from 0.9 to 0.7 cm. It is a smallish pen, or so it appears, but the dimensions are comparable to a Parker 45 for example. Being light in weight it gives the impression of being smaller than it actually is. My large hands (glove size 8.5) make it look even smaller. The numbers were deducted for I find it too small for my hands.

4. Nib & Performance (9/10)I like broad nibs and got one. It is a wet writer (8/10), writing true, and starts without a fuss every time. Although it was not that way when I got it, but it was a used pen so I cannot blame MB for that. But a little work settling the tines and a little grind to brush off the rough edges and it has become one of my smoothest writers. I have used Parker Black, Cross Noir, Pelikan 4001 Black, Green, Blue and Turquoise and MB black inks with no problems ever. The nib is a 18K gold two toned beauty, size 4 (belying the model number 144), with just a hint of flex. The nib extends 17 mm beyond the grip, and is 7 mm wide at the shoulders and 4.5 mm at base where it goes in to the grip section. After the self grind I am left with a broad nib with stubbish character, down stroke of about 1.0 mm and cross stroke of about 0.6-0.7 mm.

5. Filling System & Maintenance (8/10) The filling system is International cartridge, converter. The propriety MB Converter holds about the same amount of ink as does my twist filler cartridge on the Parker Sonnet, and that should put it at about 0.9-1.1 ml. The good thing is that most International converters would fit (I have used a Pelikan converter with no issues). The barrel is long and would take both long and short International Cartridges too, although I have not tried them. My personal favourite is the piston filling system (what can I say – I am biased) so I gave 8 marks for the filling system. The nib is friction fit, and the snap on cap holds true and firm and has no issues.

6. Cost & Value (9/10)I got this pen from the eBay, and I admit in my enthusiasm I did overbid a bit (have learnt better since). I ended up paying about $170 odd for this pen plus postage, but one should be able to get it for under $150 with a little patience and research, and a run down one may be had for much less than a $100. Average $130 should be a good price for this pen and at that price you get a MB, albeit a small one, but a MB just the same. Its MRSP when it was marketed was to the tune of $400-450.

7. Conclusion (Final score= 51/60) Apart from the size the only thing of note is the tendency for the barrel to unscrew, especially when I wear it on the front of my dress shirts which have no pocket. I do not know whether this is my pen or a design issue. A very nice thin and smallish pen, light weight, good nib, excellent writer, and a good poster. I would not buy it again for the small size. But I may well keep this one as a sample. I was taken by surprise the first time I held this pen for the light weight but it has since grown on me, and I find it using more than I would have believed a few months ago.

Attached Images

  • MB 144 AB.jpg

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:07

Good review, thanks for sharing.

#3 breaker

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:17

nice review!
thanks!
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#4 whitelily

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 16:40

Wow, pretty pen! Thank you for this nice review. 500$ is a really good price. I went into a Mont Blanc shop, just to hold a MB pen because I was curious about the weight of different MBs (and I think everyone has to have had a MB pen in their hand once in their life, eh?). A 145 costs about 1,500$ here. Crazy! So I can imagine a 149 is probably a lot more expensive than that . What did the 144 cost by itself? ***Edit: sorry, I see now you wrote 170$.

These pens are beautiful...it just strucks me as strange that they´d make the 144 or 145 as c/c in stead of piston fillers?

Edited by whitelily, 13 May 2012 - 16:44.


#5 liptonnr

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 02:39

Excellent choices :notworthy1:

#6 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 16:00

good job :thumbup:
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#7 sztainbok

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:43

Does the MB 144 come with a threaded screw-in converter or a push-in converter?



#8 Ink_Monitor

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Posted 21 April 2019 - 13:04

Edited - posted in error.


Edited by Ink_Monitor, 21 April 2019 - 22:14.


#9 Buzzie

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:30

The converter, you asked? My 144 has a solid screw-in converter. The cap is also threaded, not slip-on. Mine, a Pix,  was made in the range of 2000 to 2004. It is a 144 Meisterstuck Solitaire Doue 925 Sterling with 18K bi-color nib <M>, a Generation 4. In my eyes, the sterling cap with the deep pattern matched to the black resin is just stunning.  It is my go-to pen at my desk on most days.  Solid and strong; nib is smooth and comfy. So well made, the pen will probably outlast me. Luvit!


Do not agonize about tomorrow. Today has enough troubles of its own. ..Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof...

#10 Jebus

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 11:37

Nice review and nice combo!


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#11 rosmarinaus

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 16:59

I thought add some information about the 1987 MB 144 my mother recently passed down to me. It has a slip cap and a push-in converter. This suited my mother, who preferred to write with cartridges rather than deal with bottled ink. It has a M nib, and it is a very wet writer indeed. I learned that this model of MB did not have serial numbers in 1987, but it has the right paperwork/packaging for that period. I'm no real judge of pen condition, but I do notice that the gold trim on the section ring has corroded. It's a valued gift and I'm glad I have it.

 



#12 sztainbok

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 17:17

I thought add some information about the 1987 MB 144 my mother recently passed down to me. It has a slip cap and a push-in converter. This suited my mother, who preferred to write with cartridges rather than deal with bottled ink. It has a M nib, and it is a very wet writer indeed. I learned that this model of MB did not have serial numbers in 1987, but it has the right paperwork/packaging for that period. I'm no real judge of pen condition, but I do notice that the gold trim on the section ring has corroded. It's a valued gift and I'm glad I have it.

 

I read somewhere in this thread that Montblanc will refurbish these pens with the corroded ring for free. 



#13 rosmarinaus

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 21:20

I read somewhere in this thread that Montblanc will refurbish these pens with the corroded ring for free. 

 

You know, that's a good idea and worth following up on.

 

It took a really long time to clean out the pen, because ink from the cartridge last used had dried up, so having a Montblanc professional look the whole thing over would be worth the effort.



#14 Buzzie

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 22:02

 

You know, that's a good idea and worth following up on.

 

It took a really long time to clean out the pen, because ink from the cartridge last used had dried up, so having a Montblanc professional look the whole thing over would be worth the effort.

An heirloom pen, especially from a parent, is a treasure regardless of  any other factors. Fortunately, your mother had an exceptional instrument.


Do not agonize about tomorrow. Today has enough troubles of its own. ..Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof...






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