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Astoria Goliath ... A Review


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#1 fountainpende

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 19:08

Dear all,

today I would like to write my very first pen review for FPN… and I hope you like it.

This my first review, so ...
What pen should I review? An old vintage pen, a new limited edition? My least preferred pen … or my favorite pen?
Well, I decided to review my favorite pen that is vintage style and sort of limited edition :eureka:

Next, I was thinking of the category in the forum. My favorite pen is an Astoria. But this review is in the Montblanc section. Why?! You may ask. Well, there are several reasons that I would like to explain first.

Astoria is a well-known brand that anybody will easily associate with Montblanc. The company Astoria was found 1921 from the former Montblanc production manager Georg Ilgner and his financiers Herman Dietzel, Sigmund Popper und Wilhelm Frings in Hamburg. At that time, Georg Illner was somewhat unhappy when working for Montblanc and wanted to create his own ‘perfect’pen.

In the following years, Astoria produced great writing instruments.

Unfortunately, Astoria came into financial trouble in the 30ties and was sold in 1932 to Montblanc. Montblanc stopped using the brand name Astoria in 1936. Later, they again used the brand for their cheaper lines, for example, Monte Rosa pens were also sold using the ‘Astoria’ label. Later, the brand was not used any more.

Well, in the last years Max (most of you know him ... maxpens.de) re-registered the brand ‘Astoria’. At that time he was still an employee at Montblanc. He was responsible for the construction and design of many of my/our favorite Montblanc pens… and Max (just like Georg Illner) had a dream… he wanted to create THE perfect pen.

At least, from my perspective, he was successful! He created my personal favorite pens:
The Goliath edition.

So, what’s so special about this pen?!

(1) Feeder and Nib
My two Goliath pens are, well I would call them “wet”. That’s how I like it! Max designed the feeder for this pen. The feeder is made from hard rubber.
Nibs are from Bock (they also produce the nibs for most major companies such as Faber-Castell, Montegrappa and others). They are engraved by hand. Moreover, Max will adapt the nib to your personal needs … no mass production. I told him how I write and how the nib should be and … well he is a nib master … so it was to no surprise that the nibs of my two pens are perfect. I think that this is a really important difference to other manufacturers: you don’t get a standard nib but you may adapt it to your needs.

(2) Size of the pen
Well, it’s a huge pen … the name Goliath says everything. But it’s a slightly smaller pen compared to the 149. The pen is 14 cm long. Diameter is between the 146 and the 149.

(3) Material & Clip
The pen is made from hard rubber; the rings are made from silver. There are different colors available: mine are in black and grey. Hard rubber is rarely used by other manufacturers as it’s not that easy to produce these pens. Max’ pens are 100% hand made.
The Clip is made from silver. Be aware … this clip is just for decoration. You shouldn’t use it. But I really love the design of the clips; it’s similar to the masterpiece clips from the 40ties (just think of the 139 pens).

(4) Mechanism
You can choose from two types: piston filler or push button filler. I like both, but … if I would have to choose, I would prefer the piston filler. This mechanism is just more comfortable to use…

(5) Packaging
Honestly, I do not pay much attention to packaging … I love pens and don’t want to waste my money on packaging. So … packaging is one disadvantage as this packaging was probably quite expensive. It’s a box made from wood (similar to the box of the Pelikan Hunting). And the box looks great! However, I really don’t need boxes …

Summary:
I really LOVE these pens! :thumbup:
The Goliath is my favorite pen. :notworthy1: I just enjoy writing with them … and I write a lot each day, so I need a reliable pen.

Here is my list of my personal five favorite pens:
1. Astoria Goliath
2. Vistonti Doerrbecker
3. Nakaya Decapod
4. Montblanc 145 (my first “expensive” pen)
5. Montblanc 146 … with a customized Stub nib


Best regards
Michael

Attached Images

  • astoria-goliath-fpn.jpg

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www.fountainpen.de- the website for Montblanc and Astoria collectors

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#2 rvthof

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 19:32

hi Michael

Thanks for the nice review of this stunning pen.

I came along the Astoria pens by visiting your website some time ago when I was looking for info on the various Montblanc models.
The Astoria immediately struck me: clean, simple lines. The perfect grip, the most beautiful nib in combination with the black and silver trims. :puddle: :puddle: :puddle:

It is too expensive for me now, but it is surely my holy grail pen!!

Rob

#3 pavoni

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 19:35

Fabulous review fountainpende.

It is clear that you really do appreciate this super looking pen, and it is easy to see why. Mind you, anything by Max is going to be special, really special. :thumbup:

Thank you for sharing.

Pavoni.

#4 karmakoda

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 19:48

Congratulations Michael, and Max. Beautiful, understated elegance. Insert that little drooling face :happyberet:

Goliath definately meets most of my criteria for the "perfect pen" and reminds me of the rare 128 or 129.
Rhodium 18K nib and silver accents are striking.
Thank you for an excellent review and all the background information about Astoria.

Greg

#5 mongrelnomad

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 20:39

Congratulations on the Goliath. I was lucky enough to see one in the flesh at Lundolt Abenz in Zurich. Very, very impressive and definitely on my wish-list.

Enjoy it in good health...
Too many pens; too little writing.

#6 camoandconcrete

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 22:41

What a beautiful pen! And a great review as well. This pen is definitely on my wish list now.
What I'm looking for: Montblanc 132, 235, 422 and 432. Any help would be most appreciated.

#7 fountainpende

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:17

Dear all,

thank you very, very much for your feedback. :embarrassed_smile:

The Astoria immediately struck me: clean, simple lines. The perfect grip, the most beautiful nib in combination with the black and silver trims.


Yes, exactly. I also love this timeless design.

Best regards,

Michael
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#8 Wael El-Dasher

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:21

Michael,

Congrats on the Astoria. It's a wonderful pen. I had one but the first edition, with the yellow gold nib, and it's beautifully crafted. Sold it recently though due to prolonged non-use. I'm eyeing the blue Goliath, but out of my current price range. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the FPN edition red Goliath. That should be very nice to have, a sort of Big Red Parker/Danish MB inspired pen.

Use it in good health.

cheers

Wael

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#9 fountainpende

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:35

Hi Wael,

if you ever sell an Astoria again, please tell me! :crybaby:

Yes, the blue Goliath is a GREAT pen ... I am thinking about selling some of my pens in order to be able to buy one of them. May be I can offer Max some of my other MB pens :unsure:

I have seen the red Goliath here at FPN. That's a special FPN edition?! When will it be released? What about pricing? ... so many questions. I guess I will have to contact Max in the next days.

You could also consider getting the grey Goliath from Max (see pictures below). I think that's a great color.
Mine is unfortunately slightly discolored near the grip section (... long story ... that was my fault ... never use aggressive ink and then take the pen to a plane and forget about the pen for three weeks ... during that time the ink discolored the pen :headsmack: ).

Cheers
Michael

Attached Images

  • Astoria-grey-fpn.jpg

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www.fountainpen.de- the website for Montblanc and Astoria collectors

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#10 hari317

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 15:45

Nice review. Thanks Michael.
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

#11 Uncle Red

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 17:47

Beautiful pen! Thanks for sharing it.

#12 Wael El-Dasher

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:08

Michael,


The grey looks nice! In the photos it looks almost beige, but that could be my screen color settings. I'm sorry to see the discoloration, but it actually looks like a vintage pen now :rolleyes: .


The Red FPN edition was something that was discussed but not sure where the project stands. I believe Max received a few requests for it and it's just a matter of waiting for him to have time to make them. I believe their price was lower than the regular Goliath as they have no silver bands on the cap. I'd still like to get myself a blue Goliath, it looks very elegant in that color. The silver is nice too but too shiny for me. If Max is able to have an octagonal silver barrel with hand filligree work though, that would be extremely nice, like a big version of the Medici...:puddle:


cheers

Wael

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#13 fountainpende

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 14:09

Hi Wael,

I'm sorry to see the discoloration, but it actually looks like a vintage pen now


one of the FPN members suggested that I should polish the pen ... well ... it was THAT easy ... Discoloration has gone within seconds :embarrassed_smile:

... blue Goliath, it looks very elegant in that color

Yes, I also have to save some money for the blue Goliath :wub:

like a big version of the Medici...


that would be great !

I think, we all just have to send him some more mails ... telling him to produce more variety of pens ... and more silver overlay pens ;-)

cheers
Michael

Attached Images

  • Astoria-grey-fpn2.jpg

Edited by fountainpende, 05 November 2012 - 15:04.

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#14 leod

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 16:02

That is a very handsome looking pen, clean and vintage look :thumbup:
it looks nice even with the discoloration
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

#15 ArchiMark

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 17:10

Really like the 'vintagey look' of the Astoria pens....

:thumbup:


Maybe I need to get my eyes checked, but the gray pen looks like taupe to my ol' eyes.....but still very handsome color...

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

Current Pens: Cross, Delta, Montegrappa, Parker, Wahl-Eversharp


#16 Downcelot

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 14:25

the pen looks so classy. Man, if i had $1000 euro to flip in an instance, this would be it ... :headsmack:

Edited by Downcelot, 09 November 2012 - 14:26.


#17 fountainpende

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:54

Hi ArchiMark,

but the gray pen looks like taupe to my ol' eyes


after reading your comment ... I had to buy the Pelikan Taupe M205. :embarrassed_smile:
Yes, the Astoria is a kind of taupe color ... i.e. a mix between grey and brown. The color of Pelikan is, by the way, much brighter than the Astoria.

Attached Images

  • astoria-vs-pelikan.jpg

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www.fountainpen.de- the website for Montblanc and Astoria collectors

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#18 penmanila

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 05:28

i've had my astoria goliath for a few months now and am absolutely delighted by it. not inexpensive, but well worth the price--definitely worth it in materials, crafsmanship, and performance. good heft and balance in the hand, very smooth nib, smooth piston. i chose the black-and-pearl version with an ebonite cap (damascened silver finial), and the #8 18K nib (not offered, i think, as a standard configuration, but you can request max schrage to make one for you, for a small mark-up). here it is in its full glory:

 

19391982474_6b4ba32721_c.jpg

 

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note the unmistakable pedigree:

 

19828121819_1308c4982b_c.jpg


Check out my blog and my pens


#19 Dr. Saleem Ali

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 07:04

Thanks for supplying historical information and good review ! this is nice classy pen ! Enjoy it for the rest of your life !



#20 da vinci

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 12:38

Wonderful pens :)

Anyone have any info on the red version for FPN mentioned in post #8 ?






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