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Montblanc L139


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Sblakers

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 06:32

Montblanc L139

Intro: This is a pen that has been number one on my grail list for as long as I have collected pens. However, I never really imagined myself owning one of these pens due to the cost. After collecting fountain pens for about four years I had amassed a small collection of pretty nice pens. After taking inventory I realized the the value of my collection now exceeded the value of what a 139 would go for. I made the choice to essentialy trade almost all my nice pens for a 139. Four months of searching later, I had all but given up on finding the 139 I was looking for. My criteria for the pen was it needed to have a fine steel nib and be in really nice condition. This combination was not around at all. To make a long story short a pen fitting my criteria came up on penboard de and I jumped at it.

To the review



Appearance and Design- The 139 is a flat top design. It is simple yet elegant. The 139 is the Fred Astaire of pens. Clean, classy, smooth and oh man can it dance. Black and gold with a couple little silver rings is what we have here. Montblanc really conjured up some magic in making this pen. The design is timeless. SCORE: 10


Construction and Quality- From the moment you see and pick up this pen you know you have a very quality item. The cap screws on perfectly and feels very secure with no wiggle. All the gold trimmed parts are clean and well made. Everything looks of the highest quality. The pen feels sturdy, I am not afraid I am going to break this pen with regular use. And the true test of how wonderfully built this beauty is,the test of time. This pen has been around since the 1940's and still functions perfectly. I can't imagine a pen or any item for that matter could be made any better. SCORE: 10



Weight and Dimensions- This is a fairly large pen. The girth is about the same as a modern 149's but it is quite a bit shorter. When discussing a pens comfort level or whether or not someone likes a certain size is purely subjective so I will give my opinion based off my preferences and let the pictures speak more on this. The weight for me is perfect the pen has enough heft to feel solid but at the same time be comfortable enough to write with for (I would imagine) however long needed. In my mind its the perfect combination of weight length and girth. SCORE: 10




Nib and Performance- Montblanc steel nibs are very special in my opinion. However ill get to more on this in a second. Description- Big beautiful steel nib that writes a fine to medium wet line. Lots of springy ness , softness and flex. Very noticeable feedback. Smooth and responsive . There is my description. Now to my long winded theories. As I stated above montblanc steel nibs are very special. I have used quite a few montblanc gold nibs and quite a few steel nibs ( 1 other montblanc steel nib ). And no other nibs whether they be gold or steel feel like the montblanc steel nibs. There is a very specific feedback, it's very hard to describe it or even put my finger on it in my own mind. The feel to me is sublime, no other nib comes close.
Now this is just a theory of mine and probably way off. But here goes anyway. My guess is that this feel comes from the vibrations created when the nib makes contact with the paper. When these vibrations travel throught the nib and up into the structure one get a certain feel. Depending on the nib material the feel one gets might be a little different. Maybe the steel nib produces a different vibration compared to the gold. This is my theory as to why certain pens just feel different in regards to feedback. Anyway the steel on the 139 is perfection. SCORE: 11. Get 1 more point due to its awesomeness :)





Filing System- I have reviewed a few other pens with this telescoping piston and there really is not much more to say about it. Fantastic, my favorite piston filler SCORE: 9. I like the danitrio eye dropper more




Cost and Value- I am doing two scores average for this mark. Cost Id say is a 3. Incredibly expensive pen. Very hard to justify such a price for a pen. Value- 10. You are getting maybe the most iconic pen made. This is a piece of pen and montblanc history that points us to a time when craftsmanship and skilled labor were truly at their peak in the pen world. I don't feel it gets any better than this. Combined SCORE: 6.5



Conclusion: This pen found me during a very difficult time in my life. I believe my father had a hand in my finding of this pen to show me that even though he is no longer with us in body he is in soul. This 139 was everything I had always hoped it would be. One of the few times where the product surpassed the hype. I gave up a lot of nice pens to get this one and what I have learned after using it for a few days is I would have given up even more.

Total Score: 56.5/60

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Pictures
http://m1281.photobu...ml?o=2&newest=1
http://m1281.photobu...ml?o=0&newest=1
http://m1281.photobu...ml?o=1&newest=1
http://m1281.photobu...ml?o=3&newest=1
http://m1281.photobu...ml?o=4&newest=1

Edited by watch_art, 24 March 2013 - 03:19.


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#2 carlos.q

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:08

Awesome! :puddle:
The small pictures in Photobucket don't do justice to this pen. Is there any other way you can post them?

#3 dcpritch

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:19

Very thoughtful review Sean; well done!

How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.

— Samuel Johnson

 

Instagram: dcpritch


#4 olivier78860

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:44

Very nice pen, heartful review. Enjoy it for the years to come !

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#5 Sblakers

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:29

Thanks guys :). David. I know you prefer broad nibs but I think you would like this one due to the line variation you can get with the flex. I will see if I can mess with photo bucket and improve the pictures

#6 quinden

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:39

Great review!

I think the 139 and the other flat-top Montblancs of that era are my aesthetic favorites; I wish that Montblanc would release a modern version as part of their non-LE series.

Enjoy your pen, it looks great! :thumbup:
Currently using:Too many pens inked to list, I must cut back! :) I can guarantee there are flighters, urushi, and/or Sheaffer Vac-fillers in the mix!!!

#7 Sblakers

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 15:56

Great review!

I think the 139 and the other flat-top Montblancs of that era are my aesthetic favorites; I wish that Montblanc would release a modern version as part of their non-LE series.

Enjoy your pen, it looks great! :thumbup:

I agree. The flat top is my favorite design as well.

#8 Frank C

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 16:06

I have always like the look of the 139. I bought a Hemingway when they came out because I thought it was a beautiful pen, only later did I discover that it was based on the 139. I guess that I should start lurking on penboard to see when one comes up again.
"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel
I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

#9 leod

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 19:31

very nice review of a great pen!
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

#10 pavoni

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 21:06

Wow Sean! Other than the blasphemy at the end of the piston-filling section (how could you?) :P and a slight differing of opinion on the aspect of price (which I suggest is relative) I felt compelled to read your excellent review over and over again.

The respect, passion and understanding you have for the 139 comes through clearly and makes obvious why you simply had to have this particular model. :clap1: Bravo :clap1: on the brave decision to sacrifice your other pens in favour of your Grail Pen and being duly rewarded with a pen that seems to have met your every expectation.

A super and inspiring review. Thank you very much for sharing.

Pavoni.

Edited by pavoni, 07 March 2013 - 21:07.


#11 orfew

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 21:45

Great review, thanks for sharing your pen with us.
" Gladly would he learn and gladly teach" G. Chaucer

#12 Sblakers

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 21:53

Thank you Pavoni, and everyone for such kind words. I agree with you Pavoni, I think the problem with price for me was that it would have been difficult for me so save for enough months for the 139 without buying other pens. I am really bad that way. Haha. Funny thing is, I have no problem taking all those pens I bought and trading them for the 139. I have a patience problem. Plus I have a wife and 2 kids, so you can imagine my pen funds get raided all the time haha.


I also didn't mention in my review that I would be using this pen as a daily writer. Not that it has any relevance except for the fact that I 100 percent trust its durability for its purpose. To me that's saying a lot when you are talking about anything that's 70 years old.


Haha. Pavoni. I love the telescoping filing mechanism. To me it's work of art and my favorite filling system other than a well done Ed filler. I think I prefer the eye dropper because of its no or less moving parts simplicity. I some how take comfort in knowing I most likely can't break it. :)

Edited by Sblakers, 07 March 2013 - 21:56.


#13 slimnib

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 23:27

I would say that you really like the pen. I have not seen such a favorable review of anything in many years.

Can you share the cost or at least the range. I am really interest what a great pen costs.

Good luck with it.

Have many good years of use.

Harvey

#14 Sblakers

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 23:43

I would say that you really like the pen. I have not seen such a favorable review of anything in many years.

Can you share the cost or at least the range. I am really interest what a great pen costs.

Good luck with it.

Have many good years of use.

Harvey

This pen was. $ 4300.00. Which I think is towards the top of the spectrum. However the pen comes from penboard de off a seller by the name if Lutz. There was 0 risk for me and I knew it would be a phenomenal pen. Where as ebay you can probably get one for a little cheaper but you are also taking a risk.

#15 specialk0449

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:23

Sean your review is an excellent review of one of the most beautiful pens ever made in my opinion. One of mine is always inked. The L139 is a pure joy to write with. I am a big fan of the 130 series. I am so happy that you are enjoying your pen. The steel nibs are under-rated. Thank you for taking the time to write a review of this iconic pen. Montblanc Royal Blue is a great choice for the pen. I have mine inked with Iroshizuku Shin-kai at the moment.

Greg K.

#16 specialk0449

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 02:28

I would say that you really like the pen. I have not seen such a favorable review of anything in many years.

Can you share the cost or at least the range. I am really interest what a great pen costs.

Good luck with it.

Have many good years of use.

Harvey

This pen was. $ 4300.00. Which I think is towards the top of the spectrum. However the pen comes from penboard de off a seller by the name if Lutz. There was 0 risk for me and I knew it would be a phenomenal pen. Where as ebay you can probably get one for a little cheaper but you are also taking a risk.


I agree with you about buying from one of the trusted sellers on Penboard.de. I do not mind paying a little more when I buy from Tom, Max and Lutz because the pen will be exactly as described. If a problem were to develop they will promptly take care of the issue.

#17 Sblakers

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 03:19

I would say that you really like the pen. I have not seen such a favorable review of anything in many years.

Can you share the cost or at least the range. I am really interest what a great pen costs.

Good luck with it.

Have many good years of use.

Harvey

This pen was. $ 4300.00. Which I think is towards the top of the spectrum. However the pen comes from penboard de off a seller by the name if Lutz. There was 0 risk for me and I knew it would be a phenomenal pen. Where as ebay you can probably get one for a little cheaper but you are also taking a risk.


I agree with you about buying from one of the trusted sellers on Penboard.de. I do not mind paying a little more when I buy from Tom, Max and Lutz because the pen will be exactly as described. If a problem were to develop they will promptly take care of the issue.

Thank you Greg. This was a tough review for me because I really wanted to give the pen its proper due. And I feel the same way as you when it comes to buying nice vintage mb's. the extra cost of using penboard de and their amazing sellers far outweighs the increase in price

I just wish my pictures were a little better. I have to use an iPhone .(

Edited by Sblakers, 08 March 2013 - 03:20.


#18 Pensively

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:35

Soooooo glad I passed bye this way....wonderful words around a wonderful vintage Fountain pen. :thumbup: :notworthy1:
David






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