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Reasons Not To Get A Mb 149

149 mb purchase new

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194 replies to this topic

#1 Centurion


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Posted 25 June 2014 - 23:02

Hi, I am looking got get a big FP with a very big springy nib for every day use from general writing to signature use. I prefer brand new, even though there are great deals to be had in the used pen market because I feel the used market is risky. Also, I like the idea I was the only person who used the pen. I've reconciled with the idea of carrying a $1000 pen outside of my house. Thus, I am considering getting either a regular 149 or the 90th anniversary 149. I know most of the positive reasons to get a 149.


What are reasons NOT to get the MB 149?


I'll start the list:


* The 149 resin is not durable to be carried outside of the house and would easily shatter when dropped

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#2 tonybelding


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Posted 25 June 2014 - 23:05

* It's wildly overpriced.

* The style is incredibly stodgy.


Take anything I write on this subject with a grain of salt.  I've never understood MB, never had one, never wanted one.

#3 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 23:16

It is not a real springy nib like a Pelikan 1000.

It is a 'springy' nib...a flex set between 'true' springy regular flex and semi-flex; both spread their tines 3 X a light down stroke....a 'springy' nib bends well at the tip, but only spreads it's tines 2 X a light down stroke.

A 1000 can be as some folks say a nice springy nib. The one I tried in a B&M was semi-flex. I have some 27 semi-flex nibbed pens.


Another reason not to buy is both are 18 K nibs, so if you bend it a tad too much....it remains bent, where a 14 K nib would not have that problem.


Modern MB nibs seem to run wide....defiantly do to a vintage '50's nib.

I would suggest getting a 149 from the grand '50-65 nib, that would be either semi-flex or 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex or the '66-75 that has a tad less spring to the nib in comparison.


The older vintage nibs are not on the whole quite as blingy as modern, but I like them. My 742 is bi-colored, so rather blingy for the time.

Of course mine are not a 149.

I have two standard sized pens a rolled gold 742, ('51-55) with that 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex and a 234 1/2 Deluxe semi-flex KOB, ('52-55)


Back then the 146 was a medium-large pen, that grew into a Large pen in the '80s.


It all depends on what you want the nib to do...I'd suggest a '50-75 one with a better nib, than the only  'springy' '76 to modern.


Agree with stogy...it is after all a '30's Sheaffer New Balance clone. ;) 

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 25 June 2014 - 23:18.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




#4 Runnin_Ute


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Posted 25 June 2014 - 23:46

* It's wildly overpriced.

* The style is incredibly stodgy.


Take anything I write on this subject with a grain of salt.  I've never understood MB, never had one, never wanted one.

The cost factor new is a big negative for me.


Plus I have never really had a desire to own a MB.

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
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#5 KAC



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Posted 25 June 2014 - 23:52

For a new model 149: Cost factors. Status totem. Theft magnet. Oftentimes indifferent customer service. "Attitude" at MB shops (ooops, boutiques).  All those factors militate against owning one.  


However: the pen is a classic, clean design with genuine historical continuity. They write well. They are durable but, like any quality fp, they demand a bit more care and attention then a Bic Biro ballpoint. They write well. You can get a vintage (or, if you prefer, "used") 149 for a very reasonable price and the older models oftentimes have superior nibs (depends on year of manufacture and other variables). MB, unlike some other manufacturers, makes its own nibs.  


Your choice, in other words.

#6 zaddick


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Posted 25 June 2014 - 23:57

Not the springy nib you seek

But I would say it is more durable than you expect from your post.

You will not go to far wrong with the 90th anniversary edition.

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#7 _Stormin_



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 00:02

Honestly, I can't think of a GOOD reason not to have one in any well rounded collection. I love my MBs. I also love my LAMYs, TWSBis, Monteverdes, etc...


As for the "durability" of the body itself. I've had my oldest for a decade, it's been dropped once and it lived to tell the tale. I don't ferry it from the case to the page. It goes into my briefcase, into my shirt pocket, etc... I have my pens to use them and it's no exception. I've also never had an issue at the shop, but I guess that varies for people.

#8 Betweenthelines


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Posted 26 June 2014 - 00:16

Obscene price.  


You can get 6 or 7 other wonderful "big pens with springy nibs" for the price of 1 MB.  And you can carry them out of the house, to boot!


Hand me $1000 and I would have a list of 100 other pens I would buy before the MB, many of which would fit your criteria and very likely out perform the MB.  With that kind of budget, and so many drool-worthy pens, seems a shame to throw it all on this one pen.


However, value is in the eye of the beholder, and I know many around here absolutely adore their MB's and specifically the 149.  That's the beauty of personal taste - you can't put a price tag on personal fit and preference.

#9 penmanila



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 00:24

i've been tracking used 149 prices on ebay and have recently found many in the range of $320-$350. one even went for as low as $233:




i've personally had about 6 to 7 149s now and have never paid retail for them. two i got for $200, one for $270 (with a BB italic nib), and a vintage one, most recently, for $140 on another auction site ;) if you watch and wait long enough, you'll never have to pay an "obscene" price for what, despite everything that's been and will be thrown at it, is a really good pen to have and to use. 

Check out my blog and my pens

#10 Gloucesterman


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Posted 26 June 2014 - 00:33

No one seems to have mentioned that the 149 is a very big pen! It was for me when my former wife bought one for me. It was too big. I asked for and got a 145 (I think), piston filler with and EF nib and very comfortable. BTW, that was back in 1988-89. I sold the pen after the divorce and only regret doing so because if I had known then what I know now, I would have got more money for it.


A friend went to China a few years ago. Although usually he is not the gift buying type, he bought me a couple of knock-off Mont Blanc, or as I call them "Mock" Blanc! I rarely use them outside the house and both at home and when I took them with me (a couple of times) people ooohed and ahhhed when nthe y saw the fakes. I offered to let them use them (they knew how to write with a fountain pen) and they were dazzled by the fakes. I am NOT recommending that you do so AND if MOST people can't tell the difference between a $10.00 pen and a $1,000.00 pen, that says a lot about both the pen AND the people.


Personally, I would go for several high quality pens rather than the ONE BIG ONE!


So keep in mind that the only person who has to be happy with the pen is YOU. AND "because I want to..." is the only "reason" you have to give!

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

#11 I like mango cheesecake

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 00:50

Your first point is a moot point about it shattering and about carrying it outside . There should be no difference between the precious resin on a 149 and a 144. Carry your pens wherever you want. No pen should be a house queen. I guess I kind of "shattered" your reasons for "not" owning a 149.

#12 ShallowJam


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Posted 26 June 2014 - 02:35

Id get a vintage 146 for a fraction of the price

VINTAGE PENS FOR SALE! Various brands all restored and ready to go! Check out the pics and let me know if you have any questions.


#13 Michigan



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 04:14

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.


But when I saw a 149 in a store I wondered if really anxious men were trying to compensate for something. 


I also agree with many here.  A grand for a plastic pen is crazy.  You could even buy a used or new old stock metal pen.  Here is a Montegrappa under your budget.  It is sterling.  It will last longer than any plastic pen and you will never have to explain the phrase "precious resin" to anyone.  I have a similar Cosmopolitan Oceanic of the same size and I am thrilled with it. 




Good luck.  Please note that I would commit unspeakable acts for a platinum 149.  And odds are decent I would get a plastic, er, resin 149, under the right circumstances--like a bold nib and very cheap. 

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Edited by Michigan, 26 June 2014 - 05:20.

#14 Aurko


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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:12

If you do get a Montblanc, I recommend a vintage one, or at least a used one. The 149 is a wonderful pen, but I feel that it is a tad overpriced if you choose to buy it at a boutique. It IS a quality pen, but there are many other quality pens for much lower. The nib isn't very springy unless you're looking at vintage, but I will reiterate what others have said before; it IS a theft magnet, and it would be horrible to lose. They're not as fragile as you may think, but I wouldn't rely on it to be sturdy or to take a beating. If you like oversize pens, I would say go for it to get a well rounded collection, but also consider a Sailor King of Pen, a Pelikan M1000, or anything else of similarly high build quality. 

#15 da vinci

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:12

As others have said, the 149 is a large pen, and thus IMHO not practical or comfortable as an EDC. If you are set on a new MB I'd go 146.

#16 WilsonCQB1911



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:54

The only reason I can come up with is cost.  They are priced quite high.


However, you get an in-house nib that is one of the most wonderful nibs made in my opinion.  That's what I figure I'm paying for when I buy it.  


People get their knickers in a bunch about the "status/prestige" and seem to view that quite negatively.  In my circles, that's important.  Everyone at meetings, etc has a "fancy" pen, often a Montblanc and always a rollerball.  To me, that's largely unimportant.  I've carried Platinum Preppies before.  However, it is a factor for some people depending on where you work and who your work with.  And having a presitgious pen can be an asset.


As others have noted, the pens are quite durable.  And apparently MB will completely replace all the plastic parts if you send it in for service, at what I consider a nominal charge (~$100), for an $800 pen.

#17 canibanoglu



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:21

Apart from the price, I can't really think of anything against an MB 149. They are *great* pens, the size is just right and the nibs are a dream to write with. They are very durable pens, using them as you would any other fountain pen is enough to take care of them (regular cleaning, no dropping on the floor etc). 


Another awesome oversize pen is the Pelikan M1000 which has already been suggested. Pretty much the same size as the 149 and definitely just as nice a pen. The nibs on the 149s I tried were springy but I don't know how much spring you would like to have. If you have the chance try them in person. But if you want to be on the safe side, Pelikan M1000 nibs are *extremely* springy, so much so that you could call them semi-flex nibs. 


They are expensive pens and you might not be able to justify dropping that much on a pen, but if you have the financial means for it, I would say that both those pens would be worth their price. 

#18 Algester



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 06:34

MBs never interested me but if you wan some springy nib... plus the price plus I'm still a student what you'd expect me to whip out a high tier pen at school...

Justus 95 would be a good hefty pen

I havent touched a GvFC but its on my list

if not a Visconti Homo Sapiens bronze or steel also on my list it has some spring because of the Palladium bodied nib

Omas Milord...

Edison pens with a gold nib?

Edited by Algester, 26 June 2014 - 06:43.

#19 wetnoodlepens



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Posted 26 June 2014 - 09:23



You can get one, just BECAUSE it's a 149.

Or you could get a Visconti LAVA pen with a dreamtouch nib.


I'd recommend the latter. Much more unique, more niche, not as much of a thief magnet as the MB snowflake logo is.

Vintage Wet Noodles and flexible nib pens of all kinds!

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#20 Sridhar


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Posted 26 June 2014 - 09:54



Personally, I would go for several high quality pens rather than the ONE BIG ONE!


So keep in mind that the only person who has to be happy with the pen is YOU. AND "because I want to..." is the only "reason" you have to give!


+1……overpriced. Maybe a classic, but still a knock off on the Sheaffer Balance. If you want a large sized classic why not the Pilot Custom 823?


Edit: I have a couple of MBs - Both rank in my top twenty, but way below. FYI, my Sailor Realo outranks them (you can have a dazzling array of Sailor speciality nibs for that cost!)

Edited by Sridhar, 26 June 2014 - 10:14.

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