An Omas Ogiva is round like a 149, the Paragon is the largest 10 sided one (with the Milord being one size smaller). The 360 is also a big pen.
A Nakaya Portable is a cigar shaped pen just as big as a 149, and a Nakai-Ai, Decapod and Neo Standard are a little bigger. They have great springy nibs (especially the flexible ones).
My Sailor's nib (a standard one) is actually quite firm. I wouldn't get a Realo with a "standard" nib for flex. Great writer, but not flexible.
The Nakaya is an intriguing pen, no pocket clip, looks good though. Only $550 compared to the 149
I must express a little concern that you are out looking for a $1000 pen without knowing too much about what is available. We all need to learn things for sure, but perhaps the motives for the purchase should be examined?
Are you looking for a superlative writing experience? Are you purchasing the pen because you can? Is it jewellery/status symbol or will it be working hard for its existence?
"I know what I like" will get you a decent pen, but you may never know what you missed. You should add a few Montegrappa, Onoto, Conway Stewart, Nakaya, Yard-oLed, Aurora, Delta, Caran d'Ache, Platinum, Diplomat, Porsche Design, Visconti, and ST Dupont pens to your list as well ............ the search goes on.
Looking for a big FP (with a big nib) with a superlative writing experience. I think any big FP I get will have jewelry/status symbol whether I want it or not. I want to use it outside of my house, but don't want people asking to try it out either. In a way, MB is so common, many people don't want to look at it. They just know it's expensive, and if they're not pen lovers will probably think I am crazy, so it ends up being the opposite of a status symbol. A unique artistic looking FP will probably garner too much attention. I like FPs and aware of the above jewelry/status issues, but try not to let it affect me. I don't have a big FP, want one, and I am encouraged there are so many out there. FPs are not dying. In contrast to cars with a stick shift transmission here in the US.
Yes. MB's website does not feature their best stuff. I'll never figure that out.
In addition, I think the platinum 146 in the second photo has wonderful lines as well. It can be yours for $15,250, Centurion. http://www.ebay.com/...=item2a3e7adde0
At this stage, I kind of feel like we are piling on a bit to the original poster. I think everybody has made good points, but it is kind of a downer to talk about why something is bad. German premier Konrad Adenauer gave his 149 to JFK because he admired it. Is there another fountain pen with anywhere near that level of prestige and class? There are lots of great pens out there. The 149 is one of them.
I can't even lust after it. I don't think it looks good with the platinum, too grayish looking. I wonder if MB has the 149 in gold? Would look good, but the weight of it might be awkward.
+1. Get a vintage.
On a side note: I do not have a149 nor 146, but I have a 221 and a Carrera (steel nib) instead.
The 221 is light and slim, and writes like a dream.
The Carrera is one of my early pens given to me by my father. I was about 14 years old then. I love this pen and I still use it often.
It is a shame that MontBlanc no longer produces these affordable "low end, school pens".
The idea of hunting for a vintage 149 is much more appealing. I could get 2 big FPs that way. Also, I might be more carefree knowing the vintage 149 "only" cost $250 not $1000
If you are up for spending $1,000 on a pen you could check out Romillo pens: http://www.romillopens.com/
I haven used one or seen one in person but I want one and from the looks of them they are much easier to justify than a new 149.
Not afraid of vintage? get an early 50s 146...I have one and its easily one of the best writing pens I have owned. I like my early 70s 149 but its huge and depending on how you hold your pen it might not be comfortable for you. I don't write with mine for long periods of time because it's too fat.
The Eo #9 looks good, as I want to the FP to be big and fat. I liked how it presented barrel diameter figures of 14.4 mm and length of 145 mm. On the MB site or the Pelikan or Sailor, I couldn't easily find similar figures.
Up to 1,000$
MB is not springy
Pelikan m1000 would be a better choice
Visconti homo sapiens (aka lava; same pen). Maybe a little fussy to fill for a newbie?
For that price, buy the pen you want from a seller that will also tuned the nib to your needs. That will add maybe 75$ to the price of your pen.
If that was me:
I would get a Romillo hand made pen. They even make their nibs, can take all of your needs in consideration, now offering piston filling with the Soul.
But of course, thus isn't me... *sigh*
Eyedropper filling might be a bit too fussy, then again I don't have a eyedropper FP. Since many have said MB nibs, even the 149 is not springy, I am going to search of a vintage 149 that would have a springy nib.
If you're looking for a large pen with a nice and springy nib, might I recommend the Ebonite Sailor King of Pen? The body is notably more durable than that of the 149 which is, as you are well aware, not all that strongly constructed. The simple black aesthetic is also understated enough not to attract too much unwanted attention, which is going to be a plus if you'll be carrying it outside. Oh, and the nib on the pen is really springy, almost a semi-flex. Needless to say, it's quite a bit more affordable than the MB as well
As for the cons of the MB 149 excepting direct comparisons with other pens:
* The nib isn't really springy, though it is quite smooth.
* Yes, it's grossly overpriced for what it is, unless you're the type to acknowledge brand recognition as a factor in the cost of an item; most people would recognize it in your pocket.
* The ink capacity is actually quite unremarkable for a pen as large as it is, around 1.7mL. If you're the type to change inks often, though, that'll probably count as a good thing.
* Though the design is indeed quite conservative, anyone who knows fountain pens is likely familiar with the White Star logo. Not everyone want a lot of attention, I'm thinking.
So a Sailor KOP is around $500? I was on their site and it looks like KOP comes in many variations, not just in ebonite. I have a Noodler's ebonite FP and do like the feel of it.