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Why Montblanc?

pelikan montblanc visconti sailor pilot expensive overpriced

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167 replies to this topic

#41 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 00:02

You got to be joking. "same machine as the one that makes disposable plastic cutlery"
That is The most ridiculous coment i ve ever readed.

Agree. It is more like the plastic water bottle machine, not cutlery.

Tom.

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#42 mrchan

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 00:45

 

You reckon?  I dont like Lamy, Krone or Caran d'Ache, to name 3 brands.   I usually dont waste time reading anything related to them.    Most people I know also tend to focus on things they like, and ignore things they dont fancy.   Guess there is a different behavioral pattern i havent been exposed to much.

So true, I agree that for pens I don't care very much about, I hardly give them the time of day. Take stuff like Ancora, Montegrappa, Delta, Caran d'Ache, Krone, and a few others for example. I think people who keep bashing Montblanc secretly want one themselves and are just envious..So they just keep bashing it until they can finally afford one..Then they go ooh its so nice, I change what I thought about this previously blah blah blah..

 

There was a lengthy discussion of this on Pelikan forums several times, they are moving in Montblanc direction.

I love the way MB pens look, they are classic. But come on I am paying 800 bucks for a chunk of plexiglass that came off the same machine that makes my disposable spoons.

For 550 bucks I can have this hand made by a person:

Nakaya-Naka-ai-Writer-Aka-UnCapped.jpg

 

 

With all that being said I will probably still wind up coughing up the money down the road for a MB 146.

As much as I love Nakaya and I own a pretty damn awesome one myself, some might say that the pen you own is turned from essentially rubber using a cheap cc filler system, why should it cost so much? Plus the one you like is the basic aka-tamenuri, it isn't a lot of work to give it a few extra coatings every now and then, its not like there is any artwork on it. Some might even argue for that basic one that it is far too expensive for 550$.

 

Machine make may guarantee precision compared to handmake, some might say that is a lot better. I'd prefer a machine made car than a handbuilt car from a safety perspective.

 

Plus MB pens have retained their value to some degree whereas many pens don't in the longer run. Too early to say for Nakaya, they don't come up all that often on the secondary hand market to judge.


Fountain pens are like weapons. They just make your pocket bleed so much.

#43 ethernautrix

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 00:53

 
As much as I love Nakaya and I own a pretty damn awesome one myself, some might say that the pen you own is turned from essentially rubber using a cheap cc filler system, why should it cost so much? Plus the one you like is the basic aka-tamenuri, it isn't a lot of work to give it a few extra coatings every now and then, its not like there is any artwork on it. Some might even argue for that basic one that it is far too expensive for 550$.
 
Machine make may guarantee precision compared to handmake, some might say that is a lot better. I'd prefer a machine made car than a handbuilt car from a safety perspective.
 
Plus MB pens have retained their value to some degree whereas many pens don't in the longer run. Too early to say for Nakaya, they don't come up all that often on the secondary hand market to judge.


Each Nakaya is handmade, and applying urushi (itself a toxic substance requiring special handling) can be difficult, requiring a dust-free environment.

Is $550 too much? When I consider that I paid $250 for my first one in 2008, it does kindv bite. But that's what they cost now. Luckily, I'm pretty sure I'm done buying pens, even Nakaya. (I know, I know. Famous last words.)

Could be that Nakayas don't often show up in the secondary market cos they're so beautiful and write so nicely. But I'm biased. After nearly 30 years of using many, many fountain pens, Nakaya turned out to be my favorite.

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#44 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 01:02

Each Nakaya is handmade, and applying urushi (itself a toxic substance requiring special handling) can be difficult, requiring a dust-free environment.

Is $550 too much? When I consider that I paid $250 for my first one in 2008, it does kindv bite. But that's what they cost now. Luckily, I'm pretty sure I'm done buying pens, even Nakaya. (I know, I know. Famous last words.)

Could be that Nakayas don't often show up in the secondary market cos they're so beautiful and write so nicely. But I'm biased. After nearly 30 years of using many, many fountain pens, Nakaya turned out to be my favorite.

Yes, $550 is too much, but I'll still pay it. They have no competitors (that I know of). Who else makes hand-turned ebonite pens with a 'special' lacquer coating? No-one. So I think they can put whatever price they want.

On the other hand, MB makes pens very similarly to many other companies, this is why I think people "hate" them. What justifies the cost? They aren't handmade, so shouldn't the Nakaya be more? I always thought handmade things cost more.

#45 HamFist

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 02:20

You got to be joking. "same machine as the one that makes disposable plastic cutlery"
That is The most ridiculous coment i ve ever readed.

That's not a joke. 



#46 ethernautrix

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 02:36

Yes, $550 is too much, but I'll still pay it. They have no competitors (that I know of). Who else makes hand-turned ebonite pens with a 'special' lacquer coating? No-one. So I think they can put whatever price they want.

On the other hand, MB makes pens very similarly to many other companies, this is why I think people "hate" them. What justifies the cost? They aren't handmade, so shouldn't the Nakaya be more? I always thought handmade things cost more.


Yup. I've paid Nakaya's prices more or less happily, or not begrudgingly, several times. I also respect the handmade factor and hope that the Nakaya craftsmen are making a comfortable income.

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#47 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 02:42

Yup. I've paid Nakaya's prices more or less happily, or not begrudgingly, several times. I also respect the handmade factor and hope that the Nakaya craftsmen are making a comfortable income.

Exactly. Would you rather pay a nice, rather small company $550 for a pen that has been made by people who enjoy doing what they do, and outputting beautiful products, or would you rather pay a large, well known company a bit more to get a pen made by a machine with a microchip in it?

Personally, I would rather pay a small company $500 than a large company $400.

Tom.

#48 KAC

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:06

And here is why Nakaya is worth the bucks. In my own peculiar opinion, this is the most elegant visual argument for any fountain pen (but especially Nakaya) I've ever seen:

 

 

PS: Unfortunately, I had absolutely nothing to do with this video so there's no conflict of interest in me noting it along with my opinion of it and the pen.



#49 mrchan

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:17

Yes, $550 is too much, but I'll still pay it. They have no competitors (that I know of). Who else makes hand-turned ebonite pens with a 'special' lacquer coating? No-one. So I think they can put whatever price they want.

On the other hand, MB makes pens very similarly to many other companies, this is why I think people "hate" them. What justifies the cost? They aren't handmade, so shouldn't the Nakaya be more? I always thought handmade things cost more.

Handmade aren't necessarily better in general. I mean look at the aka-tamenuri? Its not like it has a LOT of artwork on it to justify 550$, I mean its just coating a few layers again and again thats it..Its perceived value, and also the fact that there aren't many other players in the market creating similar FPs. What justifies the cost of any branded thing out there? Its perceived value and not true value. You can make the same argument about anything luxury really.

 

And here is why Nakaya is worth the bucks. In my own peculiar opinion, this is the most elegant visual argument for any fountain pen (but especially Nakaya) I've ever seen:

 

 

PS: Unfortunately, I had absolutely nothing to do with this video so there's no conflict of interest in me noting it along with my opinion of it and the pen.

My dear boy, any pen with a decent italic nib can do this. It is the writer's skill that helps him do this, NOT the pen. Even a Lamy is a weapon in this man's hand. I've seen his other videos too, and if you've seen the Namiki Falcon one, you'd be even more blown off your socks.


Fountain pens are like weapons. They just make your pocket bleed so much.

#50 KAC

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:24

 

 

My dear boy, any pen with a decent italic nib can do this. It is the writer's skill that helps him do this, NOT the pen. Even a Lamy is a weapon in this man's hand. I've seen his other videos too, and if you've seen the Namiki Falcon one, you'd be even more blown off your socks.

My dear boy, read the original posting again and note the disclaimer: "this is the most elegant visual argument for any fountain pen (but especially Nakaya) I've ever seen" (and omit the patronizing diminutive on the next go-round).



#51 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:26

Handmade aren't necessarily better in general. I mean look at the aka-tamenuri? Its not like it has a LOT of artwork on it to justify 550$, I mean its just coating a few layers again and again thats it..Its perceived value, and also the fact that there aren't many other players in the market creating similar FPs. What justifies the cost of any branded thing out there? Its perceived value and not true value. You can make the same argument about anything luxury really.

It doesn't matter about the artwork on a pen, but the work put into it. No matter how good the pen looks, if it took skill and time (a lot of both) it is going to cost a lot. What I'm saying though, is shouldn't it? Why should something made by a machine cost more than something handmade? I didn't think it worked like that.

Look at furniture for example, a shop-bought jewellery box with trick joints will never be as expensive as a handmade one with the same joints, even when they are near identical.

Tom.

#52 mrchan

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:44

My dear boy, read the original posting again and note the disclaimer: "this is the most elegant visual argument for any fountain pen (but especially Nakaya) I've ever seen" (and omit the patronizing diminutive on the next go-round).

But this video showed barely any parts of the pen except the nib and section mostly..


Fountain pens are like weapons. They just make your pocket bleed so much.

#53 max dog

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:48

Now that I’ve run out of popcorn, maybe I’ll add my 2 cents to this thread.  In the early days Montblanc were not any more prestigious than Parker, Waterman, or Sheaffer etc were.  They had low end pens as well as expensive pens like everyone else.

 

As the tide turned against the fountain pen and writing instruments in general ever since the BIC Crystal and the advent of computers, word processing, emails, Montblanc had the foresight to see where things were headed and did the right things through clever marketing and thrived while the rest of the high end luxury pen industry floundered.  Pelikan went bankrupt as did Waterman, Conway Stewart , Esterbrook and the list goes on.   Parker, Sheaffer, Cross etc are really only a shadow of their former selves today as they closed up shop in the USA and moved production overseas to cut costs. 

 

 I give credit to Montblanc for surviving, and through their success, helping keep the current fountain pen and high end writing instruments industry still relevant today.   A lot of lesser known high end pen companies survive today because of the industry Montblanc helped to keep alive though it’s popularity in the luxury items market.  So I have a soft spot for Montblanc.  

 

But despite all the controversy about being a status symbol, their nibs are awesome.  So responsive, wet, juicy and full of character. 



#54 mrchan

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:54

It doesn't matter about the artwork on a pen, but the work put into it. No matter how good the pen looks, if it took skill and time (a lot of both) it is going to cost a lot. What I'm saying though, is shouldn't it? Why should something made by a machine cost more than something handmade? I didn't think it worked like that.

Look at furniture for example, a shop-bought jewellery box with trick joints will never be as expensive as a handmade one with the same joints, even when they are near identical.

Tom.

That is only partially true. Take women's handbags for example. Can you think of any custom handsewn handbag that would cost more in the eyes of a woman vs buying her a LV handbag? Which would she rather have and which would cost more? I am not dumbing down craftsmanship, I am simply giving a reason why sometimes machine made isn't as soulless as some people may say. What about the craftsmanship of the guy who made the machine that managed to churn out such beautiful pens?

 

Now that I’ve run out of popcorn, maybe I’ll add my 2 cents to this thread.  In the early days Montblanc were not any more prestigious than Parker, Waterman, or Sheaffer etc were.  They had low end pens as well as expensive pens like everyone else.

 

As the tide turned against the fountain pen and writing instruments in general ever since the BIC Crystal and the advent of computers, word processing, emails, Montblanc had the foresight to see where things were headed and did the right things through clever marketing and thrived while the rest of the high end luxury pen industry floundered.  Pelikan went bankrupt as did Waterman, Conway Stewart , Esterbrook and the list goes on.   Parker, Sheaffer, Cross etc are really only a shadow of their former selves today as they closed up shop in the USA and moved production overseas to cut costs. 

 

 I give credit to Montblanc for surviving, and through their success, helping keep the current fountain pen and high end writing instruments industry still relevant today.   A lot of lesser known high end pen companies survive today because of the industry Montblanc helped to keep alive though it’s popularity in the luxury items market.  So I have a soft spot for Montblanc.  

 

But despite all the controversy about being a status symbol, their nibs are awesome.  So responsive, wet, juicy and full of character. 

Actually one of the main reasons I love MB is how their nibs are just awesome, with different designs and patterns. What I find soulless is the same generic nib being used for every single pen. Like Conway Stewart for example. Nakaya is kinda guilty of that too but I'll forgive them for it since they are a smaller production company.


Fountain pens are like weapons. They just make your pocket bleed so much.

#55 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 04:20

That is only partially true. Take women's handbags for example. Can you think of any custom handsewn handbag that would cost more in the eyes of a woman vs buying her a LV handbag? Which would she rather have and which would cost more? I am not dumbing down craftsmanship, I am simply giving a reason why sometimes machine made isn't as soulless as some people may say. What about the craftsmanship of the guy who made the machine that managed to churn out such beautiful pens?

Yes, I can. Look up Hermès, in particular their 'Birkin'. All hand made, option for custom made. They are like the Nakayas and Pelikans. They make better products than their competitors (MB), but are only really known by the people who know their stuff. Personally I dislike Louis Vuitton quite a lot, there products are cheaply made, and used as a status symbol (more than Montblanc), which is not always a positive thing for the carrier.

Tom.

Edited by FoszFay, 26 September 2014 - 04:21.


#56 mrchan

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 04:52

Yes, I can. Look up Hermès, in particular their 'Birkin'. All hand made, option for custom made. They are like the Nakayas and Pelikans. They make better products than their competitors (MB), but are only really known by the people who know their stuff. Personally I dislike Louis Vuitton quite a lot, there products are cheaply made, and used as a status symbol (more than Montblanc), which is not always a positive thing for the carrier.
Tom.

Yes, while that may be true, you're not the woman carrying the bag..I can tell you with 95%+ certainty what most women will choose.

Pelikans are not better than MB with their underwhelmingly boring nibs but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that.
Fountain pens are like weapons. They just make your pocket bleed so much.

#57 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 05:13

Yes, while that may be true, you're not the woman carrying the bag..I can tell you with 95%+ certainty what most women will choose.

Pelikans are not better than MB with their underwhelmingly boring nibs but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

Okay. Most people think Montblanc is the best FP company also... But upwards of 80% of them don't know much about FPs. Just go ask random people who make good FPs, they will answer Montblanc, but I assure you more than 99% of the people you ask would have never used a Montblanc.

Also, before you said Montblancs nibs are great, you said "Actually one of the main reasons I love MB is how their nibs are just awesome, with different designs and patterns."

Sorry, but I actually buy pens with nibs that write well, even if they aren't as "awesome [looking], with different designs and patterns."

Tom.

#58 de_pen_dent

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 05:33

Exactly. Would you rather pay a nice, rather small company $550 for a pen that has been made by people who enjoy doing what they do, and outputting beautiful products, or would you rather pay a large, well known company a bit more to get a pen made by a machine with a microchip in it?

 

 Nakaya is selling an image as much as Montblanc:  only, it is a different sort of image, catering to a different mindset (a bunch of wise old craftsmen, loving making a product by hand till it achieves perfection).   

 

Dont get me wrong, I quite like this idea, which is why I have a modest but growing collection of maki-e and urushi pens.   But purely from an objective point of view, both of them are selling not just a pen but a whole lot of image/backstory/related trappings along with their pen.  Different people relate to one and not the other.

 

Side note - It is de rigueur to think of big companies as being soulless, but that has not been the case in my experience.   Companies are made of people and the better-run companies do have people who believe in their product.   I worked as a  consultant for Nike a long time ago, and they *hated* it if you called their products "sneakers" - they made Athletic Footwear, not Sneakers.   That's pride as well.


Edited by de_pen_dent, 26 September 2014 - 05:39.

True bliss: knowing that the guy next to you is suffering more than you are.

#59 SockAddict

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 05:55

Okay, I'm going to toss a comment in here.

 

Most of the artistry in any product is in the original design.  Even items that are hand-made, if they are following a specified design, are more at the level of craftsmanship.  (I know there are exceptions, I'm talking as a broad general rule here.)  I have no personal knowledge of any of the pens mentioned on this thread (yet), but, no matter how they are produced for market, someone had to sit down and design the first one.  That was, without exception, a person.  Whether a machine or a man does the mass production, don't forget the original designer.  People who denigrate pens which are made by a machine (who cares what else the machine makes??) are forgetting that the machine didn't decide how to curve the barrel to fit the hand, what the length should be, and what type of nib would best suit it.



#60 FoszFay

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 06:25

 
Side note - It is de rigueur to think of big companies as being soulless, but that has not been the case in my experience.   Companies are made of people and the better-run companies do have people who believe in their product.   I worked as a  consultant for Nike a long time ago, and they *hated* it if you called their products "sneakers" - they made Athletic Footwear, not Sneakers.   That's pride as well.

I'm not going to comment on a company that abuses young children in their operations sector.

And I never said Montblanc is soulless, but I'm certain their workers are not anywhere as proud or appreciative of what their company produces.

Tom.

Edited by FoszFay, 26 September 2014 - 06:31.






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