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Why Montblanc?

pelikan montblanc visconti sailor pilot expensive overpriced

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167 replies to this topic

#81 max dog

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 04:02

Why Montblanc? 

 

They're freaking cool.

They write great.

Their broads and wider nibs write like stubs. 

They're constantly offering new models every year.

MB service is in my country.   Not many foreign brands can give you a 2 week turnaround time for standards pens.

They make their own nibs.   Not so many brands make their own nibs anymore.

They offer piston fillers with great capacity, not only those pesky little convertors.

You can buy them affordably second hand, and MB will service them.

As for the snob worries,   people won't judge you on a pen as ubiquitous as MB, often given as gifts.    So many more important parameters.  

Those are good points.

In regards to the point that they make their own nibs, I would also add each nib they make is unique.  I have two 145s both with EF nibs and two 146s both with M nibs.  All 4 nibs have their own unique feel and writing quality.  That is why I keep 2 EF and 2 M nibs, because I like the way each write.  Montblanc claim they hand finish each nib individually which no other pen company does.  Based on the experience with my 4 Montblanc nibs, I don't doubt that claim. 



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#82 de_pen_dent

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 04:47

I also find the level of vitriol called forth by discussions of Montblanc fascinating, and rather sad.  Why get angry with someone who dislikes your favorite brand?  

 

You will find that people get upset not b/c someone doesnt like Montblanc, but b/c those who dont like MB usually ascribe a lot of mostly-denigratory motives to those who do.

 

 

I am not angry about him disliking a brand at all I don't really care whether he likes it or not, but I am simply saying, don't hate until you've had an experience with it. Too many people pre-judge every single thing in life without truly experiencing it and then come blabbing about things they actually have no experience whatsoever about. They tend to just be filled with preconceived notions and they don't really add anything to the conversation other than making themselves sound a little..silly..and ruining the experience for others.

 

^^^  This.   

For all the complaining about the price of 149s (which I got new with warranty for $6xx - compared to a Pelikan M1000 for $5xx), how come no one mentions that writers series, that you can also buy for a street price of $800 or so?   Unique, one-off and very creative designs.   Or the Starwalkers?   Or the Donation series?   Or the very cool bit of design that is the Heritage 1912?

 

People seem to think that MB only make 146 and 149s.


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#83 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 04:59

I find that the only person whose behavior I can control is my own, so I don't worry too much about others' behavior.

I don't like the looks of Montblanc, so I don't even fantasize about buying one. Other people do like them for reasons of their own. Some even find the pen attractive.

Hopefully those who enjoy their Montblancs get as much pleasure from them as I do my Pilots and Noodler's.

Let's all remember, they're just pens. Relax and enjoy them!
Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

#84 Uncial

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 08:11

Just to clarify; 'I hate every pen I can't afford' was an attempt at ironic humour. Possibly a poor attempt, but was tongue in cheek none the less.



#85 Arkanabar

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 03:57

I don't really have any sort of visceral hatred for MontBlanc.  But I was taught from my childhood to regard performance and reliability as the metrics of quality, rather than image or style.  Montblanc pursues a premium pricing strategy ( https://en.wikipedia...Premium_pricing ) and that means that I am not going to get the performance:price ratio I'd get from eg. a used Parker "51" or a Noodler's Konrad retrofitted with a Goulet nib..  MontBlanc's price point is designed to increase the perception of performance without them actually having to do so.  

Previous complaints, about the fragility of "precious resin," the deliberate pretentiousness of the brand, the fact that eight demonstrater 149s at a MB boutique managed to leak 6 colors of ink on my hands, and good but not outstanding performance, make me generally unwilling to buy a 149 or 146, even used.  Maybe at around 100 USD, when I have 100+ USD to spare.  

 

(edit) I'd never dream of telling anyone who has willingly paid whatever it takes for one of these pens that they were wrong.  After all, de gustibus non disputandem.  I might tell em that I wouldn't have made that purchase, presuming that the qualifier "at this time and in my current situation" was understood.  (/edit)

Montblanc used to make a full line of pens, from school pens on up, and I wouldn't have any objection to buying some of the pens from that era and some of those lines (Carerra, f'r instance).  I think that my first choice in the 146/149 price range would probably be an Omas -- a 360, in my case.

I'll echo that Pelikans can be pretty rough out of the box.  After I bought my M200, I sent at least a half-dozen nibs to PelikanSRW, then the US distributor, for exchange (paying only postage), before I got one I liked.  I never bothered to do so for my M400, and it could use some attention.  But I am content with it as it is.  This is the reason why, when I recommend an M200 for a first pen, I tell people to get it from Richard Binder (with whom I have never done business, but who has a sterling reputation).

As for Louis Vuitton, my aunt has a few of their bags, and has had for enough years to send them in for repair -- as with Pelikan, they don't charge for the service.


Edited by Arkanabar, 28 September 2014 - 04:11.


#86 Russ

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:05

Why Montblanc?  Because they are outstanding pens.  I have owned and sold about 60 pens, and waited a very long time before buying a 149 because I was discouraged by reports of shattering resin, high prices, and the like.  However, when I looked beneath the surface I found a very loyal following of people who knew much more than I did.  I trusted them.  When I received my first 149 I set it aside for occasional use, impressed by its gravity, size, and generous wet line.  Now . . . it is my daily user and everything else (except my 1935 Pel 100 !) goes unused for long periods.  

 

Not everyone feels as I do.  But many do.  And we will keep buying and loving and writing our little hearts out with our MB's.  



#87 william2001

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:25

http://www.bestfount...ntain-pens.html

This may help.

-William S. Park


“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane. - Graham Greene


#88 mrchan

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 10:11

Previous complaints, about the fragility of "precious resin," the deliberate pretentiousness of the brand, the fact that eight demonstrater 149s at a MB boutique managed to leak 6 colors of ink on my hands, and good but not outstanding performance, make me generally unwilling to buy a 149 or 146, even used. 

6 out of 8 leaky pens? While that is a little hard to believe, keep in mind that a supercar like ferrari needs a lot more servicing and tuning up than a toyota. Does it mean that ferrari's are overpriced and not great value? To be honest, there are many more expensive things out there that can give a lot more problems than its reliable cheaper counterparts. The pleasure is in owning and using them though. Granted MB fps are not even close to the problems you can get with ferraris or like expensive complicated watches (tbh IMHO my MBs I own are as tough as any other FPs I own).

 

BTW, if we all ended up buying only reliable mediocre range toyotas, how boring would that be? Nobody would be inspired to aim higher due to everything needing to be reliable. Something less achieveable inspires many people to climb above their current skill level and achieve more, because lets be honest about this, reliable things are oftimes cheaper and relatively uninspiring. If anybody wants to be safe, cheap and uninspiring, please go ahead and do so, but don't knock others who refuse mediocrity. 


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

#89 FoszFay

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 11:39

6 out of 8 leaky pens? While that is a little hard to believe, keep in mind that a supercar like ferrari needs a lot more servicing and tuning up than a toyota. Does it mean that ferrari's are overpriced and not great value? To be honest, there are many more expensive things out there that can give a lot more problems than its reliable cheaper counterparts. The pleasure is in owning and using them though. Granted MB fps are not even close to the problems you can get with ferraris or like expensive complicated watches (tbh IMHO my MBs I own are as tough as any other FPs I own).
 
BTW, if we all ended up buying only reliable mediocre range toyotas, how boring would that be? Nobody would be inspired to aim higher due to everything needing to be reliable. Something less achieveable inspires many people to climb above their current skill level and achieve more, because lets be honest about this, reliable things are oftimes cheaper and relatively uninspiring. If anybody wants to be safe, cheap and uninspiring, please go ahead and do so, but don't knock others who refuse mediocrity. 


When you go to test pens, you assume that they will be the best ones they can offer. They are trying to sell you the pen, so I thought they would give you a pen that you couldn't resist to buy.

I agree that Ferrari's, and other sports/supercars require A LOT more maintenance than your standard cars, but I don't see how that applies to pens. You don't have to 'service' any pen more than another, I don't think.

For the record, I think that it was more the shops fault that the pens were 'faulty', and not a manufacturing problem.
How many people actually go to stores and 'try-out' pens?

Tom.

#90 de_pen_dent

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 16:35

 These threads got me to ink my 149 a  couple of days ago, and I used it for a long day of writing, drawing and making notes today in an all-day meeting with our web designer for a new version of our website.

 

For some strange reason, she didnt seem too awed by the fact that I was using a MB 149.   Not once did she put her  forehead on the ground in obeisance - hell, she didnt genuflect in my/the pen's presence.   So much for that.

 

However, the pen felt really nicely balanced in my hand, the nib was *just right* in terms of flow and smooth with a touch of paper feedback and it reminded me of all the reasons why this 149 caused me to end up buying a lot more MBs.   It isnt flashy.  It is boring.  Hell, I wouldnt pay its slated list price for it either.   But it just feels So Right to use.   There *is* a reason this pen has existed nearly unchanged for 70-odd years.   And now i am wondering if i should get one in a F as well.


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#91 Toll

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 23:34

I have resisted making a post on this subject, but finally decided to add my two cents. I have been collecting fountain pens for about 20 years -- meaning at any given time I will have 10-20 pens in my possession. I have gone through several phases of interest ranging from only Pelikans, to vintage pens. I was always a bit reluctant with buying MB's although every now and then I might add one (first a 144, later 146) to my small assemblage. 

 

In recent years, MB has become my brand of choice and I have acquired several of them that are part of my daily life. First off, the quality is unequivocally top notch - the pens are well-designed (e.g., Bohemes, Heritage 1912), are interesting, and write superbly out of the box. Absolutely no problems with quality control. Second, I really enjoy shopping at my local MB Boutique. It adds a new dimension to the shopping experience.

 

I certainly don't buy MB's for any snob appeal or as a status symbol. Indeed, it is a rare day that anyone mentions the snowcap protruding from my shirt pocket or the large 149 in hand as I sign documents. I quite simply believe MB makes a quality product, has a great history, and I enjoy the writing experience they offer. 



#92 mrchan

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 13:23

When you go to test pens, you assume that they will be the best ones they can offer. They are trying to sell you the pen, so I thought they would give you a pen that you couldn't resist to buy.
I agree that Ferrari's, and other sports/supercars require A LOT more maintenance than your standard cars, but I don't see how that applies to pens. You don't have to 'service' any pen more than another, I don't think.
For the record, I think that it was more the shops fault that the pens were 'faulty', and not a manufacturing problem.
How many people actually go to stores and 'try-out' pens?


Tom.
Well no, they will let you try their tester pens, which is what you expect. In fact what other brands do you know that lets you test their pens before buying? That's right, none.
And that's right, my point is exactly that you don't have to service a Montblanc anymore than any other fp. (Pointed towards people talking about poor MB quality)

  

These threads got me to ink my 149 a  couple of days ago, and I used it for a long day of writing, drawing and making notes today in an all-day meeting with our web designer for a new version of our website.
 
For some strange reason, she didnt seem too awed by the fact that I was using a MB 149.   Not once did she put her  forehead on the ground in obeisance - hell, she didnt genuflect in my/the pen's presence.   So much for that.
 
However, the pen felt really nicely balanced in my hand, the nib was *just right* in terms of flow and smooth with a touch of paper feedback and it reminded me of all the reasons why this 149 caused me to end up buying a lot more MBs.   It isnt flashy.  It is boring.  Hell, I wouldnt pay its slated list price for it either.   But it just feels So Right to use.   There *is* a reason this pen has existed nearly unchanged for 70-odd years.   And now i am wondering if i should get one in a F as well.

Funny you should say that, was considering getting myself one in EF too!

Edited by mrchan, 30 September 2014 - 13:25.

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

#93 FoszFay

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 13:42

Tom.
Well no, they will let you try their tester pens, which is what you expect. In fact what other brands do you know that lets you test their pens before buying? That's right, none.
And that's right, my point is exactly that you don't have to service a Montblanc anymore than any other fp. (Pointed towards people talking about poor MB quality)

So their used, 'tester' pens should leak? And you should expect them to be poorly looked after? I doubt it.

I thought their marketing campaign was one of the best. Allowing your own products to 'fail' on potential customers is not what I see as good marketing. As far as I am concerned, first impressions are what make or break the deal.

Tom.

#94 BrandonA

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 13:46

So their used, 'tester' pens should leak? And you should expect them to be poorly looked after? I doubt it.

I thought their marketing campaign was one of the best. Allowing your own products to 'fail' on potential customers is not what I see as good marketing. As far as I am concerned, first impressions are what make or break the deal.

Tom.

:rolleyes:


My Collection: Montblanc Writers Edition: Hemingway, Christie, Wilde, Voltaire, Dumas, Dostoevsky, Poe, Proust, Schiller, Dickens, Fitzgerald (set), Verne, Kafka, Cervantes, Woolf, Faulkner, Shaw, Mann, Twain, Collodi, Swift, Balzac, Defoe, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Saint-Exupery, Homer & Kipling. Montblanc Einstein (3,000) FP. Montblanc Heritage 1912 Resin FP. Montblanc Starwalker Resin: FP/BP/MP. Montblanc Traveller FP.

#95 mrchan

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Posted 30 September 2014 - 23:29

So their used, 'tester' pens should leak? And you should expect them to be poorly looked after? I doubt it.
I thought their marketing campaign was one of the best. Allowing your own products to 'fail' on potential customers is not what I see as good marketing. As far as I am concerned, first impressions are what make or break the deal.
Tom.

I think that is significantly exaggerated. I doubt their standards would drop so low to let 6/8 pens leak lol. Anyway we all have our own opinions, I'm gonna continue to enjoy my MB pens, and you guys who are bashing it can continue to be happy with whatever resilient and oh-so-reliable Toyota brand pens that I doubt you'd treasure in the long term, because honestly, who actually treasures a cheapie jinhao/whatever pen in the long run unless it's a family heirloom or a gift from a significant person?
Maybe that's just me though.
Fountain pens are like weapons. They just make your pocket bleed so much.

#96 Tritonus

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 03:14

I think that is significantly exaggerated. I doubt their standards would drop so low to let 6/8 pens leak lol. Anyway we all have our own opinions, I'm gonna continue to enjoy my MB pens, and you guys who are bashing it can continue to be happy with whatever resilient and oh-so-reliable Toyota brand pens that I doubt you'd treasure in the long term, because honestly, who actually treasures a cheapie jinhao/whatever pen in the long run unless it's a family heirloom or a gift from a significant person?
Maybe that's just me though.

Hey, don't bash Toyotas! :)   Cars are not fountain pens and I have owned and loved a Toyota a decade ago - it got me from A to B and the low cost of maintenance and high reliability was awesome!  The dollars I saved from car service managed to help purchase some nice fountain pens :D

I do wonder about the "leaky" tester pens though - which country/boutique was this?  I wonder if the salesperson didn't wipe the ink off the pens properly when filling it up etc...The 2 MB boutiques that I tried pens at didn't leak at all (one in Australia the other in Malaysia).  Having said that, my recent acquisition of an early 80's 146 (monotone gold nib, ebonite feed) is hands down my favourite MB pen I own.  The EF nib is springy/semi flexible and has awesome flow.  Love it.  Since this thread does not make any reference to older or new MB models, I'd say that their older pens are pretty special and worth checking out.



#97 ArnyDelan168

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 09:29

I use MB 149 ones. Borrow it from Japanese engineer. I like the pen and I don't think it is overprice. I buy KOP instead because MB 149 is piston filler. Big design flaw.

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#98 FoszFay

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 10:35

I use MB 149 ones. Borrow it from Japanese engineer. I like the pen and I don't think it is overprice. I buy KOP instead because MB 149 is piston filler. Big design flaw.

You are in the minority that dislike piston-filled pens. May I ask why you dislike them?

Tom.

#99 arran

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 10:46

All of my recent MB nibs were OK
Which is not the case with my recent palmet 1600 with soft F nib witj completely disaligned nibs and terrible writing
QC?

#100 ArnyDelan168

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Posted 01 October 2014 - 13:51

You are in the minority that dislike piston-filled pens. May I ask why you dislike them?

Tom.

 

Once it broke, it is quite expensive to repair, Sir. In converter, you just dump it and but a new one, Sailor charges only 5 US $ a piece.

 

That's my thinking. Well as you said, majority will not be agree but I am really not comfortable using the pen because that maintenance issue.


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