To report a bit on an experience:
I'm a noob, less than 9 months since my first fountain pen. Like many noobs, I was intimidated by the broad nib and what the oblique broad meant. An oblique triple broad would be a preposterously fat tool. My handwriting in college was for equations, in medical school for furious notes. The electronic health record has largely obliterated any need for a written communication, but not quite. To my patients I hand write medication instructions from a pre-printed sheet. I have every excuse for sloppy handwriting: a C in 4th grade. An engineering undergraduate curriculum. A doctor.
Yet it was my Grandma, recently deceased, who inspired in me improved handwriting. An article in last fall's Wall Street Journal advocated a simple Lamy before one splurged on an inconceivably expensive Sailor with gold nib for ~$400. Her correspondence in her last months exhibited more practiced, more beautiful handwriting despite the uneven strokes of geriatric motor control than my young nimble limbs could muster. I would like to say it was her handwriting that inspired me, her communication through the post more intimate than these electrons by beaten keyboard. Perhaps equally important was the need for change in so personal a technique as handwriting and signature in the resolution of divorce.
The Lamy's nib: fine. Many fine nibs purchased before getting curious. A Montblanc Jules Verne, fine, ok, but what's this I hear about line variation? An Izumo with fine nib: too small! Better with a medium nib. A Nakaya music nib - a big, fat highlighter of a pen. I hated the music nib. In a fit of spending violating the Boy Scout's pledge to be "thrifty," I simultaneously bought a Montblanc Moon Pearl with XF nib (one foot still firmly in the fine camp) and a 90th 149 with B nib (one more toe in the land of the fat nib). The B nib I found similarly a big fat writer with none of the stubbish quality I'd heard of. So in a moment of inspiration I visited my Montblanc boutique on perhaps the last day of my 6 week exchange window and asked for the OBBB nib. OBB? No, O Triple B. Oh. We don't get many of those requests.
On Penboard I found a 144 celluloid 1950s ski slope OBBB, and it is butter. It is divine. Line variation galore, sleek and slinky with the superb detail of a convex piston ring (too lazy now to find out if that's the right term). From a FPN'er I found a 75th Anniv 146 with BB nib. I'm finding I much prefer the oblique hold, still, I make do with the BB nib and far prefer it to its F and XF brethren. Four months after submission the boutique received the pen back. Reportedly, the first request for nib replacement to OBBB, it had to be special made, sent back to Hamburg. Free: no service charge, no nib charge, sent in in the waning twilight of the six-week window. Complimentary an ink fill and a test run on Montblanc paper. Sorry for the ink blobs all over your counter: I neglected to open the piston after filling to release a few drops. I'm not a surgeon.
The 146 75th is a revelation of a MOP star. The yellowed 50s 144 has character. In comparison, what I perceive to be a painted white star on the 149 seems rather cheap.
I'll post here and in another post (perhaps a part 2 to this post??) pictures, paper. I'm definitely an OBBB kind of guy. Pity, it's not a usual 146 grind, and it's fairly hard to find those OBBs. Still, one must have the fine nibs: bureaucratic forms allow for little expressive handwriting.