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A Tale Of The Lesser Flagship Of Montblanc : The Meisterstück 146

montblanc meisterstück 146 fine custom 823 m805 14k

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#1 sannidh

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 07:47

Loved the MB's flagship pen review by Betweenthelines. And then realized, I was yet to post a review on FPN for the lesser one, the 146.

 

As for me, I came across a real Montblanc pretty much later in life, though used to love a pen called Camlin Premier during school days. It came with a 1-pen leather pouch, an additional screw-fit nib and it did have those striped ink windows. I say I loved it, but never wrote with it since it belonged to my dad and I was a small kid. Back in 1999-2000, it cost around USD 5.00 and it was a hefty price tag for any locally made fountain pen. Later I did realize that it was yet another MB 146 inspiration, when I went to a pen store in Calcutta.

So here goes my review @ blogger too with some more pics:

 

A Tale of the lesser flagship of Montblanc : The Meisterstück 146

 

A BRIEFER HISTORY IN TIME


MONT BLANC
 
As most of you would know, Montblanc was started in 1906 a Hamburg banker, Alfred Nehemias, and a Berlin engineer, August Eberstein as Simplizissimus-Füllhalter which means Simplistic Fountain pens, after they learnt about fountain pens with ink tanks from the US. By 1908, three other people by the name of Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen and later Claus Johannes Voss had taken over the business and the company took the name “Simplo Filler Pen Co.” which referred to a fountain pen design with a built-in ink-tank. 
 
In 1909, a safety fountain pen made up of hard rubber called “Rouge et Noir” was launched, which actually means Red and Black. The pen consisted of a red cap and a black body, perhaps inspired from a card-game. You can also find a limited edition of the same. In 1910, the company became Mont Blanc, inspired by the highest peak of the Alps (4810 m) and a pen called Montblanc was introduced with a white tip (which would later evolve into a white star in 1913). In 1926, the Meisterstück was launched. By 1929, the nibs were engraved with 4810, the official height of Mont Blanc peak, as an allusion to supreme quality and craftsmanship. The flagship Meisterstück 149 was launched in 1952, evolving from celluloid & brass mechanism to resin & plastic mechanism over the years. For the Meisterstück 146, the ink windows were modified to striped version somewhere around the 1970s from clear blue window and the the two-tone nib was introduced in 1993-94.
 
As far as the model numbers XYZ (146) are concerned, MB did traditionally follow a naming convention, albeit in a rather loose manner
X or 1: Tier of pen,  1 - Top class or Meisterstück 2 - Medium range & 3 - Economy
Y or 4: 0 - Safety filler, 2 - Button Filler, 3/4 - Piston Filler
Z or 6: Nib size, 9 being the largest

 


MB eventually stopped production of all economy pens in 1992.
 
DESIGN (5/6)
 
The pen is made of glossy 'precious resin' (a custom variant of Polymethyl methacrylateaka PMMA) and is adorned plated rings and bands. Glistening golden with the subtle shine of black preserve a culture while adding a modern luxurious touch. This specific cigar shape was later copied around the world by many leading pen makers, over decades till date. The cigar shape was invented by Sheaffer Balance in 1928. The 146 also comes with platinum plated trims. The resin does feel substantial to hold, but it's also prone to scratches, if due care is not exercised. 
DSC_1786.jpg

With a minimalist piece of design,  the clip does start with a tiny piece of elevated ramp. The cap bands and the rings follow the same equation till a ring separating the piston end concludes both dazzle and design. The clip is tension fit and carries a serial number and GERMANY along the ring. On its underside it may or may not carry the engraving of Pix, depending upon the year of manufacture. Montblanc included the trademark post 1997. There are a lot of Chinese fakes flooding both online and offline channels, which is why Montblanc has to come up with newer and innovative trademarks with every model. 

 

DSC_4304.jpgThe cap unscrews with a single turn revealing a dazzling two tone nib along with a striped ink window. I like the ink-windows very much.

DSC_4322.jpg

The cap does mention MONTBLANC - MEISTERSTÜCK etched across the broader of the concentric golden bands, in a cross-hatched font while two thinner bands above and below render  the differential aesthetics. The finial carries the white-star.
CapC.jpg
 

 

FILLING SYSTEM (6/6)

 
The piston is distinguished by a golden band and has an easy and a hassle-free mechanism. The piston end unscrews with less than three rotations and as the white piston head moves along the ink-windows, ink gushes into the barrel. A brass connector gives the necessary weight to the barrel.
DSC_4323.jpg
 
NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6)
 
The dazzling two-two nib is tested by hand, and it comes in eight different widths including the common widths of EF, F, M & B. And this silvery rhodium finish provides both glitter and glamour. 
 
                         A golden decor runs along the shoulders of the nib and it converges across the outer tines onto an iridium tip, while the rhodium silvery finish diverges from the breather hole across the inside of the tines and over to the tail. A bounded layer of arabesques & curves segregates the rhodium and gold decors. Then, there is a dazzling white M logo resting inside the encircled star, above which rest the height of Mont Blanc peak, 4810 (m). This one is a fine nib and writes quite wet and smooth. The tail end specifies the composition (58.5% Au) of the gold-alloy used. Above it rest the specification 14K and brandname of MONTBLANC. There is no width specified on the nib itself, unlike others.
DSC_6351.jpg
A standard black plastic feed with finely spaced fins (earlier ones had ebonite feeds) ensures a good ink buffer for the awesome wetness and prevents hard starts. By the way, I just love the ink windows.
DSC_6360.jpg
 

PHYSICS OF RELATIVITY (6/6)

 
It does give a comfortable feel to write with the pen without posting the cap. The overall capped length is around 14.2 cm. The pen can be used posted without any feeling of top-heaviness as the weight of the cap is less than a third of the total weight, with a comfortable grip of 1.2 cm.
  • Uncapped Length ~ 12.4 cm
  • Posted Length ~ 15.6 cm
  • Nib Leverage ~ 2.4 cm
  • Overall Weight ~ 31 g (Cap Weight ~ 9 g)
Below are the pictures along with a Pelikan m805 and a Pilot Custom 823 for your reference.
 
DSC_4360.jpgDSC_4379.jpgDSC_4371.jpg
ECONOMIC VALUE (3/6)
 
This one defies both logic & gravity and the pen retails at more than USD 750. The price puts most of the fountain pen people off, while getting a pre-owned one from your uncles (well nothing like that! or buying it at a good discount) can save some money. You can also get hold of a MB boutique sales person selling off some older generation demo pens at a good discount. When it comes to the internet, one has to be careful regarding the abundance of fakes in the online marketplaces and the best fakes are costly and are quite difficult to identify without experience.
 
Value for money? I doubt.
 
Heritage Value? High. You can probably pass on the pen to your next generation and they would still recognise it as a brand. Can I pass on the same emotional value with a say, Pilot Custom 845, outside of Japan? I doubt. This will probably need some internet searches, before one realizes the true value of the pen.
 
OVERALL (5.2/6)
 
The writing experience is amazing although I do find the pilot custom 823 and m805 being equally good when it comes to nibs of similar size and constituency.  There is a hint of spring and softness in the nib and an absence of any line variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The lines dry relatively quickly with a MB Toffee Brown ink taking around 25 seconds on MD Paper. And you get a nice shading too!
DSC_6286.jpgComparatively, a custom 823 with a medium nib, draws a line, thinner than both 146 and m805 fine points and dries quickly. On a smooth MD paper with stock pelikan 4001 inks, it took more than 30 seconds to dry the dots put by the 146 (as well as the m805). 
 
Final Toffee Pose
DSC_6304.jpg

 

REFERENCES

 
 

Thank you for going through the review. 
You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.


Edited by soniknitr, 19 September 2015 - 08:03.

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#2 mehandiratta

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 08:08

thank you again sonik.... for the wonderful review....

 

 

i am on hunt for italic cognac though... at the good price...


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#3 hari317

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 08:26

Hi Sonik, thanks for the review of the well known and well loved 146. I am more interested in hearing what you thought of it as compared to the other pens in your collection, also real world comparisons with the street prices of used examples, I think with the very low price that a used 146 realises on ebay, the VFM quotient may be quite high, also perception of value is highly subjective, depends on who you ask. 

 

Best

Hari 


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#4 sannidh

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 09:09

thank you again sonik.... for the wonderful review....

 

 

i am on hunt for italic cognac though... at the good price...

 

Thanks for your kind feedback Vaibhav :)...Think the pencils site has one of the best prices, however you need an Italic nib, I guess.


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#5 sannidh

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 09:32

Hi Sonik, thanks for the review of the well known and well loved 146. I am more interested in hearing what you thought of it as compared to the other pens in your collection, also real world comparisons with the street prices of used examples, I think with the very low price that a used 146 realises on ebay, the VFM quotient may be quite high, also perception of value is highly subjective, depends on who you ask. 

 

Best

Hari 

 

Thanks Hari.. Personally, I value the 146 as a pretty good pen if you can get one with sparse use (and they would not be cheap) perhaps in a range of USD 300-350. Yes it does not have Urushi on it, neither any fancy materials, but when I hold it, write with it, there's an inherent comfort and confidence that builds with it. Both the pen & the nib feel substantial. I promptly realized that when I tried to write with a realo (this was a PG not a 1911). As usual with my usually charming luck with Sailors (now 8 returns) and their invaluable QC, the realo could not even lay horizontal lines.

 

For a VFM & I am considering resale price too, I would rate the pen as high as my m805 or a custom 823. And yes, getting it from trusted ebay sellers is a better idea, unless I need absolutely a new one. Worth getting older demo pens from MB boutiques or as you said a purchase off ebay at a good price.

 

PS: These two might look similar (a 1911 will look more) but just the act of holding or writing with them brings all the substantial difference

 

IMG_3587_zps6pr4uzlt.jpg


Edited by soniknitr, 19 September 2015 - 09:39.

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#6 hari317

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 10:18

 

Thanks Hari.. Personally, I value the 146 as a pretty good pen if you can get one with sparse use (and they would not be cheap) perhaps in a range of USD 300-350. Yes it does not have Urushi on it, neither any fancy materials, but when I hold it, write with it, there's an inherent comfort and confidence that builds with it. Both the pen & the nib feel substantial. I promptly realized that when I tried to write with a realo (this was a PG not a 1911). As usual with my usually charming luck with Sailors (now 8 returns) and their invaluable QC, the realo could not even lay horizontal lines.

 

For a VFM & I am considering resale price too, I would rate the pen as high as my m805 or a custom 823. And yes, getting it from trusted ebay sellers is a better idea, unless I need absolutely a new one. Worth getting older demo pens from MB boutiques or as you said a purchase off ebay at a good price.

 

PS: These two might look similar (a 1911 will look more) but just the act of holding or writing with them brings all the substantial difference

 

 

on the topic of the realo, i have one that has arrived and yet to be unpacked, thanks for reminding me, I must check how it writes.

reg materials of the 146, it may be plain plastic but the feel is unlike other plastic pens and i find that the Pelikan caps (for example)are more prone to picking up microscratches as compared to the montblanc 146/149.


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#7 sannidh

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 04:21

on the topic of the realo, i have one that has arrived and yet to be unpacked, thanks for reminding me, I must check how it writes.

reg materials of the 146, it may be plain plastic but the feel is unlike other plastic pens and i find that the Pelikan caps (for example)are more prone to picking up microscratches as compared to the montblanc 146/149.

 

How do you feel about the realo vis a vis 146?


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#8 hari317

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Posted 21 September 2015 - 04:54

How do you feel about the realo vis a vis 146?


am yet to unpack it....

but I have some other sailors and I have found the Trim plating quality and injection molding quality of the normal resin profits much inferior as compared to the finish put out by Montblanc currently, but maybe the price difference explains the quality levels...

ETA: YMMV.

Edited by hari317, 21 September 2015 - 04:54.

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#9 Betweenthelines

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:44

Well hey there!  I just picked up a used but restored older 146 on eBay and was perusing reviews and found this lovely one.  Thanks for the shout-out buddy.  :D  I've said it before and I'll say it again - the quality of your reviews is unparalleled.  So thank you.  The 146 I picked up is a medium, which I'm a little concerned about in regards to it being too broad for me (generally western fine is broad as I'll go).  We'll see though.  If I don't jive with it I will probably sell it and pick up another 823 in medium this time (my current 823 is a fine).  How would you compare the feel and writing experience of the 146 nib vs. the 823 nib?



#10 Fabienne

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 12:00

Lesser in size only. I collect the 146 and love the fact it isn't as big and heavy as the 148.

 

Having said that, great review. I agree with just about everything you said.



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#11 Diderot

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 18:45

As always with your reviews, detailed with superb pictures and pleasure to read.

Thank you.



#12 Tasmith

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 00:56

My 146 is my favorite pen.  Expensive, but worth the money as I enjoy writing with it more than with pens that cost a lot less.  If a less expensive pen isn't being used, then it wasn't worth the money regardless of the price.  There's a reason 146's continue to sell well.



#13 sannidh

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 11:12

Well hey there!  I just picked up a used but restored older 146 on eBay and was perusing reviews and found this lovely one.  Thanks for the shout-out buddy.  :D  I've said it before and I'll say it again - the quality of your reviews is unparalleled.  So thank you.  The 146 I picked up is a medium, which I'm a little concerned about in regards to it being too broad for me (generally western fine is broad as I'll go).  We'll see though.  If I don't jive with it I will probably sell it and pick up another 823 in medium this time (my current 823 is a fine).  How would you compare the feel and writing experience of the 146 nib vs. the 823 nib?

Oh that's great news... Would you like to send the 146 to a nibmeister for grinding down (you did send the 149 for tuning :) if iirc) Thanks a ton!, I am the fan of your flock review, btw :D

 

The 823 story, I had a cracked cap, the nib was writing ok (pilotish standard good, I also prefer the F/M in Japanese & F/EF in European like you :)).

 

Pilot replaced the cap (again thanks to Frank's advice) & I have no idea what Pilot did to the nib (nor did I request it), it now writes with amazing spring & wetness (perhaps a bit economically than a pelikan) :wub:  and now beats the relatively stiffer 146 nib by a fair margin :) Btw, got a new 149 in a good deal.

 

Lesser in size only. I collect the 146 and love the fact it isn't as big and heavy as the 148.

 

Having said that, great review. I agree with just about everything you said.

Thank you so much :) (Also as a pen, I would prefer a 149 over a m1000, for the heavy ones; the price points being a totally different topic)

 

As always with your reviews, detailed with superb pictures and pleasure to read.

Thank you.

 

Thank you Diderot :). It been a pleasure to write reviews on fpn.

My 146 is my favorite pen.  Expensive, but worth the money as I enjoy writing with it more than with pens that cost a lot less.  If a less expensive pen isn't being used, then it wasn't worth the money regardless of the price.  There's a reason 146's continue to sell well.

 

Agree with your point. A 100$ pen lying unused in the shelf doesnt make sense. 


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#14 Betweenthelines

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 19:40

Oh that's great news... Would you like to send the 146 to a nibmeister for grinding down (you did send the 149 for tuning :) if iirc) Thanks a ton!, I am the fan of your flock review, btw :D

 

The 823 story, I had a cracked cap, the nib was writing ok (pilotish standard good, I also prefer the F/M in Japanese & F/EF in European like you :)).

 

Pilot replaced the cap (again thanks to Frank's advice) & I have no idea what Pilot did to the nib (nor did I request it), it now writes with amazing spring & wetness (perhaps a bit economically than a pelikan) :wub:  and now beats the relatively stiffer 146 nib by a fair margin :) Btw, got a new 149 in a good deal.

 

I still haven't tried the pen yet (it's en route) but I'm pondering sending it in to Pendleton to do a stub-italic if it is indeed too broad for me.  It has an older (70's?) monotone nib that may be a little springier than modern nibs (I hope).  Nonetheless I'm still hankering for an 823 in medium - I currently own one in fine and to be honest I'm growing a little tired of Japanese fines.  Funny how our preferences change.. just when I was sure I pretty much only liked Japanese fines I start craving broader nibs!    That's cool that Pilot adjusted yours to write better.  I've found that often Pilot ships their nibs writing far too dry.  I'll let you know how it turns out!



#15 sansenri

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 12:04

It must have been asked dozens of times but I cannot seem to find the answer through a simple search. Is the nib of the 146 a #6 size nib? Thanks

#16 Reed_thoughts

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 13:54

Yes, its.

1= Meisterstuck

4=Piston Filler

6= Nib size.

 

the 147 doesnt follow the same convention, nor the 144... but its where the name/number comes from.



#17 sansenri

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 14:19

Thank you so much, I admit I know very little about Montblanc, I am usually into other brands...

#18 vinnied

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 09:13

This is classic no doubt ! 

I need to look into this Pilot of yours though: it looks very tasty in that colour 



#19 sannidh

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 10:51

This is classic no doubt ! 

I need to look into this Pilot of yours though: it looks very tasty in that colour 

 

Thank you! Agree that the custom 823 is v.v charming :)

It's one of the pens which remains inked almost always!


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#20 Limitlesspens

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Posted 19 January 2019 - 16:42

thanks for sharing :) 

 

out of curiosity which one you like more the sailor or mb? 







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