While I was a little bummed by that, it didn't last long, as I was informed that the store had received its first Alexander von Humboldt, just last night. Sweet.
(BTW- the "official" write-up for this pen can be seen at the now less screamingly un-navigable and flash-heavy Montblanc site Here )
First impression- big honking pen- had to be about 6" long. The cap seemed a trifle over-long to me, but not glaringly so- however, I feel if the silver section over the clip had been just a bit shorter the pen would have been a bit better visually balanced.
Images hotlinked from the MB web site
Weighty. The weight is packed on by the sterling silver appointments- and there's a lot of it, from the inlays to the clip to the turning knob AND the section. In the hand, the bulk of the weight is very much towards the back of the hand- some folks don't like that, I do. I found it to be a nice balance. It's not a light pen- I don't think I would be writing the great American novel with it, but I would find it comfortable for writing a few pages. Would I want to carry it in my shirt pocket? Probably not.
Barrel and cap are made of black grenadille- a very hard, dense, and dark wood- it's a very stable wood used in various wood-wind instruments. The pictures I had seen of the pen, as well as the brochure for the Humboldt led me to believe that the wood would be a bit lighter in shade and more lustrous, but in real-life it was fairly dark and a tad on the matte side. I imagine that with use this will change.
In size, it compares well with the 149 in barrel diameter and is a touch longer capped, IIRC. Uncapped (forget posting this one- it would flip your hand over backwards....) it's not quite as long and has a slimmer section than the 149.
The nib imprint is probably my favorite out of all of the MB LEs that I've seen- 146-sized with a platinum mask surrounding a sextant in gold- very nice. Now, I'm a bit prejudiced- ask me if something should have a big honking nib or a medium-sized nib, and it's not hard to guess my answer- but if it had been a 149-sized nib instead of a 146-size, I would have really been blown away by the pen. But, given the length and girth of the pen, the smaller 146 nib makes the uncapped pen look a bit squat. That's being fairly picky, but that's my impression.
The clip has the "vintage" MB logo- I like it.
I did notice a few things that struck me as fit and finish issues- there was a small gap between the end of the wood on the barrel and the base of the piston unit- I do not know if this was intentional (a little relief space for the wood- doubt it) or not, but it caught my attention. The clip on the one I handled seemed juuuuuuuust a tad askew, and the sterling panels on the cap and barrel did not quite meet up when the pen was capped- off by a few degrees, but off none-the-less. Would the sum of these issues (and I was trying to be pretty critical here) make me say, "No- send this one back."? Idunno- close call there. At $2400, my nit-picky-ness would probably be allowed a lot more say in the matter than on a $240 or $24 pen.
From what I'd seen and known ahead of time, I was prepared to be impressed, and, on the whole, I was- it's gorgeous. I love the elements of the pen- it could have been tied together a little better, but I like it none-the-less. This is one that I almost tried to figure out how to scrape together the fundage for- now that I've seen it in person, I've throttled back that urge a bit. Not that I don't like it- heck no; I think this one is going to sell like hotcakes- it just didn't have the immediate "BUY ME! BUY ME!!!!!" that I expected it to. All-in-all, a very impressive offering.
Edited by MYU, 03 December 2008 - 01:24.