I came into contact with Montblanc over their ballpoint pens - or more precise pens that were “inspired” by them.
I think I was 10 or 12 years old (early 90s), when i started to realize a distinct design of ballpoint pens around hotels we went - or my father brought back from conferences. The Montblanc like cigar shape in black, brown or green with the hotel's name printed on the cap.
Here is a picture I took - my father still has some of those pens lying around.
I asked my father, why various hotels in different countries had the same sort of pen and he told me, they want to resemble an expensive brand. (btw, the "quality" of those hotel-pens was and is always worse than “bad”)
From that moment onwards I looked closely on the pens used around us.
My father never used fountain pens or expensive ballpoint pens. He signed documents at the place he was at that moment in the lawfirm with the next available ballpoint pen around - mostly own give-aways. My mother (court clerk) used ballpoint pens provided by the court or her pelikano fountain pen she had since school. I found out, that "the expensive brand" had a white star on their pens. And while bank managers or hotel managers treated those pens like precious goods, those friends and clients of my father who also had one of these pens didn't treat them with that caution.
(Sidenote: When I look back at this today, I know why. They are members of those groups of people for whom these "cheap" gadgets don't play any role. Today I know some of my father's friends belong to known and even dynastic families. At that time they were just friendly people who handed me over their rolex chronograph cause the 11-year-old me needed a stopwatch.)
So I was aware of the brand "Montblanc", but it never played a role in my life.
Also, going to school in the 90s, at some point ballpoint and gel pens took over and I stopped using my fountain pens (Lamy Safari & Parker Jotter).
When I left university and was looking for a job, I became aware, that a suit from a special brand is useful to show that you belong to the business-level you are applying for and that you are successful.
(Sidenote two: I was used to MTM suits or RTW suits I chose because I liked their look and not their brand.)
During the research on "how to dress for success", I stumbled across the accessories thread in one of the Yuppies forums. A Montblanc ballpoint pen would be the right choice as a writing instrument - because of the worldwide recognition of the brand.
So there again, Montblanc popped up.
(I learned that the “I pretend, I'm successful” sort of people chose even writing instruments on their recognition rather than on the writing skills - and therefore are satisfied with a ballpoint pen. - That opened me the possibility to continue playing a game, I was playing for years: “guess if I'm in your social class or several above you”
As I grew up with people from so many different classes of society, I found out what the distinct status symbols of various classes are - and during my studies, I developed the game of messing them up and play with the prejudiced attached to those status symbols. And if someone thought I was in the class below him and he could “bully me”, I pulled something out if my hat that showed: “2-3 classes above you ” / I know, a weird game, but it is a lot of fun!)
At the same time, the company I had my internship at, had some business with Montblanc. Surrounded by Montblanc ...
So besides buying two other fountain pens (Pelikan and Waterman), I looked around on the Montblanc website and found my grail pen (Meisterstück Solitaire Platinum Plated Facet). As I was working for a swiss manufacturer of ballpoint pen refills and although I owned two fountain pens, the ballpoint pen was the first Montblanc I wanted to own.
A Montblanc ballpoint pen, to "play the game", but one with a design that was not ordinary, as I always have more joy with stuff that is a bit extraordinary.
Years went by, the money from my granny I wanted to use to buy that ballpoint pen stayed untouched. I never felt it was “the right time”. And I had so much fun with my fountainpens and still a lot of good-writing ballpoint pens from my internship.
Beginning of last year, I found out, the series was discontinued by Montblanc and so the plan of buying the ballpoint and later the fountain pen couldn't be put to action.
Then came the autumn 2016, I changed the job and wanted to treat myself. Lying with my ipad on my couch, I surfed the net, landed on ebay and bought an early 90s 146 OBB for 173 €.
And since then 10 more followed
(And the most recent one is a Meistertück Solitaire Platinum Plated Facet 146 - I still don't own that ballpoint pen.)
Wow, what a long story. Shall I edit it, shorten it? Well, no, let’s give you something to read