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For Those Who Hate Montblanc....why? Just Curious...


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#181 Bluey

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 20:39

 

I have to disagree. I tested a modern MB in the "one pen one month" challenge back in August to see if this this status symbol vs writing instrument theory held any water, and the MB made an excellent everyday writer. 

 

If you use your MB regularly - after two weeks the ink flow is nearly perfect, and after a year the nib on my (second hand) 146 has grown on me. Much like the Lamy 2K, or the Platinum #3776 in my collection - these pens seem to make the best writers, as they seem to pretty much write straight away. 

How does that disagree with what I said?


Edited by Bluey, 02 January 2018 - 20:41.

Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.


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#182 sandy101

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 21:11

You say that MB's are not making writing instruments now.

 

I find that their modern pens, as well as their vintage ones, are excellent everyday writers. 



#183 Bluey

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 21:12

You may do but it doesn't mean that they are as it's your own personal preference.


Edited by Bluey, 02 January 2018 - 21:29.

Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.


#184 praxim

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 21:37

I've tapped the dial and checked the switch, but my irony meter seems to have broken through overload  Should I send it back to the manufacturer?


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#185 praxim

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 21:38

None of us want to admit that we buy a brand to be associated with a certain clique but I will admit that I am probably an inverted snob and would never carry a MB or own a BMW (at least not in the UK) simply because of my distaste for it's social connotations. In the pen enthusiasts world that is a lame reason and possibly just as bad as buying a pen simply to appear to be associated with a certain level of society. I agree, but we are are human after all :-)

 

Well said.


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#186 Bluey

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 21:45

I've tapped the dial and checked the switch, but my irony meter seems to have broken through overload  Should I send it back to the manufacturer?

Not when the owner doesn't read the instructions.


Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.


#187 sandy101

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 21:57

You may do but it doesn't mean that they are as it's your own personal preference.

 

MBs can be a bit of bling, but their current pens are still excellent writers.  

 

​We are allowed to disagree. 



#188 ian1964

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 22:17

 

MBs can be a bit of bling, but their current pens are still excellent writers.  

 

​We are allowed to disagree. 

They are not all excellent writers and not all are reliable. They do not represent value for money as a daily writer compared to many brands BUT some can represent excellent investment opportunities for those who leave them unused in a display case.



#189 OMASsimo

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 22:31

You say that MB's are not making writing instruments now.

 

I find that their modern pens, as well as their vintage ones, are excellent everyday writers. 

 

This might be a matter of taste. Last time I tried a Meisterstück in the shop, I didn't like the nib at all and bought an OMAS instead. It was more expensive but it's still the best modern pen I own, at least according to my taste.

 

I started writing my 2017 résumé with my vintage 1950s MB 144, which is a family heritage, just to be sure that I'm not mislead by my poor memory. No, my memory was right. The build quality is superb, great celluloid, built like a tank, and a fascinating "telescoping piston mechanism". But this vintage pen is just so-so as a writer. It is one of the extremely few vintage pens in my extensive collection that suffers from starvation after writing a page. I also don't like the feeling of the nib, though the line it puts down looks nice (it's an OB nib). Almost any other of my 1950s pens is a better performer but none of them was as expensive. As a comparison, a Pelikan 400 was 25 DM in the 1950s while the MB 144 was 45 DM (German marks). My 1950s Pelikans feel WAY nicer than the MB 144 and so do my Kawecos and Osmias. The same is true for earlier and later periods of time. The one outstanding MB writer I have is a 254 which is up to par with the others of that period.

 

So, is it performance or status?



#190 praxim

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 23:04

or a false dichotomy?


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#191 wastelanded

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 23:09

Really though, at the end of the day this debate is wholly subjective: beauty is in the hand of the writer.
"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#192 max dog

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 04:35

The occasional instances when someone has a bad experience with a Montblanc they tend to scream from the roof tops, but the vast majority of wonderful experiences pass silently in the night.  Those wonderful writing experiences are what make Montblanc #1 in fountainpendome.  Loyal customers keep coming back buying their products both new, preowned, and vintage.  Its no accident the Montblanc forum has the most activity than any other forum in FPN.  Just a lot of happy campers passionately enjoying their Montblancs.  

 

So much variety in nib offerings, so many new models and special editions every year, so many new and special inks.  So much creativity and support and recognition for the arts coming out of Hamburg.  So alive, keeping the passion for writing instruments alive in this world of keyboarding and smartphones.


Edited by max dog, 03 January 2018 - 04:49.


#193 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 11:05

 

This might be a matter of taste. Last time I tried a Meisterstück in the shop, I didn't like the nib at all and bought an OMAS instead. It was more expensive but it's still the best modern pen I own, at least according to my taste.

 

I started writing my 2017 résumé with my vintage 1950s MB 144, which is a family heritage, just to be sure that I'm not mislead by my poor memory. No, my memory was right. The build quality is superb, great celluloid, built like a tank, and a fascinating "telescoping piston mechanism". But this vintage pen is just so-so as a writer. It is one of the extremely few vintage pens in my extensive collection that suffers from starvation after writing a page. I also don't like the feeling of the nib, though the line it puts down looks nice (it's an OB nib). Almost any other of my 1950s pens is a better performer but none of them was as expensive. As a comparison, a Pelikan 400 was 25 DM in the 1950s while the MB 144 was 45 DM (German marks). My 1950s Pelikans feel WAY nicer than the MB 144 and so do my Kawecos and Osmias. The same is true for earlier and later periods of time. The one outstanding MB writer I have is a 254 which is up to par with the others of that period.

 

So, is it performance or status?

'50 -60's the dollar was 4 DM to one $....and the Snorkel was as expensive at $12-14 as an MB.

 

There was a time I knew nothing about MB but the 146-9. I won an 'ugly' pen in a live auction four pen lot. I didn't know what KOB was OB with a Kugal....flat on the bottom so you could write 'regular' ball on top if you wanted to hold it like a pencil/ball on top of the nib.....ball points were just coming in in 1952-4 only when this standard sized MB 234 1/2 Deluxe was made.  Due to balance, girth and the semi-flex KOB nib, it rapidly grew on me.

The 'ugly' pen had very good balance....a slightly wider girth and a real fun nib....sort of more a M than a modern B.

Thanks to Lambrou's book I found out it was the refined version of the pre-war 139....which I'd not known about until I got that book. Do get his '89 book....some folks are disappointed in the later edition.

Suddenly it was no longer an 'ugly' pen.

I was only after the 400nn, not the 450MP& 455 BP. I'd never ever liked MP's....until this one :notworthy1:. I had been contaminated by the massive hate of everything MB. I knew the MB would make the auction lot cost more. :angry: :gaah:. Not that I wanted it....I was going to sell it and the MB&BP to get some of my money back. I had checked out the price of the MP&BP on German Ebay.....in at that time 170 Euros was way the hell over my limit.)

 

There was massive hate of MB on this com....the only think liked was the ink bottle after one emptied the so called ink out............real hate of MB.

The joke was on me. I looked up that MB 234 1/2 Deluxe and it was 'worth' E200 then.....later I've seen them priced at $500 and just last year....a few months ago,  there is some pirate that wants only $900 on 'Buy Now Idiot.)

At that priceI'm willing to sell.

 

Years later, I'd just tried the 450 mechanical pencil....and for 6 weeks used only it and no fountain pen. The ball point is typical '50's ball point....nothing worth buying....IMO... I did live in the  mid-late '50-60's ball point era.

The 400nn OF actually had a maxi-semi-flex nib.....but I'd not discovered that flex set yet. For a while that MB was my number one pen, the 400nn the second....from the same auction.

My three perfect balanced pens which I worried about then when I was more noobie, was that MB, a thin medium-large Geha 725 and a P-75.....the 400nn coming in at @ #4 in balance. took me a couple of years to decide the medium-large 400nn was slightly better balanced than the standard 400.

 

I had wanted not only the semi-flex I have with the Deluxe but wanted a maxi-semi-flex in MB which I had in other pens...Pelikan, Geha and Osmia. When I got the rolled gold  MB742 home I found its nib to lay between semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex.....the only nib I have that is so....26 semi-flex, 16 maxi's which basically clump together in each's set...and one in between.

It took me a while to luck into a medium-large 146 from the '50-60 era with a maxi-semi-flex nib. I like the great balance of the medium-large pen.....much more than my '70-80 regular flex Large 146.

 

Omas.....That 144 should be sent in for repair....in it should not be starving....there could be a problem with the gasket. Do you cant the nib? Hold up to the light and check.....If a 15 degree grind, post the cap so the clip is aligned exactly between the slit and the right hand edge. Then re-grip the pen before putting it to paper.

If a rarer 30 degree grind, align the clip to the right hand edge of the nib....re-grip and write.

In either, the angle of cant required is right, when using the clip to aim with.

 

MB 234 1/2 Deluxe (52-54 only.) The regular 234 1/2 is affordable and will have a very nice semi-flex nib. Difference in clip, and cap band....regular has two cap rings.

 

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#194 mongrelnomad

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 20:32

First: I have at least 15 MBs, ranging from the modern (1x9s, POAs and WEs) to vintage (first, second and third tier). I am no Montblanc hater, and can categorically state that they continue to produce good pens - occasionally great pens - and have a storied history that few other surviving companies can match. 

 

But... I get why the hate.

 

In a day and age where pens, especially fountain pens, have become esoteric enough to be simple status symbols or event gifts, Montblanc has become the default, de-facto choice. For many, it is the only choice, not because of the quality (high), choice of nibs (broad), or reputation (good), but rather because it is the only name those with no interest in research will be able to recall. That it also occupies a prominent position in airports, malls and the world's prime shopping streets leaves other manufacturers facing insurmountable odds just to get noticed. Montblanc is hated as the Goliath to the industry's multiple Davids. 

 

I would argue, though, that they should not be resented their success. In their present dominant position, they could pump out dross at inflated prices and still sell by the bucketload; most of the audience simply knows no better. Yet still they continue to produce pens that have retained the company's spirit, its beating heart and soul intact. For every diamond encrusted LE, the tool-pens - the workhorses - remain in the line-up, closely priced against the competition, providing (relative) value and reliability without embellishment, as Montblanc has for over a century.

 

True, I haven't bought one in nearly five years, but that is not because of any lack of intrinsic quality; their product is simply not what I'm looking for now. It is, after all, a mass produced product, and at some point I began to prize handiwork of the individual over the perfection of CAD and machine. And yet... I still appreciate Montblanc pens for what they are, not what they are not. 

 

The tendency to hate runs deep. Funnily enough, I fell into the same 'hater' trap when buying what is now my favourite watch from another historic German brand (though this one from the other side of the Iron Curtain), also now part of the Richemont Group. I nearly dismissed it out of hand, but then I spent time studying its details, the beauty and craftsmanship, its knowing connection to the past and the superlative construction which seemed superior to its (independent) Swiss competition. I realised then that dismissing an object for the ownership of its manufacturer was akin to holding a child responsible for the sins of its parent.

 

The marketing of Montblanc may be a masterclass in the monopolisation (and perhaps cynical exploitation) of a market, but nothing suggests they've forgotten how to make a great pen. 


Edited by mongrelnomad, 03 January 2018 - 20:46.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#195 ian1964

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 22:28

.  Its no accident the Montblanc forum has the most activity than any other forum in FPN.  Just a lot of happy campers passionately enjoying their Montblancs.  

 

 

What about all the variations of "have I got fake" or "have I been scammed on Ebay"  topics posted on the forum. It certainly increases the amount of traffic.


Edited by ian1964, 03 January 2018 - 22:33.


#196 Sasha Royale

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 23:19

I have tried several Montblanc fountain pens, over the years, including late Aunt Kate's model 144, in my stewardship. 

Excellence is the rule.  I have not, nor do I intend to buy one.  The brand name has become a cliché.  I do no like the attention that the "snowflake" draws, nor the source of the attention.  There are other fountain pens that offer the same excellence, and one does not have to pay the expensive premium of the logo.  

 

If you still want one, definitely get one.  Montblancs are excellent writing instruments.  


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#197 Bluey

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 23:40

Montblancs were excellent writing instruments.

 

Fixed. Hugely high price tag with relatively high QC issues that simply should not be there is not the sign of an excellent writing instrument.


Edited by Bluey, 03 January 2018 - 23:43.

Mediterranean blue, Asa Goa, China blue, Royal blue, Sapphire blue, Indigo, Washable Blue....the colours of the rainbow.


#198 Ghost Plane

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 23:51

Pen envy?

My daily carries. Note they stay inked and used.

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#199 loug

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 16:01

Having a MB is like having a gold ring or gold chain. Its bling-bling. Doesn't write any better IMHO. Sold all the high end I had. Now staying under $100. This way if one breaks or gets lost no big deal. No panic attack.

#200 Cordovian

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 16:14

Wow! Ten pages in a week...

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