Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

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


  • Please log in to reply
471 replies to this topic

#41 max dog

max dog

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,034 posts
  • Location:British Columbia
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 15:59

Its interesting that MB, accused of producing jewellery instead of writing instruments, today offer the widest nib options from EF through to OBBBs. I think quite the opposite, they carry on the tradition of fountain pens from the vintage days better than anyone else today.

Sponsored Content

#42 aeba

aeba

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 406 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 16:06

Offtopic:

The 823 is hardly a bargain either, it's still an over priced plastic pen. The end of the day you buy what makes you happy. Very few pens are worth their price.
If you want to buy a Mont blanc pen to match your mont blanc wallet and watch, while wearing your mont blanc sunglasses because it makes you happy why not.
You may look a bit of a pleb, but I would say not as daft as you would in all that stuff with the pilot logo on.
And I can only imagine what pilot aftershave would smell like...

What if I would pair a Pilot fountain pen with a pilot jacket and RayBan Aviators? I could throw in David Clark headphones too?*

 

All that is hypothetical; I don't own any of them, although I am pondering on those headphones  :glare:


You do not have a right to post. You do not have a right to a lawyer. Do you understands these rights you do not have?

 

Kaweco Supra (titanium B), Al-Sport (steel BB).

Parker: Sonnet (dimonite); Frontier GT; 51 (gray); Vacumatic (amber).

Pelikan: m600 (BB); Rotring ArtPen (1,9mm); Rotring Rive; Cult Pens Mini (the original silver version), Waterman Carene (ultramarine F)


#43 Shannon

Shannon

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 441 posts
  • Location:Boise, Idaho

Posted 29 December 2017 - 16:10

I love this topic!

 

I never thought much about MBs -- it was the "exclusivity" of the brand and the feeling that they are so very much a pen you "should" have.  Then I found an older model at a good price and loved the writing experience.  That led me to purchase (second hand, always) a couple of 146s.  Again -- wonderful writing experience.

 

That all said, I'm constantly disappointed in the lack of service/warranty that MB provides.  Cross has a lifetime warranty.  For a pen that costs about 1/10th of the price, I was recently able to get a pen completely serviced and repaired for $10.  MB won't even look at a pen for less than $100, I believe.

 

Because of their lack of service for an extremely high-priced product, I'd never consider buying one new.


Ink samples to trade:  Levenger (Smokey, Blue Bahama, Always Greener, Skies of Blue, Fireball, Pinkly, Gemstone Green, Cobalt Blue, Raven Black, Cardinal Red, Cocoa, Amethyst); J. Herbin (Lie de The, Emerald de Chivor, Storm Grey, Rouge Hematite); Diamine (Purple Pazzazz, Bilberry, Ancient Copper, Blue Black, Indigo, and Damson); Sailor (Tokiwa-matsu, Souten); and Chesterfield (Antique Yankee, Night Sapphire, Antique Raven, Antique Walnut, Archival Black, Antique Jade)

 

Looking for: surprise me!


#44 whichwatch

whichwatch

    Collectors Item

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,141 posts

Posted 29 December 2017 - 16:18

I think some of this hate may stem from hate/disdain for the popular/consumerist. Like Rolex draws snubs from those who consider themselves watch snobs, MB is a lightning rod for the same reasons. While they may not be the best mechanical, most complex, best in class equipment, they have built themselves into a brand recognizable to even those outside of their fanatical followers. You see the Coke's color red, without even seeing Coca-Cola, and you associate it with Coke. You see the cyclops lens of a Rolex, and you instantly know it's a Rolex. You see the white star and cigar silhouette. Comparing Rolex to MB, they are iconic, in ways that Pelikan, Lamy, and the others can only dream of. Non-watch people can spot a Rolex, non-pen people can spot a MB. Maybe they don't make what others can say is the best. But the brand is their product, and the best in terms of recognition anywhere around. Maybe that's why that's why, that while it's viewed as the best by the plebians and commoners, it may not be performance or price wise the best. But that's a story for another day. 

 

 

Montblanc is an outstanding marketer and excels at theming special editions, managing the distribution channel, pricing, and protecting its brand, service, and message. It’s like Rolex in that as a product it’s both a statement and a form of currency. There’s little question that many other firms match or better the quality of engineering and craftsmanship. Many do as well at design, but nobody matches its ability to build a story around a pen, and very few, if any, match the value of the brand. In the vocabulary of Steve Jobs, it’s a company that imputes.

 

 

 

Exactly!!!   



#45 Bo Bo Olson

Bo Bo Olson

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,164 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted 29 December 2017 - 16:54

Rolex has 17 jewels the minimum needed. My watch maker says no more are needed other than bragging.

 

Early '80's.....both Pelikan and MB went bankrupt. Pelikan was bought up by the Swiss. sold to a Malaysian Billionaire 1990...the nibs went down a hair is spring....the famous W.Geramany vs German. 

When the Swiss saved MB the affordable pens the 2xx & 3xx level pens were cut. The School pens belonged to Pelikan.....and Lamy.

 

The MB nib was or is on my 2006 one stubbish...........IMO a + point....one gets some flair to the nib. It's a comfortable nib.....

I do prefer the '50-70 era (can't afford to chase pre-war....out side of Osmia.)

 

MB & Pelikan got into making ball points soon enough to save them selves. Soennecken didn't and died.

 

I think more ball points and roller balls are sold by Pelikan and MB than fountain pens.....WAG.

Over priced sure.......the 200 has a 'fair' price....I could see the 400 at 50% higher but not the 200% more....needs to be higher as a status kicker.

 

I don't think 'anyone' would rush out to buy 149's priced at a reasonable  E250-300.

MB is a high status pen.....

 

Rolex puts out enough advertisement by giving them free to VIP's that as mention those who really don't know think them status.

There are watches where you spend $70,000 on the basic and $200,000 and more for them with complications. ...for those who worry their Yacht is too small. :P

 

Omega use to be a status watch too.....still haven't  got, my Omega Constellation.

 

The first time I can remember Rolex. Arnold Palmer; the golfer was still number one and had one.

I'd already been trained Omega...when a man finally got situated....back in the day it was....Timex....then up grade to Boliva, and finally Omega.................then come that 'new' watch Rolex given free to anyone who was anyone....National Geographic folks, America Cup sailors, ......run to your car and get in racers.........

I didn't play golf then, nor cared what Jack Nickolas wore.....

....well do have a machined silver   Omega pocket watch. ;)

 

Was saving money for a pen in a live auction.....or might have gotten that Constellation that came up before....didn't get either. :( .

 

You know....'absolutely' nobody knows any more what a Constellation is....don't have a bitten Apple on it. :lticaptd:


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 29 December 2017 - 16:57.

What is the true face of Alec Guinness?

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany      Info on Bock nibs

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens and inks only; not the users or inks of other companies pens.  Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#46 flipper_gv

flipper_gv

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 591 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 17:15

Its interesting that MB, accused of producing jewellery instead of writing instruments, today offer the widest nib options from EF through to OBBBs. I think quite the opposite, they carry on the tradition of fountain pens from the vintage days better than anyone else today.

 

That is true. It's really a sad things that most brands only produce XF to B nibs these days.



#47 Hamletta

Hamletta

    NOS (New Old Stock)

  • Member - Silver

  • PipPip
  • 14 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 17:23

Fascinating discussion!

 

I admit, I got my MB for the snowflake and a status symbol as I was making my way up in business. Everybody else had those, even if they usually had ball pens. A FP fitted me more, and I loved using it. Then I quit the business world and ended up too embarrassed to use the pen, precisely because of its "Rolex" image. And the result was I stopped using FPs all together.

 

Recently I dug it back out. It's a modest 144, but you know what? I love how it writes. The nib is beautiful and writing with it is a pleasure. So, whatever the image, I'll keep it with my favourites.  :P



#48 Bluey

Bluey

    Somewhere between green and indigo

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,699 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 17:55

Its interesting that MB, accused of producing jewellery instead of writing instruments, today offer the widest nib options from EF through to OBBBs. I think quite the opposite, they carry on the tradition of fountain pens from the vintage days better than anyone else today.

 

I think Sailor, Pilot, or Platinum could rival the number offered with a much more substantial and uniquely different range. For example, Pilot offer EF, F, M, FM, B, BB, C, SEF, SF, SM, SFM, SB, WA, FA, PO, SU. Then there's the Sailor specialist nibs.

That's a curious point about the range of MB nibs though, but to be fair almost all of them are just extensions of the B nib, and appear to be served with the obligatory over polishing.


Edited by Bluey, 29 December 2017 - 17:59.

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


#49 sidthecat

sidthecat

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,062 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 17:55

I have a little one I got in the late 70s, but they’re more status object than anything else. The old ones have very nice nibs, and they’re well-made, but they’re not especially interesting pens.

#50 max dog

max dog

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,034 posts
  • Location:British Columbia
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 18:31

 

I think Sailor, Pilot, or Platinum could rival the number offered with a much more substantial and uniquely different range. For example, Pilot offer EF, F, M, FM, B, BB, C, SEF, SF, SM, SFM, SB, WA, FA, PO, SU. Then there's the Sailor specialist nibs.

That's a curious point about the range of MB nibs though, but to be fair almost all of them are just extensions of the B nib, and appear to be served with the obligatory over polishing.

The Japanese manufacturers certainly are unmatched these days in the variety of nibs they do, and I really like their soft nib options, even the FA nib.  In the west though, really Montblanc I think carry the torch as far as offering the widest option in nibs (Pelikans use to but have pulled back).  If they were only about status and luxury, why offer anything other than Medium and Fine nibs.  The Montblanc 1912 nib I hear is soft with line variation.  I think the Japanese brands benefit from the fact fountain pens are still main stream in the general population in Japan, so there is the demand to offer the wide range of nibs that they do.  Unfortunately in the west, the last time I saw another fountain pen user at work or in the wild was a few years ago (and it was a MB).  The demand for flex or specialty nibs is sadly quite insignificant compared to ball points in the west, so there just isn't the priority to invest in producing the array of nib options.  So I applaud Montblanc for still offering the variety of nibs that they do.  They are all about the writing experience too while catering to the luxury market so they can continue to stay profitable.  


Edited by max dog, 29 December 2017 - 19:01.


#51 Bluey

Bluey

    Somewhere between green and indigo

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,699 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 18:56

It's curious, but I wonder who would write with a OBBB nib in a practical situation. I can't imagine jounralling, writing a letter, or filling out a form with something that wide.  I would think that if the extra nibs relative to some other Western brands were for writing, why not offer nibs more in the XXF to B range which the majority of the population are likely to write with.


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


#52 max dog

max dog

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,034 posts
  • Location:British Columbia
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 19:07

It's curious, but I wonder who would write with a OBBB nib in a practical situation. I can't imagine jounralling, writing a letter, or filling out a form with something that wide.  I would think that if the extra nibs relative to some other Western brands were for writing, why not offer nibs more in the XXF to B range which the majority of the population are likely to write with.

An OBBB is all about line variation, just like soft and vintage flex nibs.  Goes from EEF to BBB.  Maybe not suitable for work notes, but nice when journaling.  I have an early 90's OB, but I think it might actually be an OBB I am using all the time for my journaling.  



#53 Uncial

Uncial

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,814 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 19:36

On a more serious note, and picking up something that someone else has noted about the writing experience of these 'pieces of jewellery'....

 

I've been using fountain pens since I was a little brat at school and being a naturally inclined hoarder I had amassed quite a collection by the time I went to uni when for some reason, fountain pens and ink became as scarce as hens teeth, so I had to resort to a thing called a BIC which I'm certain was spawned by satan himself. Is that snobbery? Anyways, I left uni and returned to Ireland so I was able to return to the joy of fountain pens. I kept buying a few (cheapies mainly) and was gifted one or two rather special ones (but not a MB). Over time my collection grew, buying some, being given others, but I held on to everything, even keeping a curious selection of Wearevers, Eversharps, Summit's and Sheaffer's that went to uni with me even though they didn't see a lot of use. I knew of MB but I thought they were grossly overpriced, never really understood the appeal and at that time well beyond my means....or so I thought.

 

The same year that the first apple iphone came out (and yes, I did buy one for the princely sum of 650 euro and it lasted just over a year before being defunct.....I thought I should be techie then and have wised up since) I headed off to a summer fair round the corner from me. I don't usually make a habit of doing that, but I was a bit bored and there was little else on that day. I was surprised to see on one stall a white box labelled MB 149 M on a small label. I enquired and was told it was a pen and would 50 euro be alright. Perhaps this will be a sort of confession because to this day I feel I ripped off that stallholder. I couldn't get that note into her hand fast enough. I didn't even take it out of the box and as I went home with it I started to worry I might have overpaid for a fancy box and nothing else. At home I found to my great relief that the pen was in there and was brand new. Clearly this was an unwanted corporate gift. The book was stamped and dated only a few months earlier. I held it in my hand and looked at it and the first thing that struck me was it's understated elegance. There was really nothing flash about it. Classic shape and classic styling, somewhat oversized. Uncapping, the nib is blingy, but in a nice way. So i was there looking at it, messing with it and thinking, 'Yep; this is all about how much you pay rather than what it is.' Then I wrote with it. What strange magic is this? Despite (shamefully literally) hundreds of little cheapie pens (many of which I still have and love) I had never had a writing experience quite so good. But it still took a while for me to truly appreciate it. Sometimes, things reveal their inner qualities over time and for me this pen and it's blingy nib did just that. I know people say that the new ones aren't as good as the old ones (which is kind of true I think) but I truly began to not only enjoy this pen but really love it. I loved it so much and to such an extent that it has never been uninked since; not even once. I love using it; it's clunky sounding plastic, it's tactile quality, it's lumpy rings and it's smooth and beautiful nib (I know some will dislike a smooth nib like this, but that's a question of personal preference).

 

Fast forward a few years and I was busy selling off my Wearever's, Parker's, Summit's and Sheaffer's (suddenly they became popular again all of a sudden) so I could invest in yet more crazily priced MB's. This time I was chasing the Writer's Editions. I sold off that stupid, useless first generation iphone (and later a first generation ipad) just before the markets were flooded with them all over the place and made a tidy profit. Yay! So, slowly but surely I acquired a little mound of money to slowly but surely purchase the WE MB's that appealed to me and I can honestly say that out of collection of pens that is still rather extensive ( definitely moreso than before), the MB WE's are easily some of the finest if not the finest pens I own; both in terms of design and beauty and also in terms of a truly enjoyable writing experience. Having rented a room in my house has helped to keep me in the manner to which I am accustomed, enabling me to purchase such luxuries - yes, you heard me right; luxuries. That is what they are after all. They go far beyond a simple function, that much is obvious to anyone who looks at a MB WE pen. 

 

More recently I must confess I feel that MB has lost it's way a little and produced some rather odd pens with what I personally feel are overdesigned and sometimes even a bit silly looking. I find that the marketing campaign in the last four or so years has ramped up the 'lifestyle' thing considerably, but I think i'd be hard pressed to think of another company of just about any luxury product that hasn't also gone down this route. I find it....well.... a bit vulgar to be honest. I have absolutely no interest in a 'MB lifestyle' and I certainly didn't chase some of these wonderful pens to have as a symbol of my status in society - believe me, in my line of work I'm on the bottom rung of society here and there is nothing I can ever do to change that, yet I never want to leave my work if I can help it. Yet, in spite of it all and in spite of what I perceive to be a few errors of design, marketing and taste, MB still has the ability to surprise and excite me. I don't hang them around my neck, or have them sitting in a glass case or put them in my shirt pocket so everyone can see the snow peak when I'm out and about - I write with them and I honestly love writing with them and I am constantly pleased to think that all of them outlasted and will continue to outlast that stupid iphone I bought the same year.

 

Are they 'the best pens ever'? I doubt it. They are certainly much better than almost all of the 'cheapies' that have passed through my hands and a good number of the mid tier ones too. I feel Sailor give them a run for their money on the nib front (but quite a different experience in many respects - again it falls to preference) and Pelikan are probably their closest competitor overall and both of these brands are very fine pen makers which also produce very, very expensive luxury pens. I think what Sailor and Pelikan could teach MB is that it is possible to have mid tier priced pens without damaging the 'lifestyle' image nonsense (sorry if you're really into that, but it just doesn't really float my boat at all) and perhaps it was a mistake to ditch the Generations models, or some such other. But what do i know; I only write with them.

 

As they say.... your mileage may vary.



#54 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,758 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 19:38

This foolishness has been amusing.  I bought a 146 and a 144 bordeaux in 1983 for $151 and $135 respectively.  I sold the 146 for more than I paid for it, and I still have that 144 and three others.  I used them extensively.  I am quite satisfied with them, and I can see that Montblanc has improved the design over the years.  These pens and a Parker 51 served me well during my career.  The status symbol B.S. during the 1990s and on didn't discourage me from using these beautiful and marvelous pens. 

 

I think the people who have not owned one of these pens are writing from ignorance and just echoing the blather that goes around.  Reading a thread like this is almost like reading Facebook. 


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#55 Sailor Kenshin

Sailor Kenshin

    Heart of sword

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,624 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 19:51

I have three: a bouncy little 32, a Generation with what I suspect is an italic nib, and a Kugel tester...a 145? It uses carts or a converter,

I like them. They write well and they look understated. I think a 149 would be too big for me, but if one jumped into my pocket...

#56 TheRealMikeDr

TheRealMikeDr

    The Great Schnauzer King

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,015 posts
  • Location:Northeast Ohio - US

Posted 29 December 2017 - 19:58

I have twelve of them, new and old, and hate them one and all :)

 

Lately I've been on a quest for an F. Scott Fitzgerald model from the early aughts. I'm sure I'll hate that one as well!


Edited by TheRealMikeDr, 29 December 2017 - 19:59.


#57 peterg

peterg

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 699 posts

Posted 29 December 2017 - 20:09

Hate is a strong word. I just find them expensive and soulless. Technically I can't fault them. But then I don't like the Parker 51 either.



#58 Baalberithim

Baalberithim

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 20:12

I think the secondary market prices are about right for most of the standard MB line. I wouldn't mind picking up a 146 at the $250-$300 mark I see them pop up on the Classifieds board for from time to time. For full price on a new one at retail, there are other luxury brands that speak to me more. At that price, I would rather get a custom pen, another Nakaya or save up for a Namiki maki-e model. At full retail, other brands just do much more for me.

#59 TheRealMikeDr

TheRealMikeDr

    The Great Schnauzer King

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,015 posts
  • Location:Northeast Ohio - US

Posted 29 December 2017 - 20:15

I think the secondary market prices are about right for most of the standard MB line. I wouldn't mind picking up a 146 at the $250-$300 mark I see them pop up on the Classifieds board for from time to time. For full price on a new one at retail, there are other luxury brands that speak to me more. At that price, I would rather get a custom pen, another Nakaya or save up for a Namiki maki-e model. At full retail, other brands just do much more for me.

 

Pen shows are the place for that, if you can do it. Lots of MB's from different era's in wonderful shape and you can test them prior to the purchase.



#60 praxim

praxim

    On twig

  • FPN Supporter - Rhodium

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,200 posts
  • Location:Not upon the peneplain
  • Flag:

Posted 29 December 2017 - 20:34

I have twelve of them, new and old, and hate them one and all :)

 

Lately I've been on a quest for an F. Scott Fitzgerald model from the early aughts. I'm sure I'll hate that one as well!

 

:)


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others, so cheer up and enjoy your pens. :)






Sponsored Content




|