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Montblanc Alexandre Dumas Writers Edition


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19 replies to this topic

#1 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 19:55

Montblanc Alexandre Dumas Writers Edition Review



First Impressions


I have wanted to buy one of these pens for quite sometime, that's for sure. The only 2 pens in the Writers Edition that I really wanted was the Alexandre Dumas and the Hemmingway. Both of which command a high price, even for a user grade!! I am not looking for a mint uninked model because I would be paying for it for the next 3 years and that is something that I am not about to do. As much as I wanted this pen, I knew that I couldn't afford it and it will have to be on the permanent lust list until I came across a lot of money, like knocking off a convenient store or robbing a bunch of kids of their milk money. Well, for the past few pen shows in Los Angeles, I have been looking for one of these pens at an affordable price, User grade without success until the 2007 LA Pen Show. I guess that is when my luck changed, for the better!!! I also have to admit that this has been the most productive pen show for me since I started attending in 2004.








I actually ran across this pen by accident and I really wanted to see and hold it with my grubby little fingers. Luckily, the seller was quite nice and allowed me to inspect the pen inside and out. I really love the color and material that it is made out of, along with the weight and all of the symbolism. Ill be quite honest that I really didn't know who Alexandre Dumas was until I did some research on him. With book like "The three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" under his belt, I had to slap myself silly and think to myself, "How in the heck did I not know that"!!!! One thing that really turned me on to this pen was the design, it is based off of the Montblanc Meisterstuck 139 from the 1930's and 1940's, if I recall correctly. Since the prices for the vintage 139's are way out of my price range, the Alexandre Dumas and Hemmingway are the next best alternative. The main difference between the 149 and the 139 is that the 139 has a flat top and bottom while the 149 is rounded. Both are very stout and have plenty of heft to it!!

There is a story to this pen and basically there are 2 versions of this pen. One of which is a mistake and the other is intentional. Here is a quote from Bittner:

"Due to a research error, Montblanc produced a small number of pens with the signature of his son, also named Alexandre. Montblanc recalled all unsold pens bearing the incorrect signature however some were still sold. This is an extremely rare set."

Well as far as I know, mine is the correct one and the actual design is what I really was after.







Appearance/ Finish 5 out of 5



The Alexandre Dumas has a black cap, section and rear while the barrel is cracked ice and engraved gold trim. It really is a sharp looking pen and for some reason has me really mesmerized. Since this is a user grade fountain pen, it does show some signs of wear but nothing to the point where it looks trashed. It just looks like it is used gently by an owner who really loved the pen. As for the exact material of the pen, I am really unsure!! I don't know if the cracked ice is actually celluloid or if it is acrylic, regardless, it is super sharp looking and to me, it really doesn't matter at all. The finish on this pen has a very high gloss look to it and is every bit as good as I thought it would look, AFAIK.









I really think that the theme was well thought out and executed in perfection. Ill let the pictures do the talking because it is an amazing pen to look at and it is even more amazing in person.





Nib Design and Performance 4 out of 5



The nib on this pen is rather unique, due to the fact that the design is of a "fleur-de-lis". The nib is made of 18kt gold and is 2 tone in color and medium in width. The typical Montblanc 4810 is etched in on surface of the nib, along with 1996, which is the year that this pen was released. It is really a cool looking nib that separates this one from the others. Ok, so how does it perform? I have to admit that it had a bit of tooth to it and is rather stiff, as is with most modern 18kt gold Montblanc nibs. In fact, I prefer the softer feel of the older 14kt gold Montblanc nibs but that will not prevent me from liking this pen, that's for sure.






After some nib/tine flossing and smoothing with ultra super fine grit paper, I was able to get the pen to write exactly how it should write. I have to admit that it will never be as springy as the older nibs but this nib is extremely enjoyable in its own right and has consistently earned its place in my pen rotation!! After a few minor tweaking, this nib performs like a champ and even though it is a medium width, it writes exactly like it says, "medium". The pen writes extremely well and the flow is generous without being a problem. The performance is exactly what you want in a pen and doesn't disappoint whatsoever!!!



The Filling System 5 out of 5



Ok, this is a piston filler, among my all time favorite filling systems on a fountain pen. What separates this filler from other pens that use piston fillers is that this one uses brass mechanism for long term use minus the problems from a plastic mechanism. The Pelikan M1000 and from what I recall, the later Montblanc 149 models from 1980's to present, also use the brass mechanism. I think this is a smart move but using brass will also weigh down the pen, so if you are looking for a light pen, then that might be a drawback. As for me, weight isn't that big of an issue unless you are talking about all metal pens, then things can get rather heavy and cause fatigue of the fingers and hands, which are very undesirable when one wants to write for long sessions.






I noticed that Montblanc 149 and like sizes hold a large amount of ink and seem to give you the false sense of confidence that you have plenty of ink in the tank!!! Well, thank goodness for spare bottles of ink at work and also the 2 Visconti ink pots that I always carry around in my pen case. Regardless, the pen holds plenty of ink that will last at least a few days of constant writing. There are no problems with this filling system and ink capacity; in fact, I prefer this system to 98% of all other filling systems on the market.





Cost 3 out of 5



Wow, the cost of this pen is going to give it the lowest marks out of the whole review, unfortunately!! With new, uninked ones, this can easily run into the $1000.00+ mark. That is why I settled on this pen being a user grade, with 50% off of what it could have went for brand new. Regardless, you are paying for the Montblanc name and the fact that this is a limited edition pen. To a lot of people, it is enough for them to say "nice try but no thanks"!!! For some like me "the price is the lowest I have seen and I won't pass up this deal"!! It all depends on what you feel it is worth, for me I have really wanted this pen due to the design, color and style. Even for what I paid for, it is still expensive and some may think excessive but I am very happy with this pen and I wouldn't trade it for the world!!!






Conclusion



Well, there is a lot of controversy with anything Montblanc, that's one thing we can agree on!! Some will swear by the Montblanc name while others with swear AT the Montblanc name. I have used many of the modern Montblanc fountain pens and I have to say that I prefer the 1970's and early 1980's Meisterstuck 149 &146 fountain pens rather than the later "Precious Resin" models. This pen is modern but I fell in love with the design and regardless of it being modern, it has a useful place right next to my 146 and two earlier model 149's. Not only is this a collector's piece but also a wonderful useful writing instrument that gets a lot of use. This is not everyone's cup of tea but it does have its followers and I happen to love this model!!




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#2 southpaw

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 21:07

As always, excellent review TNS! It's easy to see your passion and excitement in finding and using this pen. ENJOY!!!!
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8, NKJV)

#3 hardyb

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 21:43

Breathtakingly beautiful! Seal of Approval attached.

Edited by hardyb, 01 August 2007 - 21:52.

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#4 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 15:09

Thanks!!! This is another pen I really love!!!

TNS
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#5 jd50ae

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 15:20

QUOTE(The Noble Savage @ Aug 2 2007, 10:09 AM) View Post
Thanks!!! This is another pen I really love!!!

TNS



TNS
I, The Only Sane Person Here, shall never refer to any meager pen description I ever post as a "Review". You own it.
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#6 TheNobleSavage

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 15:38

LOL!!!


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#7 coco

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:38

Really enjoyed your review! My single experience with an MB writer's edition (Virginia Woolf) has been very positive, too.
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#8 kenny

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 11:57

Excellent review! We can always count on TNS to give us a nice perspective. (As a side note, the first pen site I ever read was TNS's, and found FPN from following the links here....so obviously I've respected TNS for a while.)

And really nice pictures, too!

You've got me wanting a Dumas, now.



#9 PAKMAN

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 03:44

The Dumas is my favorite MB LE pen! One day I hope to own one! HMMMM maybe if I sell my Edson, and Vac collection?? Oh well, I can dream. Great Review!!!!

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#10 Shangas

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:19

Oooooooooooh...aaaaaaaaaaaaaah...ooooooooh...ugh.

That is definately not a pen I would buy. But I'm glad you like it.
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#11 slimnib

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 14:16

As much as I do not care for the Montblanc as a company, I really must say that the pen is a real beauty.

You write really well, so that your reviews, as always, are a pleasure to read.

Great luck with your new purchase, use it well.


Harv.

#12 Brian

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 04:58

This is a good review of a pen I have used daily over the past 10 years or so. When I realize its been that long it is a little surprising. Among the writers series I think MB knew they had a good thing and the conspiracy theory is that they released the wrong signature with the intent of doing a second release to double their sales. As far as I know it is the last 149 sized pen made since the Hemmingway. There is so much detail in it to appreciate: (1) the dark brown sets off the gold trim and pearlized barrel perfectly; (2) the three gold trimmed barrel ribs are not merely smooth, but nicely patterned; (3) the piston knob has a small gold trim ring embellishment; and on and on.

If you like simple this is not the pen for you. If however, you want to go on a sort of bender, then well, have we got a pen for you. I feel it is well conceived and inspired in a way that both Dumas Sr. and Dumas Jr. would approve. This is high praise because of all the many MB writers pens that have been made IMHO they are few and far between.

Best regards and thank you for a great review.

#13 alvarez57

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 09:26

Very good review!

As for the "bling pens", I may not be interested in them, but the MB Writers series is a league apart. They are well crafted and many, many are very much desirable (I just love the Kafka and the Hemingway among others). This Dumas is a striking pen and the cap ring detail is beautiful. I am a firm believer that what is destined to be yours, eventually will NO MATTER WHAT, I'm glad you got it at such nice price. biggrin.gif thumbup.gif

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#14 alvarez57

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 09:27

QUOTE(hardyb @ Aug 1 2007, 09:43 PM) View Post
Breathtakingly beautiful! Seal of Approval attached.



I love it! laugh.gif

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#15 LDF

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 01:17

Beautiful pen! thumbup.gif
Thanks for giving us a really good look.

Edited by LDF, 13 August 2007 - 01:18.


#16 PelikanPenman

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 06:58

I do enjoy your reviews Mr. Savage. You do an excellent job. The pen is lovely, but two things wrong with it, one gold furniture, two its a MB. But other than that, it is lovely and I can see you will enjoy it, which is the most important thing. As long as you enjoy it, then it does not matter what anyone else thinks of it.

Good luck with it. Is it going to be daily user?

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#17 FrankB

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 10:06

This is a good review, TNS. Thank you again.

I understand the attraction of this pen. I love larger pens and my 149 is among my favorites. Its performance has been exemplary. This pen's aesthetics are fantastic, and I assume it will perform at least as well as a 149. Even in user condition, this pen is out of my price league as a retiree. But, financial reality does not prevent me from wanting one! I think, like you, this Dumas and the Hemingway are among my favorite Writer's Series LE's, though I have a strong attraction to the Woolfe as well.

I hope you get many years of good service from your pen.

#18 goodguy

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Posted 23 July 2008 - 00:30

Interesting,yor conclusion from this beautiful pen is exactly the same as me.
Just like you I found this nib a tad too rough but since I never work on my pens I will let my pen tech work on my new aquered MB Dumas
Respect to all

#19 charlesg

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 04:31

Wonderful review and I share your conclusions as well.
My 12 year old Dumas is a fine nib with generous ink flow, and like you I did find it a little toothy and also smoothened it out as well.
I was fortunate enough to find a place that was going out of business and purchased there last 2 Dumas FP's an a substantially reduced price so I couldn't resist.
My other is still sealed in the original packing box and is Medium point.

Charles

#20 PigRatAndGoat

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 01:46

QUOTE (charlesg @ Nov 3 2008, 11:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Wonderful review and I share your conclusions as well.
My 12 year old Dumas is a fine nib with generous ink flow, and like you I did find it a little toothy and also smoothened it out as well.
I was fortunate enough to find a place that was going out of business and purchased there last 2 Dumas FP's an a substantially reduced price so I couldn't resist.
My other is still sealed in the original packing box and is Medium point.

Charles


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