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Montblanc 149 Review


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#1 ganzonomy

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:01

Review of Montblanc 149

It's fairly well-known amongst the forums about what happened to me at the Montblanc boutique in Roosevelt Field. The 149 did in fact come, and it is a very large pen, a very pretty pen, and from what I've heard recently broke the $700 US barrier (it's currently $719 in the SoHo boutique). As we all know, pens are individuals when one reaches that level of pricing, and each one comes with its own personality traits. Before I go into reviewing this rather large specimen of a pen, I'm going to go on record as stating that I am not a blind fan of Montblanc, and that it is written from the subjective point of view of a 22 year old, left-handed writer. (Disclaimer: as this pen was a gift from Montblanc, I cannot give a fair grade for the price of the pen. It is $700 give or take, so I will abstain from giving a grade either way in that regard.)

The first thing one sees naturally is the packaging. I don't mean the literal box, but I mean the giftbox and its paraphernalia. The presentation is flawless here. Unlike my Noblesse Oblige, which came in a cardboard top / plastic bottomed box with plastic grips covered by a silk-like sheet and a slot for the manual within the box bottom, the 149's presentation is a BEAUTIFUL (leather-covered perhaps) box that opens on a hinge. The inside of the box has a foam top with a circular cutout that leaves the Montblanc logo and font visible, and the cutout enables the ink to be held in the box as well. The bottom of the box has a beautiful white cloth lining with a stuffed underside that holds the inkbottle quite snugly and of course, the 149. It's apparent Montblanc knows that this is their premiere pen; the box is unlike any other box for their standard "resin and gold / platinum" line, and they know that a person who desires to give this pen set as a present is going to want something with presence, so the box is set up as such. High marks go to Montblanc here for making a box that is suitable to the aimed audience for this pen, both in aesthetics and quality. (Box Score: 5/5)

The manuals here are unlike the manuals for my other Montblancs. The covers of both are a very thick, embossed paper (possibly 100+ lb stock) with thick glossy pages. The standard manual covers details for their entire lineup from piston fountain pen to highlighter, and appears to be an upscale version of their normal manual. Its pictures are a hybrid of diagrams and black and white photos combined with instructions that get to the point and do a more-than-sufficient job of explaining how to maintain your new "writing instrument". The 149's manual has more detailed instructions, but approximately 2/3 of the manual is spent as a cheesy promotional spread for Montblanc's "upper-crustedness" in about 12 different languages. As nice as the photography is of the mountain itself and the pen (one could learn a lot by looking at all the pretty pictures), for a pen user such as myself, I just want to see diagrams and color photography of how to care and maintain my pen. Both of the manuals were stamped by "Montblanc North America, LLC" and have the serial numbers and the date of purchase, so the 2 year warranty is valid. Weird point: The 149 manuals are both signed by Joyce Workman, VP of Montblanc USA Customer Service, so there should be NO PROBLEMS getting service. (Manual Score: Small Manual: 5/5, Large Manual 5/5, though with the promotional story stuff, I should take off a point... but I won't)

Empirical: The pen has an empirical presence like almost no other, and in more ways in one. Compared to my Ramses, my Classique ballpoint, and my Noblesse Oblige, this thing is absolutely massive. It's 5/8 inch in diameter, 5 ¾ inches capped shut, and 6 ¾ inches with the cap posted. It also weighs 38 grams on my postal scale, which seems a bit heavier than normal for a 149, my two friends' 149s weigh 33.75 and 34 grams respectively. This does come with the downside that having a 149 will mean people will inherently expect you to have unbelievable writing skills, and will spend more time ogling your pen's appearance, beauty and size than care about what you're actually writing. However, the empirical qualities of massiveness extend to the quality of the pen itself. The precious resin seems to be much thicker on this pen than on my other resin-based Montblancs. I'm not sure whether or not this is due to the much-documented stress cracks that come with having that much size with very thin resin, but it appears at least 2 to 3 times as thick as the resin on my Noblesse. I'm hoping my premonition that a thicker resin makes a better quality pen is correct, as I do not plan to add myself to the list of complainers that the resin is cracking and my pen is dying prematurely. The nib is standard Montblanc nib fare: 18k 750 gold with 1/3 of the nib plated with platinum (ie: the viewer sees gold in the center, surrounded by platinum coated 750 gold, and then normal 750 gold covering the perimeter area), a hole to promote capillary action, and an iridium tip fashioned into an OBB shape. Quite nice looking and very tastefully, if conservatively, done, and if the aim is to appear to appeal to a returning crowd, then the 149's appearance accomplishes this in spades and allows for the younger crowd to enjoy the modern properties of the Starwalker and Boheme line. I for one, find its traditional 1930s styling to be very nice and inoffensive when I use it in professional applications. (Empirical: 5/5)

What good is presence and a nice box if the pen is unbalanced? Here's the 149's weakspot. Posted it is a very hard to balance pen. Whether that is due to my being left-handed and using an OBB nib designed for a righty, or my just simply not being used to its mass, it is very hard to balance and get it to write consistently while posted, and when it is balanced properly, my hand feels completely out of whack. (Ahh, my natural underhook strikes again.) Uncapped, this pen is an absolute dream to write with, it just seems to balance itself and once you get the nib to paper going correctly, it's unbelievably balanced. This is leading me to believe that the balance lies on 3 things: First, handedness to nib relationship, second, the size of your hand... an average-size hand would find this pen to be a challenge due to its sheer posted size (and the post is large enough to throw its center of gravity off), and third, the writing style one is used to writing in. Can't change handedness, may POSSIBLY be able to get Montblanc to make a one-off OBB nib for a lefty if I try, and as for center of gravity, maybe moving higher up (ie: away from the nib) to offset the posting's center of gravity. It's amazing what an action as simple as posting the cap can do to the balance of a pen, and it's something I will continue to experiment with, and hopefully find a happy balance that lets me keep it posted and balanced enough to write for long periods of time with. (Balance: Non-Posted: 4.75/5, Posted: 3.5/5)

One of the major things I like in a fountain pen, is that it cannot use cartridges. Even though this pen is my first fountain pen, I was insistent on at least having a pen that could do both so I could get the feel of filling up a pen in a somewhat traditional way. The 149 is amazing at sucking up, and retaining ink, and cleaning is a fairly simple task, if very consumptive of dihydrogen oxide. The twist mechanism is simple to use, counter-clockwise to lower the internal piston and remove ink, and clockwise lifts the piston, enabling the nib to syringe ink into itself. The twisting mechanism is brass instead of plastic, so it should hopefully maintain a solid level of performance as the years go by. Plastic on a twist mechanism for this type of pen doesn't bode well, and I have read that other 149s of the 80s and 90s did have plastic twist mechanisms... quite disconcerting. As an experiment, I decided to fill it up and see how many drops of ink would come out between full and empty. I managed to count 53 drops from full to empty (ie: normal drip, drip, drip drops). I'm not sure if this means that the internal chambers are larger than the 144 and 146, but if the empirical properties are any indication, I'd say this thing holds a great deal of ink. Ink holding however, is a different story. When attempting to clean the nib from its dip, ink goes EVERYWHERE on the nib, with the source being at the capillary action hole. I've read this is normal, and that I have to be more careful with cleaning. I'll give this the benefit of the doubt as I'm still new to fountain pens, and as long as it doesn't damage anything, I'm fine. (Ink sucking and retaining: 4/5)

Now to save the best for last: How's it write. Well I will say this. When I can get it to balance and write, the Oblique double bold nib is a thing of beauty. It writes very consistently, just wet enough to give a true black, but not so black that it smudges everywhere. The ink isn't quick-drying, but I write slow enough so that it dries before I go over it while writing. As a lefty, the writing experience with the OBB nib is awkward. As much as I enjoy the calligraphy effect produced when I sign documents and write essays, the nib's "right-handed orientation" means that I have to wrestle a bit to get that elusive calligraphic effect I like. The general scheme of the lines is like that of a sharpie. VERY THICK, very smooth, not at all scratchy, and I love the way it looks. It gives your writing a very authoritative appearance and makes signatures stand out, but if a very tight style of writing is desired, you might end up with cursive loops that either become very tight or non-existent. Writing with an OBB nib might give you more surface area for ink to flow out, but it means that writing in tight areas is a challenge without a trained hand. On the positive side, accomodating for such a broad nib means that I have to write slower and more clearly to make my penmanship legible, I've been able to better organize my thoughts and thus write more coherently than if I had a ballpoint or rollerball and could merely scribble down whatever I wanted. On a side note, I am planning to get the OBB nib replaced with a BB nib to facilitate writing if I cannot convince Montblanc to make a one-off OBB nib that has its obliqueness reversed, I will most likely fix this over winter break. As such (Writing experience: 3.5/5 confirmed, possibly 4.5/5 when the nib is corrected to reverse OBB or just plain BB... or maybe that really big signature O3B nib...).

Does this pen equate to perfection? Absolutely not. Even as a Montblanc fan, I will admit that there are things that this pen does spectacularly and things that could use improvement. Some improvements will come in time, such as learning to balance the pen posted in a better fashion, others will need modifications, such as fixing the nib to better accommodate a left-handed person, and some things just can't be fixed. For all the glitz and beauty this pen provides extrinsically, I knew it would interpret into something special as a whole. Unfortunately, the fatal flaw of the pen is simply it's size. Unless you have frying pan hands, this pen is a great signature / essay pen, but for writing long manuscripts it becomes a challenge. At the same time, its iconic status and instant recognition serves a dual purpose. In mega metro areas and among the pen community, it's viewed lower than it should because of perceived qualities as a pretentious, snobbish upscale marque and extreme overpricing. However in less "observant" areas of the world, it is a symbol of class and status that goes unquestioned. Odds are, this pen will never become my #1 unless out of nowhere the BB nib is the holy grail of nibs, however for what it is, it happens to be a pretty solid pen that I expect to get many years of service out of once all its kinks are nailed out and the nib gets molded to the way I write.

Overall: 4/5 stars. Get over the pretentiousness of the "birdsplat" and the excessive price, and it happens to be a very good, if oversized and imperfect pen. Worth trying and having one, best bought used as $700 new is a bit much.

-Jason

Edited by ganzonomy, 05 December 2007 - 13:23.

My pen checks and cracks... my strat's nitrocellulose finish checks and cracks. Could that mean that the fancy precious resin is the same stuff that Fender uses to cover their guitars?

-Just a thought....

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#2 Beechwood

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:14

Very impressive write up, thank you for taking the time to share

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#3 fatehbajwa

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:24

Thats a very complete and informative review.

Well done.
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#4 cmeisenzahl

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 13:10

That was a great read, thanks!

#5 Ghost Plane

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 14:04

Wow! Wish I lived close so I could trot over and try that OBB nib. Being right handed and loving large/heavy pens, it sounds intriguing. I just got a flyer from a new jewelry store and they're advertising bird splats, so I might actually get to HOLD one.

That being said, why oh why would I spend $700 when I could get 2 silver that won't crack, lifetime warranteed Yard O Led Grands for the same price from the Pen Goddess Braun or Swisher? hmm1.gif

Great review. It makes me want to hold one, which the styling [or lack thereof] never did before. I'm more intrigued by the nib and ink capacity than anything else. Thanks for giving such detailed intel. I look forward to the continuing saga of getting the pen right for your left. wink.gif

#6 Lloyd

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 14:26

Excellent write-up! I love my MB149 despite its inherent fragility.

You might want to stick with not posting the 149; I find that posting my 149 leaves a ring scratched arount the barrel. I find it balances well in either configuration.

If MB won't make a lefty oblique, you might consider getting a BBB and then get it modified by a nibmeister.
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#7 ganzonomy

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 19:41

I'm not terribly sure you could say it's a fragile pen. I took a micrometer to measure the thickness of the resin of the 149's cap compared to the noblesse oblige's cap, and the thickness is approximately 3x as much. I definitely don't get the feeling that it's changing shape / dimensions anytime soon. In fact I get the feeling that this is the area of the Montblanc domain where the prices make some slight justification of the amount of production time / effort that goes in. Now granted, I share the view of most of this forum that the precious resin is some sort of plastic that has an unbelievable sheen designed to give of the psychological impression of being precious, however I think the 149 in its standard form serves a different purpose besides "top of the line"; one of a bridge between standard resin models, and the more ornate solitaire / doue lines. Think about it this way, although the standard 149 is now $719, the doue's and solitaires all run at least $1,300 depending on the extent of ornateness and preciousness of a metal. (Although for some reason I can't figure out how stainless steel qualifies as a "precious metal".)

As I've mentioned before about Montblanc, part of the reason for their exorbitant pricings is the universal psychological factor of knowing that the person in possession of it has status and or wealth, be it yuppie wealth or legitimate old-world wealth. While one can get away without much interrogation with a Parker or a Pelikan and even a Cross when in an area where pen collecting is mainly relegated to the esoteric, the Montblanc logo seems to be a headturner amongst people. My attorney in Binghamton saw the new pen and IMMEDIATELY began to compliment it and asked where and how I had managed to get it, perhaps on the premise that all college kids do is drink, smoke, and do activities that don't exactly sound good in a PG-rated forum. Other people I've noticed seem to stare into the pen pocket with a look of disbelief, one of "How is he so young but has that pen?!". (Realise, Binghamton, NY is not exactly the wealthiest place ever created, and to see fine pens is a rarity.) As a status symbol, it definitely has that job down perfectly.

And ghost plane, if you look anything like your photo, what are you, 16?! Go to the bic store! (I kid, I kid... I'd let you hold it, balance it, post and cap it, but no putting nib to paper... this baby's MINE!) thumbup.gif

-Jason
My pen checks and cracks... my strat's nitrocellulose finish checks and cracks. Could that mean that the fancy precious resin is the same stuff that Fender uses to cover their guitars?

-Just a thought....

#8 yarek

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 20:53

Hi,

Thanks for the review - great job and very nice to read!

I'm trying to imagine how big is that pen. My biggest pen is a Sailor 1911. Is 149 much bigger? I like the pen, but I'm not sure about the size. I don't post my pens. Is there any chance that writing with that pen will not be a nightmare for my hand? Any help there? smile.gif


Jarek
Sailor 1911 | Pilot Capless | Waterman Expert | Montblanc 149

#9 ganzonomy

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 21:15

To find the specs, read the initial post. 5/8 inch diameter, 5.75 inches capped, 6.75 inches posted, 38 grams empty.

Jason
My pen checks and cracks... my strat's nitrocellulose finish checks and cracks. Could that mean that the fancy precious resin is the same stuff that Fender uses to cover their guitars?

-Just a thought....

#10 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 01:30

Congrats Jason –

The 149 is the signature work of the House of Mont Blanc - and has been so for decades. It is recognized worldwide as a symbol of good taste and quality. Like only a select few objects in our lives, the 149 is a legacy piece, something you may pass to your grandson when he finishes grad school. I have used my 149 since my sophomore year of college, after spending most of my summer job savings at the Mont Blanc boutique in Raleigh.

The pen is larger than most, but when used unposted, I find it perfectly balanced and a good fit for my medium sized right hand (I wear a size 7.5 glove). At the risk of being edited by a moderator - "when used properly, size matters". Despite the overly permissive advice of Mont Blanc sales staff, I really think this pen is best used unposted. When writing at a desk, I stand the cap just to the upper right of the paper - just above my ever present cup of coffee or tea. When pulling the pen from my shirt or jacket and jotting something quickly on the run, I uncap the pen and re-clip the cap (without the pen) into my shirt or jacket. When I'm done, I reach for the cap, recap the pen, and slip it back into its pocket. Though larger, the basic 149 is actually lighter (unposted) that most of my smaller metal pens – much lighter. It is lighter than the new Pelikan Majesty – posted or unposted. The whole posted 149 is lighter than the cap of my Pope Julius. I actually consider the 149’s light weight to be a negative – I prefer a heavier pen. My words should carry weight, and a heavier pen reminds me of that. That said, I do not find a heavier pen tires my hand, even after many pages. In college, I found myself often penning ten or more pages of notes in a one hour chemistry class. As a freshman, I actually invented a new hand position to avoid my writers’ cramp when using a ball point. But once I bought my 149, I was able to adopt a conventional hand position and the writers’ cramp never returned.

I think you should consider snapping up what I think is the perfect travel case for the 149. No longer produced, this black crocodile case was crafted exclusively for Mont Blanc Boutiques by an Italian leather company. The case is branded with the white Mont Blanc Star, and works like a cigar sleeve. A reminder – no case is safe for air travel – your pen should be emptied of ink and sealed in a ziplock bag – whether in checked luggage or in carry-on. Pressure induced leaks will ruin a good day (and a good suitcase, and a good suit, and …). Two of these discontinued Mont Blanc crocodile travel cases are currently available on eBay (not my listings):

http://cgi.ebay.com/Montblanc-Mont-Blanc-C...1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/Meisterstuck-Leather-C...VQQcmdZViewItem

A gentleman should never leave the house without a pressed white handkerchief, a good fountain pen, and something from the soft underbelly of a dead reptile.

I am puzzled by your choice as a leftie of the Oblique nib (though I applaud the B squared width). I don't think you can comfortably use this pen with a right handed oblique nib. Mont Blanc does not make a left handed oblique nib. While you have a rather unique relationship with Mont Blanc's management structure, I am not optimistic you will be able to convince them to craft a one-off nib for you. I would STRONGLY recommend you contact Richard Binder, one of the country's premier nibmeisters. www.richardspens.com Ask Richard if he can regrind your Right Handed Oblique Double Broad into a Left Handed Oblique Double Broad. Frankly, I do not know if that can be done - but if it can, Richard can do it. Even better, see Richard at his booth at the New York Pen Show so he can see first hand how you write - the angle you hold your pen. If you don't want to put your pen in the hands of a nibmeister, then I would recommend you send the pen back to Mont Blanc for a nib exchange (still free in the first 30 days, I think) and exchange the nib for a non-oblique double broad - that would improve your left handed writing angle dramatically. If you do decide to have Mr. Binder work on your pen, read his website and consider having a Double Broad Cursive Italic nib ground onto the pen - it's not expensive and I think you will be happier.

As I said, I applaud your choice of a double broad nib - a pen this nice, this recognizable should not lay down a feeble line - this pen should not whisper - it should shout. Now you just need to find words worthy of this fine instrument.

Detractors complain that Mont Blanc has significant quality control problems with too many of its pens. I agree. My own MB Pope Julius 888 LE (in broad) required a return to Germany within a week of purchase and eventually required replacement before it was perfect. And it is taking Mont Blanc waaayyy too long to recognize these issues and deal with them prospectively, before bad pens get into the hands of good customers. I suspect this is mostly the result of Mont Blanc transforming from a small artisan House with one line of pens in the 1970s to today’s monolithic corporate machine selling dozens of lines of pens, leather goods, watches, and jewelry. Personally, I have recommended that Mont Blanc Boutiques inspect, ink, and test every fountain pen sold in their store at the time of purchase. When a customer pulls the trigger on a fountain pen purchase, the Mont Blanc Boutiques’ Sales Staff should re-demo the exact pen being purchased – not just a demonstrator of the same model. The sales staff should ink the new pen in the customer’s presence, try out the new pen in the customer’s presence, and then present the ready to write pen to the customer for his own trial at the counter. Too much of the current sales experience is with decades old demonstrator pens with nibs that have been smoothed by use. Too much of the current sales demo is with a dipped pen, rather than with a fully inked model. Again, before a new fountain pen leaves the store, the new pen should be inspected, inked, and tried by Mont Blanc staff, and then re-inked and tried by the new owner. Better to find quality control problems then, when the pen can be immediately exchanged, rather than a week later. If the store is too busy to accommodate that personal attention, then an appointment should be made for the new owner and his new pen in a few days.

Jason, you are already learning that wearing the 149 in a visible shirt pocket (or clipped diagonally between the second and third button of a shirt - just peeking around the edge of a necktie, or even clipped between the placket buttons of a polo shirt) can work like a secret handshake introducing you to fellow fountain pen nuts and starting conversations you would otherwise never have. I have cheaper pens than my 149, and I have more expensive pens - but only the 149 has this effect on people. It is, as you pointed out, the result of Mont Blanc's carefully crafted marketing to position this pen as something more than a pen - as a lifestyle statement.

Again, congrats. Now get thee to a nibmeister.

PS: I'm curious - what does your screen name mean?

Ray
Atlanta, Georgia

Pilot Namiki Vanishing Point with Richard Binder ItaliFine 0.9mm/F Nib
Faber Castell's Porsche Design with Gold & Stainless Mesh in Binderized CI Broad nib
Visconti LE Divina Proporzione in Gold with Binderized CI nib
David Oscarson Valhalla in gray (Thor) with Broad Binderized CI nib
Michel Perchin LE Blue Serpent (reviewed) with Binderized CI nib
Montblanc 149 in Medium Binderized CI nib
Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition (reviewed) in Bold Binderized CI nib

#11 ganzonomy

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:50

I have a very odd way of holding a pen, think of it almost as a reverse lefty. I'm discovering the OBB nib is getting easier and easier to lay down consistent, smooth lines of ink as time goes by. I feel proud, I managed to get a whole essay out without messing up the flow of ink! (Ok, 3 handwritten pages, but still, considering my nib isn't quite right, it's progress). I'm thinking of getting the OBB replaced with a BB perhaps, because as you said, this pen should roar, not write a feeble line, and also, I like the way that such a powerful line looks. My M-pointed Noblesse Oblige Rollerball leaves a thin green feeble line that suits it, but I don't want that out of my 149. If you want to know what got me even wondering about the 149, my grandfather owns 3 of them: One in normal resin, one in the solid gold that alternates between yellow and white gold, and one in solid platinum, with the latter two weighing as much as a small house each. For me, I don't like the light pens either, I like a very heavy, thick, solid pen that has presence in my hand and can translate that presence to the paper. A stick pen just doesn't do anything for me, and even my noblesse, as agile as it is, sometimes feels too agile and fast for me to truly get comfortable with it.

My 149 fortunately has been problem-free thus far, and for that I'm very thankful. I'm not sure if it was hand-picked, dipped, and tested before departure, but it's proving to be a workhorse in the purest sense. You did point out one of the aspects that I detest of MB, that being they won't test the actual pen, but show samples of it. If the pen was say, a parker vector FP, that for $10 can be replaced, then I can see the justification of not inking each pen and allowing the customer to see that the pen not only works when merely dipped, but is reliable when inked as well. A 149 is a $700 pen, and there are Montblancs that go for unthinkable amounts, such as the solitaire lines. Anytime a person is spending four, five, or six figures on something, there better be the ability for the customer to do his own verification that the product works. A demonstrator's purpose is to give the user a general idea of what a line of ink will look like in a certain color, and that's pretty much what I can see to it. The nibs are impersonal due to years of use, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were customer returns that were renibbed and put to hard-line daily overworkage.

My other problem lies with as you said, their overextension of the line. The starwalker and boheme line, while great for attracting a more youthful audience, not only get second billing, but are plagued by their "built to a price point" status. It seems that Montblanc at this point is willing to inflate prices merely because of brand recognition. If you're going to charge for a product the amount that Montblanc charges, then not only should the product look good and be made of fine materials, but the build quality and craftsmanship should be of the same quality. You said it with your 888 LE Pope Julius. That is a pen, that if there are only to be 888 made, should not only be checked by hand, built by hand, and of the finest materials suitable, but should also be free of faults. Even in a $700 pen, the same should be expected. Montblanc has spread itself too thin and while there are still good "built like they used to" modern variations, they've spread themselves too thin. I'll even go so far as to say there are too many in the limited editions. 4,810 is limited, 888, limited, the precious 88 lines that come out and the 333s are limited, but when there are 10s of thousands of the writers editions are made due to demand, it detracts from the specialness of that line. Why do you think other boutique companies such as rolls-royce have one, maybe two car lines? Same logic, to focus on the specialness of each car and to ensure that each individual specimen gets the attention to detail that it deserves to ensure its new owner is completely satisfied.

I tend to keep the 149 in my pocket, and boy does it turn heads. I was at a banquet with it and solely for the purpose of its presence I brought it along. Immediately people were staring going "how'd he get enough to get that?!", and "NICE PEN!". It seems to help convey the aura of "you've made it, congratulations", as well as gives off a signal to those in position of "yea, I'm one of you as well". When it comes to writing long papers, I prefer the noblesse, but no matter how nice the noblesse is, when the 149 comes for the ride, there's only one....

as for nibs, i like this one: http://www.maxpens.de/bilder/845b.htm <---BBBBB, belongs on a 149.
My pen checks and cracks... my strat's nitrocellulose finish checks and cracks. Could that mean that the fancy precious resin is the same stuff that Fender uses to cover their guitars?

-Just a thought....

#12 Ghost Plane

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 03:55

If you like heavy pens, play with the Yard O Led Grand anything next time you have the chance. Luscious. cloud9.gif

#13 omasfan

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 04:19

Ganzonomy, I really like your enthusiasm with which you've submerged yourself into the world of fountain pens. I hope you'll discover the whole galaxy of great pens that is out there. This pen is a great start (and the story behind it is unique and can be shared wonderfully).

QUOTE(ganzonomy @ Dec 5 2007, 10:50 PM)  
I tend to keep the 149 in my pocket, and boy does it turn heads. I was at a banquet with it and solely for the purpose of its presence I brought it along. Immediately people were staring going "how'd he get enough to get that?!", and "NICE PEN!". It seems to help convey the aura of "you've made it, congratulations", as well as gives off a signal to those in position of "yea, I'm one of you as well". When it comes to writing long papers, I prefer the noblesse, but no matter how nice the noblesse is, when the 149 comes for the ride, there's only one....


Although I like the 149 as a classic design, I am always amazed how much people are conditioned to these spurious symbols (the snow cap, for instance), and how naive they are when they overlook some wonderful and expensive beautiful LE from a not so well-known company that easily costs twice as much as a big chunky'n swanky pen. Big pens, of course, get noticed in general. My three largest pens, Pel. M1000, Omas Bologna (old-style), Tibaldi Modello 60, always gather some comments, but I have come to learn that people start thinking that the bearer of such pens must be either a fat cat or a squanderer. Being a grad student like you, people assume the latter. So, I like to use more unobtrusive pens when in the public. Nobody suspects my slender Omas Lucens to be something very expensive, although I can silently appreciate the beautiful workmanship that went into it without having other people staring at it. But if you want to turn heads, a big behemoth is always good for such a job.


QUOTE(ganzonomy @ Dec 5 2007, 10:50 PM)  
as for nibs, i like this one: http://www.maxpens.de/bilder/845b.htm <---BBBBB, belongs on a 149.


That is a cool nib. I guess the person who owns the pen uses it as a highlighter nib. But what do you think about this nib? Monster Nib
When I saw this nib on Richard's webpage, I needed to have one too. It should be coming home to me in about four weeks. Can't wait!

#14 ganzonomy

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 04:19

heavy: i'm gonna work on letting my gramps get me a solid gold 149 for when i get my master's degree in 12 mths. Solid gold 149, i wonder if anyone has one here, and if so, what's it like!
My pen checks and cracks... my strat's nitrocellulose finish checks and cracks. Could that mean that the fancy precious resin is the same stuff that Fender uses to cover their guitars?

-Just a thought....

#15 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 22:30

Being ambidextrous, I can tell you that with a medium nib, the 149 does wonders, same comment with a medium oblique nib. I have two vintage 149, I will buy another one when the opportunity presents itself to aquire a vintage model with 18k fine smooth nib.

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#16 contravox

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 23:43

I think the vintage 149's only came with 14k nibs. I hear they are smoother and feel better on paper than the 18k modern nibs. Good luck with your purchase. I hope you are able to find a 50's model with the telescopic piston!
"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde

#17 I am not a number

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 00:34

I have a 149 which an ex-gf of mine traded me for a much cheaper MB that I was using because she liked the colour. I have no problems with it as a pen but don't care for the implications (understandably in some cases) linked to the personality of the owner.

I'm a big bloke and if I want to make a lasting impression at a meeting other than by just trying to bring some relevant information and experience to it, then I can use thunderflashes or bring in a leopard.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of nothing at all...

#18 mandarintje

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:17

Wow! nice review... and after I read it, I stopped bemoaning the lack of pictures because the review was so descriptive. *Sold* !
you can never get it wrong, because you can never get it done!

#19 MidnightBlue

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:28

Thank you for your sensible review. You've said everything I have wanted to say in a nice way. It's not the grail as you now know, however, all should have at least one MB in their collection. PS, if it'll make ya feel any better those things are around 200 dollars more in these parts.
Thanks

#20 lowks

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:28

Wow OBB :puddle: :puddle: :puddle:






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