Compared to the Visconti box, MB's box seems a lot more plain looking. It is much smaller, and bears the simple Mont Blanc logo outside. The box inside is also quite ordinary looking.
Appearance and Finish
This is the gold trimmed version. I am not a big fan of yellow gold, but the store did not have the platinum version. My wife told me that this "yellow" was not as intense as some of the other 22K plated yellow, hence not as "tacky" looking. In fact, it looks a bit elegant. So I went ahead and got this one.
I was very curious about all this "precious resin" that MB boasts on using. Well, I admit that this "precious resin" is indeed different from the resin on my Aurora pens (and I have two of them). This is not to discredit Aurora because Aurora's resin also looks silky smooth and screams "look at me." But with this MB, there is this ruby red effect if you hold the pen close to tungsten lighting. This can be verified if you stick your nib half way inside the cap. You will see the red reflected upon the rhodium plated nib, which is vaguely remniscent of an Autumn sunset.
Being my first piston fountain pen, I don't have a Pelikan to compare to. I would say that it's quite good (albeit slightly tight). On my second fill, I think I was able to get a full fill, since when I turned the pen upside down and looked through the ink window, nothing was transparent (save the ruby red which I referred to above).
Nib and flow
I will probably have to update this because I do'nt think I am ready for a final verdict. But I will say this. When I first got it, I filled the pen with Visconti black (which did have converter ink flow issues on my Opera Club Visconti), it had occassional skips, especially if it's a long continuous line. The next night, I switched to Aurora blue, a great flowing ink, and immediately the problem improved. There were still very occasional skips. I called up MB, and they told me to give it two weeks to break in and they said that they get calls like that quite often. The representative asked me to give it a bit time and to write often w/ the pen. That night, I noticed that skipping was next to nil. And since it was a big nib, I noticed that some of the skipping might have been caused by the angle of my pen holding. This kinda make sense because the iridium tip is a lot bigger than the ones on my Aurora 88 small and the Visconti Opera Club. THe tips on Aurora and Visconti are so small (like a rollerball) so that whichever way you turn it will pretty much write. The MB is less "circular" and will not give perfect contact. So right now, as long as I hold the pen the right way, there is no skipping.
In terms of smoothness - I think Visconti is smoother than this MB. My Le Grand is definitely quite smooth, but the Visconti is buttery smooth. I would bet that if you didn't have my Opera Club to compare the MB would probably also be considered buttery smooth.
Another observation which you can find in my posts in the MontBlanc forum is that I noticed that the feed is slightly offcenter to the left. A few ppl here have commented that this is also true w/ some of their fountain pens and if it doesn't affect writing, I shouldn't have to worry. In addition, I saw that one part of the iridium tip seems slightly larger than the other. MB representatives told me that because MB nibs are hand-crafted, there's no way to get machine precision.
Finally, as briefly mentioned above, be advised that MB fine nibs are really medium on other brands. I have tried to show that in the pic below. For more comparison go to "How Wide Does it Get" thread in the MB forum where I have more pictures. http://www.fountainp...showtopic=54198
Hope you find this helpful!
Feel free to add comments or ask questions.
here's a writing sample.
Edited by chuancao, 24 February 2008 - 02:43.