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Guide to 146 Changes Through the Years


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26 replies to this topic

#1 Deirdre

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 19:20

I've been offered a "vintage" 146, and I know I'd prefer a celluloid one, but I realized that, other than seeing if a pen is working, I'd have no idea what vintage the 146 in question would be (if, indeed, it were a 146).

Can someone point me to the evolution of 146s over the years so I'd know how old the pen is (approx)?

Naturally, I need to know tomorrow, and this board won't let one search on 146 because the word's too short.

Edited to add: it's got a 14k nib, so at least I know it's not super-recent.

Edited by Deirdre, 22 August 2008 - 19:42.

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#2 FrankB

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 00:07

Sorry you did not get the info on time. I was looking forward to guide recommendations, too.

#3 Deirdre

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 00:12

Oh there's still time. smile.gif
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#4 Pravda

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 00:22

Hi.. I am sorry I can't help but will make a suggestion- might be the silliest ever- but logical thought I think..

There's this article pinned about the evolution of 149s over time.. I figured, they are both anatomically similar pens and whichever celluloid or piston they used to use in one the company probably used in the other during the same time period..

That article is very detailed.. maybe if you read it and try to judge it as if you were trying to date a 149.. it has pics and all of what to look for smile.gif




#5 Deirdre

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 00:29

Doh!

I missed that this morning, and yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! Catch is, while it describes the various changes, it doesn't really SHOW the differences, so it might be easier to spot a Frankenblanc.

So, if one makes the assumption that the nib is original to the pen, being a 14k nib, that means it wasn't made after 1990.

You know what's really needed? Something like the Stanley bench plane dating flowchart.

(I suppose this means I've volunteered now, doesn't it?)
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#6 Deirdre

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 04:44

Next Question: can someone please post a picture of a 149 nib with "narrow" shoulders next to one with "broad" shoulders?

My eyes are crossing.

The nib on the pen in question is at least two-tone. Here's a picture that's almost not useful, but it's the best my mother knew how to do at the time.

wr.jpeg

Edited by Deirdre, 23 August 2008 - 04:45.

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#7 Nikolaos

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 14:19

I have a vintage 146 (late 50s) and a modern one. The vintage 146 is slightly shorter (almost 0.5 cm shorter). The vintage ones are made from black celluloid and the ink view window is amber color compared to the clear modern one. The piston filling mechanism is also different. The 1950s model has the telescoping mechanism made i think from aluminum. The section of the older pen is thinner. The nibs are same size and two-tone , although some older nibs have lost the rhodium plating and look like one tone. The older ones are also less decorated. The piston knob on the old ones has the model of the pen imprinted (146) and also the size of the nib (in my case OBB).
The pen in your picture looks like a 1970s-early 80s, or a 1990s pen. Sometime during the 80s the 146 had a single tone gold nib and and gray ink-view window.

I am not too sure how much help that is ....

Nikolaos

#8 Deirdre

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 19:06

The listing was wrong, it has an 18k nib, so that looks like 1991-94. Everyone passed at $175. I couldn't see through the cap with my keychain flashlight, so I wasn't sure it was authentic. I'll go back tomorrow, probably.
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#9 niksch

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 22:16

Hi Dierdre-

I'd say that the pen in your photo is from the mid-90s, based on what I can see in the photo. The 146s I have only have 14K nibs. $175 is a fair price I would think.

The 146 was re-introduced by Montblanc in 1972 (or so) after not being offered during the 1960s. The 1970s/80s 146s had a mono-tone gold nib and an ink window that has a solid light blue (or maybe grey)tint. The Montblanc Meisterstück 146 imprint on the center cap band is slightly smaller than the current models. The clip ring on my examples is stamped Germany only.

The more current models of the 146, and by current I mean 1992 and later, have a bi-color nib, a slotted ink window (like the one in your photo), and have a laser engraved Germany and serial number on the clip ring. I think the most recent 146 models even have "Pix" engraved on the center cap band.

There was a period of time in the late 80s and early 90s in which one could find mono-tone nibs on pens with slotted ink windows, bi-color nibs on pens with the solid ink window, and each with the different sizes of engraving on the center cap band. I also have examples of these.

There are other differences other than cosmetic...the pistons and pistons seals have changed over the years. Folks can see on the earlier 146s the plastic threads on the piston mechanism, where the later versions have brass threads. Both types of mechanisms have a brass body that threads into the barrel, and I personally think the weight difference is negligible, but I know others who swear they can tell a difference. Feeds materials and shapes have also changed a few times...I don't remember when MB started using plastic feeds, but the older feeds were made from ebonite, and many think that ink flows better over hard rubber feeds than the newish plastic feeds.

Eric
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#10 Deirdre

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 03:14

QUOTE (niksch @ Aug 23 2008, 03:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd say that the pen in your photo is from the mid-90s, based on what I can see in the photo. The 146s I have only have 14K nibs. $175 is a fair price I would think.

$175 would have been a fair price if I'd felt more certain about its authenticity. I'm not an expert and I only had a minute to check the pen out.

Aside from that, I think I'd rather wait and get a celluloid one.
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#11 niksch

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 05:18

QUOTE (Deirdre @ Aug 23 2008, 09:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
[$175 would have been a fair price if I'd felt more certain about its authenticity. I'm not an expert and I only had a minute to check the pen out.Aside from that, I think I'd rather wait and get a celluloid one.


Knowing you would prefer a celluloid 146 to a modern one, I answered the question of "146 Changes Through the Years" in your original post, and then gave an opinion to questions of authenticity raised later in the topic string.

It appears, as I review this string, what you really wanted to know is "is this pen a real Montblanc" rather than receiving an answer to the primary question in your original post ... "Can someone point me to the evolution of 146s over the years so I'd know how old the pen is (approx)?" ...

Of course, this could really bring us back to the subjective opinion of what is really a vintage pen. For Montblancs, I would reckon any pen that was produced before 1959.

Eric
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#12 Nikolaos

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 11:59

all 146s have 14k nibs

#13 Bananafish

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 20:00

There's an article from a Japanese magazine discussing the different generations of the MB146. Generation, 趣味の文具箱 (Shumi no Bungubako), Vol.3, May. 2005 at 6.
In general, the article mentions that the differences are:

1950's
Clip: 2 variations – thinner and thicker clip roots
Cap Band: no inscription of "146"
Nib: two-toned 14kt; 2 variations of decorations surrounding the letter M in the center of the nib imprints
Tip of Nib: one flatten, another ball-shaped
Feed: double vertical grooves; flatten feed flushed with the nib if viewed in profile
Ink Window: sepia slotted
End Cap: 2 variations of inscriptions – "146" and "KOB"
*The 146 from the 50's is slightly shorter (1-2mm), and has a more rounded end cap. IMO, it looks better than the current more pointed end cap.

1960's no production of 146

1970's – production resumed in 1974
Clip: more rounded root compared to current production
Cap band: inscription of "146" on the band
Nib: mono-toned, gold; 2 variations – 18kt and 14kt
Tip of Nib: similar to current production
Feed: horizontal comb-serrations - convex T
Ink Window: bluish transparent
End Cap: no inscription

1980's
Clip: more rounded root compared to current production
Cap band: inscription of "146" on the band
Nib: mono-toned, gold 14kt
Tip of Nib: similar to current production
Feed: horizontal comb-serrations - convex T
Ink Window: bluish transparent
End Cap: no inscription

The article does not claim to be definitive, but it is detailed and supplies many photos. It also mentions the differences in the piston mechanism over the years, etc. It seems that the article only pertains to the black 146, cos' my burgundy one has a clearly different feed in appearance.

The divine is in the details, but my description skill is terrible; I'm also too lazy to translate the whole article. I don't feel comfortable posting cribbed materials even with the "Fair Use" doctrine. But Deirdre, if you're still interested please send PM and I'll snapshot the whole article for you. One-to-one sharing is legal according to my fiat.

PS. Deirdre, you're buying a black pen?! What happened? tongue.gif

Edited by Bananafish, 26 August 2008 - 06:39.



#14 gvl

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 20:25

QUOTE (Nikolaos @ Aug 24 2008, 12:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
all 146s have 14k nibs


except those made for the French market which are 18k


#15 niksch

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:17

QUOTE (Nikolaos @ Aug 24 2008, 04:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
all 146s have 14k nibs


I almost thought so too, but not true. Ask talkinghead about the MIB 146 with 18C nib He recently bought. I've had a chance to get my hands on a few others, but while not unique, the 18C nib on a 146 is not common.

Eric

Edited by niksch, 15 January 2009 - 05:28.

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#16 Souldrifter

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 00:09

Did this "guide" ever go anywhere? I have a 146 I'm trying to date, and I can't find anything definitive after hours of searching on Google.

I have a "clear" ink window without the lines, and a cap ring that has BOTH a serial number AND W.Germany on it. Seeing as how I read somewhere that serial numbers weren't used until 1991, and the unification of Germany was in 1992, I'm going to guess I have a 1991 146.

#17 niksch

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:01

I think you have assesed your pen well. With that ink window, coupled with the serial #, I'd say the same thing. Do you have a mono-color or bi-color nib? Either would/could be found on these "transitional" pens.

Eric
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#18 talkinghead

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:09

QUOTE (niksch @ Jan 15 2009, 12:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Nikolaos @ Aug 24 2008, 04:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
all 146s have 14k nibs


I almost thought so too, but not true. Ask talkinghead about the MIB 146 with 18C nib He recently bought. I've had a chance to get my hands on a few others, but while not unique, the 18C nib on a 146 is not common.

Eric

Couldn't resist...

#146 BB nib 18C monotone
18C_monotone__146_BB_nib.jpg

18C_monotone_nib__146.jpg

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#19 niksch

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:52

Sweet.
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#20 Souldrifter

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:55

QUOTE (niksch @ Jan 15 2009, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think you have assesed your pen well. With that ink window, coupled with the serial #, I'd say the same thing. Do you have a mono-color or bi-color nib? Either would/could be found on these "transitional" pens.

Eric


It is a lovely bi-color nib, and very pretty. smile.gif






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