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Montblanc Monte Rosa (gray with gold trim)


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18 replies to this topic

#1 MDI

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 19:31

First Impressions & Design

I did not expect the pen to be quite as small. Its closed length is similar to Pelikan's M215. When posted, it becomes even shorter than the M215 (shorter body, not cap). The profile of a capped Monte Rosa is not a simple cigar shape. For example, if you look at the MB 145, you will notice that the cap closes on the body at its largest diameter. However, on the Monte Rosa, the body diameter peaks before the closure and already begins to decrease, creating a cigar-shaped object before the cap and giving the pen a slightly 'mushroomed' overall profile. The same shape is kept whilst the pen is posted.

However, the most interesting design feature is the unusual gold trim at the end of the cap. Notably, the clip itself follows a wave line and is attached via a ring. The pen immediately resembles a piston due to an obvious rotating section at the rear of the body. On the other hand, it lacks the obvious aesthetics of a contemporary Montblanc (including the now compulsory snow cap), and is plain enough to be used anywhere. Initially, this pen had mild flow problems, which I was able to rectify by slightly adjusting the nib geometry. Now, it is one of my best writers.









(Images courtesy of QM2)

Physical Characteristics

Length: posted w/ nib, 5 5/8"; capped, 5"; body w/ nib, 4.5"; cap, 2 3/8"; nib, 11/16"; clip: 1 3/8".
Maximum diameter: cap w/o clip: 0.5"; body: 15/32"; section: 6/16".
Weight: very light pen, even lighter cap, most of the weight is inside the body.

Comfort

If you enjoy light pens, you will appreciate the Monte Rosa. It is very light, with most of its weight evenly distributed throughout the body, and fairly little weight in the cap. When posted, it balances right before the cap meets the body. Un-posted, the balance is at the thickest point of the body. In either instance, I believe the pen is properly balanced for long writing sessions. Be aware that the section is fairly thin, as is the entire pen. I cannot decide if it is more comfortable posting this pen, or otherwise, but the working length does become fairly short without its cap, hence it may be uncomfortable in some hands. I do not find myself pressing down when I write with the Monte Rosa, but any amount of pressure will produce a slightly wetter line. Even more pressure will introduce a tiny bit of line variation into your letters.

Filling System

It is a vintage piston. The system works well despite being 50 years old. I have carried this pen in every position and it does not leak from either the nib, the body or the piston knob. I would say that it is a reliable filler. At this point, I cannot comment on the exact ink capacity. The pen has a large transparent ink viewing window. I never took this pen apart, so I cannot comment on the materials or potential durability of the filling system.

Nib

The nib is my favourite part of this pen, and also the reason why it is now one of my best writers. I had to slightly adjust the nib geometry in order to overcome a mild initial flow problem. It was a simple modification (Thank you QM2 for your help). The nib is unusual: it is 14K gold with a pronounced white tip at the end, which must be responsible for the wet line and incredibly smooth feel. It practically glides over the page, yet is controllable and able to do exact work. With no pressure, this pen makes an XXF line. In practice, the writing is XF and has slight wetness and line variation. I would not describe this nib as semi-flex (it does not separate enough!), but there is some softness there that leads to casual tine separation with normal writing pressure. It feels and behaves as a good quality, slightly springy vintage gold nib. The nib and feed are both fairly small, yet the ink does not dry out if the pen is held uncapped for 60 seconds (filled with Montblanc English Racing Green). This may be different for other inks. Once my Monte Rosa was adjusted, it never skipped or disappointed. I cannot stress enough what a good writer this is.

Conclusions

Simple aesthetics, vintage pedigree, gray plastic finish that goes surprisingly well with its festive gold trim. Exceptional writer, yet a very light and delicate pen. Montblanc 14K gold nib. A quality piston filler. Best fitting category: always carried daily writer away from home.

The pen was purchased new-old-stock and comes in a small cardboard box with a one-page set of generic Montblanc instructions.

Acknowledgements

QM2 for help with this review and images.

--

Edited by MDI, 23 November 2008 - 20:15.

Collection: Pen Perfect | Ink: The Magic Fountain

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#2 QM2

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 20:17

Pretty excellent for a first review and I am honored to have gotten you the pen that inspired it!
So you like Montblanc now, do you : )

I did not realise that this pen was in some ways smaller than the Pelikan M215, so I was surprised to read that.

Gosh, I really find that wavy capring and the nice clip (last photo) sexy. The clip reminds me of a Euro-style leverback earing, maybe that's why.

And here's something I realised about the capring!

I think it has resurfaced on a post-2005 Montegrappa creation, the Piccola:


[image from Joon Pens]


#3 MDI

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 20:25

The Piccola cap-ring is more like a crown. The Monte Rosa cap-ring reminds me of a tree decoration.
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#4 QM2

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Posted 23 November 2008 - 20:27

QUOTE (MDI @ Nov 23 2008, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Piccola cap-ring is more like a crown. The Monte Rosa cap-ring reminds me of a tree decoration.


Okay, they are not exactly alike. But don't you find it interesting that the capring appeared after Montegrappa got bought by the same entity that owns Montblanc?.. They do use MB nibs and feeds now on some models, so why not MB designs?

#5 petra

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 05:24

I think the waved ring is the Mont Blanc snow peak logo, wrapped around the cap. I've always loved the Monte Rosa design for that reason -- how the 2D logo becomes 3D.

#6 acolythe

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 05:33

QUOTE (MDI @ Nov 23 2008, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First Impressions & Design

I did not expect the pen to be quite as small. Its closed length is similar to Pelikan's M215. When posted, it becomes even shorter than the M215 (shorter body, not cap). The profile of a capped Monte Rosa is not a simple cigar shape. For example, if you look at the MB 145, you will notice that the cap closes on the body at its largest diameter. However, on the Monte Rosa, the body diameter peaks before the closure and already begins to decrease, creating a cigar-shaped object before the cap and giving the pen a slightly 'mushroomed' overall profile. The same shape is kept whilst the pen is posted.

However, the most interesting design feature is the unusual gold trim at the end of the cap. Notably, the clip itself follows a wave line and is attached via a ring. The pen immediately resembles a piston due to an obvious rotating section at the rear of the body. On the other hand, it lacks the obvious aesthetics of a contemporary Montblanc (including the now compulsory snow cap), and is plain enough to be used anywhere. Initially, this pen had mild flow problems, which I was able to rectify by slightly adjusting the nib geometry. Now, it is one of my best writers.









(Images courtesy of QM2)

Physical Characteristics

Length: posted w/ nib, 5 5/8"; capped, 5"; body w/ nib, 4.5"; cap, 2 3/8"; nib, 11/16"; clip: 1 3/8".
Maximum diameter: cap w/o clip: 0.5"; body: 15/32"; section: 6/16".
Weight: very light pen, even lighter cap, most of the weight is inside the body.

Comfort

If you enjoy light pens, you will appreciate the Monte Rosa. It is very light, with most of its weight evenly distributed throughout the body, and fairly little weight in the cap. When posted, it balances right before the cap meets the body. Un-posted, the balance is at the thickest point of the body. In either instance, I believe the pen is properly balanced for long writing sessions. Be aware that the section is fairly thin, as is the entire pen. I cannot decide if it is more comfortable posting this pen, or otherwise, but the working length does become fairly short without its cap, hence it may be uncomfortable in some hands. I do not find myself pressing down when I write with the Monte Rosa, but any amount of pressure will produce a slightly wetter line. Even more pressure will introduce a tiny bit of line variation into your letters.

Filling System

It is a vintage piston. The system works well despite being 50 years old. I have carried this pen in every position and it does not leak from either the nib, the body or the piston knob. I would say that it is a reliable filler. At this point, I cannot comment on the exact ink capacity. The pen has a large transparent ink viewing window. I never took this pen apart, so I cannot comment on the materials or potential durability of the filling system.

Nib

The nib is my favourite part of this pen, and also the reason why it is now one of my best writers. I had to slightly adjust the nib geometry in order to overcome a mild initial flow problem. It was a simple modification (Thank you QM2 for your help). The nib is unusual: it is 14K gold with a pronounced white tip at the end, which must be responsible for the wet line and incredibly smooth feel. It practically glides over the page, yet is controllable and able to do exact work. With no pressure, this pen makes an XXF line. In practice, the writing is XF and has slight wetness and line variation. I would not describe this nib as semi-flex (it does not separate enough!), but there is some softness there that leads to casual tine separation with normal writing pressure. It feels and behaves as a good quality, slightly springy vintage gold nib. The nib and feed are both fairly small, yet the ink does not dry out if the pen is held uncapped for 60 seconds (filled with Montblanc English Racing Green). This may be different for other inks. Once my Monte Rosa was adjusted, it never skipped or disappointed. I cannot stress enough what a good writer this is.

Conclusions

Simple aesthetics, vintage pedigree, gray plastic finish that goes surprisingly well with its festive gold trim. Exceptional writer, yet a very light and delicate pen. Montblanc 14K gold nib. A quality piston filler. Best fitting category: always carried daily writer away from home.

The pen was purchased new-old-stock and comes in a small cardboard box with a one-page set of generic Montblanc instructions.

Acknowledgements

QM2 for help with this review and images.

--



What was the simple modification to increase the wetness that you made?
Barry


#7 QM2

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 07:00

QUOTE (petra @ Nov 24 2008, 06:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the waved ring is the Mont Blanc snow peak logo, wrapped around the cap. I've always loved the Monte Rosa design for that reason -- how the 2D logo becomes 3D.


Aaaaaah!... Thanks for an epiphonic moment : )


#8 goodguy

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:38

What a fabolous review.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Respect to all

#9 QM2

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:01

QUOTE (acolythe @ Nov 24 2008, 06:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What was the simple modification to increase the wetness that you made?


Out of the box the pen wrote, but very dryly, producing a tortured, pastel line.

MDI increased flow by grabbing the "shoulders" of the nib and gently pulling them apart. I told him about this method, having seen it illustrated on someone's website that I cannot find now. My own fine motor skills are not good enough to attempt this (I tried, but the edges of the nib just slip out of my fingers). However, he was able to adjust flow within a few seconds using this method. So I guess some people just take to it naturally and others don't. The pen is a nice wet writer now.




#10 troglokev

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:27

There is a description, with pictures, on John Mottishaw's site. Flow adjustment is towards the end of the article.

Edited by troglokev, 24 November 2008 - 11:28.


#11 QM2

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Posted 24 November 2008 - 11:39

QUOTE (troglokev @ Nov 24 2008, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is a description, with pictures, on John Mottishaw's site. Flow adjustment is towards the end of the article.


Yes, thank you -- that's the one! I kept trying to find it on Richard Binder's website.

This is what was done:


[image and text from: http://www.nibs.com/...ngAdjusting.htm]

QUOTE
Increase the ink flow: Holding the pen on a large open desk with the nib pointed upright, and looking at the underside of the nib (the feed), catch each shoulder of the nib with your thumbnails. Pull gently apart while pressing down gently on the top of the nib. It is best to have light coming through from the back so that one can see the slit gap open. Proceed with caution, testing the pen after each effort. Because the nib will need to be tested after each try, you will want to have paper towels at the ready and not be headed for a dinner engagement, as you will most likely get ink on your fingers.



#12 rout345

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 02:55

MDI, great review! That's a beautiful pen. May I ask how you bought it?

#13 jmkeuning

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 18:38

Thanks for the great review. I'd like to try a pen like that.
Fool: One who subverts convention or orthodoxy or varies from social conformity in order to reveal spiritual or moral truth.

#14 MDI

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 23:42

QUOTE (rout345 @ Nov 26 2008, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
May I ask how you bought it?


It was a gift that QM2 purchased from a member of this forum. Not sure as to the source, but it appeared new-old-stock or mint and obviously had never been used as a pen.
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#15 QM2

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 02:46

The pen came from Egyptian seller ASL, who occasionally posts here. He offered 4 of these for sale NOS in different colours: black, gray, burgundy and green. The green one may still be available (unfortunately the photos have been removed):

http://www.fountainp...showtopic=79621

ASL was great to deal with and the pen arrived (to Boston) from Cairo in less than a week.

Edited by QM2, 28 November 2008 - 18:07.


#16 andrewboy

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 05:32

Thanks for the review. In the UK, the Battersea pen home have several NOS for sale. http://penhome.co.uk/montblanc.htm

#17 blueblazes

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 23:39

QUOTE (petra @ Nov 23 2008, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the waved ring is the Mont Blanc snow peak logo, wrapped around the cap. I've always loved the Monte Rosa design for that reason -- how the 2D logo becomes 3D.



I recently acquired a Monte Rosa and was wondering about the rationale behind the scalloped ring....your explanation is really perceptive. It makes good sense. The number of peaks (and troughs) is a little out of sync --8 peaks on my Monte Rosa vs. the 6 arms on the traditional MB snowflake-- to be a true 3D rendering of the snowflake. My own thought was that the Monte Rosa is also a mountain and thus the waves are stylized mountain peaks......

#18 breaker

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 18:05

nice review
Cogito ergo sum

#19 trauha

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 17:12

My vintage Monte Rosa is similarly great in the smoothness dept.

At least as smooth as any of the vintage Sheaffers I have. 

The Sheaffers still feel better and more accurately controllable in the hand.








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