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MB Pope Julius II 888 Edition


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#1 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 02:53

Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Edition; Patron of the Arts Series for 2005

Precious Opulence from Montblanc



I'm pleased to share with my fellow pen-nuts the most ornate addition to my Fountain Pen wardrobe - Montblanc's "Pope Julius II" in the 888 edition, from the 2005 release of the Patron of the Arts Series, seen in my avatar.


Photo from Pensinasia


Photo from Pensinasia


Backstory

I wanted a new dress pen for special occasions, and went shopping in Atlanta at ArtLite, Total Fine Writing, and at the Montblanc Boutique in Lenox Square Mall – our three brick and mortar pen stores. Initially I had wanted to look at the Montblanc Pope Julius II in the 4810 edition because the ivory base color of the pen barrel was a good match for my summer Dinner Jacket. I was underwhelmed. But true to form, Sara, the affable and knowledgeable former manager of the Atlanta Montblanc Boutique traded up my interest to the more formidable red 888 edition (888 copies worldwide).

The Pope Julius II is the 2005 release of Montblanc’s Patron of the Arts Series, honoring those whose pivotal support for the arts transformed our culture. Pope Julius II held the Throne of St. Peter from his election in 1503 until his death just a decade later. But in that decade, Julius II strengthened the Papacy militarily and artistically. He laid the cornerstone of St Peter’s Basilica. He commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel, and ordered works from Raphael and other Italian masters. He transformed Rome into the cultural capitol of the Renaissance. So it is not surprising that Montblanc chose to honor Pope Julius II as a Patron of the Arts. Raphael’s painting of Pope Julius II hangs in the National Gallery in London, and the image is used in presentation packaging for the pen:




As with other Patron of the Arts pens, the Pope Julius II was widely released in two editions: a gold-plated pen with cream colored enamel inserts (4,810 copies worldwide) recently reviewed by FPN member GoodGuy http://www.fountainp...showtopic=84655



and a solid 18 kt gold pen with guilloche engraved deep red enamel reviewed here (888 copies worldwide). A third Atelier edition was available – three copies in red & gold, three copies in anthracite and gold – each with 861 diamonds totaling 3.8 carats. http://www.cruzaltpe...istorico/?p=296


Image from Cruzal Pens

All three editions were available only as fountain pens – neither companion ballpoints nor rollerballs were offered.

Sara, the former manager of the Atlanta Montblanc Boutique told me that Patron of the Arts pens were displayed in MB Boutiques for two years after their release, and then unsold copies were returned to Germany for vault storage. Editions that had not sold out could still be special ordered after their two year display window, but they were not seen again in Boutiques. I do not know whether this display policy is also followed by non-Boutique authorized retailers; it is certainly not followed by authorized internet retailers.


Presentation & Documentation

The pen is protected during shipping by a sturdy corregated white box that is significantly larger than the inner box it protects. The thinner cardboard inner box is nicely printed with a detail from Raphael’s portrait of Pope Julius II in his red Papal mozzetta showing his left hand. Curiously, it is the third finger of the right hand where the Pope wears the Ring of the Fisherman.



Inside the printed cardboard box is a highly polished rosewood casket that holds the pen. A cast bronze gilt raised medallion is mounted on the front of the presentation casket, and shows Pope Julius II in bas relief profile.


Image from Pensinasia

The bespoke casket is lined in black velvet, and shaped to securely hold the capped pen on a diagonal. Accompanying the presentation casket is a glossy brochure with the same rich cover painting of the eponymous Pontif’s left hand. Printed in five languages, the brochure has a brief biography of Pope Julius II, a review of the Patron of the Arts Series, filling & cleaning instructions, and the dealer’s warranty stamp. While I always prefer more information, more backstory, more history, more discussion of the techniques and craftsmanship that went into creating the pen; Montbanc’s documentation is more thorough than most. I’m not Catholic, but I nonetheless found the history and symbolism interesting. Eventually, I hope Montblanc and other premium pen companies produce DVDs or CD-ROMs or FlashDrives telling the story of their limited edition releases and showing the build process and craftsmanship that went into creating the pen.


Design and Craftsmanship

The 888 Edition Pope Julius II is solid 18 kt yellow gold (not an overlay), fenestrated like the windows of a Gothic Cathedral to reveal deep claret-colored engraving of wavy guilloche enamel work. Unlike the Michel Perchin Blue Serpent,


Image from Michel Perchin website

the guilloche engraving on the 888 Pope Julius II is not sealed with layered coats of glossy lacquer. The deep and wide guilloche engraving is open and gives the design much more visual texture than would a lacquered guilloche. Perhaps Montblanc’s designers liked the contrast of the high gloss yellow gold with the matt finish of the unlacquered enamel; I like it too.


Image from Pensinasia

The open guilloche work would make the pen very difficult to clean – dust settling in the guilloche cracks would require an air gun to dislodge. So the Pope Julius II does need to be stored under glass or in a case to prevent accumulation of dust in the little nooks and crannies.

The shape of the pen is almost identical to the flagship Meisterstuk series that made Montblanc famous. The length of the Pope Julius II pen is similar to the MB 146. The girth of the Pope Julius II barrel is slightly wider than the MB 146; but not as wide as the MB 149. The Pope Julius II 888 looks substantially larger than the MB 146 on first look, because the cap of the Pope Julius II 888 is very wide - wider than the MB 149 - and the broad cap gives the pen greater visual impact.


MB 149 (top), MB Pope Julius II 888 (middle), MB 146 (bottom)


The very top of the hand-chased gold cap of the Pope Julius II is modeled on the long retired Coronation Crown of Popes – referenced in Catholic ritual as the “Tiara of the Pontifex Maximus.”

The crown has not been worn since the Coronation of Pope John XXIII.


Photo of the Papal Crown of Pope John XXIII



Pope John Paul I dispensed with the one thousand year tradition of a Papal Coronation and a Papal Crown because he felt the kingly rituals and symbols inappropriately emphasized the temporal and Earthly powers of the Papacy instead of the timeless and Godly influence the Pontiff was called to assert. Subsequent Popes have worn ceremonial damask Miters instead of the Tiara to emphasize their priestly and apostolic roles over their kingly authorities. The Papal Tiaras were traditionally three-tiered bee-hive shaped crowns, much taller than the crown of any contemporaneous King, Queen, or Prince. The base, and only the base of the Papal Tiara was set with precious jewels to symbolize the Pope’s supremacy over earthly Princes and Kings. The 888 Pope Julius II pen is set with five deep red marquis cut rubies to reflect that traditional design. The middle layer of the tiara symbolized the Pope’s authority as “Ruler of the World,” and is not represented on the pen. The uppermost layer of the Papal Tiara was traditionally topped by a gold globe, and the globe was topped with a silver cross, symbolizing the Pope’s role as the Vicar of Christ. Montblanc revived the design of the Papal Tiara and modified it for this pen, capping the 888 Pope Julius II pen not with a globe and cross, but rather with a Mother-of-Pearl (Nacre) Montblanc star, giving their familiar logo a shimmering depth and glow.


Image from Pensinasia

The Montblanc star logo represents the snow capped summit of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe at 4,810 meters, a number which figures prominently in Montblanc design and edition size. (The mountain is two words – Mont Blanc; the pen company is one word – Montblanc.)

The pen’s gold clip is set with six small fully faceted diamonds of descending size mined from the same South African mine that gave up the Cullinan I diamond (the Greater Star of Africa) on HM Queen Elizabeth II's State Scepter and the Cullinan II diamond (the Lesser Star of Africa) in her crown. To be frank, I think the vertical row of diamonds along the clip detracts from the rest of the design, and is a bit too flashy, even for a dress pen. As a guy, this single design feature, this one row of small brilliant VS1 diamonds, almost vetoed my purchase of the pen. Guys don’t wear diamonds - ever (Burton’s Fourth Rule). Two gin & tonics later, I got over it and wrote the check – sorry Burton.


Image from Pensinasia

The iridium-tipped solid 18 kt yellow-gold nib is engraved with the 2005 date of the edition, 4810 (the height of Mont Blanc in meters), and with the Pontiff’s seal - the Tree of Life. The tree is also found on Pope Julius II’s family coat of arms. Julius II was born Giuliano della Rovere, and as FPN member FritsB has pointed out, the Latin for Rovere would be “robur” which in English translates to “oak.” So the tree on the family coat of arms and on Pope Julius II’s seal is a pictograph for the family name.


Image from Pensinasia

Interestingly, I know a guy from Greece whose properly granted, centuries old family Coat of Arms has an oak tree at the center of the shield. As a first born male, the Coat of Arms passes in patrilineal succession to him, and he just had the Coat of Arms tattooed on his back (I suggested a nice signet ring instead, but was ignored). I recommended he research a family relationship to the storied Roveres.

The nib is crafted in house by Montblanc and is carefully polished, apparently even between the tines, because I have observed no nib creep of ink onto the surface during use. A single round breather hole is used, supplied by a vaned black ebonite feed.

The pen is substantial in the hand. It is designed to be used unposted (with the cap off and set aside - not posted to the top of the barrel). But even unposted, the weight of the pen reminds me that words themselves can and often should be substantial. Words should carry weight.

The nib was custom crafted for me by Montblanc in broad (only medium nibs are stock; all other widths are special orders from Germany) and it writes a glassy smooth, wet, reliable line. At the Atlanta Pen Show, I asked nibmeister Richard Binder to regrind the tip into a 1.0 mm Cursive Italic, giving my handwriting the bold line width variation I like in penmanship.

The overall look of the pen is elegant, dressy, and perhaps a bit Edwardian or old-wordly. It is opulent. The solid 18 kt gold cap and body have a slightly rose gold hue, and I wonder if just a bit of copper was used in the smelting of the alloy.

The choice of Mother of Pearl to craft the Montblanc Star makes a dramatic difference in the look of the pen; and was one of the primary reasons I bought the 888 edition. By comparison, the 4810 edition of the Pope Julius II uses the familiar white plastic star. The Mother of Pearl has a shimmering depth that the dull plastic versions of the logo just cannot approach. When another Fountain Pen Network member Epictete92 interviewed M. Michel Ade, CEO of Montblanc France, http://www.penandco....ntblanc_en.html I suggested the interviewer ask M. Ade if Montblanc would consider offering an aftermarket exchange service for the dull white plastic stars on the iconic flagship MB 149 and on the 4810 editions of the Patron of the Arts Series (only the 888 editions of the POA series and the more upscale Artisan Series use the Mother of Pearl Star). The transcript of the interview did not suggest M. Ade was enthusiastic about my idea.

On the Pen Turning sub-forum, I tried to entice a custom pen maker to use a computer modeling scanner and lathe system to craft a Mother of Pearl replacement for my thirty year old MB 149. No joy. http://www.fountainp...showtopic=69448


Image from Pensinasia



Mechanics & Functionality

All Patron of the Arts pens are piston filled, and the mechanism on the 888 Pope Julius II is weighty and smooth. There is no ink-level view-port, and I suspect the designers felt the dark view-port would be too great a contrast against the highly polished gold.

The cap is a screw-on, screw-off design. There are no threads on the distal barrel to facilitate secure posting.



Metrics

As a card carrying Kool-Aid Drinker for Montblanc, I like a large pen. Size matters. The Montblanc 149 was my very first fountain pen, purchased almost thirty years ago, and so my tastes have been shaped by that early “big pen” experience. I use most fountain pens unposted, making even the larger production pens fit comfortably in my medium hand (size 7.5 gloves). The 888 Pope Julius II is a large pen, similar in width to the iconic Montblanc Meisterstuck Diplomat 149, similar in length to the Montblanc 146. The large girth of the 888 Pope Julius II, like its older cousin the MB 149, allows a more comfortably relaxed grip at the section. The wider girth allows my fingers to relax in the grip without crowding. That wider girth and the relaxed grip it fosters are keys to eliminating writers’ cramp.


Unlike the MB 149, I actually prefer a heavier pen, and that usually means a metal body. Words should carry weight, and a heavier pen reminds me of that. The 888 Pope Julius II is crafted from solid 18 kt gold, and so this pen has the weight that I favor. The cap alone outweighs the entire 4810 edition of the same pen – and it also outweighs most other pens. Despite its weight, the unposted pen is perfectly balanced for my grip on the upper section. The significantly heavy weight makes the pen inappropriate for a shirt pocket; this pen weighs so much that even the most stiffly starched cotton shirt pocket will sag rather unattractively. The pen needs to be clipped to an inner jacket pocket, or diagonally between the second and third buttons of a dress shirt. The underside of the pen’s clip tip is polished, and in my opinion, that smooth surface is a design error. A pen this heavy should have a ridged or textured underside to the clip to better grip the shirt or jacket. Proving with this pen that gravity works would wreck my day. Dude, F=ma.

Length Capped
MB Pope Julius II 888: 5 ¾ inches or 146 mm
Montblanc 149: 5 7/8 inches or 149 mm (clever)
Montblanc 146: 5 ¾ inches or 146 mm (also clever)

Length Posted (designed to be used unposted)
MB Pope Julius II 888: N.A.
Montblanc 149: 6 ½ inches or 168 mm
Montblanc 146: 6 5/16 inches or 161 mm

Length Unposted
MB Pope Julius II 888: 4 13/16 inches 122 mm
Montblanc 149: 5 3/16 inches or 133 mm
Montblanc 146: 4 15/16 inches or 126 mm

Girth at widest point of Barrel
MB Pope Julius II 888: ½ inch or 13 mm
Montblanc 149: 14 mm

Girth at widest point of Cap (diameter beneath clip)
MB Pope Julius II 888: 16 mm
Montblanc 149: 18 mm

Girth at widest point of Section
MB Pope Julius II 888: 12 mm
Montblanc 149: 13 mm

Mass Capped or Posted
MB Pope Julius II 888: 79 g
Montblanc 149: 31 g

Mass Unposted
MB Pope Julius II 888: 43 g
Montblanc 149: 20 g

Mass of Cap Alone
MB Pope Julius II 888: 36 g
Montblanc 149: 11 g

Balance Point (unposted and inked)
MB Pope Julius II 888: 2/3 distance from nib tip to barrel tip
Montblanc 149: 2/3 distance from nib tip to barrel tip

Congruity with the Golden Ratio: Phi = 1.618
MB Pope Julius II 888:
Ratio of Exposed Barrel to Cap when Capped: 1.17 (not close to Phi)
Ratio of Uncapped & Unposted Barrel to (Nib + Section): 1.59
(very close to Phi - this pen is meant to be classically beautiful when uncapped and unposted - namely when it is being used - how clever)

Metrics Conclusions: This is a heavy pen, sized close to the MB 146, though much heavier than the lightweight resin construction of the Meisterstuks. The size and weight are perfect for me, and the pen is balanced – but only because the pen must be used unposted.



Writing Sample

The nib is solid 18 kt yellow gold (not two toned), iridium tipped, vented by a round breather hole, and supplied by a vaned ebonite feed. I understand that fabled Nibmeister Richard Binder finds 18 kt nibs to be too soft for proper function in a fountain pen, instead preferring 14 kt or even lower purity gold for best performance. I have a very light touch on paper, and I don’t use flex in a pen anyway, so barring accident or abuse, this 18 kt nib is probably safe for my hand.

The nib starts reliably with the first stroke, and lays down a wet, smooth, wide line with no skipping. I have left this pen inked, capped, and unused for a week (now that was a challenge), to find that it still writes first time every time – no French nib kissing required. I run Aurora black ink in the most of my pens – it has a deep saturated color, but is not a permanent ink. Unlike many fountain pen enthusiasts, I don’t use a variety of inks or colors. I use black and only black, as deep and as saturated as I can safely keep in my pens. I’m not a fan of change. (Ray’s First Rule: Change is bad; change is always, always bad.)

I asked Nibmeister Richard Binder to regrind the factory broad nib to a 1.0 mm Cursive Italic to give the pen’s writing more visual texture and interest. The nib is smooth, even with its cursive italic tip - no tooth or tactile feedback – it glides across the paper just the way I like.

A pen this handsome should not lay down a feeble timid line – a pen this nice should roar with broad wet expressive strokes and maximal line width variation to give my handwriting visual texture and character.




Price & Value
Edition Size: 888 fountain pens worldwide – no rollerballs or ballpoints
This pen is #586 of 888
Price New at Montblanc Boutique in 2006: $6,700
Recent eBay closed auctions: No closed auctions found, but another pen is currently on offer at eBay for Buy-It-Now at $8,500, without a buyer (no affiliation)

Conclusion of Functionality: The pen writes, and it writes well. But nobody has to spend a fist full of hundreds to own a pen that writes well. This ain’t about function. At this price point, flawless function is expected – it is necessary but not sufficient. At this price point, it’s all about form. Form over function. For LE pens, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.



Case

I wanted a nice travel case for when the Pope Julius 888 goes on the road with me to an event. The Atlanta Montblanc Boutique still had one of the black crocodile Florentine cigar sleeve cases in stock, and that went into the shopping bag as well. Perfect. No gentleman leaves the house without something from the soft underbelly of a dead reptile (Burton’s Third Rule).





Conclusions

For me, the 888 Pope Julius II is a dress pen. It is not my daily carry, and does not see service at my office during the workday. But I do use the pen with some frequency. I enjoy fountain pens, and I use every pen I have; I do not collect pens to sit un-inked and unused in a trophy case. Each of the pens in my small stable was purchased with a specific mission in mind. I have two dress pens in my wardrobe – the sterling guilloche and blue enameled Michel Perchin Blue Serpent, and this yellow gold and red guilloche Pope Julius II. Between the two carries, I choose the pen to match the metal trim of my cufflinks, tuxedo studs, and belt or braces buckle – and to match the base color of my bowtie if I am dressed informally.

I use and wear the pen on special occasions – charity functions, night on the town, weddings, theatre, and last-night-out dinners on my boat. Like many Montblancs, the pen often makes quite an impression when it’s pulled from my jacket pocket – sometimes good, sometimes bad – the bad reactions generally tracking from preconceived conspicuous consumption notions about Montblanc and the people who buy their pens. This particular Montblanc often elicits even stronger reactions. It is an over-the-top design. Ray’s Third Rule: “Anything worth doing is worth over-doing.” Sometimes over-the-top is a good thing.

The MB Pope Julius II 888 is clearly art – usable art – but art. If you appreciate the Papal heritage of the design, the stunning detail of the sculpted craftsmanship, and the true beauty of the execution, then this is a pen with a high drool factor. Art is good for the soul; and supporting the work of talented artists and artisans makes the world a deeper and richer place to live, work, and play.

The Montblanc Pope Julius II 888 Fountain Pen – two thumbs up – way up. Haudquaquam sorbeum.

Now I just have to find some words worthy of this fine instrument.



Image from Pensinasia

Also Reviewed by me: Michel Perchin Blue Serpent LE #133 / 250 http://www.fountainp...showtopic=52092




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

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#2 Blade Runner

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:42

WOW! Thank you for a fascinating Grand Tour of the Pope Julius II 888.
It is a work of art, but I'm so glad you use it regularly. Heads must spin when you do!
Is the nib 146 or 149 size or something else?
I hope you don't write grocery lists with it. biggrin.gif

Best,
Jeen



#3 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:50

QUOTE (jeen @ Jan 13 2009, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WOW! Thank you for a fascinating Grand Tour of the Pope Julius II 888.
It is a work of art, but I'm so glad you use it regularly. Heads must spin when you do!
Is the nib 146 or 149 size or something else?
I hope you don't write grocery lists with it. biggrin.gif

Best,
Jeen


Evening Jeen -

The Pope Julius II 888 nib is almost exactly the same size as the MB 146 nib - remember the section and barrel of the Pope Julius are also similar in size to the MB 146 - so I suppose the designers felt the 146 sized nib looked proportionate too.

I write mostly personal letters and cards with the Pope Julius - so that I'll remember the pen I used when I write the letter. But today, while I was finishing the details of the review, I did jot out my To-Do List for tomorrow. And when I am at an event and carrying the pen, I occasionally get to write a few phone numbers with this beauty.

Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate you drooling with me a bit.

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

#4 Inked

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:54

Holy crocamoly!
That is one stupendous pen and exhaustive review. It really helps one appreciate the artistic creation when one knows where it comes from and where it wants to go and why.
Absolutely gorgeous.
I'm glad you use the pen. It always brings a greater depth of appreciation for what has been crafted.
Fantastic form.
I love what you had done with the nib. Beautiful function. Excellent!

Happy trails.



#5 Blade Runner

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:58

Also now I'm wondering what the rest of your attire looks like when you don this pen for a night on the town. biggrin.gif

#6 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:01

QUOTE (Inked @ Jan 13 2009, 10:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Holy crocamoly!
That is one stupendous pen and exhaustive review. It really helps one appreciate the artistic creation when one knows where it comes from and where it wants to go and why.
Absolutely gorgeous.
I'm glad you use the pen. It always brings a greater depth of appreciation for what has been crafted.
Fantastic form.
I love what you had done with the nib. Beautiful function. Excellent!

Happy trails.


Thanks Inked - that's really nice of you to say.

Yeah - the pen evokes a bit of shock and awe. I really enjoy the backstory of these LE pens - it gives another layer of meaning to using them. (and makes for great cocktail hour conversation)

Nibmeister Binder mentioned that mine was the first Pope Julius II 888 that he had reground - and I really love the visual texture of that broad cursive italic stroke. The man is gifted.

Thanks again for letting me share my toys with you.


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

#7 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:10

QUOTE (jeen @ Jan 13 2009, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also now I'm wondering what the rest of your attire looks like when you don this pen for a night on the town. biggrin.gif


Well, perhaps this little tidbit will give you a clue. I'm 50 years old and have never worn a pair of jeans, never worn a T shirt. (though I was probably ten years old before I was forced kicking and screaming to wear socks - a funeral)

The Pope Julius usually rides along when I am wearing a dark suit, a tux, my summer dinner jacket, or (on New Year's Eve) white tie.

I have an old 1952 Cadillac limousine that a local college kid drives when I have a big date - so the old-world ornate look to the Pope Julius fits in pretty well with the rest of "Dressed-up-Ray." I clean up "good."

It's not the favored carry for Saturday morning errands with khakis and a polo.

Edited by yachtsilverswan, 14 January 2009 - 04:19.

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

#8 Blade Runner

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:17

QUOTE (yachtsilverswan @ Jan 13 2009, 11:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jeen @ Jan 13 2009, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also now I'm wondering what the rest of your attire looks like when you don this pen for a night on the town. biggrin.gif


Well, perhaps this little tidbit will give you a clue. I'm 50 years old and have NEVER worn a pair of jeans, NEVER worn a T shirt. (though I was probably ten years old before I was forced kicking and screaming to wear socks - a funeral)

The Pope Julius usually rides along when I am wearing a dark suit, a tux, my summer dinner jacket, or (on New Year's Eve) white tie.

I have an old 1952 Cadillac limousine that a local college kid drives when I have a big date - so the old-world ornate look to the Pope Julius fits in pretty well with the rest of "Dressed-up-Ray." I clean up "good."

It's not the favored carry for Saturday morning errands with khakis and a polo.

Very nice. The pen is in the right hands.

Best,
Jeen

#9 Prise

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:34

Awesome review!

This has got to be one of the most stunning pens I've ever seen. Montblanc truly makes some of the most beautifully crafted limited edition pens in existence.

I particularly enjoyed the history behind the pen. I often find my enjoyment of an item increases considerably when there is a history associated with it.

Reading this review only further reminds us of the great joy inherent when writing with a great fountain pen. In my view, those things in life where we derive great satisfaction is worth the price we pay.

Happy writing!

Kind regards,

P.

#10 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:42

QUOTE (Prise @ Jan 13 2009, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...I particularly enjoyed the history behind the pen. I often find my enjoyment of an item increases considerably when there is a history associated with it.


I really enjoy the backstory with these LE pens too. Knowing something about the history and design of the pen feeds my enthusiasm to write with the pen, and makes my own story more entertaining when someone asks about my pen.

Thanks Prise.

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 kaisede

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:45

thanks for the detail review.

#12 goodguy

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:09

Stunning,simply stunning.
Thank god I dont have enough money or else I would be forced to buy a 888 Julius as a company to my 4810.
great review,enjoy your pen.

Me as much as I like my Julius I must admit it is too much of an attantion graber and thus I feel most comfortable to leave it in the glass cabinet.

Respect to all

#13 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:17

QUOTE (goodguy @ Jan 14 2009, 12:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Stunning,simply stunning.
Thank god I dont have enough money or else I would be forced to buy a 888 Julius as a company to my 4810.
great review,enjoy your pen.

Me as much as I like my Julius I must admit it is too much of an attantion graber and thus I feel most comfortable to leave it in the glass cabinet.


Coming from you , GoodGuy, that's high praise indeed. Thank you.

But don't you think your 4810 needs a mate? I know a Montblanc Boutique Manager who would be happy to help you complete your set.

I certainly agree the PJ likes to be the center of attention; but truthfully sometimes that fits quite well with parts of my personality.

Sometimes, we all need to wax the car, press the good suit, and put a polished best foot forward. A great pen like the PJ is mission ready for the adventure.

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

#14 Pepin

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:23

Awesome review. I can't think of an occasion when such a fine pen is called for, except for the baptism of my masculine first born. smile.gif

You should send your favorite ink to the Vatican, they usually ask for a small fee, to get your ink blessed Alternatively, you can visit a local Catholic church, and the priests usually have holy water( contained in the shape of the Virgin Mary) which you can spray on your ink or pen. I went this route when I needed some ink blessed. Makes me religious just looking at the pics. notworthy1.gif




A man's real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.

#15 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:39

QUOTE (Pepin @ Jan 14 2009, 12:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Awesome review. I can't think of an occasion when such a fine pen is called for, except for the baptism of my masculine first born. smile.gif

You should send your favorite ink to the Vatican, they usually ask for a small fee, to get your ink blessed Alternatively, you can visit a local Catholic church, and the priests usually have holy water( contained in the shape of the Virgin Mary) which you can spray on your ink or pen. I went this route when I needed some ink blessed. Makes me religious just looking at the pics. notworthy1.gif


Evening Pepin -

Yes, speaking as a first born male, Agnatic Primogeniture is a good thing to celebrate - with an heirloom pen and a little ritual moistening (to varying degrees) of the new gene copy.

But dude, if you can't come up with other occasions for this little beauty, well we need to broaden your horizons. (And broadening your horizons can be broadly fun.)

Thanks for celebrating with me.
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

#16 maria322

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:45

puddle.gif

"Wow" is too earthy a word to justify the sight of that pen. Breathtaking and splendid come to mind. In-Credible. And I'm thinking of my first, measley $100+ pen being a MB Meisterstuck or a Sailor 1911.

This pen is mind-blowing. Thank you for the review!
Courage is fear that has said its prayers.
- Dorothy Bernard

Maria

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#17 yachtsilverswan

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:58

QUOTE (maria322 @ Jan 14 2009, 12:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
puddle.gif

"Wow" is too earthy a word to justify the sight of that pen. Breathtaking and splendid come to mind. In-Credible. And I'm thinking of my first, measley $100+ pen being a MB Meisterstuck or a Sailor 1911.

This pen is mind-blowing. Thank you for the review!


The MB 149 Meisterstuk was my very first fountain pen, thirty years ago when I was in college and spasmed into Writer's Cramp Claw. The 149 was my only fountain pen for a least a decade, and I think that's one reason I like the Pope Julius so much - it has that classic torpedo shape of the 149 and that size-matters feel in my hand.

The MB 149 in my review photo and handwriting sample is the very same 149 I bought thirty years ago. It's still one of my very favorite writers. Buying top quality means only having to buy once.

Good luck with your upcoming Meisterstuk. And thanks for your note.

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

#18 QM2

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:04

Thank you for a spectacular review; that was a great read with fascinating insight into a beautiful pen I am not likely to ever see in person.

If you are serious about looking for someone to fashion a MOP snowcap for a non-POA pen, PM me for a suggestion.

#19 ToasterPastry

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:05

yachtsilverswan...

I'm planning to ask Ethernautrix out on a date. Can I borrow your pen?


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#20 Pepin

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:07

You'd need more than a fine pen with such a fine lady... roflmho.gif

QUOTE (ToasterPastry @ Jan 14 2009, 07:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yachtsilverswan...

I'm planning to ask Ethernautrix out on a date. Can I borrow your pen?


A man's real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.






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