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  1. PRELUDE I was looking to gift my dad with a Montblanc pen for a long time. And it had to be a new one. Personally, I had bought a pre-owned MB 146 (the only pre-owned in my small collection), and I am more or less happy with it. It’s kind of ineffable but the right shape with the right balance, encompassed within a classical look seemed missing in some luxury pens, which I own. Personally, I feel that any pen above $ 100 is never a VFM and it’s rather a self-indulgence in fooling myself when I order one more expensive pen. May be it’s just applying theory of brand relativity when I try to convince myself that a Pilot 823 or a m800 is a VFM pen. You are invited to read the review live on my blog (linked below), where you can find reviews of my other pens: A Montblanc Meisterstück 149 in Red Gold Back to the pen and it’s acquisition, the phenomenon was popularly known as the Apshankar hand wave within our small fountain pen group on the Telegram app. Actually, Kapil & Pradeep are the two main agents for urban poverty for many people including Vaibhav and me. Jokes apart, both are really fine people who are passionate about pens & paraphernalia and real good friends. Pradeep was kind enough to place an order for me from LCC & the pen travelled across the Atlantic Ocean with Kapil to finally land in my hand. While I was a bit unsure of the Red Gold trim, aesthetic opinions from both Kapil & Dennis (of LCC) helped me finalise on my choice. HISTORICALLY SPEAKING As most of you would know, Montblanc was started as Simplizissimus-Füllhalter in 1906 by a Hamburg banker, Alfred Nehemias, and a Berlin engineer, August Eberstein. Simplizissimus-Füllhalter means Simplistic Fountain pens and the founders had learnt about fountain pens with ink tanks from the US. By 1908, three other people by the name of Wilhelm Dziambor, Christian Lausen and later Claus Johannes Voss had taken over the business and the company took the name “Simplo Filler Pen Co.” which referred to a fountain pen design with a built-in ink-tank. In 1909, a safety fountain pen made up of hard rubber called “Rouge et Noir” was launched, which actually translates into Red and Black. The pen consisted of a red cap and a black body, perhaps inspired from the card-game. You can also find a limited edition of the same. In 1910, the company became Mont Blanc, inspired by the highest peak of the Alps (4810 m) and a pen called Montblanc was introduced with a white tip (which would later evolve into the classical white star in 1913). In 1926, the Meisterstück was launched. By 1929, the nibs were engraved with 4810, the official height of Mont Blanc peak, as an allusion to superior quality and craftsmanship. The flagship Meisterstück 149 was launched in 1952, evolving from celluloid & brass mechanism to resin & plastic mechanism over the years. The 149 was reintroduced with a triple tone 18k nib (they are 2 colours really) somewhere around 1995. For the conventions of MB, as far as the model numbers XYZ (149) are concerned, it did traditionally follow a naming convention, albeit in a rather loose manner X or 1: Tier of pen, 1 - Top class or Meisterstück 2 - Medium range & 3 - EconomyY or 4: 0 - Safety filler, 2 - Button Filler, 3/4 - Piston FillerZ or 9: Nib size, 9 being the largestMB has eventually stopped production of all economy pens in 1992. PRESENTATION (6/6) The pen came inside a luxury gift box, with an user manual cum warranty card and a 60 mL bottle of Montblanc Mystery Black Ink. I hope that the pictures below will be able to do a justice, especially when you are gifting the pen to someone dear. I am someway bound to appreciate this presentation with a full rating. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ILer5LGc6Fk/VlbWZ_KW1MI/AAAAAAAAFm0/btdPkChRufE/s1600/DSC_6563.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7Pfr15tN7mM/VlbWhoj_LaI/AAAAAAAAFnM/LRzbJEWeA7U/s1600/DSC_6581.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TLj6oKpSMgM/VlbWbNloW3I/AAAAAAAAFm4/L80AC4al4ZQ/s1600/DSC_6597.jpg DESIGN - THE CLASSIC CIGAR (6/6) Glistening with red gold with a non pretentious shine of black preserves a culture, while simultaneously adding a touch of modern luxury. While Red gold, Rose Gold & Pink Gold are often used interchangeably, 18k Red Gold is actually made of 75% gold and 25% copper, Rose & Pink gold add up 2.5% to 5% of silver which balances out the copper. The 149 is available in three delightful trims - Gold, Red-Gold and Platinum. The pen along resting against the shoe shaped ink bottle looks awesome to me. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OO0Flnfv644/VlbWsfFJiGI/AAAAAAAAFng/sUm98vzYaS8/s1600/DSC_6603.jpg While the pen does not look or feel hefty, it has the semblance of an oversized pen. The clip starts with a tiny piece of elevated ramp preserving tradition. The thin and thick cap bands along with the piston rings complete the minimalistic design of the pen with grace. The clip is tension fit and carries a serial number and GERMANY along the ring. On its underside carries multiple engravings this day, however the engravings could be completely dependant upon the year of manufacture. There are a lot of Chinese fakes flooding both online and offline channels, which is why Montblanc has to come up with newer and innovative hallmarks with every model. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aaAG0DFBxvY/VlbW0dX4hUI/AAAAAAAAFn4/52mXlVMyESA/s1600/DSC_6604.jpg A quick pose with its smaller cousin 146 in gold trims. Red Gold vs Gold. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HFdgO8sHgSk/VlbW0BakqmI/AAAAAAAAFn0/CW8eBma91ms/s1600/DSC_6607.jpg It is oversize but I almost never feel the heft while I hold the pen. The cap unscrews with a single turn revealing a red gold nib with a rhodium inlay. It also reveals the beautiful striped ink windows just above the section threads. The attention to details is kind of amazing. The section ends up with a little bump with a rougher loop of resin, before the mind delves into the dazzle of the rhodium inlaid red-gold nib. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mQpOklcxwfQ/VlbW3bo2McI/AAAAAAAAFoM/gGWGNuZOKc0/s1600/DSC_6609.jpg The cap does mention MONTBLANC - MEISTERSTÜCK No 149 etched across the broader of the parallel cap bands in cross-hatched characters, while two thinner bands subtly play along with it. The finial of course carries the white-star. There is a tiny hole in the cap meant to equalise the ambient pressure and avoid inking of the cap. I think it could be a very recent modification. Some of the earlier 149s don't have it. There are some hallmarks including metal written on the underside of the clip to preserve MB’s product authenticity. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-thyYhUwt278/VlbWhmWSrwI/AAAAAAAAFnI/teMm2XlYIaM/s1600/cap.jpg FILLING SYSTEM (6/6) The piston is distinguished by a red gold band and is very convenient to operate. The piston end unscrews with less than three rotations and as the white piston head moves along the ink-windows. Once screwed back inside the bottle, ink gushes inside the barrel. The brass connector renders some weight to the barrel. The feeder hole assists in efficient ink intake for an oversize nib. The manual carries graphical steps for filling the pen in case your are using a piston filler for the first time. The ink windows still rule my thoughts. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jsnUzfWCyUs/VlbW327fG4I/AAAAAAAAFoU/JMwK28JAZGI/s1600/DSC_6613.jpg NIB - ALL THAT MATTERS (6/6) The dazzling triple-tone nib is tested by hand, and comes in eight different widths including EF, F, M, OM, OB, OBB, B & BB and a signature replacement width of O3B. And of course it looks awesome given its size and glamor content. The size and spread of the nib are just gorgeous. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gwKtkYQvubs/VlbW3PUqihI/AAAAAAAAFoI/mdyR1ldQdKE/s1600/DSC_6615.jpg A bounded layer of spiral galaxies rest within the rhodium inlay while red gold defines the decors in the outer tines as well as the inner body. Then, there is a dazzling red gold M logo resting inside the encircled star, above which rest the height of Mont Blanc peak, 4810 (m). This one is a fine nib and lays a smooth wet line. The tail end specifies the composition Au750 of the gold-alloy and the brandname of MONTBLANC rests above the tail. Between those there is a hallmark of StOD inside a crossed ellipse. There is no mention of width on the nib per se, while a sticker at the piston end of the barrel says it all. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--FAGKaOnLSg/VlbW4q8VLtI/AAAAAAAAFoY/4KYxjHgQB2A/s1600/DSC_6622.jpg A black plastic feed (earlier ones had ebonite feeds) with a feeder hole improves ink suction while closely spaced horizontal fins ensure a good ink buffer and promise wet and smooth starts. Even with a dipped nib section, it can a few paragraphs. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VjDqzClHuT0/VlbW7JURE0I/AAAAAAAAFog/MbEnimU7NdQ/s1600/DSC_6657.jpg PHYSICS OF IT (6/6) – RELATIVELY SPEAKING The overall capped length is around 14.8 cm. I would prefer to use the pen unposted as both weight and balancing seem perfect with an awesome nib leverage. The section has a comfortable grip of around 1.3 cm. I feel it’s a very comfortable from an overall perspective balancing amazingly well for an oversized nib. Uncapped Length ~ 13.3 cmPosted Length ~ 16.8 cmExposed Nib Leverage ~ 2.8 cm Overall Weight ~ 32 g (without ink, cap weight~10 g)Below are the pictures along with a MB146, Visconti HS Maxi and a Pelikan m805 for your reference. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SoYa2kCUFqs/VlbW8ygEEII/AAAAAAAAFoo/KJScsu0hVXg/s1600/DSC_6661.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KwFTSxJvUME/VlbW_B55utI/AAAAAAAAFo4/bH3TcB2_DwE/s1600/DSC_6669.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE (3/6) An expensive retail price of above USD 900 puts off people, while getting a pre-owned does save some money, while you keep the charm of writing with a 149. When it comes to the internet, one has to be careful regarding the abundance of fakes in the online marketplaces and the best fakes are costly and are quite difficult to identify without experience. I am not going to discuss the pricing, but I had more than a reasonable discount, thanks to Kapil. And for me it’s a gift (although I could end up using it ) and the price didn’t matter. Although personally speaking, I would have preferred a pre-owned 149 in a great shape. OVERALL (5.5/6) The writing experience is as amazing as the nib looks, with just the kind of control which you would require from a superb nib. Both Kapil & Dennis had tested it before packing. There is spring and softness in the nib and an absence of any line variation between the horizontal and vertical strokes. The lines dry in 30 seconds with a MB Mystery Black ink running on MD Paper. With other inks the width is good enough to reflect some shading too. The best part perhaps is the balance that Montblanc could find with an oversize nib, so that it does not feel unwieldy. I initially had my own doubts regarding the size but I did try the 149 in a MB boutique then Pradeep’s 149, to be certain. The nib never skips and always lays a wet line, and seems to be one of the best oversized nibs in my small collection. I am sorry I couldn't gather the courage to put some pressure and try flexing some characters out from this one. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8jcp0ekeOKA/VlbW_Lcs50I/AAAAAAAAFo0/etpyrbHZrzo/s1600/DSC_6645.jpg REFERENCES Montblanc Website Gentleman's Gazette Model Numbers StOD Hallmark Thank you for going through the review. You can find some more pen and paraphernalia reviews here.
  2. Any thoughts or opinions on the Namiki Emperor Vermillion or Montblanc 149 silver rings celluloid? These are obviously stupidly expensive pens so I can be happy if I never buy either but I came across decent deals on each and am considering getting one of them. They are very different pens (except for their prices which are relatively similar) and each are appealing in their own way. I already have a small 149 collection so I am probably leaning towards the Namiki but the 149 is rarer and part of fountain pen history. Are there any other similar pens I should consider?
  3. RayCornett

    Repair Response Letter & Receipt

    To those who have had repairs done by Montblanc, does this look legit?
  4. RayCornett

    Serial Number Engraving And Font

    I am used to seeing a more digital looking fond with serifs and more angular font. Is this good? EDIT- I forgot to mention previously that the owner did have this 149 serviced by Montblanc and has that paperwork.
  5. RayCornett

    14K Vs. 18K Experience

    For those who have 149s with 14k nibs as well as 18k nibs which do you prefer and why? I have a chance to exchange my 149 with a 14k f-m nib for one with an 18k ef nib. I love the finer grind but am wondering if there are any differences that make it worth the exchange.
  6. RayCornett

    Baby's Bottom

    Is baby's bottom common in Montblancs? My 149 from 1990 has it but it writes flawlessly. I didn't even know it had BB until I was looking at the nib with a loupe days after I got it just to look at the nib up close.
  7. RayCornett

    149 F-M Nib Question

    Is this a common appearance on F-M nibs? The extra tipping on the face side of the nib. I didn't notice the baby's bottom while writing but it is definitely there although it writes very well.
  8. aliflee

    Montblanc 149 Real Or Fake

    Hi Guys, Just having a look on eBay, an online retail shop selling the Meisterstuck 149 Red Gold. They have two of these and many other various Montblanc pens, wonder if you could let me know if it is legitimate or not. Here is the link below: http://www.ebay.com.my/itm/381255645201?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 Kind Regards,
  9. RayCornett

    149 Feed Markings

    I have not see an 1990s feed like this one although I am told by a few that it is all good. What does the A mean on the feed?
  10. Call me crazy.. is it possible to swap a Montblanc nib onto a Pelikan nib unit? did some research without any findings. Looking at the Pelikan M1000, the nib looks awfully disproportionate while the Montblanc 149 nib looks asthetically more pleasant. My question is.. has anyone tried to swapping a 149 nib in a M1000? or a 146 nib in a M800? I know it's a sacrilege to do/ask that ):
  11. This is more of a question being put to "fans". My wife recently gave me a MB 149 90th Anniversary FP for my birthday; frankly, I believe it was mismarked due to the surprisingly low price for this out of production specialty pen, but no matter. The nib was an "F", which I gave a whirl, but since I preferred a larger nib and it was within the allotted timeframe, we had it returned to the MB factory for a "Medium" nib replacement after assurances were given that yes, it would be replaced with another special 90th anniversary nib. It came back a couple weeks ago with a "90" nib that appears to be a medium and it writes much more smoothly than it previously did. My wife however, thinks the replacement nib is gold rather than rose-gold color she "recalls" the fine nib having. I disagree, but without a direct comparison it's difficult to see. The question. Was the MB 149 90th anniversary nib only made in 18k rose-gold? Everything I've been able to find would indicate such but I haven't found a definitive statement/answer. Knowledgeable opinions would be appreciated. Thanks! Dean
  12. jjdicarlo

    Help Me Date My 149 Pls?

    Just lost my dear daddy. Inherited his 149 18C Tri-color. Am trying to date the pen and learn an estimated value (even though it is priceless to me). I recall my dad using the pen in the mid- to late 70s, but I don't know exactly when he purchased it. I do believe it is from the 70s though. Any opinions?
  13. Today i finally received one of my all time grail pens. whilst my main focus is the WE editions i could not pass up the chance to buy this 149 as i had always wanted one from the first time i laid eyes on it in a post on FPN back in 2010. This is therefore my review of the Montblanc 149 75th Anniversary Limited Edition 1924. http://i.imgur.com/ZBwUnrz.jpg Whilst in reality it is just a modified 149, it isn't in fact just a modified 149. The rose gold trim is markedly..well rose.... unlike the current 90th Anniversary edition that is somewhere in between this one and a regular yellow gold 149 this has a confident and defined red hue. http://i.imgur.com/1LvcnTD.jpg In my opinion what makes this pen the most sought after (non-skeleton) 149 is the sheer beauty of the nib. it is by far my favourite MB nib in terms of design and exudes a certain elegance that leaves you staring at it for longer than you realise! it is truly mesmerising. http://i.imgur.com/whm0JCE.jpg it goes without saying that a nib like this writes like a regular 149 M Nib. The cap is the other aspect that draws you to this pen. i must first confess that i am very biased towards MoP stars, i think that all limited editions should carry them but i also respect that it wouldn't suit some of the WE pens (somehow i doubt a Defoe, Swift or Kafka could pull it off). My Copernicus has a large MoP star but somehow think that the Rose Gold trim and the MoP star make this pen something very special. http://i.imgur.com/9v9HPgW.jpg the Cap has a band above the clip with "75 Years of Passion and Soul" inscribed on it. a further design touch is the small diamond on the "O" of passion http://i.imgur.com/wFYKpPO.jpg to conclude whilst this pen is a 149 and therefore has all of the much reviewed features of an ordinary MB 149, it is anything but an ordinary 149 in every aspect. For me, there are few pens which surpass the sense of occasion that comes with sitting at your desk and reaching for your 149; this pen is extra special though. You immediately feel, like the Hemingway for example, that this pen has something more, something extra, something truly special. a sense of pedigree and of unadulterated class and sophistication. Its a shame that what this pen also highlights is the over commercialisation of MB. This pen was released in 1999, the same year as the Proust and post dates pens such as the Medici, Hemingway Agatha etc. For me these are the best of the modern era pens. compare this 149 to the current 90th 149 (working on review next ) the new 90th 149 has no soul, no passion (see what i did there ) no extra details to denote the sense of occasion or anniversary; heck the rose gold aint even that rosy! this pen was made to mark an important occasion and it does just that and more. it makes every day an occasion and it now takes pride of place in my ever expanding collection!
  14. Hello All, Hope you're having a good week. There are rare pens and then there are super rare pens, this one is firmly the latter. We're delighted to be offering this stunning factory demonstrator Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 Fountain Pen. The pen has never been inked and is presented in outstanding condition (a couple of tiny hairlines on the barrel, but that's like being picky about a brush stroke on a Monet - your black 149 will probably have these, you just can’t see them). This pen has a fantastic history, with it being owned from new by the MD of a major pen retailer - it was used to show customers how the 149 was constructed, especially the nib section with its pink bubblegum sealant. It's difficult to convey how rare these pens are, with virtually all examples that appear being pens that have been cobbled together with incorrect non-Montblanc parts and then they simply have a Montblanc nib fitted to them. To make this example even rarer, all elements are clear, including the piston cone and top of the cap. On the few examples that are around, these elements are usually black resin like the standard pen. We love the fact that you can see all the details that you never normally do, such as the way that the cap rings are constructed and the snowcap logo insert. Because the pen was supplied directly to the original owner, the specification varies in terms of components that would have been standard around that time (it was supplied around 30 years ago). The most wonderful option that they chose was to fit the medium 14C Tri-Tone nib. It's legendary status amongst Montblanc fans means that it seems only fitting that they chose this. The feed is split ebonite and as you can see from the photos it has black piston threads. The clip features Germany only markings. A demonstrator pen isn't for everyone, but there is something outstanding when it comes to a demonstrator 149, especially with this provenance. There is something that simply can't be captured in any photo or description, but if you want a pen that sets you apart from virtually every other collector, fan, enthusiast on the planet then this is the one. We can't decide whether we'd ink it up, but wow would it look beautiful if it was inked with something bright! We could write for hours about this pen, it just sucks you in when you look at it and admire all the details that you never usually get to see. The important details are as follows... -14C Tri-Tone Medium Nib - Montblanc Piston Filling System - Germany markings present - Split Ebonite Feed - Exceptionally Rare We're delighted to work with customers and collectors all around the world, so this pen can be couriered to wherever you are on the globe. If you'd like further information, then please contact me directly on roy@izods.ink or simply send me a message on here. The price is GBP 4,500.00.
  15. Ricardocruz

    Hello From Porto, Portugal

    Hello everybody! Ive learned to write with a rather regular Pelikan pen in 1978. Because of that Ive always loved fountain pens, specially Montblanc models. Last week Ive found a second-hand 144 M nib in an online shop. Ive bought it and got quite happy with it. However, I felt I needed something else... So I went to a retail store here and got a real treat. Ive bought a brand new Montblanc 149 90th Anniversary Edition with a F nib. Im extremely happy with it, as you might guess! Cheers!
  16. Hello guys, I would love to get some opinion on the size of pen. I've been thinking about getting the famous 146 (which I would have to order online, probably some nice second-hand if available--don't have any place to buy MB in my area) but I'm not sure if it will really fits my small hand. In my collection, I have: 145 classic Poe (away for fix) St. Exupery 2017 149 (Oh, well...) - I've been using either Lamy2000 or 145 as my edc, both of which are pretty nice to hold. - Poe is good also (as far as I can remember, hadn't used it that much). - 2017 St. Exupery is somehow not something that I really like to pick up. I'm not sure if it is because of the size or the metal screw that makes it feel weird. Or because its metal part makes it more slippery, thus, feeling harder to use. I'm sure I feel better with Poe. - I have tried 146 at the boutique in Chicago once...(I didn't try it that long though. The lady who is a store manager (whom I, thinking back now, will not at all feel guilty to refer to as 'overly-arrogant') in MB Bloomingdale seems to have an attitude and lose interest in me right away after I hesitated when she asked me: "Do you want to take one home today?" (Ma'am, it's almost a 1000$ pen!) Another nice employee who took care of me also unintentionally mentioned: "I don't want to get into trouble because of the manager.") So it's a somewhat weird visit. yet, as much as I remember, that short holding and writing in 146 doesn't feel the best to me. Probably somewhere between good and okay. - On the other hand, 149, which I had always overlooked due to my small hands, feels pretty comfortable to use. While gigantuan, it seems to float in my hand. As though it was in there just doing its big job--like it's an airplane and I'm only a small pilot controling it! (In contrary to lamy2000/MB145, which are nice pens, but don't seem to have much characterstics in my hand.) Considering my hand kinda gets fatique when writing in 2017 writer edition, (Can't pin down if it's the size or metal part that might require more effort when it gets slippery). Do you think this is legitimate enough to say that I'm one of those people who are more of 149 than 146? Particularly, there are small-hand people who either go small or big? (146 platinum is just so gorgeous and tempting! But I'm so undecided about acquiring one. Esp. given my location, I can't try it. It's as though whenever I might wanna get one I get writer edition instead!) Thanks for your opinion!
  17. Lszuk

    149 Nib Discoloration

    I am considering purchasing this 149 from the 1980s. Does anyone know how to remove the dark discoloration on the nib. As you can see from the side picture, there is an area that is lighter as compared with the rest of the nib.
  18. illusion1259

    149 Nib In 1960's

    1960's nib looks ilike a hawk's beak. Is it normal status? I can see the other one in 1960's has same nib. Thank you!
  19. Where can we buy this tool? Or Is there any other way to disassemble the filler of 1960's?
  20. Margi

    Montblanc 149 Feed

    High, I am looking for a Montblanc 149 feed, can any one help, Mike
  21. SEASICKSEAGULL-TEMP

    Need Help Putting A Date On My 149

    I once again need the help of the FPN members to put a date on an item, This time its a Mont Blanc 149 Fountain Pen. IT doesn't have a serial number so that tells me it's pre-1991. I'm hoping that the photos I'm showing can give other FPN members enough information to be able to provide me with a more exact date for this pen. I read in another post what photos FPN members like to see in order to help identify and date the 149. FPN member Prem Ruby had a post with the list and with the exception of the vent in the cap (which I can not locate), I have provided numerous photos (probably more than required) for everybody to view. But it you need other pictures please let me know. Here is the list provided by member Prem Ruby the number in brackets after is the number of photos shown of that particular part If you would like to see any other pictures, please let me know ....thanks for all your help. · the cap band (1) · the filler screw (2) · the vent in the cap (0) · the nib (4 top side of nib and 4 underside of nib) · the section from the nib looking back (included above) · the engraving (4) · an overall shot (4) · the ink window (2) · a back lit shot of the cap for transparency (3..but they don't show well) Also, lengths and weight would help. length of the pen closed with cap screwed on is 5 5 3/4 inches (14.605 cm) length of the pen no cap 5 1/4 inches (13.335 cm) length of the cap 2 5/8 inches (6.692 cm) weight of pen with cap on no ink 1.2123 oz. (34.37 grams) weight of pen no cap no ink .0865 oz. (24.65 grams) weight of the cap .3435 oz. (9.72 grams)
  22. Just collected my 90th Anniversary 149 with customised "signature nib" in 6B. I will upload some "writing" (or more probably signature samples) soon.
  23. illusion1259

    Grand Canyon Slit Problem On 18C Nib?

    I got two montblanc 149 pens that has 18c EF nib. By the way, they both have Grand Canyon Slit. Is it normal state in vintage 149 18c 'ef' nib? Or just my pen's defect? I think this slight grand canyon slit intend to make smooth flow for narrow nib. Tell me what you think about this! Thank you!
  24. My Original Montblanc 149 — Background and Age Estimation ~ After reading through the entire thread begun by DKbRS titled “Dating Montblanc 149s” I was deeply impressed by the careful thought which he, Barry Gabay and others gave to developing an approach to estimating the dates of 149s. Their resulting graph is both comprehensive and practical, enabling a novice like yours truly to easily follow and understand. A comment in the thread by jar made a strong impression on me: “Gifts are Beyond Price”. His wise thought especially resonated with me because my original introduction to Montblanc was through the receipt of a gift. Around 1987 or 1988 a friend was supplementing his junior high school teacher salary by working part-time in a men’s clothing store in a relatively small community in farthest northwest California. The store offered men’s suits, shoes, neckties, belts, wallets and such, with nail clippers, straight-edge razors and fountain pens on offer. I had no direct acquaintance with the store beyond my friend’s conversational tidbits about his work. At that time I hadn’t thought of fountain pens in nearly two decades, since briefly using them in my teenage years for school assignments. I’d certainly never heard of Montblanc, although my dad had both Sheaffer and Parker fountain pens in his desk, which were inked with dark blue ink of unknown provenance. Late one afternoon without any lead-up my friend presented me with a small cream box, saying that it was a gift to express his appreciation, as I was in the process of relocating for career reasons. When I opened the box there was a large black pen with a white star on the cap. After uncapping the pen and glancing at the large nib, I mumbled thanks to my friend for such an unexpected gift. The boxed pen remained uninked for weeks as I was caught up in moving and employment change. I had no sense whatsoever of the value of the gift, let alone of the reputation of the Montblanc brand. Any information about the model or the nib size was wholly unknown to me. Uncertain as to what to do about inking it, I tucked the presentation case into a storage box as a keepsake of past friendship, gradually forgetting its existence. Decades passed with my career taking me far beyond the shores of North America. The digital age arrived bringing global network connectivity. Once a high-volume writer of personal letters and postcards, my postage stamp purchases dwindled down to nothing. Somehow I felt uneasy about the diminishing personal touch in communication, fondly remembering afternoons or evenings devoted to expressing thoughts and feelings on paper. No matter where I moved, the presentation box with the large black pen went with me, as a tangible reminder of a happy time in my life. Nevertheless it never once occured to me that the pen would ever be of practical value, it being little more than a tchotchke of sentimental value, but nothing more. Years went by without the presentation box ever being looked at or the pen seen. In a sense I thought of it as an impractical dust-catcher minus any dust as I had no inkling what it was. One evening in 2011 I was reorganizing my desk in my Beijing apartment. Looking through storage drawers filled with documents, blank paper, ball-point pens, markers and office paraphernalia, I came across the decades-old cream presentation box, forgotten in a back corner. Smiling, I mused on how it had traveled with me to many farflung locations but had never been of any use. Opening it, I took out the pen and looked at it. As had never previously been the case, something about the pen’s white star seemed familiar yet no specific association came to mind. A bright desk lamp facilitated a close inspection of the pen, which I’d never done before. I was surprised to read words on the cap which were transcribed with a ball-point pen in order to look them up in a search engine. Within minutes I first read a general overview of Montblanc, discovering that there was a boutique in Beijing. The laudatory comments on-line about Montblanc motivated me to take subway line #1 to the Oriental Plaza Montblanc boutique in Wangfujing Street. I also read that counterfeit Montblanc pens were widespread, which prompted me to conjecture that what I owned was most likely a fake, as I couldn’t imagine having ever received a gift of substantial value. When an English-speaking sales staff member asked how they might help, I pulled out the scuffed presentation box and asked if the fountain pen was one of theirs and, if so, would it be possible to purchase ink. Several staff members scrutinized the pen informing me that it was indeed a genuine 149 Meisterstück. The price of ink on offer exceeded what was in my wallet so the staff offered to ‘unofficially’ give me two bottles of outdated ink. I left the boutique with the pen finally identified, two bottles of blue ink and without having spent anything beyond the modest round-trip subway fare. The name 149 meant nothing at all to me. They made no comment about the nib size and I didn’t know enough to have asked. At my desk I sought to draw ink into the pen but nothing happened. I tried again with the same lack of result. Losing enthusiasm, I thought that it might be broken or that it required a high degree of expertise to use. Accordingly, I put it away uninked. In 2012 I spotted a reference to Montblanc on the Internet, with the familiar star emblem. Remembering the pen and two bottles of ink, I pulled them out and decided to renew my effort to write with it. Once again, no ink drew up when I turned the piston. This time I went to the Internet to seek guidance about difficulties in inking a fountain pen. I read that in certain cases long-dried plugs of ink interfered with ordinary functions. It was recommended to soak a fountain pen in water and wait. This I did, waiting for over ten minutes. Suddenly a dark blue cloud exploded into existence in the clear water. Feeling that progress had at last been made, I carefully followed the cleaning regimen I’d read. After drying the pen I opened one of the ink bottles and turned the piston. It worked! With joy, I nervously put the nib onto paper, writing my first-ever stroke with a Montblanc fountain pen. After a quarter of a century, the gift I’d received was at long last functional. In the years since, I’ve purchased from Beijing Montblanc boutiques 11 fountain pens, two ballpoint pens, 18 bottles of ink, a Starwalker Extreme ScreenWriter, two belts, a wallet and a large briefcase. I’ve also bought two vintage 3-42 G semi-flex fountain pens. As the various pens I’ve purchased and enjoyed using have taken up all of my thoughts, I never wondered about the original 149. After using nibs of various sizes, it seemed that the first 149 was an M nib, which writes smoothly with every use. That was good enough for me. ***************************************************** The “Dating Montblanc 149s” thread educated me at a basic level about the features used to assess approximate age of a 149. I’d never given any thought to such diagnostic features as 2-section barrels, narrow shoulders, plastic threads, split ebonite feeds, ‘Germany’ on the cap ring or the style of the umlaut over the ‘ü’ in ‘Meisterstück’ on the cap. As it happens, all of those turn out to be relevant to dating my original “gift 149”. The M 149 sits on my desk, rather than in the presentation box. After reading “Dating Montblanc 149s” I pulled the box out of storage, finding a one year guarantee card and trouble-shooting tips, both of which are dated 2/87. Comparing the evidence from the pen itself and the presentation box with the 149 feature chronological graph from “Dating Montblanc 149s”, it may be that the pen is a mid- to late- 1980s 149 sold in the American market. It was probably pre-owned when I received it. To date I’ve only inked it from the two gratis ink bottles given by the boutique during my initial visit. There’s never been any issue, but I realize that it might be time to shift to current inks. If I’ve overlooked the obvious and made gross misjudgments it would be another step in my gradual education about Montblanc fountain pens. For anyone interested I’ll post photographs of salient features of the pen, as well as the presentation box, its contents, and the two original ink bottles. All of my association with Montblanc has been more than satisfactory. Reading FPN posts in the Montblanc brand section is consistently enjoyable. I hope that this post may be of interest. Tom K. 2-Section Barrel with an M Nib Narrow Shoulders Plastic Threads Split Ebonite Feed Germany Umlaut Presentation Box Box Interior Pen in the Box Outer Guarantee Card One Year Guarantee Trouble-shooting Tips More Tips Ink Bottles Ink with Box
  25. These are two of my 149's, the one on the top is a 1950's celluloid 149 with the words "Made in Germany" on the cap. The one below has a celluloid cap without the "Made in Germany" imprint. This one however has a later (Non-Celluloid) resin barrel. Although the caps look similar, the one on the top has the early curved clip. In addition, the cap of the early pen will fit the resin barrel, while the cap of the resin pen will not fit the celluloid barrel. I would appreciate some insight and feedback from my Montblanc friends out there. All the best! Jose Garcia PS: On the photo of the Montnblanc star the early cap is the one on the left, while the later celluloid is next to it. The cap on the extreme right is a later 1980's cap that I put there for comparison.





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