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  1. ※※ The Expressive ※※ Special Edition Collaboration 149 by Montblanc and Fritz Schimpf ~ Ordered in November, 2019 and Delivered in September, 2020, The Expressive is my fountain pen highlight of 2020. Writing with The Expressive during the past two weeks has been exhilarating, due to the extraordinary fluency possible with the nib. After comments about my sketching and writing experience with The Expressive, a series of images is provided to introduce it to anyone interested. Montblanc in Hamburg, Germany and Fritz Schimpf in Tübingen agreed to develop a special pen to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Fritz Schimpf in 2020. They selected the Montblanc 149 with the nib design used for the 2019 Calligraphy Flex nib, but proceeded to design a unique nib for those who love sketching and writing. Herr Wolfgang Krohn of Montblanc Nib Design, Mr, Axel Nier of Montblanc Nib Production and Herr Sebastian Stolz, Director of Fritz Schimpf, worked together to achieve an ideal design. Although I was aware of the process, I pledged to make no public or private comment about the project, which only ends today with the official introduction of The Expressive. At the close of November of 2019 the pen was ordered with every expectation that it would be on my writing desk in time for the 2020 Lunar New Year. Montblanc did produce the pen and Fritz Schimpf did ship it to my Hong Kong shipping address. Events were such that it was unable to cross the border from Hong Kong into Shenzhen. For well over half a year The Expressive was safely stored in the apartment of my highly reliable and trusted former Peking University medical student, now residing in Hong Kong. Thanks to the good offices of one of my current private students, who operates a major import-export firm, it was brought to me two weeks ago. For two weeks I’ve daily sketched and written with The Expressive, inked with Fritz Schimpf’s outstanding Fritzrot ink. Not only has the experience been entirely trouble-free, it’s been a delight, as the The Expressive’s nib is extraordinarily responsive to the slightest shift in finger pressure. The primary impression I’ve had has been that of incomparable fluency. The ink flow, nib tine flexibility, and the mass of the pen are such that rapid writing or sketching seems effortless. There’s been no skipping, no railroading, no hard starts. Rather, The Expressive has charmed me with its steady performance and elegant style. While the nib has unmistakable flex qualities, it’s more of an all-around easy writing pen, especially suited for those prone to rapid field sketching or jotting quick notes. The only pens on my writing desk which share several of The Expressive’s desirable qualities are a Bespoke 149 Small Signature and a Bespoke Schiller Sketch Nib. The Expressive incorporates all of the qualities one might desire for a pen which is a great writer out of the box, highly responsive to the writing idiosyncrasies of each user. Today The Expressive was inked in Montblanc Royal Blue. The ink shades with striking effect, laying down crisp strokes of varying width achieving a pleasing overall result. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend The Expressive. Montblanc and Fritz Schimpf have utilized their substantial experience to create a lovely writing tool. Technical questions are best addressed to the Fritz Schimpf Web site. What I might offer are the following images, including both sketching and handwriting samples. For those who regularly write East Asian characters, The Expressive is particularly well-suited for producing swift strokes. It’s a joy to use when writing characters. In presenting this information and the images, I’d like to express my gratitude for those whose care and attention to detail made possible The Expressive. Tom Kellie Carefully Packed Initial Unpacking The Expressive Arrives Holding The Expressive Collaboration Pen The Expressive Revealed The Expressive The Expressive Nib Inked in Fritzrot The Expressive Nib Detail Engraved Nib Nib Feed The Expressive At Work Character Pen On Green Glass Writer's Refreshment Inked in Royal Blue Powerful Name for a Splendid Nib Fritz Schimpf
  2. If the greater putative of this portable desk - of mahogany, as mine is, or of walnut, as is the preferment of many - is the tang of its somptuosité as opposed to the tawdry affability of our contemporary polymers, it also is putative of a more niche utility - that of a library furniture of utility in a private library (this being denotive of not necessarily a room so delineated; rather, a collection, not necessarily a Yates Thompson's, nor a Graham Greene's), quite as unfailing and quite as crisp an indispensability as shelves themselves. The integument of this can, as can its Chicago screws, ladle trade paperbacks and certain hardbacks as fondly as they can notebooks (head-stapled or otherwise) of A5 or more diminutive proportions. The grotto ordinalis of the pattern on the example I received is gently hermetic, while the pen rest in toto does suffice to cradle my 149. It is, all things brought to the boughs, to not be denied as an inadmissible that the Customs may charge varyingly up to forty percent - this does not, however, diminishes the note board's equipoise of attributes.
  3. So hello to all. It's been awhile since I have posted on here. So here is my tiny question. I have 2 149s. One is the calligraphy and the other is a vintage with the ebonite feed. I was contemplating sending the vintage one in to Nibsmith for a grind to either a stub, CSI, or CI. I guess I am not sure if it is worth changing the M nib in favor of something else when I already have the flex Calligraphy. Will I be let down and gravitate back to the flex more even after grinding down the 149 to a different nib? Should I just leave it as a M nib? I have never written with a CI or CSI style nib. I have only written with a metal stub and I am certain it is totally different experience with an 18k nib. I could just sell it off and just keep my 149 Calligraphy, but it is nice to have a vintage piece. Just trying to decide what is the best course of action. Thank you for any advice you may have and have a great day my fellow writers.
  4. Jawsaw

    2021 149 Medium or Broad

    Hello all, New to fpn, sorry if this has been answered already. I’ve just ordered my first MB - a 149 in M. However I’m now seriously considering using the nib exchange service for a B. Will use the Bond Street store in London if so. The pen will mostly be used for medium - long writing sessions. (I am a college/uni student). So I will be carrying it around carefully in an MB pouch. So for note taking and studying the M should be fine; the thing is that I’d also like the nib to have some thickness and variation for writing cards and signatures etc. For reference I have a Cross Townsend 18k medium nib, which I find a little too thin for cards Any advice regarding M and B modern 149 nibs would be greatly appreciated. BTW, I’m set on the 149 just to save anyone telling me to buy a Pelikan :) Thanks
  5. Joshua Pen Collector

    Montblanc Solitaire Platinum 149

    Greetings, Twenty-five years after seeing this model for the first time in a MB boutique, I was finally able to acquire one, used, on eBay. That was no small feat as it involved (a) finding one that was for sale (b) at a reasonable price, and (c) being financially positioned to make the investment. Since I have long scoured the Internet for videos showing the beautiful luster of this pen and never could find one, I am pleased to share pics from the unboxing here. I haven’t written with it yet as I’m pondering what nib tip to affix, perhaps a custom grind. It came with a medium which is the most boring nib size to me (ironic, I know). While this is certainly the most expensive pen I own, my favorite has always been the blue Waterman Edson which I’ve had for two decades. Have a good day. Thanks for reading.
  6. Joshua Pen Collector

    Montblanc Solitaire Platinum 149

    Greetings, I also posted this message in the Introductions forum. Twenty-five years after seeing this model for the first time in a MB boutique, I was finally able to acquire one, used, on eBay. That was no small feat as it involved (a) finding one that was for sale (b) at a reasonable price, and (c) being financially positioned to make the investment. Since I have long scoured the Internet for videos showing the beautiful luster of this pen and never could find one, I am pleased to share pics from the unboxing here. I haven’t written with it yet as I’m pondering what nib tip to affix, perhaps a custom grind. It came with a medium which is the most boring nib size to me (ironic, I know). While this is certainly the most expensive pen I own, my favorite has always been the blue Waterman Edson which I’ve had for two decades. Have a good day. Thanks for reading.
  7. GWT1

    Weekend acquisitions!!

    My weekend haul, Montblanc No149, Broad nib, Montblanc No32, medium nib
  8. Mob Mentality

    Montblanc 149 piston puzzle

    <a data-flickr-embed="true" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/192670838@N04" title=""><img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51088053741_90065e7a29_h.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" alt=""></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script> Hello all. I recently purchased a Montblanc 149 in red gold. What is strange is the piston threads on this pen. The pen has an 18k nib however the threads don't appear to be brass looks to almost be a whitish metal has Montblanc changed the piston threads recently? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  9. Hello, I have attached an image with a MB 149 18K bi-tone nib another image with the feed (split-ebonite). The nib has a dot sign in the lower right near the 750 mark. See the attached image. Could someone identify the nib and tell me if the sign/dot on the nib is normal and tell me what is the purpose of that sign? Thank you for your time! Best regards, Florian
  10. Greetings! I need some advice. I have an early 1990's MB 149 which needs nib work. I'm guessing it's baby's bottom but the tines also seem to be "wanky" and need adjusted at the bare minimum. I'm not comfortable working on a nib and I live in Germany. I've read about MB's service and it seems that they are more apt to replace parts than fix them, and the cost to replace a nib is very expensive. Also, I bought this pen used (the body and cap are in perfect condition), but unsure if I will keep it as I've really fallen in love with some of my other pens. I'd like to know if it's advisable to send the pen to MB for service or if it would potentially be better to send it to a nibmeister. If you are suggesting a nibmeister, do you know of a good one in Europe, preferably in Germany? Thank you so much in advance! Dave
  11. I just received a MB 149 platinum body with no nib and feeder since I already had those two items. The collar was already inserted. The feed goes in until it hits the bottom and the horizontal notch on the nib is just above the barrel. The nib goes in very quickly and when it hits the bottom of the collar, the feeder is the same if not little longer that the nib. I have 4 other MBs and changed nib/feeder with the MB platinum resulting in the same situation: the nib/feeder is too loose for the platinum collar. Questions: Do I need to get a different nib or a feeder (I have plastic feeder similar to the pictures of Platinum on websites)? do I need to get a different feeder? if so will it fit into the Platinum? Thank you for considering my questions. Hal
  12. Dazzled by the resplendent allure of a Japanese ED (with the concept of a shut-off valve mechanism), the lust for an urushi lacquered pen vis-a-vis plain ebonite ones (seemingly susceptible to lose shine and colour over time) did keep growing on me for some time, before I took this plunge! I have come to know of an unfortunate experience with a Sailor KOP in Ebonite and have felt that without urushi, ebonite just fails to complete itself. These glamorous reviews from shuuemura and rubyeyespenlover should be banned and blamed altogether for pen-monetary crises, which I kept visiting again & again. These reviews did make me aware of huge dimensions of the Emperor more towards a ‘at rest desk-pen’, with a reassurance of writing comfort. I will keep this review unrated, since beautiful things in life do not need logic or mathematics to impart you with joy. So when I was dazzled for long enough, I asked Raul (Engeika/Pensindia) for an opinion regarding the Emperor vs Yukari Royale. Since most of our discussions these days refer to trade economics, Government taxation rather than any real pen discussions, he lazily took two to three days to check with Namiki and confirmed me back with the nib availability for both the pens. He gave me a discounted price (which I shall not discuss) for the Emperor model, more as a friend than a seller. I went ahead with it, because the production of Emperor pen without rings had been stopped by Namiki and it would become difficult to acquire a preferred nib-width. The beauty travelled from Japan and reached me via Pensindia Pune office in less than two weeks. Below links redirects to the same review on my blog with additional eye-candy The Namiki Emperor Review A JUMBO HISTORY OF 85 YEARS In early 1930’s, the Emperor existed in the form of No.50 Jumbo. It was decommissioned a few years later. On one rare occasion as referenced here, Nomura securities (estd 1925) had a specially commissioned No. 50 Jumbo pen made for itself, with Dunhill-Namiki engraved (with the classic M-shape logo) in 1936, for distribution among its employees to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the company. Wow! how many companies would do that today? http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DOvvGuEJKqs/VpH7jevYvYI/AAAAAAAAFq0/CsZeYqgPhiI/s1600/1DNomuraEmperor.jpg Pilot reintroduced the pen in 1985 to tap the high margin market, as referenced here. The task was left to Sakai Eisuke to create a No. 50 Jumbo prototype based on the 1920s model. The initial model had a 14k nib with the 14 KARAT NAMIKI <NIB WIDTH> REGISTERED PATENT OFFICE 50 inscription, which later got replaced with a 18k nib carrying a similar engraving. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-s6NfGjeSk8w/VpH7RGtu0QI/AAAAAAAAFqs/GB5ABo05-ZE/s1600/2Dkarat.jpg These days it comes with Namiki’s standard Mt. Fuji inscription. The finish of these Urushi lines is obtained by using non-oil lacquer for the final coat and a polishing method called Roiro Urushi Shiage (Non-oil lacquer finish) as per Namiki. It’s done by rubbing the pen in raw lacquer after a special charcoal polishing process. And if you look at the plain Urushi line of pens (vermillion & black), the artisan’s name would say Kokkokai. Kokkokai is a continuation of the original group of Maki-e artisans formed in 1931, under leadership of Maki-e master Gonroku Matsuda, who had joined Ryosuke Namiki back in 1926 as Chief Maki-e Designer. Matsuda is said to have designed for Montblanc too. URUSHI Urushi, as you know, is the poisonous sap of the urushi or lacquer tree (Toxicodendron Vernicifluum) which grows in Japan, China, and Korea and is primarily brown in colour. The sap of this tree polymerises to form a hard, durable, plastic-like substance, when exposed to moisture/air. Liquid urushi can be applied to multiple materials like wood, metal, cloth, resin, ceramics or ebonite as opposed to the best of synthetic lacquers. When it solidifies, Urushi turns into a very hard coating that is waterproof and protects the coated object from effects of fungus, ambient chemical reactions at surface due to heat or humidity or even from caustic acids. Colored urushi such as black or shu (red) are made by mixing pigments into cured urushi. With natural exposure to air and ultraviolet light (extended UV exposure ends up in discolouration), the urushi layers gradually increase in transparency and the material gradually unveils shades of original bright colours within. The birth of the maki-e decoration technique took place during the Nara period in Japan i.e from 710-794 AD, in which gold ''dust'' was decoratively sprinkled on the lacquer surface. So maki-e utensils, accessories and writing instruments have evolved to their present forms from thousands of years ago. Only direct and prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause urushi to deteriorate. Urushi's hardness and durability makes it an excellent protective coating for any object that will be used continously over a long period of time (Paraphrased from Kyotoguide). This all ends up with a versatile material and with a characteristic hardness, durability, imperviousness and resistance to abrasion. The elegance of ebonite is supposed to endure time and space with the urushi flair. PRESENTED BY NAMIKI The presentation is grand and velvety with a spacious wooden box, capable of packing your sneakers too, which is made out of traditional Paulownia wood. It is protectively packaged inside a cardboard box. The box has a violet thread running across two metal brackets to fasten the upper lid. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-9i49GFleh2s/VpH8AAE7BbI/AAAAAAAAFrE/_zK1K3OQsuI/s1600/3presentation.jpg Resting inside is a bottle of Namiki Black Ink (Pilot Black Ink - 50 mL), an Ink dropper with a red bulb encased in a black cardboard box, a red velvety polishing cloth and finally the No#50 Jumbo resting on its bed. I did receive a nice surprise gift from Pensindia - it is a Pilot Somes single-pen pouch. Thank you! (PS : The Emperor would not fit inside this standard Pilot Pouch). http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2WKlYSJpjtU/VpH8ERxDtzI/AAAAAAAAFrM/xbk5oAk0wI0/s1600/DSC_7536.jpg The model number of the pen, in this case FNF-148S-<R/B>-<F/FM/M/B> indicates the launch price and colour within it. The 148 refers to JPY 148,000 whereas the third digit R/B refers to the red/black urushi. DESIGN - CLASSIC This Lacquer No.#50 model comes in two standard colours - Black & Vermillion (Urushi) with gold plated clips. A newer No.#50 Urushi model is available with two concentric rings on the cap, carrying a different model number. The ebonite feels substantial in hand from dual perspectives of dimensions but at the same time the pen does not feel heavy. The classical cigar or rather torpedo shaped geometry with Vermillion hue adores itself with light, which when reflected through multiple layers of urushi takes on a electric red tinge on an otherwise conservative scarlet red hue. The work and finish is impeccable and it does not show any signs of being handmade, whatsoever. The simplistic yet elegant design comes with a single golden accent, provided deftly by the traditional triangular shaped tension fit clip with a sphere to anchor into your shirt pockets, if you have that big a pocket. A marked absence of any other decoration like a clip band or ring or anything else on the entire pen, imparts a continued infinity to modes of convergence. Vermillion is considered as an auspicious colour throughout East Asia, where it’s culturally imbibed. It has four synthetic & natural shades as of today: Red-Orange[sRGB (255, 83, 73)], Orange-Red[sRGB (255, 69, 0)], Plochere[sRGB (217, 96, 59)] and Chinese Red[sRGB (170, 56, 30)]. The shades/hue of the pens in red urushi might vary from one other. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0DjoRXVscp8/VpH8UHvolGI/AAAAAAAAFrU/oMSLVGdluQA/s1600/DSC_7544.jpg The cap unravels itself after one and a half turns. It reveals the beautiful nib with the modern Mt.Fuji inscription which is incidentally 1.1 cm longer than the section itself. The seamless grip goes through a fair amount of taper starting from the barrel and ends up with a smoothly carved out bumper, emphasising continuity. The cap threads on the barrel are carved out with sculpted finesse and the grip section ends up with a small but discernible gap between itself and the barrel (common across the Urushi models). The barrel at the other end leads leisurely to the tail where you have the ink-shutoff valve. This picture thankfully captured the tail end, which your eyes might fail to notice, unless you know where you are looking for it. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zDgaI9nQ92M/VpH9FEL4wWI/AAAAAAAAFr8/FYWgzXkUHw4/s1600/DSC_7558.jpg I feel, the cap is itself a subtle piece art made from a single ebonite blank. It carries the valour and brevity of the overall smooth curved design with remarkable panache. The finish is impeccable, with the colours varying between bright and dark with the play of light. The clip is traditional triangular Pilot with a sphere at the end, inscribed with Namiki with the Isosceles Triangle within a Pentagon logo. There is a alphanumeric code inscribed on the upper base of the clip, where it delves into the cap. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-L1s1oI7rJsU/VpH8ms913sI/AAAAAAAAFrc/rv1zcJpmu6k/s1600/DSC_7559.jpg FILLING SYSTEM - The ‘Japanese’ Eyedropper A bit of history on it, there were these traditional non-self filling systems or NSF (without any filling mechanism - piston/button/plunger) and luckily enough fountain pens were compulsory during my junior school days. Since the squeeze converters/cartridges did not last long, we used to bank on fountain pens from Camlin & Chelpark which used to offer the capacity of the barrel itself. However, sometimes we did end up with ink inside the cap and sometimes a blue blot on pockets of our white shirts (our school uniform) due to ink burping & subsequent leakage. If I remember correctly, Surf made all the money those days, using this particular advertisement with an ink blot on white pockets in TV media. Seems the burping had mattered to the Japanese first, thanks to their costly Kimonos made of silk, when they had come up with an ink stop - plunger mechanism in early 1912. The term ED (Eyedropper) came into picture after advent of vacuum driven self filling pens with button, squeeze or plunger mechanisms. Now comes the ink-dropper with the red bulb to make an appearance. The section takes almost eternity (read seven complete turns) to reveal one of the most basic fountain pen filling systems. Most of the times, I fear the section would drop off due to my monotony and laziness during unscrewing the section. Once unscrewed, you can see the conical ink shutoff valve inside the barrel and a similar conical concavity with a crevice inside the section, to make the system work. The insides of the barrel & section are all black. With the dropper filled up with your favourite ink, you are supposed to be fill the barrel, until the visible internal threads. Leave the valve shut while filling the barrel, then unscrew one turn to allow air inside the chamber while writing and then close when finished. The entire rod is to be extracted completely, only when you are cleaning the barrel. It seems to be a delicate system, so one must avoid pulling the rod frequently. While using, you can unscrew the tail by 1 mm or so and start writing, although the feed might have a buffer comparable to a converter. After use, you can follow the instruction of screwing back the tail with the nib turned upside. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-38ZntEubEJ0/VpH80L-G8JI/AAAAAAAAFrs/hHEZLBvClT4/s1600/DSC_7560.jpg NIB - LORD OF THE NIBS The nib with this Emperor is 18k which weighs more than 2 grams and it came in four stock widths earlier - F, FM, M & B according to the enclosed booklet. It seems F and B nibs have run out of stock for Namiki/Pilot Office in Japan. The nib isn't anything short of grand, but believe me it takes time to get used to it. It’s longer than the section by more than 1 cm. Inscribed is the symbol of Mt. Fuji (also found in #3776 nibs), the upper part symbolic of the snow caps. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2GOBuk35mhg/VpH8vZhUZeI/AAAAAAAAFrk/QfublMrzLU4/s1600/DSC_7572.jpg The oval breather hole rests within the snow caps. Below the snow, etched are the Namiki Logo (Isosceles triangle inside a Pentagon), Namiki, gold alloy specs (18k-75%) and Nib width <M>. The nib is sharply curved compared to usual flatter Pilot nibs, at its shoulders & tines, as a continuity of the precision followed by Kokkokai artists, while making the pen. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gldtXZdK_9M/VpH9DGm_ZQI/AAAAAAAAFr0/j0aGj4KseZM/s1600/DSC_7573.jpg On the left the #50 nib carries the Namiki Logo Ste PP-F hallmark and on the right it carries the date stamp. Mine is a707, “a” as I understand refers to the machine/plant where the pen was made and 707 as usual refers to July-2007 manufacturing. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-iuwzbWJ4Bao/VpH9pwLIaLI/AAAAAAAAFsU/KsE1WGTuDXU/s1600/DSC_7584.jpg The semi-lacquered plastic feed (red urushi) converges majestically with the overall design of the pen. The big fins ensure levelling ambient air pressure and give you a really worthy buffer (from underside the nib). You can write a few A4 pages with the shut-off valve/tail closed. When I filled the pen for the first time, the feed took some time to respond, but when it did, it was with a nice and consistent flow, and after that it was pure performance. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yw2qJX8g6ns/VpH9YIKs1LI/AAAAAAAAFsM/SDTrU1vB4Z8/s1600/DSC_7585.jpg PHYSICS OF IT – RELATIVELY SPEAKING This is in no way a daily carry pen designed for extensive use as a travel companion. For a daily pen, I assume that a Yukari Royale would fit the bill well albeit with a smaller nib. I take special care and limit the pen to home use only. The ebonite body keeps the pen warm & comfortably balanced for writing. The pen is in fact quite comfortable to write with, even for an extended period of time. The grip is temperate and soothing, showcasing the better qualities of ebonite, with urushi sustaining its demeanour. Posting the pen is probably an impossibility for me, given the size, finish or value of the pen. I really do not have any pen to compare it with, though I strongly feel that the Emperor deserves a place of its own. A slight disadvantage in my experience occurs when I change back to a m605 or a 3776, and I have a funny feeling of missing a nib altogether, for the first few moments. Figures for weight and dimension run below in case you need to compare it with a familiar pen. Length closed ~ 17.3 cmLength open ~ 15.8 cmGrip Diameter ~ 1.4 cmNib Leverage ~ 3.3 cmWeight (without ink) ~ 46 gWeight (without cap) ~ 30 g Capped, uncapped Emperor poses with an MB149 and Izumo Tagayasan with an apparent disdain for their great magnitude. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P2lOtIuz804/VpH9wDlNEgI/AAAAAAAAFsc/A3AqaJNd29I/s1600/DSC_7612.jpg http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_vhLzb4MxWQ/VpH928tQsvI/AAAAAAAAFsk/npW_61zR1go/s1600/DSC_7624.jpg ECONOMIC VALUE The Emperor retailed at around USD 1600 in the US, although you can find it at lower prices in Japan. Moreover, the production of Emperor without rings has been stopped now and Raul was kind enough to arrange one for me. Technically speaking, I bought the pen from Engeika’s Indian Arm - Pensindia. Logically the economic value should be equal to salvage value of the pen after a few years of use and I don't think the price will vary by much even after a few years use with proper care, given that someone decides to sell it off. Having said that, even though the pen is one of its kind and the lacquer finish is impeccable, you should give it a serious thought, before taking this kind of a plunge. It will result in a fair amount of money being locked up within the urushi layers! OVERALL The medium nib is graced with a wet flow. It’s neither butter smooth nor with any noticeable feedback, strictly speaking. You will right away know it’s a Pilot nib, in case you have used any of the Pilot pens with a Size#15 nib like a Custom 823 or Custom 845. And it does share its basic DNA with its cousins. I feel that some characteristic spring and softness comes naturally to the Emperor because of the size & shape of the nib, rather from its gold content. The verticals grow thicker even with a little bit of pressure. With a high buffer capacity of the plastic feed and its magnificent fins for pressure balance, the nib imparts a beautiful shading to the letters in Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo ink. The ink takes around 45 seconds to dry completely on Tomoe River paper. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VNBh6tN6-aM/VpH-L4gxzxI/AAAAAAAAFss/MRCp8CXFcjA/s1600/DSC_7656.jpg Thank you again for going through the review. Wish you a prosperous new year. You can find other pen and paraphernalia reviews here. SOME CAUTIONARY GUIDELINES FOR URUSHI LACQUER CARE I felt like including some pointers regarding care of urushi lacquered pens here, since it will help me more than the reader (most of whom are extremely knowledgeable). The points are derived from this FPN Thread. AVOID Ultraviolet light - direct sunlight, UV lamps, halogen lamps.AVOID Continuous exposure to visible light which can alter colour, transparency and appearance.Do NOT soak in water.Store in a dark place to prevent undesirable changes.Do NOT store the pen in an excessively dry or desiccating environment for long periods like inside the fridge, with silica gel etc.Do NOT use abrasive cleaners or polishes, use a soft cloth damp if necessary, to wipe the pen Do NOT have to apply anything to the surface of urushi: oils, stinky tofu, silicone or otherwise. REFERENCES Dunhill - Namiki Jumbo#1930s Gonroku Matsuda About Urushi FPN Thread on Care for Urushi lacquered pens
  13. It all started on a very warm summer's day in July of 2016. I was working out of Shanghai at that time, and was going to a mall close by to meet a friend for lunch. It so happened that there was a promotion by Montblanc of their heritage rouge et noir line right on the main atrium on the ground floor of the mall which I completely chanced into. While waiting for my friend, I was browsing around their exhibits and lo and behold, spotted the famous, or rather infamous Axel, Montblanc's resident nib guru. I recognized him by face because Tom K at that time shared his experience getting a bespoke nib. At that time, he was about to finish his one on one sessions which you had to sign up for, and was preparing to head to the airport. I started to just chat with him about various MB nibs and expressed my dream of one day owning their calligraphy nib. He proceeded to invite me to sit down and chat. I started to pull out my notebook and when I showed him some of my writings, he immediately started to show me some of the nibs he could make. Long story short, I ended up with not one, but 2 bespoke nibs that day. One calligraphy nib, and one italic nib. I have seen and tried both the signature nib and calligraphy nib before when Montblanc first rolled out this service. That was at my local boutique in NYC with no guidance from a nib expert about a couple year back. It was super fun to use these nibs, but the bar of entry was high. Not just with the price, but also the process. They had to test you!!! I have always entertained the idea of getting one of these mythical nibs, but the idea of putting a deposit of such a HUGE sum of money sight unseen was not very reassuring. However, this time, with the ability to work with Axel in person, and his guidance, I decided to bite the bullet and commit. I went for the calligraphy nib, and I have to say it was a very good choice. The wait however, was not fun. When I finally got said pens in hand, it's February 2017. The calligraphy nib is nothing short of amazing. There is nothing in my 150+ collection of pens that come even close to it's width and special abilities. The closest I have is the 2.4 Pilot Parallel. It's actually even wider than the 2.4 as Axel called it 3.0 width. Unlike a lot of other very wide fountain pen calligraphy nibs, this nib does not have starting or starvation issues. It writes immediately when you touch the nib to paper. The other very special thing about the nib is it can still work when you lift the nib and write with the corner for thinner flourishes. This unique ability is something other VERY wide fountain pen nibs can't do. That's because this nib has extra channels cut into the corners of the nib that deliver ink to the entire width of the writing surface. Because this is a bespoke nib, I had an option to engrave my name to the nib. I find the idea of a nib with my name so strange because I have always intend to use this pen as a functional tool. I never wanted to get it as a significant occasion pen, which I guess most people do. So I decided to engrave the function purpose of the nib onto the side. Montblanc found this VERY unusual and asked many times whether the words I chose was correct:) I did say I had another nib made. Which was an italic. Perhaps I was caught up in the moment, and thought it might be very special to also get a Montblanc italic nib. On hindsight, it's definitely not as special as this calligraphy nib. In fact other pen makers make italic nibs that are much better without the high price and wait. If I were to do it again, I would only get calligraphy nib. Definitely stratospheric in price, but recommended wholeheartedly!
  14. BVT

    Montblanc 149 Skipping

    Dear fellow fountain pen lovers, I was recently happy enough to find an early 90s Montblanc 149 online, great condition with the box, papers and original ink bottle for a very reasonable price from a reputable seller. The pen arrived the day after I ordered it and was as promised, except for a nib that seems to be a little quirky. It seems to really struggle with some ink starvation (some skipping but more often startup issues). The tines seem to be a tiny bit out of alignment, though not much because it doesn't feel terribly scratchy (a little perhaps, going left to right). Most of the time though, once it gets going, the pen writes ok. It was sold to me as a medium (it is what it says on the box so I don't blame the seller), but looking at it really makes me suspect it is actually some sort of oblique. I have written with these kinds of nibs before with nu issues so I don't think that I'm using it wrong. I was wondering if someone around here happens to have some experience with these issues and knows what my next step should be. I love the pen and want to use it often, but it just doesn't perform as I want it to. Should I try to find a nibmeister in Europe to have a look at it? If so, any suggestions for one in Belgium/the Netherlands? Should I send it to Montblanc to have the nib exchanged or looked at? Is there anything I can do myself? Thank you very much for any tips!
  15. vikrmbedi

    Mont Blanc Alfred Hitchcock Vs 149

    I was wondering if the nib of AH is equal to nib of 146 or 149. (in my knowledge, very few pens have 149 size nibs in montblanc...like the Hemmingway and dumas ) so it is a shout out to all the members to post some comparative shots (comparing nib size, width, height with and without cap etc) of both the pens together. regards Vikram
  16. PENRob

    Montblanc Visualised...

    When dedication for the brand and obsession for demonstrators both are present, you eager to combine them... Buying your lath, learning, exercising, being encouraged and trained by a pen authority such as "Fountainbel", someday you reach the satisfaction of realising your dream and making your own pens, this is today ! They contain and represent all visualisation of technique, quality beauty and perfection. Creating and assembling them you understand why they are called "Meisterstück". Generation, system, size, nib... all become "clearely" visual. Maybe the combination of both would be the full perfection, telescoop with nib unit, however no must. Both are joy for the eye. Enjoy with me... Thinking over the post title, came up... Montblanc undressed, Montblanc generations... "Visualised" won and approached mostly my desire of realisation. I look very much forward to your reactions and opinions ! Kind penregards, PENRob Read more about my "penjourney", began 2018, october... https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/340774-making-the-demonstrators-of-my-favorite-pens/page-2?do=findComment&comment=4239401
  17. Finally! https://appelboom.com/montblanc-meisterstuck-gt-149-calligraphy-flex-fountain-pen-119699/ Available from september. It seems to have 2 safety restrictions: Under pressure ink flow is cut or starved. Downstroke only. Line width goes from about 0.3 mm (EF) to 1.6 mm (BB). Many of you are more competent than me for commentaries. There are 2 new inks as well. + 2 new decorated pens as well. Good news anyway.
  18. Thought I would post my DIY home nib grind I did on my newly purchased Montblanc 149. I bought the pen on auction for a great price ($300 USD). It was a new old stock (W. Germany made so from 80s-early 90's) never used and in great condition. The nib was a fine & ran VERY dry. I wanted something unique and fun with this pen as I have (too) many fine nib pens. I fixed the flow issues first to get it to write wetter (not too wet as I have some of those too), but it was still just a plain fine nib and was a bit scratchy. I smoothed it to be nice and smooth every which way, but again nothing special. So wanted to make it a fine cursive italic but when I looked into getting it done, there really any places around Vancouver (Canada) that grind nibs. Also, there seems to be a big backlog of pens in the queue for any nibmeisters in the US so pondered doing it myself. I restore & sharpen straight razors as another hobby, and get kitchen knives shaving sharp (I have actually shaved with my Japanese Nakiri knife before). So I looked into how the nib is actually ground and as I have tools to remove material. After doing some reading and watching I thought I would first try it on an super cheap pen that I never used. First up was a Wingsun Hero 590 that I got on eBay for $3.31. The pen had a band fall off right away when I got it and was super cheap. It wrote but nothing special - what can you expect for $3 anyways. So I took it too my stones and within a couple minutes I had a very crisp italic. Then got rid of the smooth edges with a nail buffer and voila, the pen was super fun to write with and performed very well! So then I decided to give the Montblanc a go since this one turned out so well. I spent a little more time on the pen, made sure to go nice and slow and it tuned out great. I had to remove a bit more off the tip as the variation wasn't much at first. But it didn't take much to get it to where I wanted it. Did the same process as on the cheap pen, stones + nail buffer to remove sharpness, and it writes great! Check out the writing samples below of the Wingsun & Montblanc 149. You might not want to grind a high-end pen, but if you've been wanting to play around, order a few cheap pens and see what you can do. I just ordered a Jinhao X750 in broad that I'm going to grind to an italic to see how it goes! Wingsun Hero 590 Writing Sample Montblanc 149 Pen + Writing Sample Nib close up Writing close up
  19. php2316

    Montblanc Vs Sailor King Of Pen

    Hello Mates, I wish to purchase a large black fountain pen for document signatures. Have narrowed options to two pens: Montblanc 149 Meisterstuck and Sailor King of Pens. I would welcome any comments or recommendations Thank you. Kind regards, Paul
  20. cynegils

    Montblanc 149 Leak Piston

    Hi everyone, I am new to the fountain pen network but have already used the large knowledge base here to guide my recent purchase of a used Montblanc 149 from the 90s. I'm very grateful for the the useful information here. Unfortunately, I may not have read quite enough. The pen arrived yesterday from an antiques store in Spain (I'm in NYC). It came with a little ink inside so I used the pen and found it writes wonderfully. However, while flushing the pen for the first time, I noticed there is a considerable amount of ink on the screws of the piston as you can see in the picture I included (that is supposed to be a shiny brass screw!). Also, I noticed that after a day of flushing, it is still not coming out clear, although it is significantly improving. More importantly, I tried to dry it by surrounding the nib with lint free wipes, and it seems like it could be leaking from either the red arrow, or blue arrow region in the picture of the nib, although I am not sure of this. Is this where a leak would/could form? It seems like there is ink everywhere inside. Most importantly, can this be fixed? If I took it apart, and cleaned and greased the different parts, would this fix whatever is wrong? If not, I'll be trying to return this.
  21. ShakenNotStirred

    Identifying A Vintage Mb149 Nib

    Hi guys, I'm thinking of buying this pen, but the seller doesn't know what nib he has. It looks like an older 14c MB149 nib, but its a bit slanted it seems. Is this an oblique nib? If so, can you speculate which size it could be? Thanks!
  22. Its a classic for sure but Im debating adding one to my collection mostly due to cost. I only have one other Montblanc fountain pen, a Starwalker Midnight extreme. Also have a Starwalker Midnight ballpoint. The ballpoint was my first fine pen. Ill never forget the experience of calling up World Lux (now defunct) and placing the order. I even remember the sunlight coming through the window in the morning as I was calling. The call was very short and easy but the aftermath of I spent THAT much on a pen!? I will never forget. Really, the call was only about 5 minutes max. I even got a great deal honestly! Its funny the things that youll never forget and the reasons why. I mean, I remember all the details of that call. I even got up early to make sure I made the sale in time. It was very significant in my pen collection. Well, it was my first fine pen many many years ago and Im now bumping up against 100 pens. I rarely use either Montblanc these days but neither are really a classic Montblanc design. I have a high regard for the brand despite not really owning a significant Montblanc. I kind of feel like I should add a 149 to get the full effect. In FPNs opinion, is it worth picking up a modern 149 for the noted reasons? Is it really a worthy pen? The 149 I would use for sure. The Starwalker extreme is down because of a scratch in the finale plating. The other I rarely use because ballpoint even though its a great pen. The 149 though, I would rock that pen regularly. For my purposes the size is not a concern. I can get away with using unposted Kaweco Liliputs as well as 100g Jinhao dragon pens in the same day so Im not worried about the size of the pen. Im more or less buying the pen for what it is, I guess, but it still has to be a good writer for short sessions.
  23. Forrester

    149 Loose Nib

    Good evening all! I recently aquired a 1972-75 Montblanc 149 and started to flush it through. I have noticed that the nib and feed are loose - loose enough that with small pressure, I can actually rotate them. I'm wondering, how do I tighten the nib and feed from rotating? Secondly, who is a good place I can send my pen to be properly cleaned/polished? I'm in Australia. Thank you!
  24. Hello again! This is my review of the 90th Anniversary Edition limited release of the Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 with a medium nib. I this was the third pen I purchased as part of my birthday splurge, and is also the third Montblanc that I own (second 149). Conventionally, I would never dream of buying a 149 in-store, as Montblanc decrees that no lower price than their dictated one be displayed on their new products. However, I was wandering around my local shopping centre, and saw a 149 with a sale tag on it in the window of Ernest Jones. Due to the lack of a box and it being a display piece, the price listed was but 40% of the usual list price for the pen, so I simply couldn't resist! As an aside, the images got butchered by the uploader somehow, so if you wish to see the intended images, I have a Flickr link at the end with the highest quality versions. Dimensions Presentation and appearance Fit and finish Filling system Ergonomics Nib performance Closing thoughts and conclusion Dimensions Length capped - 144mm Length uncapped - 130mm Nib length - 28mm Section length - 16mm Section diameter lo - 13.3mm Section diameter hi - 12.8mm Presentation and Appearance Having not come with the original box, I can't fully comment on this aspect of the pen (they gave me a standard 149 box for the pen to take it home). From what I have seen though, the 90th AE packaging is merely a standard 149 clamshell presentation box, but with a completely redone graphic set on the cardboard outer sleeve. Perhaps somewhat dissatisfying considering the price and significance of the pen, but it seems that sometimes 149s come with the large square box with an ink bottle, and others with the smaller-than-Pelikan's snap close box, so no comment there... I am sure you have all seen a 149 image before, and the majority of you will likely have watched a video or read about them somewhere, so forgive me if you have read this before (you are free to skip if you feel as though it sounds like a less catchy marketing dossier). In my opinion, and that of a great number of others, the 149 exudes 'presence', in that whilst it is not necessarily my largest pen (that goes to the OMAS Paragon) nor my most outwardly flashy pen (probably a title taken by the Homo Sapiens Crystal), but it is the one that you are aware is there, and more often than not the eye is drawn to. Whatever your opinion on the 149's appearance, whether you like it or loathe it, you will likely be hard-pressed to argue that it isn't a classic design, and at that, one which has remained so since its conception and will probably last long after this current peak in fountain pen interest we seem to have found ourselves in. There are three words that my friends and colleagues generally use to describe the pen; classy, elegant and stylish - even to the uninitiated this pen has an impact, moreso than others. Whilst I was not initially a huge fan of the 149 style, over the past year of owning my 149, then 146 Pt Line, and now this one, I have found myself increasingly appreciating the aesthetics and styling on the pen. To me it just looks right!? The 90th Anniversary Edition features a significantly different nib imprint to that of the usual 149 line. Instead of the bi-colour or tri-colour finish, the nib is wholly rose gold, and a large '90' dominates the surface, with the MB logo and 4810 being shifted down and up respectively to make way. The 90 is filled with tiny stipples, which really highlights the number, and works exceptionally well with the rest of the pen. Something that I believe is a major feature of the Montblanc design is their attention to detail. The subtle hatching in the letters of the cap band. The precise spacing of the gold bands. The stippling within the 90 on the nib to accentuate it. All these little things combine to form a beautifully well executed package. (My attempt at showing the difference between the standard yellow gold on the left and the anniversary rose gold on the right. Even in optimal conditions it is very difficult to fully capture) The key highlight of the pen which really differentiates it from the main line of Montblanc is the rose gold trim. Now, I would like to take a moment to say that I firmly believe this to be the best application of rose gold I have seen. Period. It is subdued without being overly subtle. It is still identifiable as gold without being garish. Lately, companies across all industries have been using 'rose gold' in their lineups, Apple probably being the main offender here. In many cases, the finish is almost pink, for whatever reason, and the result is a colour that looks more like a random pink metal than gold at all. Here though, the difference is very slight. The colour almost looks as though one has turned the shadows and exposure level down to 25% in a photo-editing suite. This has been the first pen where I feel the colour combination truly speaks to me, as opposed to just 'working well together'. I find myself toying with the pen in my hand and turning it around idly, admiring the 'muted' tones of the trim and its relationship with the main body. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say it is a work of art, I will say that it is about as close to perfection as I think I will find when it comes to matching two colours for impact, contrast and aesthetic appeal / draw. Fit and Finish As you might expect from a pen of this price range, the fit and finish is exemplary, with every edge and seam lining up perfectly and running flush against their respective face. The cap requires 1.5 rotations to be detached, and the threads are smooth with only marginal wiggle room. The piston knob sits fully flush with the barrel when totally done up, and is very easy to screw and unscrew, no hitches or sticking here! The only minor grip I have with the pen is that the snow cap on the finial is perhaps 20deg off from lining up with the clip, but this is something that isn't intended to fully line up (afaik), nor is it apparent enough to notice most of the time. Overall, I have nothing to complain about here. My experience with Montblanc and German pen brands in general has always been one living up to the joke about Ze Germanz and their manufacturing standards. Although there are exceptions, I will go out on a limb and say that compared to many other countries, these exceptions are few and far between when compared to some other regions...who we all know and love... Filling System Yeah, its another piston filler. For those of you who are returning to read my review having read my others (for which I am extremely grateful), you will be aware of my preference for pistons. I won't delve into that debate here, as countless others have covered it before. Suffice it to say, the 149's piston performs excellently; smooth, even and just 'the right' amount of resistance to ensure a pleasant operation. The ink window lies a fraction of a millimetre beneath the cap band when it is capped, which is another nice touch in my opinion, and being clear is very easy to tell remaining ink level. I have always preferred the Montblanc implementation of an ink window outside of demonstrators, as I think that the 50% clear 50% obscured effect they have keeps it out of sight when you want it, and easy to gauge when you need it. I am sure some care more than others about this, and there are likely those of you who couldn't care less, but its the little thing ya know! Ergonomics The 149 is famed for being a gigantic pen, whose size and power doth crush the will of lesser pens, Goliath himself wielded a 149 to reduce the armies of David to nothi- oh wait...yeah...nevermind. The 149 is large. Yes. Is it the largest? Not by a long shot. Length wise it is bested by the OMAS Paragon, Visconti Homo Sapiens, Sailor King of Pens, Custom 823 Demo, and many others I won't name. Girth wise, it is definitely up there, but again, probably not deserving of the belief that it is too big for a mortal to use comfortably for casual writing. Personally, I love the size. I have a quadropod grip, which is likely the reason for my enjoyment of the pen's size, but even when I force a 3 finger grip, it is still definitely usable. The length is very comfortable and sits very nicely against the webbing of the hand. Regarding threads, a factor that I am forced to consider more and more after ultimately having to sell the M805 because of this, the threads are not at all sharp, so even if you hold the pen highly, you will probably find this a non-issue. Balance wise, it is definitely biased toward the back end, though not at all uncomfortably, with the balance point being perhaps 2/3 of the way toward the piston end of the barrel. It feels as though you don't need to push with the pen, just guide it and it is capable of writing under its own weight. I never tend to post my pens, but you can definitely do it here, although should you wish to, you might find a shallow relaxed writing angle preferable due to the ungainly shift in weight introduced by the cap. Overall, whilst not my definitive most comfortable pen to use, it is definitely a tied second favourite for comfort and balance, switching places with the Homo Sapiens depending on my mood and preference on that given day. Aaaas usual, the YMMV disclaimer holds true, and this pen more than most should really be tried out in a store before committing to the purchase if you can do this. Nib Performance The nib is a very very nice 18k rose gold medium. Out of the box, the nib was pretty much exactly how it should be; tines aligned and converging at the tip without being too tight. I did flex the nib a teeny weeny bit at first to get the ink flowing just a tad more, but this was more a personal preference than a flaw. Someone mentioned once that Montblanc now polishes their nibs somewhat similarly to Aurora and Pilot; they are smooth, but with definite feedback. This nib is no exception. Being a medium I kind of expected a glass-like level of feedback -so basically none- but instead was given a pencil like experience. It is still smooth as silk with no hitches at all, but you feel every single change in direction and movement, something I am now strangely fond of. The line it puts down is what I would call a perfect 5 in wetness, making it ideal for any writing paper I am likely to encounter in my daily life. Flow is stunning, an area only my Japanese pens have ever managed to be truly up there in (maybe my OMAS as well?) and I can put the pen to paper after any break for it to work immediately. I have every confidence in this pen performing every time I go to use it, just as it should be. Closing Thoughts and Conclusion If you have lasted this long throughout all my rambling, my thanks. I went in with the intention of reducing the words used, but here I found I simply could not to fully convey my opinion. With this pen I have found myself in the fortunate / unfortunate position of seemingly having found my end game in pens. I have recently been able to try a KoP, Aurora, M1000, Divina Elegance and some other flagship pens in a shop, but each time I tried them I knew instantly that they were not for me, or were immediately uncomfortable to use for one reason or another (though it pained me greatly for the Divina and Sailor especially...maybe in time...). I might find myself getting a CONID or something customised eventually after this point, but as far as I can see it, I can't really go up from here. Though my dream pen is a 149 Blue Hour Skeleton, this is something I likely will never be able to reasonably afford, and similarly, other pens I have interest in, or lust for also fall into this category. Thus, for the first time since starting my collection, I find myself utterly content with that which I have. I paid £340 for this pen (I am pretty sure...), which is an absolute steal considering what I got; limited release of a flagship high end pen, months after it was discontinued. Would I have paid full price for it? No I would not, but if I had known how much pleasure it would bring me later down the line? Definitely yes. Is it worth the price? Again, for what I paid I think it is very difficult to argue that it wasn't, compared too the alternatives. Would it have been worth full price? Perhaps, but it depends on your ability to spend and whether you would value paying for the brand name as a significant portion of the price on top of a special edition. In this price range, there are many alternative purchases; M800 special editions, Pelikan M1000 if you are lucky, Sailor KoP editions, Homo Sapiens, etc. Given that this is a limited release special edition pen, for a not insignificant anniversary of one of the most famous of the pen companies, contesting the value of this pen over another in the price I paid is challenging, especially considering potential resale value down the line. At full listed price, you get into the Nakaya and special KoP range, where the workmanship and artisan value of the final piece is often much higher than a Montblanc, once more we find ourselves considering the point of whether it is worth paying the extra for the Montblanc due to the streetcred it gets, or whether you would rather buy it second hand for closer to its actual comparative value. With the unfortunate demise of my M805 and it passing on into the afterlife of another person's collection, after finally concluding that the discomfort in use just wasn't worth owning it, I found myself rotating less and less into my rotation. It got to the point where I was almost every day, for months, carrying this and the two other pens I have reviewed (HS Crystal and Paragon). I now operate two sets of 3 as my carries; my favourites, consisting of the aforementioned offenders, and my 'not-favourite-but-I-still-really-like' group, made of my Opera Elements, vintage Paragon, 146, L2k Stainless and M400 vintage tortoise. If I am not packing a bag, that trio is the set I will reach for each and every time no exception. Although it has taken a while, and many buys, sells and returns, I believe I have found my favourite three pens in these. Higher quality link: https://flic.kr/s/aHskATRPeG My Personal 'Grand Triad'
  25. 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.





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