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DrDebG posted a topic in Fountain Pen ReviewsMontblanc Great Characters John F. Kennedy Special Edition Fountain Pen in Navy Blue: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” - John F. Kennedy I recently acquired this beautiful pen from the Fritz Schimpf online store. The pen arrived packaged extremely well. It took awhile to arrive likely due to delays caused by Covid-19. I have using this pen almost non-stop since it arrived a month ago. My review below, deviates somewhat from the standard review. I do give a final review at the end. The pen comes in a large, navy blue box, along with a very informative book about John F. Kennedy and the specific details of the pen which commemorate his life, with warranty certification on the back page. The pen comes in two color variations – Navy Blue and Burgundy precious resin. The Navy Blue was manufactured first and comes with platinum detailing which perfectly accent the deep blue. The pen is crowned with the Montblanc snowflake logo. As is typical, Montblanc recently announced they would no longer be making the Navy Blue color variation. John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. He was the youngest man elected to that office, at the age of 43. He came from a wealthy and powerful family, but forged his own way. He was not a great student, but graduated from Harvard University. The Burgundy color represents this achievement. After graduating, John entered the U.S. Navy, which the Navy Blue commemorates, and was stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. Although seriously injured, John survived the war but his older brother Joseph did not. The 3 rings on the cap of the pen commemorate the 3 brothers – John, Robert and Joseph. John’s initials are engraved in the clip. JFK’s dream was to put a man on the moon. The “moon lander” is engraved in the nib, which commemorates that final descent upon the surface of the moon. Summary: 1. Appearance & Design: 10 Strong, clear navy blue resin finished with brilliant platinum accents. Well-proportioned with attention to detail. 2. Construction & Quality: 10 Everything about this pen exudes a high quality of construction and beauty. 3. Weight and Dimensions: 10 This is a pen with some weight to it but is very nicely balanced. The cap, however, does not post. Weight: 56.81 g Length: 14.5 cm Length, uncapped: 12.5 cm 4. Nib and Performance: 10 The nib is a BB (double broad), and is exquisite! It is very smooth and is moderately wet. It wrote perfectly out of the box. I have not written through 3 fills of ink and it is performs flawlessly. 5. Filling System and Maintenance: 10 This is a piston filler and performs fantastic. As mentioned above I have filled this pen 3 times (with typical flushing in between): the first time with Waterman Serenity Blue (my standard for new pens), the second time with Montblanc JFK navy blue ink, and this third time with Sailor Manyo Sumire. The pen cleans nicely between fills and the piston works well. 6. Cost & Value: 10 The Navy Blue color is no longer shown on Montblanc’s website. The retail price of the burgundy color is $1,035.00. For the quality of this pen, I think this is a reasonable price. The attention to detail and overall balance exceed the other Montblancs that I have had. 7. Conclusion: 60 out of 60 = A perfect 10!* This pen has great meaning to me. It is a reminder of a very special time in the life of my family. As a result, I saved and purchased this pen for reasons that revolve around my father mainly. My father also served in the Navy in the South Pacific (as well as in Europe) during WWII. And he worked in the space program as a director throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s, which included all the Apollo missions to the moon. My father-in-law worked as a director at NASA during this time. So this pen has special meaning to me, especially the blue color variation. I had heard that Montblanc has stopped making the navy blue color. So, when I approached Sebastian at Fritz Schimpf, I did not expect that he would be able to find one for me. But Montblanc has just a few left, and he was able to get one and have BB nib put on it directly from the factory. What was really great is that Fritz Schimpf sold it to me for a great price! They also included a bottle of Montblanc JFK ink as well as Fritz Schimpf Fritzrot – both are fantastic inks. The JFK is a bit dry but has is a great color with a reddish-coppery sheen. The Fritzrot is a luscious burgundy red - like a great pinot noir - and is moderately wet. On top of all of this, Sebastian monitored the entire shipping process from the store to my home. He would email me with updates each week, and when it appeared to be lost, he was able to track it down and move it on to me. But, he informed me that if the shipping company could not find, he would order a new one with a new nib and send it out overnight. What customer service! I can not say enough good things about Fritz Schimpf! In conclusion, this is an exquisite pen – truly a grail pen for me! Yes, it has special meaning, but the pen itself far exceeds my expectations and is superior to any other pen I own. IMHO, Montblanc has created a masterpiece here. *For those that know me, I am a bit of a perfectionist and rarely give high marks. So, for me to rate a pen this high is very unusual. While I wish that the cap would post, I knew that it did not when I purchased the pen – the website was very clear about this. So I could not take a point off for that. Disclaimers: I am not affiliated with Fritz Schimpf. I purchased the pen from them, but all opinions are my own. While I love this pen, any opinion I may hold of John F. Kennedy as a politician or any decision he made, is not given, included nor intended in this review.
And now for a tale of frustration... I had to drop my GC Miles Davis (my first and only Montblanc) off at the local boutique today for another round of service after having just picked it up from the last round yesterday. In 2 years of ownership, this is the 4th time I've had to send it in for service. This time I'm genuinely frustrated with the work quality from the Texas service center. A little background... The first time it needed service wasn't more than a week after I bought it. After inking it up I noticed ink on my fingers every time I wrote, no matter how many times I flushed it out. After convincing the boutique that there was an actual problem, and it wasn't just left over from inking it up, or excess ink in the cap they sent it away for service. I don't think they really believed there was a problem though; after a 6 week sting at the service center the pen came back with a generic note saying the feed assembly had been replaced. Unfortunately I didn't have the pen for more than a day before it started leaking again. I immediately took the pen back and off it went back to the service center. Fast forward another 4 weeks and the manager of the boutique called me up, unfortunately the pen needed to be sent back to Germany. Turns out I wasn't crazy or just being a newbie...Montblanc had identified a defect in the manufacturing process and all Miles Davis FPs needed to be remanufactured. 6 months later I finally got a brand new pen....boy did I love it, it quickly became my daily writer for note taking and meetings. Fast forward a year... After working wonderfully for about 10 months the pen started experiencing hard starts and skipping....it was maddening. I tried everything, flushing it out, soaking the nib, different paper; all to no avail. So I packed it up and took it back to the boutique. Off it went, again...after another 4 weeks it came back yesterday. The service note that came back with the pen stated, "Replaced feed, feed assembly, reservoir seals, extensively tested nib". I inked it up and it seemed to work well. Took the pen home, and was copying out some notes when the ink just petered out...no ink was flowing; that's when I took a closer look at the underside of the nib. Here are some pictures... As you can see, the feed was installed completely off center. There is also something lodged in between the nib tines which I could not get out with brass floss. I have to say...I'm really bummed, it's my favorite pen and I think it's been out for service for just as long as I've been able to use it. This time the quality control person who "extensively tested" the pen was either asleep when they tested it or they didn't actually test it like they said in their note. Don't get me wrong, I know MB will make everything right, and the folks at the boutique were extremely apologetic...it's just that each round of this takes 4 weeks minimum and I would expect a quality control issue like this time to be caught before they sent the pen back. I'm also a little worried because whatever is lodged in the nib has been there for at least a week or so and I'm wondering if that will have permanently splayed my tines. Sigh....all I can say is, thank goodness for the warranty!
Seeking some advice on what to do with my Einstein FP. I bought earlier this year with a the standard M nib from an authorized dealer. I have yet to ink the pen, just admiring it so far. Since it is coming up to the one year mark, I was wondering if I should exchange the nib to another? I may sell this pen in the future, or I may use it depending on promotion. Which nib would be most attractive to prospective collectors? I currently have OB, OM, M and F nibs across my other MB pens.
I have seen an excellent review of the J.P. Morgan in this forum and I recently found some on ebay etc. I was wondering what the original price for this fountain pen is and some further impressions on the weight for example (from review it doesn't seem to be that heavy at all). Just trying to be sure that the price is a fair one ! Thanks Christian