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  1. 1951 Montblanc 3-42 G BB Nib with Parker 51s and Watercolor Pens Enjoying Montblanc Pens — Broad, Oblique, Extra Fine, LE & Bespoke ~ One of the pleasures of visiting a Montblanc boutique anywhere is looking over the range of finely crafted pens on offer. Familiar models gleaming under refined lighting share space with the latest sophisticated designs. If circumstances are favorable, one may walk out the door after a friendly farewell bearing a fresh addition to a carefully chosen collection of writing tools which are jewel-like in their elegance. For most first-time Montblanc fountain pen purchasers the nib they buy will be an excellent M or an F, both of which write exceptionally well for most purposes. That there are other types of nibs is mentioned and on display, but for those beginning their Montblanc fountain pen journey, they often remain a specialty item about which little is known. After discovering or being introduced to Fountain Pen Network's Montblanc Forum, it's readily apparent that there's much to learn about and appreciate concerning fountain pens. Every month threads are added about pen repairs and maintenance, possibly fake pen verification, older model identification, questions about market value, news about upcoming pen releases and recent purchases. All of these together constitute an education in Montblanc pens in particular, as well as in fountain pen use, maintenance and collecting in general. There's a sizable number of Montblanc users who enjoy using pens with nibs which are seldom available in boutiques, although obtainable through Montblanc's ‘six weeks from purchase’ nib exchange program. Those include broader nibs, oblique nibs, extra fine nibs, limited edition nibs and bespoke nibs. Writing with such specialized nibs adds to the joy of handwriting in fine ink on quality paper. After nearly one year of posts in a thread about an OBBB nib, it became clear that the comments, pen and nib photos and handwriting samples had expanded beyond the original subject. Accordingly, this thread is for those interested in displaying, using and sharing their love for Montblanc's specialty pens and nibs, defined however one prefers. Daily life with fountain pens includes a rich dimension of tactility, as pens, nibs, ink and paper have texture, pattern, hues, weight, and refined materials. Whether enjoyed on a quiet work desk, or with a friendly pet, or in a work cubicle, in a diary or even on safari, writing with fountain pens is life-enhancing. May this thread gradually include a range of pen and nib photos, handwriting samples, and heartfelt comments to encourage long-time members and visitors alike to enjoy their pens as often as possible.
  2. Remedial penmanship

    149 With A New Nib

    To report a bit on an experience: I'm a noob, less than 9 months since my first fountain pen. Like many noobs, I was intimidated by the broad nib and what the oblique broad meant. An oblique triple broad would be a preposterously fat tool. My handwriting in college was for equations, in medical school for furious notes. The electronic health record has largely obliterated any need for a written communication, but not quite. To my patients I hand write medication instructions from a pre-printed sheet. I have every excuse for sloppy handwriting: a C in 4th grade. An engineering undergraduate curriculum. A doctor. Yet it was my Grandma, recently deceased, who inspired in me improved handwriting. An article in last fall's Wall Street Journal advocated a simple Lamy before one splurged on an inconceivably expensive Sailor with gold nib for ~$400. Her correspondence in her last months exhibited more practiced, more beautiful handwriting despite the uneven strokes of geriatric motor control than my young nimble limbs could muster. I would like to say it was her handwriting that inspired me, her communication through the post more intimate than these electrons by beaten keyboard. Perhaps equally important was the need for change in so personal a technique as handwriting and signature in the resolution of divorce. The Lamy's nib: fine. Many fine nibs purchased before getting curious. A Montblanc Jules Verne, fine, ok, but what's this I hear about line variation? An Izumo with fine nib: too small! Better with a medium nib. A Nakaya music nib - a big, fat highlighter of a pen. I hated the music nib. In a fit of spending violating the Boy Scout's pledge to be "thrifty," I simultaneously bought a Montblanc Moon Pearl with XF nib (one foot still firmly in the fine camp) and a 90th 149 with B nib (one more toe in the land of the fat nib). The B nib I found similarly a big fat writer with none of the stubbish quality I'd heard of. So in a moment of inspiration I visited my Montblanc boutique on perhaps the last day of my 6 week exchange window and asked for the OBBB nib. OBB? No, O Triple B. Oh. We don't get many of those requests. On Penboard I found a 144 celluloid 1950s ski slope OBBB, and it is butter. It is divine. Line variation galore, sleek and slinky with the superb detail of a convex piston ring (too lazy now to find out if that's the right term). From a FPN'er I found a 75th Anniv 146 with BB nib. I'm finding I much prefer the oblique hold, still, I make do with the BB nib and far prefer it to its F and XF brethren. Four months after submission the boutique received the pen back. Reportedly, the first request for nib replacement to OBBB, it had to be special made, sent back to Hamburg. Free: no service charge, no nib charge, sent in in the waning twilight of the six-week window. Complimentary an ink fill and a test run on Montblanc paper. Sorry for the ink blobs all over your counter: I neglected to open the piston after filling to release a few drops. I'm not a surgeon. The 146 75th is a revelation of a MOP star. The yellowed 50s 144 has character. In comparison, what I perceive to be a painted white star on the 149 seems rather cheap. I'll post here and in another post (perhaps a part 2 to this post??) pictures, paper. I'm definitely an OBBB kind of guy. Pity, it's not a usual 146 grind, and it's fairly hard to find those OBBs. Still, one must have the fine nibs: bureaucratic forms allow for little expressive handwriting.

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