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Montblanc Meisterstück 146 1940's - 1970's (Including The Rare Transitional Model)



Michael R.

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Michael R.

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146oldclosed.jpg

 

Together with the Montblanc 149 the 146 is considered one of the most popular fountain pens Montblanc offers. It is a large but not oversize fountain pen offering a more affordable alternative option to the oversize flagship model 149.

 

The earliest streamlined Montblanc Meisterstück 14X models were offered at the end of the 1940's replacing the flattop 13X series of Meisterstück pens.

 

Most sources quote 1949 as the introduction date of the 14X series including the 146.

 

Early models are made of celluloid still using the telescopic multiple stage piston filler mechanism. The feed was made from ebonite and the nibs are two tone.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%201957%20Catalog/Montblanc19573.jpg

1950's catalog offer the pen for DM 54.- in a variety of colors: schwarz (black), silbergrau (silver striated) and dunkel-seegrün (green striated).

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/mbb.jpg

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146149.jpg

Vintage 1950's celluloid 149 and 146

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146149nib.jpg

Vintage 1950's 149 and 146 nibs for comparison. Quite often those nibs are flexible and provide great writing experience. Note the different gripping section: the 146 has a curved section and the 149 has a straight section like on more recent Meisterstück pens already showing a little rim at its end.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146old.jpg

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldcapring.jpg

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldcaptop.jpg

Most often the Montblanc star shows a nice ivory color on vintage celluloid models. This color is copied on the stars of the new Writer's Edition pens.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146oldclosedII.jpg

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldfeed.jpg

1949-1960 Meisterstück 146 pens can be found showing a variety of different details. E.g. earlier pens show the flat ski-slope feed already known from the earlier 13X pens while later pens have a round and grooved feed.



 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldfiller.jpg

Celluloid models always show a rounded, convex ring between filler and barrel. Also the imprint may vary; e.g. 146 or 146 G. I assume that models showing the 146 G may be older as the "G" used to stand for glatt (=smooth) denoting the way the surface is finished (e.g. smooth, engraved, patterned,...). Later this became unneeded as only smooth pens were offered.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldfillernibsize.jpg

Most pens also have an imprint showing the original nib size. Sometimes the little symbols (like: . - ->) are added to the nib size but the several discussions have not led to a coherent explanation.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldinkwindow.jpg

Unfortunately the clear cellulioid of the ink view window tends to amber. The black stripes also can wear. Shown above are two fairly nice windows with the lower one showing much less discoloration and ambering. When it comes to value clarity and color of the ink view window are among important factors which can in- or decrease the price of such pen.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/Mb146oldopen.jpg

Some plating of the two tone nib has already worn over the years.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146oldopenclosed.jpg

 

I have used a couple of 1949-1960 celluloid Meisterstück 146 pens with a variety of nibs and they are among my favorite writers. Usually used examples can be brought back to life with a simple service and replacement of the usually destroyed cork seal. I also came across few pens which already used a synthetic seal. In comparison to the more modern Meisterstück pens the older ones are slightly shorter and smaller but very comfortable to hold due to the curved section.

 

Some time ago I thought life of the smaller streamlined, classic Meisterstück pens ended in 1960 and came back in the early-mid 1970's while the large 149 stayed in production. ...because that was what I found stated in pen books and Montblanc catalogs. E.g. the modern Meisterstück 146 is mentioned in a 1973 catalog Tom shows on his site: 1973 price list.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146Transitionalnib.jpg

 

Then Tom Westerich posted this: A Montblanc 146 That Should Not Exist.

 

Luckily I was able to find one of those 1960's transitional pens shortly after Tom's article.

 

Indeed this transitional pen shows some very interesting features from both older pre 1960's series and post 1970's pen.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146oldTransitionalnib.jpg

The transitional pen still shows the same type of nib and ebonite feed used on the celluloid models but overall construction are already similar to the modern pens. The material used for the barrel, cap,... already is resin.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionalinkwindow.jpg

The transitional pen has a clear blue ink view window missing the typical black stripes of the celluloid and modern pens. Also note that the straight gripping section is missing the matte black rim or collar more modern Meisterstück pens have. Later 1970's pens also show a clear ink window without stripes but in grey color which is often confused with blue because it has a slightly blueish-grey tint.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionaloldnib.jpg

1949-1960's pen, 1960's transitional pen and 1970's pen.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionaloldfeed.jpg

Note the different feeds and gripping sections.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionaloldopen.jpg

Dimensions and proportion are very similar but not exactly alike comparing the transtitional and 1970's pen.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionalEndring.jpg

The filling knob of the transitional model and 1970's model show slightly different proportions and size. Also note the smooth band on the 1970's model compared to the slightly rounded and convex ring of the transitional model which is still different to the one used on the celluloid model.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146transitionalcaptop.jpg

Cap construction of the transitional model is also more similar to the one of the celluloid version.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionalDetail.jpg

The engraving of the cap ring shows differences between transitional (above) and 1970's version (below).

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionaloldcapped.jpg

1949-1960's pen, 1960's transitional pen and 1970's pen from the left to the right.

 

http://i303.photobucket.com/albums/nn140/PENSnINKS/Montblanc/Montblanc%20146/MB146NewTransitionaloldclosed.jpg

1949-1960's pen, 1960's transitional pen and 1970's pen from the left to the right.

 

After the introduction of the modern Meisterstück 146 in the 1970's this model underwent further changes. The sinlge color nib was replaces with a two tone nib, the grey ink window was replaces by a clear but black striped one and later the length was elongated to match the length of the newly introduced 147 Traveller. Feed changed from ebonite to plastic in a variety of designs as did the engravings of the cap bands and clip. Most latey the nib/feed/collar construction underwent further changes which remain mainly invisible but are of importance when servicing and taking apart pens.

 

But this is a story for another day...

 

Any thoughts and additions are most welcome.

 

Cheers and see you on this weekend's Nürnberg Pen Show

 

Michael

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Thank you for the informative and detailed comparison of the 146. Beautiful pens~

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -- A. Einstein

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Dark_Severus
:puddle: :puddle: :puddle: :puddle: :puddle:

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"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,

the whole aim and end of human existence" Aristotle

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This surely has to be pinned! It is a fantastic job, and I'm anxious to see the second release, with modern 146 from late '70 until now. Your pens are great, and your exquisite photographs make justice of them, with rich and sharp details, and perfect lighting. I often asked myself why nobody, with the necessary knowledge, was tempting to make a "visual history" of this great classic of pen history. Yours is a most welcome addition. Thank you so much, and please indulge with all us with a second chapter...

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penparadise

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Not bad . . . :thumbup:

Axel

Montblanc collector since 1968. Former owner of the Montblanc Boutique Bremen, retired 2007 and sold it.
Collecting Montblanc safeties, eyedroppers, lever fillers, button fillers, compressors - all from 1908 - 1929,
Montblanc ephemera and paraphernalia from 1908 to 1929,
Montblanc Meisterstück from 1924 up to the 50s,
Montblanc special and limited editions from 1991 to 2006
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Great job! Having only recently discovered the 146 as a fine daily writer (currently a 1955 OB), your post is much appreciated!

journaling / tinkering with pens / sailing / photography / software development

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Wow this is great--thank you.

 

 

Love those feeds!

 

Love the model number melted into the piston knob--wish the 149's in my collection had that.

www.stevelightart.com

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Thanks for this nice revue. Very interresting.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae218/petitdauphinzele/midnightblue-1.png

aka Petitdauphinzele

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excellent material, thanks for posting

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

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Blade Runner

Thank you Michael for an instructive and well photographed presentation!

 

When you speak of the 1950s nibs as flexible, do you mean they perform like:

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/jelb/flex2.jpg

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/jelb/flex1.jpg

 

 

or is it a springiness?

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Chris Chalmers

Thank you for a great review and educational post - I've saved it for my files, and look forward to your next edition!

You made me go get my vintage 146 out and fill it with MB BRG - after comparing it to your excellent photos........... and can confirm mine is exact in every way except that the end has "BBB" and the actual nib is B - but with flex! Another great pen from Tom's stable in 2009! :notworthy1:

Each day is the start of the rest of your life!

Make it count!!!

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Michael R it's a Wonderful posting! Thank you for sharing this with the forum.

Dear Moderator/s IMHO this should be pinned for future reference.

 

Abhik.

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Great post - thanks Michael

 

Stephen

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

 

John Muir

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Wow, great pens. thanks so much for the very thorough review. As a newbie to this site and to fountain pens in general, I really appreciated this post. The world of MB fountain pens can be very confusing, and this helped a great deal. I want to pick up some vintage pens and this will help in that quest.

" Gladly would he learn and gladly teach" G. Chaucer

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Very imformative and some great photos to boot. Thank you for sharing.

My Collection: Montblanc Writers Edition: Hemingway, Christie, Wilde, Voltaire, Dumas, Dostoevsky, Poe, Proust, Schiller, Dickens, Fitzgerald (set), Verne, Kafka, Cervantes, Woolf, Faulkner, Shaw, Mann, Twain, Collodi, Swift, Balzac, Defoe, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Saint-Exupery, Homer & Kipling. Montblanc Einstein (3,000) FP. Montblanc Heritage 1912 Resin FP. Montblanc Starwalker Resin: FP/BP/MP. Montblanc Traveller FP.

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