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An Enthusiast's Appreciation


pavoni
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As a follow on from my post ‘An Enthusiast’s Collection’, I look to share some of my favourites pens from Montblanc’s illustrious past.

 

The term ‘Grail Pen’ means different things to different people. For me, it refers to those pens which are the most prized of pens from a particular brand. They are guaranteed to catch the eye of those in the know and therefore take pride of place in one’s collection. I am a collector of vintage Montblanc pens and these are my Grail pens.

 

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MB 138, MB 139, MB 149 (1950S).

 

The majestic MB L139 with its signature twin silver cap rings is probably the most revered of pens among vintage Montblanc collectors.

 

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The legendary MB L139 (late version)

 

With this pen, Montblanc were seen to be at the cutting edge of pen technology. Indeed, the publicity for the launch of the 139 in 1939, proclaimed the pen’s patented telescopic piston-filling mechanism, which, according to Montblanc, made the 139 the largest ink capacity pen in the world at that time. Imagine seeing this pen for the very first time. Nay, imagine owning one!

 

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Well, as a privileged owner myself, some 60 years after production of this fabulous pen had ceased, I can appreciate that, in the 139, Montblanc had created an instrument that was marketed as both practical and luxurious for its time. However, I suspect that even Montblanc could not have anticipated the extent to which the enduring qualities of its model 139 would transfer across the generations. The MB 139 retains a sense of majesty; and remains an object of desire. Whether admiring, holding, or writing with one, it is hard to deny the aura around this most sought after of pens – the fabulous and unmistakable L139, a true titan of its time.

 

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Some 13 years after the first 139 was first introduced, Montblanc took the bold but important step of replacing its famous pen with a modern equivalent, the now celebrated MB 149, which retained those signature twin silver rings and embossed filler knob.

 

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MB 149 twin silver rings

 

This iconic pen was itself enhanced in 1960 and continually tweaked until it satisfied our modern needs and became Montblanc’s most recognisable pen, the legendary 149.

 

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139, 149 (1950s), 149 (2010)

 

Other than trying to determine the best fit for one's hand, seeking to compare either of these pens against the other is a futile exercise, akin to trying to compare Nijinsky against Baryshnikov, Ali against Joe Lewis, or Messi against Pele.

 

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139, 149 (1950S), 149 (2010), 136, 146 (1950S), 146 (1985)

 

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That said, I have a favourite......... ;)

 

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:thumbup:

 

Pavoni.

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Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. :happyberet:

Whatever is true,whatever is noble,whatever is right,whatever is pure,whatever is lovely,whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

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Thank you for this unmistakeable wake-up call on the morning of what promises to become a very warm Sunday. I think the main take-away from your post is that every pen should be appreciated in the context of its own time and I very much agree. That said, the 139 and its siblings seem to appeal to me more than Montblancs current offer and I would even say that their clean, straight lines give a more modern impression than the cigar-shaped current line. But that is my own, personal perception and that takes nothing away from the fact that modern Montblancs are great pens in their own right.

 

One question: in the first picture, the 138's piston knob seems to be made of a much more dull material than the rest of the pen. Is this meant to be so and what is the difference?

 

 

Cheers,

Peter

May Your Force Be With You

If I mention a supplier, I am ONLY affiliated if I EXPLICITLY say so.

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Great bunch of pens of which you are understandably very proud :thumbup:

Money may not make you happy but I would rather cry in a Rolls-Royce

 

The true definition of madness - Doing the same thing everyday and expecting different results......

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Thank you everyone for your kind comments and for taking the time to comment. :blush:

 

I was so moved by the response to my 'An Enthusiast’s Collection' post, which signalled the end of my collecting, that I was compelled to share my favourite Montblanc pens with you.

 

Peter, as always you are spot on and I am with you on the design of the 139 and its siblings, there is something....... well, you now what I mean......

 

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139, 138, 136, 134, 132, L71, L72

 

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As for the 138's piston knob, this is typical of the aging process of hard rubber (oxidisation) which sees the rubber lose its original black colour and take on a light brown appearance. Whilst some collectors use various potions to return the rubber to black, my preference is to leave as is. I am lucky enough to have had this particular 138 worked on by Max Schrage and as such, the browning effect on the rubber is fine by me ;)

 

Pavoni.

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Thanks, Pavoni. My first thought on the 138 was "could it be black hard rubber?". I think that leaving it as is adds something special to the pen.

 

And some great "family shots"!! thumbup.gif puddle.gif

May Your Force Be With You

If I mention a supplier, I am ONLY affiliated if I EXPLICITLY say so.

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outstanding collection :thumbup:

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

 

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Excellent stuff Pavoni, many thanks for sharing!

Best regards, Kai

Montblanc 13x, #20/25/30/40, 244/6 Green Marbled, 322 Azure Blue, 234 1/2 G/PL, 256, 220, 34.

Montblanc 144G Grey, 146G Green Striated, 146 Silver Barley, 149 (50s-00s).

Montblanc WE Christie, Imperial Dragon, Wilde, Dumas, Dostoevsky, Proust, Schiller, Verne, Mann, Twain. PoA Prince Regent, Morgan...

Visconti Pontevecchio LE, Metropolitan Gordian Knot, Ripples. Omas Paragon Royale Blue HT, Extra Lucens Black LE. Pilot Silvern. Pelikan 620 Shanghai, 800 Blue o Blue.

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Thanks Pavoni, this is beautiful! You must have one of the finest vintage MB collections in the world.

I wish there was a "salute" smiley, but this one will have to do: :thumbup:

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Thanks for sharing these! There is nothing like a vintage MB :thumbup:

The Highlander was a documentary, and the events happened in real time.

Montblanc|Pelikan|Geha|Senator|Sailor|Pilot

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Once again you've hit a home run as we say across the pond, Pavoni!

 

Wow!....gorgeous pens and pics.....

 

:thumbup:

 

:thumbup:

 

:thumbup:

FP Addict & Pretty Nice Guy

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing the past & present meisterstuck pens collection.. I'm salivating by looking at the photos.. :notworthy1:

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Pavoni, post like this makes it worthwhile to log on to FPN. Thank you for making my day!

 

Beautiful and wonderful collection! Thank you for sharing :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

My link

 

Life is like Chinatown signage, its cluttering, confusing but everything that you need is there, just have to look harder....

 

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Thank you so much for sharing your joy (and as well as ours!)

 

They look very well preserved. Some like they have just left the factory! :puddle:

My preferred supplier (no affiliation just a very happy customer):

Appelboom

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I was so moved by the response to my 'An Enthusiast’s Collection' post, which signalled the end of my collecting, that I was compelled to share my favourite Montblanc pens with you.

 

Pavoni, what do you mean by "signalled the end of my collecting"?

Best regards, Kai

Montblanc 13x, #20/25/30/40, 244/6 Green Marbled, 322 Azure Blue, 234 1/2 G/PL, 256, 220, 34.

Montblanc 144G Grey, 146G Green Striated, 146 Silver Barley, 149 (50s-00s).

Montblanc WE Christie, Imperial Dragon, Wilde, Dumas, Dostoevsky, Proust, Schiller, Verne, Mann, Twain. PoA Prince Regent, Morgan...

Visconti Pontevecchio LE, Metropolitan Gordian Knot, Ripples. Omas Paragon Royale Blue HT, Extra Lucens Black LE. Pilot Silvern. Pelikan 620 Shanghai, 800 Blue o Blue.

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