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Early 50’S Montblanc 146 With Flat Ebonite “Ski-Slope” Style Feed Review


Keyless Works
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This got a bit long winded sorry...

Introduction:

I wanted find a better pen, a pen I could love as much as my P51s. I have been collecting fountain pens on and off since I was 16 and I have had a few modern Montblancs: couple 144s including a solitaire with the Barley pattern, as well as a 146 from the 90s. They are nice pens and while they had some character none of them became “must-haves” in my collection. I wanted something better and with the help of this forum I purchased a Montblanc 146 from the early 50s.

 

Appearance and Design:

As an owner of a modern 146 the first thing I noticed was that this pen is a bit shorter than a modern 146. I would not consider it to be oversized in any way; it is very comfortable, slightly shorter and thicker than a Parker 51. The proportions of this pen are nicer to my eye than that of the longer skinnier modern 146. The rings are a closer together and the branding is crisper and deeper than what you find on the modern version. The design is a clean and quiet classic. I can’t really fault it for anything.

10/10

 

Construction & Quality:

The pen is very well made. The trim, even though 60 years old, looks nicer and more substantial than the trim on a modern 146. It is still a plastic pen but it has a great shine to it. This pen has a celluloid body that is supposedly stronger than the injection molded resin pens. It also has a two stage filing system that is a beautiful piece of engineering, likely discontinued to save costs.

8/10

 

Weight & Dimensions:

This pen is not particularly heavy which is great for long writing sessions. As I mentioned above it is shorter than a new 146. The grip is slightly thicker than a standard P51. The one thing I don’t like about this pen is that posting the cap is a bit difficult. It will post straight if you give it a bit of pressure otherwise it will sit crooked which I find to be a bit annoying as I don’t like posting a cap with any force (this is not an issue I have with modern 144s and 146s). I have smaller hands and writing with the cap not posted is perfectly comfortable for me.

9/10

 

Nib & Performance:

I bought this pen because it was supposed to have a superb nib. It has a fine two-tone 14C nib, which is larger and shapelier than its modern counterpart. The pen also features the flat ebonite “ski-slope” style feed. The nib is smooth with some flex and offers more feedback than the modern MBs I have used. The line is relatively wet with some noticeable line variation. I have left this pen with the cap off for over 30 minutes a couple times now and it has always started without skipping. This nib functions nearly as well as my P51 with the added benefit of some flex.

10/10

 

Filing System & Maintenance:

This pen uses a two-stage piston filling system. I found it a bit strange to use at first, not understanding its design as the transition from the first to the second stage felt a bit jarring.

 

Member fountainbel has provided a drawing here:

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?/topic/211729-vintage-mb-telescopic-pistons/page__p__2207740&do=findComment&comment=2207740

 

The piston uses cork, which still works without issue in my pen but I would imagine this is not as durable as a synthetic. This pen also features a pinstriped ink view window like the modern version.

7/10

Cost & Value:

I have seen prices for early 50’s 146s in black celluloid range from $500-$900. I purchased mine for about $600. I was too impatient to wait around for a cheaper one to come up for sale. For a second hand 146 this pen is not cheap; a modern 146 can be had for around $200. Can you find a pen as good as this for less money? Yes, I think you can. I have Parker 51s and Conway Stewarts that cost under $100 that are just as nice to write with, the fit and finish doesn’t compare but the performance is near equal.

6/10

 

Conclusion:

I have tried to be as objective as possible but let’s face it, this isn’t some white good like a toaster, it’s a vintage fountain pen, it has character and I love it. This pen was made when a Montblanc was a Montblanc. I use it as a daily writer and I will likely buy another when the right deal comes along. Final score

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  • fountainbel

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Nice review of a beautiful pen.

I really love the design of the old style nib, it is much prettier than the modern ones.

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Looks a well conserved 146, congratulations !

I really admire the ingenious telescopic filler, surely worth the money you paid for !

Francis

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Thanks for the review - I'm also on the hunt for a 50's 146 so it's good to know that it will (hopefully) be worth it. If you don't mind me asking, where did you find your 146?

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Thank you all for your replies!

 

I bought mine on an online auction site. I could find ones from more reputable places but they all wanted around $900. I would suggest finding one in an auction with good pictures and a good description from a seller that takes returns.

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You can't go wrong with such a classic :thumbup: congrats on the pen and happy writing

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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