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Looking For My First Mb ... But Which? And Where?


Sailor Kenshin
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I think it's time for my first Montblanc fountain pen, and I've begun the search.

 

But my budget is very limited now. Like $200 limited.

 

I like wettish writers that are a joy to use. I don't mind a smaller pen, in fact I'd probably prefer it, and I don't mind a cartridge-filler, though I've heard they are easier to fake. I do read some of the pinned topics but I am far from confident in my knowledge.

 

Don't know what to look for. Black is preferred but will consider other colors. Is fleabay the place to go? What do you think of the 32? The Boheme?

 

I have a lot of questions, true, but I need a lot of help! Thanks.

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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Don't care for the Boheme, too small. The Generations pen might work.

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How about a nice 342? If you are patient you can find one with a flexible nib. You should be able to find one for about 150.00. The 32 is also a very good affordable pen. In fact many of the simple black MB pens of the 50s and sixties are excellent writers and should be in your price range.

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

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Thanks!

 

How do you manage to wade through the 'bay ads, when your search parameter is 'Montblanc fountain pen' and they throw you fifty thousand listings with Parkers, Pelikans, Chinese pens and pencils? O_o

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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Try searching Ebay with Montblanc followed by a name or number - eg Montblanc Mozart, or Montblanc 34 etc.

 

I like the fact that you're calling it your 'first' Montblanc. It implies that there may be more to follow!

 

Re fakes and value for money etc, post any auctions or sales you are interested in onto this thread. Other members are always willing to share their knowledge.

 

Good luck.

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Sailor Kenshin, I see you're broadening your horizons past the shores of Japan... ;)

Congrats on making the leap (climb?) into MB-land.

 

How about a nice 342? If you are patient you can find one with a flexible nib. You should be able to find one for about 150.00. The 32 is also a very good affordable pen. In fact many of the simple black MB pens of the 50s and sixties are excellent writers and should be in your price range.

I think the 342 or 32 would actually be a really good pen to start with, if you're OK with vintage (say pre-1980s) vs. modern (say post-1980s) MB. A Monte Rosa (which was a MB sub-brand but with a MB-made nib) However, vintage MB nibs are very different than their modern counterparts in that they're more flexible and forgiving and have somewhat less bling.

 

Be warned though - if you find that you like vintage MBs they can be (much) more expensive than modern MBs and you also have to factor in restoration costs.

 

Thanks!

How do you manage to wade through the 'bay ads, when your search parameter is 'Montblanc fountain pen' and they throw you fifty thousand listings with Parkers, Pelikans, Chinese pens and pencils? O_o

See CS388's comment below, but one other tip that's worked for me is to use the - (minus) sign to remove items that you don't want to see in the search results. For example "montblanc fountain pen -cartridge -cartridges -case -ink" will remove all of the ads for cartridges, cases and ink. You can also use the price 'sliders' to remove the pens that are outside of your price range.

 

 

Try searching Ebay with Montblanc followed by a name or number - eg Montblanc Mozart, or Montblanc 34 etc.

 

I like the fact that you're calling it your 'first' Montblanc. It implies that there may be more to follow!

 

Re fakes and value for money etc, post any auctions or sales you are interested in onto this thread. Other members are always willing to share their knowledge.

 

Good luck.

+1 for the above advice. FWIW, MB 144s (which fit the bill) can be faked quite easily, so be careful if you're looking for one of these. (One other reason to look at vintage MB - very few fakes)

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Try searching Ebay with Montblanc followed by a name or number - eg Montblanc Mozart, or Montblanc 34 etc.

 

I like the fact that you're calling it your 'first' Montblanc. It implies that there may be more to follow!

 

 

Good luck.

Oh, if I like this one, absolutely.

 

Bling or collectibles...that is not my interest. I am looking for the iconic 'good writer,' and I may indeed start with a sub-$200 vi tage model.

 

I've seen the 149 and while I admire it, it is probably too big a pen for me.

 

Thanks, one and all!

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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My first MB was a Mozart 114. It is still one of my favorite pens today. It is a great writer and I actually like that it is cartridge filled. I would also recommend the 144, but be careful because they are often faked, as others have said.

 

If I had to pick, I would try out a 114. Just my $.02.

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Some ideas.

 

I'd say that in the case of 70s Montblancs I see almost no differences in terms of performance, feel, major construction features or much any other area when compared to the pens being made today.

Now the pens from the late 50s through late 60s were quite different, slim, flat ended, inset semi-hooded nibs, but still there was a full range of products from the 3x and 3xx entry level to the 1x and 1xx top of the line.

http://www.fototime.com/21D01EC2FCA65F9/large.jpg
The three on the top with the black crowns are from the earlier 2 digit MBs while the bottom three are the later 3 digit models. These pens were about the same size as the Parker 75 or "61".

 


http://www.fototime.com/AB9077AC7F2AE8F/large.jpg

When you take another step back and look at the pens from the late 40s into the mid to late 50s though you see another transition, from the dome top look towards the cigar shape that had been introduced about a quarter century earlier by Sheaffer with the Balance pens. There is still a full range of pens from top end to entry level but Montblanc was also testing different designs and nibs and capping systems. Some examples of the older more conservative designs like the 234½ were still available but there is also the cigar shaped 14x, 24x, 34x designs and the revolutionary for MB 25x series with the winged nib and slip on cap and the semi-conservative 264 with screw cap and open nib.

http://www.fototime.com/E632794B5D2EB5A/medium800.jpg

With celluloid bodies and slightly smaller sizes than you see today, there is quite a difference when it comes to personality, look and feel.

Here you can see a modern 146 and 50s 146 on the far right and the 50s is considerably smaller.

http://www.fototime.com/C7697AAA46FD813/medium800.jpg

The wing nib on the 25x series is among the most flexible MB nibs I've used. This is on a 254, but the 25x series were prone to cap cracking and so finding one like this is getting harder every day.

http://www.fototime.com/39B407DBA58FDF2/large.jpg

http://www.fototime.com/2D287CEE0409930/large.jpg

One thing I really like are the concave sections seen above and found on the 14x pens from the period. Surprisingly though the 149 at the time had a straight section.

 

http://www.fototime.com/3A86D9CE00CC1FD/medium800.jpg

 

Here you can see a couple 234½s and a 144 next to a Pelikan M400 for size comparison.

 

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I'm confident that I could buy a slightly used Mb 146 on ebay for less than $200. You just need to find the right one. If you want a cartridge filler then you might also find a 147 although that could take longer.

Edited by Chrissy
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Consider dropping reliable consignment sellers a line. Speerbob & Bryant often have nice used MBs. No affiliation other than a regular customer. I'm sure others could drop names. Fountain Pen Hospital offers MBs in their Vintage & Back Rooms.

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