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Pen Review: Montblanc Agatha Christie Writers Edition Fountain Pen



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Below is my review on my newly received Montblanc Agatha Christie fountain pen. A more detailed review and photo's are available on my blog www.manllectables.com

 

How does one actually review a pen that is 23 years old, not for sale except for via dealers and ebay? After a few weeks of use I won't be reviewing this pen as if it were new, quite simply because you can't buy it new anymore for the recommended retail price. I will instead attempt to review the pen as a collectible with today's prices to determine whether it is worth handing over your hard earned money to a dealer or re seller.

 

Name: Montblanc Agatha Christie Writers Edition Limited Edition Fountain Pen
Colour: Black. Available as either a separate fountain pen (23,000 produced), ballpoint (18,000 produced) or as a set of the fountain pen, ballpoint and mechanical pencil (7,000 produced). A more exclusive Limited Edition 4810 fountain pen was also released (4,810 produced) which had a gold plated clip and sapphire eyes.
Materials: Precious resin cap with ivory logo, serpent clip in 925 Sterling Silver, Ruby set as serpents eyes.
Nib Size & Material: Fine. Rhodium plated 18 karat 750 gold nib with serpent head engraving.
Filling Mechanism: Piston filler.
Measurements: 140mm capped, 128mm uncapped, 168mm posted.
Price: RRP $595 USD for the regular fountain pen back in 1993. Currently trend ~$1500+ USD for the FP and $750 USD for the ballpoint.
Available: Fairly regularly available on eBay and via vintage pen dealers only. Make sure you are sitting down though when you see the price.

 

What I Like

Aesthetics. It's subjective I know, but those proportions scream quality, simplicity and elegance. The serpent clip, designed to reflect the tension in Christie's novels, flows perfectly against the deep black resin and the ruby eyes provide a lovely contrast and sparkle when they catch the light on certain angles. The 'worn' ivory star and tarnish of the sterling silver lend an old world charm to the Agatha Christie that just works. It is a glorious pen to behold in the flesh that is not flashy or garish, but full of character and subtlety.

 

Size & Ergonomics. This pen will feel well balanced and natural in the hands of anyone other than those with smaller hands. The pen is based on the 146 and has a slightly heavier feel to it than the standard Meisterstuck of the time. Some people like to write with their cap posted and this pen really delivers for that crowd with a relatively secure posting action and a reasonable balance. I myself do not write with any pen posted so can't comment on the comfort of longer writing sessions. The serpent clip also has a reasonable length to it which means it securely fastens to your favourite shirt or carry case; super important I think when carrying around a $1500 vintage pen!

 

Collectability & Investment Value. I'll be the first person to tell you that smart investing in vintage pens can net you a modest profit in the medium term, however, versus other investment options out there this is certainly not a good choice of asset for return. That being said, the key difference of pens as a collectible item is the ability to enjoy them carefully without impacting the resale value (unless of course the pen is in mint unused condition). On that front the Agatha Christie really makes quite a lot of sense. Looking at the initial outlay of this pen ($595) and inflation, you still come out in front in today's value of money. Of course collecting tastes change like the wind so the risk of the item losing its collectability is ever present. Have some fun and go for it I'd say!

 

What I Don't Like

High Buy In Price. It's fairly obvious that a used pen from only 23 years ago that costs ~$1,500USD is not within everyone's reach nor is it everyone's cup of tea. Some pens run for asking prices upwards of $2,000 and that is truly astounding given the relatively large supply this Writers Edition was produced in (there are 30,000 of these pens out there!).

 

Nothing Else. For fear of looking like too much of a fan and therefore biased, I sat for a good 20 minutes when writing this post to think of some of the things that I didn't like after a few weeks of using this pen. I really cannot think of anything else significant as to mention. It is what is says on the box and executes it perfectly, I dare say it is near perfect.

 

Overall
As I settled in with the Montblanc Agatha Christie, I got to know its solid writing qualities and how beautiful it was to behold and use. The pen has a well deserved following in my opinion, it is a legend in the fountain pen world, no doubt about it. If you can find one at a reasonable price you won't look back.

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Short cuts make delays, but inns make longer ones.
Frodo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring, A Short Cut to Mushrooms

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This is a fun and detailed review. How is the ivory star 'worn'? Is there an antiquing effect?

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I went to your site and read several of your reviews. They are an absolute joy, and very refreshing. They have passion and true pen fanatic love in them. It's not just a sterile overview (which I also appreciate). You photos and comparison shots are excellent. I'm going to book mark your page. I really hope you remain active.

Fountain pens forever and forever a hundred years fountain pens, all day long forever, forever a hundred times, over and over Fountain Pen Network Adventures dot com!

 

- Joe

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Thanks bobje, the antiquing effect is designed and not from natural wear. The Ivory colour looks 'worn' in my opinion.

 

J- thanks for our kind words and am very humbled. It's a labour of love (and funds) at the moment and there will be plenty more to come.

Edited by CeeElle

Short cuts make delays, but inns make longer ones.
Frodo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring, A Short Cut to Mushrooms

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cellardoor04

Great review and pictures! This and Edgar Allen Poe are my favourite designs of WEs.

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

~ Mark Twain

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Pen and Inkstagram!

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