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Montblanc Generation Fountain Pen Review


visvamitra
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I’m not really Montblanc fan. I’ve never dreamed about owning MB 149 / 146 one day and most of their pens simply have no appeal to me. Not enough to consider spending crazy amount of money on them anyway. While some people may regard MB as grail pen, for me white star doesn’t hold a promise of special writing experience. Sure, I’m not deaf and when I hear and read about other people’s experiences with Montblanc I can’t help but become curious and eager to try them myself. Happily I try to participate in fountain pen aficionados meetings and I had a chance to see and try quite a few MB pens. Almost always after few minutes of toying with them I put them back and focus my attention on Viscontis and other pens. When we speak about pens from this price segment my design and materials preferences resonate better with St. Dupont or Caran d’Ache.

 

As most of you know Montblanc 146 and 149 are classics well known and cherished by most fountain pen enthusiasts. Also they’re the pens often bought by successful managers and business mans and womans. Not all of them look for great writing instrument, some of them look for a status symbol. I work a recruiter and, sadly, I rarely meet fountain pen users. On the other hand some time ago I had a chance to meet marketing professional who, in the beginning of our interview, put a pen case on the desk, opened it and directed two white stars to me. I thought that she would use them to write at some moment of our conversation but that wasn’t the case. When she started to make notes, she used cheap, wooden pencil (still better than BIC rollerball in my opinion. I have a problem with people ready to pay 1000 $ for a suit, 500 $ for shoes, 3000 - 5000$ for a watch and then, they write with cheapest BIC pen. I feel some discrepancy here). The pens were supposed, I guess, to build professional image. And sadly this illustrates a problem I have with Montblanc. May people here enjoy and use their MB pens, but some just need a white star logo to prove something. I guess it’s not fair that I look at the brand through part of the target group but I just can’t help it.

To make long story short – for long time I wasn’t interested in Montblanc. But then, suddenly, few months ago I felt some strange impulse. Imperative one at that. It made my neurons fire and move hand toward computer mouse and treacherous ebay. As we all know ebay is full of temptations, and when the impulse comes from the stars you have no choice but to click it. And so I have ;)

 

 

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There’s not a lot of information about Montblanc Genertion. I don’t know when it was introduced on the market nor what was it’s target group nor the year when it was discontinued. It seems it was kind of entry level Montblanc but I’m not sure. I would appreciate any insight from more knowledgeable users.

 

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The pen is medium – sized and made of plastic. It definitely feels different and less precious compared to Meisterstuck pens. The Generation has clean lines and looks sleek. It can appear smaller than other fountain pens by the same maker. Cap and barrel are smooth and uncluttered, with nothing except simple gold cap bands. The pocket clip is slim and functional. The top of the cap has the black disc and trademark white star inside a gold band. The very top of the barrel has a thin gold ring, adding the final touch of trim. All in all it’s elegant design.

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The pen was made from plastic, threads from metal. The closing mechanism of the cap is quite well thought - three springy "tabs" seal the cap securely. In case of my pen only two of three tabs were really springy while the third one didn’t work. As a result the cap seated securely but not as tightly as I would like it to be. Happily it was corrected by Pen Doctor and now everything works fine.

 

The pen is light and comfortable in the hand, and it shouldn’t tire the hand of those of us who write a lot. While I consider Pelikan M200/205/400/405 too small for me, Montblanc Generation that has similar dimensions feels much better in hand.

Most often it comes in black or burgundy, but I saw also this model in green (you see it now too), yellow, orange, blue and gold.

The pen was made from plastic, threads from metal. The closing mechanism of the cap is quite well thought - three springy "tabs" seal the cap securely. In case of my pen only two of three tabs were really springy while the third one didn’t work. As a result the cap seated securely but not as tightly as I would like it to be. Happily it was corrected by Pen Doctor and now everything works fine.

 

Nib

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I won’t lie to you – this nib was the main reason I wanted to get this pen. I have a soft spot for inset / inlaid nibs. Every time I see one I check my account balance to see if I can allow myself some folly. Inset nibs look valiant and the ones I’ve tried so far were great writers. 14ct medium nib on this one is a great performer. The line it gives is wet and smooth, it doesn’t give a lot of feedback and is more on “buttery feeling” side of things. Additionally the line is rather broader than most European medium nibs and for me it’s an asset.

 

Filling system

 

Yawn. Cartridge / converter. There’s nothing wrong with it, actualli it’s quite comfortable, easy to clean and cheap in case you need to change converter. In the same time though it’s simply boring.

 

Dimensions

 

Closed: 139 mm

Open: 128 mm

 

Summary

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After some time of using the pen I have to admit that Montblanc Generation is a nice pen, definitely not cheap one but I don’t feel the money I’ve paid for it were wasted. It can be still found for around 90-200 $ depending on the color and condition. I’ve paid 135 euros for mine and that makes this pen one of more expensive ones in my possession. I wouldn’t say it’s worth this kind of money but if you can afford it or you collect Montblancs this one doesn’t disappoint. Also, it’s green and green is cool.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Love the color, the inset nib, but most of all I like how it is clean and minimalist without giving up a nice sense of style that just works.

What's next, siver-ringed 149? :lticaptd:

 

“My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.” - Winston Churchill

 

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Nice review. I was given a blue MB generation ballpoint as a present years ago, and it is hidden somewhere in my house. The FP version is very similar in external appearance. I looked for a FP match for my ballpoint but could not find it. Happy that you got one.

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Well, I also wasn't much impressed with the Generation series. Nice writers, but I agree about the limited feeling of luxury. I would not invest in a new one - double your price and you easily find a 146 in a very good condition. On the other hand, the Generation in the intense yellow or orange can make someone's day :)

It may be worth to have a look at my classifieds :)

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  • 3 months later...

Very nice review. I have this pen in Red I bought it a little over 25 years ago and it is one of the first pens that started my collection. I could not part with this pen. It is truly an incredible smooth enjoyable nib! I get a lot of shading with this (F) nib, I can put the same ink in other pens with a fine nib and it does not look the same. I have been collecting pens for years, but this pen for me will always be a keeper. I love nibs that bring out the best in my inks. I use only Montblanc inks in my Generation pen and the shading is always beautiful.

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I am not a big MB fan, as I have had far too many crack or fail, but my old Generation just goes on. To me, it is the best of their line up.

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I had a green Generation much like that one. A very nice pen. Like Pelikan, Montblanc pens are a cut above in writing quality. It is unfortunate that Montblanc has become such a status symbol that it has turned off so many fountain pen users. The Generation and the 144 and 145 are nice C/C pens that have a decent inner cap that keeps the pen moist for a long time.

 

This is a pen that I might consider buying again. It is more modern looking than the Meisterstuck pens.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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  • 8 months later...

Thank you for your review and the great pics. I think I still have a Generation somewhere, though for the life of me I cannot remember what colour. I have a vague recollectio of a burgundy-ish color. Your review made me want to search for it. I once bought a yellow one and a bright red one. They've both found female new owners, because the size suits most women's hands as well as men's. Your green one has a beatiful color too and as I like to fill my pens with ink matching the pen in color, green is more usable than either red (I'm not a teacher) or yellow.

Just today, after a few years rest, I started work on my inventory of pens. I discovered a 146 in black and a 34 that had escaped being described. The Generation I hope to discover somewhere among my belongings is neither in the inventory (unlike the red and the yellow, that I bought in 2002 and 2005 and found new owners 2008 and 2006 respectively) nor did it hide with the two MB's I rediscovered today. But it may still come to light somewhere. Your review makes me want to compare it to the others and Pelikan 600, that in size comes close, I think.

And if my ways are not as theirs- Let them mind their own affairs. A.E. Housman

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  • 4 years later...

Thanks for this review. It's mainly what convinced me to swap my defective 144 with a Generation pen (and a cash refund, to boot!) with the seller. I going for the dark blue one but since the seller couldn't find it, I settled for the burgundy one in M. Love the pen! it's one of my favorites.

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The review is a good approach to a basic concept: pens are made to write. The MB Generation is a good example that a pen should work ok for their owners. Maybe they were not a big cash earners for the parent company but the were a good way to enter to  fountain pen writing and maybe to the ownership of more expensive Montblanc instruments.

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3 hours ago, jchch1950 said:

a good way to enter to  fountain pen writing and maybe to the ownership of more expensive Montblanc instruments.

 

Or just a good pen to stick with, without the need to own more expensive instruments (of any brand). That's a lesson I keep trying to learn, but my progress is only remedial. 

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Among the Generation owners out there, what colors are available? I saw in a separate thread a white one (but the owner was disappointed in it and said the pen was leaking). Maybe you can post your pics here. Thanks!

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Thanks to this review and to a few of the other posts here, I picked up a burgundy (or maroon?) Generation recently, and it arrived today. On first examination, I like it. The styling is clearly related to the other slim Montblancs from the 60's and 70's (I guess, not sure) like the 22 and 24, but it's different enough to be interesting. The slightly slanted clip ring and logo, the jewel at the end of the barrel, the different nib type, all seem to work together to give the pen its own style. I don't mind that it's a c/c filler, and it doesn't feel cheap to me any more than the other slim pens do. I find it fun that the fairly understated style is married to some rather fun colors (although mine is rather staid, and the fun colors seem to go for 2-3x as much as the understated colors). All in all, definitely worth getting, and keeping.

 

This is not a usage review, as I've only written a few words so far, so if it's a dog on paper or has other issues I may change my mind. 

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Enjoy your new pen! I also have the Burgundy but really wanted the dark blue one. Where did you buy yours?

 

On 4/15/2022 at 11:32 AM, Paul-in-SF said:

Thanks to this review and to a few of the other posts here, I picked up a burgundy (or maroon?) Generation recently, and it arrived today. On first examination, I like it. The styling is clearly related to the other slim Montblancs from the 60's and 70's (I guess, not sure) like the 22 and 24, but it's different enough to be interesting. The slightly slanted clip ring and logo, the jewel at the end of the barrel, the different nib type, all seem to work together to give the pen its own style. I don't mind that it's a c/c filler, and it doesn't feel cheap to me any more than the other slim pens do. I find it fun that the fairly understated style is married to some rather fun colors (although mine is rather staid, and the fun colors seem to go for 2-3x as much as the understated colors). All in all, definitely worth getting, and keeping.

 

This is not a usage review, as I've only written a few words so far, so if it's a dog on paper or has other issues I may change my mind. 

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8 hours ago, enuhski said:

Enjoy your new pen! I also have the Burgundy but really wanted the dark blue one. Where did you buy yours?

 

 

I got mine on eBay. Some of the prices there seem ridiculous to me, but there are a fair number of these pens available so if you pick and choose and bide your time you should do okay. 

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