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Q Re Repairing 149 - Newbie To Fountain Pens


CitiznB
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I recently entered the wonderful world of fountain pens. I'm a newbie and need some advice regarding repairing my first fountain pen, a Montblanc 149 M.


I received it as a gift from my dad. He's an architect and I remember him using it 30+ years ago when I was a child.


Unfortunately, the pen rolled off my desk and landed like a dart into a crack in my wooden floors. After that, writing with the pen felt scratchy.


I sent it in to the Montblanc Service Center.


After examination, I received a letter stating a service fee of "Service Flat rate 3" with the following comments:


"Nib will be exchanged because it is bent.

Body will be exchanged due to a crack.

Forepart will be exchanged due to crack."


The cost for repairs is $405.53.


I'm a pastor of a small church and there's no way I can afford that right now. I love the pen and was using it to write sermons. Right now, the pen is at the service center awaiting my reply.


What's your advice? Are there any other options (other service centers)? Can these services be done one at a time to spread out the cost?


Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Well...that's the problem with company repairs. Not so much repair as replacement. While a 1980s 149 doesn't have the same cultural gravitas as a 60s or 50s model, the period nib may be fundamentally different from the modern replacement. A repair may be possible if not well within the realm of reason, don't know about the price options. Brad Torelli is regarded as a domestic MB expert, I can think of at least 2 more domestic options (mikeitwork.com, nibs.com), at least 3 are on the continent (search these forums, penboard.de a starting place). Any will give you options for repair vs replacement.

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I recently entered the wonderful world of fountain pens. I'm a newbie and need some advice regarding repairing my first fountain pen, a Montblanc 149 M.
I received it as a gift from my dad. He's an architect and I remember him using it 30+ years ago when I was a child.
Unfortunately, the pen rolled off my desk and landed like a dart into a crack in my wooden floors. After that, writing with the pen felt scratchy.
I sent it in to the Montblanc Service Center.
After examination, I received a letter stating a service fee of "Service Flat rate 3" with the following comments:
"Nib will be exchanged because it is bent.
Body will be exchanged due to a crack.
Forepart will be exchanged due to crack."
The cost for repairs is $405.53.
I'm a pastor of a small church and there's no way I can afford that right now. I love the pen and was using it to write sermons. Right now, the pen is at the service center awaiting my reply.
What's your advice? Are there any other options (other service centers)? Can these services be done one at a time to spread out the cost?
Thanks for any help you can provide.

 

First, welcome home. Pull up a stump and set a spell.

 

There are several issues. First, I don't think there is any successful way to repair cracks on a 149 body or section. The nib can likely be straightened. But finding replacement parts will be an issue. The problem is that Montblanc has changed those parts over the life of the 149 and not all parts will work.

 

If the body and section need to be replaced it will very likely cost $300-400.00 regardless of the source. If you were very sure of the exact age of the pen you might be able to find used parts but again, a 149 is not a good pen to learn on.

 

My Website

 

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You could buy an excellent pre-owned 146 or 149 for $300-$400 here or on eBay.

There are people here who repair pens. But, your pen needs some serious parts that can only be obtained from Montblanc. They don't sell individual parts. They repair their own pens. You will have to search for someone else with all the pieces you need.

You could put your problem to some of the pen makers here in the repairs section. You will most likely pay what Montblanc wants or more, in order to get your parts custom made.

 

If this pen has a lot of sentimental value to you, then the Montblanc route is the way to go. What they are proposing is to build you a brand new pen. The price they quoted is not out of line.

 

If you just want a pen to write sermons, there are many really nice pens out there at much cheaper prices.

Sorry that there is no cheap an easy way to fix your dad's pen.

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Maybe I would look to getting the nib repaired and not worry too much about the cracks, just yet? I've had Montblanc replace parts which were cracked (during service) when I had no idea that they were cracked. The cracks Montblanc found were tiny hairlines, invisible to the naked eye and causing no performance problems.

If the cracks are leaking ink, of course, that's a different story - but if the pen was fine before the fall, then I'd risk leaving any 'cracks' and concentrate on the nib - your description of the fall doesn't sound like it would have cracked any resin?

 

Go to local repairers (as suggested) for quotes and appraisal. If it's just nib work, it doesn't have to be a Montblanc specialist.

I'd usually recommend "Have a go, yourself" - but not with a 149

 

Good luck.

 

And Welcome to FPN.

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I appreciate that there is an emotional attachment to your particular pen but there was a 149 for sale in FPN classifieds that looked to be in very good order for substantially less than the Service price, as suggested by Old Salt

 

 

You could always then sell on your pen for parts to recoup your outlay.

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Firstly, hello and welcome to FPN. :)

 

I wonder if you could say to Montblanc that you can't afford a service level 3 at the moment, (that service level is for the new replacement nib) and ask them if they could do the rest of the work as a service level 1 and leave the slightly bent nib in your pen for the time being? A service level 1 would fix the barrel and forepart and would only cost $70.

 

Maybe the nib isn't too badly damaged as it landed in a crack in the floorboards. It could just be that the tines might be out of line and could be straightened?

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Wow, thanks to everyone for your advice! What an active forum.

 

I didn't notice any cracks in the body or forepart and it wasn't leaking ink. I have no doubt the cracks are there, as MB said in their letter, "through high magnification and not visible to the naked eye." But, at this point, all I was hoping to have done was the nib fixed so that I could write with it again.

 

I think what I'll do is have them send it back and either explore the other options given in this thread or save up over the long haul and perhaps get it repaired in the future. I guess part of the joy of owning the pen is the having it, even if I can't write with it.

 

Nevertheless, in the brief time it was working, I got hooked on fountain pens and understand the joy of writing with such an instrument.

 

Thanks again!

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Cou

Maybe I would look to getting the nib repaired and not worry too much about the cracks, just yet? I've had Montblanc replace parts which were cracked (during service) when I had no idea that they were cracked. The cracks Montblanc found were tiny hairlines, invisible to the naked eye and causing no performance problems.

If the cracks are leaking ink, of course, that's a different story - but if the pen was fine before the fall, then I'd risk leaving any 'cracks' and concentrate on the nib - your description of the fall doesn't sound like it would have cracked any resin?

 

Go to local repairers (as suggested) for quotes and appraisal. If it's just nib work, it doesn't have to be a Montblanc specialist.

I'd usually recommend "Have a go, yourself" - but not with a 149

 

Good luck.

 

And Welcome to FPN.

Couldn't agree more

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Wow, thanks to everyone for your advice! What an active forum.

 

I didn't notice any cracks in the body or forepart and it wasn't leaking ink. I have no doubt the cracks are there, as MB said in their letter, "through high magnification and not visible to the naked eye." But, at this point, all I was hoping to have done was the nib fixed so that I could write with it again.

 

I think what I'll do is have them send it back and either explore the other options given in this thread or save up over the long haul and perhaps get it repaired in the future. I guess part of the joy of owning the pen is the having it, even if I can't write with it.

 

Nevertheless, in the brief time it was working, I got hooked on fountain pens and understand the joy of writing with such an instrument.

 

Thanks again!

You can buy a working fountain pen for anywhere from about $15 on up. Of course, it won't be a MB, and it won't be THAT particular MB...but you will still have something with which to write your sermons while you decide what to do with your heirloom. May I suggest a Pilot Metropolitan, M nib?

 

And welcome aboard.

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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Ask Brad Torelli. I think (although I may be wrong) that he can repair cracks in Montblanc resin. He works miracles.

Yes he can and it will exactly match the resin. He can also fiX chipped cap lips and the like. I have had him do both.

 

I think getting the pen back and exploring other repair options is the best way to go.

Edited by zaddick

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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You can buy a working fountain pen for anywhere from about $15 on up. Of course, it won't be a MB, and it won't be THAT particular MB...but you will still have something with which to write your sermons while you decide what to do with your heirloom. May I suggest a Pilot Metropolitan, M nib?

 

And welcome aboard.

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check that out.

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Brad Torelli does a great job with nibs, too.

It sounds like he's the guy I should go to. When I get my pen back from MB, I'll try him. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Can someone shoot me the contact information for Brad Torelli via PM? Sounds like he can help me out with an issue.

 

Thanks!

 

WME

...So much ink, so little penmanship....

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ouch!!!

 

They are usually pretty good at making an estimate that is within about $20 of you balancing between "yeah go ahead versus forget about it' and collect the fee while smiling.

 

Since you didn't spend $800 on it you aren't as burdened to continue with a re-edification of the 149.

 

I wouldn't do it...

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  • 3 months later...

You can buy a working fountain pen for anywhere from about $15 on up. Of course, it won't be a MB, and it won't be THAT particular MB...but you will still have something with which to write your sermons while you decide what to do with your heirloom. May I suggest a Pilot Metropolitan, M nib?

 

And welcome aboard.

 

Just to follow up. I followed your advice and got a Pilot Metropolitan, M nib in black. I liked it so much, I ordered two more (Gold and Silver). Thanks again for the recommendation!

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Just to follow up. I followed your advice and got a Pilot Metropolitan, M nib in black. I liked it so much, I ordered two more (Gold and Silver). Thanks again for the recommendation!

They are amazing.

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