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Rigidity Of Vintage Montblanc Nibs


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Thanks to Bo Bo Olson we know about rigidity od different vintage german piston fillers. Osmias with number in a diamond are semi flex, osmia supras maxi semiflex, geha school pen flexible, geha 720, 760, 790 semi flexes, etc. But I couldnt find similar information about rigidity of montblanc nibs. are MBs from 30s more flexible than from 50s? are 2s different from 4s or 6s? are nibs from 3xx models different than ones from 2xx or 1xx? what about wing nibs from 25x? or from 1x,2x,3x? steel ones from third tier models different than gold ones?

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Only one of the nibs I saw out of 7 Geha school pens was Maxi-semi-flex a shock :yikes: ...the rest were like a Pelikan 120 or the later 200's....springy 'true' regular flex....a good 'normal' nib. Many to most companies made a 'true' regular flex nib up to mid '90's.

I keep saying 'true' regular flex....so folks don't think regular issue... nail and semi-nail is regular flex. :(

In some who ran into 'true' regular flex's slight spring for the first time thought it was semi-flex....I keep bringing it up.


Sadly one has to grow into certain nib flexes....in it was to me....the old standard for the longest time I ignored regular flex. :wallbash: I was too semi-flex Snobbish. :headsmack: The Geha school pen was 'only' a school pen. :huh:

With luck on German Ebay you can still find one for 9-12 E....but most folks now want 19 .... and there are German pirates who will sell you one on US Ebay for only $89.

It's a good piston pen....the problem is almost all are FK.....fine kugal.....ie American Bump Under....and only in F. It's a good pen if you can get the price. If you need a regular flex nib....that's the pen to get. It's lots, lots cheaper than a Pelikan 120 it's equal.

And you get the Geha reserve tank good for 1 to 1 1/2 pages after you run out of ink.


'True' regular flex M and F are good nibs for shading ink in semi-flex has to be matched better with ink and paper in it is a wetter nib. And M is the Rodney Dangerfield of nibs....and it shouldn't be.



I'll be very glad to learn more about MB's pens. I only know what I got....and by not knowing didn't buy wisely when I could. There are a number of affordable good MB pens. with semi-flex nibs.... :gaah: and I never even took a good look at them.



I had in my hand a '20's MB Weak Kneed Wet Noodle, Safety Pen before a live auction. It of course finished at 330 plus Euro....way out of my league.

I don't know about the pre' 50's MB nibs but would expect them to be from a superflex....could be the Easy Full Flex of my '40's Pelikan 100n.

I do have a who knows what unmarked Wet Noodle Soennecken....MB's main competitor. So would expect the pre' 50's MB to have that also.....along with semi-flex, or maxi.



In MB had many lower different name companies it made pens under. So could have other flex's featured.


Some of the 2xx pens had very, very good semi-flex nibs....but I chased Osmia instead of 2xx MB's. Which were and are more affordable than Soennecken.


I really don't have a lot of MB pens....many were over my budget back when I bought more pens and I didn't know really much about the 2xx pens....and even less about the spade nib pens of any company....suspecting them of not being semi-flex.

(Nobody bragged my semi-flex spade nibs.....I do have a Cheap non '50s....perhaps 70's cheap real fake gold cheap Reform with a great spade nib in maxi-semi-flex. '30-40-50's Original Reforms were world class....and he shut down his factory in the '50's rather than make cheap pens.....so anything after that is not really his but cheap use of his name like the 1745.


Since then I have learned some of the spade nibs of this or that company were semi-flex.....but the folks that might or did have them never bragged up the semi-flex so I tended to stay away from them.


Do buy a good pen book, even the 1989 from Lambrou...with out that book I know nothing.


I was at a live auction...I'd previously got a '90's M 400 tortoise and I wanted a better ... a semi-flex nib for my 400. There was a 400nn, 450 MP, 455 BP in a somewhat ragged Pelikan etui.....and some ugly MB.....and I was so noobie ignorant....only knowing the 146/9.


I knew that ugly MB would drive up the price. :angry: Before the auction, I had looked up what I could sell the BP&MP for....(didn't :headsmack: .......luckily in that 450 MP is so greatly balanced....I hated MP's all my life before it made me put down fountain pens until it ran out of lead. I've got to take it down to my B&M and find out how to load it.)


Wanting only the nib from the 400nn, I'd sell that ugly MB too.....total cost less than I expected seeing that MB was there 170 euro back when it was strong. (212.50 E)...with what I could get on Ebay for the 450-455 @ 30-50 each and if I got 50-60 for that Ugly MB....I'd made out like a bandit.....only paying some 50-60 for that 400nn.


That ugly pen wrote well....it was back heavy like any brass piston work pen will be.....not bad balance at all :thumbup: ...if one let the pen rest were it wanted. In it was a KOB I could hold it high, medium or low. I'd already decided to keep it, when I got my '89 Lambrou book.


Suddenly I knew about MB pens before the 146/9.....the shape of the beloved 139.....134 and a few more.


Well I found out my pen was a MB 234 1/2 Deluxe 14 K KOB....made only between '52&54....seems like many didn't like the torpedo shaped Sheaffer's New Balance Clone 146/9 and wanted their 139 back....the 139 was a large pen, the 234 1/2 a standard one...The Deluxe had the Meisterstuck clip, and a different cap band than the regular 234 1/2...that was made for a much longer time...I don't know if it was pre'war or not. Should have a very good semi-flex nib.





It's worth $200-250 :yikes: .

I wonder if that had anything to do back when I was a 20 pen 'noobie' and testing the balance why that pen ended up #1....#2 was a thin medium long rolled gold fixture 725 Geha the sleekest, classiest black and gold pen I have.....# 3 was my P-75.......each pen was and is so different in balance but perfect.

For the longest time my #1 use pen was the MB....and my Pelikan medium-large 400nn because of it's maxi-semi-flex OF was second. It was in the top 5 of of balance after a two year balance war with a M400.......

I wouldn't even dream of ranking my pens today. I have too many....and many being vintage are very well balanced....a big sales point when folks wrote all day.....instead of today where one only scribbles short notes with a Large clunky bling pen.

With permission of Penboard.de the nib of my Geha 725.





I really need to take a picture of the clip....two lines on it make it so classy.....Geha set out to stomp MB with this pen and did. Much better IMO than the 22x or 2xx or 3xx MB pens.


I have a 320 semi-hooded 14 K nail....that looks quite a bit like the Geha....not rolled gold fixings of course....it's only an MB. ;)


:lticaptd: Well MB did too make rolled gold pens and even solid gold....the 742 ('51-55) could be had in each. The rolled gold one in the live auction had a very nice semi-flex + nib. I wasn't going to let that nib land by a 'dealer'....so I got it for 150 euro+ 24% auction cost and tax on the auction cost or 187.50 (I made my self a chart...in 150 'sound' so much less that 188!....I wanted that nib.

It is a heavy pen, pull not threaded. Light Guillochiert with a few simple lines.The two simple lines on the clip remind me of it's better on the 725 :P


To be honest the two lines of the 742 clip were some 10 or more years before the 725....so it was more the bettering of a good idea. It has to do with the Geha coming to a point so the last part of the clip....looks wider with a belly than the straight to the cap jewel of the MB 742....a faction of an inch can make one stylish and the other a tad better.


If you are willing to shell out the money MB came with rolled gold or even gold fixtures. Special order.


I was remembering way back in 1965 when living as an Army Brat in Germany the nerve of a simple gold plated MB to cost as much as a rolled gold trimmed Snorkel Ambassador, President or Saratoga or what ever. The Snorkel was King of Pens...who ever heard of a MB???? and Pelikan was over priced and Ugly. (not in the US and Pelikan was only known because it's ink was cheaper than Parker or Sheaffers. I'd used cheap Pelikan ink in Jr. HS just before I came to Germany....and no one at all knew of MB or Pelikan fountain pens.....well there had to be some fountain pen geeks back then too...no advertising meant no one knowing about them out side of folks that had been stationed in Germany. .....but then even Mercedes or BMW were 'unknown' in the US...and they were small cars.....still are. The only middle sized European car was the SAAB. Full size of course is a '76 Lincoln. ;)

I was a typical Arrogant Ignorant American.....I'm not as Arrogant as I once was.....now though ignorance of mine is spelled with a small letter. :happyberet:


(I knew someone in the late '60's or early '70's who bought a used Mercedes diesel with 200,000 K's on it....he was going to run it for another 300,000 miles. He didn't care about slow....just being cheap for the next 15-20 years.


Cornering wasn't really in back then to Americans....top end wasn't all that American either...when it took that Mercedes so many hours to get up to a higher top end than the big American Motored cars. ;) I showed up in the States a few years later and talked about cornering.....and no one at all had the slightest idea what that was....knowing only stop light to stop light like I had before.)


I had read that the MB '50-65 or even 70 could be semi-flex or even maxi-semi-flex. At a live auction I got to check out the nib of a '50's medium-large MB 146.....that I got in a 'lot' of pens for a more than fair price....the looks was not so great...but I was after The Nib!

A maxi-semi-flex....so I had my three '50s MB nibs.....A semi-flex, a nib a bit more flexible than most semi-flex I have (26) and not quite as flexible as most of the maxi-semi-flexs I have (16) and one 146 that was maxi-semi-flex. :thumbup:


The medium-large 146 is much better balanced than the large 146.....for me who grew up in the standard and medium-large days......

That Large one is from the '70s by looking at the bottom of the feed and the pinned thread by Max over on the MB section, was just sitting there near mint in a live auction....and no one bid on it so I got for the start bid of 150....the 188 real cost....which way back then....a year ago...was relatively cheap.

I'd not really wanted it, ya know...it was one of them Large clunky pens...but it was 'cheap'.

It is a nice I guess F....in there is no marking on the nib or pen....it is a 'true' regular flex with that tad of spring of that flex of nib.


In I find Large pens large....it always takes me a few seconds to get use to them (I must have 10 or so).....not so the original sized medium-large 146....with it's better balance and slightly thinner pen. The caps fit each other.


Some 5 years ago already :headsmack: ....just looked up who gave me permission to use his grand photos.

With permission of Pentime....

5 1/2 years ago, my wife said, they are having a sale at your B&M, what do you want for your birthday.

I spotted that pen from a good 10 yards/meters away....it drew me closer. Then came the big decisions....an Aurora Verdi, one of the limited old time looking Pelikans....not a Toledo...dither dither. My Geha 725 had a 'better' semi-flex nib than the somewhat toothy Verdi....Aurora were then known for a slightly toothy nib.

That MB Woolf originally cost 750 knocked down to the internet 500....euro. It is a large pen....based off the 139/137/234 1/2 styles....as many of the Writer or LE's are. It was the 2006 pen and sat around for 5 years so was on sale.

It was my present from my wife.....oddly I couldn't afford to buy a pen, a bottle of ink or a pack of good to better paper for 3/4ths of a year. :huh:


It was perhaps in the end, the my eyes only bling of the nib that I got that 'Springy' modern nibbed pen. A 'Springy' nib is like the Japanese Falcon, most modern MBs or the new Lamy Imporium. Good tine bend but only 2 x tine spread even if mashed. A nice riding nib, with little to no line variation. ....not vs a semi-flex. Mine is modern B...or old style BB.

I had read MB was wide...so had a M, that was at home on better paper a M :angry: when in the shop it was the B I wanted. I took the pen in a few days alter to get a B nib.


I made a major mistake if you send your pen in to be re-nibbed put down in writing, you want middle of tolerance or narrow or even wide in tolerance. I expected to get a B....and got the fat end of tolerance when the narrow end of tolerance would have been more to my liking. Be exact to where in tolerance you want your replacement nib to be and be firm, be very firm with your instructions.





The clip just under the ruby is matt. Don't quite show it here. Shinny above the ruby. A touch of more class. :)

I swore up and down...years ago, I'd not buy any more black and gold pens. This, the two 146's are some of the 1/3 of the pens I bought in black and gold.....in spite of my 'vow'.

The golden rule of fountain pens.....never ever vow. B)





Edited by Bo Bo Olson

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.



The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




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Montblanc nibs varied from super rigid to flexible BUT they also were not marked on the nib itself and there is no way to make any general statement about Montblanc nibs of a given period. For awhile they did mark the nib type on the body however nibs often got changed so never assume that the markings really indicate the nib.


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Montblanc nibs varied from super rigid to flexible BUT they also were not marked on the nib itself and there is no way to make any general statement about Montblanc nibs of a given period. For awhile they did mark the nib type on the body however nibs often got changed so never assume that the markings really indicate the nib.


i was afraid it was this way. :(

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thanks. i need time to re-read your post again and swallow all the information. :)


i am new to fountain pen world, but i think i tried quite a range of different pens to know the difference. i have quite light hand, i can use wet noodle as a dayly writer. :)

i have one geha schoolpen and 3 nibs, Steno, M and MS (MO). all og them stell ones. i also have few gehas 790, with following nibs: FS, MS, BS, F (kugel fein but not marked as K). EF is on its way. all of this nib units are transferable among all my gehas. i like FS most. and it seems to be maxi semi flex, it needs only 400-450g to spread the tines to 1 mm.

i have 3 montblancs, 342 with steel BO, 344 with M (the stubish m, not the kugel), 22 with BO. 344 seems to be most flexible from the montblancs.

i have two osmias, school pen 52 with steel medium half kugel number two in a diamond and 72 from pre war period with steel supra nib.

i have two wet noodles, conklin number 2 and duocraft with music stub.


i like 790s nibs. they quite soft. more elastic than any vintage nib i tried. there is a resemblence to platinum soft fine i have. yes, platinum SF is eleastic, not flexible, but that soft feeling is there. 790s nibs are even softer than wet noodles i have. but gehas nibs are quite scratchy, maybe because of this eleasticity. even the BS. montblanc BO are much smoother. there is some feedback, but not scratchiness. i would love to explore montblanc offerings more, the good thing is that xx4 models are still affordable but bigger than vintage pelikan, geha, osmia ... so i was wondering, is 342/344 more flexible than 252/254 or 264 or 22/24? is there a rule of thumb or not? prewar montblanc 234 are quite too expensive. but probably more flexible. yes, i know, there are rigid montblanc vintage nibs too, but they should be marked as D, shouldnt they? shorter tines, two breating holes? or is it hard to tell? i can buy two 342 same version from same time period with same nib and the can be of a different flex?



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thanks. i need time to re-read your post again and swallow all the information. :)


or is it hard to tell? i can buy two 342 same version from same time period with same nib and the can be of a different flex?



Yes, it is nearly impossible to tell based on pictures or descriptions and yes two 342 same version from same time period with same nib and and most likely are quite different in flex. Montblanc offered almost as wide a range of nibs in each model as did companies like Sheaffer.


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