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Montblane 144 Sterling Doue (Maybe Frankenpen) & Ebonite Feed Qestions


vieuxcarre
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I was recently gifted from a good friend a 144 fountain pen. It's a sterling doué (black resin body, sterling cap). I am confident that all parts are authentic Montblanc, but I suspect that I have an early 1980's 144 body (ebonite feed, all gold 14k nib, plastic threads in the section) possibly mated to a later sterling doué cap from either a 144 fountain pen or a 163 rollerball. The pen writes exceptionally well following a flush and I'm delighted with it, but am considering sending it in for service to the Montblanc center in Ft. Worth (I'm USA based and nowhere near a boutique) to have the corroded section ring replaced. I have no other issues with the pen.

 

I have several questions, any my searches of prior posts do not give definitive answers for this pen:

 

1. How would I tell if the sterling cap is from a 144 fountain pen or a 163 rollerball? The cap fits well, but, when capped makes the pen about 2mm shorter than a known genuine original 163 rollerball from 1991 (metal section threads as opposed to this fountain pen with the older plastic section threads). The cap swaps between my 163 rollerball just fine, but when swapped the rollerball becomes 2mm shorter... Does this matter?

 

2. The section trim ring (as is commonly the case) is corroded. If I send the pen to the Ft. Worth repair center with the doué cap for repair of the corroded section trim, will they charge more since it had a sterling cap or possibly reject the repair as the cap might not be original?

 

3. The nib is perfect, but is the common M and the old monocolor 14k variety. If I ask for a nib swap to a BB (or something wider than the M) will I be hit with a big bill (e.g. >USS$250)?

 

4. Will the replacement nib, if I agree to the swap, be a monocolor nib, or the newer bi-color?

 

5. On this model, is my current ebonite feed considered superior? Why?

 

6. If I ask for a nib swap (depending on the cost) will they install it on my existing ebonite feed?

 

7. If I send it in for replacement of the corroded trim ring without a nib swap, will I lose my ebonite feed?

 

8. If they are going to replace the whole section and set my existing nib (or a replacement) on a new feed, can I request that they return my ebonite feed?

 

9. If the MB Service Center in Ft. Worth replaces the section and sets either my nib or a replacement broader nib on a new plastic feed and they agree to return my old undamaged ebonite feed to me, is the ebonite feed compatible with the new section and could be reinstalled and reset into the new section by a competent repair person (see Question 4 about if there is any advantage to having the ebonite feed on a 144)? Would this be advised and any appreciable improvement?

 

10. I lack a converter. Depending on if the section is replaced, are either older friction fit or newer screw in authentic Montblanc converters readily available? Will the service center provide, as part of the service a converter?

 

11. Approximately what years was the sterling doué 144 model (black resin body, sterling cap) available for sale? Any idea as to the MSRP?

 

Thank you to the experts for your responses to these detailed and somewhat obscure questions.

 

Warm regards,

vieuxcarre

New Orleans, LA

 

Kind regards,

vieuxcarre

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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The people to answer all of your questions are at Montblanc service department. If you send them the pen, and ask them the questions, they will let you know the costs.

 

If you request and receive replacement parts, you will not receive your old parts back. There is a good chance you would get the original nib back if you pay level 3 service charge for a new one.

 

One service charge fee will cover everything. If it includes a nib it will be very expensive.

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Thank you for your reply.

 

I was hoping to get some guidance here to help determine if I would send the pen in at all or just live with the corroded trim ring, especially with regard to if the ebonite feed is anything "special" on this pen (noting that some here prefer the split ebonite feed on a 149, for example).

Kind regards,

vieuxcarre

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

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People often prefer ebonite as it soaks itself in the ink, rather than the plastic feeds which have no porous qualities. If your pen is sent in for service, it is likely that they will swap out your ebonite feed for a plastic feed.

I've had this happen to me on occassions, but, in all honesty I haven't found a significant difference in the pen's performance, after the swap. That said, I still prefer the ebonite feeds.

 

In another thread in this forum, Richard Binder (esteemed pen technician) insisted on an ebonite feed on a pen he was about to work on, so that the ink could keep up with the flow demands of a flex nib.

 

If it's only the corroded ring you want to change, I have seen these sold as a separate item (not by MB) and replacement is relatively straightforward. Sorry, I can't remember where I saw this, but other members may recall?

 

Good luck.

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