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Review: Montblanc John F. Kennedy Special Edition Fountain Pen



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Montblanc Great Characters John F. Kennedy Special Edition Fountain Pen in Navy Blue:

 

 

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

- John F. Kennedy

 

I recently acquired this beautiful pen from the Fritz Schimpf online store. The pen arrived packaged extremely well. It took awhile to arrive likely due to delays caused by Covid-19. I have using this pen almost non-stop since it arrived a month ago.

 

My review below, deviates somewhat from the standard review. I do give a final review at the end.

 

The pen comes in a large, navy blue box, along with a very informative book about John F. Kennedy and the specific details of the pen which commemorate his life, with warranty certification on the back page.

 

The pen comes in two color variations – Navy Blue and Burgundy precious resin. The Navy Blue was manufactured first and comes with platinum detailing which perfectly accent the deep blue. The pen is crowned with the Montblanc snowflake logo. As is typical, Montblanc recently announced they would no longer be making the Navy Blue color variation.

 

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John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. He was the youngest man elected to that office, at the age of 43. He came from a wealthy and powerful family, but forged his own way. He was not a great student, but graduated from Harvard University. The Burgundy color represents this achievement. After graduating, John entered the U.S. Navy, which the Navy Blue commemorates, and was stationed in the South Pacific during World War II.

 

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fpn_1586890437__jfk_pen_in_box_2.jpg

 

fpn_1586890448__jfk_pen_in_box3.jpg

 

Although seriously injured, John survived the war but his older brother Joseph did not. The 3 rings on the cap of the pen commemorate the 3 brothers – John, Robert and Joseph. John’s initials are engraved in the clip.

 

fpn_1586889866__jfk_cap_detail.jpg

 

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JFK’s dream was to put a man on the moon. The “moon lander” is engraved in the nib, which commemorates that final descent upon the surface of the moon.

 

fpn_1586890401__jfk_nib_and_cap.jpg

 

fpn_1586889877__jfk_nib_1.jpg

 

 

Summary:

 

1. Appearance & Design: 10

Strong, clear navy blue resin finished with brilliant platinum accents. Well-proportioned with attention to detail.

 

2. Construction & Quality: 10

Everything about this pen exudes a high quality of construction and beauty.

 

3. Weight and Dimensions: 10

This is a pen with some weight to it but is very nicely balanced. The cap, however, does not post.

Weight: 56.81 g

Length: 14.5 cm

Length, uncapped: 12.5 cm

 

4. Nib and Performance: 10

The nib is a BB (double broad), and is exquisite! It is very smooth and is moderately wet. It wrote perfectly out of the box. I have not written through 3 fills of ink and it is performs flawlessly.

 

fpn_1586890592__img_6040_1.jpg

 

5. Filling System and Maintenance: 10

This is a piston filler and performs fantastic. As mentioned above I have filled this pen 3 times (with typical flushing in between): the first time with Waterman Serenity Blue (my standard for new pens), the second time with Montblanc JFK navy blue ink, and this third time with Sailor Manyo Sumire. The pen cleans nicely between fills and the piston works well.

 

6. Cost & Value: 10

The Navy Blue color is no longer shown on Montblanc’s website. The retail price of the burgundy color is $1,035.00. For the quality of this pen, I think this is a reasonable price. The attention to detail and overall balance exceed the other Montblancs that I have had.

 

7. Conclusion: 60 out of 60 = A perfect 10!*

This pen has great meaning to me. It is a reminder of a very special time in the life of my family. As a result, I saved and purchased this pen for reasons that revolve around my father mainly. My father also served in the Navy in the South Pacific (as well as in Europe) during WWII. And he worked in the space program as a director throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s, which included all the Apollo missions to the moon. My father-in-law worked as a director at NASA during this time. So this pen has special meaning to me, especially the blue color variation.

I had heard that Montblanc has stopped making the navy blue color. So, when I approached Sebastian at Fritz Schimpf, I did not expect that he would be able to find one for me. But Montblanc has just a few left, and he was able to get one and have BB nib put on it directly from the factory. What was really great is that Fritz Schimpf sold it to me for a great price!

They also included a bottle of Montblanc JFK ink as well as Fritz Schimpf Fritzrot – both are fantastic inks. The JFK is a bit dry but has is a great color with a reddish-coppery sheen. The Fritzrot is a luscious burgundy red - like a great pinot noir - and is moderately wet.

On top of all of this, Sebastian monitored the entire shipping process from the store to my home. He would email me with updates each week, and when it appeared to be lost, he was able to track it down and move it on to me. But, he informed me that if the shipping company could not find, he would order a new one with a new nib and send it out overnight.

What customer service! I can not say enough good things about Fritz Schimpf!

 

In conclusion, this is an exquisite pen – truly a grail pen for me! Yes, it has special meaning, but the pen itself far exceeds my expectations and is superior to any other pen I own. IMHO, Montblanc has created a masterpiece here.

 

 

*For those that know me, I am a bit of a perfectionist and rarely give high marks. So, for me to rate a pen this high is very unusual. While I wish that the cap would post, I knew that it did not when I purchased the pen – the website was very clear about this. So I could not take a point off for that.

 

Disclaimers:

I am not affiliated with Fritz Schimpf. I purchased the pen from them, but all opinions are my own.

While I love this pen, any opinion I may hold of John F. Kennedy as a politician or any decision he made, is not given, included nor intended in this review.

Edited by 5Cavaliers

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Thanks for an informative review.

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for the detailed review, 5Cavaliers. I find this pen very attractive. I almost bought it just for the “Eagle” on nib. The Kennedy era and Moon Landing is a very special time in American history. A well excuted design. Congratulations on your new pen and enjoy!

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Pointyscratchy

It goes without saying that this is a great and very stylish review and I'm sure everyone appreciates the original angle that you've come at it from.Well done, good photos too.

 

I'm in the Uk and I've got this pen as well, a medium.An airport purchase, and I thought it was the same as a 149, but I now know that it's more a 146.

 

When I was a child a labour government was elected.They had some strong policies on education called comprehensive schools.The idea was that less clever kids could mix with clever ones and take exams (called o levels), that in the previous secondary modern schools they were not allowed to take.

 

I lived in a city (more of a town really but it had a cathedral which made it a city) called Coventry.If you've heard of it all it's because it was bombed quite badly in the war, and the story goes that Churchill knew but never told us because it would betray that we had cracked their code.They made cars there too including Jaguar and Hillman imp and climax forklift trucks and Dunlop had an aircraft deicing factory.

 

That's by the way.This comprehensive idea wasn't popular with everyone and to showboat it they built the most fabulous ahead of it's time architechural modernist masterpiece.The music block for instance was set in it's own lake.It would take 1200 pupils which was a huge number for the time.It was 1965 and it was like a spacecraft had landed in Coventry.They needed a name for this amazing futurist school that would reflect not only it's fabulousness, but also it's optimism and it's very faith in the future.Guess what name they picked?

 

In England we loved Kennedy.I mean really loved him.We watched on the news when the bad thing happened in Dallas- I was eight and even I and all my friends were saddened.Two years later I went to the brand new school and they called it President Kennedy Comprehensive School.The American ambassador came down from London in a huge car with outriders and opened it.The badge we had on our pristine grey school blazers was a Whitehouse logo with a some stars and stripes.

 

 

In pretty much a few years it was the same dump as every other school in England, with house blocks regularly burnt down every few years by bored kids in the holidays, graffiti, and names carved into desks and teachers who didn't really care.Too me though at the time and in my memory still it was the embodiment of the Gadsby Mansion, and everything bigger and better that America represents.

 

So I've got this pen and it's a great pen.(the blue one)

 

Edit; I just wanted to add and this should have been earlier when i was describing the school that at it's centre piece aside from the man made lake was an olympic size pool with a great glass side on it so that you could see action inside.It was a better pool than the one they had in the town and had been there forever.No other school had it's own baths the custom was to catch two or three buses alongside your class mates.We had multiple gyms, sports halls, tennis courts, a proper 400m running track, grounds big enough for a cross country, football and rugby fields.When i look back although i just took it as normal at the time, what were they thinking?They could have built a uni with those resources?

 

Just read eciton's comment below.Very well put.

Edited by Pointyscratchy
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@Pointyscratchy — thanks for telling your story. To me this gets to the heart of Montblanc's special editions, whether it's the great characters or writer editions. Sometimes you have a fierce, almost irrational association with a person, and having a beautiful, precious object that symbolises that person is deeply meaningful. I feel like that about my Omas Milord Einaudi because I love Einaudi's music; using the pen is almost paying tribute not just to the composer but to the importance that music has to me. I'm shamelessly in love with mid-century America, the optimism of the space programme and all of that — so I completely get how you feel about the Kennedy. Again, thanks for sharing!

Anthony

ukfountainpens.com

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Thanks for an informative review.

 

Thank you for your kind comment.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Thank you for the detailed review, 5Cavaliers. I find this pen very attractive. I almost bought it just for the “Eagle” on nib. The Kennedy era and Moon Landing is a very special time in American history. A well excuted design. Congratulations on your new pen and enjoy!

 

Thank you very much for your kind comment. Yes, it was a very special time in American history, but also in the world. I know of many people from other nationalities that were inspired by that period to dream big dreams and excel in ways that they may not have done otherwise.

 

I could go on, but that isn't the purpose for my post. It is to celebrate this beautiful pen made by Montblanc.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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It goes without saying that this is a great and very stylish review and I'm sure everyone appreciates the original angle that you've come at it from.Well done, good photos too.

 

I'm in the Uk and I've got this pen as well, a medium.An airport purchase, and I thought it was the same as a 149, but I now know that it's more a 146.

 

When I was a child a labour government was elected.They had some strong policies on education called comprehensive schools.The idea was that less clever kids could mix with clever ones and take exams (called o levels), that in the previous secondary modern schools they were not allowed to take.

 

I lived in a city (more of a town really but it had a cathedral which made it a city) called Coventry.If you've heard of it all it's because it was bombed quite badly in the war, and the story goes that Churchill knew but never told us because it would betray that we had cracked their code.They made cars there too including Jaguar and Hillman imp and climax forklift trucks and Dunlop had an aircraft deicing factory.

 

That's by the way.This comprehensive idea wasn't popular with everyone and to showboat it they built the most fabulous ahead of it's time architechural modernist masterpiece.The music block for instance was set in it's own lake.It would take 1200 pupils which was a huge number for the time.It was 1965 and it was like a spacecraft had landed in Coventry.They needed a name for this amazing futurist school that would reflect not only it's fabulousness, but also it's optimism and it's very faith in the future.Guess what name they picked?

 

In England we loved Kennedy.I mean really loved him.We watched on the news when the bad thing happened in Dallas- I was eight and even I and all my friends were saddened.Two years later I went to the brand new school and they called it President Kennedy Comprehensive School.The American ambassador came down in a huge car with outriders and opened it.The badge we had on our pristine grey school blazers was a Whitehouse logo with a some stars and stripes.

 

 

In pretty much a few years it was the same dump as every other school in England, with house blocks regularly burnt down every few years by bored kids in the holidays, graffiti, and names carved into desks and teachers who didn't really care.Too me though at the time and in my memory still it was the embodiment of the Gadsby Mansion, and everything bigger and better that America represents.

 

So I've got this pen and it's a great pen.(the blue one)

 

I am touched by your story. Thank you for sharing it.

 

Perhaps that is the greatest legacy - that people who have big dreams can accomplish much by hard work. While Kennedy may have espoused this philosophy, I believe that many Americans then believed the same. I know my father and father-in-law did. And through inspiration, many other nationalities believed the same.

 

Also, during that time there was a resurgence of personal and public responsibility. Kennedy uttered the words many people felt at the time with his most famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you… ask what you can do for your country.”

 

But I am getting away from the reason for this pen review - that is to celebrate the beauty of this pen.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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@Pointyscratchy — thanks for telling your story. To me this gets to the heart of Montblanc's special editions, whether it's the great characters or writer editions. Sometimes you have a fierce, almost irrational association with a person, and having a beautiful, precious object that symbolises that person is deeply meaningful. I feel like that about my Omas Milord Einaudi because I love Einaudi's music; using the pen is almost paying tribute not just to the composer but to the importance that music has to me. I'm shamelessly in love with mid-century America, the optimism of the space programme and all of that — so I completely get how you feel about the Kennedy. Again, thanks for sharing!

 

Thank you for your comment. In many ways, it is profound. My fierce, irrational association is not with JFK, but my father, who I miss a great deal.

 

I did not know that Omas produced a pen as tribute to Einaudi. I too enjoy his music greatly. I would enjoy seeing a photo of the pen sometime.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Beautiful pen. I remember my dad voting against Kennedy but I always liked him myself.

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EllipticEquations

It goes without saying that this is a great and very stylish review and I'm sure everyone appreciates the original angle that you've come at it from.Well done, good photos too.

 

I'm in the Uk and I've got this pen as well, a medium.An airport purchase, and I thought it was the same as a 149, but I now know that it's more a 146.

 

When I was a child a labour government was elected.They had some strong policies on education called comprehensive schools.The idea was that less clever kids could mix with clever ones and take exams (called o levels), that in the previous secondary modern schools they were not allowed to take.

 

I lived in a city (more of a town really but it had a cathedral which made it a city) called Coventry.If you've heard of it all it's because it was bombed quite badly in the war, and the story goes that Churchill knew but never told us because it would betray that we had cracked their code.They made cars there too including Jaguar and Hillman imp and climax forklift trucks and Dunlop had an aircraft deicing factory.

 

That's by the way.This comprehensive idea wasn't popular with everyone and to showboat it they built the most fabulous ahead of it's time architechural modernist masterpiece.The music block for instance was set in it's own lake.It would take 1200 pupils which was a huge number for the time.It was 1965 and it was like a spacecraft had landed in Coventry.They needed a name for this amazing futurist school that would reflect not only it's fabulousness, but also it's optimism and it's very faith in the future.Guess what name they picked?

 

In England we loved Kennedy.I mean really loved him.We watched on the news when the bad thing happened in Dallas- I was eight and even I and all my friends were saddened.Two years later I went to the brand new school and they called it President Kennedy Comprehensive School.The American ambassador came down in a huge car with outriders and opened it.The badge we had on our pristine grey school blazers was a Whitehouse logo with a some stars and stripes.

 

 

In pretty much a few years it was the same dump as every other school in England, with house blocks regularly burnt down every few years by bored kids in the holidays, graffiti, and names carved into desks and teachers who didn't really care.Too me though at the time and in my memory still it was the embodiment of the Gadsby Mansion, and everything bigger and better that America represents.

 

So I've got this pen and it's a great pen.(the blue one)

What a beautiful pen! What a beautiful review! What a beautiful story!

 

It really saddens me a bit to see the one who is currently in the office Kennedy once sat in...

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Yes, absolutely. I recently had a discussion with a Swiss lady in her 80s, about what were the memorable events of her times. She mentioned gathering around TV and watching the news of Moon Landing and the Kennedy assassination. The words "inspirational, hopeful, uplifting" came to my mind, but also "shocking" (the Kennedy assassination). I do look back at that era with much fondness.

 

Thank you very much for your kind comment. Yes, it was a very special time in American history, but also in the world. I know of many people from other nationalities that were inspired by that period to dream big dreams and excel in ways that they may not have done otherwise.

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What a beautiful pen! What a beautiful review! What a beautiful story!

 

It really saddens me a bit to see the one who is currently in the office Kennedy once sat in...

 

Thank you for your kind comments.

 

There have been many who have sat in that chair that have caused consternation and others that have caused praise. To each their own. My intent here is merely to provide a review of a pen.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Yes, absolutely. I recently had a discussion with a Swiss lady in her 80s, about what were the memorable events of her times. She mentioned gathering around TV and watching the news of Moon Landing and the Kennedy assassination. The words "inspirational, hopeful, uplifting" came to my mind, but also "shocking" (the Kennedy assassination). I do look back at that era with much fondness.

 

Thank you for your kind comments. "The Eagle has landed" was a point of great celebration in our home. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" also caused great celebration in our home.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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With your family story, I can easily understand why this pen is so special to you. It's not often that we not only love a pen for its aesthetics and performance, but also have deep personal meanings attached to it. That's a wonderful feeling. Enjoy it in good times and good health!

 

I am going off the top a bit. I have been looking for a pen that commemorates Moon Landing. Here are the three candidates I came across. I have not been able to make up my mind on any of them:

 

1. The Montblanc JFK pen, of course. Positive: quality, nib design. Negative: The pen is more about JFK. I am more attached to the NASA Moon Landing missions.

2. The Montblanc new version of the Star Walk series, with the blue dome mimicking earth seen from space. Positive: I like the blue dome a lot. Negative: It's more about space exploration, not so specific on Moon Landing.

3. The Montegrappa Moon Landing regular edition: This is really about the Apollo 11 the space shuttle design. Positive: I like the theme, which is spot on for me. Negative: It's a little bulky, less elegant. The nib is just normal MG nib, no specific engraving on the regular edition.

 

What I really wish for is for Parker to make one for 50th anniversary of Moon Landing, but with some creative thoughts put into the design, not just a different colour and words engraved only. It would seem fitting to me that an American pen company will make such a pen. Of course these are all personal preferences.

 

Any thoughts, 5Cavaliers, or anyone else? Please let me know, Moderator, if I need to start a different thread. I am sorry for going off topic here.

 

 

Thank you for your kind comments. "The Eagle has landed" was a point of great celebration in our home. "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" also caused great celebration in our home.

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With your family story, I can easily understand why this pen is so special to you. It's not often that we not only love a pen for its aesthetics and performance, but also have deep personal meanings attached to it. That's a wonderful feeling. Enjoy it in good times and good health!

 

I am going off the top a bit. I have been looking for a pen that commemorates Moon Landing. Here are the three candidates I came across. I have not been able to make up my mind on any of them:

 

1. The Montblanc JFK pen, of course. Positive: quality, nib design. Negative: The pen is more about JFK. I am more attached to the NASA Moon Landing missions.

2. The Montblanc new version of the Star Walk series, with the blue dome mimicking earth seen from space. Positive: I like the blue dome a lot. Negative: It's more about space exploration, not so specific on Moon Landing.

3. The Montegrappa Moon Landing regular edition: This is really about the Apollo 11 the space shuttle design. Positive: I like the theme, which is spot on for me. Negative: It's a little bulky, less elegant. The nib is just normal MG nib, no specific engraving on the regular edition.

 

What I really wish for is for Parker to make one for 50th anniversary of Moon Landing, but with some creative thoughts put into the design, not just a different colour and words engraved only. It would seem fitting to me that an American pen company will make such a pen. Of course these are all personal preferences.

 

Any thoughts, 5Cavaliers, or anyone else? Please let me know, Moderator, if I need to start a different thread. I am sorry for going off topic here.

 

 

 

I personally don't think this is so off topic. I went through these same thoughts before I bought my JFK. Personally I also love the MB Starwalker, but more because I just like the look of the pen than for space exploration. I will likely acquire one of these some time in the future. I also considered the Montegrappa. But it appears to be much too heavy for me. I like the Montegrappa because it is the Apollo and the SII rocket - which was what my father worked on. But I thought it might be a bit "too much" in a business setting. So that is why I settled on the JFK. The references to JFK on the pen are subtle. Only those that are Montblanc fans would know, otherwise it is an elegant fountain pen.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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I envy that nib; both size and engraving. Navy is the 'right' colour but I favour the burgundy for this pen I fear.

 

 

Thank you for your comments. Yes, I love the nib! I understand about the burgundy. My husband wants me to get that one as well, but I am not so sure that I want two of the same pen, but I am still considering it.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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I appreciate your thoughts on this, 5Cavaliers. I agree. Out of the three choices mentioned, the MB JFK is the most “handsome” to me. Another consideration is that from writing comfort and nib performance aspect, I think the 146 is a better choice than the Starwalker model.

 

I personally don't think this is so off topic. I went through these same thoughts before I bought my JFK. Personally I also love the MB Starwalker, but more because I just like the look of the pen than for space exploration. I will likely acquire one of these some time in the future. I also considered the Montegrappa. But it appears to be much too heavy for me. I like the Montegrappa because it is the Apollo and the SII rocket - which was what my father worked on. But I thought it might be a bit "too much" in a business setting. So that is why I settled on the JFK. The references to JFK on the pen are subtle. Only those that are Montblanc fans would know, otherwise it is an elegant fountain pen.

 

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I appreciate your thoughts on this, 5Cavaliers. I agree. Out of the three choices mentioned, the MB JFK is the most “handsome” to me. Another consideration is that from writing comfort and nib performance aspect, I think the 146 is a better choice than the Starwalker model.

 

 

I would agree. The JFK is very comfortable and nib is outstanding. It is slightly heavier than my Unicef LeGrand, though.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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