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The Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy Appreciation Thread


fpupulin

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I have always admired the Meisterstück pouch for a single pen, not only for the tactile feel and sheen of its full-grain cowhide (which I know of other Montblanc leather products), but also for the fact that the internal loops are designed so as to leave visible the three rings of the cap, so typical of the Meisterstück line.


However, with a retail price of over $ 200, I never bought it, also because I didn't know which of my many 149 to use it for. But now, with my sweetheart Calligraphy, the idea of a Meisterstück "tailor-made" case had come back to my mind frequently.


I took advantage of the long and boring trip back to Italy to visit some MB Boutiques at the airport, and finally I found my case at a price, let's say, of promotion...


And here it is, my Calligraphy in its new custom made house. The case replaces another pen pouch for a single instrument, made by Taccia. The Taccia is a bit bigger, in every dimension, but above all I must say that the inner lining is of a terrible quality: it has begun to crumble and peel since the first time I used it ...

 

 

large.IMG_0668.jpg.ac37fff278242cdf00a317d6f10a35d8.jpg

 

large.IMG_0676.jpg.9250cd6fc14b25ddbb04b9b93910f02b.jpg

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1 hour ago, fpupulin said:

I have always admired the Meisterstück pouch for a single pen, not only for the tactile feel and sheen of its full-grain cowhide (which I know of other Montblanc leather products), but also for the fact that the internal loops are designed so as to leave visible the three rings of the cap, so typical of the Meisterstück line.


However, with a retail price of over $ 200, I never bought it, also because I didn't know which of my many 149 to use it for. But now, with my sweetheart Calligraphy, the idea of a Meisterstück "tailor-made" case had come back to my mind frequently.


I took advantage of the long and boring trip back to Italy to visit some MB Boutiques at the airport, and finally I found my case at a price, let's say, of promotion...


And here it is, my Calligraphy in its new custom made house. The case replaces another pen pouch for a single instrument, made by Taccia. The Taccia is a bit bigger, in every dimension, but above all I must say that the inner lining is of a terrible quality: it has begun to crumble and peel since the first time I used it ...

 

 

large.IMG_0668.jpg.ac37fff278242cdf00a317d6f10a35d8.jpg

 

large.IMG_0676.jpg.9250cd6fc14b25ddbb04b9b93910f02b.jpg

Congratulations! Seems your trip is coming along fine.

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@fpupulin Congratulations! A pen as competent and stylish as the MB 149 Calligraphy deserves to be paired with a beautiful and protective matching leather case, so you can take her everywhere in style and write with her even more! 😀 A little pleasure purchase like this helps to ease the pain of a long journey in a pandemic a little! I used to buy a small box of chocolate from the best Swiss chocolatier before getting on every long haul flight, so I had something to look forward to and enjoy even for the flight 🙂. If I pass by an airport boutique and they offer a promotion on this, I am afraid that I would get it too! Enjoy your new pouch!

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Thank you, newstudent and como!


I am sure that most of the business in the duty free shops in the world’s airports is not due to price convenience, but to auto-compensation for the discomfort of the trip…

 

Luck with the promotions, como!

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I am coming back to the topic relating to the test of a nib and the possible differences in stroke width between just dipping it and actually loading the pen. 

 

The theme had left me intrigued and I wanted to try it with the nib of my Calligraphy. I dipped the nib in Diamine Tobacco Sunburst ink, without wiping the ink after the dip. The paper I used is a very "normal" Hanehmühle's laid guard paper, which does not widen or tighten the stroke of the pen. The alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase, is Italic (or English) according to the calligraphy manual by Ranieri Percossi (1924).

 

In my opinion, the Calligraphy writes identically when dipped in ink (not soaked ...) and when it is regularly loaded with the piston. If there are any differences, I have not been able to notice them. Even with a freshly dipped nib, the Calligraphy provides an extra-fine line with little pressure, then flexes generously on the verticals, and quickly returns to the extra-fine line as soon as pressure is released.


All the other considerations exposed in this topic, relating to possible variations due to the combination of paper and ink, as well as to the posture and relaxation of the writer, certainly seem valid to me but, at least in the case of my pen, the influence of the nib's feeding system does not seem to be particularly significant. 

 

Here are the images:

 

large.226553522_AlfabetosecondoRanieriPercossi(1).jpg.921ff5aaf47ab9b818d166f71e44f16c.jpg

 

large.1897428735_AlfabetosecondoRanieriPercossi(2).jpg.191fd55fff3b2c685d189c3aaecf0af4.jpg

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6 hours ago, fpupulin said:

I am coming back to the topic relating to the test of a nib and the possible differences in stroke width between just dipping it and actually loading the pen. 

I have compared the two images on my monitor. I cannot discern any significant difference.

 

I compared my Calligraphy 149 to an XF 149 yesterday. I found that the Calligraphy 149 was even finer than the XF. I was using MB Permanent Black in the Calligraphy pen and old MB Black in the XF. Without any added pressure on the nib, the Calligraphy skipped. The XF wrote well without any pressure. I need to repeat this experiment using the same ink in each pen. I have found that the MB Permanent Blue ink in the Calligraphy pen doesn't skip, even without pressure. I also replicated @fpupulin's results of the Black Permanent ink smearing. The MB Black dried fairly quickly. 

 

I guess that we can conclude that @TheDutchGuy did the right thing to reject a Calligraphy 149 that writes like a fine nib. Dipping the pen didn't seem to have a significant influence on line width, and an out-of-the box Calligraphy pen wrote with a finer line than a MB 149 XF. Having said that, I do know that line width can vary from pen to pen with Montblanc. I need to save up to buy ten 149 Calligraphy pens and ten XF 149s. I don't suppose that I could get you folks to send me your pens for a month or two to conduct these tests. Should I start a gofundme page?

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson

 

"I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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@fpupulin Hahaha, the investigative nature of an academic got the better of you! I agree that dip-writing a pen gives enough accurate impression of how the pen would write loaded, with regards of nib width. When I tried my Calligraphy in the shop the first time, I was allowed to dip-test it. I wrote with it for a good 30 minutes. I was trying to fight the urge to buy it. After one week, I went back and my favourite saleslady allowed me to ink the pen by piston to try again. I recall that there wasn't any difference in thickness between the two times. Dip-test doesn't expose some other potential issues of a pen, but that's another topic.

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I've noticed that MB Permanent Black writes very smooth like I am writing with glycerin! It's able to maintain the EF width quite well, but it takes longer to dry. Is this the experience from others as well? Thank you!

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What is remarkable about the 149 Calligraphy flex, is just how truly refined the nib is.  Montblanc didn't just make the nib flexible, they made it remarkably robust, versatile, and enables so much nuanced control you just can't get in any other modern pen.  For example, with very light strokes I can use the Calligraphy nib with my Moleskine journals with pretty much any ink without any bleed through, because I can control the ink flow for a very fine light line.  And of course the flexy line variation is always so wonderful and effortless to invoke, it's a modern pen with a vintage flex nib.  :cloud9:

 

With regards to engraving those flexy figure 8's, if Montblanc can't engrave that script, I wonder if they would sell us pages of those little figure 8 stickers!  I would buy a page of stickers in a heartbeat to proudly display on the barrel where the sticker originally displayed when the pen was new!  It would be a great way to discern the superlative 149 Calligraphy from my other 149, but for me my other 149 is a rose gold, so I have no problem telling my two 149s apart, but I still would like those stickers!  :) 

 

After 17 months of using this pen, it is still my work horse and daily writer and the nib is as good as it was when new, in fact it gets better with use.  For a nib that can get you down to an EEF line, it is remarkably smooth. 

 

I've been away awhile but loved going through all your posts Franco as well as others here.  Those Montblanc pen cases look nice.  I should look at getting one.  

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16 hours ago, como said:

I've noticed that MB Permanent Black writes very smooth like I am writing with glycerin! It's able to maintain the EF width quite well, but it takes longer to dry. Is this the experience from others as well? Thank you!

 

This is my exact experience too. The Black Permanent is almost "dense" in a way that remind me the true iron gall inks used for calligraphy with dip nibs. When writing with the Calligraphy nib, but I guess also with any other flexible nib, it behaves extraordinarily well, in my opinion, allowing for very thin strokes, and  it is one of the blackest inks I ever try. But...

 

It takes a very long time to dry and, actually, for my experience, the exact surface always smears a bit when you rub it with a finger, no matter how long you awaited for the ink to dry completely. I am just guessing, but my impression is that the ink is so rich in pigments that the superior layer of pigments simply remains "suspended" on the upper surface of the ink. So to say, the ink is already dry, but the suspended particles can still be removed rubbing them, so that the ink "smears".

 

It is, in my opinion, the only defect of this gorgeous ink, but an annoying defect nonetheless. The Blue Permanent do not present this defect and I consider it a better ink for this reason.

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2 hours ago, max dog said:

What is remarkable about the 149 Calligraphy flex, is just how truly refined the nib is.  Montblanc didn't just make the nib flexible, they made it remarkably robust, versatile, and enables so much nuanced control you just can't get in any other modern pen.  For example, with very light strokes I can use the Calligraphy nib with my Moleskine journals with pretty much any ink without any bleed through, because I can control the ink flow for a very fine light line.  And of course the flexy line variation is always so wonderful and effortless to invoke, it's a modern pen with a vintage flex nib.  :cloud9:

 

With regards to engraving those flexy figure 8's, if Montblanc can't engrave that script, I wonder if they would sell us pages of those little figure 8 stickers!  I would buy a page of stickers in a heartbeat to proudly display on the barrel where the sticker originally displayed when the pen was new!  It would be a great way to discern the superlative 149 Calligraphy from my other 149, but for me my other 149 is a rose gold, so I have no problem telling my two 149s apart, but I still would like those stickers!  :) 

 

After 17 months of using this pen, it is still my work horse and daily writer and the nib is as good as it was when new, in fact it gets better with use.  For a nib that can get you down to an EEF line, it is remarkably smooth. 

 

I've been away awhile but loved going through all your posts Franco as well as others here.  Those Montblanc pen cases look nice.  I should look at getting one.  

 

Hi my friend! Great to see you coming back to the thread. My experience with the Calligraphy nib exactly mirrors what you say.

 

Your idea of removable stickers is not bad at all. I really doubt that Montblanc would ever consider the idea of producing and selling those stickers, but I will try to have "mines" done at a printer service someway... I will do the try when I will come home in Costa Rica in two or three weeks, so I will maintain my friends here informed about the progresses.

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Hi Franco, I suspect the same that it would be unlikely Montblanc would sell those stickers, but I don't really see any harm if they did (hope Montblanc is reading this), it's not like anything proprietary they are risking.  Sell a few labels online at the Montblanc website, ie a page of stickers with a dozen stickers for each different nib widths from EF to OBB and Calligraphy Flex.  It would be useful for Montblanc customer's to be able to keep tabs on the nib size on their pens given it's not marked anywhere, especially the collectors who have many.  If down the road they decide to sell or trade the pen, having a MB sticker showing the nib size on a pen would be valuable and may even help with it's value retention like having original documentation and box/packaging.  I like your idea of going to a printer to see if they can produce stickers.  Keep us posted how you make out if that is something feasible.  I left the sticker on my pen for as long as I could, but it disintegrated after a few months.  :)

 

That's a nice light brown ink (Golden Brown) you used there.  I've been enjoying using MB Lavender Purple.  The Calligraphy nib produces a nice dark rich purple line with plenty of shading, looks a little antiquated which I like.  It looks like in MBs latest ink line up, Lavender Purple is replaced by Amethyst Purple.  Hopefully Amethyst has similar characteristics to the Lavender.

 

I got my 149 Calligraphy in 2020 at the end of February just before the pandemic hit, so I am extra fond of it for that reason as well, was a nice companion during the lockdowns, providing a little joy through all the turmoil in the world that was happening. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, max dog said:

Hi Franco, I suspect the same that it would be unlikely Montblanc would sell those stickers, but I don't really see any harm if they did (hope Montblanc is reading this), it's not like anything proprietary they are risking. 

I have a Brother P-Touch Label Maker that I use to label my pens when I compare ink. I have a stable of Pilot Custom 74s that I use for this task. The labels stay on, but do come off without any damage to the pen. If I get a chance, I will post some photos tomorrow.

 

The label that came on my 149 Calligraphy is no longer there. I didn't remove it, so it must have fallen off. It goes get a fair amount of use.

 

If Montblanc personnel are reading this topic, they need to make Franco a Brand Ambassador and give him free ink, pens, merchandise, trip to Hamburg, etc. No one has sold more Montblanc pens than Franco!

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson

 

"I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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6 hours ago, Frank C said:

...

If Montblanc personnel are reading this topic, they need to make Franco a Brand Ambassador and give him free ink, pens, merchandise, trip to Hamburg, etc. No one has sold more Montblanc pens than Franco!

Absolutely!! And I bet that Franco singlehandedly increased MB Permanent Blue and Permanent Black ink sales by 5,000%! Why else would one go buy a “boring” AND PERMANENT ink and put it in any expensive pen?! 😀

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I know for sure I never considered permanent black and blue inks, and yet I now own permanent black and am planning to buy the permanent blue in the nearest future as well.

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As promised, here are a few photos of my Brother P-Touch labeler and its results:

 

IMG_0489.thumb.jpeg.c9ef72cd8d9aa8f101d6cce0867f3a52.jpeg

 

Some of my labels. They adhere well to the plastic, but remove easily and without damage after being on for years. "CP" stands for Cult Pens, "DD" stands for their Deep Dark exclusive Series of Diamine inks. "Pen won't fill" is because I used paper labels with strings to identify my pens needing service. After the housekeeper cleaned, the labels were in a little pile, no longer connected to the pens. 

 

IMG_0487.thumb.jpeg.f5ba15d84a86d39964450bad58dbb96f.jpeg

 

I have a spare MB 149 cap, so I made a "Calligraphy" label for it. I also discovered that my labeler has a built-in Calligraphy font. I am using a 149 Calligraphy to prop it up. 

 

IMG_0491.thumb.jpeg.b1ba7cbfaae42d30bf72712054a191c6.jpeg

 

The prototype. It is on one of my original MBs with the 14C fine nib. At some point, MB changed the threads on the caps; this one is the older version. The background is one of my Moleskines that I use for Calligraphy 149 practice, per @fpupulin's recommendation. 

 

IMG_0495.thumb.jpeg.f44152cd21a154cd33a7dcc6f89cd485.jpeg

 

For me, this is a less-expensive and less-elegant way to distinguish my Calligraphy 149 from the other pens. But it doesn't require a trip to Texas to accomplish.

 

Brother makes another labeler that connects to a computer and functions as a printer. I would guess that Franco's connected 8s artwork could be printed with that. Brother also makes a "Gold Print on Black Tape" for my labeler:

image.jpeg.6f30ecfd40a8f461fe6db2ec81732430.jpeg

In a week or two, I will peel the label off to see if there is any damage to the MB cap. I suspect that the "Precious Resin" won't be damaged. 

IMG_0489.jpeg

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson

 

"I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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On 7/10/2021 at 2:21 AM, Frank C said:

If Montblanc personnel are reading this topic, they need to make Franco a Brand Ambassador and give him free ink, pens, merchandise, trip to Hamburg, etc. No one has sold more Montblanc pens than Franco!

 

On 7/10/2021 at 8:32 AM, como said:

Absolutely!! And I bet that Franco singlehandedly increased MB Permanent Blue and Permanent Black ink sales by 5,000%! Why else would one go buy a “boring” AND PERMANENT ink and put it in any expensive pen?! 😀

 

Yes, my dear friends, during the fourteen months of this thread, I believe I was an honest ambassador of Calligraphy. A passionate ambassador, I would say, because I believe in this product. Calligraphy is by far the pen I use the most today, and by far the one I enjoy the most with.


I opened this topic of "appreciation" some time ago, because I had the impression that at the time there were many discussions and comments non-first-hand, sometimes even misleading, on this pen, and I feared that this mass of confused and contradictory information could prevent someone from buying a pen that I consider, from a functional point of view, one of the best things Montblanc has put on the market in the last 20 years.


With the "pen pals" of this thread we shared a long road of experiments with papers and inks, to find which of the combinations could get the most out of this interesting nib. I imagine there will be exceptions, but certainly most of the friends who have looked at this thread have done so to tell their discovery and enjoyment of a contemporary flexible nib that really lives up to its name. For some, the Calligraphy nib has even represented the door to the fascinating world of calligraphy, which is undoubtedly a noble way to use a pen!


I remember when I bought my Calligraphy, I wondered if Montblanc shouldn't have mounted this special nib on a pen made especially for it, rather than on the very classic 149. Today I'm glad they didn't (although I'd like to find a way to distinguish at first sight my Calligraphy from the other 149s in my collection), and indeed the decision of Montblanc led me to a rediscovery of the 149 - my first "important" pen when I was not yet 20 years old -, its aesthetics and its perfect functionality. A 149 is not fancy: it's just a well thought out pen with a timeless style, and the flexible nib gives it a touch of originality and panache.

In recent months I have often compared the performance of the Calligraphy nib with those of the few flexible vintage nibs in my collection, mostly from the 1950s-60s. Here I want to offer you another comparison.

In Italy I found a beautiful Parker Duofold senior streamlined pen, made in Canada, with a beautiful flexible extra-fine nib, which will be at least 80 years old, waiting for me. With this pen and the Alt Goldgrün ink by Rohrer & Klingner I wrote a quote of my own invention on calligraphy, in Italian.

large.2016304416_ParkerDuofoldCanadaScrivereamanoFP.jpg.eef3522eb1b88d7f68738c9a7a03e718.jpg

Then, on the same laid paper, I wrote the same aphorism in English, using Diamine's Calligraphy and Ancient Copper ink with my Montblanc 149 Calligraphy (the guidelines on the leaf were then erased).

 

large.1139063272_Montblanc149CalligraphyHandwritingFP.jpg.1000f2aa661495ecac49033334d9f6d9.jpg


My enthusiasm it's not because I'm a sort of an ambassador on this forum, but because the Calligraphy nib really writes like a quality vintage classic!

 

It is very much for an impeccable and shiny contemporary pen, with a support service behind it should it be necessary ...

 

large.1116193311_HandwritingFP.jpg.a18db0cdf9dd1c7b4ac6bc665dcac4f2.jpg

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16 minutes ago, fpupulin said:

 

 

Yes, my dear friends, during the fourteen months of this thread, I believe I was an honest ambassador of Calligraphy. A passionate ambassador, I would say, because I believe in this product. Calligraphy is by far the pen I use the most today, and by far the one I enjoy the most with.


I opened this topic of "appreciation" some time ago, because I had the impression that at the time there were many discussions and comments non-first-hand, sometimes even misleading, on this pen, and I feared that this mass of confused and contradictory information could prevent someone from buying a pen that I consider, from a functional point of view, one of the best things Montblanc has put on the market in the last 20 years.


With the "pen pals" of this thread we shared a long road of experiments with papers and inks, to find which of the combinations could get the most out of this interesting nib. I imagine there will be exceptions, but certainly most of the friends who have looked at this thread have done so to tell their discovery and enjoyment of a contemporary flexible nib that really lives up to its name. For some, the Calligraphy nib has even represented the door to the fascinating world of calligraphy, which is undoubtedly a noble way to use a pen!


I remember when I bought my Calligraphy, I wondered if Montblanc shouldn't have mounted this special nib on a pen made especially for it, rather than on the very classic 149. Today I'm glad they didn't (although I'd like to find a way to distinguish at first sight my Calligraphy from the other 149s in my collection), and indeed the decision of Montblanc led me to a rediscovery of the 149 - my first "important" pen when I was not yet 20 years old -, its aesthetics and its perfect functionality. A 149 is not fancy: it's just a well thought out pen with a timeless style, and the flexible nib gives it a touch of originality and panache.

In recent months I have often compared the performance of the Calligraphy nib with those of the few flexible vintage nibs in my collection, mostly from the 1950s-60s. Here I want to offer you another comparison.

In Italy I found a beautiful Parker Duofold senior streamlined pen, made in Canada, with a beautiful flexible extra-fine nib, which will be at least 80 years old, waiting for me. With this pen and the Alt Goldgrün ink by Rohrer & Klingner I wrote a quote of my own invention on calligraphy, in Italian.

large.2016304416_ParkerDuofoldCanadaScrivereamanoFP.jpg.eef3522eb1b88d7f68738c9a7a03e718.jpg

Then, on the same laid paper, I wrote the same aphorism in English, using Diamine's Calligraphy and Ancient Copper ink with my Montblanc 149 Calligraphy (the guidelines on the leaf were then erased).

 

large.1139063272_Montblanc149CalligraphyHandwritingFP.jpg.1000f2aa661495ecac49033334d9f6d9.jpg


My enthusiasm it's not because I'm a sort of an ambassador on this forum, but because the Calligraphy nib really writes like a quality vintage classic!

 

It is very much for an impeccable and shiny contemporary pen, with a support service behind it should it be necessary ...

 

large.1116193311_HandwritingFP.jpg.a18db0cdf9dd1c7b4ac6bc665dcac4f2.jpg

Nice aphorism too!

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@fpupulin It is precisely because of your honesty and enthusiasm that your posts are so convincing. I don’t think people would be half interested if you were given freebies or even paid by Montblanc to do so. I suggest that Montblanc thank you in some dignified way for your enthusiasm, appreciation and love of this very special product (and for being a very genuine and independent influencer). I think they should invite you to meet the design team of this nib! 🙂

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