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The Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy Appreciation Thread


fpupulin

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I recently posted the following photos of my 149 Calligraphy nib in another thread on this forum, where we were discussing the level of finish one would expect from the tip of a Montblanc nib. Apparently, there is a rather high degree of possible precision in the handmade steps.

 

I thought, for the sake of completeness of our information on the 149 Calligraphy nib, it was advisable to re-post the images here, to show everyone interested in this pen an example of this nib - I don't know how lucky or regular - executed in my opinion with great skill.

 

 

large.226879914_149Cnib_a.jpg.37d0312d7d535e3af62d961f38649faf.jpg

 

large.1861612735_149Cnib_b.jpg.93d5db4d6b34faa1d5f36ce6470b6d72.jpg

 

large.1912456225_149Cnib_c.jpg.8254c8cf81ecbba262b487c49fb4dda6.jpg

 

large.166720542_149Cnib_d.jpg.caeaf52279e098fe722d61d652e44560.jpg

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Saturday I filled my Waterman Watermina in tortoiseshell lacquer after more than one year of rest. She has a very broad nib, perhaps a double broad, which writes generously and smoothly. After writing a few lines, I just realize once again that I do not like Parker Quinck blue-black ink, as it has a undernote of green that makes it tend to a teal color.

 

There is a magic in pens, and it is that they call you and convey an “urgency” at writing. I have at home two PCs, a laptop, two iPads and one cell phone, so I am surely not at short as to possibilities of writing. Nevertheless, they do not call me for that kind of short thoughts and reflections and brief memories, which my pens and notebooks are mostly meant at.

 

So  I filled one page with the Watermina, then I continued with my trusted 149 Calligraphy, inked with R&K Alt Goldgrün. The tortoiseshell Watermina was the first fountain pen I bought new with my savings in the far 1977. Couple of years later my pen was stolen at the university. I bought her again, exactly the same model, 40 years later, in 2018.

 

More than forty years took this pen and my 149 Calligraphy apart along the lines of my life. They both write flawlessly and, most importantly, they call me at the desk to lay down a sign. Nulla dies sine linea.

 

large_Call.jpg.be8e13c78a171556711d4f2bd9941942.jpg

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I had some problems with skipping because of the tines being a bit tight. It has now been rectified. And I’m happy to report that my pen now works splendidly. A quick sketch to celebrate :)

 

E4E67CE2-C065-4279-8287-61D244BBDFAD.thumb.jpeg.c3902f2e506156235b9b9fb30a028fb6.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any theories as to why it's so difficult to get a 149 Calligraphy, especially in the U.S.? I'm on the waitlist with the online store and a couple of boutiques as well as a couple of Authorized Dealers for many months. It's been available on the online store for other countries, but MB won't ship it to the U.S. 

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On 6/6/2022 at 10:28 PM, fpupulin said:

There is a magic in pens, and it is that they call you and convey an “urgency” at writing. I have at home two PCs, a laptop, two iPads and one cell phone, so I am surely not at short as to possibilities of writing. Nevertheless, they do not call me for that kind of short thoughts and reflections and brief memories, which my pens and notebooks are mostly meant at.

 

 

Well said. Same here. My guitars exert the same kind of pull. They will call my name.

 

11 hours ago, Centurion said:

Any theories as to why it's so difficult to get a 149 Calligraphy, especially in the U.S.? I'm on the waitlist with the online store and a couple of boutiques as well as a couple of Authorized Dealers for many months. It's been available on the online store for other countries, but MB won't ship it to the U.S. 

 

Not just the U.S. I overheard someone asking Appelboom if/when they’d come in again and the answer was something along the lines of ‘I hope so’. The 149C sold/sells like hotcakes, apparently the 146C does not. The 146C is readily available yet they’re moving slow. Perhaps (as in: I have no idea) MB is hesitant to produce new batches of the 149C until the current stock of the 146C has sold. Personally I’m somewhat surprised by the lukewarm market response to the 146C. It’s smaller and cheaper, catering to those with smaller hands and/or pockets less deep. That should be a substantial group. I already forgot what I paid for mine. Great pen.

 

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2 hours ago, TheDutchGuy said:

The 149C sold/sells like hotcakes, apparently the 146C does not. The 146C is readily available yet they’re moving slow.

It's a matter of personal taste, but the 149 is far too large for me and I snapped up a 146C in a local B&M store as soon as I saw one. For my hands the ergonomics are perfect. I don't understand buyer reluctance.

iPad, Midori passport and MD notebook, Quo Vadis Habana, Watson-Guptill sketchbook

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Neither do I. The pen might catch on progressively, we’ll see.

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5 hours ago, TheDutchGuy said:

The 146C is readily available yet they’re moving slow.

 

Well, La Couronne du Comte had six or maybe seven in the first batch it got from Montblanc, and they got sold out in under one week, (to the best of my recollection) without having announced, or so much as foreshadowed, through its newsletter that the model was coming into stock. I don't think that's too lacklustre in terms of sales for a >€700 (if you have to pay VAT in Europe) pen.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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  • 5 weeks later...

It is such a pleasure writing with this pen...

 

She has been in constant use for 28 months now, without a day of rest!

 

large.1810175989_ToolsofchoiceFP.jpg.3c26a54c8d94b74c2257674b4102ed50.jpg

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@fpupulin You and your 149C have found each other! And this pen is definitely dominating your collection 😀. It’s on the borderline of monopolizing, hahahaha! When I look at my 50 some pen collection, the 149C plays a unique and very positive role of energizing my collection. It shifted my focus to nibs and their characteristics and competence. It set the bar of what a pen should do and be. Since I started practicing calligraphy and using this pen for daily writing, I have paid a lot more attention to other pens in the collection and how and what I can use them for. Some have left my collection too. Overall it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience and discovery since the arrival of 149C, and I have you to thank for!

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1 hour ago, como said:

@fpupulin You and your 149C have found each other! And this pen is definitely dominating your collection 😀. It’s on the borderline of monopolizing, hahahaha! When I look at my 50 some pen collection, the 149C plays a unique and very positive role of energizing my collection. It shifted my focus to nibs and their characteristics and competence. It set the bar of what a pen should do and be. Since I started practicing calligraphy and using this pen for daily writing, I have paid a lot more attention to other pens in the collection and how and what I can use them for. Some have left my collection too. Overall it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience and discovery since the arrival of 149C, and I have you to thank for!

+1

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13 hours ago, fpupulin said:

It is such a pleasure writing with this pen...

 

She has been in constant use for 28 months now, without a day of rest!

 

large.1810175989_ToolsofchoiceFP.jpg.3c26a54c8d94b74c2257674b4102ed50.jpg

@fpupulin:

 

Thanks again for the images of your beautiful script. It is so enjoyable to see the things that are possible with the MB Calligraphy pens!

 

In this case, I found inspiration to pull out my seldom-used bottle R&K Alt-Goldgrün and pen a note to a friend on some nice paper, in my case Amatruda ‘Amalfi’ in A4 Format. I had forgotten how lovely that combination of ink and paper is.

 

I wrote my note with a “Brand-X” pen that came from some fly-by-night manufacturer near Hannover (they use a silly water bird for a logo), so a detailed review of the pen experience probably belongs in a different thread. My pen does have a lovely soft nib, but it is much less expressive than the fully-flexible MB Calligraphy.

 

Your beautiful writing created with the MB 149 may yet inspire me to break my decades-old grudge against MB, who never did manage to satisfactorily repair the defective cap on my 145 (purchased in 1986) that tortures me to this day by springing loose at inopportune moments. However, the purchase of a MB Calligraphy now poses a dilemma: 149 or 146..?  😛

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18 hours ago, como said:

@fpupulin You and your 149C have found each other! And this pen is definitely dominating your collection 😀. It’s on the borderline of monopolizing, hahahaha! When I look at my 50 some pen collection, the 149C plays a unique and very positive role of energizing my collection. It shifted my focus to nibs and their characteristics and competence. It set the bar of what a pen should do and be. Since I started practicing calligraphy and using this pen for daily writing, I have paid a lot more attention to other pens in the collection and how and what I can use them for. Some have left my collection too. Overall it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience and discovery since the arrival of 149C, and I have you to thank for!

 

Thank you very much, como, for this post, which largely reflects my own experience.

 

For 43 years, the Montblanc 149 has been, for me, "the" fountain pen. I bought my first 149 in 1979, just turned 19. Since then, the 149 has been my pen measure, I would say in every sense: due to its physical dimensions to which I - obviously - got used to after so long time, and as a reference measure to judge other pens, in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

 

First of all a Montblanc 149 is, in my view, a pen that always works. Over the years I have owned 9 pens of this type, and with the exception of one whose nib was not suitable for my writing - a medium oblique - all of them have always been perfectly functional writers for me: never an uncertainty, never a dried ink in the barrel, never a problem. I've had 149 from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2020s, with different nibs and different feeders - all of them work wonders.

 

I didn't say, however, that the nibs of my many 149s were perfect. Functional, yes, honest, yes, very honest indeed, but not perfect as far as the pleasure of writing is concerned. For that pure pleasure, I was convinced, I had to resort to vintage fountain pens, in particular my beloved Omas from the 40s, 50s, 60s of the last century. I ended up owning a number of them, and even some modern pens fitted with Omas nibs from those times.

 

Not that this was a problem, but I was somehow resigned to the fact that my passion was a coin made up of two sides: my perfectly functional pens (the 149s and a few other similar sisters) and the perfect writers, of bygone eras.

 

Then, in 2020, the 149 Calligraphy arrived, a pen that closed the breach. 

 

The Montblanc Calligraphy nib is exactly what should have been mounted on my first 149, an EF, over forty years ago. A perfect (or almost) nib on a physically and functionally perfect pen. Perhaps, in that case, I would not have bought any other pen.

 

As como says, the 149 Calligraphy set the bar for every other pen, and it is no coincidence that after the 149 Calligraphy (28 months ago) I bought only two other pens, one of them another 149 Calligraphy (because you never know ...). But it is not only this.

 

The 149 Calligraphy made me rediscover the taste for beautiful everyday writing, for calligraphic practice mixed with everyday writing: all there, in a single pen. And the taste for beautiful writing brought me back to my other pens, to rediscover the characteristics and qualities of each one, not for their indisputable beauty, but for the grace of their writing.

 

como is right: 149 Calligraphy has almost monopolized my writing time. But only almost. The rest of the time, which Calligraphy leaves free, has been in the last two years a time of rediscovery of each of the other pens in my collection. They have sorted themselves into groups: those that are, for me, perfect for some writing reason, those that do not go wrong, and those that - despite their beauty - I no longer use because their nib has no grace when compared with the Calligraphy.

 

So thank you, nice pen, functional pen, with your perfect nib. I wouldn't do without her anymore. I'm sorry she didn't arrive earlier, but I thank Montblanc for making this fantastic pen. And for also giving me some new friends.

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On 7/16/2022 at 7:22 AM, N1003U said:

@fpupulin:

 

Thanks again for the images of your beautiful script. It is so enjoyable to see the things that are possible with the MB Calligraphy pens!

 

In this case, I found inspiration to pull out my seldom-used bottle R&K Alt-Goldgrün and pen a note to a friend on some nice paper, in my case Amatruda ‘Amalfi’ in A4 Format. I had forgotten how lovely that combination of ink and paper is.

 

I wrote my note with a “Brand-X” pen that came from some fly-by-night manufacturer near Hannover (they use a silly water bird for a logo), so a detailed review of the pen experience probably belongs in a different thread. My pen does have a lovely soft nib, but it is much less expressive than the fully-flexible MB Calligraphy.

 

Your beautiful writing created with the MB 149 may yet inspire me to break my decades-old grudge against MB, who never did manage to satisfactorily repair the defective cap on my 145 (purchased in 1986) that tortures me to this day by springing loose at inopportune moments. However, the purchase of a MB Calligraphy now poses a dilemma: 149 or 146..?  😛

 

It is a pity that the bad experience with your Meisterstück 145 has compromised your relationship with the brand, even if you have every reason for it.


Well, finally, Montblanc does not represent either good or evil, as it would sometimes seem by scrolling through the pages of the pen forums. It's just a brand that has made commercial choices that not everyone approves of (and that's why many don't choose it), but that has allowed it to be a company capable of churning out many new pens every year (most, I must admit, not to my taste) and with a large enough budget to be the most innovative of the companies that produce fountain pens.

 

Like many others on this forum, I usually only choose the more traditional Montblanc products, which of course are also the most proven and therefore usually work well.


Aesthetically, I find that some models of this brand have timeless (and therefore very imitated) shapes and proportions. Sometimes, I wish my Montblanc pens didn't have a white star decorating the end of the cap, just to avoid what I would call the "Montblanc syndrome", for better or for worse.


Personally, I find that the Montblanc Calligraphy pens with flexible nib (both the 149 and the 146) represent one of the best things Montblanc has done in the last twenty years, and among the most interesting pens available on the market today (perhaps with a little effort to sort the out). Who knows, maybe the moment has come to give Montblanc a second chance.

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1 hour ago, fpupulin said:

Personally, I find that the Montblanc Calligraphy pens with flexible nib (both the 149 and the 146) represent one of the best things Montblanc has done in the last twenty years, and among the most interesting pens available on the market today (perhaps with a little effort to sort the out). Who knows, maybe the moment has come to give Montblanc a second chance.

 

Oh yes, the moment has come to give Montblanc another chance. To be clear, I still use that old 145, and it is a pleasure; it simply does not leave my writing desk very often.

 

I am not one to bear grudges, and I perhaps exaggerate a bit for effect, but I simply have not felt the urge to take up another new MB until seeing this thread. I have gifted a few over the years (in fact there is a George Gershwin sitting in my office right now that is waiting for the end of the year when a clarinetist friend of mine retires), but just never another one for myself.

 

I think that is about to change. Seeing your skilled demonstrations of the capabilities of the Calligraphy pens are more than enough endorsement of both the brand and model. I look forward to seeing more of your work! I enjoy the discussions here of appropriate inks and papers as well. Perhaps I will have something to contribute in the future, but I see here very skilled pen people, so we shall see.

 

 

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Yes.  I was tempted by the new collaboration MB... but not enough to pull the trigger.  What I'm hoping is that they will produce an option for the Calligraphy nib on their Limited editions...  

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On 7/17/2022 at 3:12 AM, fpupulin said:

...

The Montblanc Calligraphy nib is exactly what should have been mounted on my first 149, an EF, over forty years ago. A perfect (or almost) nib on a physically and functionally perfect pen. Perhaps, in that case, I would not have bought any other pen....

 

@fpupulin She met you when you have become mature and wise. It's destiny. Or perhaps you have always been mature and wise, but she wasn't born. Meanwhile you've had a lot of pens, and learned a lot of things. It's all very good! 😀

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  • 2 weeks later...

large.1417902973_Montblanc149Calligraphy-FallinlovewithSpencerianFP.jpg.65dace6ae9a3d2cbda119900b69fa6a2.jpg

 

Cream color Fabriano Grifo 100 gr paper, with Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrün ink.

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Nice.... as usual @fpupulin

I re-inked my 149C to put together a birthday note in Spencarian that I've been learning.  It was the first time that I used the 149C with good calligraphy paper.  I now think this is the most important ingredient to this pen's performance, i.e., the paper that you use.  

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14 hours ago, maclink said:

Nice.... as usual @fpupulin

I re-inked my 149C to put together a birthday note in Spencarian that I've been learning.  It was the first time that I used the 149C with good calligraphy paper.  I now think this is the most important ingredient to this pen's performance, i.e., the paper that you use.  

 

Thank you, maclink!

 

Yours are wise words, and inking a pen specifically to write a greeting card in beautiful handwriting is certainly one of the best ways to honor our passion!

 

In my opinion, the 149 Calligraphy writes well, like an honest pen with an extra fine nib, on most types of paper, even cheap ones. But if one wants to see the qualities of this nib express themselves fully, in a truly calligraphic intent, then the quality of the paper, together with a suitable ink, is essential.

 

In the pages of this thread, excellent recommendations have been offered for papers that are neither difficult to find nor expensive to buy and with characteristics that best suit the qualities of the Calligraphy nib.

 

It's a really good thing that you remembered this essential - and often underestimated - element of the good writing equation. Trying is believing...

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