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The Expressive — 149 From Montblanc And Fritz Schimpf

Tom Kellie

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※※ The Expressive ※※

Special Edition Collaboration 149 by Montblanc and Fritz Schimpf

~ Ordered in November, 2019 and Delivered in September, 2020, The Expressive is my fountain pen highlight of 2020.

Writing with The Expressive during the past two weeks has been exhilarating, due to the extraordinary fluency possible with the nib.

After comments about my sketching and writing experience with The Expressive, a series of images is provided to introduce it to anyone interested.

Montblanc in Hamburg, Germany and Fritz Schimpf in Tübingen agreed to develop a special pen to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Fritz Schimpf in 2020.

They selected the Montblanc 149 with the nib design used for the 2019 Calligraphy Flex nib, but proceeded to design a unique nib for those who love sketching and writing.

Herr Wolfgang Krohn of Montblanc Nib Design, Mr, Axel Nier of Montblanc Nib Production and Herr Sebastian Stolz, Director of Fritz Schimpf, worked together to achieve an ideal design.

Although I was aware of the process, I pledged to make no public or private comment about the project, which only ends today with the official introduction of The Expressive.

At the close of November of 2019 the pen was ordered with every expectation that it would be on my writing desk in time for the 2020 Lunar New Year.

Montblanc did produce the pen and Fritz Schimpf did ship it to my Hong Kong shipping address. Events were such that it was unable to cross the border from Hong Kong into Shenzhen.

For well over half a year The Expressive was safely stored in the apartment of my highly reliable and trusted former Peking University medical student, now residing in Hong Kong.

Thanks to the good offices of one of my current private students, who operates a major import-export firm, it was brought to me two weeks ago.

For two weeks I’ve daily sketched and written with The Expressive, inked with Fritz Schimpf’s outstanding Fritzrot ink.

Not only has the experience been entirely trouble-free, it’s been a delight, as the The Expressive’s nib is extraordinarily responsive to the slightest shift in finger pressure.

The primary impression I’ve had has been that of incomparable fluency. The ink flow, nib tine flexibility, and the mass of the pen are such that rapid writing or sketching seems effortless.

There’s been no skipping, no railroading, no hard starts. Rather, The Expressive has charmed me with its steady performance and elegant style.

While the nib has unmistakable flex qualities, it’s more of an all-around easy writing pen, especially suited for those prone to rapid field sketching or jotting quick notes.

The only pens on my writing desk which share several of The Expressive’s desirable qualities are a Bespoke 149 Small Signature and a Bespoke Schiller Sketch Nib.

The Expressive incorporates all of the qualities one might desire for a pen which is a great writer out of the box, highly responsive to the writing idiosyncrasies of each user.

Today The Expressive was inked in Montblanc Royal Blue. The ink shades with striking effect, laying down crisp strokes of varying width achieving a pleasing overall result.

Based on my experience, I strongly recommend The Expressive. Montblanc and Fritz Schimpf have utilized their substantial experience to create a lovely writing tool.

Technical questions are best addressed to the Fritz Schimpf Web site. What I might offer are the following images, including both sketching and handwriting samples.

For those who regularly write East Asian characters, The Expressive is particularly well-suited for producing swift strokes. It’s a joy to use when writing characters.

In presenting this information and the images, I’d like to express my gratitude for those whose care and attention to detail made possible The Expressive.

Tom Kellie


Carefully Packed


Initial Unpacking


The Expressive Arrives


Holding The Expressive


Collaboration Pen


The Expressive Revealed


The Expressive


The Expressive Nib


Inked in Fritzrot


The Expressive Nib Detail


Engraved Nib


Nib Feed


The Expressive At Work


Character Pen


On Green Glass


Writer's Refreshment


Inked in Royal Blue


Powerful Name for a Splendid Nib


Fritz Schimpf





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Congrats! Thats beautiful! And thanks for the lovely report. May you enjoy every moment of using the Expressive.

Happiness is a real Montblanc...

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Congratulations, Tom, for an always beautiful and timeless pen and that very special and unique nib that looks terrific!


It is interesting that Montblanc made the expertise and craftsmanship acquired with the Calligraphy Flexible nib available to other customers, interested in producing their own specialty nibs. Very well done by Fritz Schimpf.


This sound like a true renaissance of high quality nibs intended for calligraphy and drawing. A very exciting time...


Thank you for your post.

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Beautiful nib! Flexy cursive italics are among my most favorite nib types. Enjoy this pen for years to come!


P.S.: I always admire that Firtz Rot ink. Someday I'll get a bottle, along with the Feinpost paper in A5 size.

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Thank you so much, Tom, for posting this! I am glad to see that your treasures are finally in your hands. Although it would be an amazing privilege to own one of these beauties, by the time I have saved enough, they will likely be gone.

"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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Tom, superb write up and photography as usual! A big congrats to your awesome new pen. Love the "the expressive" and "Fritz Schimp" engraved script on the sides of the nib. From the photos it looks like the Calligraphy flex nib with a wonderful stub tip. Beautiful writing samples! Enjoyed it very much, thanks for posting this.

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Width of the tipping appears to be about 1.1mm based on the proportions of Tom's closeup of the nib and the actual length of a typical 149 nib (around 28mm.)


Listed at E1390 on the Schimpf website, about a 60% premium to a standard 149 ( seems reasonable in relative terms for something of such limited availability.)


There is a full description here:




They say the unflexed downstroke is 0.80mm, flexed maximum 1.60mm, cross-stroke 0.18mm.

VERY interesting!

Edited by BlueJ
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Tom, this is a bit off-topic, but may I ask if you could make a macro photograph of the Fritz Schimpf Feinpost paper with some of your writing on it? I'd love to see the paper texture, and up-close ink shading appearance.

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Lovely! It resembles the vintage Pelikan BB-nibs that I have but with certain features amped up due to the much larger nib... it must be really wonderful to write with. :)

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I do believe I recognize the handwriting of the person who created the "The Expressive" graphic... :)


Thanks for the wonderful detailed report, Tom Kellie!

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Mr. Kellie your delightful review posts along with the photos were a real joy to see here this morning.


Sleepily I opened my laptop this morning by the time I'd finished this post I found myself grinning ear to ear

and full of happiness for you and your latest acquisition.


In short thanks for taking the time to share this joy our occasion with us here at FPN

Seems to me that like the incubation of a child your adventure also took 9 months to conceive and fully mature.


Would you be passing out proud father Cigars in the coming days : ) :wub:



Tom Heath


Peace be with you . Hug your loved ones today

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I was also grinning for you "ear to ear". Congratulations!!!!! :notworthy1:

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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I was also grinning for you "ear to ear". Congratulations!!!!! :notworthy1:

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Ghost Plane, where are you? A pen is calling your name!


Tom, thanks for the post and lovely pictures. I find myself wanting this pen *desperately*. Where are my promises of economy? (searches pockets, corners, long-forgotten drawers ....)

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Thank you, Tom, for sharing your wonderful new pen with all of us. Also thanks for the wonderful photography, and you wonderful handwriting samples. Congratulations on thos wonderful MB 149 FS pen!!!!! :)


And like many of our friends, your write-up had me smiling ear to ear!!!!!! :):)

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