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Is the 146 the ugly stepchild of the 149?



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kazoolaw

This is not an either/or decision.  I had, and used, both pens for years.  

My 149 was a daily writer, posted.  Now, 25+ years later, I use it unposted more often.

 The 146 was also a daily writer for a change of pace.  The nib was one of my best ever, as it seemingly could have written a perfect line on wax paper. 

I eventually sold the 146, replacing it in the rotation with an Omas 557 S for a change of pace:  similar length, more graceful, Greek key bands.

If you prefer one over the other, enjoy it. If you enjoy them both, all the better.

 

 

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Back in the day, when Montblanc was producing writing instruments instead of jewelry that happens to write, its catalogue tiering was quite obvious, as it was the "between the lines" reading of its publicity.

 

When the 4 series was launched back in the fifties, you had three finishing tiers, as it came for pre-war times: 3, 2 and 1, from most "basic" to most "luxurious".  Note, that even the "humble" series 3 was a very nice writing tool, on par with the offers from any other brand: it's only that 3xx was a "no-frills" pen.  Samewise, the 1 tear was not jewelry but "only" the best writing instrument that could be built (or, at least, that Montblanc could build).  Then, pens being tools, and hands and preferences not being equal, you had three sizes, from shorter/thinner to bigger/thicker.  So you had 342, 344 and 346, then 242, 244 and 246 and, finally, you had the "Meisterstück" line, numbered one: 142, 144 and 146.

 

That should have to be all, except it wasn't.  On the 14x line, you had Montblanc's top-of-range mechanical advancement: the telescopic piston, which almost doubled the pen's ink capacity -14x was top-of-range, after all... but then you also had an extra-size: instead of "just" 2, 4 and 6, you also had a "gigantic" number 9 which "obviously" was not meant as a writing instrument but as a status symbol: owning a 149 meant you not only could pay for the best business tool, but also that you didn't need to waste your time writing, that's what your minions are for, but just, at most, signing the next big-money contract as the president of your company (also, note that while all other 14x models had an anatomically designed section for an easy grip, 149 lacked it, even being thicker, to produce a more "elegant" full "cigar shape" -another hint that it was not a "writing instrument").

 

All in all, that means that "back in the day", 146 was the best writing tool Montblanc had in catalogue, with 149 being "something else".

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N1003U
51 minutes ago, jmnav said:

Back in the day, when Montblanc was producing writing instruments instead of jewelry that happens to write, its catalogue tiering was quite obvious, as it was the "between the lines" reading of its publicity.

 

When the 4 series was launched back in the fifties, you had three finishing tiers, as it came for pre-war times: 3, 2 and 1, from most "basic" to most "luxurious".  Note, that even the "humble" series 3 was a very nice writing tool, on par with the offers from any other brand: it's only that 3xx was a "no-frills" pen.  Samewise, the 1 tear was not jewelry but "only" the best writing instrument that could be built (or, at least, that Montblanc could build).  Then, pens being tools, and hands and preferences not being equal, you had three sizes, from shorter/thinner to bigger/thicker.  So you had 342, 344 and 346, then 242, 244 and 246 and, finally, you had the "Meisterstück" line, numbered one: 142, 144 and 146.

 

That should have to be all, except it wasn't.  On the 14x line, you had Montblanc's top-of-range mechanical advancement: the telescopic piston, which almost doubled the pen's ink capacity -14x was top-of-range, after all... but then you also had an extra-size: instead of "just" 2, 4 and 6, you also had a "gigantic" number 9 which "obviously" was not meant as a writing instrument but as a status symbol: owning a 149 meant you not only could pay for the best business tool, but also that you didn't need to waste your time writing, that's what your minions are for, but just, at most, signing the next big-money contract as the president of your company (also, note that while all other 14x models had an anatomically designed section for an easy grip, 149 lacked it, even being thicker, to produce a more "elegant" full "cigar shape" -another hint that it was not a "writing instrument").

 

All in all, that means that "back in the day", 146 was the best writing tool Montblanc had in catalogue, with 149 being "something else".

 

You are a brave person... 😛

 

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kazoolaw
1 hour ago, jmnav said:

...as a status symbol: owning a 149 meant you not only could pay for the best business tool, but also that you didn't need to waste your time writing, that's what your minions are for, but just, at most, signing the next big-money contract as the president of your company (also, note that while all other 14x models had an anatomically designed section for an easy grip, 149 lacked it, even being thicker, to produce a more "elegant" full "cigar shape" -another hint that it was not a "writing instrument")....

 

 

 

I guess we don't need the public at-large to hate MB pens given the internecine strife here in the MB forum.

 

Going off in search my missing minions.

 

 

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bunnspecial
1 hour ago, kazoolaw said:

 

I guess we don't need the public at-large to hate MB pens given the internecine strife here in the MB forum.

 

Going off in search my missing minions.

 

 

 

Yep...

 

I've never used a 149 that wasn't a beautiful writer, and as I said I have a couple of them now.

 

At first the section was way too big and I found it uncomfortable, but I've adapted and even though I still prefer the 146, I find a 149 a lot easier to use than I use to.

 

Anyone who thinks it's not a writing instrument I'm going to guess have not spent much time with one.

 

Also, out of curiosity, I seem to recall that I have a note from you that you said was written with a Hemingway. How, in your opinion, does it compare in feel in-hand to a 149? A 139 and Hemingway both are out of my budget, but I've looked at the Dumas a couple of times. I've been told they're essentially the same 139-style body of the Hemingway.

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fpupulin
3 hours ago, bunnspecial said:

 

Yep...

 

I've never used a 149 that wasn't a beautiful writer, and as I said I have a couple of them now.

 

At first the section was way too big and I found it uncomfortable, but I've adapted and even though I still prefer the 146, I find a 149 a lot easier to use than I use to.

 

Anyone who thinks it's not a writing instrument I'm going to guess have not spent much time with one.

 

Also, out of curiosity, I seem to recall that I have a note from you that you said was written with a Hemingway. How, in your opinion, does it compare in feel in-hand to a 149? A 139 and Hemingway both are out of my budget, but I've looked at the Dumas a couple of times. I've been told they're essentially the same 139-style body of the Hemingway.


I have both 149 pens and those made around the 139 body, Hemingway and Dumas.

 

In my opinion, they all are formidable writers. Actually, the section of the 149, the Hemingway and the Dumas, as well as their nibs, are the same, with the only difference that both the Writers Editions have a small flange at the end of te section, which is absent in the 149.  I guess it as intended to represent a finial stop for the fingers, but in reality I never felt it’s absence in the 149.

 

What is different, instead, and I would say notably different, is the length of the pen body. I have medium sized hands, and I feel that the body of the 149, being longer, rests better in the recess of my hand than both the Writers Editions bodies.

 

The 149 was not only thought as a fine writing instrument, but in my opinion it was a slight improvement with respect to its predecessor, the 139, which already had a cult status as a perfect fountain pen.

 

I bought my first Meisterstück 149 when I was 19 years old, forty years ago. I also have a couple of 146, which I consider very fine pens, but I still prefer writing, drawing, and calligraphing with my 149s.

 

I do not think that a fountain pen could have survived, almost unchanged, for seventy years if not because it is, first and foremost, an exceptional writing instrument.


 
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Frank C

I have examples of both the 146 and the 149. I enjoy writing with them all. Having said that, when I had to write essay answers for exams in law school, my pen of choice was the Montblanc 146. It has a good size for my hand, and stout fine nib that I could press on, without damage, when I was anxious. The pen holds a lot of ink, more than enough to answer an essay exam. I used Montblanc Blue ink, it was a good, reliable, and readable ink. I agree with the previous posters; the Calligraphy 149 and the 149 OBBB are very special pens. I read somewhere on FPN that a former managing director of Montblanc said that the majority of nibs sold by them are medium; they suit most people's handwriting. 

 

I always recommend that fountain pen users try a pen in the store before purchase. We have all ordered pens that turned out not to suit our preferences. Montblanc has boutiques and dealers all over; one can almost always try a pen before buying. 

"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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TheDutchGuy
14 hours ago, kazoolaw said:

Going off in search of my missing minions.

 

😂

 

Personally I really enjoyed @jmnav ’s post because it offers a concise overview of MB’s tiering system and some edgy humor. I doubt that jmnav set out to actually disqualify the 149 and even if he did, the success of the 149 speaks for itself. Going back to the tiers, while I am not knowledgeable about vintage MB at all, I find it interesting that there’s no such thing as a 249 or 349. 

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N1003U
29 minutes ago, TheDutchGuy said:

Personally I really enjoyed @jmnav ’s post because it offers a concise overview of MB’s tiering system and some edgy humor.


I concur.

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kazoolaw

But seriously folks...

If you take a look at this resource , and the references to posts on FPN, you'll see that there were 1xx pens before the 149 that weren't included in jmnav's post,  including the 129, 138, and 139.     https://www.vintagemontblancpens.com/pavoni-interview

It's interesting to look at the photos which include the 1xx and the 2xx series and compare the relative sizes.  Might have been a 106 as well.  

I think some of the earlier large pens also had concave sections.

 

 

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N1003U
19 minutes ago, kazoolaw said:

I can has minions too?

 

Montblanc celebrate 90th Anniversary of the Meisterstück ...

At that level, you get lots of minions, and people just hand you nice pens to sign your name.

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kazoolaw
20 hours ago, bunnspecial said:

Also, out of curiosity, I seem to recall that I have a note from you that you said was written with a Hemingway. How, in your opinion, does it compare in feel in-hand to a 149? A 139 and Hemingway both are out of my budget, but I've looked at the Dumas a couple of times. I've been told they're essentially the same 139-style body of the Hemingway.

 

I can't add much to fpupulin's post above, and certainly can't write as well as he does.

The Hemingway uses a tri-color 149 nib, so the feeling is the same nib-to-paper.  It's not the Christie snake nib, but still impressive.  The broad nib has a slightly stubbish line, which I really like.

The two are similar in girth:  the caps will screw on to each other, but not securely.  Like fpupulin, the ridge or flange on the end of the section is barely noticeable.  

I rarely post the Hemingway.  When you post the two pens they are the same from the tips of the nibs to the triple bands on the caps.  From the triple bands to the end of the cap is where the 149 is longer than the Hemingway. The shape and color of the Hemingway makes it stand out immediately.  The middle cap ring on the Hemingway is slightly different as well.

It's primarily the difference in length which distinguishes them in use. 

Obvious disclaimer: I'm just a user, not an expert.  I defer to the resources here on FPN, in terms of information and photos, from the experts.

146 & 149:  pens actually made for writing.

 

 

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kazoolaw
15 minutes ago, N1003U said:

At that level, you get lots of minions, and people just hand you nice pens to sign your name.

 

JFK as a minion.  Konrad Adenauer harnessing the mighty power of the 149:  even nations bow down before it!

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torstar

Good to see the topic still gets people to give us hot takes.

 

 

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bunnspecial
1 hour ago, kazoolaw said:

 

I can't add much to fpupulin's post above, and certainly can't write as well as he does.

The Hemingway uses a tri-color 149 nib, so the feeling is the same nib-to-paper.  It's not the Christie snake nib, but still impressive.  The broad nib has a slightly stubbish line, which I really like.

The two are similar in girth:  the caps will screw on to each other, but not securely.  Like fpupulin, the ridge or flange on the end of the section is barely noticeable.  

I rarely post the Hemingway.  When you post the two pens they are the same from the tips of the nibs to the triple bands on the caps.  From the triple bands to the end of the cap is where the 149 is longer than the Hemingway. The shape and color of the Hemingway makes it stand out immediately.  The middle cap ring on the Hemingway is slightly different as well.

It's primarily the difference in length which distinguishes them in use. 

Obvious disclaimer: I'm just a user, not an expert.  I defer to the resources here on FPN, in terms of information and photos, from the experts.

146 & 149:  pens actually made for writing.

 

 

 

Thanks!

 

All the Hemingway pictures I can find show what looks like a tri-tone #9 nib just marked 4810/Montblanc/750/M in snowflake etc, or in other words basically a standard early 90s 149 nib. Is that the case for all of them? My more recent LEs have nibs specific to the pens, and it looks like the Dumas has a fleur de lis on it.

 

Not that a "standard" 149 nib is a bad thing-as I said way up in the thread I don't get along the best with the 149 size, but tolerate it because I love the nib.

 

Your Hemingway definitely writes noticeably stubby, again if the note from you I have is typical of how it writes. One of my 149s is a 70s B(two tone 14K nib) and it's somewhat less stubby than your pens, but I've also noticed that even though all MB B nibs seem to be ground flat on the ends, they do vary in just how much of a stub they actually behave as. BBs are definitely stubs.

 

My OB 149(which I bought second hand, but the book with it is stamped 2019) also is noticeably stubby, albeit with a very pronounce oblique character. Nibs like that one make me scratch my head when I see folks say that modern obliques don't give line variation like vintage ones. I have a 144 OB, 24 that I think is an OM or maybe OF but am not sure, a Pelikan 400NN OBB and Pelikan 100 OB. I also had a 12 OBB, but sold it as I really don't get along well with the 12/22 size pen. In any case, my 149 OB writes similarly to my 144.

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PAKMAN

Having both the 146 and the 149, I can assure the OP that the 146 is neither ugly or inferior to the 149. I actually prefer to write with the 146 personally.

PAKMAN

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Wolverine1

Well, I have at one time had 14 MB 149 fps in my possession!!!! :) I am down to only 6 now. I sold the other 8 to build up a reserve so that I can afford to get a MB Hemingway and the MB Alexander Dumas fps. Luckily, recently I bought a Dumas fp from a  non fp user right here in town for a good deal. Still am looking for a Hemingway at a price that I can afford.

 

But, bottom line is this-- both the 149 and the 146 are wonderful pens, you just have to try them out to find which works better, and which fits better inn  your hand. And then get the model that you prefer. and use it to write with it.

-Sid

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Frank C
1 hour ago, bunnspecial said:

 

Thanks!

 

All the Hemingway pictures I can find show what looks like a tri-tone #9 nib just marked 4810/Montblanc/750/M in snowflake etc, or in other words basically a standard early 90s 149 nib. Is that the case for all of them? My more recent LEs have nibs specific to the pens, and it looks like the Dumas has a fleur de lis on it.

 

IMG_0437.thumb.jpeg.087d05defb95308ca0d24eba4e56bfb3.jpeg

A portion of my (im)modest collection of 149s, with a Hemingway thrown in. As you said, the Hemingway has the standard tri-tone #9 18K nib. Mine is a fine as I recall. The second from the right is an OBB, I think. The one on the far right sneaked in at the last minute. The Hemingway was the first of the Writers' series. I liked it because it was a modern pen that resembled the vintage Montblancs. 

"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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N1003U
4 hours ago, kazoolaw said:

 

JFK as a minion.  Konrad Adenauer harnessing the mighty power of the 149:  even nations bow down before it!

For all the good it does him now, JFK even has his own model named for him...

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