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2021 149 Medium or Broad


Jawsaw
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Hello all, 

 

New to fpn, sorry if this has been answered already.

 

 

I’ve just ordered my first MB - a 149 in M. However I’m now seriously considering using the nib exchange service for a B. Will use the Bond Street store in London if so. 
 

The pen will mostly be used for medium - long writing sessions. (I am a college/uni student). So I will be carrying it around carefully in an MB pouch. So for note taking and studying the M should be fine; the thing is that I’d also like the nib to have some thickness and variation for writing cards and signatures etc. For reference I have a Cross Townsend 18k medium nib, which I find a little too thin for cards 
 

 

 

Any advice regarding M and B modern 149 nibs would be greatly appreciated.

 

BTW, I’m set on the 149 just to save anyone telling me to buy a Pelikan :)

 

 

Thanks

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Jawsaw, welcome to the Fountain Pen Network!

 

Congratulations on the acquisition of the iconic and legendary 149 as your first Montblanc — there’s nothing like starting at the top.  The advise you seek regarding medium and broad nibs is complicated by the following variables: inherent writing characteristic variation between Montblanc nibs within the same width size since each is hand-ground; the many, many nibbists at Montblanc’s Hamburg Nib Manufacture who grind the nibs; the individual writing style and technique specific to each user.  There are some medium nibs that approach line widths of broads, and vice versa.  In the most general of terms, though, medium nibs will exhibit very little or no line variation using even pressure, while broads may exhibit a little line variation.  

 

The best suggestion in this situation is to test several medium and broad nibs at the Bond Street Boutique. Even try a double broad to check if it will suit you for extended writing; they will usually exhibit goodly amounts of line variation.  Of course, the nibs available to test will most likely be the #6 size nibs on the LeGrand (146) pens, but perhaps it may be possible to persuade an accommodating boutique associate to furnish a 149 medium and 149 broad for testing.

 

I’m sure other members here with more knowledge and experience than I, will be able to elaborate.

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While it is true that there is variation to how any one particular B nib will be ground, they all share a common characteristic of a "flat" bottom and consequently tend to have some stubbish character. How prominent that is depends on the individual nib, and some are more stubby than others(if you move to a BB, which is not a good match for everyone's writing, it's essentially a pure stub and not just a subtly stubby nib).

 

Personally, I love 149 B nibs, and when I'm writing letters and such that's been my go-to nib, or one particular one(even though I have a couple) for a while. OTOH, I also have an EF 149 for appropriate situations, and honestly as much as I love my Bs I often find the EF more practical for me.

 

Can you try the nibs in the boutique before sending off for exchange?

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25 minutes ago, NoType said:

Jawsaw, welcome to the Fountain Pen Network!

 

Congratulations on the acquisition of the iconic and legendary 149 as your first Montblanc — there’s nothing like starting at the top.  The advise you seek regarding medium and broad nibs is complicated by the following variables: inherent writing characteristic variation between Montblanc nibs within the same width size since each is hand-ground; the many, many nibbists at Montblanc’s Hamburg Nib Manufacture who grind the nibs; the individual writing style and technique specific to each user.  There are some medium nibs that approach line widths of broads, and vice versa.  In the most general of terms, though, medium nibs will exhibit very little or no line variation using even pressure, while broads may exhibit a little line variation.  

 

The best suggestion in this situation is to test several medium and broad nibs at the Bond Street Boutique. Even try a double broad to check if it will suit you for extended writing; they will usually exhibit goodly amounts of line variation.  Of course, the nibs available to test will most likely be the #6 size nibs on the LeGrand (146) pens, but perhaps it may be possible to persuade an accommodating boutique associate to furnish a 149 medium and 149 broad for testing.

 

I’m sure other members here with more knowledge and experience than I, will be able to elaborate.

Thank you very much for your insight. My 149 is arriving Monday morning and I will take it straight to the boutique to test some nibs. If the medium doesn’t allow for line variation then I will most likely swap it for the broad. 

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55 minutes ago, bunnspecial said:

While it is true that there is variation to how any one particular B nib will be ground, they all share a common characteristic of a "flat" bottom and consequently tend to have some stubbish character. How prominent that is depends on the individual nib, and some are more stubby than others(if you move to a BB, which is not a good match for everyone's writing, it's essentially a pure stub and not just a subtly stubby nib).

 

Personally, I love 149 B nibs, and when I'm writing letters and such that's been my go-to nib, or one particular one(even though I have a couple) for a while. OTOH, I also have an EF 149 for appropriate situations, and honestly as much as I love my Bs I often find the EF more practical for me.

 

Can you try the nibs in the boutique before sending off for exchange?

Will visit the boutique in the morning. I’m hoping maybe they could just swap for another pen with a broad as mine is brand spanking new - have not even opened the box. I think BB would be a bit too much for studying. Will find out tomorrow and post in this thread.

 

thanks for your help. 

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17 minutes ago, Jawsaw said:

Thank you very much for your insight. My 149 is arriving Monday morning and I will take it straight to the boutique to test some nibs. If the medium doesn’t allow for line variation then I will most likely swap it for the broad. 

 

Again, don't have an M 149, but have a couple on 146s and other MBs.

 

F and M nibs tend to have fairly spherical tipping. Given that these nibs are ground by hand, you might see a tiny bit of line variation, but you will have to look for it.

 

Every B I've used shows some line variation, although again it varies with the specific nib.

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I say go for B.

 

If you want an EF nib, many other pens can do that. Montblanc Broad nibs are nice. I went with O3B and it's my favorite writer for now. I love wasting ink, have too much of it so why not!

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Good choice, both the pen and the nib. It is estimated that ninety per cent of people use a medium nib.

Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons." – General D. MacArthur

 

 

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” W. Churchill

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15 hours ago, Jawsaw said:

Thank you very much for your insight. My 149 is arriving Monday morning and I will take it straight to the boutique to test some nibs. If the medium doesn’t allow for line variation then I will most likely swap it for the broad.

 

As you may have discovered by now, swapping a nib necessitates a trip (of the pen) to Hamburg.  If line variation is your goal you'll be disappointed with both M and B nibs.  I had my 149 B ground to a Cursive Italic.  As noted above, line width of a stated nib size depends upon who, at Montblac, ground it.  My 149 M puts down a line closer to B.  Love the way it feels in hand; line width not so much.  It's slated for corrective surgery.

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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Update:

 

thanks everyone for their helpful advice.

 

I visited the MB boutique, and decided to go with the broad after trying the 146 tester kit. The medium felt too fine for me and had absolutely no line variation. The broad exhibited more noticeable variation and the line thickness suits the 149 more in my opinion. I also found the medium to be a touch scratchy, though this may be due to poor alignment of the tester pen. I will probably get an oblique sometime in the future. 

 

The catch was that MB told me the nib exchange would take 8 weeks due to outstanding brexit issues; I would not get it back till 2022! This was too long for me so I returned the pen and ordered a 149 B from the MB website. Will put a little writing sample in this forum when it gets here. I have a sealed Royal Blue bottle itching to be used 😀.

 

I’m thinking about having some modifications done to increase line variation, but will probably leave it till my next 149. I’m quickly discovering this is a very expensive hobby 🖋

 

 

Thanks once again. 

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Jawsaw, thank you for this update.  That you had the opportunity to try the various nibs of the Bond Street Boutique’s LeGrand (146) tester set, is wonderful news.  Though writing a very small hand script, I can still appreciate the “stubbiness” of some broads and most double broads, and I hope that the broad you receive shortly will create at least as much line variation as you experienced with the tester’s broad, if not more.  I am curious: did the boutique not have a few 149 B’s from which to choose (through dip tests)?  I have discovered that because of the differences in writing characteristics even found amongst nibs of the same nominal width, the best path to finding the most suitable nib opens when many examples are available to test.  Of course, unfortunately, a selection of identical pens in the nib size of interest is not always available.

 

I think I speak for many here in saying that we look forward to your writing sample and learning how the 149 B strikes you.

 

 

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~ @Jawsaw:

 

Warmest congratulations on your new Meisterstück 149.

 

My first fountain pen was a Meisterstück 149 with an M nib.

 

It opened the door to deeply satisfying sketching and handwriting.

 

May your new fountain pen provide years of enjoyable use, both in school and out.

 

         Tom K.

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@Karmachanic is right about getting it ground by a nibmeister. I bought my MB JP Morgan in 2021 and got it grounded from a Medium to a Medium CSI by Mark Bacas. Amazing work!!! Very polite and nice guy all around.

 

Then the piston was stiff because it was a NOS sealed from 2004. Sent it to MB Germany and it came back in tip top shape and I asked them to set the nib 1mm less deep (they pulled the nib out 1mm as instructed). Now, the pen is a dream to write with, a good daily writer. Definite line variation!!!

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On 11/9/2021 at 1:30 AM, NoType said:

Jawsaw, thank you for this update.  That you had the opportunity to try the various nibs of the Bond Street Boutique’s LeGrand (146) tester set, is wonderful news.  Though writing a very small hand script, I can still appreciate the “stubbiness” of some broads and most double broads, and I hope that the broad you receive shortly will create at least as much line variation as you experienced with the tester’s broad, if not more.  I am curious: did the boutique not have a few 149 B’s from which to choose (through dip tests)?  I have discovered that because of the differences in writing characteristics even found amongst nibs of the same nominal width, the best path to finding the most suitable nib opens when many examples are available to test.  Of course, unfortunately, a selection of identical pens in the nib size of interest is not always available.

 

I think I speak for many here in saying that we look forward to your writing sample and learning how the 149 B strikes you.

 

 

Unfortunately they did not have a single 149 inked and they said they were not permitted to put ink in them. Perhaps this is due to Covid?  
 

UPS tracking is showing that the pen departed the montblanc Italy warehouse on Tuesday; I’m hoping it’ll be here by the end of the week. Will definitely share when it gets here!

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On 11/9/2021 at 3:47 AM, Tom Kellie said:

~ @Jawsaw:

 

Warmest congratulations on your new Meisterstück 149.

 

My first fountain pen was a Meisterstück 149 with an M nib.

 

It opened the door to deeply satisfying sketching and handwriting.

 

May your new fountain pen provide years of enjoyable use, both in school and out.

 

         Tom K.

Thank you very much Tom, happy to hear that your 149 has brought you much joy! 
 

 

I’ve bought it with the intent to keep and use it for life; it’s great to see that the 149 is  serving and has served this purpose for many others!

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On 11/9/2021 at 4:29 AM, agentdaffy007 said:

@Karmachanic is right about getting it ground by a nibmeister. I bought my MB JP Morgan in 2021 and got it grounded from a Medium to a Medium CSI by Mark Bacas. Amazing work!!! Very polite and nice guy all around.

 

Then the piston was stiff because it was a NOS sealed from 2004. Sent it to MB Germany and it came back in tip top shape and I asked them to set the nib 1mm less deep (they pulled the nib out 1mm as instructed). Now, the pen is a dream to write with, a good daily writer. Definite line variation!!!

Great to hear your new purchase has worked out so well. Excuse my ignorance, what’s a CSI nib?

 

BTW how much did MB charge you?

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11 hours ago, Jawsaw said:

Great to hear your new purchase has worked out so well. Excuse my ignorance, what’s a CSI nib?

 

BTW how much did MB charge you?

 

@Jawsaw, I sent it to Montblanc Canada and they said they could do the job in Canada. They returned the pen and the piston did not suck up ink. They were very apologetic and sent it to Montblanc Germany to work on it since it's a Patron Of Arts pen. All I had to pay was the flat rate of like $139 CAD which is like $115 USD.

 

It worked out in the end, the pen draws ink well and writes extremely well.

 

As for CSI, it means Cursive Smooth Italic. Nothing but the greatest admiration for Mark Bacas as a nibmeister. He is unbelievable and very patient and nice. He even sends video of the work. How amazing is that.

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9 hours ago, agentdaffy007 said:

 

@Jawsaw, I sent it to Montblanc Canada and they said they could do the job in Canada. They returned the pen and the piston did not suck up ink. They were very apologetic and sent it to Montblanc Germany to work on it since it's a Patron Of Arts pen. All I had to pay was the flat rate of like $139 CAD which is like $115 USD.

 

It worked out in the end, the pen draws ink well and writes extremely well.

 

As for CSI, it means Cursive Smooth Italic. Nothing but the greatest admiration for Mark Bacas as a nibmeister. He is unbelievable and very patient and nice. He even sends video of the work. How amazing is that.

agentdaffy007, yours is the second recommendation for Mark Bacas I’ve read in a week, and what a resounding acclamation it is.  I have considered the idea of sending a pen or four to a nibbist, and It seems that the universe might be directing me towards someone in particular.

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21 hours ago, Jawsaw said:

Unfortunately they did not have a single 149 inked and they said they were not permitted to put ink in them. Perhaps this is due to Covid?  
 

UPS tracking is showing that the pen departed the montblanc Italy warehouse on Tuesday; I’m hoping it’ll be here by the end of the week. Will definitely share when it gets here!

Jawsaw, it is most unfortunate, and disappointing, indeed, when a venerable merchant does not carry at least one ready-to-test example of an even more venerable example of the writing arts.  No explanation for why they cannot ink a pen and then keep it as a demonstrator comes to mind, other than less than ideal standards of retail.

 

Fingers crossed that it arrives this week.  This is exciting, and one can hardly wait!

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