"The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity here and there. Not the other way around." ~ John Cleese.
I dont get the point of the argument here. Pens are not made to be dropped. The fact that some brands may survive is incidental.
As I wrote earlier, I am a banker not a delivery driver, getting signatures at the roadside. If I was a delivery driver I would use a biro.
Drops that destroy an MB...especially a 144, which at least was notorious for this...are more often ignored by pens made from more resilient...but less glossy...materials. I heard repeatedly, back in the day, that MB included glass in the blend. The glass gave it the gloss, but it's what also made it brittle. Whether that's still true...or perhaps it's never been true...I don't know, but it was a comment we used to hear reasonably often on the Zoss list.
Drops happen, even in office or home settings. Pen's sitting on your table...it's under a magazine, you grab the mag, brush the pen...OOPS! A 144 may well crack from a 1 foot drop onto a hard floor. Right now I've got a Peli 150 with a vintage Soennecken nib, and a Pineder with its new resin...both have slipped in a manner like this. No issue.
Montblanc fixed this in later 144s, moving to a brass threaded section.
The other 144 problem is that the whole pen is quite narrow. This goes against conventional engineering principles - wider is stronger. Forcibly screwing the body section onto the brass nib section thread = “crack” and a split up the body section.
The wider Montblanc bodies like the 145, 146 and 149 are stronger.
But the weaknesses of the 144 (which is no longer in production and hasnt been for many years) does not excuse the simple fact that a pen is a fragile delicate instrument, not intended to to be dropped.
If you pay big money for a MB pen, you should treat it with respect and care.
I have had Montblancs since 1993. I travelled constantly with them. I have never dropped or broken one. (I have never dropped an cellphone either).
Listen people, I accept that some of you HATE Montblanc pens, and that the only thing you can really argue is “it breaks if you drop it”.
I can only suggest that you sell your watch collection and buy a Soviet Army Peoples Collective Yaraslawl Cast Iron special.
These were built as trench fighting pens, capable of withstanding a 50 megaton blast, hammering nails into log hut walls in Siberia, and writing prose to your wife.
As an alternative apparently Smith and Wesson make a tactical pen for combat and police work. I must confess in my army days I used a dirt cheap biro.
Last edited by CaptainCustard; June 22nd, 2019 at 08:22.
So if a dozen pens can do something where the MB fails, we're not to call out the MB?
The bigger issue? MB thinks they're FAR more than they are. We're not saying they're bad per se...but they are NOT any better, IMO, than several other top-drawer brands. They're about the only pen maker to push the whole "prestige" or "lifestyle" aspect. They share "Rolex hate" in the sense that they're the layman's answer to "what's a good..." for pens...but IMO Rolex has the technical chops to justify it. In what manner is MB technically better than, say, Pelikan or a higher-end Pilot...generally, those with 10 or 15 size nibs?
If you want something to impress your doctor or lawyer buds...you go MB. If you want a writer? MB is *one* choice, but there are MANY others.
For what it's worth, I keep my pens in a leather case when I'm not using them. That seems to be enough protection to avoid breakage the times I have dropped a pen.
Since you asked, though:
-MB nibs tend to be thicker and have larger iridium tips than comparable pens. Gold and iridium are expensive.
-MB nibs are made in-house, which is more expensive to do than to outsource it like many other companies do.
-The components on a MB are very solid. Compare the operation of the filling mechanism on a MB piston to a Pilot Custom 823, for instance.
-The finish on MB's is impeccable. They don't have any mold lines or uneven transitions often seen on other pens. The threads are also smoother than most.
-MB is supported by a worldwide network of boutiques that makes service easy and accessible.
-MB resale value is higher than competitors due to recognition generated through marketing.
-It would be hard to argue that there's a design out there as iconic as the Meisterstuck. You do pay for good design.
Most pen companies have something that they do really well; MB is no exception. Likewise, each company has areas they don't do as well in. I don't see a lot of people claiming that Pelikan, Sailor, Pilot, etc are junk because of the one thing they don't do as well, though.
--How much gold is in a nib? Saw a post from FPN that noted most nibs run around a gram...and nibs are 14 or 18k. Tipping is similar. Granted, iridium is also extremely expensive but how much is there in the tip? You also have to be careful with sizes to ensure a valid comparison...clearly, a 149, Peli 1000, or Pilot #15 is gonna be larger, heavier, and therefore more expensive than a Pilot #5 or MB 144.
--Sailor, Platinum, and Pilot-Namiki all make their nibs in-house. I believe Pelikan does as well. But this point feels much like the in-house vs. ebauche watch debate. There's nothing inherently wrong with buying the nib from a separate supplier, if the nib's good. Nakaya's an example, altho their roots are in Platinum anyway.
--The torpedo design is iconic to MB? Sheaffer developed the basic shape with the Balance in the 1920's or so.
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