I own several vintage 149s and 146s, my daily writer is a 1979 MB149, it is very very reliable and it writes well even beyond well on any paper surface. Sure, it is not better than my Omas or my vintage Parker pens but it is very well built and reliable.
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149's before around 1990 are supposed to be a completely different kettle of fish...one of the great writers. Their nibs were superb. If you can find one marked W. Germany (or is it West Germany?)...there's a very good chance it's worth pursuing. At this point, I think they were still a Gentleman's Fine Writing Instrument...not a luxury lifestyle accessory.
That could be said of quite a few other pens, tho. Nibs have progressively grown stiffer over the last 120 years, but you have to remember the progression: quill to dip to fountain pen. Quills are extremely flexible, so the first dip pens mimicked them. I suspect accountants and bookkeepers and other clerk-types probably pushed for less flexible nibs, to write quicker and cleaner. General-production flex probably died with the long, extended warranties like Sheaffer's Lifetime, or Waterman 100 Year. Flexible nibs are quite prone to cracking at the key stress points due to metal fatigue.
Sheaffer generally only did stiff nibs; flex nibs were always a special order. Parker Vacs are overwhelmingly more likely to be firm. 51's with any flex are *extremely* rare, but the shape just doesn't allow flex readily. Same with Sheaffer's conical nibs (Triumph et al) and the inlaid nib on the PFMs. Waterman's 100 Year Pens had great nibs, but they screwed up the celluloid. And that fiasco was pretty much the death knell for the firm, at least as a major player. And then, of course, ballpoints came into the picture, catching on strongly in the mid 60s.
FPs held on longer in Europe. And, I think, the culture of writing held on more. Expressive nibs remained in demand. Things changed at some point along the line...flex nibs have higher return rates. That might be a factor. They're harder to make. That's another. Demand might have slid to a degree. In the US, the market went completely stiff...the 51, the Triumph, the PFM. The change was slower in Europe.
And it is also said, "go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say no and yes."
-- Frodo, to Gildor
Like a lot of people have said, Mont Blanc is like the Rolex in the fountain pen world. They are solid and seen as a status symbol. At the same time, they are huge and can definitely stand out. I've tried a few MB fountain pens but none of them really wow'ed me, especially given their price point.
I am not a large collector of FPs and I am even less knowledgeable of the history and technical detais of writing instruments. Grangel and Jar are by far the two experts around this forum. I am pretty certain they are very respected in the FPN.
To the OP, Montblanc pens are like pretty much every other luxury item: overpriced. And like every other luxury item, they are suposed to be overpriced, thats why they are luxury items. They are really good pens, they have classic and modern designs in their lineup and when you go LE, you can find some incredible pieces. What I like best about MB and for ME is wirth every penny spent is their customer service and boutique attention. I only have bought around 15 pens from my local boutique. Yes they all are LEs, but a small quantity for collector's standards. I get invited to cocktails, black and white events, collection presentations and so much more everytime I visit the boutique. For me, its worth the price.
I dont think so. Theyre good, decent pens buy way overpriced. Not worth the money at all. BUT the vintage MBs are amazing and quality instruments that arent overpriced, specially the student grade 3xx series. Try finding a nice 342 or 344 or even a 256 and youre going to love them.
I am going to second what everyone is saying - modern Montblanc pens are excellent but overpriced for what they are, just like Rolex watches.
Maybe yes. My MB collection ranges from pens of their writers series to the representation of their fountain pens. I also have their previous issued "inexpensive" ballpoints and mechanical pencils. These date primarily from the sixties and seventies. An inexpensive MB ballpoint is a unique lever action mounted in the pocket clip. Slide the little lever, within the clip, forward to release the point and pull back on the lever to retract. Incredibly simple, yet the barrel is a beautiful deep reddish, with a touch of pink. Not to be confused with the popular, now discontinued Meiserstuck red. The top is brushed aluminum, I believe. My latest MB acquisition is from 1994 writers series, 'Oscar Wilde'. The matching 9mm pencil to that set.
They are good.... Well crafted.... And if you are used to MB and they match your style.... Sure why not.
As someone who has used MB pens for almost 30 years now, my complaint would be with their ridiculously expensive service..... Just like with rolex service.
I have a couple and love them but i have a couple cheaper pens that take Montblanc refills and that is where the value is. Their refills are the best in my opinion and the reason the write so well.
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