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Thread: Montblanc: vintage / modern

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    Default Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quick question for the more knowledgeable among us. Do vintage Montblanc nibs run to the same line width as modern versions? For example, will a #14 fine nib write more or less the same (in terms of line) as a 149 fine?

    TIA

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Quick question for the more knowledgeable among us. Do vintage Montblanc nibs run to the same line width as modern versions? For example, will a #14 fine nib write more or less the same (in terms of line) as a 149 fine?

    TIA
    I would say there is not much difference.

    Of course each individual pen might vary in a certain range, also depending not only on the nib itself but also on the wetness and the used ink.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    I don't know when I bought my Woolf on sale at my B&M, MB was reputed to be wide. I made a mistake, and didn't take my own good paper with me. So the M wrote as I wished a B in the B&M. At home it wrote on better paper a M.
    I swapped the nib in on a B and made the Major Mistake of not saying have the nib in the middle of tolerance. It the fat part of tolerance B= BB.

    My MB 234 1/2 Deluxe ('52-54 only) semi-flex KOB (marked), eyeball F (in the middle between a semi&maxi-semi-flex) for a rolled gold 742, and what looks like an OB maxi-semi-flex on a medium large 146 ('5-60). They all look similar in width to my other German '50-60's pens. Pelikan, Geha, which were marked either on barrel or nib.

    I have two large 146's Eyeball F & BB from my guess mid '80's@ 90, with no W. German mark and a 149 W. Germany Eyeball F. They appear to be the same width of my '82-97 Pelikan's in 200, 400,Celebrys, 381; and a small 600 OBB & 800 OM and a couple OM 200's are West German. They are all size marked. Those MB's appear to me to be the same widths as the others of that era.


    My modern 1005 OBB is a 1/2 a width wider than my W.German 600, my 605 was fat and blobby BB** (got in wide in I knew some day I'd either have it made CI or stubbed. Stubbed to 1.0/B.), my Woolf is fat...stubbish, but fat for a B.

    So I'd expect modern MB's to be fat like my Woolf or my two modern fat and blobby Pelikans. Those with more and more modern MBs would have to weigh in new vs old widths.

    Modern Pelikan 400/600/800&1000 are from all read accounts 1/2 a width wider than vintage and semi-vintage. With my Woolf it appears that way to me too with MB..

    ** Vintage OB was a writing nib not a modern signature nib. I had other OBB's from other vintage Osmia that were writable. My eyeballed OBBB Pelikan 500 is a pure signature pens, needing 2/3rds or 3/4ths a page for a legal signature....too wide to write with.

    I unfortunately can not judge, in out side my Woolf, I have no 'modern' MB's, just vintage or semi-vintage, which I find to be thin enough, thin as semi-vintage Pelikan or vintage Pelikan and Geha. Both IMO vintage and semi-vintage eras were near each other in width.

    I don't have nor am ever going to have enough modern MB's or Pelikans to do a comparison with my better nibs. I do not care for fat and blobby nibs of modern Pelikan and modern MB has that 'fat' reputation, that I did find in my Woolf.
    Last edited by BoBo Olson; December 22nd, 2021 at 08:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    IME, the 2-digit pens often seem to run narrower than the 14x pens.

    My EF 14 is a tiny bit skinnier than my EF 149, although there's little enough difference there that it could be attributed to sample variation. The stickered 24 EF that I had was virtually identical to my 14.

    My most used 14 is skinnier than a modern 146/149 F or than the 142 "KF" I sold not long ago. I can't actually decide what nib width it is, though. The tipping is shaped like an M on a 146/149(look at the different grinds and you'll see on MBs it's often not the line width made but rather the shape the tip is ground) and it's wider than a 24 I have that's ground with a shape like an F. That 24 is definitely wider than the EF 14 and 24, so I don't think it's an EF, but my favorite 14 writes awfully narrow by usual MB standards to be called an M.

    To more directly compare like for like, though, the only non-two-digit 60s MB I have is a B 149. I had an OBB 12(sold because I found a nib like that too uncomfortable to use in a pen that size) and it was about the same width as that B 149. For that matter, there's not a ton of difference, other than what could be attributed to individual grind variation, between my 60s 149 B, my 70s 149B, and my 2019 149 OB.

    My last mystery out there is a 24 with an oblique where I really have no idea what the heck to make of it. It's a skinny little nib relative to most of my other obliques, and writes a line width or so skinnier than a 146 or 149 M. As I have no real frame of reference other than that since-sold 12 OBB, I don't know what to call this. I've had opinions ranging from OF to OB on it. I split the difference and call it an OM, although if I were to ever sell it I'd probably just measure the line width and list that rather than trying to assign a size!

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Currently, my choices, which you may have picked up from the OP, are a 149 or a vintage 14. While the designs are quite dissimilar I am drawn to both for different reasons. The 14 is considerably cheaper of course, and its styling is a lot more subdued. The 149 is expensive (even 2nd hand) but I really like the two-tone nib! So much so that I toyed with the idea of just going with a Sailor Pro Gear. However, I am wary of the fact that Sailor pens, even the KoP, are short pens for my hands. Most pens are, and I usually have to post the caps.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Currently, my choices, which you may have picked up from the OP, are a 149 or a vintage 14. While the designs are quite dissimilar I am drawn to both for different reasons. The 14 is considerably cheaper of course, and its styling is a lot more subdued. The 149 is expensive (even 2nd hand) but I really like the two-tone nib! So much so that I toyed with the idea of just going with a Sailor Pro Gear. However, I am wary of the fact that Sailor pens, even the KoP, are short pens for my hands. Most pens are, and I usually have to post the caps.
    Bear in mind that it is probably easier to get a 149 serviced in your part of the world, than a 14.

    MB will service a 149 (for a hefty fee), but not a 14.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Currently, my choices, which you may have picked up from the OP, are a 149 or a vintage 14. While the designs are quite dissimilar I am drawn to both for different reasons. The 14 is considerably cheaper of course, and its styling is a lot more subdued. The 149 is expensive (even 2nd hand) but I really like the two-tone nib! So much so that I toyed with the idea of just going with a Sailor Pro Gear. However, I am wary of the fact that Sailor pens, even the KoP, are short pens for my hands. Most pens are, and I usually have to post the caps.
    Bear in mind that it is probably easier to get a 149 serviced in your part of the world, than a 14.

    MB will service a 149 (for a hefty fee), but not a 14.
    What kind of service do you have in mind?
    The 14 section just screw off without any tools, so greasing and cleaning is easy (compared a 3 digit pen which is a completely different animal with respect to service).
    So I could not think about anything regarding „normal“ service which you couldn’t do yourself.
    They are the exception compared to most other MBs.

    The 2 digit pens of the 60s are simple build pens with respect to construction.
    I own a 14 OBB which writes really nice, but it is a very light pen, the „appearance of value“ is completely different to the 3 digit pens, it is light, full plastic.
    From appearance and how they feel they have more in common with e.g. a Lamy 27 than with earlier or later 3 digit pens.

    I don’t regret owning a 14, but the 3 digit pens definitely feel more „valuable“.
    The semi hooded nib is also much less attractive.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Montblanc 12 (smaller version of the 14) can be prone to cracking at the front of the section. Maybe the v-shaped hooded overhang creates a stress point?

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    However, I am wary of the fact that Sailor pens, even the KoP, are short pens for my hands. Most pens are, and I usually have to post the caps.
    Is the KOP really much shorter uncapped than the 149?
    Will
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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Currently, my choices, which you may have picked up from the OP, are a 149 or a vintage 14. While the designs are quite dissimilar I am drawn to both for different reasons. The 14 is considerably cheaper of course, and its styling is a lot more subdued. The 149 is expensive (even 2nd hand) but I really like the two-tone nib! So much so that I toyed with the idea of just going with a Sailor Pro Gear. However, I am wary of the fact that Sailor pens, even the KoP, are short pens for my hands. Most pens are, and I usually have to post the caps.
    Bear in mind that it is probably easier to get a 149 serviced in your part of the world, than a 14.

    MB will service a 149 (for a hefty fee), but not a 14.

    A 149 basically has to be trashed to not get fixed for a level 1 service, and even then sometimes a "trashed" pen still gets billed at that. Level 1 is about $80 in the US.

    With that said, most of us who are into Montblancs will often specifically recommend against factory service for anything other than a basically new pen.

    The reason for that is that Montblanc doesn't stock parts for a lot of the older piston mechanisms and other parts.

    Typically if you send in say a 60s or 70s 149, what you'll get back is a new pen with the nib and clip from your old one.

    Some people love that. Others of us don't like to lose our one piece barrels, ebonite feeds, lightweight piston mechanisms, and other features of the older 149s...

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    It's a bit unlikely that I will be able to source an older 149 given my location, general animus toward me in the community, and lack of other resources.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    A 149 basically has to be trashed to not get fixed for a level 1 service, and even then sometimes a "trashed" pen still gets billed at that. Level 1 is about $80 in the US.

    With that said, most of us who are into Montblancs will often specifically recommend against factory service for anything other than a basically new pen.

    The reason for that is that Montblanc doesn't stock parts for a lot of the older piston mechanisms and other parts.

    Typically if you send in say a 60s or 70s 149, what you'll get back is a new pen with the nib and clip from your old one.

    Some people love that. Others of us don't like to lose our one piece barrels, ebonite feeds, lightweight piston mechanisms, and other features of the older 149s...
    I would hesitate to say "most of us" Do you mean most people in the world or maybe most "regular posting, more vocal" members of a couple of popular fora? Hopefully you are really only speaking for yourself as I do. I personally know three 149 owners who own and would only buy and use modern 149's rather than to try and protect more fragile or even degraded parts of old pens that don't necessarily work or write particularly better. I actually find it quite amusing that there are people who try to propagate the exclusion of sending anything back to Montblanc in case they "lose" their old and possibly almost worn out parts by having Montblanc do an expert job on servicing the pens they manufactured.
    Last edited by Chrissy; December 23rd, 2021 at 10:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    A 149 basically has to be trashed to not get fixed for a level 1 service, and even then sometimes a "trashed" pen still gets billed at that. Level 1 is about $80 in the US.

    With that said, most of us who are into Montblancs will often specifically recommend against factory service for anything other than a basically new pen.

    The reason for that is that Montblanc doesn't stock parts for a lot of the older piston mechanisms and other parts.

    Typically if you send in say a 60s or 70s 149, what you'll get back is a new pen with the nib and clip from your old one.

    Some people love that. Others of us don't like to lose our one piece barrels, ebonite feeds, lightweight piston mechanisms, and other features of the older 149s...
    I would hesitate to say "most of us" Do you mean most people in the world or maybe most "regular posting, more vocal" members of a couple of popular fora? Hopefully you are really only speaking for yourself as I do. I personally know three 149 owners who own and would only buy and use modern 149's rather than to try and protect more fragile or even degraded parts of old pens that don't necessarily work or write particularly better. I actually find it quite amusing that there are people who try to propagate the exclusion of sending anything back to Montblanc in case they "lose" their old and possibly almost worn out parts by having Montblanc do an expert job on servicing the pens they manufactured.

    Okay, many vocal folks in the online collecting community.

    And certainly to each their own, but in terms of overall user experience I consider 70s and 80s 149s a high point of production. Of the 5 I have spanning about 50 years of production, my favorite is from roughly the late 70s. My second favorite is from the late 80s. The chances of either of them "wearing out" any time soon is negligible, and meanwhile I'll enjoy things like them having a lighter piston mechanism and consequently "livelier" in my hand than the 149 I have that's a couple of years old.

    That is my opinion, yes, but there's no shortage of people who share it.

    BTW, I also don't consider what MB does to older pens sent to them "service." I consider it essentially an exchange of the pen for a current model while retaining the old nib. Some people may love getting a brand new pen fitted with a vintage nib, but I want everything else that comes with the old pen.

    Out of curiosity, do you own/use/have you used 149s? If so, have you used older ones? In your experience with older ones can you point to which "fragile" parts have caused problems for you?

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    I have several Montblanc pens but only one 149 that originally started it's life as a W.Germany pen with a lovely BB tricolour 18ct nib. It's lovely nib is now the only original part and I have the most beautiful pen that seems to be a fabulous writer, although never actually filled - only dipped to test it - and I wouldn't go back to the rather scratched and nicked barrel and cap that it originally came to me with. I would never want an older version where someone had darkened the ink window by using the wrong ink.
    I've also heard people who have cracked barrels in their vintage 149 pens asking how to get a new vintage one piece barrel or who can repair it. On this I'm with Montblanc - it's better to just replace it and still have a perfect pen.
    Last edited by Chrissy; December 26th, 2021 at 06:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    I own only one 149 but many MBs.

    Never wanted to have one (too big) until they came up with the Calligraphy nib, which I had to get (the 146 version which I would have preferred size vice is twice the price).

    Ok, ok not really true I would like to have a 50s 149 or a 139, but the prices for these pens are ridiculous.

    If you treat your MBs good then they will last for several life times (will be still good when you are long dead (even I do not know how old you are)), nothing fragile.

    But If you ask me if I would mind to get new parts on my MBs form the 60s pens onwards, then the answer is no.

    There is nothing on these young pens which is unique or I want to keep instead of a new part.

    The 50s celluloid with the telescopic pistons are a different story, for those (not that there are new replacement parts) I would not want to have a new replacement part.
    New nibs can’t compete anyway with the 50s, they are by far superior…….. except the new Calligraphy maybe……

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post

    ...

    If you treat your MBs good then they will last for several life times (will be still good when you are long dead (even I do not know how old you are)), nothing fragile.

    ...
    Even MontBlanc was not immune from design or material fault, as mentioned above the 14 for example did have easily cracked grips regardless of how gentle you were because of the stress of the nib collar against the hook inside the section. Imagine the dismay of having a slow leak onto the grip and then being told because you didn't baby it enough.

    Far as service goes. MontBlanc does have a flat rate for various pens including the 149. But if you send off a 149 older than 1990s that is found to need a new piston, it'll come back heavier with a brass piston.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    Far as service goes. MontBlanc does have a flat rate for various pens including the 149. But if you send off a 149 older than 1990s that is found to need a new piston, it'll come back heavier with a brass piston.
    And there is nothing wrong with that. Montblanc must have had a very good reason to change from plastic threads to brass threads. It's not like it was cheaper or easier to make them in brass. Same with threads in sections and barrels for the 145.
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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    Far as service goes. MontBlanc does have a flat rate for various pens including the 149. But if you send off a 149 older than 1990s that is found to need a new piston, it'll come back heavier with a brass piston.
    And there is nothing wrong with that. Montblanc must have had a very good reason to change from plastic threads to brass threads. It's not like it was cheaper or easier to make them in brass. Same with threads in sections and barrels for the 145.
    "Nothing wrong" is subjective. The brass piston is likely more durable, but realistically as long as the pen isn't allowed to crud up with ink the plastic piston has shown itself to be plenty durable.

    The brass mechanism changes not just the weight but the handling and balance of the pen.

    Even the plastic screw-in pistons feel different in the pen than the 60s friction fit pistons(plus they hold less ink). The friction design is very difficult to remove and also somewhat prone to cracking, so it was changed for a reason but that doesn't change the(IMO positive) affects it had on the feel of the pen.

    Of course presumably the friction piston was much less complicated and expensive than the much loved telescopic piston. I can't comment directly on the telescopic in a 149 as I've not owned one(I sit in the cheap seats with the 142 and 144 with those) so I don't know how it changes the overall feel of the pen.

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    Far as service goes. MontBlanc does have a flat rate for various pens including the 149. But if you send off a 149 older than 1990s that is found to need a new piston, it'll come back heavier with a brass piston.
    And there is nothing wrong with that. Montblanc must have had a very good reason to change from plastic threads to brass threads. It's not like it was cheaper or easier to make them in brass. Same with threads in sections and barrels for the 145.
    "Nothing wrong" is subjective. The brass piston is likely more durable, but realistically as long as the pen isn't allowed to crud up with ink the plastic piston has shown itself to be plenty durable.

    The brass mechanism changes not just the weight but the handling and balance of the pen.

    Even the plastic screw-in pistons feel different in the pen than the 60s friction fit pistons(plus they hold less ink). The friction design is very difficult to remove and also somewhat prone to cracking, so it was changed for a reason but that doesn't change the(IMO positive) affects it had on the feel of the pen.

    Of course presumably the friction piston was much less complicated and expensive than the much loved telescopic piston. I can't comment directly on the telescopic in a 149 as I've not owned one(I sit in the cheap seats with the 142 and 144 with those) so I don't know how it changes the overall feel of the pen.
    We have something in common here, I also only have a 50s 142 (KM….. the less popular Kugel nib ) and a 144 (BB) because of the prices (and I was quite lucky to get the 144 for a somewhat reasonable price as it was offered only as „old pen“ with very poor pictures, so I was not sure what I really get until I opened the package).

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    Default Re: Montblanc: vintage / modern

    Quote Originally Posted by Pterodactylus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KBeezie View Post
    Far as service goes. MontBlanc does have a flat rate for various pens including the 149. But if you send off a 149 older than 1990s that is found to need a new piston, it'll come back heavier with a brass piston.
    And there is nothing wrong with that. Montblanc must have had a very good reason to change from plastic threads to brass threads. It's not like it was cheaper or easier to make them in brass. Same with threads in sections and barrels for the 145.
    "Nothing wrong" is subjective. The brass piston is likely more durable, but realistically as long as the pen isn't allowed to crud up with ink the plastic piston has shown itself to be plenty durable.

    The brass mechanism changes not just the weight but the handling and balance of the pen.

    Even the plastic screw-in pistons feel different in the pen than the 60s friction fit pistons(plus they hold less ink). The friction design is very difficult to remove and also somewhat prone to cracking, so it was changed for a reason but that doesn't change the(IMO positive) affects it had on the feel of the pen.

    Of course presumably the friction piston was much less complicated and expensive than the much loved telescopic piston. I can't comment directly on the telescopic in a 149 as I've not owned one(I sit in the cheap seats with the 142 and 144 with those) so I don't know how it changes the overall feel of the pen.
    We have something in common here, I also only have a 50s 142 (KM….. the less popular Kugel nib ) and a 144 (BB) because of the prices (and I was quite lucky to get the 144 for a somewhat reasonable price as it was offered only as „old pen“ with very poor pictures, so I was not sure what I really get until I opened the package).
    Funny enough, my 142 is a KF that's actually quite flexible. The small size of it makes it really difficult for me to control, too...

    My 144 was(relatively) inexpensive also as it has some bad cosmetic defects that don't affect its functionality. Mine has a lovely OB nib.

    One of my collecting "goals" for 2022 is a celluloid 146, but I also retreat any time I look at them and see $1K buys a fairly rough one now. I'm just hoping I'll luck into one that flies under the radar on Ebay or something like that, or otherwise just bite the bullet and pay up. I've only crossed the $1K bridge on one other pen, and I'm usually a lot more comfortable hanging out around $500(maybe up to $600 or $700 if it's something I really like, and I know I'm probably going to have to do that for a Burgundy oversize Vacumatic also), but my chances of finding a 146 at a 3-figure price I realize are slim.

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