What are the competitors of Montblanc Meisterstuck
Montblanc Meisterstück 144 Classique Fountain Pen
The prelude to this field report series should be a very special fountain pen, which was given to me in 1994, i.e. over 20 years ago. "The little masterpiece" or better: the Montblanc Meisterstück 144 Classique is unfortunately no longer manufactured today and thus the available range of the classic series from Montblanc is shrinking to 4 available sizes. In particular people with very small hands or people who prefer to write with smaller pens will experience the production stop as a loss and will have to search through antiquarian channels or the second-hand market if there is interest in the pen.
Table of Contents
Quality and repair service of the Montblanc filler
With regard to the quality, I can hardly note any restrictions, especially because the fountain pen has lasted for around twenty years and is completely maintenance-free. Currently, slight signs of age have become noticeable: the cap had easy play and wobbled, and the ink feed or the seal was no longer completely intact, so that longer writing sessions were often acknowledged with blue fingers. In addition, there was an awkward encounter with a desk drawer, which unfortunately had caused a cap fracture. The experience was probably just as painful for the pen as it was for me. At this point, we would like to praise the excellent service from Montblanc, who was able to repair the pen without any visible signs of repair. Since my experience with the service is more balanced, this should be positive here. On this occasion the other points mentioned were also corrected and the pen came back to me highly polished. The converter has also been replaced by the current version. Overall, this exchange also appears to be of great use. I have the feeling that the quality of the new converter is slightly better, offers enough resistance when screwing in / sucking in the ink and is also slightly heavier, which gives the small fountain pen a slightly better balance in the hand. Inside the converter there is a movable piece of metal, which has a positive effect on the flow of ink and is intended to prevent an air bubble from preventing the ink from flowing down. If you shake the pen, you can hear a gentle clicking sound. There are supposed to be scribes who feel disturbed by it. However, this has not the slightest negative influence on my personal writing experience. Now the good piece is armed for the next 20 years.
Design, materials and marketing
Montblanc's marketing strategy is clearly aimed at the premium segment of fountain pens using high-quality materials and first-class workmanship. The old German term of the master and his technical skills is not changed even for the international branding. Whether in this country or in the rest of the world, we are consistently dealing with “the masterpiece” everywhere. However, this was not always the case and there have been phases in which the export versions were declared as “Montblanc Masterpiece 144”. The classic recognition feature is clearly the cigar shape and the color. Many competitors and imitators orientate themselves on this shape and design. The black, highly polished precious resin (some contemporaries also call it plastic) is enclosed by gold (or optionally) platinum-plated decorative rings. A fine engraving of the serial number can be found on the cap ring from which the clip emerges. To top it off, the famous Montblanc emblem, the mountain peak covered by snow and ice, was affixed. I wonder whether a possible production of the fountain pen, completely out of metal, could increase the value? But the additional weight could then also have a significant impact on the writing experience and could lead to signs of fatigue earlier, especially with longer texts.
The heart: the Montblanc nib
I particularly like the design and manufacture of the 14-carat gold nib with its beautiful embossing and decoration (in my opinion, the duotone nibs from the 1950s are even more beautiful and a bit simpler). With a bit of abstraction one could assume that this is really a heart. The mentioned emblem of the mountain peak and the number 4810, which refers to the height of Mont Blanc in meters, appear again on the spring body. All around the feather is adorned with a scroll-like ornament.
After such years of use, the medium pen is optimally inscribed and still reveals an ideal writing behavior and typeface for me. The nib offers a good compromise between sufficient resistance and delicate flexibility for slight variations in line width under very high pressure. The humidity is good and, depending on the ink used, creates beautiful gradients and structures with a concentrated ink release. The ink is wet but does not soak the paper. There are no problems with the cover letter or dropouts.
The medium width of this Montblanc Meisterstück 144 can be guided smoothly. Experience has shown that there are clear deviations and differences, so that a fine nib tends to tend towards the medium and the medium nib seems to be very wide. Basically, the nib should be tried out to determine whether it fits the individual typeface, the respective requirements and writing behavior.
The size, weight and balance of the pen
Although this fountain pen is one of the smaller ones, the size is almost perfect for me. I like to write with rather thin and delicate writing tools. The clear advantage is that the writing hand tires less quickly and the lines of the pen are easy to control. As an alternative for larger hands, there is the currently available Montblanc Meisterstück 145 and the Montblanc Meisterstück 146, for everyday writing practice. The really meaty and large product lines (like the 149ner) are more something for a signature, collector or desk decoration, as the hand cramps very quickly when writing for a long time.
The fountain pen's center of gravity is slightly behind the central decorative ring. With the use of the new converter, the focus has not necessarily shifted, but the pen is overall a little heavier in the hand. I always take hold of the pen close to the nib, i.e. very close to the front, and I find this grip point to be very pleasant with this pen as well. The feeling of writing with the cap on is less my case here, as the focus is clearly shifted backwards and the pen tends to pull the pen away from the paper.
Conclusion - Montblanc Meisterstück 144 fountain pen
A Montblanc fountain pen is and remains something for life. Anyone who toying with such a writing instrument will not be disappointed and writing with it receives a visible quality, expression and attention. Again and again I find myself picking up this pen for letters and texts that are important to me and for which I take the necessary time to carry out the writing in full consciousness. Judging by the longevity, the very large investment seems worthwhile again - especially with the vintage specimens.
Model: Meisterstück 144 Classique
Materials: synthetic resin, 14k gold
Length (with cap): 13.6 cm
Length (without cap): 11.8 cm
Diameter of the cap: 1.2 cm
Body diameter: 1.1 cm
Nib material: 14k gold
Spring strengths / spring types: EF, F, M, B, BB, OM, OB, OBB
Design: cigar shape
Filling: converter system / cartridge system
Ink: Iroshizuku kon-peki
Paper: Apica Notebook A5
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