What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

I Did Not Go to the Mountain…

Posted by Dirck on 3 April, 2014

…and so it came to me.  Thanks to a client who still became a client after my disappointing admission of inability to deal with cork seals, I’ve finally handled a Montblanc pen.  Apart from allowing me to slowly get a page together for that maker (not yet complete) and demanding that I start differentiating in my written correspondence between Montblanc and Mont Blanc (the latter being the lump of rock in Europe), I’m finally able to comment with some foundation about the pens.

The item in question was, by the way, a 114P.  The letter indicates cartridge filling, in German, but it might as well stand for “petite.”  Let me show you the item in question next to a couple of other pens for scale.

A Pelikan M400, which I’d call of medium size and which some people call smallish.

The very chap, in all his wee splendour

The very chap, in all his wee splendour

And just so it doesn’t feel badly, a Peter Pan (which really should be called a Tinkerbell, but that wasn’t the name of the popular play)

I’m going to be brief, as I want to get the last few paragraphs of “E.Z. Notes” sorted out, so in point form and based, as all good judgements are, on a sample size of one, here’s my impressions of Montblanc Pens :

  • They are nice.  The fit and finish are very high-end, and I’m sure most sellers don’t blush too deeply when they speak the price to the prospective buyer;
  • However, as far as I can discover, the price for this tiny and mechanism-free model is rather over $500, or about 25% more than that Pelikan which I also rate as rather expensive… but it at least has a filling device in it;
  • Also, the reason I had it was it had been sold with a point with such a profound baby-bottom, enhanced by a contorted tine, that it was very unwilling to start writing.

Thus my underlying notions about Montblanc are essentially confirmed; basically nice pens, labouring under the weight of price-tags no pen can easily bear.  That last point is deeply irking; the basic raison d’être for a pen is to write.  An expensive one should, in theory, write freely.  The pens I’m using this week, including that cheap little TWSBI, all share this feature, and the combined price I paid for them doesn’t equal this one tiny Montblanc (granted, all but one were second hand…).  If you’re paying that sort of money for the thing, you’d thing someone in the factory would glance at the working part.

Here endeth the rant.  Time to get back to work feeding the fiction furnace.

Today’s entirely functional pen: Pelikan New Classic
Today’s slighly ironic ink: Montblanc Racing Green


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