Once in a while I find a good deal on a favorite pen. With a little patience, I’ve seen great deals and have met some great people. People are even advertising Montblanc pens from time to time. But sometimes you never know what you’re getting, as I found out through this exciting acquisition of the Montblanc 147 Traveller. Never heard of the Montblanc 147?
The one I have looks old too, with scratches and Montblanc StarWalker Platinum Resin Fountain Pen . The pen is made mostly of resin with a few sections with metal trim and of course the nib. It is very lightweight, just the way I like it.
I still have a lot of questions about the Montblanc Taipan 149 Calligraphy Pen. Just in case you missed it, I have a full video above with my thoughts and some writing samples so you can actually use it. I still think it’s a great pen. It’s not a cheap pen, and I’m amazed and impressed that Montblanc has done such a great job with it. I’m really pleased.
The tip is plastic, but I did find that it writes slowly and consistently – sometimes even quickly – and holds up well.
But for those of us who use fountain pens every day and collect them for aesthetics and practicality, a pen is a tool: it takes ink from the cartridge and transfers it to paper, but does so in a way that makes the most mundane actions (like taking notes) more interesting. A good fountain pen doesn’t actually require any pressure – it just slides across the entire page. Ink now comes in a myriad of colors, not just creating letters. It almost seems to decorate a piece of paper.
These prices depend heavily on the material used in the pen. Most were made of resin or plastic; some were encased in precious metal (usually gold or silver) and encrusted with jewelry. Others, such as today’s high-end pens from Japan, feature intricate, hand-painted designs. These aesthetics, while alluring, are actually clothing. In terms of performance, the serious fountain pen user overlooks the fancy body of the pen and focuses on the quality and style of the nib or “tip”. Within this subset, the variety and complexity that has developed over the centuries is almost endless, and there are equally endless fascinations and debates among pen enthusiasts.
Simply put, fountain pens fall into two categories: the new and the “old”. By most enthusiasts’ standards, anything made after 1960 is considered modern. Like many modern pens, sleek and well-designed, fountain pen experts generally agree that the highest-performing fountain pens ever made are the older ones. Mauricio Aguilar, a serious pen collector, has also restored old fountain pens and taught people how to write with them. He told me that he has seen very few fountain pens in the last 50 years.
I know that’s a bit nostalgic, but there’s a reason Aguilar feels that way. With a multitude of ancient tools, the maker’s craft reached the pinnacle of king of its kind at the end of his product’s reign. For fountain pens, this happened in the mid-20th century, when fountain pens still had no competition from cheap ballpoint pens and rollerballs, let alone computers and iPhones. Protected by their dominant market position, penmakers were thus able to invest in a variety of experiments, tools, materials, machinery, manufacturing stages, training,