Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Calligraphy Curved Nib (MB129275) is a high end special edition fountain pen released in December 2022. The previous and discontinued Montblanc Meisterstück 149 was fitted with a Calligraphy Flexible Nib (MB119699). I still remember being tempted to get that pen but decided otherwise because I'm don't actually enjoy using flexible nibs for drawing. That saved me a lot of money.
This Montblanc pen that I have for review actually belongs to my fellow artist friend Annabella. I lent her some of my Sailor Specialty Nibs and she lent me this. I only got to know of this pen's existence through her post on the local Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers Facebook group.
The official retail price of this pen is US $1055 and here in Singapore it's SGD 1460 (with tax). And below's the marketing text from Montblanc's website:
Montblanc Meisterstück 149 Gold-coated collection is a design that writes history. Introduced in 1924, a word meaning “Masterpiece,” the Meisterstück has become one of the symbol for high quality luxury. The cap and barrel are crafted in black precious resin featuring the iconic white Montblanc emblem inlaid in the cap top. The fountain pen is crowned with the innovative curved nib, hand-crafted in Au750 / 18K solid gold and garnished with three delicate parallel lines; a symbol inspired by calligraphy movements. The curved nib allows a variety of writing styles and line widths, depending on the angle and the orientation at which the writing instrument is held.
My review is from the perspective of an artist. I use fountain pens for drawing and I have reviewed many fountain pens on my blog over the years. The pens I'm interested in are those with nibs that can produce line variations. I don't create calligraphy or calligraphy art.
A Montblanc to me is a pen for collectors due to its high pricing. How is a Montblanc Meisterstück 149 with standard F, M or B nib US $975 when you can find cheaper pens with black resin body designs, gold nib and gold plated cap and trimmings that sell for less? Branding, obviously, is why a Montblanc is more expensive.
Montblanc Meisterstück 149 is a beautiful pen with a huge 18K gold Calligraphy Curved Nib that can produce line variations depending on how the pen is held. The line variations are not as expressive compared to a fude nib fountain pen though when you don't pay attention to how the pen is held.
It definitely feels quite satisfying to draw with such a pricy and gorgeous pen. Whether it's worth the money is really subjective -- see this video. Anyway, if you think it's worth the price, it is. If not, it's not.
There's no mention on whether this is a limited edition nib, but chances are it's probably is. The previous Calligraphy Flexible Nib was limited and has been discontinued. I suppose this pen should hold its value well should you need to sell it in the future for whatever reason.
The only downside is the company used a sticker as one of the design elements on the pen. Shocking, I know.
That's the packaging box with the calligraphy strokes as design.
This is the flip cover box the pen is in.
The overall presentation is nice. This is nicer than the box that expensive Sailor fountain pens come with.
Included in the box are the pen, warranty and servicing info and a manual on usage.
The box has felt coated on the inner sides. The pen holder can be removed so you can actually reuse the box to hold other items.
What would be really cool is for someone to make a multi-piece pen holder than can fit into this Montblanc box.
Here's a size comparison with other fountain pens I have, namely:
The Montblanc Meisterstück 149 is a noticeably bigger pen.
The design is almost cigar-shape and it's a comfortable pen to hold. The pen measures 14.7 x 1.7cm (5.80 by 0.68 inches) and weights 39.87g.
The body is made with high gloss black resin, or as Montblanc calls it "black precious resin".
All the metallic parts are gold-plated.
The iconic white Montblanc emblem is inlaid in the cap top. The white snowcap symbolises the peak of the Mont Blanc mountain with its six glacier valleys.
This looks like a piece of sticker to me. When I run my hand over, I don't feel the texture of the lines because the lines aren't carved. I could also see some paint flaking off the surface.
This is definitely not acceptable for a luxury pen at such high pricing. A sticker will wear down with usage. This is glaring mistake on design.
That sticker will only align with the pen clip in one of three positions when you screw the cap back on.
This pen does look very classy.
The words on the cap ring are "Montblanc Meisterstück No. 149" in uppercase.
Filling this fountain pen with ink involves turning the end. The refilling mechanism probably uses a piston. There's a translucent section near the screw threads where you can see how much ink is left.
This pen does hold a good amount of ink and it has to since this pen uses a lot of ink.
The Calligraphy Curved Nib is the main selling point of this pen. Without this nib, I won't even consider getting a Montblanc with a F, M or B nib.
The beautiful nib is hand-crafted in Au750 / 18K gold and adorned with three parallel lines inspired by calligraphy. There are also carvings inside the parallel lines.
This is a big nib that measures 2.75cm (1.08 inches).
On the nib you'll also see the number 4810 engraved which represents the height of the Mont Blanc mountain.
The ink flow is really good.
I'm not sure what the feed is made of. I did not dismantle the pen for the fear of not being able to put the pen together again, and it's not my pen.
The broad side looks like a 45 degree angle. Note that the gold colour does not extend all the way to the tip.
Interestingly, the gold colour does not extend all the way to the tip of the nib.
All the edges are curved.
This point can be used for drawing thin lines or dots.
These are the lines you can create with the nib.
- Writing on the reversed with the tip produces very thin lines
- Writing with the pen at a tilted but upright angle
- Writing with the pen at 45 degrees
- Writing without paying special attention to the angle of the pen
Ink flow is fantastic and is able to keep up even with the broadest stroke. Do note that the more ink there is on the paper, the more time it takes for the ink to dry.
This was written with the nib upside down using the point.
This was written with the pen at a tilted but upright angle.
This was written using the broad side.
This pen is probably more suited for people write big as the line width will be medium to extra broad unless you hold the pen more vertically to make the lines thinner.
These are Chinese characters.
These are Japanese characters.
The pen nib is good enough for writing Asian calligraphy although the strokes don't really taper.
Here's a quick sketch I drew with the pen. You don't really have to pay special attention to how the pen is held when drawing unless you want to create specific lines, e.g. extra thin or extra thick lines. You will get some line variation with your usual hand movement.
For this sketch, I held the pen more vertically to draw the thinner lines. The ink blobs I used to represent the windows were drawn with the broad side.
The broad side of the nib is good for drawing thick lines, in this case it's convenient to draw thick horizontal windows.
You can turn the nib over to use the extra thin lines for hatching. The broad nib can be used for cover large areas with ink.
How it compare with the Sailor specialty nibs?
The Sailor Cross Nib (above) is probably the equivalent of the Montblanc Calligraphy Curved nib. The broad end of the Montblanc is slightly thicker that's all.
How it compare with a fude nib?
A fude nib is a bent nib with a broad side and can create the same line variations as the Montblanc Calligraphy Curved Nib.
The boxes above were drawn with the Montblanc and those below were from a cheap Sailor My First Pen.
I did not pay special attention to how the pen was held while drawing those boxes. When drawing normally, the fude nib can produce more noticeable line variation compared to the Montblanc. The ink flow with the cheap Sailor fountain pen wasn't as good though.
This was drawn with the Montblanc.
This was drawn with the fude nib. Again the line variation is more noticeable and obvious compared to the Montblanc. The ink flow isn't as good so the lines are not as dark as those from the Montblanc even though I used the same black ink.
While the Montblanc Calligraphy Curved Nib is versatile for drawing, you will have to make a conscious effort to hold the pen at certain angles to get the line variation you want. In a way, this nib can be considered to have consistent performance. The line variation you can get with a fude nib is more unpredictable but it's automatic without having to bother with how the pen is held. For drawing purposes, the fude nib is considered to be more expressive.
As mentioned in the bottom line earlier, this is a beautiful pen and the calligraphy curved nib is quite versatile for drawing although not as versatile compared to a fude nib. I'm not sure how good the pen is for calligraphy since I'm not familiar with calligraphy art. But since it is a so called Calligraphy nib, I'm sure it can be used to create calligraphy or calligraphy art.
This pen is more suited for people who write bigger since the line width is at least a medium.
The use of that sticker as part of a design element, if it's really a sticker, is unacceptable on pen this expensive. What was Montblanc thinking?
Is it worth the money? You can decide.
Do check out my other fountain pen reviews.