As far as Mont Blanc goes, there are many stories floating around the web about them, but I’ll add my two cents anyway. Their vintage pens are by just excellent, no question about it. In the 80′s, quality standards fell, including a new recipe for the “precious resin”. This new resin, combined with super-thin barrels in pens like the 144 Classique, resulted in the horror stories you hear about shattering barrels and things like that. Modern day Montblanc fountain pens are of good quality. Pick one up and you’ll feel it instantly. The nibs are excellent, few question that, and even the construction is better. If you avoid the Meisterstuck 144, durability is not nearly as bad as everyone likes to say, and Montblanc will warranty barrel damage, at least according to my local boutique.
There remains a question regarding the price of modern Montblancs. I mark this as one of their greatest faults. The high prices are a result of Montblanc’s marketing decision to become an upscale “lifestyle” brand. The official company policy is to only sell their merchandise at full prices defined be manufacturer. If you were to compare Montblanc’s pen prices to comparable models from other companies, such as Lamy, you will find that they are definitely in line. The thing is, it’s not hard to find Lamy fountain pens at discounted prices, so it seems as if Montblanc is much more expensive. If you look around, and catch a deal, you’ll find that you generally get what you pay for from modern Montblanc Fountain pens. I recently bought a OM Boheme. It’s a great, small pen with a retractable nib. It’s solid, and a good writer. The modern Montblancs I’ve dealt with have been much better writers than most other modern fountain pens I’ve used, including my Namiki. A lot of negative views also come from the status-symbol mentality employed by some. It’s true, there are many people out there who own Montblanc ballpoints only to have that little white snowflake sticking out of their pocket.
So to conclude, I like Mont Blanc pens. I prefer the Montblanc although I know it’s not cool to like something that is most popular. My wife gave me a big Montblanc pen and I lost it. So i bought another. And I lost it as well. So I bought another (as not to hurt her feelings) so, mathematically speaking, the Montblanc Boheme I’m using is a $680 pen. It absolutely writes as good as a Bic Powerball and, evidently, gets lost easier. How can it not be worth it?
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