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Luxury doesn’t have to be ostentatious and the Montblanc 149 fountain pen is proof. It’s iconic black and gold design is simple, elegant and everlasting. All those who have cried out for a 149 with alternative colors or hues over the years have been left disappointed. The message from Montblanc is clear: ‘you don’t change an icon’. The only exceptions to this are the ‘75 years of the Meisterstuck’ special edition, which made a single change from yellow to red gold trim, and the more recent ‘Montblanc 149 90th Anniversary’ edition featuring a rose gold nib.
When Montblanc launched the 149 fountain pen in 1953, as a successor to the now highly sought after 139 and an addition to a range of other Montblanc models, he crowned the range Meisterstuck (masterpiece in German). The 149 is an evolution of the 139 with a rounded cap and piston. The very first 149s were made from celluloid, but it wasn’t long before Montblanc upgraded to the resin used today. Black, glossy, and reminiscent of a grand piano, the new material added a preciousness and was much less prone to damage than celluloid.
Elegance by design
The 149 possess the oblong appearance of a luxury Torpedo cigar, tapered and rounded at each end. The ring of the cap carries engraving of the words “Montblanc no. 149 Meisterstuck”. The clip is simple with no frills, yet solid with just enough flexibility to proudly rest within the chest pocket of a shirt.
Above the clip, you’ll find a small series of numbers that allows you to take the pen to any official Montblanc dealer for a serial number check. As with any luxury product fakes are an issue, so make sure to buy from a reputable dealer like Amazon.
The nib is perfectly proportioned to the size of the pen. Contrary to the recent trend of equipping large pens with a nib that is too small, Montblanc has persevered with this magnificent display of goldsmithing and refused to give in to passing fads. Any evolution of the 149 nib since its inception has been subtle. Made from yellow eighteen-carat gold, finely engraved and rhodium-plated; the secret of the 149s success is in no small part due to its epochal nib.
A writing experience
For a pen as imposing and solid as the 149, it remains relatively light with a comfortable grip. The large diameter of the pen is ideal, even for slender hands, and avoids the awkwardness often encountered with thinner, less substantial pens.
Writing is a pleasure. Each stroke is balanced and satisfying. The large duct ensures a perfectly regular ink flow, while the iridium tip slides smoothly across the paper. Every writer is different, and the range of available nib widths and styles allows each writer to refine their own experience.
In the tank
The 149 is equipped with a high capacity tank, which is rare for a piston pen since the mechanism substantially encroaches on the available volume. The size of the pen compensates for this drawback which is inherent in pens of this type. This great ability has made it the favorite pen of writers or journalists over the last six decades. The handling of the piston is easy. Of course, because of the size of the pen, it’s not possible to use the final milliliters at the bottom of the ink bottle; a small price to pay for a pen of this caliber.
A thousand miles of writing
Once in your hand, the 149 allows you to disembark on a journey for thousands of miles of writing. It truly lives up to its legendary status, and like any legend, it carries a price. A price that, for the workmanship and years of writing happiness you will receive, is well worth paying.
Amazon is currently offering free delivery within two or three days depending on your location.
The 149 is a true Meisterstuck.