Montblanc Noblesse


By the 1970s, with West Germany's Wirtschaftswunder ("economic miracle") well underway, manufacturers of consumer goods felt emboldened to abandon mid-century design and venture into new territory. This Montblanc Noblesse is a case in point.

As a starving (or at least kinda hungry) engineering student, I saved my shekels to buy this pen sometime in the late 1970s. It is a very sturdy all-metal pen on the order of current Rotrings and Lamys, you could probably drive it into a concrete wall with a hammer. It is also one of the slimmest fountain pens I've seen, but takes a full size Montblanc cartridge or converter. The steel "wing" point (a profile introduced by Montblanc in the 1950s and still popular among other European makers) has a 70s sort of square look that, like the brushed-stainless finish, is no longer fashion-correct (particularly in comparison to Montblanc's current line), but it is strong enough to write through carbon paper and produces a nice fine line.

The Noblesse is still in production, but now a more traditional point and a variety of gold plate, silver plate, and lacquer finishes; there doesn't seem to be an "economy" model like this one in the current U.S. catalog. And that's a shame, because a pen like this one, with a bit of restyling and a price tag of $100 or so would go a mightly long way toward repairing the image problem that MB is developing with hardcore pen collectors.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:26 CST
MCMVIII, the red network