Montblanc Meisterstück 149

As power jewelry, the MB149 is certainly impressive; it has a serial number engraved on it (AC100845 in my case), a mechanically flawless piston fill mechanism, and a huge, ornate 18k gold nib with platinum inlay and more curlicues than you can shake a French curve at.

I am compelled to observe, however, that considered purely as a writing instrument, my MB149 is ... well ... really good power jewelry. I used it to take notes in a three-hour night school class and found myself having to give up in frustration halfway through because the pen refused to feed properly. Maybe it was dirty, maybe it was maladjusted, who knows? When a pen can hold the kind of ink supply that this one can, it seems stupid to have to empty and flush it before it gets through more than a couple of pages of writing.

Speaking of cleaning, this is the real achilles heel of the piston-fill mechanism; flushing the pen clean (e.g., to change from black to a lighter ink) could conceievably take weeks, and I never attempted to do so until I worked up the courage to unscrew the point and its carrier from the section (I don't recommend this, as it will break an ink seal and could get you in trouble with MB).

Certain other idiosyncracies of the 149 fail to endear it to the practical writer. The cap refuses to stay seated on the back of the pen while you use it, encouraging you to jam it on with a vigor that will do the pen no good in the long run (remember those cracked caps?). Also the pen is so heavy and ill-balanced that it becomes fatiguing after awhile. The huge cap and point are prone to "sweating" out ink if you are not scrupulously careful in cleaning and capping the pen.

Even though I paid far less than the going rate for this pen (thank goodness the college bookstore wasn't keeping up with price increases on their items in stock), I am still disappointed that I spent all that money on one pen rather than three or four decent Parker Vacs.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jun-28 18:21:44 CDT
MCMVIII, the red network