Mont Blanc Diplomat 149
Montblanc 149 in black, c 1985 (brass thread filler)
This giant black colored cucumber of a pen has actually at various times gone beneath the title "Diplomat" (that can easily be confusing because there's another German penmaker that utilizes Diplomat as its company title), but everyone understands it simply due to the fact 149. It's the biggest and a lot of pricey pen in Montblanc's non-limited-edition lineup, and it is offered in a variety of materials form standard black colored plastic seen here.
This pen in fact goes back into late 1940s, and was introduced becoming the brand new flagship associated with revamped torpedo-shaped Meisterstück range. It's been produced more-or-less continually since then, and contains altered but bit in appearance. In modern-day MB range, both 149 and 146 are still offered as piston fillers (the 146 happens to be referred to as "LeGrande"), but the small 144 model (rebranded the "Classique") became a cartridge-filler, and looked much less luxurious than its larger siblings (it's since apparently disappeared through the range, which will make area for any other mid-priced items).
In the event that 149 looks basically the same in 2002 whilst did back in 1948, there have been fundamental alterations in the mechanics and products regarding the 149, and not all fans would claim these becoming modifications for much better. For this reason, numerous collectors seek out 149s (as well as others through the 140 series) made during 1940s and 1950s, while second-hand samples of the greater current production frequently go begging.
Let's go over some of the changes which were introduced between your mid-1960s in addition to current day:
- Information changed from hand-turned celluloid to a much harder and shinier cast synthetic that appears to be acrylic (even though precise formula is guarded very nearly because closely once the recipe for Coca-Cola). The more recent material resists scratching and keeps a-shine much better than celluloid, but there have been reports of natural cracking, maybe from stresses in casting procedure. Definitely these heavy pencils never simply take too to being dropped on the floor! The "snowflake" near the top of the cap was previously of celluloid or casein, and sometimes yellows slightly as we grow older (perhaps not unattractively, I think), although the new snowflake stays as pure and white as - really, due to the fact driven snow. The increasing loss of celluloid entails losing the unique marbled or striped patterns that tug in the wallets of this avid enthusiasts; if you don't like black, you'll have to save money to have one of many precious-metal overlays at this time available.
- Originally, the 149 utilized Montblanc's exemplary two-stage piston unit with a lot of brass parts (the piston failed to engage before the knob was cranked up some millimeters, preventing accidental launch of ink); you will notice an unthreaded metal cylinder beneath the knob on these designs. Regarding newer pens, a simpler filler can be used; you can view brass threads beneath the knob (such as this instance), but still more recent pencils have synthetic threads (yuk).
- The purpose and feed are no much longer press-fitted positioned within the old-fashioned design, but they are contained in a "pill" that screws in to the pen. A bead of silicone-like sealant in the foot of the device functions as an ink buffer (and you will break this seal in the event that you take away the point, necessitating revival). The little "lip" associated with area, only behind the point, marks these pencils. This will make point replacement much easier, although it does interfere with wanting to set an existing point (Pelikan makes use of equivalent method with its Souverän pencils, just with no sealant).
- There were minor variations when you look at the trim and marking of pens; very early examples had the design (149) and also the point quality (F, M, B, etc.) hot-stamped into the filler knob, as well as the very first 149s had two silver groups flanking the gold-filled belly-band (this band had been frequently engraved "Masterpiece" in English, reflecting MB's keen desire for the export market then though). Contemporary pencils have actually flanking groups of gold-fill, as well as the nomenclature "Montblanc Meisterstück No. 149"). There are no much longer any imprints or nomenclature regarding the plastic (which will be presumably as a result of the new material's stiffness). The middle-period 149s got serial numbers etched discretely regarding the clip washer (as shown at right), but I think this "feature" has vanished from latest production.
- The ink-view part on the older pencils had been often of a reddish tint, although the more recent pencils have actually a "striped" and less highly coloured ink window.
Exquisitely imprinted belly-band aided by the design title, and two
flanking gold-fill rings mark the later-production 149.
One thing that (luckily) hasn't altered could be the ornate two-tone 18k number 9 point. As with all Meisterstück pencils, the point is engraved with the legend "4810" (the height in meters of Mont Blanc). Regrettably for flex followers, Montblanc no longer provides the particular supple things these people were famed for back in the 1950s, you could get a number of nib sizes (including obliques). Naturally, there is nothing stopping you (except maybe for company's parsimonious warranty) from switching your 149 over to a nib specialist to have it shaved down a little to supply more flex.
I'm told that points on newer pens tend to be smaller (with less of a "heel"), given that they may be held in place with all the "capsule" product. I can't validate this with personal pen, but it may well be true, and would save MB a couple of dollars.
I bought this pen within my final semester of graduate college; it was practically a new-old-stock item at the campus bookstore, the last in stock, plus the shop hadn't been keeping up with the cost increases, thus I got a somewhat good deal onto it. I'd date it from about 1985. It proved to be a very poor author (it stop writing after about a page or two of note-taking and refused to give up anymore ink, plus it tended to sweat ink in to the cathetdral-like vastness for the cap). At one-point, I tried to look it around at a pen program only to be welcomed by my potential customers with the condescending smiles one makes use of in the existence of parvenus. Recently, but I made the decision this item needs to do significantly more than use up space during my pen chest, and so I undertook a thorough cleansing and repair myself, simply to discover an extended crack right-down the barrel (which designed the pen would no longer take-in ink and would rapidly drip down just what it did undertake). After coming back it to Montblanc for solution (alongside a check for $75), I'm thrilled to report it is today an outstanding and trustworthy writer, although nevertheless a bit heavy for continual usage.