The modern Montblanc is not to my taste for various reasons and in any case I wouldn’t spend that much on a current pen. I’m told that they are good writers but so is the Lanbitou I’m using to draft this article. It cost three quid. Of course that’s a rather shallow argument – the Lanbitou doesn’t have the quality of a Montblanc and it may not be as durable. That said, if I want superior quality I just need to use my vintage Swans or Onotos – the highest quality at a tiny fraction of the price of a modern Montblanc.
I promise not to rant on interminably about modern Montblancs. Just two other things I would mention: associating pens with dead artists and authors seems a spurious piece of marketing. In truth they had nothing to do with the pens. Secondly, drawing attention to yourself by flashing an expensive pen seems a bit jejune. But maybe that’s just me.
It was not always so. A few years ago I used to buy forties and fifties Montblancs to restore. Wonderful pens with outstanding nibs. They’ve gone a little beyond my budget now but I’m glad they’ve reached their proper level and are suitably appreciated.
Long before that Montblanc made many safety pens. The well-known White Top of 1912 and the famous Rouge et Noir of the same period are highly collectable – if you can find one!
In the twenties this beauty came along, another much-sought-after collector’s pen, photographed here with a fine Swan.
As well as being treasured by collectors these pens are perfectly practical writers. I’m told this one is somewhat stubbish. I love the nib – a real work of art.
Such Montblancs as these are expensive too, but worth every penny!
With thanks to Hans Gilliams for his excellent photographs.