There are Montblanc pens and then there are Montblanc pens… this is very firmly the latter. We’re absolutely delighted to be offering another Montblanc Meisterstuck 149 1950’s Celluloid Silver Rings Fountain Pen, which comes with the added bonus of having been sent to Montblanc in 2006 to have a new telescopic piston mechanism fitted – it has only been used a couple of times since. The gentlemen who previously owned it was advised by Montblanc that stocks of replacement mechanisms were about to run out, so in 2006 it was sent to Hamburg to have one of the very last ones fitted. This particular pen has a lovely history, with it being in the same family from original purchase up until we acquired it.
If you’ve come this far, then you’re likely already familiar with these pens, but if not then let me explain a little for you… the Montblanc 149 is a writing legend and central to its mythical status are the 1950’s offerings, which are distinctive for two main reasons. The first is that they made from celluloid, rather than the now commonly used resin – the second is that the two rings that surround the main cap band are sterling silver. After 1960 these were then changed to the gold plated version, which has been ever present since.
It’s difficult to write a description for a pen that conjures up so much history and warrants its place in the highest echelons of all Montblanc writing instruments. The 149 has always been seen as a symbol of power and stature, but these original 1950’s versions take this a stage (in fact many stages!) further and create a writing experience that simply has to be experienced.
Here at izods, we love what we do and handling hundreds of pens each year never fails to put a smile on our faces… but sometimes you have a moment where genuine excitement takes over you, and when we source these celluloid 149’s that’s exactly what happens.
Let me explain the important details about this pen…
Nib: The pen is fitted with the legendary 14C tri-tone medium nib, which is an absolute joy to write with. The gold is bright and the imprints crisp – these nibs are renowned for their levels of feedback, spring and ease of writing, making them hugely sought after. Their modern counterparts simply can’t compete.This has a beautiful flex to it and lays down a glorious line!
Feed: The celluloid 149’s came with two feeds over the time that they were produced – the first being known as a ski-slope feed and then those from the mid 1950’s being fitted with a round ebonite feed with a grooved face and shank. This pen has the earlier style ski-slope version.
Filling System: One of the stand-out features of the celluloid 149’s is the ingenious telescopic filling system. This is a two stage process, where by the piston knob is turned during the initial stage, it then is turned again to engage the telescoping system, which then fills or empties the ink reservoir.
Ink Window: The celluloid pens are famous for their ink window and with use the original green colour then turns to various shades of amber and red. The lines on the ink window are straight and well defined, with it still retaining it’s green hue (indicating only light usage). This is the short ink window version, with some of the earliest examples having a longer ink window.
Celluloid: Celluloid is a notoriously tricky substance to work with and is very susceptible to storage conditions. For this reason, many of the 149’s available suffer from varying degrees of shrinkage – this is most obvious on the cap, where the main part is then noticeably smaller than the gold plated clip ring and two silver rings. There is virtually zero shrinkage on this pen. Whilst on the subject of celluloid, you will often see people advertising 149’s as being demonstrator versions – this is not the case, it’s simply where the black celluloid has worn away on the barrel to reveal the clear structure below. It will present as an amber colour and you can then see the internal workings of the pen – often this wear isn’t even and although people like to coin the term ‘demonstrator’ it’s simply not the case.
Silver Rings: The most recognisable feature of these 50’s pens are the two wonderful sterling silver rings found on the cap. A common problem, due to shrinkage of the celluloid, is that these rings become loose or heavily distorted. The rings on this pen are straight, with only a tiny amount of movement away from a straight line on one part of the cap. The main gold cap ring does move if purposefully turned, but is not at all loose and this is not uncommon.
Markings: The celluloid pens were heat-stamped with a variety of different markings – this particular one has 149 imprinted on the piston knob and M indicating a medium nib. This pen features the wording ‘Masterpiece’ on the main cap band rather than the traditional ‘Meisterstuck’ – this was used for certain export markets. The imprint ‘made in Germany’ appears very lightly on the barrel.
Condition: The pen is presented in overall lovely condition – this is a 60 year old pen, so there are marks associated with use over time and a small mark on the barrel (visible in the last photo), but it’s ready for many years of happy writing. We’ve lightly polished it, but you could polish it further if you wanted.