MONTBLANC PENS

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PatrickR

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In business since 1906. They are doing something right. Obviously a luxury brand that appeals to a certain clientele.
For those that aspire to sell pens and establish a brand one lesson to learn from them is to establish a good logo and stick with it. The snowflake logo is very simple, clean and recognizable. With only minor changes made thru the years.
 

WriteON

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In business since 1906. They are doing something right. Obviously a luxury brand that appeals to a certain clientele.
For those that aspire to sell pens and establish a brand one lesson to learn from them is to establish a good logo and stick with it. The snowflake logo is very simple, clean and recognizable. With only minor changes made thru the years.
I can understand the precision and expense of a fountain pen. Not a ball point
 

PatrickR

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I can understand the precision and expense of a fountain pen. Not a ball point
Really there aren’t a lot of people that want a FP. Their prices seem pretty consistent through the line and I would guess they are very well made (I’ve never even held one). Their customers want a Monteblanc and aren’t concerned with the price.
 

moke

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I have both a Rolex and a Mont Blanc. I had the good fortune to have a friend that had lots of money. When I turned 50, he gave a Date-just Rolex. I sent him many pens over the years and he sent me a Mont Blonc once. The Rolex is nice, fun to wear, have often had folks ask me if "that is a real Rolex".....It is a few minutes slow a day, and I have had it repaired twice, both times the repairman told me it "was right on" Each time the repair was 500.00. I have collected watches since I was a child....I have 50 or so. I have a watch that Canon sent me for selling some canon cameras, it never loses a minute, and you can set it and it will be correct in 6 months. Most of my watches are Fossil.....they almost all were around 100.00 ...everyone of those are just like the Canon watch....right on. The Mont Blonc pen. is incredibly similar to an "executive" style pen. Now I don't carry it, and it may be built like a tank, but the Exotic blank refills writes just as well....It is truly just as good as ours.
My friend passed away and I will never sell or get rid of either of these gifts. (He was not a huge gift giver), but truly neither of these are anything extraordinary.......Especially the Mont Blonc....I have heard folks say a pen with brass inserts will not hold up, long term....Maybe that is true, but I have been making pens since 2007 and have never had any problems with them coming apart.

I have another friend with couple of Rolex's, he always says they are a "great discussion piece".
 

sorcerertd

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I had a customer leave a review for me on Etsy saying "I love this pen more than my overpriced Waterman or Mont Blancs." Was she just being nice? I don't know, but I think it says a lot for a hand crafted, one of a kind pen. There will never be another one just like that one and you can't say that for the "manufacturers".

I had a Rolex once. Bought it in Korea. It said Rolex on it, but was definitely a fake, and dirt cheap. Looked cool for a while. I can't afford fancy watches, but I can make my own fancy pens. :D
 

Bryguy

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I have a Mont Blanc Fountain pen and a Mont Blanc ballpoint. Both were gifts. The ballpoint is rubbish, the resin has cracked twice. THe fountain pen has a gold nib that I really like, but, as has already been said, Mont Blanc is all about status,the quality really isn't there.
 

WriteON

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Aside from I can't write well I cannot spell. To me a good writer is a Bic. But the worst part of pen making and quite embarrassing is when asked if I have a pen. I'm speechless. As for Montblanc.... I might change my screen name to ImBroke
 
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monophoto

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I figure that my handwriting would be just as illegible with a Mont Blanc as it is with a BIC.
Me too!

I was given a Mont Blanc FP about 30 years ago - it is a really nice pen, and I enjoyed using it. BUT - it requied frequent maintenance. About every two years, I had to send it in for repair - the gold nib needed alignment, the pen was leaking around the section, the gold band that mated with the 'snap-cap' had corroded to the point where the pen wouldn't remain closed, etc. And each trip to the shop cost about $60. I finally realized that I save a lot of money by retiring it and using less expensive pens that aren't as fussy. And they write just as well! So today my daily carry rotation includes a Cross, several Lamy's (a Safari and two Al Stars), a Platinum Plaisir, a Franklyn Covey (made by Cross), and several wooden kit pens.
 

penicillin

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After I had made a few pens, my spouse and I went to a local store that sells Mont Blanc pens and tried them out for ourselves, mostly the ballpoints, which are what we use. The ink cartridges feel good and write very smoothly. The pen size and shape felt good in the hand. Ultimately, it is a plastic pen with a lot of panache and hype, in our opinion. Both of us felt that the simple pens I make, shaped well, with a quality ink cartridge, ... are just as good or better.

I doubt that Mont Blanc can claim that their pens are handcrafted from wood and other exotic materials.

I made all of the pens I use and carry, sized and shaped just the way I like. The only exception is the Fisher bullet space pen that I carry in my pants pocket. It folds up very small, but turns into a full size pen. It writes on anything in any position. I pull it out and use it so that I don't have to touch those "courtesy pens" that people thrust in my face. You know, the courtesy pens where others first pick their nose and then grab and use the pen. Eeew!
 

monophoto

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I doubt that Mont Blanc can claim that their pens are handcrafted from wood and other exotic materials.
Actually, they advertise that they are made from 'precious resin'. It's not clear how that differs from the acrylics, polyester and alumilite that folks around here use.

In fact, the one thing that makes Mont Blanc pens stand out is the white star on the cap -- 'pocket porn'
 

jttheclockman

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Reading these makes me smile. First I do not have a Mont Blanc pen of any kind and the Rolex watches I have all are fakes. Some very good fakes. But one thing with Rolex is the secret sauce they use to make that magnifier lens for the day date. Just can not be copied for some reason.

Anyway I have for years made statements about our hobby and making pens and when people ask about getting into a business and selling their wares, I usually refer to the fact of looking at other top selling brand name pens and follow their lead. The shapes of their pens are no bulbous looking pregnant pen shapes or ones with coves and other fancy details. They are basic shaped well fitting pens. Yes they have ornate pens that we can not do unless you are into castings. Yes you can establish different style shapes and also different style blanks used. But pay attention to what people will buy and use that as a cue for your business. Keep at it and make a name for yourself and you too can sell your work. But it takes time and money. Advertising in many forms sure goes a long way and tht is what those companies do.
 

WriteON

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MontBlancs...I guess we can say it's all about pride of ownership and a lifestyle statement. They are worth if you want it. Me? I'd feel better with a new lathe that does not tell time for what those pens sell for. As for telling time.... TimeX or Casio for myself... and the iWatch is not bad.
 

moke

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I would like to add that Mont Blonc has, as has been said, the star on top. That in my estimation is great marketing. They have projected an image of Quality and they have branded them selves with that "star". The star is highly visible when writing with it, or even having it in your pocket. I think as pen makers we should learn from that......

Regardless of whether we agree with them being great quality or not. To the average consumer the most elite watch is Rolex and the most elite pen is Mont Blonc. As I said in my earlier post, I have a Rolex and am proud of it. I was at a watch convention with my wealthy friend, and the main event was a dinner. He handed me a watch, a Gono DeGressio, or something like that, and said wear this, if you are wearing a Rolex, they will think you are an idiot. Quality or elite items are in the eye of the beholder. I think with pens we can certainly benefit ourselves with a little marketing, built into the pen itself. But as John said, they need to be well done, not a weird shape, and worthy of the high value you put on them.
 

Penultimate

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I’ve had a Montblanc roller ball for over twenty years and think it is the finest writing instrument I ever written with. The size, shape, weight and balance are perfect for my hand. The Montblanc refills are better than generics or cheap gel pens. I like it so much I copied it. The size and shape iate spot on but I missed the weight and balance. It’s still a great writer.
 

sbwertz

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I think it depends a lot on the age of the Mont Blanc. My husband has a 1950s vintage MB fountain pen, and a 1980s vintage ball point. No comparison! The 50s pen is much better made.
 

jrista

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I've seen some modern Mont Blanc pens (honestly don't know if I've ever seen an older one, even from the 80s let alone 50s). The modern ones really look cheap, compared to a whole lot of the custom made pens I see on forums, in videos, and for sale around the net. Modern Mont Blanc fountain pens that I've seen seem to have cheap plastic bodies, nibs that are nowhere near as good as even the kit nibs that come with some of the more popular fountain pen kits, and seem to be a little flimsy.

I didn't realize just how much Mont Blanc was considered the pinnacle of the pen world, but having read this thread now, based on what I have seen and the prices...it really seems like they are taking people for as much as they can, basic highway robbery... Which, really, in the end, is just kind of sad...if their 1950s pens were great quality pens, its just sad to see such a decline, both in terms of quality and craftsmanship, and also in morals. Too many great companies of the past seem to have fallen into that trap these days...
 

jalbert

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Modern Mont Blanc fountain pens that I've seen seem to have cheap plastic bodies, nibs that are nowhere near as good as even the kit nibs that come with some of the more popular fountain pen kits, and seem to be a little flimsy.
You need to do 5 minutes of googling. Montblanc makes plenty of pens that are not plain black plastic. The claim that their nibs are subpar to kit pen nibs is absolutely ludicrous as well, as they are quite renowned for being high quality. Have you actually used one before? Plenty of people who are not clueless corporate executives, but rather actual collectors and users, buy montblanc because they can make a pen that works well and writes well.
 

jrista

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You need to do 5 minutes of googling. Montblanc makes plenty of pens that are not plain black plastic. The claim that their nibs are subpar to kit pen nibs is absolutely ludicrous as well, as they are quite renowned for being high quality. Have you actually used one before? Plenty of people who are not clueless corporate executives, but rather actual collectors and users, buy montblanc because they can make a pen that works well and writes well.

I have used one. In fact, it wasn't black but burgundy, had the iconic white star on the cap, but the nib was ultra plain (no engraving of any kind, which I thought odd) and kind of cheap.

That said, I haven't seen or used every Montblanc pen there is, so in fairness, I can't say that they are all like that particular one.
 

PatrickR

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I have used one. In fact, it wasn't black but burgundy, had the iconic white star on the cap, but the nib was ultra plain (no engraving of any kind, which I thought odd) and kind of cheap.

That said, I haven't seen or used every Montblanc pen there is, so in fairness, I can't say that they are all like that particular one.
No expert on the brand but a quick look at their website shows no plain nibs on a FP. All are engraved, most with their name and logo. I would guess there are a lot of counterfeits in circulation.

It is interesting that this thread is up to 24 post knocking a historic, well respected brand because of price. While I see many makers willing to basically give away their work.

I say more power to them. I’d rather sell $500 pens than $25 ones.
 

jalbert

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No expert on the brand but a quick look at their website shows no plain nibs on a FP. All are engraved, most with their name and logo. I would guess there are a lot of counterfeits in circulation.

It is interesting that this thread is up to 24 post knocking a historic, well respected brand because of price. While I see many makers willing to basically give away their work.
I asked a montblanc collector friend of mine, and he said aside from a few inlaid nib pens made in the 70’s, all montblanc nibs should have stamping on them. The above mentioned pen is likely a fake, and therefore a poor comparison.
I agree with you . These threads seem to exist only so kit pen makers can whine about how they’re under appreciated
 

jrista

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No expert on the brand but a quick look at their website shows no plain nibs on a FP. All are engraved, most with their name and logo. I would guess there are a lot of counterfeits in circulation.

It is interesting that this thread is up to 24 post knocking a historic, well respected brand because of price. While I see many makers willing to basically give away their work.

I say more power to them. I’d rather sell $500 pens than $25 ones.

I am pretty sure this wasn't a recently bought one, it was probably 10 years or so old, and I'm pretty sure it was a Montblanc. I did just think that maybe the nib was replaced, and it may not have been the original.

Anyway, I agree. I'd rather sell my pens and make good money off of them, than sell them for $25 (which for most of the kits I am making now, would be under cost, often well under.)
 

WriteON

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It is interesting that this thread is up to 24 post knocking a historic, well respected brand because of price.
No knocking at all …just asking what makes them cost what they sell for. Just having a bar room conversation. I commend people that have any collection and can afford it. I like the $6.95-$35 novelty kits and what happens to them afterwards. I got a request for a Dragon pen. The buyer said her hubby collects black expensive pens. Obviously Montblancs. This should be fun. Anyway I’m in no position to criticize what a pen cost. I paid $990 for a custom pool cue. (And never made money with that…. Usually cost me hehe) Again with high end pens... I could understand if King Henry, King Richard, Larry King or King Kong owned it.
 
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sbwertz

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You want an expensive hobby? A horse is a hole in the backyard in which to pour money. Love them dearly, but boy you pay for that! If you are very lucky, you have a horse setup at home and don't have to pay board. Then there is a truck and horse trailer and vet bills, shoeing (His shoes cost way more than mine! And have to be replaced every couple of months!) English tack is really pricy, not to mention riding habits and boots...My daughter was a top junior English rider...Hunter-Jumper. I also competed, and taught riding for many years. Then we got into draft horses...really BIG draft horses. Wouldn't have missed it for the world, but I am amazed that I don't really miss it now. I have friends and relatives with horses, so I can get my "horse fix" but don't have to clean stalls! Woodworking and pen turning, even if you don't already have the "basic" tools and have to buy them all, is reasonable in comparison.
 
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