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Mont Blanc or oftenther upper end writing utensils

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by hopkins_student, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    What do we think? Are these faked often? Can they be had at a good price? Any comments?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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    Aug 22, 2003
    Montblanc is faked with alarming frequncy - check feedback. If the price is rational and the feedback long and good then it is real - ain't no $5 ones though.
     
  3. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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  4. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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    Private feedback is generally not a good sign. You will get a negative now and then no matter what by three this month is sorta kinda a lot.
     
  5. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    Actually, scratch the one above. How about this one? Ebay auction' I see, this one has private feedback too.
     
  6. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, you are better off just calling places like Fountain Pen Hospital in Manhattan and other smaller non-Montblanc company stores that carry the line and see what specials / discounts you can negotiate. When that fails, try Costco (seriously).

    Jon.
     
  7. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Well-Known Member

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    I'm not looking for the most expensive pen, just one that isn't terribly ugly and is a fountain. What is the cheapest I can expect to pay? Any other pen manufacturers of comparable quality to look for?
     
  8. Urban Warrior

    Urban Warrior Well-Known Member

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    try www.joon.com also in NY City. Authorized gealer with GREAT prices
     
  9. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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    I carry this one Aurora FWIW I think it is a much nicer pen, easier to write with, near indestructable and a Montblanc at Hopkins is likely to be as ubiquitous as a Starbucks in Manhattan.... this'n will be easier for ya to keep track of.
     
  10. SylvesterPennoyer

    SylvesterPennoyer Member

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    I did alot of research on fountain pens about a year ago. Depending on how much effort you want to put into this, there are some fountain pen forums and googling brings up useful info. As I recall, many of the people really into pens sort of frown on the Mont Blancs as over-priced for their quality and a sign that someone doesn't really know about pens - but then if the point is only to try to impress people who don't know much about pens, the Mont Blanc has the cachet.

    Omas pens are very good. I have a Paragon that is an absolutely great writer and that I think is much more elegant than the Mont Blancs. Pelikans are also considered excellent and the Pelikan Souveran series gives you a wide range of choice in size/price (bigger=pricier). I have a 400 which is one of the smaller ones and it writes very well. I tried an Aurora Optima in a store and if I were going to make another pen purchase, that would be the one. Ideally you would want to find a pen shop that has some of these for you to try different brands in different nib sizes, but a local shop is probably going to be completely uncompetitive with online prices, so you probably want to try them out locally and buy them online if that does not present ethical problems for you.

    Once you get a fountain pen, you will realize that the kind of ink you choose will make a big difference and there is much information on inks available online. Mont Blanc ink is no good. Aurora ink is generally considered one of the best - I use Aurora black in my Omas and Pelikan.

    And then you will find that the kind of paper you write on makes a difference. There are a lot of opinions as to what paper is best and some people make their own pads. Rhodia pads work well for me.

    You might also take a look at fountainpenhospital.com.

    So, to summarize, my opinion, FWIW, is that you will get better quality at a better price with Omas, Aurora or Pelikan than with Mont Blanc.
     
  11. Alias

    Alias Well-Known Member

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    I'd like a nice pen, but I hear that fountain pens tend to leak inside your jacket: they unscrew themselves and ink gets all over. I also hear that if you drop a fountain pen, the laquer will shatter. Is there some sort of elegant writing utensil that I could use that will do neither of the above?

    (comedy Bic ballpen option)
     
  12. SylvesterPennoyer

    SylvesterPennoyer Member

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    I think the leaking thing is kind of over-exagerated. The only pen that ever leaked on me was a cheap Uniball. I think generally you only need to be concerned with a fountain pen leaking is when flying because of the change of air pressure.
     
  13. aarghh

    aarghh Well-Known Member

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    San Jose, CA
    I've used several fountain pens extensively, and haven't had a single one leak on me while flying. I use a Waterman Phileas on a daily basis, and recommend it as excellent value for money. I also like the Pelikan Souveran range - have an 800.
     
  14. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

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    A couple of comments: Mont Blanc are not very good pens for the money. Quality is mediocre and price is premium. You can do better. Some excellent choices: Pelikan. These have some of the best writing nibs of any pens. Their 800 series are classic in looks and have a very smooth 18k nib. Aurora. Terrific pens, Their Optima series has great nibs, and come in a nmber of color combinations. Montegrappa. Their 18kt nibs are the smoothest I've ever used. Parker. Their duofolds are classics. As for ebay. If you aren't buying Montblanc pens, you are not likely to find a fake, as there aren't a lot of fake Pelikans or Montegrappas out there. I recently purchased a new Pelikan 800 from this seller: http://stores.ebay.de/Best-Buy-Corner There are lots of other reputable pen sellers on ebay. You also might want to check www.penbid.com As for fountain pens leaking. I use fountain pens every day. I fly with them on airplanes, and haven't had any leakage issues.
     
  15. Horace

    Horace Well-Known Member

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    I like the Parker duofolds and I like the Waterman. I don't care for Mont Blanc.

    And I have all three of these pens.

    There's an "outlet" section on Levenger that might offer a good deal now and then.

    Also, I suggest, if you are in Boston, going to the pen store just off Park/Downtown Crossing. I forget the name but it's maybe called Bromfield Pen Shop.

    You can get some deals there (and find some things marked up significantly). But they know their pens.
     
  16. ViroBono

    ViroBono Well-Known Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
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    UK
    I have a Mont Blanc fountain pen. However, I find my Omas MOMA much more satisfactory to write with. As omeone else has said, the Mont Blanc has cachet, but it is sometimes used as the pen equivalent of the obvious Rolex - bought for show because everyone knows it's expensive. My Omas is fairly plain, with a Deco styling that appeals to me, and writes beautifully. The range may be worth considering. Omas
     
  17. Bic Pentameter

    Bic Pentameter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 1, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    A girlfriend once bought me a Pelikan fountain pen made of wood.  It is engraved with my name on it in gold, and the wood is supposed to take on a patina as the oils in my hand rub off on it.

    I used it daily for a few weeks, but soon realized that the ink smeared when it got wet.  Sweat in the summer, rain in the fall, occasional tears when the boss "ripped me a new one"....  I simply came to the conclusion that the risk of not being able to read my handwritten notes sometime in the future made a fountain pen an unacceptable writing instrument.

    I now use a RÃ[​IMG]cife marble resin ball point pen. Even if I spill a cup of water on a document or get caught in a downpour, once the liquid dries, my notes aren't lost.

    Bic
     
  18. chorse123

    chorse123 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 5, 2004
    I have a few fountain pens, including the same Aurora as linked above. It's a great pen, but it lays down too thick a line for me so it gets less use. Â A couple points: If at all possible, visit an actual store for your purchase. Even if you know which pen you want to purchase, the nib widths are inexact (what is Fine?) and every pen feels different. A while ago I was dead set on buying an Omas, but I couldn't stand the thing when I tried it at Fountain Pen Hospital. It was far too light, making it uncomfortable to use even for a few seconds. A beautiful pen, sure, but it was not for me. Avoid used pens if possible. The nib will shape to the users writing style (assuming it is gold, which it should be.) and using someone else pen can be slightly uncomfortable. A fountain pen is emphatically not like a suit. Even if you don't like suits, decorum dictates you need to have one. If you don't like a fountain pen, nothing says you need to use one. You may grow tired of your pen. They are finnicky at times and are different. I would recommend buying near the bottom of the high end, at least to start. Spending much more than $100 on your first pen is, if not exactly foolish, not exactly wise. I think the cheapest you can expect to pay for a good pen is between $50 and $100. Of course, you can get a decent every day pen for much less. The Lamy Safari pens are not bad, and are only $20. Prices vary between stores, so do your research. Under $100, these are excellent: Namiki Vanishing Point A unique pen, available in a number of finishes/colors. Waterman Expert A nice, substantial pen. A workhorse. Not the fanciest, but it holds up phenomenally well. Discontinued colors are often on sale.. If you want to spend a bit more, I'd look into Conklin pens. They are made by pen aficionados who resuscitated an old American manufacturer. I have a Nozac in red and it's a beautiful pen. It's very flashy, but who cares. The blue is a safer choice. These cost about $130 at Joon. And yes, I would recommend avoiding Montblanc altogether. They are nice enough pens, but they are incredibly bland, boring even. Who wants that?
     
  19. Zubberah

    Zubberah Well-Known Member

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    Oct 13, 2003
    I have three up market fountain pens. I have a MontBlanc Dostoevsky and Proust FP, because I adore both writers and they are limited editions. They are not as ubiquitous as those Black MB you see everywhere. I also have a gorgeous Versace pen by Omas that is simply stunning. And guess what, the nib on the Versace/Omas is far smoother and clearer than the higher end 18k MB nibs. Pity the Versace pens these days are crap (no longer Omas made).
     
  20. RJman

    RJman Well-Known Member

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    In the not too distant future
    What do people think of Caran d'Ache for pens?

    I used to own a Waterman Laureat, which was a nice little pen, and then a Waterman Carene -- after losing the Carene as well I've given up on spending a lot of money for a pen but I still like owning a fountain pen, and I think I've graduated beyond the starter models. I am curious as to what the opinion is on Watermans (Watermen?) here.

    One concern of mine is buying ink -- Waterman and Montblanc inks are sold everywhere, whereas with other mfrs, not so much. My impression is that we're supposed to use the ink of the same mfr as the pen -- am I wrong?
     

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