Montblanc 149 Diplomat (80s vintage)

So how old does something have to be to qualify as vintage? This pen is 25-30 years old so does that count? I think it does. There are a number of things that set this pen apart from modern 149s–small things but they help date the pen. 

It has a split ebonite feed, 14k two tone nib and no serial number and W. Germany stamped on the clip band. I imagine this puts it at the late eighties.  

 This is my first 149 and I certainly don’t think it will be my last. Something has always drawn me to the Meisterst├╝ck line and this pen is its flagship model so of course I had to have one. I’ve never been able to find a good deal on one on eBay and even thought about purchasing a new one. That’s when my friend Rob let me know there was one for sale at the Hock Shop in Barrie and it looked good by the pictures so I made a reasonable offer a little under the asking price and the seller accepted. He even threw in a brand new bottle of Montblanc Royal Blue ink with the pen 

I had thought for some reason the pen had been serviced when the ink was purchased but I misunderstood. It seems the seller bought the ink to go with the pen when he took other pens to be serviced. He later told me that the original owner hadn’t inked it in over ten years. The seal seemed spotless and the plastics were totally mint looking and the ebonite feed present. The pen was perfect as if it had been serviced except for one thing.  

 The 14k extra fine nib was sooooo dry and had inconsistent flow. It would wetten for a bit then dry dry dry. It really bothered me so when I got an email from the local boutique letting me know they were giving out free bottles of ink for when you come in for a service assessment I brought it in for a look over. The sales and service associate at Montblanc agreed and it was off for an adjustment. I made it clear that I didn’t want them to replace the ebonite feed with a modern plastic feed and they respected my wishes. 

It came back after only a week but it was still dry so back it went for another week and when it came back yesterday it was writing like an extra fine firehouse. Really juicy and consistently so. I imagine I’m going to write tons of pages with this beauty. The nib is so great now and it also has just a touch of spring to it. Not 50s flex by any means but it does cushion the ride a bit and offers a tiny bit of line variation when you push it.  

 The pen has a super classic look and works well in all situations including formal ones. The big number 9 size two tone 14k broad shouldered nib is well proportioned to the thick precious resin body and the gold plated furniture is in great condition if not a little darker with age. It all adds up to a wonderful in the hand feel and an eye catchingly beautiful look. 

The pen fills with an integrated piston. I’m pretty sure my 146 piston wrench will work with this pen if I ever need to regrease the piston seal but for now it’s operating smoothly and holds a ton of ink.  

 Nothing much else I can say about this pen that hasn’t been said already. I like it a lot and can see myself always keeping it inked and at the ready for important documents or meetings or whatever. Are you a fan of this pen? Or do you mostly prefer the Japanese knock offs?

7 Comments

  1. Michael Simon

    Never had interest in Mont Blanc; didn’t get the attraction other than as status symbol, also maybe because I knew I could never buy one. Your review has given me an appreciation I never anticipated. Great job, and a fantastic pen. Enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Gerald Taylor (Post author)

      Thank you very much for your comment and kind words. I think like many things we need to reserve judgement until we’ve fully experienced something. Do try a well tuned and pristine one day and see what you think. ­čÖé

      Reply
  2. Michelle Leung

    Japanese knock offs ! ­čÖé

    Enjoy the pen, it certainly makes a statement.

    A nice part of your collection

    Reply
    1. Gerald Taylor (Post author)

      Well they are. ­čÖé thanks for stopping by my friend!

      Reply
  3. Cristiano Ferraz

    This is my first and only Montblanc. I bought it new on a trip to Caracas, Venezuela, back in the eighties, when the country was in full bloom. A small shop in Chacaito carried Montblanc pens. I was thrilled to spend that kind of money on a pen… But it remains one of my everyday pens at the office, after more than 25 years, using Montblanc blue black ink (I still have a little left before I have to switch to Midnight Blue), and never had an issue with the pen, iron gall and all. A really good pen, a workhorse and a very beautiful pen. I wouldn’t exchange it for any newer model. Great size for my big hands.

    Reply
    1. Gerald Taylor (Post author)

      I love stories like this. Thanks for sharing it!

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Montblanc 149 Diplomat 90th Anniversary Meisterst├╝ck Edition | mycoffeepot.org

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