Founded in 1908 in Hamburg as the Simplo Filler Pen Co., Montblanc (Mont Blanc is a common misspelling) began its history as a manufacturer of fountain pens with built-in ink wells. Taking its name from Europe's highest mountain, Montblanc first placed a white tip on the caps of its pens in 1910; this all-white tip would evolve in 1913 into a rounded star to represent an overhead view of the snow-capped peak.
Like most pen companies in the first half of the 20th century, Montblanc started out making eyedropper pens, in which ink was dropped into the pen’s well. Leak-proof safety pens quickly followed, with barrels and caps made of hard rubber and gold nibs (tips) imported from the United States.
By the 1920s, Montblanc was producing its own nibs and putting them into pens with names like Rouge et Noir (its first safety pen in 1909), Simplo, and Diplomat. Particularly prized by collectors is the Montblanc no. 4, a lever-filler with silver filigree in the shape of a spider web; the Montblanc no. 0, a stunning sterling silver and white-incised-enamel safety pen; and the Montblanc no. 2, whose repoussé (hammered from the reverse side) gold-filled barrel and cap is evocative of Art Nouveau.
But the biggest brand of the 1920s for Montblanc—indeed, it remains the company’s most enduring brand to this day—was the Meisterstück, or Masterpiece. In particular, the Meisterstück 149 from 1924 had narrow bands of sterling silver on its wide, gold-filled cap. Its heft in the hand made it a pleasure to hold, if not always to write with—for some, the weight is a problem. Other writers have complained that the pen’s cap never stays on when it’s in use and, worst of all, that the pens have a tendency to leak. Still, for collectors, a vintage, pre-1962 Meisterstück 149 is most desirable. Nibs on pens made from 1926 are engraved with the number 4810, a reference to the height of Mont Blanc (4,810 meters).
The vintage Montblanc safety pens from the 1930s are also collectible, whether they have twist-button fillers or piston fillers. In the 1930s, the sealed ink chambers inside Montblanc pens continued to give users problems, but that has not stopped contemporary collectors from seeking them out. One of the most rare pens from that decade is the 1936 Montblanc no. 128PL, a platinum-lined pen with a twist filler mechanism. Few of these pens made it to the United States, which makes them real finds in the U.S. today.
During the war, Montblanc’s German factory was destroyed, and in the years immediately after the war, Allied forces administered the firm. With the local economy decimated, Montblanc began producing pens for export, including the Montblanc no. 244, a striped piston filler that was not designated a Meisterstück but is collectible nonetheless.
By the 1950s, Montblanc was back, aided in large part by the launch in 1955 of the "60 Line," which was the first major new line of pens for the company since Meisterstück. Another popular and reliable vintage pen from this decade and into the early 1960s was the Montblanc no. 342 (an economy version called the MonteRosa 042 was also produced). Smaller than most Montblancs, it was popular for daily use, and its piston filler worked flawlessly. Perhaps most collectible is the Montblanc no. 444. This rare, piston-filling ballpoint had a brushed stainless steel cap and gold-filled details...
One of the most famous moments for Montblanc pens occurred in 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was visiting Germany. At one stop, he and German chancellor Konrad Adenauer were signing a guest book. Kennedy signed his name but Adenauer apparently did not have a pen with him, at which point Kennedy offered the chancellor the use of his—a Montblanc Meisterstück 149.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Montblanc Pens
Source: Google News
It's all in the familyDaily News & Analysis, May 29th
Anil Kapoor and his darling daughter Sonam were the brand ambassadors of Montblanc, a luxury brand that rolled out it's first ad campaign in 2009. The campaign saw the two come together for the first time in this pen ad where the message being conveyed ...Read more
Two good friends, and a third guyWashington Post, May 29th
“Buckley wrote with a snicker in his pen.” A mental image of candy bars oozing from the nib of a Montblanc has pestered me for days. And there are 27 pages of excellent notes at the end, citing Buckley's and Mailer's personal papers and their works and ...Read more
FN Friday Quiz winnerFinancial News (subscription), May 29th
FN Friday Quiz winner. By. eFinancial News. 29 May 2015. Congratulations to M&A banker Rana, who is the winner of this week's FN Friday Quiz and now the proud owner of a Montblanc Starwalker pen. Subscribers: Remember me on this computer?...Read more
Executive Essentials Launches New WebsitePR Newswire (press release), May 28th
We specialize in fine writing instruments that run the gamut from cool and funky Retro 51 rollerball pens to unique, luxury Limited Edition pens from Montblanc, Lamy, Delta, and Montegrappa. We also pride ourselves on being a refill destination...Read more
Police: Mall at Short Hills sees shopliftingNorthJersey.com, May 27th
Police were called to the Montblanc store May 24 where Montblanc personnel told them a white female took a $935 pen and left the store without making payment. According to police, the suspect, Michelle Schwartz, 54, of Cliffside Park, was located in...Read more
In Millburn: $15000 Handbag Theft, $5000 Wallet Shoplifting, Stolen Pen and ...Patch.com, May 26th
On 5/24/2015, Millburn Police Officer Pinero responded to Montblanc at The Mall at Short Hills on a report of a theft that had just occurred. Montblanc personnel reported that a female took a $935 pen and left the store without making payment. Michelle ...Read more
Mont Blanc-Titan single brand retail JV gets nodHindustan Times, May 25th
Doshi had introduced Montblanc pens in India in the 1990s, and there are around 17 boutique stores across India, particularly in five-star hotels. But in March 2014, Montblanc reportedly snapped those ties and signed a joint venture with Titan Industries...Read more
Write stuff: the most technically advanced pensTelegraph.co.uk, May 8th
Montblanc, number one in the luxury pen field and the brand that dealt with “smart watches” by putting the phone-connected bits in the strap, has partnered with Samsung, using the latter's S Pen technology. Recently launched are the first ever “e...Read more