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.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Parker51.com

Parker51.com

Ernesto Soler's extensive homage to one of the most popular pens ever produced, the Parker "51," introduced in 1941… [read review or visit site]

Penhero.com

Penhero.com

Jim Mamoulides' vintage and modern pen-cyclopedia. Start at the main gallery, featuring detailed articles (with pho… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Montblanc 136 Celluloid Fountain Pen. 14c M Flex Nib. 1940s. Very Rare. ServicedAuthentic Montblanc Writer's Edition Hemingway Fountain Pen Montblanc 149 Fountain Pen. 14k Ef Nib. 1980s. Box & Paper. Mint. N.o.s. RareMint Montblanc Sterling Barley Legrand Solitaire, Fine, Boxed, West Germany!!Montblanc 144 Celluloid Demonstrator Fountain Pen. 14c M Flex Nib. 1950s. BoxedVintage Montblanc No.28 Bp - 1960’s + Lthr. Pen Pouch - Rare Burgundy - Excell.Mint Montblanc Barley Vermeil Legrand Solitaire, Sticker, Fine 18k NibMontblanc 134 Celluloid Fountain Pen. 14c M Flex Nib. 1940s. RareMontblanc Boheme Safety 925 Sterling Silver + Blue Jewel M Nib Bs2372698Montblanc Patron Of Art Limited Edition Octavian NSealed Montblanc Patron Of Art Limited Edition 2430/4810 Louis Xiv F Nib 1994Montblanc Masterpiece Meisterstuck 146 Legrand Burgundy Red Fountain Pen Mint Montblanc Limited Edition Agatha Christie Bp, Writers Edition, BoxedBarclay Solid Silver 1304 , Fountain Pen, RareMontblanc Writers Limited Edition Edgar Allan Poe 1998 Fountain Pen NNear Mint Montblanc Boheme Bp, Rare Sterling & Blk Lacquer, Not Platinum Plated!Fountain Pens (montblanc, Waterman, Pelikan) Rare Vintage Montblanc 234 1/2 Fountain Pen. "great Condition"Montblanc Meisterstuck NMont Blanc Meisterstuck Ball Point Pen€Mint Montblanc Legrand Size Platinum Plated Faceted Rollerball Solitaire, BoxedMint Montblanc Nikolai I Rollerball Solitaire, Malachite, BoxedMontblanc Boheme Fountain Pen Golden Line For Ink Cartridge Retractable NibMontblanc 234 1/2, Fountain Pen, Black, RareMint Montblanc Limited Edition Marcel Proust Fp, Writer’s Edition, BoxedMontblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Silver 146 Legrand Fountain Pen Piston Filler Montblanc Meisterstuck Ramses Ii Vermeil Lapislazuli Cap Ballpoint Gm100812Montblanc Meisterstuck 164 Classique Masterpiece Ball Point PenMontblanc Meisterstuck Legrand 146, Fountain Pen Germany From 1990’sMint Montblanc Limited Edition Voltaire Bp, Writers Edition, BoxedCa 1920s Sterling Silver Montblanc Octagonal Fountain Pen N138 138 ?Montblanc Meisterstuck Germany Black Ballpoint Twist Pen W/ Gold FittingsMontblanc Starwalker Doue Ballpoint Pen In Box W/ Service Guide -- No ReserveMontblanc Starwalker Fineliner Pen No ResrveMontblanc Vintage Fountain Pen Mod. 32 Piston Filler Black/gold Plated Montblanc Patron Of Art Semiramis 901/4810 Fountain Pen Limited Edition UsedMontblanc Meisterstuck Solitaire Silver 146 Legrand Fountain Pen Piston Filler Montblanc 146 Fountain Pen Med/broad Solid 14k Nib 1980s Box Papers Near Mint!Montblanc Meisterstuck Pix Black Ballpoint Twist Pen W/ Silver FittingsMint Montblanc Limited Edition Thomas Mann Bp, Writer’s Edition, Boxed, Complete1925 Eclipse Soft Supr Flex 14k.r.set Large Art Deco Rare Vintage Mint Pen Mint Montblanc Meisterstruck 4810 Fountain Pen 14k GoldVintage Montblanc # 144 Fountain Pen Meisterstuck-black-14k Nib Ob Tip -1950sPelikan M 400 Sovereign Green With 14 Karat 585 Ob - NibMontblanc Meisterstuck Leather Pen Case Dark Choco Magnetic Closure Fine Luxury Vintage Montblanc No.5200 Traveller Bp - C1980 + Lthr. Pen Pouch - Rare Green…..Genuine Montblanc Meisterstuck Pen -vintage - Ballpoint Black Ink Bp Germany €Mint Montblanc Citrin Ballpoint Solitaire, BoxedMontblanc Meisterstuck NAuthentic Montblanc Starwalker Ultimate Carbon Fineliner Pen 109366 Retail $1035Montblanc Meisterstuck NSuperb Montblanc Diva Line Collection 2005 Greta Garbo Fountain Pen Vintage (1988) Montblanc Meisterstuck #146 Fountain Pen (mint!)Rollerball Pen Montblanc Boheme Noir W/ Black Stone Perfect Xmas PresentMontblanc MeisterstMontblanc Classic No 164 Ballpoint Pen Burgundy & Gold #lc151927 Pouch & RefillMontblanc Meisterstuck Pix Platinum Line 165 Mechanical Pencil 0.7mm Sticker On!Montblanc Patron Of Art Limited Edition Pope Julius Ii N

Recent News: Montblanc Pens

Source: Google News

Montblanc Rolls out Pens and Leather Covers for Galaxy Note 4
Geeky Gadgets (blog), October 24th

Montblanc and Samsung have teamed up to make a high-end line of accessories for the Galaxy Note 4 that includes a couple pens and leather covers for the smartphone. There are two pens that are able to write on the screen of the smartphone and on plain ...Read more

Montblanc Just Made the Finest Smartphone Stylus Ever
Esquire (blog), September 18th

President Kennedy loved Montblanc pens. So did Cold War power broker Michail Gorbatsjov, not to mention Jackson Pollock, and downright hero, Anne Frank. Superior functionality and beautiful form turned these German pens into a worldwide status symbol ...Read more

Montblanc And Samsung Introduce 'Smart' Pens And Accessories For Galaxy ...
Forbes, September 11th

Montblanc has been undergoing some changes of late, which have now become visible in the product lines. Most of these changes can be chalked up to the arrival of new CEO Jérôme Lambert just about a year ago. I am well acquainted with Lambert as he ...Read more

Samsung And Montblanc Make Premium S Pen For Galaxy Note 4
Ubergizmo, September 3rd

Ever since Samsung launched the Galaxy Note lineup the S Pen has remained an integral part of the phablet. This company stuck to it at a time when almost everyone believed that styluses were long gone. The performance of Samsung's Galaxy Note ...Read more

Montblanc's Extreme Screen Writer For Use With The Note 4 Is A High End Pen ...
Android Headlines - Android News, September 3rd

With Samsung's Galaxy Note series devices, the main draw has almost always been the bigger screen and the capable use of the S-Pen that came with it. It's called the Note for that one simple reason, because you can use the S-Pen for all manner of tasks ...Read more

Samsung partners with Montblanc on a chic Galaxy Note 4 stylus
Engadget, September 3rd

At IFA 2014 Unpacked, Samsung has announced that it's partnering with venerable pen maker Montblanc on two custom styluses for its new Galaxy Note 4. The "Pix" and the "e-StarWalker" are done in the pen maker's classic, chunky style for any Note ...Read more

Samsung gets Montblanc to make fancy Note 4 styluses
The Verge, September 3rd

Montblanc's Pix and e-StarWalker look like high-end pens, but under the cap, they're designed for use with the Galaxy Note 4 or a tablet, with swappable nubs that mimic different pen nibs. Montblanc has also designed two leather cases, in case you'd...Read more

Montblanc Celebrates 90th Anniversary Of The Meisterstück
Forbes, April 14th

Montblanc's CEO Jerome Lambert relayed a famous story that signifies the Meisterstück's place in history. In 1963, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was to sign the Golden Book of the city of Cologne, had no pen. President John F. Kennedy, also at ...Read more