The Montblanc 149 needs little in the way of introduction from yours truly. The internet is awash of reviews, videos, adoration, critics and everything in between. This week after years of should I shouldn’t I, the moon and stars seem to align and a 149 was mine.
The genesis for buying the 149 was buying its little brother the 146. (reviewed this recently on this blog if you haven’t seen it). I have used the 146 every day since I bought it a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it. For me it is a keeper and the ultimate workhorse, ready for anything.
I have never owned a 149 before, though I have had a go using one on several occasions over the years. The decision was made and with the gentleman that is, https://ukfountainpens.com going for an overseas trip, I asked him whether he could get me a Platinum version when he passed through T5 at Heathrow. Kindly he agreed.
However, scanning the internet for reviews and insights into why so many people like the 149 (or not and there are plenty) I stumbled across a UK retail outlet offering 20% off the 149. The retail price was very good anyway so I took the plunge.
I opted for the classic yellow gold version in the end and I am glad that I did. For me the 146 and 149 would almost certainly work hand in hand. With this in mind in the end I wanted something different to the platinum finish on my 146. In addition the yellow gold version was the one I recall lusting over when I was a child on regular trips to certain retail outlets in South Kensington with my parents.
The pen arrived and opening the box I instantly knew I had made the right decision. Rinsing the pen I wasted little time in filling it with my favourite ink, Montblanc Irish Green. (The 146 was cleaned out of this ink and replaced with Montblanc Toffee Brown as soon as I ordered the 149).
The 149 is a large pen and makes the 146 feel small by comparison. I have larger pens than the 149 but it still felt substantial in the hand and the large 18ct nib is truly a thing of beauty.
Writing with it was a gleeful moment. The pen glided across the page but there was a hint of feedback that I liked. The output of the nib – like my 146 – was very much like Goldilocks, being just right. The line was nowhere near dry but it wasn’t an ink fountain either. This makes it a practical every day carry as drying times are reasonable.
The pen came with a medium nib which was my preference anyway so all good there. Montblanc do offer a free nib replacement service if you decide you want something finer or broader. I will be sticking with what I have.
I have bought pens costing a great deal more in my time, that are limited in production numbers or made of more exotic materials. The 149 is a pen you can buy in almost every city however it has a reputation and presence that some of my other pens wish they had.
When you buy a new pen and like it (I obviously like the 149) there is always a period of time when you cannot leave it behind and it gets lots of use. As time progresses, some pens are used less and less, despite those initial favourable first impressions. My 149 is destined not to be a pen left behind.
As I type this blog post with the 149 not too far away, I keep pondering why buy another pen? Surely I have enough? Many of the pens I own are grail territory, so why buy more? I am lucky to own a number of lovely pens but having the 149 really has made me consider whether the time has come to stop chasing the dragon…