Montblanc Heritage 1912 – a tale to tell

I am not really a believer in kismet, fate, destiny…whatever word you want to choose but just over fours weeks ago the stars seemed to align and then kept aligning with regards a pen.

It all started in Kingston upon Thames were I had been cycling through and happened to be hopelessly lost. As I consulted my iPhone to see where I was and try to get back on track I propped by bicycle against a wall. When I found where I wanted to go I saw a high end jewellery shop with some pens in the window. One was a 1912 and it said ‘on offer.’ Luckily the bicycle I was on was a folder so folding it up I went in.

Viewed with some suspicion by the assistants I enquired about the pen. The price was a bargain, greatly reduced from the retail price and it was new, old stock. Box, warranty papers and pen all gleaming and new. There was sadly a huge problem. The nib was damaged. It was obvious that someone had perhaps bought it and pressed hard, separating the tines and then turned it round and pressed down to bend it back.

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Oh dear!!!

Pointing this out I said what a shame it was as I would have bought it there and then. They offered for me to test the pen which I did. Believe it or not it actually wrote well but I didn’t want it. I said that Montblanc would charge for the nib to be replaced as it was damaged and therefore not worth it. The manager – who had been listening – came over and said he’d knock £150 off. I acted nonchalantly but I virtually bit his hand off. Out of the door I had brand new 1912 with warranty stamped for that day – albeit the nib issue – for a bargain.

When I returned home I popped down to a Montblanc Boutique in central London with my receipt and stamped warranty. They liked the pen – wishing they were still available – and said that they thought a new nib might cost £250. Ouch! Now committed to this pen, I filled out some paperwork and was told the pen would be sent back to Germany for an evaluation, with the cost of the nib replacement emailed to me. It might take anywhere between 6 – 8 weeks.

A week passed and I received the email. Good news. It would cost me £175. I fired off an email to proceed. Two weeks later Montblanc rang me to say the pen was in. Going to the shop I dip tested it using my favourite Irish Green and loved it. At home I rinsed it and filled it up. Joy!

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They gave me the old bent nib in a small plastic container and as I held it up to the light to have a look, it reminded me of the scene in Terminator 2 where that scientist holds up the processor chip to have a look at it. Montblanc after sales service has been exemplary. I haven’t had too many issues with other pen companies but I in my experience they do not really come close.

This blog post was not a review of the 1912. Many others have done a better job than I ever could. I would however say it is a truly wonderful pen. It writes beautifully, feels good in the hand and it looks fantastic. When the nib is retracted out it is a good size and very comfortable to use. For me the fine nib is divine and I am sure it will get lots of use from this point on!

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