The 149 won…

You might have read my recent deliberations over whether or not I should get a Pelikan M1000. Well, the title of this blog might give things away but I will try to explain why.

I have two Montblanc 149 fountain pens, classic gold finish and the platinum line version. Both have medium nibs. They are – for me at least – bordering on the perfect workhorse pen (possibly along with its smaller sibling the 146). Good size, comfortable, decent ink capacity and that huge nib! I’ll come back to that nib.

The last few weeks I have been trying out a few friends M1000s. In many ways it has similar qualities to the 149 but with a very significant difference. I have bought several Montblanc pens and every one has been perfect out of the box. With regards my 149s as soon as they touched paper I was left smiling. After using them for a while if anything they seem even better somehow. Herein lies the difference.

The two M1000s I tried out wrote wonderfully but dig a little deeper and things are not as rosey as they seem. One friend reported that it took two nib exchanges to get a pen that wrote as it should. My other friend originally had a medium nib on his but found that it hard started and was dry in the upstrokes and writing right to left. That one went back to be replaced by a fine which wasn’t wonderful either and required a bit it work. I’ve heard much the same from a few other pen geeks.

Despite knowing all this I went ahead and bought an M1000 with a fine nib. (Several years ago I owned an M1000 and I was excited to have one back in my stable of pens). Inking it up, I put its gorgeous fine nib to paper…

It was a grave disappointment! The nib was scratchy and laid down such a vast amount of ink, it rendered it totally unusable. Cleaning the pen out I tried a drier ink and the results were identical. Not wanting to be bothered sending it back for a replacement or nib swap, I emailed the online shop I bought it from and returned it for a refund.

Not long ago I managed to get hold of an M400 Tortoiseshell-Brown and that pen is simply wonderful. Perhaps I was just unlucky with the M1000?

The trouble is the unlucky lightning strike of getting a Pelikan with a dodgy nib, certainly appears to happen more than once!

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