I have had an on/off inclination to dip my toes into buying what is perhaps the gateway into all things that is Montblanc in the form of their Starwalker. This has taken me well over ten years – spoiler alert, I wish I had done so sooner.
On paper the Starwalker shouldn’t do it for me. The pen is quite small and has a screw thread allowing you to post the cap, thus making it easier to write with but I don’t post my caps. It doesn’t have a fancy filling mechanism and is a cartridge only pen but I don’t do cartridge only pens. (More on that later). The nib – despite being 14ct – is small and is dwarfed by the larger offerings on my two 149s and all the other pens I have with a #6 nib. So, why did I buy it and why do I like it?
The Starwalker in terms of looks is unlike any other pen I own. For me a highlight is the cap. It is I suppose designed to be used capped and doing so makes the pen comfortable to use. The obvious attention grabber is the floating Montblanc star, suspended in clear resin. This new updated version also has a dome of blue resin meant to represent looking down at the Earth. It’s a lovely thing to see when writing notes in a dull meeting. The clip extends beyond the cap itself and the whole thing has – for me – an Art Deco vibe to it.
The Starwalker is advertised and sold as a cartridge-only pen. I don’t think that I have ever used a fountain pen in this way, always preferring a converter, piston, Visconti-like power filler or whatever it is Conid manage to do to achieve their enormous ink capacity. Perhaps the worst kept secret about the Starwalker is that it accepts almost all standard international converters. This opens up the pen to the world of bottled ink. I used a Graf von Faber-Castell converter which works really well. So, it’s ink cartridges or converter – you have a choice.
Writing with the Starwalker is a joy. Mine came with a generous medium nib. It has that Goldilocks quality of being just right – not overly dry and not overly wet. I have had no issues with hard starts, skipping and the pen writes first time when not used for a few days. Of course I have the option to take the pen into any Montblanc shop within 6 x weeks and exchange it for an alternative. I doubt I’ll be doing that as this nib is a good one for me for the moment.
I have big hands and can write with the pen not posted – my preferred way for all my pens – however I’d have to ask why for this pen. The cap threads onto the end of the pen really well, with one-turn threads meaning the cap/clip are always aligned perfectly with the nib. Writing with the cap posted makes the pen very comfortable in the hand and longer writing sessions are not an issue. As mentioned, it alway gives you the change to view that wonderful floating Montblanc star.
The section is small, really small, with quite a step down but with the cap posted my fingers gravitate towards the end of the barrel just above the section. Writing with it is very comfortable.
I managed to get mine with 20% off and with a voucher that was about to expire even more. I have a few Montblanc pens much further up the pecking order but this one has already made itself a firm favourite. The Starwalker is certainly not for everyone but I am glad I finally got mine.