Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte

A piston-filler with a retractable nib? Interesting...

ABOUT
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (17)
Body Material: Resin
Trim: Platinum-plating
Length (capped): 119.6 mm/4.71''
Length (uncapped nib-end): 124.5 mm/4.90''
Length (posted): N/A
Barrel Diameter: 11.0 mm/0.43''
Section Diameter: 9.9 mm/0.39''
Nib material: 14KT Gold
Weight (all): 48 g
Weight (cap):10 g
Weight (body): 38 g
Fill type: Piston-filler
Price: € 880,00
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte (Discount code: GOURMET10 gets you 10% off your purchase, but excludes Montblanc - as required by Montblanc!)
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PACKAGING
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (1)
My desire for packaging confuses me - it's nice to have a pen presented in a beautiful way, but I don't like to keep boxes. I don't have the space to store them, and I don't put pens back into the boxes when I'm not using them, so I don't really need them. That said, the packaging of this pen leaves me with that torn feeling - I really like it, it's pretty, but it's not so unique that I feel I must keep it. In a way, I'm also glad about that. Color me torn.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (2)
There is a glossy outer box, marked and decorated with MB Heritage Collection detailing. Inside, there is a solid, velvety grey box. The Montblanc logo and Heritage Collection are engraved across a brushed silver strip in the middle of the box. I think it's quite pretty. Inside the box, the pen is held in a soft, cushy bed, light grey bed. I like the simple elegant of the presentation and the grey/silver is attractive as a color scheme.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (3)
APPEARANCE

The Heritage Collection was inspired by the original Simplo Safety filler, but is a modern take. It looks different to Montblanc's usual cigar-shaped pens.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (4)
The pen is on the smaller side, especially when capped. It is round, and has a tapered, rounded piston-turning knob. The finial is very pretty - the Montblanc emblem is raised in a clear resin dome, and sits in a bed of mother-of-pearl lacquer. It looks very pure and pristine, like a snow-covered mountain cap. The pen is widest at the top of the cap, so the emblem really stands out. There is a ridged ring around the top of the cap, just below the emblem. The clip is attached externally - it is a fairly wide two band set up. The Montblanc logo is engraved where the two bands connect, and the serial number is also engraved here. The clip itself is quite plain; it's fairly thin with no markings. I keep trying to decide if I like the clip or not. It doesn't scream 'perfect' at me, but the pen is unusual, which the clip matches.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (19)
There is no designated grip section, only the cap threads located close to the nib. The idea is for the user to grip above this. The piston-turning knob has the same ridged ring around it like that on the cap, but both blend into the pen really well.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (8)
The cap and body are black precious resin (yes, that's plastic), but it is glossy, deep, and well-polished. I'm not sure this is a design that will appeal to everyone, but I really like it. It's compact, attractive, and looks very clean with the black, white, rhodium, and platinum.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (12)
Overall, it's not too small, not too large, it's elegant, and I obviously I bought it because I thought it was pretty!

NIB & PERFORMANCE

This 14kt gold, rhodium-plated nib is a double broad. The nib is on the small side, but it suits the pen. It is also retractable, so it has to tuck into the barrel. It has a single slit and a perfect little triangular breather hole. It is engraved with 4810, the Montblanc logo, Montblanc, and the gold content.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (9)
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (18)
The pen needed flushing to write properly - prior to flushing, performance was inconsistent. The BB nib is slightly stubby, and I really enjoy the lines it produces. It's a wet writer, draining the piston reservoir pretty quickly. The nib itself is fairly unique when I compare it to the other modern Montblanc nibs I've used.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (20)
This one is quite soft and springy. At first, I found it skippy and it would hard start. I flushed it thoroughly again, re-inked again, and have found performance much better. It feels like the sweet spot is not that big, so the BB might be a nib that would be good to try before you buy, unless you're familiar with BB nibs. Much better now, and I love using it. It's wet, soft, springy, and has great lines - broad down strokes and thin side strokes. It keeps up with fast writing and long writing sessions. It's a smooth nib, and combined with the softness, it feels very special.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (16)
The piston knob extends and retracts the nib. Once extended, the knob pulls out, which then turns it into the knob that operates the piston.Both mechanisms are smooth to operate.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (15)
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (14)

IN HAND

The clip is quite snug, but is very usable. It's good it's snug though, because the pen is pretty heavy.

Since there isn't a designated section, I tried out a variety of configurations before I settled on what was most comfortable for me. The threads aren't sharp at all, so if you must grip them, it won't hurt. Gripping right above the threads is most comfortable for me.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (5)
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (6)
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (7)
Unposted, the pen is solid, heavy, well-balanced, and feels surprisingly substantial for its size. I very much enjoy the feeling of the pen in hand. I do not post this cap - the cap lip is on the thin side, and it would side right on the ridge of the piston-turning knob. It's not secure enough and feels iffy for my comfort.
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (11)
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (10)
PROS & CONS
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (21)
OVERALL
Review Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 Fountain Pen @couronneducomte (13)
This pen is appealing in its design and I really like the retractable nib, although I have to remember to actually retract it. It's not ideal for quick use, as you have to extend/retract the nib. I love the design of the nib and the BB is great - smooth, juicy, stubby, soft. The pen is easier to clean than I thought it would be. I miss an ink window, but oh well. I love the pen. It's expensive, but it's one I really enjoy using. I find it so comfortable in hand, and I love the size.

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