Wow. Thank you kindly to La Couronne du Comte for sending this pen for review...AND GIVEAWAY. Stay tuned - that is coming up very soon!
Body Material: Precious Resin
Length (capped): 139.4 mm/5.48"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 122.4 mm/4.82"
Length (posted): 154.4 mm/6.08"
Barrel Diameter: 10.8 - 11.9 mm/0.42" - 0.47"
Section Diameter: 8.5 - 10.5 mm/0.33" - 0.41"
Nib material: 14kt ruthenium-plated gold
Weight (all): 24 g
Weight (cap): 10 g
Weight (body): 14 g
Fill type: Montblanc cartridge/converter (included)
Cap: Screw on
Posts: Yes, friction
Price: € 585,00 (with VAT)
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte
DISCOUNT CODE for 10% off, excluding Montblanc: GOURMETPENS
The Ultra Black packaging is simple but pretty sleek and cool. As usual, at first, there is a white cardboard sleeve to protect the actual packaging. The box continues with a matte black sleeve. It has the Montblanc logo and Meisterstück Ultra Black printed in white on it. Across the top, "Meisterstück" is printed in a dark, glossy black. It is visible but subtle, sexy, and looks darned cool.
The box inside is a regular Montblanc clamshell box. It has a bit of texture to it, and is all black, except for the cream colored center. The Montblanc star is on the bottom right corner. Inside, the lid and base are soft, fuzzy, and cream colored. The pen is held in a squishy bed. Montblanc is printed on the lid.
In addition, there is a Montblanc Writing Instruments Service Guide. This contains information about Montblanc, the writing instruments, care recommendations, service, and guarantee. The guarantee is filled out by your retailer. These are the "papers" people often refer to. Overall: simple, tasteful packaging. Minimal waste.
The Meisterstück Ultra Black Special Edition Classique shares the same shape as the regular (i.e. black resin + gold trim) Meisterstück pens. The Classique model is a slimmer cigar-shaped pen with rounded off ends. The finial has a matte white star/snowcap logo set in a sandblasted black resin top. The clip is attached below a ruthenium-plated ring. The clip is also ruthenium-plated, and is fairly long and slim, with a rounded off end. The underside of the clip is engraved with "Made in Germany". The serial number of this pen can be found on the back side of the clip ring.
The center band on this pen is probably one of the more fancy things on it. It is a wide band near the end of the cap. The ends are flush in the cap and the center section is raised. It is engraved with: Montblanc - Meisterstück on a smooth, polished ruthenium band. The two flanking bands are matte, and beyond that, smooth again. That sounds complicated. Take a look at the picture for depiction of my horrible description.
The piston-turning knob is, of course, also ruthenium-plated. This pen is also stickered with an "M" sticker to indicate the medium nib size. The section is smooth, round, and tapers towards the nib. It ends in a flared ridge before the nib, and there are no features on the section. It's just shiny, smooth, black resin, unlike the rest of the pen.
NIB & PERFORMANCE
This is a 14kt gold medium nib with ruthenium-plating. It has a single slit and a round breather hole. It is engraved with a design along the tines, 4810, the "M" Montblanc logo, AU585, Montblanc, and a hallmark. It is set with a plastic feed.
The nib has some feedback and it is quite firm. If you are looking for a butter smooth, soft, bouncy nib, this is not it. It's not a scratchy nib but there is a bit of feedback, and it is well adjusted and well tuned. Ink flow is consistent under normal writing conditions, and the feed keeps up during fast and long writing sessions. It is a medium wet nib with pretty fast drying times - I actually find it a bit more on the dry side than wet for my preferences, but I think this makes it quite suitable as a daily writer. With some pressure, it can offer a very small amount of line variation, but I would generally avoid that with this nib. It doesn't feel right and it's not that pleasant. The pen coasts through the free weight test without issue. It can even be used for some reverse writing - putting down a slightly scratchy fine line, should you need it.
Overall, the nib performance is quite solid. I prefer Montblanc's broader nibs, but this is a decent, reliable medium. No skips, no hard starts, and it writes consistently. Of course, at € 585,00 (with VAT), it sure as heck better write properly.
The clip is quite snug but can be lifted for use. The angled ball on the end of the clip allows the clip to easily slide on and off pockets, pouches, and pages. The tension of the clip also secures the pen in place. It's a basic, simple, functional clip.
The section is plain and featureless. The threads are not sharp so I find the whole section agreeable in hand. I do not find the resin slippery, but if it is wet for whatever reason, it gets slick. Dry it off, problem solved. This could be an issue if you have sweaty hands, though.
Unposted, the pen is on the light side but I find it quite comfortable. I thought it might be too slender, at least compared to the 146 I am more used to, but it feels really good. If you have large hands, you may prefer it posted, and although it's on the smaller side, unless you really dislike slim pens, this one might actually work for you. The cap posts snugly by friction, and it stays in place. When posted, it adds a decent amount of length, but not so much that it feels long and unwieldy because it posts pretty deeply on the barrel. It's just a nice size overall for most users, and because it posts, it could work well for most hands. I love using this pen posted. The weight and balance are spot on, and it feels just a bit more substantial than when it's unposted.
The included Montblanc converter is easy to use, and to be honest, sometimes I just want to use a cartridge instead of inking from a bottle, cleaning the section, putting the bottle away, etc. (I tend to ink 30 pens at a time...) Montblanc indicates you should only use Montblanc ink in their pens. Whether you feel obligated to do so or not is entirely up to you.
PROS & CONS
This pen is not for everyone. Some people dislike Montblanc for various reasons - the Meisterstück series is pretty straight forward and some find that boring. They also may dislike them because of the price and "snob" factor that is often associated with them. No problem, to each his own. That's why we have so many other choices, and that's what makes it fun. For me, I like this model and finish a lot. I'm not crazy about the medium nib because it's more fine than I would like, but it performs well. Great for a pen you want to grab and use right away, with lower maintenance than a piston filler. Here's what my feelings are: the Ultra Black looks really sexy and cool. I prefer Montblanc's broader nibs (available by special order). I like the shape of cigar like pens with basic trim. This would be awesome and unreal as a 149, but it would also cost a fortune. You pay a premium for the Montblanc name here, of course. You also pay a premium for this being a Special Edition. Is that truly worth it? Only you can decide that. I find this quite expensive but I do own a few regular edition Montblancs, which are ever so slightly less expensive, and I love those.
I think, overall, and assuming you like the pen, the biggest drawback is the price. That's what held me back from picking one up for myself.
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I received this item at no charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. This pen will be given away!