Some early thoughts on a modern Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique.

Buying a Montblanc fountain pen should be one of the happiest days of your life. You are choosing a lifetime companion. Our hopes and expectations for quality, materials and finish, are sky high. The brand occupies a special place in our psyche, along with the likes of Rolex and Rolls Royce. Those who own one speak highly of them and it would be rare to hear anyone say “Aaargh, my Montblanc has let me down again.”

Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique.

If you plan to buy one, my advice would be to start by looking at the Montblanc official web site. There, for the Meisterstuck (Masterpiece) series, you can view the whole current range, with their specifications and prices. Broadly speaking there are three main sizes, the 145 (Classique), the 146 (LeGrand) and the 149 (which seems to be just called the 149) plus the extra small, Mozart size. Filtering down to display only the fountain pens, there are still 31 models to chose from and that is only the Meisterstuck series. Then you can reflect calmly and at your leisure, on which one best suits your preferences and budget before visiting a shop.

Or you can do it the way I did. This involves less planning and forethought and is more serendipitous. I sauntered into a local jewellery shop to have a browse at the watches. There I came across a glass counter display of Montblanc writing instruments and paused to have a look at the prices. This was rather hopeless because all of the pens were capped and there were few clues as to whether there might be a nib or a rollerball inside the cap. This gave an opening for a conversation with the assistant, who was happy to show me the fountain pens.

One that she showed me, and with which I was very taken, was the Montblanc Model 145, Meisterstuck Classique, platinum coated version. This is slightly slimmer than the 146 and has a smaller nib. Also it is a cartridge-converter pen, rather than a piston filler. The platinum plated fittings looked really smart against the black resin.

Handling the pen, the body did not feel too slender for me. Uncapped, at around 122mm it was a bit short for me to use unposted but this is not an issue as it posts beautifully, coming up to around 153mm, making for a very comfortable and balanced unit. All in all, it weighs 21.7g. I do mostly post my pens and grip them quite far back from the nib.

Ill-prepared as I was, I did at least have a loupe with me and took a close look at the nib. This is what clinched it for me. I saw a perfectly formed, 14k beautifully polished gold nib, bi-colour with rhodium plating and with just a glimpse of daylight between the tines as the gap narrowed from the breather hole to the tip. And the tipping material was a work of art. Perfectly symmetrical, the top face of the tipping was cut down to a circle and the two sides were cut and smoothed perfectly to blend in to the tines. The tines were of course perfectly aligned. It was a joy to behold and all the indications were that it would write very smoothly and effortlessly. The nib was a medium.

The exquisite size 5 nib.

The shop did not seem to be geared towards allowing customers to try pens before buying. To be fair, it was a jewellery shop but it was almost as if they did not understand that a fountain pen needs ink. Never mind. I was confident to buy the pen having looked at the nib. I asked to have the one that I had inspected and not another one from stock.

Happily, the shop gave me a 10% discount on the list price of £460.00. It was still a sizeable outlay by my standards, particularly when totally unplanned.


The pen comes in a simple, black hinged gift box, not overly big. This is protected in a white cardboard outer box with a sticker confirming the model type, nib grade and the serial number. There is a Service Guide which looks like a mini cheque book, which also contains the Guarantee.

Materials and construction.

The pen is made of precious resin. This looks black although when held up to the light, you may see that it is a translucent dark red. The cap unscrews in about one full rotation. The grip section tapers slightly towards the nib and ends in a raised lip of a black material, and not with a metal “rust-ring” of the type that can cast reflections on your paper if writing in sunlight. The pocket clip and three barrel rings are platinum plated. The inscription on the cap ring reads Montblanc Meisterstuck. A nice touch is that there are metal threads on the inside of the barrel.

Each pen has its individual serial number around the ring of the pocket clip. What you might not notice is that the underside of the clip reads “Made in Germany. METAL”.

The nib.

This is a size 5 bi-colour nib, in 14k gold with rhodium plating. The feed is plastic. I don’t think DIY removal of the nib and feed is encouraged. Montblanc say that each nib requires over 30 separate operations, each carried out by hand.

Filling system.

Unlike its larger 146 and 149 brothers, this model takes standard international cartridges or a cartridge-converter. It is supplied with a very decent looking Montblanc converter, with a smoky grey plastic ink reservoir and a metal collar of what looks to be brass. There is a black plastic turning knob, but without any knurling to assist grip. The converter is screw fit. Along the side it states “Use Montblanc Ink Only.” This, they say in their promotional material, is because Montblanc ink is specially formulated to ensure that the flow keeps up with your thoughts.

The screw-fit Montblanc converter.

Writing performance.

My pen came with a medium nib. However if you go to Montblanc’s website, you will see that a nib exhange is available within six weeks of purchase. There are eight options: EF, F, M, B, BB, OM, OB and OBB.

A medium nib is a useful one to have, provided that your handwriting is not particularly small or large. It is easy and pleasant to use. However it will not of itself do anything to make your handwriting look any more attractive or expressive. Yes, the pen does make for a very consistent and reliable writing experience with good flow but the writing itself might not look distinguishable from something written with a £15 medium nibbed Faber-Castell Grip.

The Montblanc nib does however have a bit of tooth to it, not exactly a roughness, but a certain feedback so that you do feel the paper. It is not a buttery smooth writer. This tooth gives it the ability to perform on very glossy paper.

Also, although gold nibs may be thought of generally as softer than steel nibs, the Montblanc nib is fairly firm. It is possible to achieve some line width variation by applying pressure on your down strokes. It is certainly not a flex nib and although it is probably capable of being driven harder, I tend to write without pressure and enjoy the effortlessness that this nib offers.

Trying the Classique, with Montblanc Royal blue ink.


This is not a pen to jump up and down about. Rather it has an elegance and subtlety and a reputation for excellence. This was actually the first time that I have ever bought a Montblanc. I do have two others already, one a 146 piston filler which was a present from my wife over 20 years ago and one a 1960’s Meisterstuck No 12, also a gift and which still looks and writes like new.

Size camparison: The 1960’s Montblanc Meisterstuck 12, the 145 Classique and a 1990’s 146.

These are built to last and with care should certainly last a lifetime. Yes, they are pricey. My Classique is not quite the least expensive Montblanc Meisterstuck fountain pen but is still “entry level.” I have decided that it is best not to beat myself up too much about the cost and to look upon it not as money spent, but merely converted into something of quiet beauty and service. The medium nib will not work miracles on my handwriting but I am minded not to switch nibs as it is such a useful general purpose nib and its set up was such a factor in my falling for this pen.

26 thoughts on “Some early thoughts on a modern Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique.

  1. Thanks for producing such a balanced and well written review of what is an under-appreciated pen. I hope that you enjoy using it in the years to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind comments and also for pointing me towards this lesser-known model from Montblanc. It does seem that the 146 and the 149 get more of the glory. It has taken a couple of weeks for my reactions to this pen to settle down but I now appreciate more, its understated quality. I rather like that it is a cartridge converter filler, as this has its advantages and is convenient for travelling. Last weekend I simply unscrewed the half-full converter in order to rinse the nib and section for the purpose of taking the nib photo in this post. Afterwards, I replaced the converter to continue writing. I look forward to aging gracefully with this fountain pen!


    1. Hi. If you mean the notebook pictured with the Montblanc Classique in this review, it was a Leuchtturm A4 Plus hard cover notebook with dot-grid paper. Alternatively if you were referring to the photo in the banner heading of my blog, (with a Sheaffer 300 fountain pen) then it was a Ryman A5 soft cover, plain paper sketchbook. Rymans are a high street chain of stationery shops here in the UK and it was one of their own brand notebooks. I forget the weight of the paper but it is quite thick and fibrous. I tend to use Leuchtturm journals now.


    1. Thankyou. I have a 3776. They are about the same length when capped but uncapped the 145 is maybe 2-3mm longer and feels slightly thinner. The nib on the 145 is much smaller and so the section is longer, and tapers more, than on the 3776.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed reading this review. I am sort of a MB-fan I have to admit … In one thing I have an additional information regarding the 149 you mentioned in the very beginning: This pen has actually a name, like the 146 is called the „Legrand“, the 149 is named „Diplomat“.
    In general, the modern MBs (from the Meisterstück-tier) have quite rigid nibs (like the Pelikans – except for the M1000). I find this a bit a shame. I would assume your no 12 has a softer nib (not necessarily springier with the effect of extensive line variation). If you are after a modern soft nib from MB (again, just soft not springy), than you should check the Heritage-Series (with capability to blast the budget, though :-).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. A medium apparently, but depending on what it’s like, it might head off to the Toronto Pen Company to be narrowed and stubbed… but only if I’m not convinced by the stock medium.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi,
    I am not a pen collector, but I bought a new MB fountain pen, gold nib, in 1986 that I have never used because:
    a) it is too small for my hand (5 ¼” end-to-end with top screwed on; barrel diameter 7/16”)
    b) I don’t like the nib (I don’t know if it’s fine or medium – – I suspect fine)
    Would you please be so kind as to tell me what I have? That way I can perhaps sell it on EBAY.

    Then, might you suggest what I am probably looking for? I don’t want a big, fat one with a broad ink line, just bigger than I have with a medium ink line.

    Thank you and Happy Easter.
    Chuck Cabell 719-592-0472

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Charles,
      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments and Easter wishes.
      I cannot identify your Montblanc fountain pen from the brief details that you give, or tell you what it might be worth. I would recommend that you take it to a Montblanc store, or if you cannot do that, perhaps send an email and photos of your pen to their customer service department.
      As for what pen you are looking for, this will depend upon what you like, what you need to use it for, and your budget. There are many different brands of fountain pens available in stores but with the biggest selections being online now. Fountain pens come in lots of different sizes and styles and with different filling systems. As you probably know,~Montblanc is a luxury brand and their products are among the most expensive of fountain pens.
      The size of the pen has nothing to do with the width of the ink line. That is determined by the nib that you chose for your pen.
      I would recommend that you visit some pen shops to get some advice. It may be that you are better suited to a different type of pen from a fountain pen, such as a rollerball or fineliner. However it will be easier for someone to advise you in person, than by comments on this blog.
      Good luck and best wishes.


  4. I treated myself to a 145 with a fine nib to celebrate that I got my first real long-term job (which I still have, 21 years down the road). That was at a stationer’s in the Netherlands where my family had been customers for three generations and that had a sale because, sadly, it was closing; but this meant that I got the pen at a price so low that I dare not write it here.

    I don’t believe the admonition that we should use Montblanc ink, but it is true that this otherwise beautiful pen can be a bit fussy about what it’s filled with. (I settled on Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire, which produces such a lovely result that I think I will never use anything else again.) The only thing I find disappointing is that the pen tends to have a difficult start if not used for a few days, because the cap does not shut perfectly (I can blow into it and hear the air coming out). Perhaps a deliberate part of the design, but for this reason I only ink it up when I know in advance that I will write several pages within the next few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a nice idea to treat yourself to a Montblanc to celebrate your first job. It is great that you still have and use the pen 21 years on and have the memory of purchasing it at a local shop. Reading your comment made me want to try Pelikan Edelstein Sapphire, but I must control my temptations as I have drawers full of ink already. Regarding the hard starting, mine has an airtight cap and so perhaps Montblanc have improved the cap design since you bought yours. However, many people say that the older nibs were softer and preferable to the new ones.


      1. Interesting to read your cap is airtight. Perhaps I should stop at the local Montblanc boutique and ask about this; maybe it’s something that can be amended. Otherwise I am very, very pleased with the pen – apart from its sentimental value.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.